What license type do I need/want - Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)?
First, an applicant should determine the type of counseling practice that they want to engage in performing, i.e. clinical versus non-clinical. Clinical is defined as the ability to diagnose and treat mental health disorders.
What are the educational requirements of the LCPC license?
Currently, there are three ways to meet the educational requirements for the LCPC license. First, a CACREP approved mental health counseling master's program consisting of 60 semester credit hours; second, a master's counseling program that is US DOE accredited and contains at least 48 semester credit hours along with 12 graduate level coursework and is subject to a transcript review of the content requirements; or, third, a doctoral psychology degree in either clinical psychology or counseling psychology that is APA or CPA accredited. Effective January 1, 2009 - the minimum number of semester hours will increase to 60 semester credit hours.
What is the scope of practice of a LCPC and LPC?
LPC is a non-clinical counseling license, but is permitted to engage in private/independent practice. LCPC is a clinical counseling license that is permitted to engage in private/independent practice.
Does a criminal conviction prevent me from applying for a license?
The board requires all applicants who have been convicted of any crime (Class A, B, C, D, and E) to provide full disclosure of the crime. Criminal convictions are reviewed by the board based on date of crime, nature of crime, and will determine sufficient rehabilitation to warrant the public's trust.
Do I need board permission to sit the NCE examination?
Yes -when applying for licensure, candidates are also applying to sit for the next available NCE examination. However, NBCC will permit a candidate to sit independent of the Maine board if either the candidate's school enrolls them or if a candidate is applying for the NBCC credential. The following website contains more information regarding the NCE examination: www.nbcc.org
Who is eligible to provide me licensing supervision?
LCPC-Conditional licensees are required to obtain board approved clinical supervision. The supervisor can be a LCPC, LMFT, Licensed Pastoral Counselor, LCSW, CSW-IP, licensed psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist who meet the board's requirements.
Do post-master's employment hours in Maine count towards clinical counseling experience?
No. In Maine, you must first obtain a conditional license to begin earning the 3,000 hours of clinical counseling experience. Providing clinical counseling to the public without first obtaining a license from the board may result in disciplinary action.
What is the breakdown of the 3,000 hours of clinical counseling supervision required for the LCPC license?
A total of 3,000 hours is required with at least 1,500 hours gained in direct client contact. In addition, at least 100 hours of individual supervision must be gained - with no more than 50 hours earned in a group setting. The conditional license is a minimum two-year license that may be renewed twice only.
Does my employment position qualify me for the LCPC-Conditional license?
Your job responsibilities should include the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. The hallmark of the LCPC-Conditional license is to practice clinical counseling while under clinical supervision.
How do I keep track of my consultation hours - what if my supervisor leaves the agency or I leave the agency?
The board rules require that a Proposed Supervision Plan be submitted to the board for pre-approval. A change in supervisor requires the former supervisor to submit a Supervisor's Affidavit form, and requires the conditional licensee to submit a new Proposed Supervision Plan with the new supervisor. A conditional licensee cannot practice without board approved supervision. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to accurately reflect the number of consultation hours on the form. Good record keeping by both the supervisor and licensee will ensure that hours are accurate.
Do I need to continue with clinical supervision once my 3,000 hours are completed?
Yes. The scope of the LCPC-Conditional license requires clinical supervision whenever the licensee is actively practicing.
What are my ethical guidelines as I practice clinical counseling and where can I find them?
The Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure has adopted their own Code of Ethics and can be found in Chapter 8 of its rules entitled "Standards of Practice."
What if I do not have 900 hours as part of my clinical internship - how do I meet this educational requirement?
The board permits the use of "alternative experience" to reflect lawfully gained clinical counseling experience via another clinical license type or post-master's clinical counseling experience gained in another state. Alternative experience for a clinical license cannot be gained in Maine without first obtaining a clinical license type. Most individuals who cannot document alternative experience will chose to re-enroll in a graduate level internship and finish the 900 hour requirement.
For more detailed information, please be sure to visit the board's statute and rules at the following links:
Counselor statute: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/32/title32ch0sec0.html
Counselor rules: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/02/chaps02.htm