A State by State Counselor Guide

What are The Professional Counselor License Requirements in Kansas?

There are two levels of licensure for Kansas’ professional counselors: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Education is the foundation for both, but the LCPC license has more stringent coursework requirements.

You’ll also need supervised work experience to move up through the ranks.

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Education

You will need to enroll in a graduate program to earn your counseling license. Kansas requires at least 60 hours of coursework in counseling. If your master’s program was shorter, or if you lack coursework in some content areas, you will need to make those up. A total of at least 45 semester hours, or the equivalent, should be in the ten core areas listed below. You must earn at least two semester hours (or the equivalent) in each of these content areas:

  • Counseling theory and practice
  • Helping relationships
  • Group dynamics, processes, approaches, and techniques
  • Human growth and development
  • Career and lifestyle foundations
  • Individual appraisal
  • Social and cultural foundations
  • Research and evaluation
  • Professional orientation
  • Supervised practical experience

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If you are pursuing the LCPC license, the board additionally stipulates that you have at least 15 total semester hours that support diagnosis and assessment. You must have, as part of this requirement, at least two semester hours of ethics and at least two semester hours of psychopathology. You must have training in the latest edition of the DSM. You must also have coursework that teaches you to make referrals and work as part of an interdisciplinary team.

You may claim that certain courses in the core standards also meet the diagnosis and assessment requirement. The application form will allow you to circle “yes” by courses that fit this requirement.

Your 60 hours should include no more than four in research and writing and no more than six in independent study. You may not use independent study to fulfill core requirements.

Learn more about selecting a Master's in Counseling program here.

Testing

You will take licensing exams through the National Board for Certified Counselors. The exam you take will depend on what level of licensing you are seeking. The National Counselor Examination is the adopted exam for licensing at the LPC level; the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination is the adopted exam for licensing at the LCPC level. Whichever exam you are taking, you should seek board approval five weeks before your intended testing date.

You will receive your registration from the Kansas board. When you mail it to the NBCC, make sure that it’s signed in ink and is accompanied by the requisite $195 fee. Your fee will be processed first, then your application. You should allow four weeks from the time your fee goes through. Once you receive confirmation from the NBCC of your eligibility, you may call Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) or visit the website (www.goAMP.com) to schedule your exam. You will be allowed to test at your choice of sites around the nation. Tests are administered during a two week period each month. There are two testing sites in Kansas, located in Olathe and Wichita.

You may address registration questions to the NBCC at examinations@nbcc.org.

Supervised Practice

You move from LPC to LCPC status by working under supervision. Once you get your LPC license, you’ll need to submit a supervision plan. It must be approved before you begin accruing hours. You will work under supervision for at least two years.

Generally, your supervisor should be an LCPC. If that’s not possible, you may be supervised by a licensed psychologist, clinical social worker, clinical psychotherapist, or marriage and family therapist.

If you have a master’s degree, you will need 4,000 total hours of supervised experience; of these, at least 1,500 must be direct client care. You will need at least 150 total hours of clinical supervision. You should have at least an hour of clinical supervision for every 15 hours of client contact.

At least 50 hours of individual supervision is required. The other 100 hours may be either individual or group (with a maximum of five other supervisees in the group). You must have at least two clinical supervision sessions each month. At least one of the monthly sessions should be individual.

Individual supervision must be face to face (same physical location). Generally, group supervision should be face to face as well. During emergencies or extreme circumstances, other modes like video may be utilized for group sessions.

A doctoral degree can cut the requirement for post-graduate supervised experience in half. You will still need two supervisory sessions a month. You will need to report changes in supervision to the board for approval within 45 days. Your supervisor will evaluate you before you can be issued your LCPC license.

The Application Process

You will need to have third parties furnish some supporting documentation.

  • You must have three professional reference forms in sealed, signed envelopes.
  • Your graduate practicum review must also be in a sealed, signed envelope.
  • Graduate transcripts should be sent straight from the university to the board.
  • If you’ve taken licensing exams, those scores should be sent directly.

You should have academic records on hand to assist you with the application process. You will need to list coursework that meets board requirements on the appropriate supplemental form. This is a requirement even for those who have graduated from CACREP-accredited programs.

You will include a fee with your application. It may be made out to Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (or abbreviated BSRB).

Click Here to go to the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board applications and forms website for professional counselors in Kansas.

If you are currently licensed as an LPC and are applying for the higher status, you will not need to send additional references. You will, however, need your supervisor to fill out an attestation of your supervision.

Materials may be sent to Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board, 712 S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, KS 66603.

Out of State Applicants

Out of state clearance forms are to be sent directly to the Kansas board. You may be licensed by reciprocity if you meet one of the following requirements:

1) Your state has standards that are higher or substantially equivalent to those of Kansas.
2) Your state does not have similar requirements, but you can demonstrate that currently hold a license that’s in good standing in another jurisdiction.

You can further demonstrate that you have a master’s degree and have been actively practicing under license for five years. (This method may require more supporting documentation.)

If you are seeking license by reciprocity on the basis of active practice, the amount of documentation you need will depend on the licensing status you seek. For LPC licensure by reciprocity, you need to attest that you have been actively practicing for five years – that’s defined as at least 15 hours a week for nine months of the year. For LPCP license by reciprocity, you will need to provide verification of your clinical competence in diagnosing and treating mental disorders. You’ll need to have two of the following:

  • A statement verifying active practice in diagnosing and treating mental disorders. (If you were engaged in independent practice, you may provide an attestation that is supplemented by appropriate supporting documentation.)
  • Verification of the required 15 semester hours in diagnosis and treatment, plus passing scores on the clinical licensing exam.
  • A statement of clinical competence by a mental health professional. Validation of clinical competence should cover a three year period. If you are licensed in another state and wish to practice in Kansas only temporarily, you have a simplified application form. Click here to download the application. You can practice up to 15 days. With a written request, you may be allowed to practice an additional 15 days during the same year.

License Maintenance

You will need to renew your license every two years. During this time, you will need to complete 30 hours of continuing education. At least six hours must pertain to mental disorder diagnosis and treatment; at least three hours must be in professional ethics

Additional Information

If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, or hold a bachelor's degree, check out suggested steps to take along the path to becoming a counselor in Kansas.

You may reach the Kansas board at 785-296-3240. The NBCC lists bruno.langer@bsrb.state.ks.us as an additional state-specific application resource. Check their website as well: Website

Kansas Counseling Association

Kansas School Counselor Association

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