What are the Professional Counselor License Requirements in Louisiana?
Louisiana has unique licensing requirements for professional counselors. By fulfilling basic requirements for education, examination, and supervised experience, you can be credentialed as a Licensed Professional Counselor by the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners.
By fulfilling additional coursework, you can become a Licensed Professional Counselor with Appraisal Privileges – this allows you to perform assessments.
If you begin your preparations in Louisiana, you will be licensed first as a Counselor Intern.
Select a topic below...
- Education requirements
- Supervised practice requirements
- Taking the National Counselor Examination
- The application process
- I am a licensed counselor in another state
- Counselors with appraisal privileges
- Maintaining your license in Louisiana
- Additional contact information
Education Requirements for LPC's in Louisiana
You must complete at least a master's degree in counseling. You must also complete any additional coursework that’s required to meet the state’s curricular standards.
In order for your program to be considered a “counseling degree”, it must meet at least one of the following requirements: It's CACREP accredited, it includes the words counselor or counseling in the title, it's in a field that's closely related, or it includes the content outlined below. Programs in counseling psychology or vocational rehabilitation are acceptable. If your counseling degree does not include all required components, you may complete additional units beyond your master's.
Capella University, offers three online CACREP- accredited master's programs: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Counseling. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their programs.
You must have at least 48 semester hours in counseling. Your course of study must include a 100 hour practicum and a 300 hour internship, as well as coursework in the following eight areas:
- Human growth and development
- Counseling/theories of personality
- Abnormal behavior
- Counseling techniques
- Group dynamics, processes, and counseling
- Individual appraisal
- Career and lifestyle development
Your practicum must include at least 40 hours of direct client service. It must also include, on a weekly basis, at least one hour of individual supervision and at least an hour and a half of group supervision. Your internship must include at least 120 hours of direct counseling service. Supervision requirements are similar to that of` the practicum: an hour of individual supervision each week, an hour and a half of group. You will find a dozen schools listed on the site of the Louisiana Counseling Association.
You must practice under supervision before becoming licensed at the professional level. In most cases, you’ll be required to work for a total of 3,000 hours. This supervised practice must include at least 1,900 hours of direct client contact and at least 100 hours of face to face supervision. At least 50 of these must be individual supervision; the remaining can take place in a group of up to ten. Up to 1,000 hours may be spent in broader tasks related to professional counseling (like case notes, staffing, or assessment).
Post-master’s coursework may lessen your supervised practice requirement. If you have 30 semester hours of counseling education beyond the master's level, you may substitute that for 500 hours of supervised practice. Semester hours that you earned doing practicum, internship, or supervised experience may not count toward the 30 semester hours, however. And no matter how much education you have, you’ll need to put in at least 2,000 hours of supervised experience before you’re licensed.
Your supervision must take place over a period of two to seven years. You will need a clinical supervisor. This is different from an administrative supervisor. The clinical supervisor has the responsibility for mentoring you as well as documenting that you meet board standards; often she is not the person who is making administrative or staffing decisions. Supervisors are Licensed Professional Counselors with at least five years’ experience (at least two post-licensure). They must meet board-specified standards, which include taking a graduate course or board-approved training program in supervision.
You must submit a written proposal of supervision to the board sixty days before commencing. You will get a letter that either approves the supervision arrangement or rejects it and explains what the problems are. At the end of your supervised practice, your supervisor will verify your hours, evaluate you, and make a recommendation.
If you need helping finding a supervisor, you may visit the site of the Louisiana Counseling Association at http://www.lacounseling.org.
If you began supervised practice before January 1, 1993, you are not held to the same requirements.
National Counselor Examination
Before you can become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana, you’ll need to take the National Counselor Examination. Click here to download a registration form from the site of the National Board for Certified Counselors.
You will send your application to the following address:
NBCC Assessment Dept. , PO Box 7407, Greensboro, NC 27417-0407.
It must be accompanied by official sealed transcripts and a $195 fee. Once you get your approval from the NBCC, you may schedule an exam at any of the AMP testing centers around the country. You do so by calling 888-519-9901 or visiting www.goAMP.com.
There are three centers in Louisiana: Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport. Tests are generally administered Monday through Friday the first two weeks of each month; some testing centers also have Saturday sessions. You’ll need to send your registration materials to the NBCC well in advance, however, as it typically takes four weeks to process and send you approval.
You may email the NBCC at NBCC@nbcc.org.
The Application Process
Before submitting an application, you should read Chapter 7 of the Louisiana Licensing Requirements.
You will need to gather some supporting documents; some will be sent with your application, others forwarded by third parties.
You should have your graduate transcripts sent directly to the board.
NBCC test scores will also be sent directly unless you took the exam through the LPC board office. The application itself will include questions about professional fitness, legal background, and employment history. You’ll need to have it notarized. You should include a 2 by 3 head and shoulders shot, with your signature on the back.
Your application packet will include a fee in the form of a certified check, cashier’s check, or money order. Currently the fee for Licensed Professional Counselor is $200. There may be other associated fees. Mail your application materials to the following address: Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners, 8631 Summa Avenue, Suite A, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809. Generally, the board meets on the third Friday of the month, so you’ll want materials to arrive in the office before the meeting.
Click Here to find the Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners Louisiana Applications/Forms you need.
Out of State Applicants
The state of Louisiana does not have reciprocal agreements with other states, but will evaluate your qualifications on an individual basis. If you have ever been licensed n another state, you’ll need to have your file sent (http://www.lpcboard.org/LPC%20application%20for%20license.pdf). If you hold national certification, you should provide the certification number on your application, as well as contact information for the certifying agencies.
Other Professionals who can be Licensed as Counselors
Louisiana’s rules allow professionals in related fields to be licensed as counselors. The American Art Therapy reports that Louisiana will license art therapists as LPCs if they meet the stated standards. You have the opportunity to do a program with an emphasis in some form of counseling like play therapy.
Becoming a Professional Counselor with Appraisal Privileges
You must have coursework from a regionally accredited institution in the following content areas:
- Sampling theory
- Tests and measurements
- Test construction
- Individual differences
You also must also have a practicum which covers appraisal instruments and supervised practice with appraisal instruments.
The amount of documentation you'll need depends partly on how well the course title matches up with the content area. The board offers statistics as an example: If your transcript shows "Advanced Statistics", it's very clear that the content in question was covered, and no other documentation is necessary. If it shows "Quantitative Methods", you might be able to demonstrate that statistics was covered if you also provided a course catalog.
You fill out a separate short application for privileging. Click here to download the application. You will note what documentation you have that supports each requirement (for example, transcript, course catalog, official letter). You will pay an additional fee.
Maintaining Your Counselor License in Louisiana
You will need to renew your license every other year. You must do 40 hours of continuing education during each renewal period.
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 Louisiana.
If you require additional information, you may call the board at (225) 765-2515 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.