Mental health counseling is the evaluation, assessment, amelioration, treatment, modification or adjustment to a disability, problem, or disorder of behavior, character, development, emotion, personality or relationship by the use of verbal or behavioral methods.
Practitioners, called mental health counselors, are trained in counseling and psychotherapy to treat individuals with mental and emotional disorders and other behavioral challenges. Mental health counselors address mental health, human relationship, education and career concerns within ethical, developmental, preventive and treatment contexts. Mental health counselors demonstrate a concern for the short-term and long-term well-being of individuals, couples, families, groups and organizations.
Mental health counselors are dedicated to the optimal functioning of individuals, families and organizations. The mental health counselor uses standard mental health assessment and evaluation protocols, develops patient psychosocial histories, writes treatment plans, documents patient progress, facilitates consultation and referral with other providers, and implements discharge plans.
The practice of Mental Health Counseling and use of the titles "Mental Health Counselor" and "Licensed Mental Health Counselor" or any derivative thereof within New York State requires licensure as a Mental Health Counselor, unless otherwise exempt under the law.
To be licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in New York State you must:
The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 163, Section 8402 of the New York State Education Law and Section 52.32 and Subpart 79-9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor, you must present evidence of receiving a master's or doctoral degree in counseling from a program that is:
To meet the experience requirement for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor, you must submit documentation of completion of a supervised experience of at least 3,000 clock hours providing Mental Health Counseling in a setting acceptable to the Department. The supervised experience must be obtained after completion of the master’s degree program required for licensure.
To meet the examination requirement for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in New York State, you must pass the "National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE)," administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). The National Counselor Examination (NCE) from NBCC is not acceptable for licensure
The fee for licensure and first registration is $371.
The fee for a limited permit is $70.
In 2014, there were 538 licenses issued for this occupation.
In 2015, there were 567 licenses issued for this occupation.
As of July 1, 2016, there were 6,459 registered licenses for this occupation.
New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Mental Health Practitioners Unit
89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3817 Ext. 592
Fax: (518) 402-2323
21-1014.00 - Mental Health Counselors
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).
Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.
This page was last updated on 11/29/16.
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