California is Final State to License Mental Health Counselors
Alexandria , VA – October 12, 2009 – With today’s signing of California Senate Bill 788 by , mental health counselors are now licensed as master’s degreed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia .
"Achieving licensure in every state is a tremendous victory, both for mental health counselors and for those seeking their services," said AMHCA president Linda Barclay, PhD, LPCC/S, LICDC, NCC.
AMHCA recognizes the efforts of the California Coalition for Counseling Licensure (CCCL), which worked actively for licensure of mental health counselors, to be known in California as licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCCs). AMHCA assisted the CCCL in its lobbying efforts, producing letters in support of SB 788 to Assembly and Senate Business and Professions Committee chairs and members.
"AMHCA deeply appreciates the hard work of CCCL in this historic achievement," said Mark Hamilton, PhD, AMHCA executive director and CEO.
Governor Schwarzenegger will appoint two LPCCs to the Board of Behavioral Sciences, which is already comprised of two licensed clinical social workers, a licensed educational psychologist, and two licensed marriage and family therapists. SB 788 defines "professional clinical counseling" as being focused exclusively on the application of counseling interventions and psychotherapeutic techniques for the purposes of improving mental health. Under SB 788, the LPCC profession does not include the assessment or treatment of couples or families unless the LPCC has completed additional training and education beyond the minimum education and training required for LPCC licensure.
The law will go into effect on January 1, 2010. At that point, the Board of Behavioral Sciences will have the responsibility for developing the rules and regulations to implement the bill and it will prepare to accept LPCC applications.
Applications for grandparenting and reciprocity will be available on January 1, 2011, through the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Applications for regular licensure will be available on January 1, 2012, for those not eligible for grandparenting or reciprocity. Click here to learn about requirements.