Rehabilitation Counselor Requirements in Indiana: How to Become a Rheabilitation Counselor in Indiana

Some Indiana rehabilitation counselors are state licensed. They can achieve 'Licensed Mental Health Counselor' or LMHC status, though licensure will entail meeting some requirements beyond those traditionally included in rehabilitation counseling programs.

State licensing is not always mandated. A third party credential, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), is valued for some rehabilitation counseling positions.

Some Indiana rehabilitation counselors opt to hold multiple credentials, including LMHC and CRC. A master’s degree provides the foundation for both.

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Select an Indiana Rehabilitation Counselor Topic:

Civil Service Rehabilitation Counseling Employment Requirements

There are multiple rehabilitation counseling roles described in Indiana civil service job specifications (https://secure.in.gov/spd/2386.htm). Some, such as "associate" positions, may be had with education below the graduate level. Counselor positions, for example ‘VR Counselor’ or ‘Blind Services Rehabilitation Counselor’ will require a master's or CRC certification. A counselor will need a graduate degree to earn a CRC.

Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Requirements in Indiana

A professional who desires the CRC credential will need either a CRC-supervised internship or a period of work experience; internship will suffice if taken 1) as part of a doctoral level counseling or rehabilitation counseling program or 2) as part of a master's level program accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). A student who completes a CRC-supervised internship as part of a rehabilitation counseling program not accredited by CORE will need at least a year of work experience; without the qualifying internship, the requirement increases to two years. With a master's degree in another qualifying field, the requirement will be at least three years. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification will need to see evidence of coursework in rehabilitation-related content areas such as psychosocial or medical aspects of disability (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/eligibility_requirements/69.php). If the qualifying degree is not considered counseling, the individual will need to enroll in a 21-semester hour certificate or degree program.

Certification is not granted until after the individual passes an examination. The CRC examination is computer-delivered. It is available through Prometric during three annual assessment windows. Candidates should be prepared to upload eligibility materials several months before the intended test date. They should also be prepared to remit a $385 testing fee.

An individual may be hired in a counselor role without the CRC. The hiring agency will look for a degree in rehabilitation counseling or in a qualifying field such as counseling, special education, social work, or psychology. If the field is anything other than rehabilitation counseling, the professional will need to take rehabilitation- related courses, if not before hire during a specified period after. Expectations include the following:

  • Psychosocial or medical aspects of disability
  • Vocational counseling
  • Vocational assessment and evaluation
  • Occupational information or job placement

Rehabilitation Counselor LMHC Requirements

Education: The LMHC also requires a master's degree; requirements are more stringent than they are for some civil service positions. Indiana requires that individuals complete graduate degrees of at least 48 semester hours and take additional coursework, if necessary, to equal 60 semester hours. The student will need 1,000 hours of practicum, internship, and/ or field experiences. The licensing agency notes that students who completed fewer hours will need to re-enroll in counseling programs; post-graduate supervised practice cannot be substituted (http://www.in.gov/pla/files/LMHC_Frequently_Asked_Questions.pdf).

The student must have coursework in the following content areas:

  • Human growth and development
  • Helping relationships (to include counseling theory and practice)
  • Social and cultural foundations
  • Group dynamics and processes, group counseling and consultation
  • Assessment and appraisal
  • Lifestyle and career development
  • Mental health counseling foundations
  • Psychotherapy and mental health counseling knowledge and skills
  • Mental health counseling contextual dimensions
  • Professional orientation and ethics
  • Research and program evaluation
  • Clinical instruction

Indiana requires U.S. degrees to be completed through regionally accredited institutions but does not at this time require that programs be accredited by a particular programmatic accrediting agency.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is the accrediting agency that has traditionally accredited mental health counseling programs; CACREP –accredited mental health programs are at least 60 semester hours.

The Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) is the accrediting agency that has traditionally accredited rehabilitation counseling programs. Programs are at least 48 semester hours. A student can expect that a CORE accredited program that does not include all courses necessary for counseling licensure in its own state will at least identify for students the additional courses that they need to take.

Clinical rehabilitation counseling is a new accreditation offered in partnership between CACREP and CORE; programs with this accreditation are at least 60 semester hours.

Examination: An Indiana counselor will take two counseling examinations en route to full licensure as an LMHC. The National Counselor Examination (NCE) is taken at the associate level. The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) is taken at the LMHC level. Both examinations are administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (http://www.nbcc.org/Search/StateBoardDirectory/Indiana) An Indiana candidate will receive approval (and a registration form) after submitting application materials. The fee is currently $195 fee per test. Examinations are available in monthly testing windows but it may take several weeks from the time registration materials are received for the ATT to be issued.

Supervised Practice: Licensure at the LMHC level can only be attained after a period of supervised practice. While completing post-graduate practice, the individual will be credentialed as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate (LMHCA). He or she will receive clinical supervision from a licensed mental health professional. The supervision period will last at least 21 months. A doctoral internship can be credited toward the supervised practice requirement.

The License Application Process

License applications can be downloaded from the website of the Professional Licensing Agency (http://www.in.gov/pla/3032.htm).

Third party documents, including transcripts and exam verification, are to be sent to the licensing agency directly from the source.

The application fee is $50.

Fingerprint-based background checks are mandatory. The applicant will wait until after the application has been processed and a confirmation email sent. At this point, he or she can register through the approved vendor, Morphotrust (http://www.identogo.com/FP/Indiana.aspx). Out-of-state applicants may have their fingerprints made locally and scanned by Morphotrust. Indiana residents will, in most cases, have their fingerprints made digitally.

Applicants must also take the Indiana jurisprudence examination.

The Indiana licensing agency requires verification of all healthcare licenses and certifications, past or present.

Additional Information

Information on licensing available from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency http://www.in.gov/pla/3032.htm. The licensing agency can be reached by telephone at (317) 234-2054 or by email at 'pla8 at pla.IN.gov'.

The Indiana Counseling Association is an additional professional resource (http://www.indianacounseling.org/).

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