Texas rehabilitation counselors are licensed as Licensed Professional Counselors, or LPCs. The Texas LPC is a generic counseling license that can be achieved by counselors with training in various counseling specialties. A counselor receives a temporary license after meeting educational requirements and passing the two required examinations. Full licensure is granted after completing a supervised practice requirement.
Chapter 503 of the Texas Occupations Code, which establishes the LPC profession, provides for certain license exemptions. Individuals who are certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) may be exempted, provided they are providing services, using titles, and generally upholding themselves in ways that are consistent with their certification. Some Texas counselors, however, choose to hold multiple credentials, including a professional counseling license and a rehabilitation counseling certification. Exempt individuals who opt for voluntary licensing are subject to the same standards.
Select a Texas Rehabilitation Counselor License Topic:
- LPC Educational Requirements in Texas for Rehabilitation Counselors
- Rehabilitation Counselor/LPC Exam Requirement
- Rehabilitation Counselor/LPC Examination Requirement
- Rehabilitation Counselor/LPC Experience Requirements
- The Application Process and Forms
- Achieving Rehabilitation Counseling Certification
- Contacts and Professional Organizations
LPC Education Requirements for Rehabilitation Counselors in Texas
A prospective LPC must earn a graduate degree. The course of study must be a planned program of at least 48 semester hours. It must be in counseling or a related field. The Board defines related field to include only those that focus on mental health; social work is offered as an example of a degree that would be considered related, education as an example of a degree that would not.
The program must include coursework in the following:
- Normal human growth and development
- Abnormal behavior
- Counseling theories
- Appraisal or assessment techniques
- Individual and group counseling techniques
- Lifestyle and career development
- Social, cultural, and family issues
- Professional orientation
The program must include at least a 300-hour counseling practicum.
The semester hour requirement will increase to 60 semester hours, effective August 2017.
It is acceptable to take some license-qualifying coursework subsequent to the degree (http://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=22&pt=30&ch=681&rl=82).
The Board can accept a degree that was granted more than ten years in the past only if the graduate has been licensed in another state or has practiced in an exempt setting in Texas for at least five years (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_apply.shtm).
LPC Examination Requirements
Texas counselors take a national counseling examination and a state jurisprudence examination. Both are taken before supervised practice.
The content examination is the National Counselor Examination, or NCE. Texas candidates are allowed to register directly with the NBCC. They will submit official transcripts along with the registration form and $275 fee. Registration forms and instructions can be downloaded from the ‘Texas’ page of the NBCC website (http://www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap//TX).
An approved candidate will receive his or ATT within about four weeks. Examinations are computer-delivered. An ATT authorizes scheduling at any of more than 400 Pearson VUE assessment centers; Texas has fully 19 centers.
Examinations are available two weeks out of each month; candidates must schedule in advance.
The Texas Board will receive results directly from the NBCC.
Texas candidates may make up to three attempts at the national examination before additional educational requirements are imposed.
The state jurisprudence examination can be assessed online (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_jurisprudence.shtm).
LPC Experience Requirements
The counselor will need to accrue at least 3,000 hours of work experience over a period of no less than 18 months. At least 1,500 hours are to consist of direct client contact.
While accruing hours, counselors work under temporary licensure. Changes in supervisor or work site must be submitted to the Board. The supervisee will have an approved supervisor. He or she will need at least four hours a month of direct supervision. Supervision must meet requirements described in Title 22 of state code (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_laws.shtm).
The Board may credit up to 400 hours for practicum that was earned in excess of requirements. However, these hours will not reduce the minimum timeline for post-graduate supervised practice.
The LPC Application Process
Applications are submitted online through the Regulatory Services Online Licensing System (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_aonline.shtm).
Supplementary documents should be requested and sent directly from the source. This includes transcripts and, if applicable, verification of out-of-state licensing.
Applicants for temporary licensure must submit supervisory agreements. They can be upgraded to LPC status after supervisory documentation is submitted (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_upgrade.shtm).
Achieving Rehabilitation Counseling Certification
The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification offers the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential. Prospective certificate holders are required to pass the CRC examination; they also have a code of ethics to uphold. The shortest path to examination eligibility is to complete a master’s program accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). However, there are multiple pathways. If a program is in rehabilitation counseling and includes a 600 hour internship supervised by a CRC, eligibility can be achieved after as little as one year of work experience.
Individuals who hold degrees in other counseling disciplines will need at least three years of work experience before they are CRC-eligible. They will also need to meet coursework standards set by the CRCC. Some non-counseling degrees are considered qualifying if the individual subsequently completes a 21-semester hour program in rehabilitation counseling; the ‘eligibility requirements’ page includes a link to programs that meet requirements (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/eligibility_requirements/69.php).
Some state rehabilitation positions can be filled with either an LPC or CRC; in some cases, an individual may be hired on the strength of education. State job classifications are available from the Texas State Auditor’s Office (http://www.hr.sao.state.tx.us/Compensation/JobDescriptions.aspx). Actual job posting may include more detailed information.
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/default.shtm) can be reached by telephone at (512)834-6658 or by email at ‘lpc at dshs.state.tx.us’.