What are the Counseling License Requirements in Idaho?

Idaho has multiple levels of registration and licensing for mental health counselors. If you do your education in Idaho, you will start as a Registered Counselor Intern. Later you can be licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and then a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). You will earn these titles after you have accumulated a sufficient level of experience and passed the required examinations.

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Counselor Education Requirements in ID

In order to be licensed as an LPC by the Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists, you must have education at the master’s or doctoral level. (A graduate level educational specialist degree is also acceptable.) Your program should either be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or the Council on Rehabilitation Education, or be board-approved and meet the following requirements:

It must include 60 graduate semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of coursework. The school must be regionally accredited. The program must include a graduate level practicum as well as coursework in each of the following areas:

  • Cultural and social foundations
  • Human growth and development
  • Groups
  • Helping relationships
  • Career and lifestyle development
  • Individual appraisal
  • Research and evaluation
  • Professional orientation

You will also need six semester hours of practicum.

If you determine you need more classes to meet curricular requirements, you can make them up by enrolling in an accredited institution.

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Counselor Intern Status in Idaho

Once you have graduated, you will apply for Counselor Intern status. Click here to download the application. You will fill out an application, attach a passport photo, and enclose a fee (currently $25). You will provide a transcript, showing your degree. The application packet also includes an affidavit that your supervisor must sign. Materials should be sent to:

State Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists, 700 West State Street, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0063.

You can work under Counselor Intern status for a maximum of four years.

Supervision Requirement for Licensed Professional Counselors

To practice as an Idaho LPC, you’ll need 1,000 hours of supervised experience. This may come from graduate-level internships and/ or work experience. If you’re accumulating supervision through a school internship, you’ll need at least an hour of face-to-face supervision or consultation for every ten hours of internship. If you’re accumulating experience in a work setting, you’ll need at least one hour of supervision or consultation for every twenty hours. Although the mandate is for face-to-face, the board notes that live video may be used as an interface.

Currently, you may have a supervisor who is a counseling faculty member, LPC, LCPC, or Marriage and Family Therapist. Supervisors should be registered with the board. The board will consider supervisor recommendation in determining acceptability of your experience. 400 of you 1,000 hours must be direct contact with clients.

If you did your supervision before July 1, 1988 (or in a state that didn’t license the profession), supervision by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker is acceptable. Administrative supervision will not be accepted in place of clinical supervision, but in some cases, peer supervision may be deemed acceptable.

Examination for LPC status

Before achieving LPC status in Idaho, you’ll need to take and pass the National Counselor Examination through the NBCC. Idaho uses the computerized version, and you can attempt it in Boise or at any of the other testing sites around the country. Exams are usually scheduled Monday through Friday the first two weeks of the month. Some locations have Saturday hours.

You can download an Idaho registration form from the board site. You should send the original signed application along with a $195 fee and an official transcript that shows that you have a master’s in a counseling-related field. You should also send verification of name change if your name is different from the one that appears on your transcript.

Materials should be sent to the following address: NBCC Assessment Dept. , PO Box 7407, Greensboro, NC 27417-0407.

Allow four weeks for processing. When you receive your confirmation, you will have a six month window. (After that time, you would be assesses another registration fee.) You can find a candidate handbook available for download at http://www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap.

You can email NBCC at [email protected] if you have questions about the registration process.

The Application Process

You may apply for Licensed Professional Counselor or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor using the Idaho State Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists Application for Professional Licensure. Click here to download the application. You will fill out the application, attach a passport photo, and include application and licensing fees. If your counseling program was not accredited by CACREP or CORE, you will fill out Addendum I, which is a coursework worksheet and include a syllabus. You will include verification of practice and supervision – signed by your supervisor, notarized, and returned to you in a sealed envelope.

You should submit all materials at least seven days before the next board meeting.

Supervision Requirement for Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors

In order to become a Clinical Professional Counselor, you’ll need 2,000 hours of post-licensure client contact experience, earned over a period of two years. This may be earned in any state.

At least 1,000 hours must be under the supervision of a Clinical Professional Counselor – this will need to be verified. The remaining hours can be supervised by a clinical or counseling psychologist, psychiatrist, marriage and family therapist, or clinical social worker. Whatever the specialty, the person will be expected to hold state licensing. For every thirty hours that you put in, you’ll need one hour of supervision that is face-to-face, one-to-one, or one-to-two. No more than half of your supervision can be group, and your supervisor can’t supervise more than six counselors.

Examination for Clinical Professional Counselors

To achieve the higher licensing, you’ll need to pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination which is also under the banner of the NBCC. The registration process is very similar to the one for the NCE. Again, you will send in registration and fee, wait for confirmation, and then schedule at your choice of testing centers.

Out of State Applicants

As an out-of-state or foreign applicant, you may be a candidate for licensure by endorsement. You will need to hold a license that is in good standing in another municipality and be able to verify that you have not been disciplined during the previous five years. You will be expected to have a background free of felony convictions and otherwise display evidence of good character.

Your municipality should have requirements that are substantially equivalent to those in place in Idaho. Generally, you will be expected to show that you were actively practicing during the five years before you sought licensure in Idaho. If you can document extenuating circumstances or hardship, you may be excused from the active practice requirement during a portion of the preceding five years.

You will either show that you have qualified for Category II of the American Association of State Counseling Boards credentialing registry or document that you have done at least three things on the following list during the preceding five years:

  • Completing at least 1,000 hours of direct client contact
  • Serving as an officer of a state or national counseling organization (or assuming a leadership role in other organization accepted by the board)
  • Teaching three graduate level courses
  • Earning a certificate to supervise
  • Supervising at least three people who were seeking licensure for a minimum of 12 months
  • Maintaining liability insurance with no claims over the five year period
  • Obtaining an additional graduate degree in a related field
  • Holding certification by an approved national counseling certification organization
  • Doing at least 100 continuing education hours during the five year period

If you are applying for licensure by endorsement, you must fill out Addendum 3 of the license application packet.

License Maintenance

You must renew your Idaho counseling license every year (http://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/24/1501.pdf). You’ll need to do 20 contact hours of continuing education each year, whether you hold LPC or LCPC status. At least three must be in ethics. If you earn more than the required amount of continuing education hours, you can carry up to five into the next term. You may be excused from the continuing education requirement under extreme circumstances, but you’ll need to request exemption before renewal.

Additional Information

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 Idaho.

The board requests that you maintain a copy of the official rules and regulations.

You may email [email protected] if you have questions about the licensing process.

Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses: http://www.ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/Home.aspx

You may also want to become a member of the Idaho Counseling Association.

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