One of the main questions people have in the beginning of their licensure process is, "How many hours do I need?"
In Tennessee, to fulfill the requirements for the LPC/MHSP credential, candidates need to have accumulated 3,000 clinical hours of post-graduate experience. You need to gain those hours within two to four years. That means you cannot take longer than four years to complete your clinical hours requirement. If you are working at a fast pace and happen to exceed the required hours before the two year mark, you will need to wait to send in your licensure application until you've hit the two year mark. You will also need to maintain supervision until that time, so that is something to keep in mind.
When does the licensure period begin... when can I begin "counting" my hours?
The licensure period (which can range from 2-4 years) begins after you have successfully completed a graduate program and are actively in clinical supervision with a qualified supervisor. If you are gaining hours of experience and NOT actively in supervision, those hours would not yet count. If you are working with clients in a setting that would qualify for licensure experience, do not wait to find a supervisor. Establish yourself in supervision and start counting those hours!
From the time you begin working under supervision you can start counting your hours toward licensure.
Make sure to keep track of your hours on a regular basis (weekly/daily) to help minimize the stress of having to backtrack and calculate your hours. If you would like a simple tracking form to use, just email me and I'll be happy to send one your way.
Of your 3,000 required hours remember that it will need to break down like this:
1,500 hours = Direct service clinical hours
1,500 hours = Clincally related activity hours
More to come on what is considered "direct service" and what is considered "clinicaly related."
If you have questions about the licensure process, or looking to secure an approved supervisor for LPC/MHSP, feel free to contact me. I'm happy to help!
Have a great Wednesday,