How to Become a Licensed Counselor in New Hampshire
How Do I Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in New Hampshire?
As New Hampshire’s mental health care system is undergoing major changes the need for licensed professional counselors will only increase. Some counties in New Hampshire have begun mental health courts as a cheaper and more effective alternative to incarceration. The topic of mental health is a large part of the state dialogue in New Hampshire and a higher value is being placed on quality care throughout the state. Completing the necessary steps to receive the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice’s Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor(LCMHC) license is a significant step for any future counselor interested in helping New Hampshire regain it’s status as a national leader in mental health care.
What are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire has always been a leader. In January 1776, it was the first British North American colony to break ties with Great Britain and a few years later was the first state to enact a state constitution. As health care throughout the United States continues to evolve the State of New Hampshire is positioning itself to be a leader once again. With innovative programs and an emphasis on mental health care in Concord, mental health promises to be an exciting field for years to come. Counselors with the LCMHC license will have received the training, experience, and education necessary to help transform the face of mental health care in the state for the better.
New Hampshire’s board issues the LCMHC license to applicants who have met three primary requirements. Applicants must hold a 60 credit master's or doctoral degree in clinical mental health counseling from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited institution or equivalent. They are also required to pass the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) National Counselor Exam (NCE). Lastly, they must complete a 2 years of post-masters experience, including 3,000 hours of post-masters, supervised clinical experience.
|Education Requirements||Education Length||Available Programs|
|Undergraduate Work||Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling||4 Years||Online or Campus|
|Graduate Work||Earn a Master's Degree in Counseling||5-6 Years||Online or Campus|
|PHD or Doctoral Work||Earn a Doctorate in Counseling||7-8 Years||Online or Campus|
What are the Supervised Experience Requirements for Becoming a Counselor in New Hampshire?
The two years a future counselor will spend accumulating their 3,000 hours of supervised experience is perhaps the single most important aspect of their journey towards receiving licensure. There is simply no substitute for quality experience in the field, and they won’t be alone. Future counselors will be guided by a clinical supervisor through this critical time in their professional development. The clinical supervisor will also ultimately evaluate the future counselor before a license is issued. All of the specifics for this arrangement will be detailed in a Candidate for Licensure Supervisory Agreement. The future counselor and their supervisor will work together to set some goals for their time together so that they both get the most out of the experience.
A commitment on the part of the supervisor and the future counselor to keep good records throughout the supervised experience will make the final steps toward the board’s issuance of the LCMHC license move along without unnecessary delays.
What are the Examination Requirements for Becoming a Counselor in New Hampshire?
The NCE consists of 200 multiple choice questions designed to assess knowledge, skills and abilities of licensure candidates. You will receive your score within 8 weeks of the examination. Study guides are available via the NBCC.
Note: For more information on how to become a counselor in the state of New Hampshire, please visit the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice.
Counselor Career Outlook In New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors’ Association lists the current number of LCMHCs at 700, the second largest discipline of the caring industry in the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional counselor’s salaries in New Hampshire range between $33,000-$49,000. Licensed professional counselors who work in a private practice or specialty field may experience higher pay than those working inside a local social service agency. Regardless of where a LCMHC licensed counselor decides to work, they will be part of a growing community of professionals dedicated to redefining what mental health care looks like in New Hampshire during what will undoubtedly be remembered as a significant time in the state’s history.
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