Counseling Programs Near Me

| Staff Writers

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Counselors help their clients navigate challenges like anxiety and depression, addiction, unemployment or loss of income, relationship issues, and living with disabilities. Common career paths include mental health, rehabilitation, substance abuse, and vocational counseling, along with marriage and family counseling. Subspecialties include child development, grief counseling, and eating disorders.

Trained and licensed counselors with a degree from a program accredited by an organization like the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) find themselves in demand. Aspiring school counselors should focus on schools accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

In addition to seeking out programmatic accreditation, students should select a regionally accredited school, which state licensure boards typically list as a requirement. Regional accreditation signifies compliance with high academic standards, while national accreditation signifies that a school meets the criteria for vocational or technical education.

State-Specific Counseling Licensure Requirements

While some professionals attend school in the state where they plan to become licensed, counselors enjoy the flexibility to study anywhere. Students should graduate from programs accredited by CACREP or CAEP and check the licensing requirements for the state in which they plan to practice to ensure compatibility.

Most licensing boards require a master’s degree in counseling, with core credits and coursework in the applicant’s specialty area. State boards also list a requisite number of programmatic and postgraduate supervised clinical experience hours needed for licensure. Each candidate must pass the national counseling examination and state jurisprudence exam, along with a background check.

Students can study in one state and become licensed in another, but once licensed, counselors may find themselves only able to practice in that state. To ease the restrictions, however, some jurisdictions sign onto reciprocity agreements to allow professionals to qualify for licensing in more than one state.

Reciprocity, also known as licensing portability, can help if a counselor wants to relocate. The American Counseling Association seeks to implement an interstate compact to further facilitate license portability.

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