No matter the type of therapist you are visiting, it is wise to make sure they are licensed. A California massage license lookup makes this easy to confirm, and there are also similar lookups for other types of therapists. Before using the California therapist license lookup, learn more about the requirements for becoming a licensed therapist in the state.
Becoming a licensed therapist in California requires you to meet educational and experience requirements, pass a background check, and pass exams.
To start, you need to have a Master’s degree or another doctoral degree in psychotherapy or counseling. From there, you need to register as an APCC, which lets you accumulate supervised experience. You will then have to complete the live scan and background check. After passing the California Law & Ethics Exam, you can work on experience. You need at least 3,000 supervised hours spread over at least 104 weeks.
At this point, you can apply for your licensure and be assigned a date to take the NCMHCE (National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam), which is the clinical exam. After passing the exam, you will get your California therapist license.
Keep in mind that if you want a California marriage and family therapist license, you will need to meet additional requirements, including 500 hours of supervised experience being with families, couples, and/or children.
You will also have to pay for licensure fees, including for the exam eligibility application, the exam, and the license.
An LPCC is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. This is the license to become a therapist in the state of California.
An LPCC is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. By contrast, an MFT is a Marriage and Family Therapy professional. LPCCs assist those with mental health or substance abuse, while MFT professionals focus on assisting with relationship-based or social counseling for individuals or families.
Both MFT professionals and LPCCs have similar licensing requirements. They also work in a similar range of environments, including private practices, hospitals, and government agencies.
If you are starting from scratch, the biggest factors influencing how long it takes to become a counselor in California will be your education and experience. You will have to complete a master’s or another doctorate program that includes at least six practicum or field study units. This typically takes several years. Following this, you have to gain 3,000 hours of supervised experience spread out over at least two years.
From your undergraduate degree to your doctorate, you may spend as long as 10 years to become a licensed counselor. It can take less time than this, especially if you already have an undergraduate degree or relevant doctorate when you decide to become a counselor. But you cannot take any shortcuts with the practical experience requirements.
When confirming a therapist license, ensure that you are using the proper lookup as there are several other roles with therapist in the name that have their own lookups. For example, you will not find a physical therapist license California holder or an LPCC in a California massage license lookup.