Texas is a friendly state in most respects, but when it comes to professional licensing, they are as strict as they come in the Lone Star State. Texas wants its entire career professionals licensed and properly trained to practice any sort of medical procedure and counseling is considered in the same family as psychology, even if the methodologies are slightly different.
Educational Standards in Texas
When applying for a license in Texas, know right away that a master’s degree is the minimum requirement, though a doctorate degree is often the choice for ambitious students. There is the possibility of substituting another type of learning curriculum, but it must be from an accredited institution and in the counseling profession. There is also a minimum of 48 semester hours required. Much of these details are left to the Board to decide. However, examples might include social work, marital counseling, family therapy, or even dance therapy.
The courses in a graduate degree program will include human function and development, abnormal behavior, methods of assessment, counseling essentials, lifestyle and career issues, and the family unit. There is also another requirement, which is personal and supervised experience in a professional counseling setting. The hour amount is 300, with 100 hours of direct contact. Even after completing a degree, applicants must take and successfully complete the National Counselor Exam and the Texas Jurisprudence Exam. After receiving a temporary license, more counseling experience through ways of an internship is expected, with 3,000 hours to be performed in a year and a half, and half of those hours devoted to working under a supervisor. The supervisor in training must be approved by the board.
Licensure and Certification in Texas
Counseling is permission from the state to legally engage in this work and to identify yourself as a counselor. Titles might include Licensed Professional Counselor, or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, among others. On the other hand, certification is meant to set standards high on a national level, through members of the counseling profession. For licensure, State Counselor Licensure Boards actually work with the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) for examinations. However, the NBCC is what actively promotes and protects the “Code of Ethics” that ensure all counselors are operating within standard care.
There is local help for Texas veterans, as well. The Department of State Health Services is working together with other departments like the Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Veterans Commission to help reach veterans about their options in licensure, which could lead to a steady line of work in an age of recession. Military experience can qualify as a licensing requirement in some cases. Last but not least, all users have the ability to search professional licenses within Texas, as well as to register for transactions or renewals online.
All in all, Texas is a state that cares about the public interest. There are a lot of rules to keep in mind, but with the supervisory experience requirement in place, it’s actually a stringent requirement that works to your advantage. You get more mentorship time, leading you to a more prosperous and long-term future as a knowledgeable counselor.