Connecticut State Licensing Requirements

licensing-connecticut
Connecticut is a great place to study to become a psychologist, social worker, therapist or professional counselor. But what degree will you need to practice in the state, and what are the requirements to get licensed in the helping professions?

If you want to get the education, training and skills to help people cope with life issues (such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse), overcome mental-health problems, and generally lead happier lives, keep reading to learn about getting licensed in Connecticut.

Licensure to Practice in Connecticut

Licensing is a mandatory step before you can legally practice social work, psychology, therapy or professional counseling.

Once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll need to pass a state and/or national exam and meet other licensing requirements in your particular field. Here are some of the requirements to practice in the following fields, according to the Connecticut Department of public health and other regulatory bodies. Make sure to consult the appropriate regulatory entity to review the complete and most up-to-date requirements.

Psychologist

  • Get a doctorate in psychology from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA); some other programs may be accepted
  • Successful completion of at least one year of supervised work experience at the pre- or post-doctoral level. Internships required to complete the doctoral degree will not be counted toward meeting this requirement.
  • Work experience must be either no less than 35 hours per week for a minimum of 46 weeks within 12 consecutive months or be no less than 1,800 hours within 24 consecutive months. No more than 40 hours per week may be credited toward the required experience.
  • Get a passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
  • Get a passing score on the Connecticut jurisprudence examination

Professional Counselor

  • Master’s or doctoral degree in social work, marriage and family therapy, counseling, psychology or a related mental-health field
  • 3,000 hours of supervised postgraduate experience in professional counseling performed over a period of not less than one year, including a minimum of 100 hours of direct supervision
  • Successfully completion of the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

  • Successful completion of a graduate degree (master’s or doctorate) in marital and family therapy from a program approved by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  • Successful completion of at least 12 months of supervised postgraduate work experience. This must include at least 1,000 hours of direct client contact offering marital and family therapy services and 100 hours of post-graduate clinical supervision provided by a licensed marital and family therapist. Of the 100 hours of supervision required, at least 50 hours must be individual supervision and the remaining hours may be group supervision
  • A passing grade on the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB)

Social Worker

  • Earn a master’s degree or doctoral degree from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Successful completion of 3,000 hours of post-master’s social work experience including not less than 100 hours of work experience under professional supervision by a licensed clinical or certified independent social worker
  • Get a passing score on the clinical level examination of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)

Making the Most of Your Degree

Once you know which of these fields you want to go into and you’ve begun your graduate studies, it would be helpful to look into professional associations that accept students. Membership in organizations such as the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers offers great benefits:

  • Access to job databases and community resources
  • Forums for interacting with peers and experts in your field
  • Information about legislation that affects your work, and lobbying efforts to protect your professional interests
  • Consultation with advocates in your profession regarding legal and ethical issues

So which career is right for you: psychologist, counselor, therapist or social worker? Start early and research your licensure requirements and degree options to make sure that you’ll be efficient in your studies, won’t have any licensing problems, and can get into the right helping profession for you.

Sources: www.ct.gov/dph/site/default.asp

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