Mississippi State Licensing Requirements
If you want to become a social worker, therapist, counselor or psychologist in the state of Mississippi, here’s what you’ll need to do after you’ve earned your degree. But first, what degree will you need to get into these fields, and what will you need to do to get licensed to practice in the helping professions in Mississippi?
If you would like to get the education, training and skills to help people cope with life issues (depression, insecurity, OCD, ADHD), overcome mental-health problems, and generally improve the quality of their lives, keep reading to learn about going to psychology school in Mississippi.
Getting Licensed to Practice in Mississippi
Licensing is an important, required step before you can legally practice social work, psychology, therapy and 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 of study. Here are some of the requirements to practice in the following fields, according to the Mississippi Board of Psychology and other regulatory bodies. Make sure to consult the appropriate regulatory entity for the full requirements.
- Doctorate in psychology from a program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association or the Canadian Psychological Association
- Internship: minimum of one year of full-time, or two years of half-time pre-doctoral experience is required
- Supervised experience: starting in the post-doctoral year, a minimum of 2,000 hours of supervised work experience must be completed within a two-year period
- Passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), that is, a national scaled score of 500
- After passing the written exam and completing the postdoctoral supervision requirement, applicants will be approved to take the oral examination on the date set by the Board
Clinical Professional Counselor (CPC)
- Master’s degree or higher in counseling accredited by the Council of Accreditation for Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) with at least 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) which contains a 6-semester-hour advanced counseling practicum
- Supervised Internship: planned, practical, advanced experience obtained in a clinical setting observing and applying principles, methods, and techniques learned in training and/or educational settings. NOTE: Internships involve a longer period of time than a practicum.
- 3,500 supervised hours or counseling (approximately two years), 1,750 hours may be obtained during graduate degree (but supervisor must be board-certified); and a minimum of 1,167 supervised hours must be in Direct Services with clients and/or psychotherapy service to clients; 100 hours of individual face-to-face supervision are required
- Passing Grade on the National Counselor Exam (NCE)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- Master’s or a doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from a COAMFTE-accredited marriage and family therapy program, which includes a practicum of a minimum of 500 hours of face-to-face clinical client contact of which no less than 200 must be relational contact hours with couples and/or families and under supervision with a ratio of no less than one hour of supervision for each six hours of clinical client contact
- Two years of documented, post-graduate clinical experience, including 1,000 hours of face-to-face client contact in the practice of marriage and family therapy, with 200 hours of marriage and family therapy supervision (a minimum of 50 of the 200 hours must be under individual supervision
- Up to one year of a COAMFTE-approved doctoral internship may be counted toward the required two years of post-graduate supervised clinical experience when the doctoral internship involved the provision of clinical marriage and family therapy services in a mental health treatment setting under the supervision of an AAMFT-approved supervisor
- Up to 100 hours of acceptable clinical supervision accumulated during graduate training may be counted toward the required 200 hours of clinical supervision
- At least 100 hours of the 200 hours of clinical supervision must be completed with an AAMFT-approved supervision
- A passing grade on the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB)
There are three levels of social work practice in Mississippi: Licensed Social Worker (LSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW). To attain the highest level of licensure, you must comply with the following requirements.
- Master’s degree from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or a doctorate in social work (DSW or PhD)
- Supervision Plan and Contract for Supervision as outlined by the MS Board of Examiners for Social Workers in the LMSW Guide for Supervision
- Passing score on the national exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
Making the Most of Your Degree
Once you’ve begun your degree, you will want to learn about the professional associations that accept students. Membership in organizations such as the Mississippi Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors Association (MLCPCA) offers great benefits:
- Access to job databases and community resources
- Forums for interacting with peers and experts in your field
- Consultation with advocates in your profession regarding legal and ethical issues
- Information about legislation that affects your work, and lobbying efforts to protect your professional interests
So which field of psychology is right for you: counselor, therapist, social worker or psychologist? Make sure to get off on the right foot, and research your degree options and licensure requirements early to ensure 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.psychologyboard.ms.gov/Pages/default.aspx, www.lpc.ms.gov/secure/index.asp, www.swmft.ms.gov/swmft/web.nsf