New Hampshire State Licensing Requirements

licensing-new-hampshireThe state of New Hampshire offers many opportunities for those wishing to practice as a social worker, therapist, counselor or psychologist. 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?

If you would like to get the education, training and skills to help people cope with life issues (such as depression, seasonal affective disorder [SAD], and substance abuse), overcome mental-health problems, and generally improve the quality of their lives, keep reading to learn about going to psychology school in New Hampshire.

Licensure to Practice in New Hampshire

Licensing is an important and necessary 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 New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire Board of Psychologists (NHBOP) and other regulatory bodies. Make sure to consult the appropriate regulatory entity to review the full and most up-to-date requirements.

For Psychologists

  • Doctorate in psychology from a program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (some other accreditation may be accepted), which includes a supervised practicum, internship, field or laboratory training appropriate to the practice of psychology
  • Supervised experience: Two years and 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience in that area of psychology in which they plan to practice (check with the NHBOP for details)
  • Passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), that is, a scaled score on the computerized EPPP of 500
  • Other requirements may apply. Check the NHBOP website for more details.

For Mental Health Counselors (MHC)

  • 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 includes 700 hours of a supervised practicum and/or internship appropriate to mental health counseling
  • 3,000 hours in two years of post-master’s or post-doctoral supervised clinical work experience in a mental health setting
  • Passing grade on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam distributed by the National Board of Certified Counselors

For Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)

  • Master’s degree or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (CAMFTE)
  • One-year practicum/internship supervised by an AAMFT approved supervisor prior to the completion of the master’s degree. This experience shall total a minimum of 300 hours of face-to-face client contact hours with individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of assessment, diagnosis and treatment. At least half of these client contact hours shall have been completed with couples and families.
  • Post-Graduate Practical Experience: 3,000 hours in at least two years of supervised experience in the practice of marriage and family therapy with a minimum of one hour per week of individual face-to-face supervision by a psychologist, clinical mental health counselor, independent clinical social worker, pastoral psychotherapist or marriage and family therapist (check the NH Board of Mental Health Practice for more details on supervised experience)
  • A passing grade on the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB)

For Clinical Social Workers

  • Master’s degree or doctorate from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • 3,000 hours of post-master’s supervised clinical work experience, to be completed within two years, with a minimum of one hour per week of individual face-to-face supervision between the supervisor and the applicant for a total of 100 hours
  • Passing score on the national exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)

How to Make the Most of Your Degree

Once you’ve begun your master’s degree, it would be helpful to look into which professional associations accept students and apply for student membership. Membership in organizations such as the New Hampshire Psychological Association 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? If you reside (or are planning to relocate to) New Hampshire, it’s never too early to start off on the right foot and research your degree and licensure requirements to make sure that you won’t have any licensing problems—and can get into the right helping profession for you.

Sources: www.nh.gov/psychology, www.nh.gov/mhpb

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