To become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Alabama, you’ll need to have a master’s educational level or higher. Equally, anyone wishing to practice as a school counselor in Alabama is required to have attained a graduate level education from a nationally or regionally accredited institution. The following are the requirements of becoming Alabama licensed therapist.
Alabama Licensed Professional Counselor Educational Requirements
Future counselors who wish to practice in the state of Alabama are required to attain a high level of education. The state’s educational requirements are aimed at preparing potential counselors to become competent in their careers so they can adequately care for their patients.
As stated above, the first step to becoming Alabama licensed therapist is to complete a graduate level educational program at a regionally accredited institution.
Such a program must also be accredited by Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) or CORE – the Council on Rehabilitation Education, or an equivalent accreditation council.
Your Master’s program should also cover at least 48 semester hours of coursework.
The following are the content areas that the Alabama licensing board will require you to document on application.
- Human development course
- Helping relationships
- Counseling theory
- Social & multicultural foundations course
- Lifestyle & career development
- Research & evaluation
- Group dynamics
- Appraisal of individuals
- Professional orientation
Supervised Experience Requirement for Alabama Licensed Therapist
Before you can obtain LPC licensing in the state of Alabama, you’ll need to gain supervised experience. This simply means receiving experience through working under supervision.
The actual number of hours required for work under supervision will depend on your level of education. Applicants with only a master’s level education without any other graduate coursework are required to accrue at least 3000 hours.
An applicant with a master’s and at least 15 semester hours of graduate level counseling coursework of professional counseling may have the coursework lowered to 2000 hours. If you have extra 15semester hours then you may have this reduced further to 1000 hours. In Alabama, associates must accrue supervised experience of not less than 1000 before they can be conferred with LPC status.
However, irrespective of your required hours, there must be a minimum of ¾ of the required hours that must be attained in direct counseling care and up to ¼ of total hours required in direct counseling service.
An annual report indicating that you received 100 hours of supervision in the course of the year, half of which are individual, and face to face is required. The report should show an average of two hours per week for an applicant who may have been in supervision for less than one year.
Application Process for Alabama LPC
To be eligible for an associate status, you’ll need to submit an application with details regarding your educational level, clinical experience, professional standing and counseling philosophy. Application forms for both ALC and LPC can be accessed here
You’ll also have to commit to observe ABEC board ethical standards. In addition to having three professional referees complete recommendation forms and submit them to the board, you’ll have to request for your transcripts. Regarding the referees, at least two of them must be supervisors with clinical experience.
You’ll be required to submit $200 application fee for ALC. You’ll pay your licensing fee later.
Application should be addressed to:
Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling (ABEC)
950 22nd Street North, Suite 765,
Birmingham, AL. 35203
Your education must meet the required standards. If your program was not accredited by CACREP or CORE, you must show course syllabi certifying equivalent standards.
In the event that such course syllabi are unobtainable, then you must substitute with equivalent documents that are up to standard and acceptable to the board. You’ll need to submit three types of documents, one of which should be institutional and one an applicant material.
Applicant materials may include course materials, such as notarized letters, assignments or even reading lists. On the other hand, institutional materials may include class syllabi taken since completing the master’s, letters by professors or course catalogs.
Out of state Applicants
An out of state applicants for Alabama licensed therapist status that the board may find not to have equivalent training may go ahead and work using a provisional license as he or she fulfills the remaining requirements.
ABEC allows candidates who hold licenses from other states to still apply for licensing in Alabama by endorsement. Candidates who have been licensed in the unincorporated state of Puerto Rico and other U.S territories also fall under this category.
To be licensed however, you’ll have to satisfy the board that your existing license was issued under the same standards as those in Alabama.
Renewal of License
Renewal of license is required every year in the case of an associate counselor and every two years for licensed professional counselors. Some fees will apply in addition to submitting documentation as a proof of continuing education, which must have received approval from the NBCC or Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).