LPC Information

A "licensed professional counselor" is a person engaged in the practice of counseling who holds a license as a licensed professional counselor issued under the provisions of the North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselors Act.

Must complete all requirements before license can be issued. (NCGS § 90-336)

Choose the application that applies to you:

LPCA to LPC

Current LPCAs that have completed or are near completion of their 3,000 hours of supervised professional practice.

LPC

Persons in the counseling profession that have completed 3,000 hours of supervised professional practice under another lawful jurisdiction. However, the person does not have at least 5 years of counseling experience.

LPC by Endorsement

Licensed professional counselors from another state with at least 5 to 8 years of counseling experience, completed a minimum of 2,500 of direct client contat, and has an active independent license that is in good standing.

LPCA to LPC Application Requirements

For the LPCA to LPC application, applicants must have an active LPCA license at the time the application is reviewed by the Board. LPCAs must continue to practice under supervision until the LPC license is issued.

The LPC to LPCA application consists of the following items:

  • LPC to LPCA Application
    • General Information
    • Credentials
    • Legal & Ethics History
    • Education
    • References
    • Supervised Professional Practice
    • Application Fee ($238, which includes the $38 criminal background check fee)
  • Other Required Application Documents
    • Application Validation - Notary
    • Criminal Background Check
    • LPC Jurisprudence Exam
    • LPC Professional Disclosure Statement
    • Final Supervision Report(s) (from each supervisor that provided supervision)

LPC Application Requirements

To be licensed as a LPC in the state of North Carolina an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Application (Rule .0305)
  • Education (Rule .0701)
  • Exam (Rule .0305)
  • Professional Disclosure Statement (Rule .0204)
  • Verification of Supervised Professional Practice (Rule .0205)

Application Requirements:

(G.S. § 90-336; Rules .0301, .0308, .0309, and .0501)

  • General Information
  • Credentials
  • Legal & Ethics History
  • Education
  • References
  • Graduate Counseling Experience
  • Supervised Practice
  • Graduate Courses
  • Application Fee ($238, which includes the $38 criminal background check fee)
  • Other Required Application Documents
    • Application Validation - Notary
    • Criminal Background Check
    • LPC Jurisprudence Exam
    • LPC Professional Disclosure Statement
    • Final Supervision Report(s) (from each supervisor that provided supervision)
    • Licensure Verification

Educational Requirements:

(G.S. § 90-336; Rules .0302 and .0206)

  • Must have earned a master's degree in counseling or related field from an institution of higher education that is either regionally accredited or accredited by an organization both recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the applicant meets one of the following criteria:
  • Master’s Degree hour requirements:
    • If enrolled prior to July 1, 2009 applicants will need 48 Semester Hours or 72 Quarter Hours
    • If enrolled prior to July 1, 2013 but after June 30, 2009 applicants will need 54 Semester Hours or 81 Quarter Hours
    • If enrolled after June 30, 2013 applicants will need 60 Semester Hours or 90 Quarter Hours
  • Graduate Coursework in Counseling for 9 areas of study – 3 semester hours or 5 quarter hours per course area of study
  • HELPING RELATIONSHIPS IN COUNSELING – Studies in this area provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes, including the following:
    1. counseling and consultation theories, including both individual and systems perspectives, as well as coverage of relevant research and factors considered in applications;
    2. basic interviewing, assessment, and counseling skills;
    3. counselor or consultant characteristics and behaviors that influence professional counseling relationships, including age, gender, and ethnic differences; verbal and nonverbal behaviors; personal behaviors; and personal characteristics, orientations, and skills;
    4. client or consultee characteristics and behaviors that influence professional counseling relationships, including age, gender, and ethnic differences; verbal and nonverbal behaviors; and personal behaviors; personal characteristics, orientations and skills; and
    5. ethical considerations.
  • COUNSELING PRACTICUM AND INTERNSHIP – Practicum and internship experience should be provided in a supervised graduate counseling experience in a regionally accredited program of study. This graduate counseling experience shall be completed as defined in Administrative Rule .0206. To assist applicants with the application process the Board has adopted definitions of practicum and internship coursework. Please click here for more information regarding these definitions.
  • PROFESSIONAL ORIENTATION TO COUNSELING - Studies in this area provide an understanding of all aspects of professional functioning, including history, roles, organizational structures, ethics, standards, and credentialing, including the following:
    1. history of the counseling profession, including significant factors and events;
    2. professional roles and functions of counselors, including similarities and differences with other types of professionals;
    3. professional organizations (primarily the ACA, its divisions, branches and affiliates), including membership benefits, activities, services to members, and current emphases;
    4. ethical standards of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) or ACA and related ethical and legal issues, and their applications to various professional activities (e.g., appraisal, group work);
    5. professional counselor preparation standards, their evolution, and current applications;
    6. professional counselor credentialing, including counselor certification, licensure and accreditation practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues;
    7. public policy processes, including the role of the professional counselor advocating on behalf of the profession and its clientele; and
    8. ethical considerations.
  • HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT THEORIES IN COUNSELING - Studies in this area provide an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels, relevant to counseling practice, including the following:
    1. theories of individual and family development, and transitions across the life span;
    2. theories of learning and personality development;
    3. human behavior, including an understanding of developmental crises, disability, addictive behavior, psychopathology, and environmental factors as they affect both normal and abnormal behavior;
    4. counseling strategies for facilitating development over the life span; and
    5. ethical considerations.
  • SOCIAL AND CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS IN COUNSELING - Studies in this area provide an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society that impact professional counselors and the counseling profession, including, the following:
    1. multicultural and pluralistic trends, including characteristics and concerns of counseling individuals from diverse groups;
    2. attitudes and behavior based on factors such as age, race, religious preferences, physical disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity and culture, family patterns, gender, socioeconomic status, and intellectual ability;
    3. individual, family, and group counseling strategies with diverse populations; and
    4. ethical considerations.
  • GROUP COUNSELING THEORIES AND PROCESSES - Studies in this area provide an understanding of group development, dynamics, and counseling theories; group counseling methods and skills; and other group work approaches, including the following:
    1. principals of group dynamics, including group counseling components, developmental stage theories, and group members’ roles and behaviors;
    2. group leadership styles and approaches, including characteristics of various types of group leaders and leadership styles;
    3. theories of group counseling, including commonalities, distinguishing characteristics, and pertinent research and literature;
    4. group counseling methods, including group counselor orientations and behaviors, ethical standards, appropriate selection criteria, and methods of evaluation of effectiveness;
    5. approaches used for other types of group work in counseling, including task groups, support groups, and therapy groups; and
    6. ethical considerations.
  • CAREER COUNSELING AND LIFESTYLE DEVELOPMENT - Studies in this area provide an understanding of career counseling, development, and related life factors, including the following:
    1. career-counseling theories and decision-making process;
    2. career, avocational, educational, and labor market information resources; visual and print media; and computer-based career information systems;
    3. career-counseling program planning, organization, implementation, administration, and evaluation;
    4. interrelationships among work, family, and other life roles and factors, including multicultural and gender issues as related to career counseling;
    5. career and educational placement counseling, follow-up, and evaluation;
    6. assessment instruments and techniques relevant to career counseling;
    7. computer-based career-development applications and strategies, including computer assisted career-counseling systems;
    8. career-counseling processes, techniques and resources, including those applicable to specific populations; and
    9. ethical considerations.
  • ASSESSMENT IN COUNSELING - Studies in this area provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in counseling practice, including the following:
    1. theoretical and historical bases for assessment techniques in counseling;
    2. validity, including evidence for establishing content, construct, and empirical validity;
    3. reliability, including methods of establishing stability, internal, and equivalence reliability;
    4. appraisal methods, including environmental assessment, performance assessment, individual and group test and inventory methods, behavioral observations, and computer-managed and computer-assisted methods;
    5. psychometric statistics, including types of assessment scores, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, standard errors, and correlations;
    6. age, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, and cultural factors related to the use of assessment and evaluation in counseling services;
    7. strategies for selecting, administering, interpreting and using assessment and evaluation instruments, and techniques in counseling; and
    8. ethical considerations.
  • RESEARCH AND PROGRAM EVALUATION - Studies in this area provide an understanding of types of research methods, basic statistics, and ethical and legal consideration in research, including the following:
    1. basic types of research methods to include qualitative and quantitative research designs;
    2. basic parametric and nonparametric statistics;
    3. principles, practices, and applications of needs assessment and program evaluation;
    4. uses of computers for data management and analysis; and
    5. ethical and legal considerations.

References

  • Applicants are to provide a list of three individuals (may include supervisors) who are acquainted with their professional counseling work.
  • At least one reference must be a licensed professional counselor.
  • References are to complete the Applicant Reference Form.
  • The completed forms must be returned directly to the applicant in a sealed envelope with the reference’s signature over the seal or sent directly to the Board.
  • Unsigned forms/envelopes will be returned.

Examination Requirements:

(G.S. § 90-336; Rules .0305 and .0307)

  • National Exam
    • National Counselor Exam (NCE) – provided by the National Board for Certified Counselors
    • National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE) – provided by the National Board for Certified Counselors
    • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam (CRC) – provided by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
  • Jurisprudence Exam
    • No Fail
    • Certificate of completion must accompany application/renewal
    • Must be completed within 6 months of the date the application is received
    • Covers the law and ethical codes that govern the LPC

Professional Disclosure Statement Requirements:

(G.S. § 90-343, Rule .0204)

  • Must be provided to clients prior to rendering counseling services
  • A signed copy must be retained in client records
  • Must include all items listed in Rule .0204 – Instructions and requirements can be found under the Professional Disclosure Statement Section of the Board website.

Verification of Supervised Professional Practice:

(Rule .0205)

Verification of Supervised Professional Practice Form
  • 3000 hours supervised professional practice (G.S. 90-336; Rules .0205, .0207, and .0208 – .0213)
    • Hours of supervised professional practice accrued with a qualified clinical supervisor who was Board approved
    • 2000 hours must be direct counseling
    • No hours applied from Master Level Practicum/Internship
    • 24 month post-graduate work experience no longer required
    • No more than 40 hours per week.
    • 100 hours clinical supervision
      • 75 hours required to be individual
      • Must have a minimum of 1 hour clinical supervision for every 40 hours of professional practice
      • Supervision shall be based on direct (live) observation, co-therapy, audio and video recordings, and live supervision
      • At least three-quarters of the hours of clinical supervision shall be individual

Individual Supervision:

(Rule .0210)

  • 1 hour per 40 hours of supervised professional practice
  • Face-to-face, clinical supervision means supervision that is live, interactive, and visual
  • May be video – synchronous (real time) and involves verbal and visual interaction during the supervision

Group Supervision:

(Rule .0211)

  • Face-to-face, scheduled supervision
  • May not to exceed 12 supervisees per group
  • For a period of not less than one and one half hours of clinical supervision with qualified clinical supervisor

Direct Counseling Experience:

(Rule .0205)

  • Consists of live contact with individuals, groups, and families through counseling as defined in G.S. 90-330(a)(3)a thru b:
    1. Counseling. – Assisting individuals, groups, and families through the counseling relationship by evaluating and treating mental disorders and other conditions through the use of a combination of clinical mental health and human development principles, methods, diagnostic procedures, treatment plans, and other psychotherapeutic techniques, to develop an understanding of personal problems, to define goals, and to plan action reflecting the client’s interests, abilities, aptitudes, and mental health needs as these are related to personal-social-emotional concerns, educational progress, and occupations and careers.
    2. Appraisal Activities. – Administering and interpreting tests for assessment of personal characteristics.

Qualified Clinical Supervisor:

(Rules .0209 and .0801(a))

  • Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPCS)
    • The credential of licensed professional counselor supervisor shall be granted by the Board to a licensed professional counselor who has satisfied the following requirements
      • obtained an independent license that is not under supervision as defined in G.S. § 90-336(d)(4);
      • earned the equivalent of three semester graduate credits in clinical supervision training from a regionally accredited institution of higher education as documented by an official transcript, or 45 contact hours of continuing education in clinical supervision;
      • documented licensed professional counseling experience as defined in G.S. § 90-336(d)(2); and
      • submitted a complete application for licensed professional counselor supervisor.
  • OR
  • LPC who has an active and unrestricted license; and
    • The equivalent of three semester graduate credits in clinical supervision from a regionally accredited institution or 45 contact hours of continuing education in clinical supervision; and
    • A minimum of five years of post-graduate counseling experience, with a minimum of two years post licensure experience.
  • OR other equivalently licensed and experienced qualified mental health professional who has
    • At least a master’s degree as defined in G.S. 90-336(b)(1);
    • An active and unrestricted license;
    • The equivalent of three semester graduate credits in clinical supervision from a regionally accredited institution or 45 contact hours of continuing education in clinical supervision; and
    • A minimum of five years of post-graduate counseling experience, with a minimum of two years post licensure experience.
  • Mental Health Professionals approved by the Board (Rule .0213).
    • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT),
    • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) with a master’s degree in social work from a school of social work accredited by the Council of Social Work Education,
    • Licensed Psychologists,
    • Licensed Medical Doctors with a Medical Board certification in psychiatry, - Nurse Practitioners approved to practice in North Carolina and certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an advanced practice nurse practitioner and certified in psychiatric nursing,
    • Clinical Nurse Specialists certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Psychiatric Nurse Association as an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

Licensure Verification

Endorsement applicants must have an active, unrestricted license in good standing as a licensed professional counselor in another state for a minimum of two years directly prior to application.

If disciplinary action has occurred prior to application, each case will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Out-of-State License Verification Form, which is to be completed by the current state licensure board.