Psychotherapy Tips

Do psychotherapists need to be registered

To be licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in Florida you must have the documents listed below. Endorsement applicants should only submit items 3 through 7. Registered Interns applying for full licensure need items 2 and 4-7.

1. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: Minimum of an earned master’s degree from an institutionally accredited program in mental health counseling or a closely related field that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours and required graduate coursework listed below. The transcript will be reviewed for the degree conferred date, required graduate level coursework, and total number of semester hours. A separate practicum letter from the university is required for non-CACREP graduates.

Beginning July 1, 2025, an applicant must have a master’s degree from a program that is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC), or an equivalent accrediting body which consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours to apply for licensure.

NOTE: Electronic Transcripts may be sent through a secure parchment service directly to [email protected] Please check with your university to see if this service is available.

Mailed transcripts must be sent in a sealed envelope from the university or they will not be considered official. A degree conferred date must be listed on the transcript. This document CANNOT< be uploaded in your online account. Official transcripts may be mailed to:

Florida Department of Health
Board of CSW, MFT, and MHC
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Bin C-08
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3258

To become a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Florida you must have:

1. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: Minimum of an earned master’s degree from an institutionally accredited program in mental health counseling or a closely related field that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours and required graduate coursework listed below. The transcript will be reviewed for the degree conferred date, required graduate level coursework, and total number of semester hours. A separate practicum letter from the university is required for non-CACREP graduates.

Beginning July 1, 2025, an applicant must have a master’s degree from a program that is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC), or an equivalent accrediting body which consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours to apply for licensure.

NOTE: Electronic Transcripts may be sent through a secure parchment service directly to  [email protected] Please check with your university to see if this service is available.

Mailed transcripts must be sent in a sealed envelope from the university or they will not be considered official. A degree conferred date must be listed on the transcript. This document CANNOT be uploaded in your online account. Official transcripts may be mailed to:

Florida Department of Health
Board of CSW, MFT, and MHC
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Bin C-08
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3258

(a) CACREP

Minimum of an earned master’s degree from a mental health counseling program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours of clinical and didactic instruction, including the courses listed below.

NOTE: CACREP accredited programs that are non-mental health counseling programs do not meet this requirement, i.e., Community Counseling, School Counseling, Counselor Education. Ensure your program is accredited in mental health counseling by visiting https://www.cacrep.org/.

  • COURSEWORK- Minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework in each of the following:
    1. Human Sexuality
    2. Substance Abuse

Complete the Education Worksheet for mental health counseling to determine if you have satisfied the coursework requirements for licensure

If the course title which appears on the applicant’s transcript does not clearly identify the content of the coursework, the applicant shall be required to provide additional documentation, including, but not limited to, a syllabus or catalog description published for the course.

  • PRACTICUM- A practicum letter is not required from CACREP mental health counseling programs.

OR

(b)NON-CACREP

Minimum of an earned master’s degree from a institutionally accredited program related to the practice of mental health counseling that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours and meets the following requirements:

  • COURSEWORK – Minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework in each of the following 11 content areas:
    1. Counseling Theories and Practice,
    2. Human Growth and Development,
    3. Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychopathology,
    4. Human Sexuality,
    5. Group Theories and Practice,
    6. Individual Evaluation and Assessment,
    7. Career and Lifestyle Assessment,
    8. Research and Program Evaluation,
    9. Social and Cultural Foundations,
    10. Substance Abuse, and
    11. Legal, Ethical, and Professional Standards Issues.

Courses in research, thesis or dissertation work, practicums, internships, or fieldwork are not applied toward this requirement. Complete the Education Worksheet for mental health counseling to determine if you have satisfied the coursework requirements for licensure.

If the course title which appears on the applicant’s transcript does not clearly identify the content of the coursework, the applicant shall be required to provide additional documentation, including, but not limited to, a syllabus or catalog description published for the course.

  • PRACTICUM- The equivalent of at least 700 hours of university-sponsored supervised clinical practicum, internship, or field experience that includes at least 280 hours of direct client services as required in the standards for CACREP accredited mental health counseling programs. An official of the school (Dean, Department Chair) that awarded your graduate degree must provide a letter on university letterhead verifying the course title and total number of hours completed during the supervised practicum, internship, or field experience. This experience may not be used to satisfy the post-master’s clinical experience requirement.

FOREIGN EDUCATION

FOREIGN EDUCATION: For the Board to consider education completed outside the U.S. or Canada, documentation must be received which verifies the institution at which the education was completed was equivalent to an accredited U.S. institution and the coursework met the content and credit hour requirement for graduate level coursework in the U.S. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain an evaluation from a recognized foreign equivalency determination service that documents the acceptability of the coursework. The board office must receive an original evaluation mailed directly from the educational evaluation service. For a list of approved Foreign Education Evaluators, please  click here.

2. QUALIFIED SUPERVISOR: Applicants must obtain a letter from a Board approved Qualified Supervisor and submit to the Board Office. The letter may be sent by mail or electronic mail. To submit via electronic mail, click here. The correspondence must originate from the supervisor with an original signature, include the supervisor’s license number, the applicant’s name as it appears on the application, and state that the supervisor has agreed to provide the applicant with supervision while a registered intern.

Your registered intern number will not be issued until the Board Office has received your application, fee and the information listed above. Upon submitting your application, you will be issued a file number to help track and reference your documents through the process. This number will not be the same as your license number and should not be used as such.

Please understand that Chapter 456.013(1)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that an incomplete application shall expire one year after initial filing with the department.

NOTE: You may become a registered intern having met 7 of the 11 course content areas if one of the 7 courses was in Psychopathology. If you do not meet the practicum requirement, the hours may be obtained as a registered intern and must be documented on the MHC Graduate Practicum Form by your Board approved Qualified Supervisor. Any remaining courses and practicum hours must be met prior to obtaining licensure as a Mental Health Counselor.

HELPFUL INFORMATION ABOUT SUPERVISION

Find A Qualified Supervisor:

Did you know that you can obtain a list of supervisors in your area at any time 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Simply use the Department’s Public Data Portal to download a current list of Board approved Qualified Supervisors. For detailed instructions, use the Licensure Data Download Guide. Obtain a letter from your selected Qualified Supervisor and send to the Board Office.

Before Supervision Begins:

Verify that your intern registration number has been issued by the Department and that the Board Office has approved your Qualified Supervisor. To verify, click here. Supervised experience will not count towards licensure until the intern registration has been issued and the Board has approved your supervisor.

During Supervision:

Two (2) years of post-master’s supervised experience under the supervision of a Board approved Qualified Supervisor is required for full licensure.

The supervised experience must consist of:

  • At least 100 hours of supervision in no less than 100 weeks;
  • 1,500 hours of face-to-face psychotherapy with clients; and,
  • One (1) hour of supervision every two (2) weeks.

NOTE: Please see Rule 64B4-2.002, F.A.C., for information regarding group supervision and supervision by electronic methods.

Need to Change or Add a Qualified Supervisor? Follow the steps below:

STEP ONE: Obtain a letter from your new or additional Qualified Supervisor and send to the Board Office. The correspondence must originate from the supervisor with an original signature, include the supervisor’s license number and the applicant’s name as it appears on the application, and state that the supervisor has agreed to provide the applicant with supervision while a registered intern.

STEP TWO: Receive a letter from the Board Office stating that your supervisor has been approved and note the date of approval. Supervision under the new or additional supervisor will not count until he/she has been approved.

Need to Remove a Qualified Supervisor? Follow the steps below:

STEP ONE: Ask the supervisor you are removing to complete the Verification of Clinical Experience Form and select “I am no longer providing this intern with supervision.” Please make sure a supervision end date is listed.

STEP TWO: Submit the Verification of Clinical Experience Form to the Board Office. To submit electronically, click here. The Board will remove your supervisor from your intern file and place a copy of the required form on file for review upon submission of a full licensure application.

After Supervision:

Your post-master’s clinical experience hours obtained under supervision must be documented on the Verification of Clinical Experience Form by the Qualified Supervisor or they will not count towards licensure. To submit electronically, click here. This form is not required until the intern is ready to submit their full licensure application. For information on full licensure requirements and to apply, click here. Please limit one (1) form per Qualified Supervisor.

NOTE: Registered interns must remain under supervision until fully licensed pursuant to Rule 64B4-3.008, F.A.C.

Psychology students who are figuring out what kind of psychology professional they’d like to be after graduation often ask the question, what is the difference between a psychotherapist and a clinical psychologist? Although these aren’t the only types of professions, with over seven professions listed in psychology, they are the most popular. Here are some of the ways that these professions are different.

Psychotherapist is an Umbrella Term

One of the biggest differences between these two professions is that one is an umbrella term while the other is a very specific profession; confusion between the two is common and has led to some people seeking help from the wrong professional.

A psychotherapist is an umbrella term, meaning all clinical psychologists, along with other psychology professionals, can put themselves under this term. A psychotherapist is a name that is given to professionals who provide therapy for clients.

Clinical Psychologists Have One Focus

Clinical psychologists differ from psychotherapists in one other major area: the area of emphasis of their work.

Clinical psychologists are either research-focused or applied in their emphasis; this professional can work as a researcher in labs and academic settings or become a therapist that works with clients in a clinical or private setting.

Psychotherapists generally only work in therapy with clients and don’t do any research. They can be found in schools, medical settings, community health centers and more.

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Academic Requirements Matter

When it comes to education, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists have requirements that need to be met before becoming licensed or certified. For both professions, a college education is required, which includes training in a real-world setting and research projects; at least an undergraduate degree is required for anyone looking to become certified in either profession.

But there are differences between the education that is required of psychotherapists and that of clinical psychologists.

Clinical psychologists major in psychology at the undergraduate degree level and then move on into clinical psychology programs at the doctorate level, which requires four more years of school. They are also required to complete clinical placements and a research thesis as well. Only after graduation can this professional seek licensure in their state; requirements for licensure can differ between states.

Psychotherapists, on the other hand, do not require an undergraduate education based in psychology; psychotherapy training begins at the graduate level, so as long as a student comes from a professional background, they will eligible to train as a psychotherapist. This profession requires a graduate education and some applied practice. Some states require psychotherapists to have certifications.

Professional Background can Differ

Professional backgrounds vary widely between psychotherapists and clinical psychologists, meaning that choosing one or the other comes with advantages.

Psychotherapists can have formal training in any profession prior to becoming a professional in psychology. This can include medicine, psychology, public policy, criminal justice, and more. They gain their professional training in this field at the graduate level, taking on internships while in school to understand how the career works.

Clinical psychologists, however, have worked nearly their entire adult life in psychology. Because so much schooling and clinical placements are required for clinical psychologists, they rarely work in any other industry, ensuring that they have a long and successful academic and professional career prior to being certified as a professional.

The psychology field can be difficult to navigate, particularly for students who know whether or not they want to be researchers or therapists. The above article has answered the question, what is the difference between a psychotherapist and a clinical psychologist, and will allow both students and clients find the therapist that works best for them.

See also: Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the Northeast

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