Licensure requirements

Licensing of counselors began in the 1970s (Bradley. 1995). The requirements to be licensed as a counselor in different states vary from one state to another mainly in the areas concerning examinations, training and experience but has similar requirements such as a graduate study, experience on counseling and for the applicant to pass the Counselors’ examination offered nationally. According to the board that certifies counselors known as NBCC (2011), the NCE is not a license to be a counselor but it shows the people and employers that the individual is qualified to practice since he/she has attained the national standards. An individual requires a state license in order to practice counseling but the national certificate can aid the individual in acquiring a state license. State license is issued by the concerned regulatory body and may be single form or a double system.

To attain a national certificate an individual is required to be a holder of a Master’s level or an undergraduate degree from an institution acknowledgeable in counseling. Applying for licensing, one should have carried out coursework on counseling strategies that are effective, is ethical and has studied human behavior. He is also required to pass the National Counselor Examination. Experience is also important with an individual being required to have carried out counseling for a minimum of 3000 hours and 100 hours in supervision.

Licensure in various states varies from one state to another with common titles such that one can be licensed as a Clinical based Counselor, Professional consultant and Counselor in Mental related problems. Most regulatory bodies require an applicant to fill an application form and provide documents that support the application. The applicant must also provide educational transcripts from a recognized institution. The body then checks to determine whether the individual passed the certification examinations. The two main examining bodies are the National Board for Certified Counselors and the commission that deals with certifying Rehabilitation consultants. Different state licensing boards may require licensing examinations to be oral or either subjective. The certifying board for Counselors on national level examinations is acknowledged in many states, although some states may not accept the examinations but instead administer their own examinations.

Reason to go into counseling

The reason why I want to go into psychology is because it is my objective to work with war veterans who have returned home from the field to help them adjust to life back from the war. As a psychiatrist I shall be able to diagnose and administer treatment to illness relating to mental health. I shall be able to do this through medication and therapy. The report by the Department of Defense (DOD) showed that they are insufficient systems to meet the needs of veterans who return home from military action (Wheeler and Bragin, 2007). As a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), I shall be able to assist the war veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress to live a life that is rewarding and fulfilling life. The assessment, employment consulting and case management can be adequately addressed by a rehabilitation counselor.

I hope to work with veterans in order to reduce stigmatization when they come back into the community and to assist the family and community in general to accept and live with the veteran in a manner that is suitable to both. It would be desirable to help the people who return from war to overcome the posttraumatic stress, avoid the development of mental disorder and to effectively assist them in adapting to the new environment. It would be personally gratifying to help the returning soldiers to live a productive life and reduce occurrences of alcohol abuse and development of mental disorders. The veterans are suffering from posttraumatic stress due to the horrific things they have seen and endured and there fore it is important to assist them to overcome the stress so that they can live a normal life. I would like to work in this field of psychology to assist returning soldiers to adjust to life back at home.

Ways to achieve this (counselor)

I would propose that an individual should conduct research on the education, training, specialty and licensing requirements. The first step to attain counseling postgraduate Master’s that is acknowledged by the Council for crediting Counselors and other affiliate study programs, an individual is required to take course work in human behavior, development and sociology. A bachelor’s degree is helpful in gaining background information and experience in counseling. You are also required to carry out research and to be knowledgeable on the counseling methods or techniques that can be used in the profession. In this case since I want to deal with mental health issues, pursuing Master’s in counseling mental health problems is important. Courses such as human behavior and development and therapy are important. An individual is required to gain experience through 3000 hours of counseling in clinical training and 100 hours of supervision for a period of two years, after completing the graduate study level.

The next step is to becoming a counselor is to acquire a license. Licensure varies from state to state depending on the specialty. Most state licensing boards require a counselor to have a Master’s in counseling and to have experience in counseling. A pass in the certification examinations is a must.



Bradley L.J (1995). Certification and licensure issues. Journal of counseling and Development.

Volume 74 Issue 2. Pg 185 – 186

National Board for Certified Counselors (2011),

accessed, accessed on 11/04/2011 at 12:36PM

Wheeler D.P and Bragin M. (2007). Bringing it all back home: Social work and the challenge of

returning veterans. Health and Social work. Volume 32, Issue 4. Pg 297 – 300


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