Psychadelic2012

PhD Student
Sep 17, 2011
827
13
Status
Psychology Student
I thought I had this figured out, but I want some more insight. I'm in an APA-accredited PhD program now, but I have a licensable master's degree. I was always under the impression that postgrad hours, which accumulate for full masters-level licensure, did not matter if they were direct (face-to-face) or not--just that you had the 2-3,000 work hours plus a specific number of hours for supervision. I want to apply for full licensure, if I can, before I get my doctorate because of the benefits of being fully licensed while on pre-doc internship, postdoc, etc.

Now, I'm in a new state and, in reading the code for full licensure, the applicant must provide: "Evidence of having participated in a total of three thousand (3,000) hours of postgraduate clinical client contact and 100 hours of appropriate face to face postgraduate supervision. One thousand (1,000) clinical client contact hours may be from the applicant's internship or practicum."

Clinical client contact hours are further defined as:

"Clinical client contact hours means the time spent with a client to appraise, diagnose and treat psychopathology as determined by the scope of practice."

and

"Contact hour for professional training or client contact means sixty minutes equals an hour of training or contact."

I'm obviously not working full-time, but I thought I'd be able to attain the equivalent of full-time employment in twice the time while doing part-time pracs in the doctoral program. 3,000 direct hours seems like a heck of a lot. Now, I did close to 1,000 hours for my master's practicum/internship, but it was nowhere NEAR that many hours in direct client contact (only about 275).

Do these licensing boards actually want all of these hours to be, literally, face-to-face with clients doing treatment/assessment, etc.? Or, did I have it right the first time?

Thanks for the help!
 
Aug 23, 2012
607
2
Status
Psychology Student
Do these licensing boards actually want all of these hours to be, literally, face-to-face with clients doing treatment/assessment, etc.? Or, did I have it right the first time?

Thanks for the help!
These types of questions are best posed to the respective board. They usually aren't shy about responding to e-mails about questions regarding licensure hours. Only a board member can give a 100% answer to this question, and it would be good to keep the e-mail saved in case they try to deny they said it later.
 
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Psychadelic2012

Psychadelic2012

PhD Student
Sep 17, 2011
827
13
Status
Psychology Student
I'll rephrase: I know what my state's licensure board requires, but I'm wondering if this "clinical client contact hours" requirement is typical for full licensure.
 
Aug 23, 2012
607
2
Status
Psychology Student
I'll rephrase: I know what my state's licensure board requires, but I'm wondering if this "clinical client contact hours" requirement is typical for full licensure.
From what I've heard from people licensed outside of my state, you have to have a certain % of hours that are direct contact for license but a certain % can also be indirect. It would be absolutely insane to fully license someone with no direct contact hours. That said, in my state you can get an LCSW with limited direct practice in therapy.
 

Goobernut

LCSW
7+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2012
405
206
Academic Medical Center
I'll rephrase: I know what my state's licensure board requires, but I'm wondering if this "clinical client contact hours" requirement is typical for full licensure.
I think it is. Its more in the fine print that you have to go digging through, rather than the easy to read bold print on the front (web) page. In most cases I had to find the direct-client hours by downloading a PDF of the official state code concerning the licenses.

I took a quick look and found all of OK states requirements for the different licenses and posted them here for comparison.

IN OK, the LCSW has a 4000 hour requirement: I only found the direct client requirement by downloading the PDF version from the licensing board website.

"(1) as a LCSW who has a master's degree in social work from a Board approved social work program and has two (2) years of full-time post degree experience or the equivalent thereto of part-time experience, a total of 4,000 hours, of experience in the practice of clinical social work under professional supervision of a licensed clinical social worker which
includes 3000 hours of direct client contact. Direct client contact may include any activities directly associated with the provisions of treatment for a client. Direct client contact does not include administrative activities, travel to/from meetings, training, etc. This experience shall include at least 100 hours of face-to-face educational supervision by the
supervisor"

I found the MFT Requirement! It's 1000 hours of direct client contact. 150 hours of supervision.

"(a) Work experience under supervision must extend over a minimum of 24 months. This marital and family therapy related experience must include a minimum of 1000 hours of direct client contact.
(b) Supervision sessions:
(1) should be scheduled weekly and shall be no less than 6.25 hours of supervision for each 42 hours of direct client contact. No more than 42 hours of
direct client contact can be counted in a one month period of time.."


And here is the LPC requirement, works out to be approx 1000 hours of face to face time over the 3000 hours. This is why I like to stress to people to look at the standards of your state. When I looked at LCSW requirements vs. LPC requirements, I realized that if I wanted to leave OK, I would have hours to make up in other states (because quite a few states have a higher standard for their LPC or LMHC). Whereas in OK the LSCW has one of the longer (4000) hour requirements in the nation. Also, because in OK, the LPC does not require you to go to a CACREP certified school. There were so many IF's concerning moving with the OK LPC license that I decided to go another route. And with my luck, I'll live in OK for the rest of my life, and it will never be a concern where the heck I went to school.

LPC:
"(a) Three (3) years or three-thousand (3000) clock hours of full time, on-the-job experience, which is supervised by an approved LPC supervisor, shall be completed.
(b) For each one-thousand (1000) clock hours of full time, on-the-job experience, three hundred fifty (350) hours shall be direct face to face client contact.
(c) "Full time" means at least twenty (20) hours per week.
(d) Weekly, face-to-face supervision shall be accrued under an LPC at the ratio of forty-five (45) minutes of supervision for every twenty (20) hours of on-the-job experience.


Sorry for the lengthy post. I'm entertaining myself while waiting for graduate school responses hahaha.... I guess my point is that if OK does it, prolly ever state does. I can't imagine OK having standards that are out of the norm.

And for fun, here are the requirements for Florida. They are all in one handy dandy document. I won't go through all of the differences here :) I did notice that Florida makes a stipulation for the LCSW that the 1500 of client hours have to be direct psychotherapy hah. I don't think there is any wiggle room with definition there. But they pretty much require the same of LMFT and LMHC. Really strict standards on the schooling for the LMHC as well.

Florida State Requirements

Also, be warned, that each of these licenses also require supervision AFTER you are licensed. So you aren't golden after you are done. Again, each state is different as to how many hours and how formal it is etc...

** Additional Note -- Looked up TX out of curiosity. Their LCSW license has NO mention of client hours, and only requires 3000 hours of accrued hours. If the face to face hours are required somewhere else, I'm missing it. See -- know your state as well as Bellows knows his :) hehe. Im surprised that TX has lower standards than OK does. My guess is that the LMHC or LPC is much more stringent than in OK.
 
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Psychadelic2012

Psychadelic2012

PhD Student
Sep 17, 2011
827
13
Status
Psychology Student
Hmph. Interesting. So, what then would keep someone from getting a license in one state and then applying for reciprocity in their home state, I wonder? <--rhetorical question
 

FreudianSlipper

7+ Year Member
Dec 24, 2011
233
76
wow, 3000 direct client contact seems extreme to me, if that is what they actually want (that is what the wording seems to indicate). My state is 3000 hours, but I think only half of them half to be direct contact. I also find the the inconsistency in post-graduate hours between MA professions speaks to how arbitrary and easily influenced by lobbying the state boards can be.
 

Goobernut

LCSW
7+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2012
405
206
Academic Medical Center
Hmph. Interesting. So, what then would keep someone from getting a license in one state and then applying for reciprocity in their home state, I wonder? <--rhetorical question
I don't think there would really be anything to stop you. I know you said rhetorical hah ;) The laws varies so widely by state you'd have to check. For example if I got my license in OK (and went to school in OK) I would not be able to practice in the state of florida. They have NO reciprocity and to practice you have to pass Florida standards (the main one I'd be missing is the CACREP). Sooooooooooooooooo yeah. I really think that at the master's level it is so much more important to pay attention to state laws and the local emphasis on certain licenses. Sorry to keep using OK and FL as examples, I guess I could randomly pick two other states, but that would be more work ;) haha.

wow, 3000 direct client contact seems extreme to me, if that is what they actually want (that is what the wording seems to indicate). My state is 3000 hours, but I think only half of them half to be direct contact. I also find the the inconsistency in post-graduate hours between MA professions speaks to how arbitrary and easily influenced by lobbying the state boards can be.
I completely agree about inconsistency! It really seems arbitrary. I was SHOCKED when I saw the requirements for OK's LCSW. 4000 hours, really? It is one of the highest requirements for hours in the nation. And 3000 direct client contact? I think the key there is with the wording, "Direct client contact may include any activities directly associated with the provisions of treatment for a client. Direct client contact does not include administrative activities, travel to/from meetings, training, etc." I can think of a lot of things that don't qualify as administrative, but would count as hours (and are not face to face). Treatment team meetings (that dont' discuss how to bill insurance), phone calls to other providers etc etc etc, whereas the states that specify "direct psychotherapy" obviously have a much shorter requirement, 1500 vs the 3000.
 
Aug 23, 2012
607
2
Status
Psychology Student
I don't think there would really be anything to stop you. I know you said rhetorical hah ;) The laws varies so widely by state you'd have to check. For example if I got my license in OK (and went to school in OK) I would not be able to practice in the state of florida. They have NO reciprocity and to practice you have to pass Florida standards (the main one I'd be missing is the CACREP). Sooooooooooooooooo yeah. I really think that at the master's level it is so much more important to pay attention to state laws and the local emphasis on certain licenses. Sorry to keep using OK and FL as examples, I guess I could randomly pick two other states, but that would be more work ;) haha.



I completely agree about inconsistency! It really seems arbitrary. I was SHOCKED when I saw the requirements for OK's LCSW. 4000 hours, really? It is one of the highest requirements for hours in the nation. And 3000 direct client contact? I think the key there is with the wording, "Direct client contact may include any activities directly associated with the provisions of treatment for a client. Direct client contact does not include administrative activities, travel to/from meetings, training, etc." I can think of a lot of things that don't qualify as administrative, but would count as hours (and are not face to face). Treatment team meetings (that dont' discuss how to bill insurance), phone calls to other providers etc etc etc, whereas the states that specify "direct psychotherapy" obviously have a much shorter requirement, 1500 vs the 3000.
I know social workers who work for the state (DFPS) to get their quota of hours. There's no shortage of direct contact there, and Texas (I'm sure others too) allow DFPS hours of contact to be counted towards direct practice (clinical).
 
Dec 8, 2010
203
3
Status
In my state it is 4000 total hours - 2000 direct - 2000 indirect and 200 hours of supervision. 100 must be individual. 900 hours allowed from internship per CACREP.
 
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Psychadelic2012

Psychadelic2012

PhD Student
Sep 17, 2011
827
13
Status
Psychology Student
In my state it is 4000 total hours - 2000 direct - 2000 indirect and 200 hours of supervision. 100 must be individual. 900 hours allowed from internship per CACREP.
Is the 900 hours from internship all direct?
 
Dec 8, 2010
203
3
Status
Minimum of 240 direct in internship. Most people from my program get from 240 to about 400 direct from internship.