New York Counselor License Exam

To get licensed in New York, Professional Counselors are required to take an exam covering such subjects as assessment and diagnosis, counseling and psychotherapy and supervision and consultation. Whether you live in Albany, New York City, Buffalo, or another city or county, the resources below will help you get started on the path to receive your Professional Counselor’s license.

Need of a License: A license is needed to work as a counselor in the State of New York.  Licenses are granted by the NYS Board of Education, Office of the Professions.

To qualify to become a licensed professional counselor in New York State the following must be met:
  • Obtain a graduate degree in counseling from an accredited school meeting credit limits.
  • Meet supervised clinical experience requirements, 50% of which must involve direct contact with clients in the practice of mental health counseling, which includes:
    • The evaluation, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of behavioral, emotional, character, developmental, relationship, through verbal or behavioral methods. With individuals, couples, families, or groups
    • Using assessment instruments, counseling and psychotherapy to evaluate, diagnose and treat disorders.
  • An applicant must earn a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE)
How to Apply for Licensure

An application for licensure must be submitted on forms provided by the NYS Board of Education that may be obtained online, or by contacting the Board by mail at:
New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
PO Box 22063
Albany, NY 12201

Test content of the NCMHCE

The NCMHCE consists of ten hypothetical clinical mental health counseling cases.  The cases are clinical simulations that use a multiple select/correct format where there are multiple options as possible correct answers.  The questions are centered on the ten cases and explore the nuances of the particular case.  The NCMHCE assesses an applicant’s ability to engage in clinical problem solving, including the identification, analysis, diagnosis and treatment of clinical issues.

Each of the ten cases is divided into five to eight sections and classified either as information gathering or decision making activities. The sections on Information gathering evaluate a candidate’s ability to gather clinical data that is needed in the decision making process.  The sections on decision making evaluate a candidate’s ability to solve clinical problems using data.

The ten cases cover three content areas:

Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Integration of client assessment and observational date
  • Identification of precipitating problems/symptoms
  • Identification of level of individual or relationship functioning
  • Identification of pertinent familial issues
Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Imparting information to the client about ethical standards and practice
  • Clarification of roles of the counselor and client
  • Apply individual counseling in accordance with the treatment plan
  • Evaluation of referral information
Administration, Consultation and Supervision
  • Maintenance of client records
  • Determine if counseling services being delivered are meeting client needs
  • Communicate orally with others to maintain professional communication
  • Assistance clients to connect with needed social services
Each of the ten cases in the NCMHCE is scored a +/- 3 which is based upon appropriate client/patient care. A passing score is above the minimum required for both the information gathering and decision making sections.

 How to Apply to Take the Exam

You can find the registration information and the NCMHCE application online, or write:

The National Board of Certified Counselors
3 Terrace Way
Greensboro, North Carolina 27403-3660

(336) 547-0607
 
The exam is administered by Pearson VUE.
 
License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

According to regulations, a license must be renewed every three years and continuing education requirements begin in 2017.

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For more information on licensing and exam prep, go to Tests.com's NCE Guide.

And take Tests.com's free NCE Practice Test.

For counseling exam preparation products and services, such as study guides, practice tests, flashcards and courses, go to Tests.com's 
NCE listings.

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