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How do I become a LPCC/ BCBA/ MFT licensed therapist

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I am a #counseling #psychologist from India. I wish to begin my career in the US (Bay area, CA) as a licensed #therapist. My options are #lpcc, #bcba therapist, #mft therapist. I would like to know universities and practicum requirements for the options. And what are the job opportunities currently in the Bay are for it?

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Saiber’s Answer

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Hi Saadhvi,

I am from India and I am currently pursuing my graduate studies in the US for Mental Health Counseling. Once I finish it, I am eligible for licensure. US does not have a national licensure and every state has different requirements and different programs.

Firstly the program determines whether you will be eligible for LMFT vs LPC
If your graduate program is in Marriage and Family Therapy then you will be eligible for LMFT which is very common for California. If your program is Mental Health / School Counseling then you'd be eligible for Licensed Professional Counselor.

So depends on your interest.

Practicum and Internship hours differ from state to state. Some have 500 hours/some 1000. For the state of Indiana where I am - we have 100 hours of practicum and 900 hours of Intenship for Mental Health Counseling. It's less for School Counseling. But remember this is in School - in your graduate program. You then have to do additional 3000 hours to be licensed after graduation. So I will advise you to pick your state and school very carefully. I wish somebody told me this before.

I am assuming you have a masters in India because you said you are a counseling psychologist. I have a similar background. But it does not translate to US because the requirements are very strict. For jobs, I'd suggest looking at LinkedIn but also remember we have restrictions on Visa. So keep all of that in mind before applying and making your deciscions.

If you need additional help or have questions -
You can reach out to me on my LinkedIn profile -Saiber S. https://www.linkedin.com/in/saiber-s/
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Danielle’s Answer

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Hello Saadhvi,

I agree with Janet, start with the end goal's requirements and work backwards. For example, at https://www.mft-license.com you will be able to find each state's requirements for MFT license. To know what is required for BCBA Certification you will have to look up California requirements at https://www.bacb.com/ and do the same for an LPC. They are all different certifying bodies. To determine job opportunities, that will be a fourth search, and perhaps the one to do first to see if there are more employers in that area asking for one of the licenses more than the others. Best wishes for attaining your goals well.
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Janet’s Answer

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You need to check the licensing requirements on the California State Board's licensing website.
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