Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern


Click on the appropriate tab below to see the Initial Licensing Requirements, Process, Fees, Statutes and Administrative Rules for a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern.

To become a registered mental health counselor intern in Florida you must have:

  1. A minimum of an earned master’s degree from a mental health counseling program or a program in a closely related field that is CACREP and/or REGIONALLY ACCREDITED
  2. For graduates of a CACREP mental health counseling program, you will need to complete a 3 semester or 4 quarter hour course in (1) human sexuality and (2) substance abuse. For graduates of a non-CACREP mental health counseling program or a program in a closely related field, you will need to complete 60 semester or 80 quarter hours of graduate level coursework to include 3 semester or 4 quarter hours of the following course content areas:  (1) Counseling theories and practice, (2) Human growth and development, (3) Psychopathology, (4) Human sexuality, (5) Group theories, (6) Individual evaluation and assessment, (7) Career and lifestyle assessment, (8) Research, (9) Social and cultural foundations, (10) Counseling in community settings, (11) Substance abuse and (12) Legal, ethical and professional standards
  3. Completed a practicum.  For graduates of a CACREP mental health counseling program, the letter must indicate you met the required CACREP practicum hours.  For graduates of a non-CACREP mental health counseling program or a program in a closely related field, the letter should indicate you met a minimum of a 1000 hour university-sponsored clinical practicum
  4. Obtained a mental health counselor qualified supervisor

You may become a registered intern having met 7 of the 12 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.  Any remaining courses and practicum hours must be met prior to obtaining exam approval and licensure.

Applicants with Health History

The Board reviews each applicant’s history to determine that the applicant is able to practice the profession with reasonable skill and competence. If you have a history of serious, chronic, or recent mental health problems or addiction to drugs, you must submit a current mental health status report. Mental health status reports must come from a licensed mental health professional, with which you have no personal or professional relationship.

The report should include: a description and summary of the diagnosis, onset, course of treatment, medications, inpatient treatments, outpatient treatments, group settings, factors which have triggered setbacks, compliance with treatment, prognosis, and recommendations for continued treatment.

Applicants with Discipline History

Applicants with prior disciplinary actions are required to submit the following:

Board Actions – Certified copies of document(s) relative to any disciplinary action taken against any license. The documents must come from the agency that took the disciplinary action and must be certified by that agency.

Self-Explanation -€“ A detailed description of the circumstances surrounding your disciplinary action and a thorough description of the rehabilitative changes in your lifestyle since the time of the disciplinary action which would enable you to avoid future occurrences. It would be helpful to include factors in your life, which you feel may have contributed to your disciplinary action, what you have learned about yourself since that time, and the changes you have made that support your rehabilitation.

Applicants with Criminal History

Applicants with prior criminal convictions are required to submit the following:

Final Dispositions/Arrest Records -€“ Final disposition records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.

Completion of Probation/Parole/Sanctions -€“ Probation and financial sanction records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. Parole records for offenses can be obtained from the Department of Corrections or at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.

Self-Explanation -€“ Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit a letter in their own words describing the circumstances of the offense. Include in your letter the date of the original offense, the charge, and the jurisdiction where it occurred.

Health Care Fraud; Disqualifications for License, Certificate, or Registration

Effective July 1, 2012, Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes (F.S.), provides that health care boards or the department shall refuse to issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant:

  1. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under Chapter 409, F.S., (relating to social and economic assistance), Chapter 817, F.S., (relating to fraudulent practices), Chapter 893, F.S., (relating to drug abuse prevention and control) or a similar felony offense(s) in another state or jurisdiction unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such conviction or plea shall exclude the applicant or candidate from licensure, examination, certification, or registration, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:
    1. For the felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
    2. For the felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
    3. For the felonies of the third degree under section 893.13(6)(a), F.S., more than five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
  2. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 (relating to controlled substances) or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396 (relating to public health, welfare, Medicare and Medicaid issues), unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application;
  3. Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to section 409.913, F.S., unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent five years;
  4. Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state or Federal Government, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent five years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application;
  5. Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities. The section above does not apply to candidates or applicants for initial licensure or certification who were enrolled in an educational or training program on or before July 1, 2009, which was recognized by a board or, if there is no board, recognized by the department, and who applied for licensure after July 1, 2012

The following steps apply to graduates of masters or doctoral level mental health counseling programs or programs in a closely related field that are CACREP and/or REGIONALLY ACCREDITED who have not completed 2 years of post-master’s supervised experience.

  1. 1. Applicant must request an official transcript from their graduate program
  2. Applicant must request a practicum letter indicating they provided:  For graduates of a CACREP mental health counseling program, the letter must indicate you met the required CACREP practicum hours.  For graduates of a non-CACREP mental health counseling program or a program in a closely related field, the letter should indicate you met a minimum of a 1000 hour university-sponsored clinical practicum
  3. Course descriptions or course syllabi if the courses listed on the transcript don’t indicate they meet the 3 semester or 4 quarter hour course in the 12 specific course content areas.  For graduates of a CACREP mental health counseling program, you will need to provide course descriptions or course syllabi if the courses listed on the transcript don’t indicate you meet a 3 semester or 4 quarter hour course in (1) human sexuality and (2) substance abuse
  4. Applicant must provide the name of a qualified supervisor
  5. Request written documentation from your qualified supervisor indicating their agreement to provide you with supervision

The following documents are required prior to obtaining a number as a registered intern.

  1. Official transcript from your master’s degree
  2. Practicum letter
  3. Letter from qualified supervisor
  4. Course descriptions/syllabi (if applicable)

Total Fee $150.00 (non-refundable)

You do not need to apply for full licensure to take the exam. For more information visit Exam Services ->

Make checks or money orders payable to the “Department of Health.”

Click on Chapter or Section Number to View

Florida Statutes

Chapter 491: 491, Clinical, Counseling, and Psychotherapy Services
Chapter 456: Health Professions and Occupations: General Provisions
Chapter 120: Administrative Procedure Act
Chapter 39: Proceedings Related to Children
Chapter 90: Evidence Code
Chapter 394: Mental Health
Chapter 397: Substance Abuse Services
Chapter 415: Adult Protective Services

Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.)

Rules: Chapter 64B4, F.A.C.: Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy & Mental Health Counseling