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. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: Minimum of an earned master’s degree from a regionally accredited program in mental health counseling or a closely related field that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours. Transcripts must be sent in the official sealed envelope from the university or they will not be considered official.

NOTE: Transcripts must be sent in a sealed envelope from the university or they will not be considered official. A degree conferred date must be listed on the transcript. This is the only document that CANNOT be uploaded in your online account. Official transcripts may be mailed to:

Florida Department of Health
Board of CSW, MFT, and MHC
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Bin C-08
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3258

Electronic Transcripts may be sent through a secure parchment service directly to MQA.491@flhealth.gov. Please check with your university to see if this service is available.

(a) CACREP

CACREP- Minimum of an earned master’s degree from a mental health counseling program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours of clinical and didactic instruction.

NOTE: CACREP accredited programs that are non-mental health counseling programs do not meet this requirement, i.e., Community Counseling, School Counseling, Counselor Education. Ensure your program is accredited in mental health counseling by visiting https://www.cacrep.org/.

i. COURSEWORK- Minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework in each of the following:

  1. Human Sexuality
  2. Substance Abuse

Complete the Education Worksheet for mental health counseling to determine if you have satisfied the coursework requirements for licensure

ii. PRACTICUM- A practicum letter is not required from CACREP mental health counseling programs.

OR

(b)NON-CACREP

NON-CACREP- Minimum of an earned master’s degree from a regionally accredited program related to the practice of mental health counseling that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours and meets the following requirements:

i. COURSEWORK – Minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework in each of the following 11 content areas:

  1. Counseling Theories and Practice,
  2. Human Growth and Development,
  3. Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychopathology,
  4. Human Sexuality,
  5. Group Theories and Practice,
  6. Individual Evaluation and Assessment,
  7. Career and Lifestyle Assessment,
  8. Research and Program Evaluation,
  9. Social and Cultural Foundations,
  10. Substance Abuse, and
  11. Legal, Ethical, and Professional Standards Issues.

Courses in research, thesis or dissertation work, practicums, internships, or fieldwork are not applied toward this requirement. Complete the Education Worksheet for mental health counseling to determine if you have satisfied the coursework requirements for licensure.

If the course title which appears on the applicant’s transcript does not clearly identify the content of the coursework, the applicant shall be required to provide additional documentation, including, but not limited to, a syllabus or catalog description published for the course.

ii. PRACTICUM- The equivalent of at least 700 hours of university-sponsored supervised clinical practicum, internship, or field experience that includes at least 280 hours of direct client services.. An official of the school (Dean, Department Chair) that awarded your graduate degree must provide a letter on university letterhead verifying the course title and total number of hours completed during the supervised practicum, internship, or field experience. This experience may not be used to satisfy the post-master’s clinical experience requirement.

FOREIGN EDUCATION

FOREIGN EDUCATION: For the Board to consider education completed outside the U.S. or Canada, documentation must be received which verifies the institution at which the education was completed was equivalent to a regionally accredited U.S. institution and the coursework met the content and credit hour requirement for graduate level coursework in the U.S. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain an evaluation from a recognized foreign equivalency determination service that documents the acceptability of the coursework. The board office must receive an original evaluation mailed directly from the educational evaluation service. For a list of approved Foreign Education Evaluators, please click here.

2. QUALIFIED SUPERVISOR: Applicants must obtain a letter from a Board approved Qualified Supervisor and submit to the Board Office. The letter may be sent by mail or electronic mail. To submit via electronic mail, click here. The correspondence must originate from the supervisor; include the supervisor’s license number, the applicant’s name as it appears on the application, and state that the supervisor has agreed to provide the applicant with supervision while a registered intern.

NOTE: You may become a registered intern having met 7 of the 11 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 and must be documented on the MHC Graduate Practicum Form by your Board approved Qualified Supervisor. Any remaining courses and practicum hours must be met prior to obtaining licensure as a Mental Health Counselor.

Your registered intern number will not be issued until the Board Office has received your application, fee and the information listed above. Upon submitting your application, you will be issued a file number to help track and reference your documents through the process. This number will not be the same as your license number and should not be used as such.

Please understand that Chapter 456.013(1)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that an incomplete application shall expire one year after initial filing with the department.

HELPFUL INFORMATION ABOUT SUPERVISION

Find A Qualified Supervisor:

Did you know that you can obtain a list of supervisors in your area at any time 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Simply use the Department’s Public Data Portal to download a current list of Board approved Qualified Supervisors. For detailed instructions, use the Licensure Data Download Guide. Obtain a letter from your selected Qualified Supervisor and send to the Board Office.

Before Supervision Begins:

Verify that your intern registration number has been issued by the Department and that the Board Office has approved your Qualified Supervisor. To verify, click here. Supervised experience will not count towards licensure until the intern registration has been issued and the Board has approved your supervisor.

During Supervision:

Two (2) years of post-master’s supervised experience under the supervision of a Board approved Qualified Supervisor is required for full licensure.

The supervised experience must consist of:

  • At least 100 hours of supervision in no less than 100 weeks;
  • 1,500 hours of face-to-face psychotherapy with clients; and,
  • One (1) hour of supervision every two (2) weeks.

NOTE: Please see Rule 64B4-2.002, F.A.C., for information regarding group supervision and supervision by electronic methods.

Need to Change or Add a Qualified Supervisor? Follow the steps below:

STEP ONE: Obtain a letter from your new or additional Qualified Supervisor and send to the Board Office. The correspondence must originate from the supervisor, include the supervisor’s license number and the applicant’s name as it appears on the application, and state that the supervisor has agreed to provide the applicant with supervision while a registered intern.

STEP TWO: Receive a letter from the Board Office stating that your supervisor has been approved and note the date of approval. Supervision under the new or additional supervisor will not count until he/she has been approved.

Need to Remove a Qualified Supervisor? Follow the steps below:

STEP ONE: Ask the supervisor you are removing to complete the Verification of Clinical Experience Form and select “I am no longer providing this intern with supervision.” Please make sure a supervision end date is listed.

STEP TWO: Submit the Verification of Clinical Experience Form to the Board Office. To submit electronically, click here. The Board will remove your supervisor from your intern file and place a copy of the required form on file for review upon submission of a full licensure application.

After Supervision:

Your post-master’s clinical experience hours obtained under supervision must be documented on the Verification of Clinical Experience Form by the Qualified Supervisor or they will not count towards licensure. To submit electronically, click here. This form is not required until the intern is ready to submit their full licensure application. For information on full licensure requirements and to apply, click here. Please limit one (1) form per Qualified Supervisor.

NOTE: Registered interns must remain under supervision until fully licensed pursuant to Rule 64B4-3.008, F.A.C.

Applicants with Health, Discipline, or Criminal History

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.

To review the conviction record guidelines adopted by the Board, click here.

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

New Graduate Information Packet

For helpful information regarding applying for the Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern license once you have graduated from your graduate program, please refer to the GRADUATE INFORMATION PACKET MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING.

PROCESS

  • Within 30 days of submitting your application and fee for licensure, you will receive a written review of your application and supporting documents from the Board Office staff. This review will be sent to your email, if listed on the application, or to your mailing address on record. If your application is missing items, you will receive a deficiency letter. If your application was submitted with all requirements and you meet the qualifications, you will receive an approval letter.
  • Your application will not be processed until we have received a complete application and fee. All fields on the application including Social Security Number, Date of Birth, E-Mail Address, Practice Location and Mailing Address should be completed prior to submitting your application.
  • Upon submitting your application, you will be issued a file number to help track and reference your documents through the process. This number will not be the same as your license number and should not be used as such.
  • Please understand that Chapter 456.013(1)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that an incomplete application shall expire one year after initial filing with the department.

For the most expedited process, submit your application in 3 simple steps:

  1. PREPARE YOUR SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS:
  • Official Transcript From Your Master’s or Doctoral Degree Program
  • Practicum Letter (if NON-CACREP)
  • Qualified Supervisor Letter
  1. APPLY AND PAY THE REQUIRED FEE:

Visit https://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/licensing/ and choose your profession. Then click “Apply Online” or print the PDF version of the application.  Applications are not processed until the required payment has been received.

a. SUBMIT YOUR SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

There are several ways to submit supporting documents.

Board of CSW, MFT, and MHC
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Bin C-08
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3258

Please allow 7-10 business days to process any supporting documents.

Documents to Send Directly to the Board OfficeDocuments to Upload
  • Official Transcript
  • Qualified Supervisor Letter
  • Practicum Letter

3.RECEIVE DEFICIENCY LETTER OR APPROVAL LETTER

  • Deficiency Letter – Applicants will receive an application review in the form of a deficiency letter outlining the missing items required. They should submit these missing items as soon as possible. An incomplete application shall expire after 1 year. Incomplete applications will delay the licensure process.
  • Approval Letter: Applicants will receive an application review in the form of a letter of approval including license number and additional information regarding their registered internship license. To expedite your application, make sure to submit a complete application.

You can now follow the progress of your application through our website at: http://flhealthsource.gov/mqa-services. If you did not apply for licensure through this screen, please click on “Click HERE for New User Registration” and create an account. You must have a valid email address to create your account.

Once you are logged in, you will be prompted to link your application to your account in four easy steps. Once you have successfully linked your application, you will be directed to the Quick Start Menu. Under the “Additional Activities” section, select “Application Status” to review any open deficiencies, upload documents or print out instructional documents.

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.”

If you are mailing just a payment, please include your name, profession, and file number. All payments must be mailed to:

Department of Health
Board of Mental Health Professions
P.O. Box 6330
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6330

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