The LCMHCA journey
LCMHC Associate - steps for new graduates to take
1. Complete the NCBLCMHC state licensure application
- “The LCMHCA license is a restricted license, which allows individuals to gain professional counseling experience while under the supervision of a qualified mental health professional.
- This license is the prerequisite for the LCMHC license for new graduates and/or new counseling professionals.
- “LCMHCAs CAN NOT work unless an approved supervision contract is on file with the Board Office.
2. Find a supervisor
- Check the LPCANC list of NC trained supervisors offering clinical supervision
- It’s ideal to interview several supervisors to find a good fit - this is a relationship you will have for at least 2 years
- Should you use an on-site supervisor provided by an employer or find an outside supervisor? Consider these pros & cons:
Outside (chosen) Supervisor
On-site (provided) Supervisor
An alternative - have more than one supervisor!
- You can officially have the provided supervisor on site and also one you select externally.
- Or you can join a supervision group
- With this option, you can benefit from two perspectives and two avenues of support.
3. Get an NPI (National Provider Identifier) number (free)
- Create a free account with NPPES and complete the application process for an NPI number
- This is needed if you work anywhere that will bill insurance or that will provide receipts to clients so they can request reimbursement from insurance.
4. Register with CAQH (free)
- Create a free account with CAQH to list your education, credentials, places of employment, and types of clients you are trained work with.
- CAQH is kind of like a resume and a background check at the same time; it provides proof to others that you are who you say you are.
- CAQH is a widely-used registry you’ll need to be a part of if you think you will work anywhere that takes insurance (whether it's private, like BCBS or government-based like Medicaid).
- This account is also needed if you will work anywhere that bills insurance or that will provide receipts to clients so they can request reimbursement from insurance.
5. Get Liability/Malpractice Insurance
- Even if you will work for an agency or practice that has Liability Insurance and will cover you, the best practice is to also get your own.
- Your employer’s liability legal team will be watching out for the employer’s best interest when issues arise. Not yours. Have your own coverage.
- Some popular options to start your search: CPH and HPSO
- Most companies offer a “new professional” rate that is lower in cost.
- Insurance companies will expect you to have minimum coverage of $1,000,000 per Incident/$ 3,000,000 per year.
6. Find a job!
- Check out our Members only Job Bank. Not a member! Join Today!
- Talk to your recent professors or graduate program for leads on places that employ LCMHCAs
7. Start your own private practice
- Once you have LCMHC Associate status in NC, you are able to start your own independent practice if you choose.
- From the NCBLCMHC: "Any unrestricted licensee of the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (NCBLCMHC) may apply for a Certificate of Registration of Professional Corporation (PC), Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC), or Professional Association (PA)."
- There are important steps to take in order to do this legally without jeopardizing your license.