January 1, 2016 the experience requirements for LMFTs changed. Applicants who submit their application on or before December 31, 2020 have the option of being evaluated under the old or new experience requirements. As of January 1, 2021 the new requirements will apply to all applicants.
What changes were made to the experience requirements?
- The category of non-counseling experience is renamed non-clinical practice, the category maximum is increased from 1,000 to 1,250 and the sub-categories of administering and evaluating psychological tests, writing clinical reports, writing progress or process notes and client-centered advocacy are added to the category.
- The category maximum (500) for administering and evaluating psych tests, writing clinical reports, progress or process notes and client-centered advocacy is eliminated.
- The category maximum (500) for group therapy is eliminated.
- The category maximum (375) for telehealth is eliminated.
- Personal psychotherapy hours can no longer be claimed.
- Conjoint couples/family hours can no longer be double counted.
- Under the old requirements applicants must log a minimum of 1,500 hours of counseling with individuals, groups, couples, families or telemedicine. Under the new requirements this increases to 1,750 hours.
Should I choose the old or new requirements?
It depends on your individual circumstance. In our experience the old requirements are a better option for most applicants due to the ability to double count 150 conjoint couples/family hours and triple count 100 personal psychotherapy hours. In addition, the old requirements require 250 fewer counseling hours compared to the new requirements (400 lower when you take into consideration the double counting of couples/family hours). The removal of some of the individual category maximums in the new experience requirements will benefit some applicants.
Comparison of New and Old Requirements
How do I inform the BBS which option I want to choose?
The updated application for licensure and examination includes a question about whether you want to be evaluated under the old or new requirements. Simply choose option 1 (new requirements) or option 2 (old requirements). The BBS has also provided separate weekly summary and experience verification forms. If there is any chance that you will want to be evaluated under the old requirements you should use the option 2 forms (old requirements) because they can be submitted regardless of the option you choose but the option 1 forms can only be used if you want to be evaluated under the new requirements.
How can TrackYourHours help me?
TrackYourHours provides two dashboard summary reports. One of them analyzes your hours under the old requirements and one analyzes your hours under the new requirements. In addition, your total claimable hours under both the old and new requirements are displayed at the top of the page so you can easily compare the two options on an ongoing basis.
TrackYourHours allows you to easily choose whether you want to populate the old or new weekly summary and experience verification forms. With a couple of clicks your forms are filled in and formatted to meet the requirements of the BBS.
TrackYourHours also allows you to select a target completion date and the software will calculate the number of hours you need to average each week by category in order to meet all requirements by that date. This allows you to easily determine whether you will be able to complete your hours by December 31, 2020 in order to be evaluated under the old requirements.
Last but not least, TrackYourHours applies every BBS rule to your hours and alerts you whenever there is an issue with supervision, supervision ratios, category maximums, maximum hours in a week, etc.