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. The BBS also released new forms (Option 1 for the new requirements and Option 2 for the old requirements).
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 direction counseling. Under the new requirements this increases to 1,750 hours.
Should I choose the old or new requirements?
It depends on your individual circumstance but in our experience the old requirements are a better option for the vast majority of 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 direct counseling hours compared to the new requirements (400 fewer when you take into consideration the double counting of 150 couples/family hours). The removal of some of the individual category maximums in the new experience requirements will definitely benefit some applicants but in our experience this typically fails to offset the negative impact of the new requirements. Attempting to determine how many hours you can claim is tedious and complex. TrackYourHours allows you to easily compare the hours you can claim under both options.
What is the difference between the Option 1 and Option 2 forms?
The BBS has provided two options for weekly summary and experience verification forms. The Option 1 forms do not report hours broken out into all of the sub-categories and should only be used if you are certain you will want to be evaluated under the new requirements OR if you know you will not submit your application until after December 31, 2020. If there is any chance that you will want to be evaluated under the old requirements, you should use the Option 2 forms because they can be submitted regardless of which option you choose. You do not need to reprint any of your old forms (pre-2016) regardless of which option you choose.
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).
How can TrackYourHours help me?
KNOW HOW MANY HOURS YOU CAN CLAIM – 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. With just a glance you can tell exactly how many hours you can claim under both the old and new requirements.
POPULATE FORMS WITH ONE CLICK – TrackYourHours allows you to easily choose whether you want to populate the old or new weekly summary and experience verification forms. With a click your forms are filled in and formatted to meet the requirements of the BBS.
ESTIMATE WHEN YOU WILL FINISH YOUR HOURS – TrackYourHours 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 and avoid going over category maximums. 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.
ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH ALL OF THE BBS REGULATIONS – 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.
Comparison of New and Old Requirements
|Option 1 – New Requirements
||Option 2 – Old Requirements
|Individual category maximums have been removed
||Individual category maximums limit hours in some of the categories
|Non-clinical hours have a max of 1,250
||Non-clinical hours have a max of 1,500
|The requirement for counseling hours is 1,750
||The requirement for counseling hours is 1,500 (if you log 150 couples/family hours the requirement is actually 1,350)
|Cannot double count any conjoint couples/family hours
||Can double count up to 150 conjoint couples/family hours
|Personal psychotherapy hours cannot be claimed
||Up to 100 personal psychotherapy hours can be claimed and triple counted