Community Notes

Applying for Out-of-State Licensure

August 25, 2021

Article written by
Lisa Lewis
LMFT, LPCC

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little FOMO. Since the start of the pandemic, it seems like many mental health therapists are getting licensed in other states even though they are not living in those states. It all started with the COVID-19 outbreak in New York last year when hospitals were overflowing with patients suffering from the disease and frontline health care workers were being mentally, emotionally and physically taxed.

New York and New Jersey were giving out temporary emergency licenses for out-of-state health care licensees to help with the demand for mental health care during the peak crisis and beyond.

I applied for a temporary emergency license in the state of New Jersey back in April 2020. However, to this date, I was never contacted by anyone to offer my services as a mental health professional. The New Jersey Temporary Emergency Reciprocity Licensure Program expires September 30, 2021 for marriage and family therapists, as well as for psychologists.

Now, I have been looking into getting licensed in some other states, but I’m not sure if it is worth my time and effort. Can this time be better used in my business like for marketing?  

Needless to say, I wanted to check it out and see what I was missing out on, if anything. One state I am looking into getting licensed is Delaware.  I am dually licensed in California as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor. As an LPCC in Delaware, if I have been licensed for at least five years in any one jurisdiction (which I have not, it’s only been 2 years), I may be licensed by reciprocity. If I have been licensed less than five years as a LPCC in each of jurisdiction, then I have to submit copies of the licensing law/rules and regulations from each jurisdiction where I hold a current license in good standing. Licensing reciprocity allows a professional holding an out-of-state license to earn another license in another state, subject to that state’s specific requirements. A jurisdiction is a state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia where you currently hold or have ever held a mental health license.

Here are some websites to check out for further information on state licensure comparison: 

Association of Marital & Family Regulatory Boards

National Board of Certified Counselors

Through this process of writing this article, I’ve decided to apply for an out-of-state license in Delaware as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. There are some things that may slow down the process for me as finding the time to get fingerprinted, submitting official verification of licensure from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, sending verification of my national exam scores, and uploading my current jurisdiction’s laws and rules and regulations. This process reminds me of all the the hurdles I had to jump through just to get licensed in California, but are necessary. I’m going to give it a try and see what happens.

I’m not feeling a FOMO anymore.  A little research and time provided me information to possibly further advance my career and broaden my reach to provide mental health care amongst more people in the United States.  Are you feeling a little FOMO?

Lisa Lewis has three certificates in energy healing and Level 2 Reiki certified.  Lisa has gained extensive training in the mind-body connection.  She also has the traditional training of a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and together she offers clients a holistic approach during sessions.

Dedicated to her private practice and work in her community, Lisa sees patients in her Pasadena, California office, as well as virtually in online therapy or phone therapy.  She has a keen interest in helping those who struggle with issues related to being a highly sensitive person, as well as parents and individuals navigating through depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, or highly sensitive persons.

With over 20 years of education, training, and life experience, Lisa is well-equipped to help others in their healing and personal growth.  Get in touch with Lisa at lisa@lisalewiscounseling.com or call her for an initial consult at 626-319-5076.

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