Proposed Changes to Rules

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February 01, 2023

***Important Update Regarding Amendments to Rules 21 NCAC 53 .0206 and 21 NCAC 53 .0701***

The amendments to the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors Administrative Rules 21 NCAC 53 .0206 and 21 NCAC 53 .0701 became effective on February 1, 2023. However, please note that some sections of these rules will not come into effect until July 1, 2025, as provided in more detail below.

The Board believes that with these amendments, the Board’s licensees will be adequately prepared to enter the counseling field with the knowledge, clinical skills, and strength-based approaches necessary to be competent practitioners.

The amendment to the Board’s Administrative Rule 21 NCAC 53 .0206 reflects the statutory provision of N.C. Gen. Stat. §90-336(b2)(1), which requires graduate training, including graduate counseling experience, to be from a program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In addition, the amendment clarifies the requirements for internship, practicum, and clinical mental health settings, as well as states the contents of Verification of Graduate Counseling Experience Form. Please note that for applicants who apply on or after July 1, 2025, all internship experiences will need to be completed in a clinical mental health setting. (Please see Sections (c) and (d)(10) of the Rule). The full text of the rule is available here: 21 NCAC 53 .0206.pdf

The amendment to Board’s Administrative Rule 21 NCAC 53 .0701 also reflects the statutory requirements of N.C. Gen. Stat. §90-336(b2)(1) regarding graduate training, which became effective July 1, 2022. The amendment further clarifies that applicants who apply on or after February 1, 2023 and who have a master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program with less than 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours, will be required to earn the remaining hours from a CACREP accredited program. (Please see Section (5) of the Rule). In addition, it requires all applicants who apply on or after July 1, 2025, to complete additional graduate training, which includes three semester hours or five quarter hours in each of the required content areas of study as follows: (a) introduction to clinical mental health counseling with professional issues and ethics; (b) practicum and clinical mental health internship; and (c) appraisal and assessment of mental health disorders with use and application of the current edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), to include psychopharmacology and differential diagnosis. (Please see Section (2) of the Rule) The full text of the rule is available here: 21 NCAC 53 .0701.pdf