IDAHO LICENSING BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS AND MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q.      How do I stay up-to-date on the legal requirements for counselors and marriage and family therapists?
A.      As a new graduate or as a seasoned practitioner you should be very familiar with the Laws, Rules and Codes of Ethics.  They guide and regulate your work.  "I didn't know" is never an acceptable defense if you are charged with violating the laws, rules, or ethics.  The responsibility for being informed applies to your efforts to complete the licensure process, your renewal of the license, and your on-going practice.

VERIFICATIONS

Q.      I am moving to another state and I need my certification of license sent to another state board.  What is the process? 

A.      You must submit a request in writing for certification of licensure, together with $10.00 (money order, cashier's check, certified check, or personal check). The processing time is 5-10 working days. The Bureau does not accept credit cards over the phone.

Q.      If I move to another state will the Bureau provide proof of my supervision?

A.      Other states will tell you how to document your supervision.  That generally is a process between you, your supervisors, and the state to which you are applying.  You should keep copies of your Verification of Supervision forms when you complete your Idaho application.

APPLICATIONS

Q.     Will the Board issue a temporary license?
A.     No. Temporary licenses are not issued.

Q.      Who can help me complete my application form before I apply for licensure?
A.       In determining how to complete the forms necessary for licensure you should first look to the Laws, Rules, and Codes of Ethics posted on the IBOL websiteYou may want to review and discuss your application forms with your supervisor.  You may also address questions to the board specialist.

It is the responsibility of registered supervisors to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the Laws, Rules, and Codes of Ethics applicable to the supervisees that they advise.  Supervisors can assist applicants in completing the licensure process.

Q.      What happens to an application once it reaches the Board office? 
A.       All mail is opened in a central location and distributed to the appropriate staff person. The assigned Technical Records Specialist reviews the application file and sends a status letter to the applicant.

Q.      Is there a deadline for applications? 
A.       Rule 149(05) Deadline. To be considered by the Board, a properly completed application together with all supporting documentation and required fees must be received by the Bureau at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Board.

Q.      How often does the Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists meet? 
A.      Board Meetings  will be held not less than four (4) times each year and at such other times as the Board deems necessary.

Q.     When may I expect a response regarding my application? 
A.     Within 2-4 weeks after the Board meeting, you will receive written communication regarding the Board's review. If a license has been approved, you may verify this on the Board websiteSelect License and Registration Search and choose the Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists in the drop down box and enter your last name.  

Information relative to Board decisions concerning applications will NOT be provided by telephone.

Q.    Will the Board pre-approve my courses before I apply for licensure?
A.     No, the Board can only take action in response to an application.  You may familiarize yourself with the courses required for your specific license by reading the laws and rules.  You may also want to review your application materials with your supervisor or graduate advisor.  It is their job to be familiar with licensure laws and rules and to assist their supervisees in preparing for the application process.

Q.     If I need more courses what should I do?
A.     Determine which curriculum areas you need additional courses to fulfill and then you can determine which educational institution you want to attend.  The law requires the institution to be accredited:  Rule 150.01.e

A number of Idaho educational institutions offer curriculum in counseling, in marriage and family therapy, and in mental health.
You may also wish to research online and distance education programs, remembering to ascertain that they are accredited consistent with Idaho law.


Q.    Should I apply as a registered MFT Intern or should I apply for the Associate Marriage and Family Therapist license? 
A.    Your supervisors would be better equipped to help you decide which to pursue.

The LAMFT requires that you have completed all the educational requirements as stipulated in Section 54-3405B(1), Idaho Code, including the practicum, and you must pass the exam.  

Candidates for licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy are advised to become familiar with the specific course requirements because they may differ from the curriculum offered by your graduate program, regardless of its accreditation.  Specifically, Idaho law requires six (6) graduate semester credits in Psychological and Mental Health Competency, as described in Section 54-3405B and C(1)(d), Idaho Code.  Other licensure requirements may not match your graduate program as well.

Q.     If I graduated from a CACREP or COAMFT accredited program in family counseling or therapy, will my degree fulfill the academic requirements for an LAMFT or LMFT?  
A.     License laws can vary from state to state. Applicants are advised to review the Idaho Statutes regarding academic requirements to become informed of the specific course requirements for Idaho licensure as they may differ from the curriculum offered in your degree program, regardless of the accreditation. Your degree must be at least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter credits and cover the six course areas listed in the law, as well as include a practicum. See Section 54-3405B and Section 54-3405C of Idaho Statute.  

SPECIALTY LICENSES

Q.     I am licensed as an art therapist in another state and am moving to Idaho. Will I qualify for an LPC in Idaho through endorsement? 
A.     To qualify for endorsement for LPC the applicant must hold a current active license in the profession of counseling at the level for which the license is being sought.  IDAPA 24.15.01, Rule 300.  Idaho licenses counselors, not art therapists (or music therapists or dance therapists, to name some other therapeutic modalities that may be licensed by some states).  Several states license professional art therapists or creative art therapists as a separate profession from counseling.  These states also license professional counselors.  If you are licensed as an art therapist in one of these states (LPAT - NM, KY, MS; ATRL - WI; LCAT –NY, and there may be others) your license is considered by that state to be in a separate profession from counseling.  You are therefore not licensed in the counseling profession, for which you would be seeking endorsement in Idaho.  You could choose to apply for a license through qualifications if you believe you meet the academic and experience requirements of Idaho’s statute and rules.  (See answer to the next question)

Q.     Will a graduate degree in Art Therapy and Counseling or Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling meet the educational requirements for the LPC license?
A.     Graduate degree programs confer a variety of degrees with titles related to counseling and to art or dance/movement therapy in the United States.  A counseling degree may include a “specialization in art or dance therapy” or, an art therapy or dance/movement degree may have a “specialization in counseling.”  As discussed in the previous question, Idaho licenses counselors, not art, music or dance therapists.  For licensure as a counselor, Idaho law requires a graduate program “which is primarily counseling in nature.”  Idaho Code �54-3405(1).  Idaho’s rules specify eight areas an individual’s graduate level coursework must cover, in addition to a 6 hour counseling practicum and other requirements, to qualify for counselor licensure.  IDAPA 24.15.01, Rule 150 and Rule 225If an individual has a graduate degree that is primarily in counseling and covered the required core competencies it may meet the requirements.  What this means is that although an applicant may have a strong educational background, substantial experience or even licensure in art therapy in another state, and regardless of the title of their graduate degree, for Idaho licensure as a counselor they must demonstrate they meet the statutory qualifications for such licensure.  It is up to the applicant to prove they meet these requirements.

SUPERVISION -

The Board recently added rules to require supervisors to recertify every five (5) years. To review the entire set of rules regarding supervision, please see Rule 200.

Q.     What constitutes as an advanced supervision course/training in order to recertify as a supervisor? 
A.     Advanced Supervision Training: An opportunity to receive instruction in supervision topics beyond those covered in basic supervision training. Advanced training may focus on special topics or emerging and innovative methods in counselor supervision.

Q.     Can I count PSR hours toward my supervision? 
A.     At the May 1, 2012 meeting the Board took the position that Psycho-Social Rehabilitation (PSR) hours not be accepted as part of the supervision hours required for licensure after May 1, 2013. The hours that are submitted prior to that date must be “clinical” counseling hours as approved by the supervisor. 

Q. Am I required to have a written supervision contract with my supervisees before initiating supervision?

A. The ACA code of ethics and the AAMFT code of ethics do not mandate a formal, written supervision contract.  Both codes do specify what information should be shared with your supervisees prior to beginning supervision.  The Idaho Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists strongly encourages supervisors to utilize a formal, written supervision contract.(Please refer to the Approved Supervisor Designation Standards and Responsibility Handbook pages 43-45)  Although not a complete listing, elements that supervisors may wish to include in a contract are: 


  1. The duties and responsibilities of the supervisor, such as:
    Maintain knowledge of current licensure requirements
    Maintain knowledge of  laws and rules applicable to profession
    Maintain knowledge of applicable Code of Ethics
    Define case responsibility and the process of caseload review
    Keep supervision log with notes of meetings with supervisee
  2. Delineation of supervisory fees, frequency of supervision, time and place of meetings
  3. Supervisor’s scope of competence, such as:
    Licensure held
    Specialty
    Supervisory training and experience
    Theoretical orientation
  4. The duties and responsibilities of the supervisee, such as:
    Formulate a statement of Informed Consent
    Disclose that supervisee is being supervised
    Provide name of supervisor
    Purchase professional liability insurance
    Maintain a supervision log 
  5. Competencies expectations and supervisory goal
  6. The context of supervision, for example, tapes, progress notes, discussion of live supervision, role play
  7. The evaluative process, such as:
    Feedback per session
    Interval and summative evaluation
    Statement that supervision concerns will be shared with supervisee and documented in writing as soon as possible
  8. Procedural aspects specific to confidentiality, progress notes
  9. Procedures for addressing client’s threat of suicide or other dangerous clinical situations    
  10. Contacts in the case of emergencies or non-availability of supervisor


Q.     How do I prove my supervision hours?

A.      All application materials are available on the website.  Your supervisors complete Section 2 of the verification of supervision form.

**A sample supervision log is provided here as an example of the kind of documentation that the Board requires. Sample Log


Q.     For the LMFT, do the required 200 hours of supervision count towards my 3,000 post-graduate hours?
A.     Yes, the 200 hours of supervision can be counted towards the 3,000 hours.


Q.     I provide live supervision via an electronic connection. How do I know if my electronic connection is secure?
A.     It is the responsibility of the supervisor and the supervisee to assure that their electronic connection is secure. As technology is constantly changing, periodic consultation with a qualified information technology professional is recommended.

ENDORSEMENT

Q.     Does the Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists have reciprocity with other states? 
A.      Idaho has an endorsement rule.  For more information on the requirements, please review Rule 300.

**Endorsement applications should include 5 years of documented experience within the previous 7 years. This may be letters from employers, supervisors, colleagues, that provide a statement verifying the practice.

RENEWAL 

Q. What must I do to renew my license?

A. You may submit a complete renewal application by mail or submit a renewal application online by clicking the **ONLINE RENEWAL APPLICATION** link. The responsibility of license renewal remains with the license holder. Licensees are also responsible for keeping an accurate record of their own personal continuing education hours for a period of five (5) years. (see Board Rule 425 for specific continuing education requirements).


CONTINUING EDUCATION

Q.     What are the requirements for continuing education?
A.     Rule 425 outlines the requirements.  Further definition of the types of continuing education activities is on the IBOL website.

Many people have been confused about the time frame for the continuing education hours.  You must have 20 hours, three of which must be in ethics, during the year prior to your renewal.  Your audit period is from the date you sign the form back to the same date one year before.  It is not your birthday.  If your birthday is March 15th, but you choose to renew your license on March 1, then your renewal period is March 1 to March 1. 

Your birthday is your license expiration date, and you must renew by that date to avoid the cancellation of your license, and to prevent incurring the $25 reinstatement fee.

Do not renew your license and certify that you have completed the continuing education requirements unless you have done so.  When you renew you are swearing to the accuracy of the information on your application.  It is false to say that you have completed the requirements until having done so.  Being registered for an activity is not the same as completing it.  Licensees will be periodically randomly audited and if found to have inaccurately renewed the license will be disciplined and very likely fined.

Q. If I attend a course that is not pre-approved by the Board can it be used to fulfill the continuing education requirement for license renewal?

A. The rules do not require that all continuing education courses that you attend be pre-approved by the Board. It requires “The contact hours of continuing education must be obtained in areas of study germane to the practice for which the license is issued as approved by the Board.” (425.01) Presentations germane to your practice are usually acceptable to the Board. Offerings in association with or under the auspices of providers listed on the Board web site as “approved by the Board” are acceptable, without question. If you are reluctant to take a class from a presenter not on this pre-approved list you might approach the presenter and ask if he has sought or is willing to pursue pre-approval. Pre-approval eliminates any question of the course be acceptable for your continuing education requirement.

Q.      Do I need to have an ethics course each time I renew my license?
A.      Yes. No less than three (3) contact hours for each renewal period must be in ethics, which must be specific to legal issues, law, or ethics. Ethics contact hours must be obtained in a face-to-face setting where you can interact with the instructor and students.


Q.      Do I submit my continuing education hours to the Board office? 
A.      Only those licensees randomly selected for continuing education audit or renewing late must submit proof of their continuing  education credits  along with their audit or renewal application.


Q.     Should I have a copy of the laws and rules if I practice as a Professional Counselor, Clinical Professional Counselor or Marriage & Family Therapist for years?  
A.     Yes. As a professional, you should always have an up-to-date copy of the governing laws and rules for your profession. It is important to be aware that the laws and rules can change, which may impact the way you are allowed to practice. 

Q.     Does the Licensing Board set standards for Sex Offender Treatment?
A.     The Licensing Board has not set specific standards. Idaho laws/rules require any licensee to practice within the scope of their training. Idaho also has a practice law, so unlicensed practice is prohibited. The courts and Department of Corrections determine where they refer Sex Offenders. The benchmark for those providing Sex Offender treatment is to be a clinical/associate member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers and abide by their code of ethics.  

Q.      What is the job market in Idaho? 
A.      The Board office does not maintain state job information.  Please contact the Idaho Department of Commerce or the Idaho Department of Labor.