How to Apply for a LPC in Michigan.
by Paul Krauss, MA LPC
Are you a LLPC in the state of Michigan? Have you accumulated 3000 hours of post-degree counseling experience in not less than a two-year period? Do you have at least 100 hours of clinical supervision from a qualified supervisor? If yes, then you are ready to apply for your LPC! Keep on reading...
(If you are applying to become a LPC in Michigan from out of state and already have some type of counseling license, I would recommend contacting LARA (Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) directly and start asking questions...lots of questions. Don't worry, they are nice. I was able to get my LPC in Michigan after working for 10 years in two different states following their rules).
What you need to know before you apply:
The Michigan Board of Counseling, operating with authority from State of Michigan and LARA (Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) determines if and when you will receive your LPC—it is your responsibility to know the rules governing the counseling profession.
- If you have an been a LLPC for a while and have not reviewed the laws surrounding counseling and licensing in the State of Michigan, I highly recommend that you do so.
Let's start with the legal statutes concerning Counseling as part of the public health code ( including the practice of counseling, licensing, etc.) . Check it out :
More exciting literature ahead! Here are the official rules governing counseling and licensure in the State of Michigan! Even if you are not a legal expert, as a counselor you will be expected to have knowledge of these, since they govern your scope of practice, etc. Drum roll please...
Wouldn't you know it? The Government authorities have written their very own "Frequently asked questions" document regarding Counseling (This includes information about the human trafficking course requirement, applications, renewals, and other 'frequently asked' questions):
What you will need to do:
1. Complete the Application for Counselor License, check LPC (usually by exam if you are already a LLPC in Michigan), and send the application and fee to the correct address as directed by LARA (usually to the State of Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing). Be sure to follow all of the directions on the application IN GREAT DETAIL!
2. Remember, the application may change from month to month, and year to year, so read it over four to five times--and maybe even have a companion, a LPC, or even a professional consultant read it over to ensure that you are following all the steps completely.
3. Below is an abbreviated summary of what else you will need to send in to LARA/Bureau of Professional Licensing, along with the application and fee (of course!) :
4. Official Transcripts AGAIN! From your educational institution(s).
- You've done this before, right? Work with your educational institution on sending these transcripts directly to the Bureau of Professional Licensing
5. Certification of Counseling Education form submitted to this office directly from your educational institution.
You complete this form, and then you give it to a trusted representative at your educational institution, and make sure they send it post haste directly to the Bureau of Professional Licensing!
6. A Professional Disclosure Statement.
If you have already done this as a LLPC, it is time to update it! In fact, any time you make any changes to your practice, work, rates, or other personal elements, it is time to redo your Professional Disclosure Statement. Read pages 4 and 5 of the Application for Counselor License and it will tell you what to include in your Professional Disclosure Statement (PDS). It bears repeating: This is different than a Supervisor's Professional Disclosure Statement that is required for a LPC supervisor to give to a LLPC. Your PDS a public document that should be available and seen by all clients that work with you as a LLPC and eventually an LPC.
7. Have you ever worked in a different state or territory? (If not, you can skip this step).
- If so, please follow the instructions in the graphic above about verification and certification of your license from another state or territory! Basically, you have to get your state or territory to send the State of Michigan a copy of your license. This usually costs money, of course. And welcome to Michigan, the Great Lakes State. Say YES! To Michigan. And make sure you enjoy Pure Michigan. If you are looking for a pleasant peninsula, look around you, etc.
8. EXAM TIME! Time to submit your scores. Have you taken the National Counselor Examination from the National Board for Certified Counselors? Or if you are a rehabilitation counselor, have you taken the test from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). If not, it is time to study! If you took it and passed, then congratulations! It is now time to pay the NBCC or CRCC to send the scores to the Bureau of Professional Licensing!
- Be sure to request your NCE scores here.
- And if you are a Rehabilitation Counselor, make sure you request your scores here.
9. Last, but certainly not least, it is time to verify your Counseling Work Experience and Proof of Supervision!
- You must submit Counseling Work Experience form directly to your qualified Supervisor (LPC) , who then must complete it, and send it to the Bureau of Professional Licensing directly. I sure hope you have been documenting your counseling work experience hours and that you and your supervisor have been documenting all of your supervision hours!
10. Remember, whether you are applying for your LPC or your LLPC you will need to complete a criminal background check (usually it is just fingerprints).
Now it is time to do a lot of relaxation exercises, as we try not to freak out and wait for the LARA/Bureau of Professional Licensing to get back to you and let you know if you have earned your LPC license!
When you receive your LPC, you may begin to work independently as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Michigan. So, that means supervision is no longer required. However, working in isolation can be dangerous as there are many personal, business, and ethical pitfalls, so I recommend being part of a consultation group, attending continuing education, and even joining one of the associations lobbying for the counseling profession in Michigan (Michigan Mental Health Counselors Association and/or Michigan Counselors Association). Because, without their legal work, counselors wouldn't be licensed in Michigan and they would not enjoy the benefits that they currently do.
Now go out and there and do great work for your fellow humans, your community, and the world!
*Disclaimer: Remember, this is a guide written by Paul Krauss—and should not be viewed as the definitive information source on the topic. If you need a professional consultant on the topic, please find one. The best source is, of course, going directly to the Michigan Board of Counseling/ LARA, reading the entire webpage, and asking questions.