Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Licensed Mental Health Counselor


Mental health counselors use assessment instruments, provide mental health counseling and psychotherapy, clinical assessment and evaluation, treatment planning and case management, prevention, discharge, and aftercare services. After identifying and evaluating mental health problems and related human development challenges, mental health counselors employ effective methods of counseling and psychotherapy to treat individuals with conditions that may include mood disorders including depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, sexual dysfunction, eating disorders, personality disorders, dementia and adjustment disorders.

Mental health counselors assist patients to develop skills and strategies to address issues such as parenting and career skills; problems in adolescent and family communication and functioning; couples, marital and relationship problems; and preventing the occurrence or re-occurrence of alcohol and substance abuse.

Licensure Requirements:

Other than those mental health counselors licensed under the special provisions established in law for those already practicing when the new law came into effect, each New York licensed mental health counselor has a master's or higher degree in counseling, or its equivalent, with required coursework in mental health counseling theory and practice, assessment, psychopathology, ethical practice and a supervised internship, has passed a State-approved exam, and has completed at least 3,000 hours of post-degree clinical experience under supervision of a qualified, licensed mental health professional. Those licensed under the special provisions for those practicing when the licensing law took effect meet other standards specified in law and regulation.

Individuals who have completed their education requirements may hold a limited permit to practice the profession while they work to complete the exam and/or experience required for full licensure. These individuals practice under supervision at a specific site.

Only licensed mental health counselors, and certain others exempt under the licensing law, may practice the profession. None of these exempt individuals, however, may use the title of licensed mental health counselor unless they are also licensed in mental health counseling.


The fee for licensure and first registration is $371.
The fee for a limited permit is $70.

Licenses Issued and Active:

In 2018, there were 831 licenses issued for this occupation.
In 2019, there were 850 licenses issued for this occupation.
As of July 1, 2020, there were 7,760 registered licenses for this occupation.

Licensing Authority:

New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
State Board for Mental Health Practitioners
89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3817 Press 1 then Ext. 450
Fax: (518) 486-2981
Email: [email protected]

Standard Occupational Classification:

21-1014.00 - Mental Health Counselors
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).

Additional Information:

National Board of Certified Counselors
3 Terrace Way
Greensboro, North Carolina 27403
Phone: 336-547-0607
Fax: 336-547-0017
E-mail: [email protected]


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 12/28/20.

Thanks for the feedback! It will help us improve your experience.