Internship and Licensure

Post-Graduate Licensure and Certification

The Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors & Therapists issues two licenses: the professional counselor license (LPC) and the marriage and family therapy license (LMFT). The licenses cover the application of theories and techniques to assist individuals, families, and groups to solve mental health problems or facilitate change. The primary difference between the licenses involve the specific training and experience in the delivery of family systems theories and techniques required for the LMFT. A student graduating from Western's counseling program may make application to the Board to obtain a LPC license.

Individuals who have attained the necessary education and experience may make application to the Board for examination and licensure. Applications must be made in such form and manner as prescribed by the Board. See http://www.oregon.gov/OBLPCT/.

To be licensed as a professional counselor, an individual is required to meet the following qualifications:

  1. Hold a graduate degree in counseling in a program approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), or hold a graduate degree determined by the Board to be comparable in content and quality (CORE accredited or meets degree standards adopted by the Board, e.g., regionally accredited, at least 90 quarter/60 semester hours with a minimum of 700 hours applied work experience, etc.); or hold a graduate degree determined by the Board to meet a majority of the degree standards and has completed supplemental graduate training to meet the curriculum standards
  2. Has three years of supervised experience (2,400 direct contact hours with no less than 2,000 post-degree) that meets the criteria for setting, level of supervision and credentials of the supervisor;and;
  3. Passes (or has passed) a Board-approved examination. Currently the Board uses questions from the National Counselor Examination and an Oregon law exam.

Internship Hours

If you feel confused regarding the various kinds of clinical hours and how they apply don't feel bad - you are not alone! The following chart is provided in an attempt to help clarify these issues.

Hours required to graduation from Western

Direct client contact hours during graduate program Minimum of 280
Total clinical hours during graduate program Minimum of 700
(included direct clientcontact hours)
Post-graduate direct client contact hours N/A
Total direct client contact hours N/A

Hours for eligibility for Oregon licensure

Direct client contact hours during graduate program Minimum of 280
(maximum of 400)
Total clinical hours during graduate program Minimum of 700
(included direct client
contact hours)
Post-graduate direct client contact hours Minimum of 2000
(calculate number needed by subtracting direct client contact hours obtained during MA program from 2400)
Total direct client contact hours N/A

Total Clinical Hours: this is the total of all time related to your internship experience. This includes direct client contact hours, consultations, write-ups, record keeping, clinical staff meetings, case conferences, supervision, etc.

Licensees are required to renew licenses annually, meet annual continuing education (20 clock hours) requirements, distribute client disclosure statements to all potential clients, and abide by a Code of Ethics adopted by the Board.

For further information regarding licensure contact:

Oregon Board of Licensed Professional
Counselors and Therapists
First Floor, Suite G
3218 Pringle Road SE
Salem, OR 97302-6312
503.378.5499

The requirements for obtaining licensure in other states will vary. If you feel there is a strong possibility that you will eventually practice counseling in another state, you would be wise to contact that state's board at your earliest convenience to discover requirements for that particular state.

Guidelines for Post-Degree Supervision

For persons planning to become Licensed Professional Counselors, the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists expects all applicants for licensure to obtain supervision as required by law and rule. Visit the intern supervison requirement page at OBLPCT for more information and to seek clarification to any questions you may have.