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Professional Disciplines


Psychotherapy is conducted by clinicians from a variety of disciplines and theoretical orientations which provides clients with a valuable range of options. The educational and professional associations representing each discipline maintain specific standards for training and credentialing, ensuring that clients receive the highest calibre of psychotherapy services. 

The practice of psychotherapy in Georgia is limited to practitioners from the professional disciplines, listed below, which are licensed and regulated by the State Examining Board under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Secretary of State. While the Board of Examiners periodically changes the rules governing licensure, the current criteria for each discipline are included in the following descriptions, listed alphabetically. Additionally, the State requires on-going clinical continuing education to certify license renewal. 

For inquiries to any of the professional examining boards: 

All Examining Boards are located at:
166 Pryor Street, S.W.
Atlanta, GA. 30303-3465 

TDD # to all Boards: 404-651-5404 

Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors,
Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists
404-656-3933 

Georgia Board of Examiners for Psychologists
404-656-6719 

Composite State Board of Medical Examiners
404-656-3913 

Georgia Board of Nursing
404-656-3943



Clinical Nurse Specialist

Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse/Clinical Nurse Specialist (APRN-PSYMH/CS): Licensed as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (RN) with a master's (MS, MSN, MN) or doctoral (PhD) degree in nursing and a specialization in psychiatric/mental health nursing. To practice psychotherapy, an APRN must pass a certification examination and must have 800 hours of direct patient contact in advanced clinical practice, 100 of which must be supervised. National certification in adult and/or child and adolescent psychiatric nursing is maintained by the American Nurses Association, the certifying agent.


Clinical Social Worker

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): Licensed at the specialist level. An LCSW has earned an MSW, MSSA or MSS from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program must include a concentration in clinical social work including a minimum of 900 hours in supervised clinical field placement. The applicant must complete three years of full-time supervised post-graduate experience in clinical social work and pass the written licensed clinical social work exam. An applicant with an additional focus on teaching and research who holds a doctoral degree (PhD, DSW, or EdD) and which includes a supervised internship may substitute this for one year of experience. 

Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW): Licensed at the general level after meeting the same educational criteria as above and passing the master's social work written examination. If specializing in clinical social work, following two years of clinical social work practice under direction and supervision, an LMSW may engage in private practice only under supervision for the time necessary to qualify for and pass the additional clinical social work licensing exam.



  Counselor

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC): Licensed with a master's level (e.g., MA, MEd, MS, MDiv), specialist (EdS), and/or doctoral (PhD, PsychD, EdD) degree, primarily counseling in content and including a minimum 300 hours practicum from an institution accredited by a regional body recognized by the Council on Post Secondary Accreditation. The applicant must pass a written licensing exam. 

The applicant with a master's degree must have four years of post-master's directed experience under supervision; up to one year of a practicum as part of the master's program may be counted toward the experience requirement. An applicant with a specialist degree must have two years of supervised post-master's directed experience; an applicant with a doctoral degree must have one year of supervised internship to meet the experience requirement. 

Licensed Associate Professional Counselor (LAPC): Licensed to practice professional counseling only under direction and supervision for five years or less while obtaining the post-master's experience for licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC). The applicant must pass a written examination, which will not need to be repeated when qualifying for the Licensed Professional Counselor License.



Marriage And Family Therapists

Licensed Marriage And Family Therapist (LMFT): Licensed at the master's or doctoral level in marriage and family therapy or a related field from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy, a program that meets the curriculum/practicum criteria established by the Board of Examiners or a post-degree training program accepted by the Board. All must include a minimum of 500 hours approved supervised practicum or internship. Applicant must pass a written exam. 

The master's level applicant must complete three years of full-time supervised, related experience. The applicant with a doctoral degree must have two years full-time supervised, related experience. 

Licensed Associate Marriage And Family Therapist (LAMFT): Licensed to practice marriage and family therapy only under direction and supervision of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for up to five years while obtaining the post-master's experience required for licensure as a Marriage And Family Therapist (LMFT). The applicant must pass a written examination, which will not need to be repeated when qualifying for the Marriage And Family Therapy License.



  Psychiatrist

Medical License: Licensed as a physician following completion of a medical degree (MD or DO) from a medical school approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association or by passing the Equivalence Certification for Foreign Medical Graduates (if prior to 7/1/85). Must pass written medical licensing exam. Board Certification in Psychiatry/Neurology is optional. U.S. and Canadian medical graduates, and foreign graduates eligible for ECFMG certification before 7/1/85, must complete one year of post-graduate/residency training in a program supervised by the Accreditation Council For Graduate Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association, or the Medical Council of Canada. Applicants who graduate from a foreign medical school after 7/1/85 must complete three years of post-graduate/residency training at an ACGME, et. al., approved program.


  Psychologist

Licensed Psychologist: Licensed at the doctoral level (PhD, PsyD, EdD) from a graduate program in applied psychology (clinical/counseling, school, or industrial/organizational) with accompanying American Psychological Association (APA) accredited doctoral internship of 2000 hours minimum, of which at least 500 hours must be in direct client contact. Applicant must pass a written examination. A year of full-time post-doctoral supervision must be completed. 

Graduates of a doctoral program in an area of psychology other than those considered to be "applied" may qualify for licensure after completing an APA-accredited clinical equivalence program and a post-doctoral internship. Non APA accredited academic, practicum, and internship programs must meet criteria set by the Board of Examiners for licensure. 

Temporary Licensed Psychologist: Licensed to practice independently without supervision, having met all of the requirements for licensure. This usually is a licensed psychologist from another state awaiting processing of credentials and either examinations or endorsement into Georgia licensure. 

Provisional Licensed Psychologist: Licensed to practice privately only under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. This usually is a graduate psychologist who has completed the educational and examination requirements and is pending completion of post-doctoral supervision requirements. 

 


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