Question: Hi Anthony: 

I am a counselor and member of the ACA…I unfortunately am not licensed.   I took the test three times and failed..the last time by two points…with that being said…do you think there will ever be a ‘grandfathering clause’ for counselors that work within the state and other non-profit that would allow us ‘in’  based on our experience and education?  Thanks for responding.

Answer: Hi Diane,

I’m sorry to hear about your troubles with the licensure exam!
Have you taken any test-prep materials? Before I took the NCMHCE exam, I used AATBS exam prep, and I know taking the practice questions (and reading all the justifications) helped my score a lot. The NCMHCE is an interesting test–it’s not your average “multiple choice.” One can lose points for both choosing the wrong items and for not choosing enough correct items!

To answer your question, I do not suspect there will be any way for unlicensed counselors to become licensed simply by working in the field for a number of years. I think, if you really want it, you’re going to need to prepare a lot and take the test again.

I hope this helps,

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Dr. Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."