How To Become A Substance Abuse Counselor In Wyoming
Are you interested in finding out how to become a substance abuse counselor in Wyoming? Addiction therapists are provided certification and licensure by the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board. The Board offers 4 different levels of certification and licensure. These are known as: Certified Addictions Practitioner Assistant (CAPA), Certified Addictions Practitioner (CAP), Licensed Addictions Therapist (LAT), and Provisional Addictions Therapist (PAT).
Degree Requirements & Education
There are multiple ways of achieving the degree and education requirements for the CAPA certification.
Pass the NCAC I Exam by NAADAC or the AODA Exam by IC&RC
Hold an Associate’s Degree in addictions, counseling, chemical dependency or a related field
Complete 270 hours of substance abuse specific course work
The CAP certification also has multiple routes to satisfying degree and education requirements.
Pass the NCAC II Exam by NAADAC
Hold a Bachelor’s Degree in addictions, counseling, chemical dependency or a related field
The LAT and PAT licenses require that applicants hold a graduate degree in a related field.
Experience & Supervision Requirements
The CAPA and CAP certifications do not require the applicant to complete any supervised work prior to certification. Both the PAT and LAT licenses require that applicants complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience in a chemical dependency counseling setting. These 3,000 hours must be obtained after the applicant has received their graduate degree. 1,200 of these hours must be direct face to face counseling hours. Group supervision will not count towards the 1,200 hours.
All applications should be mailed into the Board along with the required fees and supporting documents at: Mental Health Professions Licensing Board
2001 Capitol Ave, Room 105, Cheyenne, WY 82002. The CAPA and CAP applicants have 6 months from the initial date of employment to become certified. This only applies to those who have already submitted an application. Every applicant will need to submit proof of legal presence in the US. Official transcripts must be mailed directly from the educational institution to the Board itself or sent in via email (WyoMHPLB@wyo.gov) or fax it to (307) 777-3508.
At the time of application, CAPA, CAP, and PAT applicants should have already found a supervisor to oversee them in the workfield during their certification. Within the application is the “Supervision Agreement” form. The applicant and supervisor must both sign this. If the applicant does not have a supervisor at the time of application, the Board will still review the application. If they approve the application, the applicant will not receive their certificate until they can prove they have found a supervisor and have submitted the form.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the Board via email. After approval, applicants can then schedule to take the appropriate exam.
If applicants have criminal convictions, the Board will consider the circumstances. They do not automatically dismiss those who may have a criminal past. The applicant will be asked to write or explain the situation in their own words for the Board.
Fees must be paid via check or money order. Checks should be made payable to the “State of Wyoming.” Cash will not be accepted. The CAPA and CAP application fee is $300. The PAT application fee is $150. The LAT application fee is $350. All fees are non-refundable regardless of application outcome.
The CAPA applicant is required to take the NCAC I Exam while the CAP must take the NCAC II Exam provided by NAADAC. Alternatively, the CAPA and CAP applicants can also take the AODA Exam by the IC&RC. The PAT and LAT applicants will be required to take the MAC which is also administered by the NAADAC. The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) also provides the MAC Exam. Study materials, candidate guides, and online practice exams are available here: IC&RC Exam Prep.
All certifications and licenses expire on the holder’s birthday every 2 years. Renewal applications that are being mailed in must be postmarked by the expiration date or the certification/license will not remain current. All counselors must take 45 clock hours of continuing education within a renewal cycle. If the applicant chooses to renew online, they may do so here: Online Renewal. Paper applications can be obtained from the Board.