Delaware Counseling License Requirements

Counseling License Requirements in Delaware

Table of Contents

Part of Delaware’s Division of Professional Regulation (DPR), you’ll work with Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services (DELPROS) as you go through the process of becoming credentialed as a Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health (LPCMH). This license allows you to represent yourself as a licensed professional as you engage in mental health counseling for compensation with the public. As an LPCMH you can work independently.

Before you can become licensed as an LPCMH you must gain clinical counseling experience under supervision as a Licensed Associate Counselor of Mental Health (LACMH). Once you’ve gained enough qualifying experience as an LACMH you can be eligible for the LPCMH license.

Steps Towards Counseling Licensure in Delaware

To become licensed as an LPCMH you’ll need to go through these basic steps:

  • Earn a qualifying graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or a related field
  • Become an LACMH and accrue hours of supervised counseling experience over a period of several years
  • Pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE) that’s sponsored by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • Apply to become an LPCMH

Licensure applications are made through an online account you’ll create with DELPROS. You can upload supporting materials for your application through your online account.

When you apply for licensure you must complete a criminal background check.

Licensed Associate Counselor of Mental Health (LACMH)

Application Requirements:

      1. Fulfill the education requirement by earning a qualifying graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or a related field. Have your school send your official transcripts to the DPR.
      2. Locate a supervisor. The purpose of becoming an LACMH is so you can accrue hours of supervised experience to qualify for an LPCMH license. Supervised experience is counted in hours of counseling experience that’s under general supervision, and hours of direct supervision. Once you’ve found a supervisor you’ll need to establish a plan for acquiring hours in each of these categories. Use this form to detail your plan for counseling experience under general supervision, and this form to detail your plan for direct supervision. Your supervisor must be an LPCMH unless you have a compelling reason to be supervised by one of the following licensed professionals: 1.) Marriage and family therapist. 2.) Clinical social worker. 3.) Clinical psychologist 4.) Physician specializing in psychiatry.
      3. Submit an application for LACMH licensure through your DELPROS account. Upload your supervision plans with your application. The application fee is $252.

    Renewing the LACMH license:

    Your LACMH license expires two years after it was issued, and you can only renew it twice. There are no continuing education requirements. You renew your license through your DELPROS account, and when you renew you’ll be notified how much the renewal fee is.

    Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health (LPCMH)

    Application Requirements:

        1. Complete the supervised experience requirement. The total number of hours you must complete depends on your education, however it must include at least 100 hours of face-to-face supervision with your supervisor. At least 60 of these hours must be one-on-one supervision, and the remaining 40 hours can be in a group setting. You must complete your supervised experience over a span of at least two years but in not more than four years. You can determine the total number of hours you need to accrue according to the following, and upload your verification documents through your DELPROS account:
        2. If you have no additional semester credits of coursework beyond the minimum 30 credits you need for a graduate degree, then you must complete 3,200 hours of supervised experience. 1,600 hours must be supervised clinical counseling experience, which you can verify using this form. The other 1,600 hours can be accrued from professional employment, including self-employment; use this form to verify employment and this form to verify self-employment.

          If you have at least 30 post-master’s semester credits beyond the minimum 30 credits you need for a graduate degree then you must complete 1,600 hours of supervised clinical counseling experience, which you can verify using this form.

        3. Pass the NCE exam that’s sponsored by the NBCC. You can register for this directly through the NBCC; you don’t need prior authorization from the DPR. Designate the DPR as a recipient for your exam scores.
        4. Apply to upgrade your LACMH license to an LPCMH license through your DELPROS account. The upgrade fee is $55.

      Renewing the LPCMH license:

      Your LPCMH license expires biannually on September 30th of even-numbered years. You renew your license through your DELPROS account, and when you do this you’ll be notified what the renewal fee is. To be eligible for renewal you must attest to completing 40 hours of continuing education.

      How Long Does it Take to Become a Counselor in Delaware?

      You can expect to invest around eight years into becoming fully licensed as an LPCMH in Delaware. Six of these years are in education: four years to earn a bachelor’s degree and two years to earn a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This will qualify you to become an LACMH. From there it will take you at minimum two additional years to fulfill the supervised counseling experience requirement and become an LPCMH.


      If you hold an LPCMH license in another state and it’s current and in good standing you can apply for LPCMH licensure in Delaware via reciprocity. You automatically qualify if you’ve held such a license for at least five years.

      Have your out-of-state Board of Counseling officially verify your license with the DPR.

      Sponsored Content

      If you’ve been an LPCMH for less than five years, your out-of-state requirements for LPCMH licensure must have been substantially similar to Delaware’s, and you’ll need to submit these requirements with your application for licensure.

      You can apply by creating a DELPROS account. The application fee for the LPCMH license via reciprocity is $252.

      Practicums and Internships

      Delaware’s DPR does not presently require practicums or internships for licensure as an LACMH or LPCMH.

      Required Exams

      To become an LPCMH the DPR requires that you pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE), which is sponsored by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). You can register for this at any time; you don’t need pre-authorization from the DPR.

      To register for the NCE you’ll need to create an online ProCounselor account with the NBCC’s partner organization, the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE).

      The NCE exam is taken on a computer at a local testing center. It’s a 200-question multiple-choice test that covers the key course content from your graduate degree program. You have three hours and forty-five minutes to take the exam. You can find out more information about this test in the NCE Handbook.

      Required Education and Degrees

      The most straightforward way of fulfilling the education requirement for licensure as an LACMH or LPCMH is by earning a graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that’s at least 60 semester credits. The degree needs to be from a school that’s accredited by a regional body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

      It’s also possible to fulfill the education requirement if your graduate degree is not accredited by a CHEA-recognized regional body, is not in Clinical Mental Health Counseling but is in a related field, and/or is not at least 60 semester credits but is at least 30 credits. In such case you must fill out this form and upload it with your application for licensure. Your degree program must include courses that cover each of these core areas:

      • Program evaluation and research
      • Testing and assessment
      • Group work and group counseling
      • Counseling and helping relationships
      • Career development
      • Human growth and development
      • Cultural and social diversity
      • Professional counseling orientation and ethical practice

      Salary Information

      The US Department of Labor reported the following average annual salaries for several counseling careers, specifically in Delaware:

      • Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors – $66,790
      • Rehabilitation Counselors – $35,470
      • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor – $47,130
      • Occupational Therapists – $83,210

      Types of Counseling Careers

      The US Department of Labor reports a total of 2,890 professionals employed throughout Delaware in the career categories listed above. Of these:

      • 39% are Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors
      • 28% are Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
      • 21% are Occupational Therapists
      • 11% are Rehabilitation Counselors


      Mental Health Association (MHA) in Delaware – This organization’s mission is to help mental health counselors through advocacy, education, and support. By doing this it hopes to ensure that all individuals and families throughout the state experience improved mental well-being. It hosts wellness groups, professional resources, conferences, summits, and much more.

      Delaware School Counselor Association (DSCA) – Advocacy is a big part of this organization’s mission. It supports local advocacy from the building and school district level all the way up to the state legislative level. It hosts scholarships and awards in addition to important professional networking events like conferences and meetings.

      Delaware Occupational Therapy Association (DOTA) – With roots stretching back to the 1960s, this organization does all it can to improve the profession and reputation of occupational therapists throughout the state. It hosts events like an annual conference, engages in legislative advocacy, and serves as a hub for relevant continuing education.

      Delaware Association for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (DAADAC) – A proud local representative of its national parent organization, the DAADAC provides links to its own certification program, national networking events, and the latest developments to the laws and regulations in this field.

      Career Opportunities

      Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health – An important component of the state’s Department of Health and Social Services (DHHS), this is one of the most familiar governmental divisions for LACMHs and LPCMHs. It provides resources for issues related to crisis intervention, substance abuse treatment centers, prevention services, psychiatric centers, and community services providers.

      ChristianaCare – This not-for-profit health care system is comprised of hospitals, clinics, and urgent care facilities. Among these are its Behavioral Health Services which offer clients advanced treatments as well as tried-and-true mental health counseling services. Its team enjoys close connections with a network of professionals and behavioral specialists.

      Sponsored Content

      Brandywine Counseling and Community Services – With a network of multiple offices located throughout the state, this organization hosts treatment centers for those suffering from substance abuse problems, an outpatient counseling program for adolescents, family counseling programs, educational resources, and much more.

      Family Counseling Center of St. Paul’s – This Wilmington-based nonprofit organization provides important mental health and counseling services to a wide range of clients, including those who are Spanish speakers. Its network of professional knowledge is a great strength thanks to its experienced team of LPCMHs, clinical social workers, and case managers.

      Dover Behavioral Health System – With locations in Sussex and Dover this organization offers tailored services to veterans and active members of the military, children, adolescents, and adults. Treatment options range from hospitalization and in-patient programs to detox and outpatient programs. This is made possible by an outstanding team of professionals hailing from a variety of specialized backgrounds.