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Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc.


How does the license renewal system work?

The CE requirements for license renewal, including prorating (i.e., the Guidelines).

When does it renew?

The license renews December 31 of odd years (biennial cycle). For example, the cycle as of this writing are 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025.

I just got my license, how many CEUs will I need to renew next cycle?

These are also called the prorated license CE requirements. To answer this question, you need to know when in the current two-year cycle you received your license.

That date is based on when you received the confirmatory email from the board, not when the license came in the mail:

  • January 1 - June 30, even year:  22.5 CEU
  • July 1 - December 1, even year:     15 CEU
  • January 1 - June 30, odd year:      7.5 CEU
  • July 1 - December 1, odd year:         0 CEU

What qualifies a CE for license renewal?

At the very least, the training must be clinically relevant.

Can I get my CEUS completely online?


Who can approve CEUS for LMHCS?


I heard there are different continuing education categories. What does that mean?

The categories used in previous renewal cycles are no longer used to distinguish different educational content.

I read on the Allied Board's website that I must have 50% of my CEUs in person. Is this correct?

The Board's website has not been updated recently. The policy changed this year, and the meeting minutes are not posted for 2023, so we can't give you the exact date.  All the information on the MaMHCA site is up to date and accurate.  ALL CEUs can be obtained in any way - although we strongly suggest you attend live, virtual workshops such as those MaMHCA offers - since they are synchronous, and count as 'in person.'

I took more than 30 CEUs of training in this renewal cycle. Can I roll those over and use them toward the next renewal cycle?

No, you cannot save up or roll over continuing education from a previous cycle.

I took a clinically relevant training that wasn’t approved by NBCC or MaMHCA. How can I get retroactive authorization for unauthorized CEs?

Fill out the Retroactive Certification Application; send us your certificate of completion (e.g., degree, certificate that shows the name and contact information of the educational organization); and send the payment as mandated by the form.

There’s a CE I want to take that isn’t credentialed by MaMHCA or NBCC. Can I get that reapproved?

No. Only providers can get preapproval. Everyone else must do it retroactively.

Can I use retroactive authorization to get credits for self-help workshops, like yoga or meditation?

When considering whether to submit a request for retroactive authorization, please note that the material must have a clinical application to the material. It must focus on teaching or implementing the techniques with clients. If it’s not specifically for use by a therapist in a clinical settings for the purpose of treatment, it will not be accepted for authorization.

How do I keep track of my continuing education?

Most trainings these days provide a certificate as either a printout or PDF. We strongly recommend you scan in any printouts immediately and keep two copies (either physical and electronic, or two electronic, one on a disk, one in the cloud) on hand for all trainings in the last 10 years.

If your training requires that you fill out an evaluation in order to receive the certification, do so immediately, as there are sometimes time limits to when a program will deliver a certification after the fact.

What happens if I don’t complete the required number of CEUs in a renewal cycle?

The Licensing Board randomly audits licensed professionals. If you are audited, the Board will request immediate proof of compliance (i.e., copies of your certificates). They can audit up to two prior cycles (that’s up to six years ago).

Your license can be suspended if you fall out of compliance, and even following suspension, there is will be a mark that is permanently and irrevocably noted on your license. Don’t do it.

I'm worried that I won’t be able to afford continuing education. What can I do?

One of our home study options is to pick a preapproved book from a list and write a test for it. If you get one of these books from your local library and submit a test following some relatively straightforward guidelines, you can receive up to 10 CEU for free. Learn more about this program.

I provide supervision. Can I get CEUs?

No, but your supervisee can.

I published an article, book, or dissertation. Can I get CEUs?

Yes, up to 7.5 per renewal cycle.

My organization wants to host a CE event. How can I get it preapproved?

Fill out the form for preapproval

I did this [INSERT OTHER CEU ACTIVITY HERE]. Can I use it?

 Activity Can it be used for CEUs?
What You Will Need
Supervision and/or consultation Up to 7.5 hours total per cycle (7.5 hours maximum can come from the combination of supervision/consultation, authored publications, and dissertations) 1) Credit available for supervisees only.
2) Credit not available for supervisors.
3) All supervisors must meet the qualified supervision requirements in Board regulations 262 CMR 2.00.
1) A letter from the individual who has provided you with the supervision verifying your participation.
2) The letter must contain the name of the supervisor, site where the supervision was provided, the start and end dates of the period in which the supervision occurred, and the total number of participation hours.
3) If you have taken supervision for academic credit, you should list it under course work. This kind of supervision must also appear on your transcript or grade report.
Authored publications Up to 7.5 hours total per cycle (7.5 hours maximum can come from the combination of supervision/consultation, authored publications, and dissertations)  1) Publication must be an article in a refereed journal, a chapter in an edited book, a published book, or a commercially published professionally related work.
2) Published work must be primarily focused on one of the main areas of study in mental health counseling.
1) The publication date
2) The title of the publication
3) The name of the publisher or name of the journal
Dissertations Up to 7.5 hours total per cycle (7.5 hours maximum can come from the combination of supervision/consultation, authored publications, and dissertations) Work must be primarily focused on one of the main areas of study in mental health counseling. 1) A list of the dates for which credit was granted by your college for work done toward the completion of your dissertation.
2) The title of your dissertation and the name of your college or university.  
3) A copy of your transcript or grade report documenting dissertation credit.
Teaching Yes
Instructors may obtain credit for the first presentation of approved MAMHCA programs or academic courses that meet criteria for approved CE programs.

1) Content of program or course must reflect clear, clinical mental health counseling content Instructors   must provide documentation of the program presentation.2) Instructors may receive the same number of CE hours that are available to participants and apply them to their total CE requirement.

A Table Describing The Main Areas of Mental Health Counselor Study

Counseling theory
Includes studies of basic theories, principles and techniques of counseling and their application to professional counseling settings.
Human growth and development
Includes studies that provide a broad understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels, normal and abnormal human behavior, personality theory, life span theory and learning theory within cultural contexts.
Social and cultural foundations
Includes studies that provide a broad understanding of societal changes and trends; human roles; societal subgroups; social mores and interaction patterns; multi-cultural and pluralistic trends; differing lifestyles and spiritual systems; and major societal concerns including stress, person abuse, substance abuse, discrimination and methods for alleviating these concerns.
The Helping Relationship
Includes studies that provide a broad understanding of philosophic bases of helping processes; counseling techniques and their applications; basic and advanced helping skills; consultation and theories and their application; client and helper self-understanding; alternative mind/body therapies; and self-development; and facilitation of client or  change.
Group dynamics, group process, group counseling
Includes studies that provided a broad understanding of group development, dynamics and counseling theories; group leadership styles; basic and advanced group counseling methods and skills; and other group approaches.
Appraisal of individuals
Includes studies that provide a broad understanding of group and individual educational and psychometric theories and approaches to appraisal; data and information gathering methods; validity and reliability; psychometric statistics; psychopharmacology; factors influencing appraisal; use of appraisal results in helping processes; administration and interpretation of tests and inventories to assess abilities, interests and career options.
Research and evaluation
Studies that provide a broad understanding of types of research; basic statistics; research-report development; research implementation; program evaluation; needs assessments; publication of research information; and ethical and legal considerations.
Clinical services in mental health counseling
Courses related to assessment and treatment procedures in mental health counseling, psychopharmacology, addictions and chemical dependence, abuse (sexual, emotional and domestic violence).
Lifestyle and career development
Includes studies that provide a broad understanding of career developmental theories; occupational and educational information sources and systems; career and leisure counseling, guidance and education; lifestyle and career decision-making; career development program planning, resource and effectiveness evaluation.
Psychopathology The study of pathological mental conditions. The nature of disease, its causes, processes, development and consequences.  The functional manifestations of mental illness.
Law and ethics in clinical practice
The application of ethical and legal standards in clinical practice.
Spirituality Includes spirituality and/or religion as they impact the mental health of clients (e.g., existential and transpersonal issues, hospice work, end of life decisions).
Professional orientation

Includes studies that provide a broad understanding of professional roles and functions; professional goals and objectives; professional organizations and associations; professional history and trends; ethical and legal standards; professional preparation standards; and professional credentialing.

Mental health counselors and the mental health care system
Includes mental health service delivery, mental health institutions and the role of counselors in the mental health care system.

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