Concentration in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Leading to the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

Concentration in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Leading to the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

Purpose | Academic Requirements | How to Apply | Advisement | Portfolio Requirement | Fieldwork Requirement

In 2010, a law was passed in California that allows counselors from a variety of counseling disciplines to become licensed. The new credential is named the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and is monitored by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). The Concentration in Clinical Rehabilitation and Clinical Mental Health (LPCC), hereafter referred to as the Clinical Concentration, was added to the MS in Rehabilitation Counseling Program in 2015. This option meets the requirements of the BBS for the LPCC as well as those of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the body that accredits Master’s and doctoral degree programs in counseling and its specialties. Specifically, CACREP accredits the program as a Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling/Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CLRC/CMHC) specialization. The Clinical Concentration prepares students to take both LPCC exams (the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) and the California Law and Ethics Exam), commence the 3,000-hour post-graduate internship required for the LPCC, and also sit for the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam. The concentration is tailored for students who would like to work in the mental health arena as recovery and rehabilitation experts.

The Clinical Concentration provides students with all required coursework for the LPCC as well as the Advanced Certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. The coursework is specifically focused on providing psychiatric rehabilitation to individuals with serious mental illness and their family members. All Clinical Concentration students also complete all requirements for the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Certificate. Upon graduation, students submit Form B from the BBS's LPCC application to the Graduate Division, who then verifies completion of all requirements for the Clinical Concentration and submits the form to the BBS. The BBS then sends the graduate an intern number. The graduate may begin accruing 3,000 supervised internship hours once the intern number is received. It is the responsibility of the student/graduate to locate appropriate employment and a licensed supervisor to complete the required hours for licensure. Students should consider carefully whether the LPCC is critical to their careers due to the internship and exam requirements. The Psychiatric Certificate may be a better option for most students as most graduates work in settings where licensure is not needed. The exception is the network of care for individuals with serious mental illness, where having a license is essential for job advancement.


The purpose of the Clinical Concentration is to fully prepare future recovery-oriented counselors for the LPCC by providing all required LPCC coursework within a 63-unit program. The ability to offer all required courses for both the LPCC and the CRC is achieved through coordination and course sharing with two additional MS programs in the College of Education: Counseling and School Psychology (CSP) and Child and Family Development (CFD).

Back to top

Academic Requirements

To meet the requirements for both the LPCC and the CRC, students must successfully complete the 63 units of coursework described. Following is a list of Clinical Concentration courses by catalog number, title and units, as well as the total number of units in each category:

Required rehabilitation counseling courses (24 units):
ARP 615 - Seminar in Multicultural Dimensions in Rehabilitation Counseling (3 units)
ARP 648 - Group Dynamics in Rehabilitation (3 units)
ARP 645A/645B - Assessment in Rehabilitation (3/3 units)
ARP 660 - Theory and Process of Counseling in Rehabilitation (3 units)
ARP 684 - Rehabilitation Foundations (3 units)
ARP 755 - Governance and Policy Development (3 units)
ED 690 - Methods of Inquiry (3 units)

Advanced training in rehabilitation counseling (15 units):
ARP 601 - Best Practices in Psychiatric Rehabilitation (3 units)
ARP 608 - Principles of Psychiatric Rehabilitation (3 units)
ARP 685A/685B - Medical and Psychological Aspects of Disability (3/3 units)
ARP 687 - Placement Practices with Individuals with Disabilities (3 units)

Additional LPCC requirements (15 units):
CFD 670 - Seminar in Child Development Theories: Intervention and Prevention (3 units)
CSP 618 - Mental Health Recovery and the DSM: A Social Justice Perspective (3 units)
CSP 650 - Crisis/Trauma Counseling (3 units)
CSP 687 - Family Treatment of Substance Abuse (3 units)
CSP 694 - Psychopharmacology for Marriage and Family Therapists (3 units)

Fieldwork requirements (12 units):
ARP 744 - Practicum in Rehabilitation (Beginning and Intermediate) (6 units)
ARP 745 - Internship in Rehabilitation (6 units)

Sample course schedule (six-semester plan). Please note: Because CSP and CFD courses are offered in different departments, Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) has no control of the scheduling of these classes. Therefore, the semester in which certain classes outside of the department are taken will vary considerably. Students will work with their advisor to assure that all course requirements are met.

Back to top

How to Apply

Applicants must apply online through the CSU Mentor system when initiating an application to the Clinical Concentration. In order to be considered for the Clinical Concentration, please follow these steps.

  1. Apply to the university, the Clinical Concentration and the Rehabilitation Counseling Program
  2. Arrange to take the GRE
  3. Provide Dr. Olney with:
    1. A two - to three-page essay describing why you would like to be included in the specialization
      i.e., your prior experiences, what you hope to gain through completing the program, and how you will use your new knowledge and skills)
    2. Unofficial transcripts
    3. Your current resume. Students must be interviewed individually by the program advisor.

Back to top


Dr. Marjorie F. Olney is the program advisor for both the Clinical Concentration and the Certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. She meets with each clinical and certificate student to design an individualized program of study based on the student’s educational background and professional experience. Clinical Concentration students must complete all requirements for the Certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. However, students may complete the Certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation without completing LPCC requirements. Students may enroll in the Certificate program and the master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling concurrently. Contact Dr. Olney at 619-594-6883, or for further information.

Back to top

Portfolio Requirement

In order to earn the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Certificate, students must complete and submit a portfolio which will then be presented orally to a panel including Dr. Olney and at least one additional reviewer. The purpose of the portfolio is to demonstrate a thorough understanding of theory and practice in psychiatric rehabilitation. The portfolio is presented and defended in the final semester of the program.
Note: For those completing the certificate in conjunction with the MS in Rehabilitation Counseling, this requirement does not substitute for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam, comprehensive exam or thesis required.

The portfolio must provide a thorough overview of student learning and will contain a compilation of the student's quality work/documents which focus on psychiatric disability. The portfolio will include:

  1. Title page

  2. Table of Contents

  3. Executive Learning Summary (5 pages) in which the student specifies and describes the items in the portfolio, addressing how this body of work demonstrates mastery in each of the following knowledge content areas:
    1. understanding of psychiatric disability
    2. multicultural knowledge and sensitivity
    3. community integration and employment
    4. counseling and communication with individuals who have psychiatric disabilities, and
    5. implication for systems change

  4. Your Vision of PsyR as it relates to the facilitation of employment and community integration within the existing service system (1 page maximum);

  5. Your Mission Statement, which encompasses the beliefs/values which must be consistently practiced and lived as one plans and moves forward towards making one's vision a reality (1-page maximum);

  6. Professional Growth and Development Plan (i.e., how you will use the learning obtained in the PsyR counseling program to be a positive agent of change) (3-5 pages);

  7. Four Examples of quality work the student has produced in the program, with a 1-2-page summary for each example, that links student learning to the growth areas identified in item #3, Executive Summary. These papers will all be relevant to PsyR and will be products from ARP 601, 608, 684, 660 and 687 or CSP 618, 687 and 650 unless otherwise arranged with the program advisor.

Back to top

Fieldwork Requirement

All students complete fieldwork as part of their program. Internship students in the concentration will be mentored with a faculty to student ratio of no more than 1:6.

All students must complete their internship under the agency supervision of an individual who has at least two years of experience and who has completed his or her master's degree which included counseling practicum and internship experiences. Supervisors need to have experience or other preparation in intern supervision. Site supervisors will have either a license or a Certification in Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC). All supervisors will be familiar with the program, its goals and procedures.

Back to top