Update: Mental Health Counseling Career in California

Hello Readers,

After many attempts to contact The California Board of Behavioral Services, I was finally able to talk to a Terri (Intern Evaluator) on Friday to find what are the official steps in obtaining intern status in California. She told me to go to bbs.ca.gov and click on “forms/pubs.” Then I am to go to PCCI/LPCC under “forms and applications.” I am to click on “PCCI Intern Registration Application OUT-OF-STATE.”

The following is a direct copy and paste of the steps I need to take to apply for intern status in California:

A. APPLICATION
• Complete all sections of the application in ink.
• The application must have your original signature.
• You must use your legal name. Your “legal name” is the name established
legally by your birth certificate, marriage or domestic partnership certificate, or
divorce decree (for example).
• Email Address: Though providing your email address is optional, the Board
strongly recommends submission to facilitate communication.

B. PHOTOGRAPH
Should measure approximately 2” x 2” and be taken within 60 days of the filing of
this application. The photograph must be of passport quality of your head and
shoulders only. Attach the photograph to the application in the space provided.

C. FEE
Submit a $100.00 check or money order made payable to the Behavioral
Sciences Fund. The fee is NOT REFUNDABLE.
37A-646 (Revised 01/2017) 2

D. FINGERPRINTS
The Board requires a Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) criminal history background check on all applicants.
If you currently reside in California: Download the Request for Live Scan
Service Applicant Submission from our web site. The information on this form
must match the information you provide on your application. The second copy
of this form, with box 6 completed, must be submitted with your application.
DO NOT COMPLETE FINGERPRINTS MORE THAN 60 DAYS PRIOR TO
SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION. Fingerprint results without an application on
file will only be held for 6 months.

If you currently reside out of state: You must use the “hard card” fingerprint
method unless you can access a California Live Scan Service operator. To
request fingerprint hard cards, send an email to BBS.Fingerprint@dca.ca.gov
with “Fingerprint Hard Cards” in the subject line, and we will mail them to you.
DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR FINGERPRINTS TO THE BOARD UNTIL YOU HAVE
SUBMITTED YOUR APPLICATION – we are unable to process them until your
application is received. The DOJ processing time for hard card fingerprints
is a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks. To avoid processing delays and additional
costs that result from invalid fingerprint cards, the Board recommends
fingerprints be taken at a law enforcement agency in the state of residence.

E. VERIFICATION OF LICENSURE OR REGISTRATION IN ANOTHER STATE
Include certified statement(s) from each state where you hold or have held a
license or registration to practice professional clinical counseling. This verification
may be sent to the Board directly from the other state, or enclosed with the
application. Either way, the verification must be IN AN ENVELOPE SEALED BY
THE STATE BOARD/LICENSING AGENCY.

F. VERIFICATION OF DEGREE
1) TRANSCRIPTS
Provide official transcripts verifying your master’s or doctoral degree with the
degree title and date of conferral posted. TRANSCRIPTS MUST BE IN AN
ENVELOPE SEALED BY THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION.
37A-646 (Revised 01/2017) 3

2) DEGREE PROGRAM CERTIFICATION
Provide an Out-of-State Degree Program Certification form, completed and
signed by your school’s Chief Academic Officer or authorized designee IN AN
ENVELOPE SEALED BY THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION.

3) COURSE SYLLABI
Submit a copy of the syllabus for all courses listed on the Out-of-State Degree
Program Certification form. If your degree program was accredited by the
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
(CACREP), AND your degree was conferred in 1983 or later, then it is not
necessary to submit course syllabi at this time EXCEPT for coursework listed
by your school as meeting the following core content areas:

• Principles of the Diagnostic Process
• Psychopharmacology
• Addictions Counseling
• Crisis or Trauma Counseling
• Advanced Counseling and Psychotherapeutic Theories and
Techniques

The Board may require submission of additional syllabi after evaluating your
application.

4) DEGREE EARNED OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES:
If you have a degree or other education gained outside of the United States,
you must have your education evaluated by a foreign credential evaluation
service that is a member of the National Association of Credential
Evaluation Services, in order to determine equivalency. Provide the board
with the results of this comprehensive evaluation and any other
documentation the board deems necessary IN AN ENVELOPE SEALED BY
THE EVALUATING AGENCY. The board has the authority to make the final
determination as to whether a degree meets all requirements, including, but
not limited to, course requirements regardless of evaluation or accreditation.
In addition to the evaluation, a transcript is required as stated in #1 above.

G. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS AND REMEDIATION
1) OVERALL UNITS:
• Your degree MUST contain a minimum of 48 semester units or 72 quarter
units. There are no exceptions.
• If you entered a degree program AFTER August 1, 2012: You are
required to complete a total of 60 semester units or 90 quarter units. A
maximum of 12 semester units or 18 quarter units can be remediated
37A-646 (Revised 01/2017) 4
outside of your degree program. Units must be remediated before the
Board can approve your Application for Licensure and Examination and
can be gained while registered as an intern.

2) PRACTICUM:
A minimum of 6 semester units or 9 quarter units of practicum, which
included at least 280 hours of face-to-face supervised clinical experience
counseling individuals, families or groups, is required for the following
applicants:

• Unlicensed applicants:
Your degree program must contain a minimum of 6 semester or 9
quarter units of practicum and meet the 280-hour requirement described
above, or your degree will not qualify for California licensure.

• Applicants licensed in another state for LESS THAN 2 years (and who
hold a current license):
The practicum unit requirement is waived. If your practicum did not
include 280 hours of experience as described above, you may remediate
the deficit by gaining supervised experience while registered as an
intern. If you are required to remediate practicum, these hours must be in
addition to the required 3,000 hours of experience.

• Applicants licensed in another state for MORE THAN 2 years (and who
hold a current license):
Both unit and hour practicum requirements are waived.

3) CORE CONTENT AREAS:
• Your degree program must have contained a minimum of 3 semester or
4.5 quarter units of coursework in the “Assessment, appraisal and testing
of individuals” core content area, or your degree will not qualify for
California licensure.
• Your degree program must have contained a minimum of 3 semester or
4.5 quarter units of coursework in the “Principles of the diagnostic
process” core content area, or your degree will not qualify for California
licensure.
• Your degree program must have contained a minimum of seven (7) of the
13 required core content areas (3 semester units or 4.5 quarter units in
each area), or your degree will not qualify for California licensure.
All core content areas must be fulfilled. If you are missing six (6) or fewer
core content areas, you must remediate the missing areas as follows:
37A-646 (Revised 01/2017) 5

o Unlicensed applicants:
All 13 core content areas must be fulfilled PRIOR TO issuance of your
intern registration.

o Applicants licensed in another state (and who hold a current license):
Core content areas may be remediated while registered as an intern
except for the California Law and Ethics course, which must be
remediated prior to approval of your intern registration. All 13 core
content areas must be fulfilled prior to approval of your Application for
Licensure and Examination.

4) REMEDIATION AND ACCEPTABLE COURSE PROVIDERS:
For areas where remediation is permitted, missing courses must be taken at
the graduate level from a school that holds a regional or national institutional
accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or a school
approved by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
(BPPE).

H. CALIFORNIA LAW AND ETHICS COURSE (REQUIRED FOR INTERN
REGISTRATION)
Submit documentation of completion of a California Law and Ethics course
with your intern application as described below:

• If your degree contains a 3 semester unit or 4.5 quarter unit course on law
and ethics: You must take an 18-hour California course. See Business and
Professions Code (BPC) sections 4999.62/.63(b)(1)(D)(ii/iii) for course
content requirements.

o The required course may be taken from a school that holds a regional
or national institutional accreditation recognized by the U.S.
Department of Education, a school approved by the California BPPE,
or an acceptable continuing education (CE) provider.

• If your degree does NOT contain a 3 semester unit or 4.5 quarter unit
course on law and ethics: You must take a 3 semester unit or 4.5 quarter
unit California course. See BPC section 4999.33(c)(I) for course content
requirements.

o The required course may be taken from a school that holds a regional
or national institutional accreditation recognized by the U.S.
Department of Education or a school approved by the California
BPPE.
37A-646 (Revised 01/2017) 6

I. ADDITIONAL COURSEWORK (NOT REQUIRED FOR INTERN
REGISTRATION)
The courses listed below are NOT required for intern registration. However,
they are required prior to approval of your Application for Licensure and
Examination. If you have already completed a course, you may submit
documentation of completion now rather than with a future application if you
wish.

These courses may be taken from a school that holds a regional or national
institutional accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, a
school approved by the California BPPE, or an acceptable continuing education
(CE) provider. Undergraduate coursework cannot be accepted. See the Board’s
Statutes and Regulations for required content
Note: 1 semester unit = 15 hours; 1 quarter unit = 10 hours.

ADDITIONAL COURSEWORK
REQUIRED PRIOR TO APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE
Course Length Content Required

1. Child Abuse Assessment and
Reporting in California
7 hours See BPC sections
4999.62(b)(3)(A)(iii),
4999.63(b)(3)(C) and Title 16,
California Code of Regulations
(CCR) section 1807.2

2. Human Sexuality 10 hours See BPC sections
4999.62(b)(3)(A)(i) and
4999.63(b)(3)(A)

3. Spousal/Partner Abuse Assessment,
Detection and Intervention
15 hours See BPC sections
4999.62(b)(3)(A)(ii) and
4999.63(b)(3)(B)

4. Aging, Long Term Care and
Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse
Assessment and Reporting
10 hours See BPC sections
4999.62(b)(3)(A)(iv),
4999.63(b)(3)(D)

5. Mental Health Recovery Oriented Care
and Methods of Service Delivery
45 hours See BPC sections
4999.62/.63(b)(4)(A)

6. California Cultures and the
Social/Psychological Implications of
Socioeconomic Status
15 hours See BPC sections
4999.62/.63(b)(4)(B)
37A-646 (Revised 01/2017) 7

J. ADVANCED COURSEWORK (NOT REQUIRED FOR INTERN REGISTRATION)
“Advanced Coursework” is defined as “courses that develop knowledge of
specific treatment issues or special populations.” Completion of this coursework
is NOT required for intern registration. However, a total of 15 semester units or
22.5 quarter units of Advanced Coursework is required prior to your application
for licensure.

These courses must be in addition to “core content area” courses and will be
identified by your school on the Out-of-State Degree Program Certification form.
Additional units must be gained at the graduate level from a school that holds a
regional or national institutional accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department
of Education, or a school approved by the California BPPE.
If you completed Advanced Coursework outside of your degree program, you
may submit documentation of completion now, rather than with a future
application if you wish, by submitting an official transcript IN AN ENVELOPE
SEALED BY THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION.

K. BACKGROUND QUESTIONS (A – D)
If you answered YES to application questions A, B, C or D, complete the
Background Statement, available on the Board’s website. Please be aware that
your processing time will be delayed and will also be dependent on your
providing all information required by the Board.

I had to wait until the weekend was over to go somewhere to print the form out (it’s 31 pages). My portion of the application is only six pages but the rest is full of information on how to fill out the other forms and also what other documents are needed. Since I am trying to juggle other duties all at once (ex: find a job, fill out job applications, read over California’s driving manual, mingle with family, run errands, etc.), I haven’t fill out my portion yet. However, I just finished emailing Southern Adventist University to ask whom I am supposed to have fill out one of the forms (to verify the specifics of the degree program that was completed outside of California). Since I had to look up something on my blog to add a specific information that was much easier to find on my blog, I am still signed on so I had said “why not update my blog?”

And, now, I will start filling out the form. Hopefully. 😛

 

Mental Health Counseling Career in California

Hello Readers,

I understand many are curious to know why I haven’t been able to start my mental health counseling career in California. And, even those who I have tried to explain it to verbally are still confused or even still under the impression that I had received my master degree in psychology or social studies. My master degree doesn’t say clinical mental health counseling; it says “masters in science.” The master degree program is clinical mental health counseling but, because the title changes, Southern Adventist University does not place on the diploma “counseling” or anything close to it. They have decided to only write “masters in science.”

Since my degree was received in Tennessee, I will have to go to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to apply for intern status in California. Once I apply, they will let me know if California requires additional courses for me to take (note: all states are different in bases of requirements needed). When I was in Tennessee, my status was post-masters. In California, until you receive your professional license (called LPCC; in Tennessee, it’s just LPC), you are still considered an intern. So, in a way, I feel I am going a bit backwards instead of forwards when I had moved back to California. However, it’s basically only in wording.

Right before moving from Tennessee, my status was I were to be under supervision as a post-masters (I had already completed my internship supervision). I had to complete 3,000 hours of supervised post-masters professional experience (as in seeing clients face-to-face; the actual counseling with clients) and 150 contact hours of supervision (as in take one hour out of every week to talk with my supervisor; someone who has the certificate to supervise me). After I had finished these hours (it would have taken about three years), then I would be considered as an applicant to apply for taking the licensure exam (to obtain my LPC license; LPC stands for licensed professional counselor).

Now, with that information, California is different. It’s not called a licensed professional counselor. It’s called a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC). While completing the same 3,000 hours of supervised experience (can start after I earned my degree), I need to be licensed as a professional clinical counselor intern. I have to be supervised for at least two full years (204 weeks).

Back to the application for intern status in California: the process is time consuming and can take from 60-90 days to complete. Therefore, during this time, I have been looking for jobs outside of this career. I will need to fill out and pay for my application ($100); do a background check; have transcripts sent to the board; get a verification for California’s additional coursework requirements; and I think that is it. I haven’t started this process yet because I have been attempting to find some kind of work.

Not all supervision position are ones that one can get paid. It’s like doing volunteer work. And then you will have to have money to pay for your supervision. If I can find a workplace that is willing to hire me without a license and also supervise me at the same time, that would be ideal. However, it is very rare. I had tried to find someone that could supervise me (with me paying them or with them hiring me) before I moved to California. I was finally told by someone who does do supervision to wait for me to move to California and find out if I need to take additional courses before even starting my supervision hours.

I think I have explained everything. I need to go, now, so I don’t even have time to double check my writing.

Back In California

Hello Readers,

I just realized I failed to update on expressing our move and airplane experience on going back to California. Oops!

Well, we packed our Penske truck on Monday, June 5th. A church member, Thaddeus, drove the Penske to our townhouse. My husband and I packed until it was near evening time (it rained off and on during that time). When Thaddeus was done with work for the day, he returned with his wife to drive it to his place. Soon afterwards, Thaddeus and my husband drove to the airport to pick up my Dad and another gentleman who was going to drive the Penske the following morning from Tennessee to California.

From June 5th (night) to June 10th (afternoon), my family and I stayed with Thaddeus and his wife. We were able to go to church that morning (June 10th) and said goodbye to our church family. I was crying a lot because I had to say goodbye to those that I have known for almost four years. I have watch the children grow and also wished I could watch the smaller generation grow.

The airplane ride was a lot of turbulence. It happened moreso when we had a connecting flight from Chattanooga, TN to Chicago, IL. Chicago is known as the “windy city” and I can say this now because I experienced it! The airplane was blown a bit during take off and it shook for a while until we had left the area. Luckily, I had a flat screen in front of me that I used to take my mind off of my surroundings.

The children and my husband did okay for their first time on an airplane. It was me, the novelist, that was falling apart inside! XD Our first plane was small so I had to allow the ladies to valet my carry on luggage and forgot I had left our plane tickets inside of this bag. Usually, I make sure my ticket is with me at all times just in case the flight attendants have to check tickets (if an emergency arises). So I just said “whatever” to myself and sat down in my seat. The second plane was larger so my son and I shared a seat with a stranger (as in our row of seats). The young man was calm enough to deal with my son’s constant chatting and asking for him to open and close the window (the gentleman sat at the window and I sat near the aisle while my husband and step-son sat across from us). :/ I was more annoyed that my son kept crossing boundaries (ex: pointing quickly to something outside and having his arm cross the gentleman’s personal space) than the stranger was of my son!

After arriving to Sacramento, we had seen various changes. Bowling alley is closed. Buildings that were there are gone. Buildings that were NOT there are now there (ex: Smart and Final Extra). This is major adjusting time!

Looking for a job is another thing I am dealing with. Many of them I need more experience and driving license. I am working on getting my permit (need to now read the laws in California) but I need a job sooner than I can get a driving license AND also feel comfortable in driving for the sake of the job. I would love to continue my mental health counseling career. However, I will have to apply in California with California Board of Behavioral Sciences to obtain intern status in this state. Prior to that, I cannot do anything with counseling since I do not have a license and have to be under supervision. Plus, California laws are different than Tennessee so I might have to take some courses that I need to even start all of this. Ugh!

So, that is basically the update. I would write more but I need to get ready to place some more items in my storage space. As of now, my family is living with my parents until we can get a place of our own. So, most of our things are in a storage.

Gird Up Thy Loins

Hello Readers,

The following is a Bible study I was working on for the last two days (written in presentation format):

Jeremiah was given a call by the Lord during the 13th year of Josiah’s reign. God had said the following to Jeremiah: [Jeremiah 1:5, quoted]. Despite these facts, Jeremiah responded with “Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child” (verse 6). The Lord responded by saying “Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (verse 7).

God said for Jeremiah to not say that he is a child. The word “child” here in verses 6 and 7 in Hebrew (H5288) is how we, as in now-a-days, refer to the word “child” — from the age of infancy to adolescence. However, this word “child” is specifically speaking about a male; saying the words “boy,” “lad,” and “young man.”

What is God saying to Jeremiah and how can we apply it to us? Can females benefit from this? These questions didn’t come to me until after I read over the two visions in verses 11-16. In verse 17, God says something very blunt that reminds me what is commonly said to males: gird up thy loins. We say in modern times “be a man” to boys who may complain or make excuses. When I read the words, “gird up thy loins” in verse 17, I thought “Wow! That’s mighty harsh!” But then I saw what I had written in my Study Bible several years ago: armor of truth (Eph. 6:14). In Ephesians 6:10-18, we find the Christian’s Armor. Verse 14 talks about having loins girt about with truth. “Loins” in Greek, in this scripture (G3751), is referring to the hip area. This was where a belt was positioned on the armor. In Jeremiah 1:17, “loins” (H4975) is referring to the waist.

So is it safe to say the expression “gird up thy loins” and “be a man” is simply saying to “keep your pants on” with a belt of truthfulness? Don’t let deceit and lies and fears allow you to forget the truth? Remember facts and don’t allow the Devil to discourage you or allow you to forget the truth.

What is truth? For Jeremiah, the truth was he would go wherever God sent him and he would speak whatever God commanded him to speak. What is truth to us? Women, what is it in the lives of the males we love that they may be struggling to hold onto the truth? How can we help them hold onto those truths? Prayer and gentle encouragement are two ways. In a figurative way, we as women can hold up the belt of truth and gently give them the belt so others won’t see their shame of believing a lie or expressing fears that the Devil may place before them. I’m not saying we should never be fearful. However, if God has told us facts and truths, we should be reminded of these facts so that if the Devil attempts to harass us by using our emotions against us, we would understand that, this time, it’s an unhealthy fear and we should rebuke this type of fear.

So, once again, what is the truth in referring to Ephesians 6:14? “Truth” in Greek, in this passage (G226), is referring to be true in doctrine and profession. Let us hold on to truth and also share it with others.

Packing To Move Back To California

Hello Readers,

I had already announced that my family and I are transitioning back to California (see blog here). Now I would like to state the annoyance of packing. Ugh! When will it end? 😥

It’s annoying because, just when you think you won’t need something, you pack it and then, “OH, NO!!! I NEED THAT BUT IT’S ALREADY PACK!!!” 😛

So troublesome… -_-

Then changing of address. Then changing of forwarding mail. Then making sure you have things that are OUTSIDE of the home (ex: my son’s Epi Pen, Jr.).

I’ll just be glad when it is over…

My Redeemer is Faithful and True – Personal Experiences of Melanie Feathers

Hello Readers,

With all honesty, I really thought that “Amazing Grace” was my “last” autobiography (as in the last notebook that I had written way back when). Then I had found a journal that I had written my personal experiences (May 2000 – January 2005). And this is NOT the final one, either. I had came across a composition book where I had written yet ANOTHER journal. Or did I call it a diary? I think I had used the word “journal.”

So, why do I share all these things? So that someone out there will know that she or he is not alone in the way they view life. I had taken Myers-Brigg personality type indicator test more than once and, the last time I took it, my personality was INFP. This personality is about 1% or 2% of the population and, therefore, a fellow INFP may feel awfully lonely. So, here’s to others INFP and/or Christian young ladies (or even young men) who are struggling to find her/his way in life.

My Redeemer is Faithful and True

Transitioning Back To California

Hello Readers,

I have not been back to my part-time position (the one I spoke of during my last blog). I was looking for other temporary jobs but they were either conflicting with keeping the Sabbath or they ended up choosing someone else for the position. I was also looking into part-time and full-time positions from various places (ex: saw job ads, job search websites, and public library job database).

My Mom stated a while back that I should just focus on moving (hence why I was just looking for temp jobs). However, I wanted to help financially with the moving process. We are using the rest of our tax returns for the move back to California; the place my family and I had came from when we moved to Tennessee for me to take the clinical mental health counseling program at Southern Adventist University. We already have our plane tickets (which my Mom wants to surprise church members back at home so I am not sharing the date, here, for my Mom’s sake). We have enough for our Penske moving truck. My Dad is covering the amount for gas for our Penske; him and another gentleman will fly into Tennessee and then drive the truck back to California. There are some other details that I know God will work out. As long as my husband and me refrain from remaining quiet whenever someone asks us what we need or how we are doing.

I had started to pack some items that my family and I will not be using about a month or so (some time after writing my last blog). We have been gathering boxes from here and there. The annoying thing for me about moving is needing to change address to major companies that need to keep in touch with me (ex: bank, student loan leader, magazines, etc.).

While at home, I have been recalling how to help others with my medical missionary training. I usually ask for $35.00 for a consultation. I remind my consultees that I was trained through M.E.E.T. Ministry several years ago and, as M.E.E.T. Ministry states, it is only for educational purpose and it is not guaranteed to cure any disease. My title I received from this training is a Christian Lifestyle Educator and Consultant. I start with a health and nutrition questionnaire and then I take that information, use the eight laws of health (GOD’S PLAN), and then I create two separate packets for the consultee to review. I really enjoy this and I hope to help others in California with this training while I, hopefully, can find a supervisor to continue my career in mental health counseling. Since I don’t have a license, I will have to work under someone that already has a license (hence the need to find a supervisor).

I would write more but I must end, now.