Since the qualifications for each of the psychotherapy professions is largely consistent across state lines, it makes sense for the professions to do what they can to make it easier to take your license from one state to another. In recent months, there have been a handful of advances in license portability. Here’s where each of the professions stands today.
The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards has an Agreement of Reciprocity in place between four US states (Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas) and two Canadian provinces (Manitoba and Ontario). If you are licensed at the doctoral level in any of these locations, you can obtain a license to practice in any of the others.
The ASPPB is also working on what it calls PSYPACT, a multi-state agreement to facilitate practice across state boundaries. Once at least seven states have signed on (Arizona is the only one so far), participating Psychologists will be able to use certificates granted by ASPPB to conduct telehealth and temporary in-person therapy for clients in other participating states.
As I previously reported, four states (Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia) have agreed to an interstate compact on counselor license reciprocity. The American Association of State Counseling Boards has also proposed a five-year plan for portability, encouraging states to adopt laws allowing a counselor who has been licensed in any other state for five years to be licensed in their state.
Growth in portability may be have particular challenges for counselors that are not present for the other professions, given that some states’ counselor licensure is limited to mental health care while other states use a broader scope.
Clinical Social Work
While the current Strategic Plan of the Association of Social Work Boards includes “Achieve licensure mobility” among its objectives, it does not appear that there are organized efforts toward interstate compacts or multistate practice at this time. Portability is addressed by each state as they see fit.
Marriage and Family Therapy
Like clinical social workers, MFTs appear to have no organized national efforts toward portability at this time. The Association of MFT Regulatory Boards developed this chart of MFT license requirements in 2015. It includes information on how each state addresses portability.