Child and Adolescent

Credential_FAQ_SM.png

Still have questions?

Read our Credential FAQs or contact Rebecca Gibson, the Director, Office of Credentialing and Continuing Education, at rgibson@amhca.org



Credential_ReviewersChecklist.png

Reviewers Checklist

To assist applicants the AMHCA Credentialing Certification Board has provided the reviewers checklist as a helpful guide for you to see if you meet all the criteria before you apply.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialist in Child and Adolescent Counseling

Who is this for?

Candidates for this specialist are required to be knowledgeable with the distinctive ethics and standards of practice in the treatment of children and adolescents. Counselors must be committed to comply with legal, ethical, and practice standards related to this work: e.g. consent to treat, custody issues, limited confidentiality; mandated reporting, appropriate treatment facilities; referral relationships; etc.


What does this credential represent?

The AMHCA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialist in Child and Adolescent Counseling, establishes a clinical mental health counselor standard that demonstrates qualifying expertise in assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment, and effectual treatment evaluation. This standard enhances the services in treating child or adolescent issues, and augments the credibility of the clinical mental health counselor in working with other specialists, state agencies, and third-party payers.

Successful applicants will be awarded a certificate, and may refer to themselves as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialist or CMHC Specialist (e.g., CMHC Specialist–Child and Adolescent).


Complete Requirements

Be a Clinical Member of AMHCA

Have completed all of the licensing requirements as defined by the respective state and have been awarded the license to practice independently. As an independent practitioner, the applicant must have practiced independently for a minimum of three years after completing all state licensure requirements. 

To be recognized as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialist, the applicant must complete all of the following requirements for each area of specialization (A, B, C, D): 

  1. Complete professional development in each specialist area by at least 90 hours of professional development specifically related to the specialist area. These 90 hours must be documented by the date, course title, and number of course hours. Please note the following criteria: 
    1. One completed post-master’s degree graduate semester credit hour is equal to 15 professional development hours. 
    2. Presentation hours specifically and primarily related to the specialist area can be counted for up to 60 hours of the required professional development hours.
    3. Graduate courses taught by the applicant specifically and primarily related to the specialist area can be counted for up to 60 hours (a graduate semester hour taught equals 15 contact hours). 
    4. At least 15 of the 90 professional development hours must be earned within the past five years. 
    5. Only professional development hours completed within the past 15 years will be counted toward meeting the specialist training requirement. 
    6. All professional development hours must be completed post-master's degree in mental health counseling or a related counseling field. 
    7. Hours used for one specialist area cannot be applied to an additional specialist area application. 
    8. Alternatively, AMHCA members who are fully licensed for independent practice for five years in an area directly related to the specialty applied can document this license in lieu of documenting professional development hours in the specialty area (e.g., an LCMHC who is also fully licensed for five years as an LMFT can be awarded certification as a Specialist in Couples and Family Counseling).
  2. Applicants must complete at least 100 hours of face-to-face counseling in the specialist area. 
  3. Applicants must attest to having completed a minimum of 10 hours of specialist supervision by a licensed mental health professional who has expertise in the area. Supervision required for independent state licensure cannot be counted toward this specialist supervision requirement.
  4. Applicants must attest that they have the knowledge of the ethics and standards of practice in the specialist area and will abide by all applicable codes of ethics.  
  5. Complete application and pay fee. 

Note: You MUST log-in to the AMHCA website to be able to apply for a Credentialing Certification.

If you're not a member, don't worry - just click the "Haven't Joined Yet?" link on the righthand side of the page. Scroll to the bottom of the "Select Your Member Type" page, where you can select the "Guest Account" option. Non-members will then pay the non-member rate ($295) which includes a year of membership.

If you ARE a member, once logged in, your membership will be reflected in the pricing ($195 for members).