Frequently Asked Questions

Profession

What is a CMHC?
CMHC stands for clinical mental health counseling. Clinical mental health counseling is a distinct profession with national standards for education, training and clinical practice. Clinical mental health counselors are highly-skilled professionals who provide flexible, consumer-oriented therapy. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical, problem-solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution.



What do all those acronyms mean?
Different states have difference titles for their counselors. Below are some common ones that you will find.
CMHC Clinical Mental Health Counselor
LPC Licensed Professional Counselors
LMHC Licensed Mental Health Counselor
LPCC Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
LCPC Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
NCC National Certified Counselor



What is the difference between AMHCA and ACA?
The American Counseling Association has a broad focus on all counselors regardless of their specialty. This can mean rehabilitation counselors, school counselors, employment counseling, and many more. The American Mental Health Counselors Association focuses all of its efforts on just clinical mental health counselors and educators. All of our advocacy, continuing education and research is entirely about clinical mental health counseling. Read a history of AMHCA here.




Membership

How do I join AMHCA?
You can join AMHCA on our website. Join as a new member. Renew your membership.



What benefits do I receive as a member of AMHCA?
AMHCA members receive benefits like lower member only rates on professional liability insurance plans, the opportunity to earn continuing education credits, networking opportunities, a free copy of our digital monthly e-newsletter, the Advocate, and access to the quarterly Journal of Mental Health Counseling.

Our AMHCA student member benefits include free professional liability insurance, networking opportunities, a free copy of our digital monthly e-newsletter, the Advocate, access to the quarterly Journal of Mental Health Counseling, and discounted student rates for the AMHCA Annual Conference.



I forgot my username and/or password.

If you are a registered AMHCA member, click on the “Forgot username/password” link under the login box. An e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address you registered with prompting next steps.



Why is it beneficial for me to become an AMHCA member now, while I'm still in school?

AMHCA offers a plethora of opportunities including being connected to a network of individuals who care about the clinical mental health counseling profession and the ability to become involved in advocating and lobbying for your profession. AMHCA Student Section has useful listings, links, and general information to assist your academic and professional activities. And, if you get involved with the Graduate Student Committee, you've got a great resume builder!



Graduate Student Liability Insurance

What is professional liability insurance?
Professional liability insurance covers the insured for amounts up to the limits of liability that insureds become legally obligated to pay as a result of a claim for negligent acts, errors or omissions arising out of a covered incident. Download our Roadmap to Coverage for more information.



Who is CPH & Associates?

CPH & Associates is an industry-leading provider of Professional Liability Insurance for allied health and mental health professionals nationwide. With coverage options for students, provisionally licensed counselors, fully licensed professionals, and business entities, CPH is proud to be the exclusively endorsed Professional Liability Insurance partner for the AMHCA. As a benefit of membership with AMHCA, student members receive free Professional Liability Insurance through CPH. Learn more about our insurance coverage highlights and program benefits at www.cphins.com.



How do I know I'm covered?
You will now self-enroll through the CPH & Associates AMHCA Student Portal, to receive your proof of coverage (certificate of insurance) immediately. If you need immediate assistance, please call our Membership department at 800-326-2642 x108.



When am I covered?
Coverage is available to AMHCA student members solely while performing counseling services related to their Master’s degree or Doctoral degree curriculum. Coverage terminates when the student graduates from the program, or their AMHCA membership is terminated. The AMHCA membership expiration date is the policy expiration date. To continue coverage, it is vital that you renew your AMHCA membership and indicate that you wish to renew your coverage before your expiration date.



What coverage does the policy provide? What activities does it cover?

The AMHCA student policy is designed to provide registered AMHCA students with professional liability protection while performing therapeutic services (e.g. practicum) related to their counseling curriculum. This policy will pay for defense against covered claims and provide professional liability limits up to $1,000,000 per claim, and a $3,000,000 annual aggregate.


Who is covered?
AMHCA student members are eligible for coverage when they are enrolled and engaged in Master’s degree, or Doctoral degree counseling at a post secondary institution. Coverage is available to AMHCA student members solely while performing therapy or counseling services related to such a curriculum.


Who is not covered?
Licensed Mental Health Counselors, or other licensed professionals, are not eligible for coverage under this policy. Neither are those who are Post Masters or Post Doctoral working under supervision towards a license. If proof of coverage has been received by an ineligible AMHCA student member in error, there is no coverage afforded to that member under this policy. AMHCA recommends contacting CPH and Associates for professional liability insurance at www.cphins.com.


Who do I call in case of claim?
In the event of a situation that could lead to a claim or suit, please contact CPH and Associations at 800-875-1911.


What happens after I graduate?
Coverage under the AMHCA Student policy terminates on the date you graduated from a masters or doctoral program. CPH and Associates offers Post-masters and Post-doctoral coverage at a discounted rate. Visit www.cphins.com to upgrade your policy, or call 800-875-1911.



If I saw a client during practicum or internship and they file a lawsuit after I graduate, am I covered?
The AMHCA student policy is written on an occurrence form. An occurrence policy provides lifetime coverage for the policy period. Therefore if a claim or suit is alleged for dates of treatment arising during the policy, the insured is covered up to the limits of liability regardless of when the claim is reported.




Professional Development

How do I find out about the annual conference?
Our Annual Conference is held every year in July. You can find out information on our Annual Conference, by clicking on the “CONFERENCE” link at the top of our main page. Our 2017 Annual Conference will be held July 27-29, 2017 in Washington, DC at the Mayflower Hotel.



How can I earn CEs with AMHCA?
You can earn CEs with AMHCA though our webinars or in person at our conference. You can click on "Events" for new opportunities to earn CEs.





Careers, Jobs, Networking, Roles

What are the certification requirements for my State?
Check with your State's certification board to find out what exactly is required in your State.



What is CACREP?
CACREP stands for the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. They promote excellence in professional preparation through the accreditation of counseling and related educational programs. They are the accrediting body of counseling programs in colleges and universities in the United States. They are committed to developing standards for preparing practitioners, encouraging the excellence of a program and the accreditation of professional preparation programs.

More information about CACREP and it's mission can be found at www.cacrep.org.

What makes AMHCA distinct among the other counseling organizations is the predominance of clinical practitioners among the membership. Consequently, when CACREP addresses changes in the training standards for clinical mental health counselors, AMHCA, as an organization, offers a response. However, beyond the formal AMHCA organizational response, our members' and other stakeholders' individual opinions also carry significant weight and their voices need to be heard. After all, who better to offer an opinion about training standards than active clinical practitioners?

Press Release: AMHCA Praises NBCC Action on CACREP, November 19, 2014



What colleges and universities are CACREP certified?
You can find a list of all CACREP certified colleges and universities on CACREP’s website, here: http://www.cacrep.org/directory/.



What are the NCE and the NCMHCE?
The NCE is the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification. The NCMHCE is that National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination. For more information on these two exams visit www.nbcc.org.

NCE NCMHCE
The National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) is a 200-item multiple-choice examination designed to assess knowledge, skills and abilities determined to be important for providing effective counseling services. The NCE is also used by the military health systems.

The NCE was first used in 1983, as part of the NCC application process, and continues to undergo regular review and development to ensure it represents the current reality of practice and research in the counseling profession. 
 The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) consists of 10 clinical simulations designed to sample a broad area of competencies, not merely the recall of isolated facts. The NCMHCE is a requirement for counselor licensure in many states and for the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) national certification. The NCMHCE is also used by the military health systems.

State counselor licensure boards contract with NBCC to use one or both of these examinations.

 

Should I take the NCE or the NCMHCE?
The choice is completely yours: State counselor licensure boards contract with NBCC to use one or both of these examinations. The NCE is taken most often by final year graduate students, in the pursuit of becoming a National Certified Counselor. Many of your peers nationwide seek this credential, but it is by no means a requirement of the field per se. If you choose to take it, most likely your program has a person designated as the ‘NBCC Campus Coordinator'. Ask your Advisor who this person is. If you are no longer a student, you may contact NBCC directly at www.nbcc.org.



Publications

How do I get my manuscript published in the JMHC?
Click here to find out what our Journal is about and how to get published.

 

 

Website and Community

General

How do I control what information is visible in My Profile?
Go to "My Profile”  and click on the “Settings” tab. Choose "Privacy" from the drop-down menu. This will let you control what information is visible to whom. After you’ve made changes, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.

 

Contacts / Connections

How do I find other members?
Click the “Directory” link found in the main navigation bar. The Directory lets you search for other members based on:

  • First and/or last name
  • Company/Institution name
  • Email address

 

Switch to the “Advanced Search” tab to increase your search to:

  • City
  • State
  • Country
  • Community
  • Education



How do I add contacts to my contact list?
There are several ways to add contacts. When you perform a search in the Directory, you will see an “Add as contact” button to the right of each person in your search results. Just click this button to send a contact request. If you click through and view an individual’s profile, you can click the contact request link to the right of his or her profile picture.




Why should I add contacts to my contact list?
Creating this virtual address book makes it easy to send your contacts messages through the community site to stay in touch, ask questions or even build a referral network. Additionally, when you view another member’s profile, you’ll be able to see any contacts you have in common. You can also choose to let your contacts view certain demographics in your profile that others can't.




Communities / Discussions

What are communities?
Communities allow you to participate in discussions and share resources with other members.




What communities do I already belong to?
Go to “Communities” in the main navigation bar. Select “My Communities” to view the communities you’re currently a part of.




How do I join/subscribe to a community and the affiliated Discussion Group?
Hover over “Communities” and click on “All Communities” in order to see a list of available communities. Click on the community that you wish to join and simply click "Join," then choose a delivery option for posts (Real Time, Daily Digest, Legacy or No Email).




How do I create a new community?
Under "Communities" > "All Communities," there is a button called "Create New Community." This will open a "Manage Community" page that will prompt you to name the Community, set the viewing permissions, create an affiliated Resource Library and Discussion Group, and invite other users to join the Community.




How can I control the frequency and format of emails I receive?
Go to My Profile and click on the "Settings" tab. Choose Subscriptions from the drop-down menu. On that page, you'll see an option for Text or HTML. By default, this is set to HTML, and we encourage you to leave it set to this if your email client can support it. However, if you are having problems viewing the HTML version or if it takes too long to open, please switch to the text version.




For each discussion, you have the following delivery options:
  • Real time: sends an email every time a new message is posted
  • Daily digest: sends one email to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day
  • Legacy: sends real-time text versions of the posts, which are compatible with Blackberries and most other handheld devices. This option also allows you to reply without logging into a web browser, but it does NOT allow you to include attachments with your post.
  • No Email: allows you to be part of the group without having emails sent to you. You can still post and read others’ messages by logging into the community site.



How do I leave a community or unsubscribe from a discussion?
Go to My Profile and click on the "Settings" tab. Choose Subscriptions from the drop-down menu. Here, you will see a list of available communities and those to which you’ve subscribed. Select “Unsubscribe” for the discussions you wish to leave and click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page. You will get a message confirming that your subscription options have been successfully updated. This can take several seconds if you change your settings for several groups at the same time.



How do I respond to others’ posts?
Click “Reply to Discussion” to send your message to the entire community or “Reply to Sender” to only send your message back to the sender; both links are located to the right of the post. We recommend replying to the sender for simple comments like “me, too” that add little value to the overall discussion; and replying to the entire community when you are sharing knowledge, experience or resources that others could benefit from.




How do I start a new discussion thread?
Go to “Participate" > “Post a message.” From an email (HTML version) for a particular discussion forum, you can use the “Post Message” link in the right navigation bar.




I’m having trouble viewing the HTML email messages. How do I fix this?
If images are not appearing, it is likely that your email client is set to suppress images. This should be something you can change in your security or viewing options. If you would rather receive text-based email, go to My Profile and click on the "Settings" tab. Choose Subscriptions from the drop-down menu. Select the “Text” format option near the top of the page. Be sure to hit “Save” at the bottom of the page once you’ve made this change.




Why do I have to post messages and reply through the website?
There are many features made possible because of the web interface:

  • When you send an attachment through this new system, it automatically places it in the Community’s library and sends a link to members.
  • Because it sends a link, you can share files up to 1GB in size and just about any file type.   
  • All posts and associated resources are automatically archived and easily searchable.

 




Can I search for posts across all the communities?
Yes. Enter a keyword in the search bar. From the results page, you can filter on content type, date range or posted by. Click on "Advanced Search" for even more options.




How do I see a listing of all of the posts to a specific Community?
Locate the community you are interested in viewing from the appropriate communities page. Click through the community's landing page, then click on the “Discussions” tab. If you see a post you’re interested in, click the subject line which will take you to the entire thread. “Show original message” at the bottom of all of the posts in a thread will display the original message that started that discussion. The “Author’s Messages” link will show you all of the posts that particular member has contributed to that community.




Libraries

How do I find resources that may have been uploaded by other members?
If you know which library the resource might be located in, find the community on the appropriate communities page. Click through the community's landing page, then click on the “Library” tab . If you do not know where the resource might be, enter search terms in the main search box the same way you might enter search terms into Google or another search engine.




Can I search for specific file types?
Yes. Enter your desired keyword in the main search box. From the search results page, click "Show Advanced Search."  Then click on “Search for Specific File Types.” This gives you the option to specify file type: Document, Image, Spreadsheet, etc.



How do the libraries get populated?
The libraries are populated in two ways: When you include an attachment in a discussion post, the system automatically places it in the library. You can also upload documents directly by using the “Share a file” link found under “Participate” in the main navigation or "Create a new library entry" on any community's library page. Library resources are not required to be associated with a discussion thread.




How do I upload a file?
Select the “Share a file” link found under “Participate” in the main navigation or "Create a new library entry" on any community's landing page. Please note that uploading a document is done in a few steps, and each step must be completed before you can move on to the next:

  • Choose a title for your document, include a description (optional), select the library to which you’d like to upload it, select a folder to which you’d like to upload it (optional) and choose an Entry Type (most will be Standard Files, but be cognizant of any copyright licensed material). Then click “Next.”
  • Browse and upload your file. Click “Next” if you want to add tags to your file or click “Finish” (you may have to scroll down to access these buttons).

 



What kind of files can I upload?
The system supports dozens of file types including hyperlinks, standard files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), webinars, images and YouTube videos.




What are the “tags” for?
Tags are another way of organizing and searching for documents. You can help others find the file you uploaded by including tags when you upload it. There are many pre-loaded tag categories to choose from.