How To Check If A Therapist Is Licensed To Practice Online Therapy In Your State

Medically reviewed by Audrey Kelly
Updated November 10, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Deciding to get therapy isn’t an easy decision to make. So, it stands to reason that you want to make the best decision possible when choosing your online mental health care provider. As we turn to online therapy options for getting treatment, support, and advice — online license lookup options make it easier for us to find the best-qualified therapists to meet our needs.

Looking up your therapist’s credentials can help you feel more safe about their expertise and treatment recommendations. Using online license lookup tools is making it easier than ever to verify therapy credentials online. 

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What Credentials Are Required To Practice Therapy Online?

It may surprise you to learn that online and in-office therapy credentials are one and the same. Each state has its own set of rules, guidelines, and laws for a degreed therapist or counselor to practice within their state. While therapy laws can vary from state to state, in most cases, the rules and laws for licensed therapy professionals are similar.

In order for a mental health professional to become licensed, they must first complete the required education and training before seeking licensure from their state licensing board. The education and training for therapy licensure consist of completion of a master’s degree level program or higher, passing the state-required examination (administered by your state licensing board) and, finally, completing the required hands-on clinical practice hours.

Both online and offline therapists are required to complete rigorous educational requirements that include completing a degree at the master’s level. Once prospective therapist receives their graduate degree in the related fields of psychology, counseling, social work, or human services, they become officially eligible to complete state licensing board-required testing.

When prospective marriage and family, licensed professional counselor, and licensed social work candidates successfully complete the testing provided by the state licensing board, the next step is to complete hands-on clinical training in their chosen fields. When you see a therapist or counselor, they’ve already had thousands of hours of experience and clinical training in their area of specialty. 

Once these professionals have successfully met the criteria and been successfully licensed by the state, they become searchable in the online license lookups managed by state licensing boards.

The Path To Licensure For Clinical Therapy Candidates

As mentioned, hands-on clinical training is required for therapy candidates. This means completing a set number of hours providing therapy services and treatment in hospitals, clinics, and therapy practice environments under the supervision of a senior in their field. This is the final step candidates must take before completing all requirements set forth by the state licensing board.

Most states require a minimum of 1500-3000 hours of hands-on clinical practice before therapy candidates are eligible to apply for a license with their relevant state agencies.

After completing all requirements, the prospective therapist submits their licensing application to their state licensing board for review. The state licensing board will review therapy licensing requirements recommended by the American Psychological Association and similar agencies before granting a license to practice therapy with a license number that contains the terms of their license information.

If you need to verify a license or if you want to find a comprehensive license lookup by state, the American Counseling Association maintains an updated list of state licensing requirements and links for you to verify a license by state.

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How To Check If A Therapist Is Licensed To Practice Therapy In Your State

When you take the important step to change your life by getting therapy, you’ll likely want to make sure you’re getting the best care available. To find out if your therapist is licensed in your state, there are two primary options available. 

Method #1. Talk To Your Therapist

If you don’t want to look up a license number on your own using the online license lookup tool, you can ask your therapist to provide you with a copy of their licensing credentials. Most therapists are happy to provide you with verification of their credentials. 

If you find a therapist who is unwilling or unable to provide you with their current license information, you may need to do additional research. Some may ask that you the license lookup tool for your state if they don’t have easy to their credentials.

Method #2. Check With Your State Licensing Board

A quick Google search can point you in the right direction for finding the licensing board in your state that is responsible for issuing licenses to regional therapy providers. 

Visiting your state licensing board websites license lookup portal can help you understand what your state requires to become licensed. Your state licensing board license lookup will include the therapist license number, active or inactive status, and other license lookup options that make it easy to verify a license online. The tool can also tell you when a specific therapist became licensed to practice therapy in your state and if they’ve had many complaints.

When you use the online license lookup option on the state licensing board website, you can verify a license for any therapist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed professional counselor, and marriage and family therapists in your state. A therapist who is licensed to practice therapy in an in-office clinical environment like a practice, doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic, is also eligible to extend their practice to include providing therapy treatments online. 

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The Benefits Of Online Therapy With Regain

Online therapy services with Regain provide flexible, affordable, and discreet options for healing the issues in yours and your family’s lives. Online counseling options are available for individuals, couples, families, and groups.

You can also rest assured that the quality of the care you receive with Regain isn’t compromised by its online status. Studies have shown that, when compared to traditional in-person therapy interventions, online counseling was just as effective in providing long-lasting support and improvement to the symptoms of a wide range of mental health conditions. 

Not convinced? Check out reviews from real people like you below.

Counselor Reviews

“I don’t know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him.”

"My experience with Priscilla has been immensely helpful in better understanding myself and providing me with the tools to see my life and relationships with more clarity and compassion."

Takeaway

Therapists both online and in person go through rigorous education and training to ensure that you are receiving high quality mental health care from an expert in the field. Their credentials verify this effort and dedication to their work; being able to easily find those credentials can help put your mind at ease and make seeking treatment easier.

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