General Info & Requirements

Information about licensees regulated by the Board, and where to find services.

  • What is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)?


    1. For the purposes of this chapter, the practice of marriage and family therapy shall mean the application of psychotherapeutic and family systems theories, principles, and methods in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, or groups in order to assess, evaluate, and treat relational issues, emotional disorders, behavioral problems, mental illness, alcohol and substance use, and to modify intrapersonal and interpersonal behaviors.
    2. The application of marriage and family therapy principles and methods includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
      1. Assessment, evaluation, and prognosis.
      2. Treatment, planning, and evaluation.
      3. Individual, relationship, family, or group therapeutic interventions.
      4. Relational therapy.
      5. Psychotherapy.
      6. Client education.
      7. Clinical case management.
      8. Consultation.
      9. Supervision.
      10. Use, application, and integration of the coursework and training required by Sections 4980.36, 4980.37, and 4980.41, as applicable.
    3. The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision do not constitute a change in, but are declaratory of, existing law. It is the intent of the Legislature that these amendments shall not be construed to expand or constrict the existing scope of practice of a person licensed pursuant to this chapter.
  • What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)?


    The practice of clinical social work is defined as a service in which a special knowledge of social resources, human capabilities, and the part that unconscious motivation plays in determining behavior, is directed at helping people to achieve more adequate, satisfying, and productive social adjustments. The application of social work principles and methods includes, but is not restricted to, counseling and using applied psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature with individuals, families, or groups; providing information and referral services; providing or arranging for the provision of social services; explaining or interpreting the psychosocial aspects in the situations of individuals, families, or groups; helping communities to organize, to provide, or to improve social or health services; or doing research related to social work.

    Psychotherapy, within the meaning of this chapter, is the use of psychosocial methods within a professional relationship, to assist the person or persons to achieve a better psychosocial adaptation, to acquire greater human realization of psychosocial potential and adaptation, to modify internal and external conditions which affect individuals, groups, or communities in respect to behavior, emotions, and thinking, in respect to their intrapersonal and interpersonal processes.

  • What is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)?

    §4999.20. SCOPE OF PRACTICE

    The scope of practice for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs) is set forth in California Business and Professions Code section 4999.20 and Title 16, California Code of Regulations, Section 1820.5, both of which are available in the Board’s Statutes and Regulations handbook.

    Section 4999.20. (a):

    (1) "Professional clinical counseling" means the application of counseling interventions and psychotherapeutic techniques to identify and remediate cognitive, mental, and emotional issues, including personal growth, adjustment to disability, crisis intervention, and psychosocial and environmental problems, and the use, application, and integration of the coursework and training required by Sections 4999.32 and 4999.33. "Professional clinical counseling" includes conducting assessments for the purpose of establishing counseling goals and objectives to empower individuals to deal adequately with life situations, reduce stress, experience growth, change behavior, and make well-informed, rational decisions.

    (2) "Professional clinical counseling" is focused exclusively on the application of counseling interventions and psychotherapeutic techniques for the purposes of improving mental health, and is not intended to capture other, nonclinical forms of counseling for the purposes of licensure. For purposes of this paragraph, "nonclinical" means nonmental health.

  • What is a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP)?

    Section 4989.14: Scope of Practice

    The practice of educational psychology is the performance of any of the following professional functions pertaining to academic learning processes or the education system or both:

    (a) Educational evaluation.

    (b) Diagnosis of psychological disorders related to academic learning processes.

    (c) Administration of diagnostic tests related to academic learning processes including tests of academic ability, learning patterns, achievement, motivation, and personality factors.

    (d) Interpretation of diagnostic tests related to academic learning processes including tests of academic ability, learning patterns, achievement, motivation, and personality factors.

    (e) Providing psychological counseling for individuals, groups, and families.

    (f) Consultation with other educators and parents on issues of social development and behavioral and academic difficulties.

    (g) Conducting psychoeducational assessments for the purposes of identifying special needs.

    (h) Developing treatment programs and strategies to address problems of adjustment.

    (i) Coordinating intervention strategies for management of individual crises.

  • How to Find Services
  • About

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) enacts sweeping changes in how the healthcare professions handle the administrative details of their practices, and contains a broad and stringent framework, for the privacy and confidentiality of personally identifiable health information. This Federal statute was enacted as Public Law 104-191. Further information regarding this act can be found at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website.

  • Issues Addressed

    The Administrative Simplification provisions of HIPAA (Title II of the Act) require HHS to establish national standards for electronic health care transactions, and national identifiers for providers, health plans, and employers. Covered entities must comply with the technical standards and data sets adopted by HHS. HIPAA also addresses the security and privacy of health data, and establishes stringent procedures, which covered persons and entities must follow, in obtaining and disclosing personally identifiable health information.

  • Additional Info

    Licensing boards do not administer the provisions of HIPAA. Therefore, the Board cannot licensees with guidance, regarding HIPAA compliance. Licensees with HIPAA questions should seek answers through the following resources:

  • About
    • Under law, “telehealth” is the mode of delivering health care via information and communication technologies, including, but not limited to, telephone and/or internet
    • Licensees may deliver health care, under their scope of practice, via telehealth, under certain conditions
    • Licensees are responsible for understanding all applicable laws, to deliver health care via telehealth
    • Failure to comply with any provisions regarding telehealth may be subject to disciplinary action by the Board
  • Comprehensive Requirements and Applicable Laws

    Detailed explanations regarding telehealth requirements, for licensees and registrants, are contained in the following statutes and regulations:

    • California Code of Regulation Title 16 §1815.5: Standards of Practice for Telehealth
    • Business and Professions Code §2290.5
  • Clients in California

    This section applies to clients who are physically located in California.

    • Individuals providing psychotherapy or counseling, either in person, via telephone, or via internet, must be licensed in California.
  • Clients Outside of California

    This section applies to clients who are physically located out-of-state.

    • California licensees or registrants who wish to engage in telehealth with a client located in another jurisdiction need to check with that jurisdiction to determine its laws related to telehealth, and if licensure in that jurisdiction is required.  Several states currently consider a client located in their state to be under their jurisdiction.  Therefore, a practitioner needs to comply with that jurisdiction’s laws in order to avoid any potential violations of those laws.
  • Inform and Consent

    Prior to the delivery of health care via telehealth, the provider initiating the use of telehealth shall:

    • Inform the patient about the use of telehealth; AND
    • Obtain, and document, verbal or written consent from the patient for this use
  • Confidentiality
    • All laws regarding the confidentiality of health care information and a patient's right to their medical information shall apply to telehealth interactions.
  • Additional Info

    Additional information regarding telehealth is contained in the following statutes and regulations:

    • California Code of Regulation Title 16 §1815.5: Standards of Practice for Telehealth
    • Business and Professions Code §2290.5
  • Consumer Tips

    California Consumers are advised to be cautious when seeking counseling or psychotherapy via telehealth, by understanding the following:

    • Always verify the license!
    • Individuals providing counseling or psychotherapy must be licensed in the State of California
    • Licensees must disclose to the consumer, their license type and number, prior to commencement of services
    • Fees being charged for services, as well as how and to whom the fee will be paid
    • Methods used by the licensee, to ensure confidential communication
    • Risks and benefits of counseling and psychotherapy via telehealth

Californians aged 65 and over are one of the fastest growing populations in the state. The World Health Organization reports that nearly one in four adults aged 60 and over lives with a mental health condition.

You and your loved ones deserve to live long, healthy, happy lives. Mental health conditions, including depression (the most common condition diagnosed in older adults), are not a normal part of growing older. Such conditions are often undiagnosed and untreated.

We all know that it's important to see a physician on a regular basis to maintain good health. However, many people are not aware of the overall health benefits of addressing mental health. Mental health and physical health do have an impact on each other, so addressing both is important.

Seeing a mental health professional, finding a support group and learning more about mental health conditions can help greatly.

Below is a list designed to help you learn about mental health issues and conditions, find resources in your area, and more.