Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors (CCMHC) have earned their national certification and offer the highest standards of practice in clinical mental health counseling because they have met stringent education, examination, supervision, experience, and ethical requirements.

Application Requirements

You must meet the following requirements in order to obtain certification as a CCMHC. After reviewing the requirements and the CCMHC Certification Eligibility Policy, you can begin your application in our Credentialing Gateway website.


The National Certified Counselor (NCC) is a prerequisite for the CCMHC specialty. If you are not an NCC, please review these requirements.


You must have completed a total of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter hours of graduate-level academic credit in counseling from an institutionally accredited program.


All courses used to fulfill the coursework content areas, with the exception of supervised field experience, must carry at least two semester or three quarter hours of graduate-level credit. No course may be used to fulfill more than one content area. You must have taken a course covering Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment and also must have taken courses covering at least three of the following six content areas:

  • Advanced Clinical Skills
  • Family or Couples Counseling
  • Addictions or Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Human Sexuality Counseling
  • Counseling for Trauma, Violence or Abuse
  • Clinical Counseling for Special Populations

Learn more about the required coursework content areas.

In addition, you must have completed nine semester or 15 quarter hours of clinical training in supervised field experience. If you do not have nine semester or 15 quarter hours of supervised field experience, you may make use of one of the following alternative options:

  • Six semester or 10 quarter hours of clinical training in supervised experience and a full state license
  • Six semester or 10 quarter hours of clinical training in supervised experience and an additional 120 hours of direct supervision
  • Three semester or five quarter hours of clinical training in supervised experience and 10 continuous years as a fully state-licensed counselor


You must document at least 100 hours of postgraduate clinical supervision. The individual verifying supervision cannot be related to the applicant and cannot be the same individual providing the professional endorsement.

Professional Endorsement

You must obtain endorsement from a professional colleague who holds a master’s degree or higher in a mental health field. The individual providing endorsement cannot be related to the applicant and cannot be the same individual verifying supervision.

Work Experience

You must document at least 3,000 hours of postgraduate clinical client work experience.


Since you must be an NCC in order to apply for this specialty, you are required to adhere to NBCC’s ethical policies, including the NBCC Code of Ethics, the Certification Eligibility Policy - Ethics, and the Ethics Case Procedures. These important policies are available at: nbcc.org/ethics/certification.

Examination Requirement

You must have a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). You can register for the exam as part of the application for the CCMHC or can document a passing result gained through a state licensure process or other administration.

Examination Information

For purposes of national certification, the NCMHCE is offered twice a year (April and October) in a computer-based exam format at a Pearson VUE testing center. Your exam results will be uploaded to your Credentialing Gateway account within four to five weeks of the examination.

Application Fees for Certification

Credential Without Exam Registration Exam Registration Included
NCC $250 $375
CCMHC $250 $375
NCSC $250 N/A

Begin Application


Once you complete the application process, you will need to meet ongoing requirements in order to maintain your CCMHC.

CCMHC Questions:


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