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1) What is the difference between ACA, AMHCA and DCMHCA?

The American Counseling Association (ACA) 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 (AMHCA) focuses all of its efforts on clinical mental health counselors and educators. All of advocacy, continuing education and research is entirely about clinical mental health counseling. More information can be found at

The DC Mental Health Counselors Association (DCMHCA) is the citywide Professional Association for Licensed Professional Counselors in the District of Columbia. The DCMHCA is chartered as a state branch of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. The DCMHCA is an advocate for LPCs and LGPCs in the District of Columbia and works to enhance opportunities for professional growth, employment, clinical competency, parity and legislative equity, while ensuring that quality mental health treatment services are available and accessible to those we serve.

2) How do I join DCMHCA?

You can join DCMHCA on our website.

3) What are the licensure requirements for the District of Columbia?

Click this website for full details,

4) 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 its mission can be found at

5) What colleges and universities are CACREP certified?

You can find a list of all CACREP certified colleges and universities on CACREP’s website, here:

6) What are the NCE and the NCMHCE?

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

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


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.

7) 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


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