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Counselors Association

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Frequently Asked Questions


The Washington Mental Health Counselor Association makes every attempt to make sure the information on this page is accurate and up to date. Policy and legislation are constantly changing, and the association attempts to update this information in a timely manner. If you notice inaccurate information, please contact us.

What type of Liability Insurance should I get?

Professional liability insurance, also called professional indemnity insurance or more commonly known as errors and omissions in the US, is a form of liability insurance which helps protect the provider of service from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client and any damages awarded in such a civil lawsuit proceeding. Your insurance provider can give you expert advise on the type of liability insurance you should get for your practice, as well as the amount

What is important to know about supervision?

Hiring a supervisor is an important decision. WMHCA provides resources to find a supervisor in the state of Washington. Depending on your license status, it may require you to operate under the supervision of someone you have hired as a supervisor for a duration of time set forth in the license requirements. How often you meet, what you pay are all questions to address with any potential, or chosen, supervisor. Typically supervision is sought or required for therapists new to the profession and there may be many questions. WMHCA has a Facebook page with many members interacting within the WMHCA community.

What are the CE requirements?

Every two years, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed social workers must complete 36 hours of continuing education per WAC 246-809-630 . At least six of the 36 hours must be in professional ethics and law. These may include topics under RCW 18.130.180.

Every six years, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed social workers must complete six hours of training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management per. The training must meet the requirements of WAC 246-809-615.

Licensed associates must complete a total of 18 hours of CE every year. Associates must include six hours of CE in professional ethics and law every two years. The six hours of ethics and law may contribute to the total 18 hours of CE for the year in which the CE was completed.

Licensed social worker associate advanced, and licensed social worker associate independent clinical must complete six hours of suicide assessment, treatment, and management CE after initial licensure and before the first renewal in accordance with WAC 246-809-615 and WAC 246-809-630.

Every two years, retired active, licensed marriage and family therapists, retired active, licensed mental health counselors, and retired active, licensed social workers must complete 18 hours of CE. At least six of the 18 hours must be in professional ethics and law. Sourced from the Department of Health Website .

How do I know what courses are approved?

The continuing education program or course must be relevant and contribute to advancing, extending, and enhancing the professional competence of the licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health counselor, or licensed social worker (WAC 246-809-610). More information can be found on the Department of Health Website.

Who can I go to free of charge?When you are a member of WMHCA there are resources for ethical consultations and board members who are available to answer many questions related to the profession.

What are the Health Equity Training Standards?

As of January 1, 2024 all providers licensed under Title 18 must take two (2) continuing education credits of health equity training every four (4) years.  This includes associates.


The training must:

  • Include implicit bias training to identify strategies to reduce bias during assessment and diagnosis and may include, but is not limited to, at least one of the topics below

  • Instruction on skills to address the structural factors, such as bias, racism, and poverty, that manifest as health inequities.

  • Self-reflection to assess how the licensee's social position can influence their relationship with clients and their communities.

  • Strategies for recognizing patterns of health care disparities on an individual, institutional, and structural level and eliminating factors that influence them.

  • Intercultural communication skills training, including how to work effectively with an interpreter and how communication styles differ across cultures.

  • Have trainers with demonstrated knowledge and experience related to health equity. Research referenced in the training must be based on current empirical research and known best practices.

  • The courses must assess the licensee's ability to apply health equity concepts into practice

  • An assessment at the end of an in-person or virtual continuing education training to determine knowledge gained during that training or

  • A document provided at the end of an in-person or virtual continuing education training that attests to attendance at the training.

Other topics that meet the requirements are:

  • Methods for addressing the emotional well-being of children and youth of diverse backgrounds.

  • Ensuring equity and anti-racism in care delivery pertaining to medical developments and emerging therapies.

  • Structural competency training addressing five core competencies:

  • Recognizing the structures that shape clinical interactions.

  • Developing an extra-clinical language of structure.

  • Re-articulating "cultural" formulations in structural terms.

  • Observing and imagining structural interventions; and

  • Developing structural humility.

  • Cultural safety training.

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