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Licensure and Certification

FAQ’s About Licensing and Certification

I’m studying at BGSP in Boston or New York. Can I get licensed?
Licensing occurs when a state government regulates the practice of a profession. Certification by a state is similar to licensing, except it regulates the use of a professional title, such as “certified psychoanalyst,” without regulating the practice of the profession. (N.b. Graduates of psychoanalytic institutes have traditionally been called “Certified Psychoanalysts”, certified by the institute from which they graduated. State regulation is a different matter.)

Currently, the profession of psychoanalysis is regulated by a handful of states: New York has a psychoanalyst licensing law. Graduation from either the Psya.D. or the Certificate program in Boston satisfies the educational requirements for licensure in New York.

Massachusetts does not currently regulate psychoanalysis, so you don’t need a license to practice psychoanalysis in Massachusetts. The M.A. Program in Mental Health Counseling prepares students to be eligible for certification as Licensed Mental Health Counselors in Massachusetts.

Don’t I need a license in order to take insurance?
Because there are many clinical consequences of involving a third party (the insurance company) in the treatment process – hence the term “managed” care – the practice of psychoanalysis typically takes place in the self-pay, private practice model. Nevertheless, like many of our students, you may be interested in working with people outside of this model while you study and/or build a psychoanalytic practice.

Your eligibility for third party payments and insurance reimbursements is determined by the insurance company whose payment you are seeking. Licensure in psychoanalysis will not guarantee that insurance companies will pay you. However, licensure in other disciplines, such as mental health counseling, social work, and psychology, does make you much more eligible to receive third party payments.

I really want a job in a mental health agency, where I can apply what I’ve learned at BGSP. What can I do?
Many of our students pursue a license in mental health counseling, commonly called the LMHC. Rules, regulations, requirements, and the application for this license in Massachusetts can be found at here.

BGSP’s Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling degree satisfies the educational requirements, including practicum and internship, for the LMHC in Massachusetts and many other states. Be sure to check the regulations for the state in which you are interested in practicing.