Counseling and Therapy Practice

Counseling and Therapy Practice: Overview

The Board sets professional, ethical and continued educational standards for counselors and therapists. The Board also investigates complaints from the public about unprofessional or unethical conduct, and takes disciplinary action when required.



The Counseling and Therapy Practice Board and the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department are implementing a new automated licensing system. This investment will simplify the licensing process, making it easier for applicants and licensees to apply for and renew licenses in New Mexico, eliminating paper forms, money orders, and cut down on staff time required to process, review, approve and renew licensees.

ALL RENEWALS for 2021 will be completed using the new system.

APPLICATIONS for initial licensure must be submitted through the new system once it goes live, a date that is expected by the end of 2021 and will be posted here once announced. Once live, applications will be accessed through the board’s licensing services page (HERE).

For more information about the new licensing system, including step-by-step instructions and how to login to the portal, can be found at the Board’s licensing page by clicking HERE.




LSAA Scope of Practice:

“Per the Board Meeting held 10/21/2016, the LSAA Scope of Practice has been clarified and put into policy per the memo approved unanimously by the entire Board.”

Policy Memorandum

October 21, 2016

New Mexico has four tiers of drug and alcohol counselors:

  • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (LADAC)
  • Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA)
  1. Tier 1: Associate’s Degree
  2. Tier 2: Bachelor’s Degree
  3. Tier 3: Master’s Degree

Scope of Practice for an LSAA as defined in 61-9A-5 (G)

It is the official policy of this Board that an individual who holds an LSAA issued by this body is able to provide one-on-one counseling and group process services to clients without a supervisor in the room.

The Counseling and Therapy Practice Board licenses counselors and therapists in New Mexico, not observers or interns. Therefore, when somebody is licensed as an LSAA, it is considered a counseling license and gives that licensee the ability to provide one-on-one services to clients.

The license IS a restricted license, however, and the licensee MUST have a supervisor who directs that individual’s work and ensures the quality of the services provided to clients. The licensee CANNOT work without a clinical supervisor. There are several ways to provide clinical supervision within the counseling and behaviorial health industry. These methods include regular case reviews, audiotape reviews, videotape reviews, and direct observation.

It is also the position of this Board that one cannot effectively supervise without some direct observation, especially early on in the development of the counselor. However, direct observation is not the sole method of clinical supervision and direct obsvervation is NOT a limitation of the LSAA scope of practice. –End–

LSAA Scope of Practice Policy Memorandum 10.21.2016
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