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Nov 29, 2021

I am lucky to be joined by Kathleen Shannon; she has a real passion for talking about licensure portability. It's an issue that many of us have run into if you move around, change states, or simply want to be licensed in multiple states. This particular issue of licensure portability comes up a lot during Covid. Many people recognize the need for licensure portability as we shift to and from telehealth. Tune in as we chat about what you need to get licensed in multiple states and how Kathleen plans to make the process easier with her courses.

Meet Kathleen Shannon

Kathleen B. Shannon, MA, LCMHC, CRC has worked in the rehabilitation and mental health industry as a licensed provider for over 21 years, gaining experience in working with veterans and others with PTSD, anxiety, and depression, as well as those in recovery.

As a seasoned rehabilitation and mental health counselor, she is passionate about seeking out and working with your values, strengths, and abilities to achieve your goals.

Outside of the office, Kathleen enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and exploring new ideas, and learning with friends.

Why Therapists Are Getting Licensed In Multiple States

Even though Kathleen got her degree in Florida, she was on the way to Washington State when she walked across and got the degree. When Covid hit, that was another struggle for Kathleen and most therapists. She works with many people who are either elderly or college students; both of those populations had to go live with family or weren't allowed to be around their families. So, Kathleen decided to take the time to get her license in more than one state. However, the state said she would need to go back to grad school. So, Kathleen found the commonalities that you need in every single state to be able to have licensure.

Getting A License In Every State Will Be Pricey

If you want to have a license in every state, you need to have a lot of money because each state wants a lot of money. As long as you have a lot of money, you can be licensed in every state. Plus, you have to stay organized and make sure nothing expires. The first thing you need to do is go ahead and take every single solitary exam. That's the number one thing. From there, you can figure out where you want to focus. Do you want to stay in a single time zone? Do you want to have the luxury of actually offering decent times to people in other time zones? So it's just something to consider but, first, take both exams, whether you need them or not because eventually, you will.

Kathleen Is Creating Courses For Multi-State Licensing

There will be two different courses; there's going to be a course for graduate students who are looking for initial licensure. For most states, it's either an associate or an intern. For these people, the course will be about finding out what that state would need to obtain licensure. Let's say you're in an online program in Virginia, and you live in Georgia. So Kathleen wants to help you find out what Georgia would need versus what Virginia would need. The other course will be available to people who've been licensed for more than five years on how to either transfer or obtain additional licensure based on the endorsement. All in all, there will be two different tracks: one for the freshly graduated and going to get associate or intern licensure and then the one for people who have been licensed for several years.

Why License Portability Is Critical During Covid

You need to be able to be there for your clients. License portability is a huge problem for therapists and people struggling with their mental health. With Covid, mental health has started to come to the forefront of people's minds. Plus, there is less stigma around people seeking help for mental health issues. It has forced many states to be more consistent with licensure reciprocity. People are also becoming much more transient because of Covid. They are moving to different parts of the counties, leaving big cities, and looking for lower living costs.

Being transparent… Some of the resources below use affiliate links which simply means we receive a commission if you purchase using the links, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for using the links!

Kathleen's Resources

LPC License Info

5 Key Things that you need to become licensed by endorsement, reciprocity, or comity in everyUS state and jurisdiction

Follow Kathleen on Instagram


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Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT

Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog. He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast wherever you listen to it. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn, and Pinterest, “Like” us on Facebook.