Diagnosis Training Requirement


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New Training Requirement under GA Law  (see below Module listings below) must be completed by 12/31/17

There is an entirely new educational requirement that has been written into GA law that must be understood and complied with by all licensed social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists. Failure to comply with this requirement is failure to comply with the LAW.

Under O.C.G.A. 377,  Senate Bill, SB 319, passed and signed into law on April 26, 2016, states all licensees regulated by the Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists who are “working with people with mental illness, developmental disability, or substance abuse” who do not meet certain exemptions (noted below) must demonstrate proof of training.  

Affected licensees: All LAPCs, LPCs,“working with people with mental illness, developmental disability, or substance abuse”.  For Social Workers contact www.GSCSW.org -  for MFTs contact www.GAMFT.org

Deadline for compliance: As of midnightDecember 31, 2017 all required coursework must have been completed.

Two Exemption guidelines: per the Law ACT377:

1) Clinicians licensed at the Independent level (LCSW, LPC, LMFT) for at least TEN (10) YEARS before April 26, 2016, shall be grandfathered in and exempt from these requirements if they are and always have been in good standing with the Composite Board.  


2) All persons licensed under this chapter who have not already completed as of January 1, 2017,  sufficient training, experience, or classes related to diagnosing as part of their licensure requirements as required by the board (in other words, did you fill in a course on your LPC under course description section 9, and you  have received your LPC, if so the lawyers who have read the law says you are exempt) 

The Rule says:  135-12 CLICK HERE to read the new rule  (BUT the new rule is not clear if courses less than 3 Credit Hours Count) Stay Turn, LPCA Members will get updates on what to do.  

 2) Clinicians who have completed a graduate level course of a minimum of three (3) credit hours in Psychopathology or Diagnosis will be considered to have fulfilled their education requirements under this new law. Look at your LPC application, did you fill in a course under IX Psychopathology?  

Best Practice:  “Licensees should be able to produce a graduate school transcript showing completion of the graduate level course that meeting Rule 135-5-.02 (a) 11 (IX) course description or certificates of completion for the 45 hours training program”.


At this time, the Licensing Board has completed and finalized a rule on the requirements under the new LAW.  EFFECTIVE DATE  09/21/2017.

The Licensing Board, by law, will decide what course or training program is acceptable. The course requirement must be completed before January 1, 2018.  LPCA has been engaged in the development of this best practice program that will thoroughly cover the psychopathology / diagnosis educational training. As the rule is further clarified, LPCA will updates its members via E-Newsletter. 


FALL Series: (8 sessions) 09/09/17 -12/16/17

Module 1 September 8  FRIDAY  (date change)
Module 2 September 22 Friday
Module 3 October 6 Friday
Module 4 October 21 Saturday
Module 5 October 27 Friday
Module 6 November 10 Friday
Module 7 December 8 Friday
Module 8 December 16 Saturday

Training Location: Gwinnett Technical College Campus, 770-962-7580

FRIDAYs North Fulton Location
2875 Old Milton Pkwy
Alpharetta GA, 30004

SATURDAYs Lawrenceville Location
5150 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Training Topics- (each event has 5 Core hours and at least 1 Ethics hour)

Module 1 Introduction to the DSM-5
(ONLINE or 9/8/17 IN-PERSON) Date change!

Module 2 Medical Conditions, and Lifestyle Contributing MH Concerns
(ONLINE or 9/22/17 IN-PERSON)

Module 3 Anxiety Disorders and Depressive Disorders
(08/18/17 or 10/6/17 IN-PERSON)

Module 4 Disorders: Substance Use, Impulse Control, Conduct, and Personally
(10/21/17 IN-PERSON)

Module 5 Somatic Symptom and Related disorders, Neurodevelopmental, Elimination, Feeding, Eating
(08/18/17 or 10/27/17 IN-PERSON)

Module 6 Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders: Dissociative, Trauma, and Stressor Related
(11/10/17 IN-PERSON)

Module 7 Neurocognitive Disorders, Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders, Bipolar and Related Disorders
(12/8/17 IN-PERSON)

Module 8 Disorders: Paraphilic, Sexual Functioning, Gender Dysphoria
(ONLINE or 12/16/17 IN-PERSON)