Submitting your hours for licensure to the California BBS

About once a week I receive a message from a MFT Intern or ACSW in California stresed out about putting their licensure application together. 

It is understable, you have spent years going to school, gathering hours, there is bound to be a bit of anxiety about submitting the paperwork. And, of course, we usually only hear the horror stories about the BBS. Nobody shouts from the rooftops when their application is processed quickly without any issues! 

However, here are a few of the things I have realized about the anxiety associated with submitting paperwork. It can lead to: 


  1. Delaying the completion of the paperwork for weeks, months, or even years. Yep, if you are finding that you have been avoiding adding up your hours, filling out the paperwork, getting signatures, or just putting the stamp on the envelope- you are not alone! 
  2. Making silly, small mistakes because you are so anxious, your brain isn't processing the information properly. 
  3. Taking it personally or blaming yourself if the BBS does bounce your application back. 


The truth is, the Board of Behavioral Sciences makes mistakes too. Even if you get your application perfect, it doesn't mean that the person on the other side can't have an "off day." And, if that happens, it isn't the end of the world! 

Currently, for Marriage and Family Therapist Interns in California, the wait time is extremely long- somewhere between 8-12 months. What does that mean for you if you are gathering hours? It means you should be using a service like Track Your Hours weekly to keep your hours up to date. Once you get under 500 hours, consider starting the process of getting your Experience Verification Sheets signed for all hours completed to that date and starting your application. That means, when you finish your hours, you should have just a few forms to get wet signatures on and be ready to send it out. 

With the current wait, send your hours out immediately! Worried you might have miscalculated? Track Your Hours takes care of that for you ;0) Feel free to have a supervisor review your application with you if you can do it in less than 7 days. If not, just send it in. Seriously. 

Continue to track your hours, worst case scenario if you need to resubmit something, or send in additional hours, you will have 6-8 months of gathering addtional hours by the time someone looks at your application. 

Today, please be inspired not to stress, but just to relax and submit those hours! Don't stress about "what if they get bounced back?" Just get in that long line! Are you an Associate Clinical Social Worker? Breath a sigh of relief because your wait is MUCH shorter! However, that doesn't mean you should put it off! 

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