Licensed professional counselors are trained to help individuals and families overcome mental, emotional, and behavioral challenges. They serve as a highly educated mental health professional that provides therapy, counseling and other mental wellness services.
Educational Requirements for Licensed Professional Counselors
The minimum educational requirement to become a licensed professional counselor is a master’s degree.
This degree can be obtained from an accredited university or college, and they usually take two years to complete.
Students must also fulfill the requirements of the state in which they want to practice counseling, such as completing 100 hours of supervised clinical experience.
In some states, LPCs in Texas may require an additional year of supervised clinical experience before applying for licensing.
Process To Becoming an Licensed Professional Counselors
Counselors are the backbone of the mental health care system. They provide an important service to individuals and communities by listening and helping people work through their problems.
The process of becoming a licensed professional counselor is long and rigorous. The first step is to get a bachelor’s degree in any field that you are interested in, but it must include at least nine hours of graduate coursework in psychology or counseling.
The next step is to complete a master’s degree program in counseling or psychology from an accredited college or university.
Finally, you must pass the exam like national counselor examination (NCE) before being able to practice as a professional counselor.
What are the Duties of an Licensed Professional Counselor?
The duties of a licensed professional counselor can vary depending on the needs of the client. The job can include anything from providing counseling and therapy to assisting in rehabilitation, education, and mental health care.
It is imperative that the mental health specialist has a range of skills that will enable him or her to work with all types of clients, including children, teens, young adults, older adults and families.
- For example, each specialization will vary slightly in what they have to do. However, most LPCs will need to carry out individual or group therapy sessions to assess the clients’ needs. This includes assessing mental & emotional health as well as any mental health issues they may have.
- As a licensed practitioner, you’ll be expected to develop a therapy plan that’s tailored to your clients unique needs.
- You may also be required to refer a client to a professional if the issue they are facing falls into their domain. For example, if the client is grappling with psychiatric issues, they should be referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
- This is an important responsibility and you will have to be able to work with your clients and other professionals to achieve the best treatment.
- It is important that you take accurate clinical notes in order to protect the privacy of your clients as well as collaborate with other professionals. It is vital to remember that they are guaranteed a certain level of confidentiality.
- You will need strong communication skills and the ability to quickly develop rapport with your patients to ensure that honesty and open communication are occurring
- It’s important to understand your legal obligations and to follow professional ethics in your day-to-day work. You could also find yourself in a situation where you have to be empathetic and make tough decisions.