Clinician Qualifications

A Master’s degree is required for either the LPC, LCSW, or LMFT  licenses. A PhD is required to be licensed as a psychologist. So you know a counselor with a Master’s degree studied an additional 2 or 3 years (varies with degree) beyond their four year college degree and the Psychologist studied for another couple of years.

A therapist’s education might tell you what sort of theoretical background they were trained under. But, actually, two different schools of social work may emphasize two different theoretical perspectives. Further, each professor will have their own theoretical beliefs, so you would have to know which courses your counselor took and if they paid attention and agreed with their professor’s view of the world. In our experience, a counselor’s education is just one influence on how counselors view their clients and how they work with clients. A counselor’s style of practice is also influenced by the training and experience they receive after their education, and by their own life experiences.

Types of Education each clinician may have:

MA – Master of Arts
MS – Master of Science
MFT – Master of Family Therapy
MSW – Master of Social Work
MEd – Master of Education
PhD – Doctor of Philosophy
PsyD – Doctor of Psychology

Texas license the counselor holds, they may hold more than one:

LPC – Licensed Professional Counselor
LMFT – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker
LCDC – Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor

LPC Supervisors have obtained a higher level specialty license and assist interns in obtaining independent licensure.  Clinical supervision has been defined as a senior member of the profession mentoring a junior member of the profession. This is a very different relationship than that of counselor-client.  Counselor’s with this S (Supervisor) credential have the added qualification of supervising interns working towards full licensure.

LPC-S – Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor
LMFT-S – Licensed Marriage Family Therapist Supervisor

After a counselor completes their education, they must counsel under the supervision of a licensed counselor for three years or 3,000 client contact hours (varies with each license), and take a clinical exam before being fully licensed. Until those two things are accomplished, they are called license interns or associates or some other modified title, such as:

LPC Intern – Licensed Professional Counselor Intern
LMFT Associate – Licensed Marriage Family Therapy Associate
LCDC Intern – Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Intern

Interns and Associates are not able to bill for insurance reimbursement so their fees are manageable for individuals who want counseling but are uninsured or under insured. Find out more information about their rates by visiting our fee schedule here.  Click on an Intern or Associate’s name and/or contact Megan R. Lee, LPC-S who is also their board approved supervisor or site supervisor to determine the best therapeutic match.

Specialties and Interest Areas

No matter how many, or which letters they have after their name, when choosing your counselor, a more important question is do they have any training, interest, and experience (hopefully successful) with helping parents of teenagers. If you click on the counselor’s name, you can learn about those interest areas, although most of our counselor have interests and expertise beyond what they have in that short list. If you aren’t sure, send them an email and ask.

Personality and Style Match

Your counselor’s style should match your own style. You should feel comfortable and feel like they understand your situation. You may get some clues to this by setting up an initial 15 minute consultation phone call, when you are telling them why you are seeking counseling. Unfortunately, you really won’t know until you have met with them. We understand this, and don’t take it personally if we’re not a match for you. Your confidence is more important than our theoretical skills. One of the advantages of working in a group practice is that there are other counselors to easily refer you to.

Finally, you want to find a counselor who has appointments available during times that you can attend.

Leave a Reply