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Defining the Difference Between an LPC and an LPC-Intern

I was working as an administrator for a non-profit counseling group before, during, and after my master’s work. Spending time in this role gave me some great insight into the common misconceptions about the field of counseling.   

One of the biggest misunderstandings was surrounding the role of an LPC-Intern. Many times, I would receive intake calls and match them with the counselor who had the proper training, only to be told, “No, I don’t want an intern…I want a fully licensed counselor.”

So, what is an LPC? What is an intern? Is there a major difference between the two?

You will find the definition, requirements and differences of these roles below, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services and the American Counseling Association.

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

A licensed professional counselor (LPC) is a master’s-degreed mental health service provider. These professionals are trained to work with individuals, families, couples and groups.  LPC’s are trained to treat mental, behavioral, and emotional problems or disorders.  LPC’s can often be found working in mental health care facilities, community agencies, and private practice.

Requirements:

  • Possession of a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling form a national or regionally accredited institution of higher education.  
  • Passage of the National Counselor Examination (NCE)
  • Completion of 3000 supervised hours of post master’s degree supervised clinical experience
  • Completion of 24 hours of continuing education hours (per year).

Differences Between an LPC and an LPC-Intern

The only major differences between the two is that an intern holds a temporary license while they complete their 3000 supervised hours.  During this time period, interns are required to attend weekly supervised meetings to consult on cases. They can also receive guidance and treatment recommendations. Interns are not required to start accumulating CEU’s until they receive their permeant license.

I hope this blog brings about a little clarity on the role and requirements of Licensed Professional Counselors and Interns. I can say without a doubt that both LPC’s and LPC-Interns work hard with one purpose in mind: to provide the best treatment and care for each and every one of our clients.

Give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714 if you have questions about our therapeutic services or would like to schedule an appointment.

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Sarah Howard

Sarah is a Licensed Professional Counselor - Intern, Supervised by Huston McComb, MA, LPC-S. Sarah enjoys working with young adults, adults and couples.
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