|04-08-2012, 10:32 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Okay, so I am exploring my graduate school possibilities, and I feel like I have narrowed it down to either MSW/LCSW or LPC/LMHC. I don't know much about LPC/LMHC, so here's some questions.
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Which degrees lead to LPC/LMHC? and after licensed, are they able to practice independently (without supervision)?
Also, do masters programs for LPC/LMHC have undergraduate prerequisite courses like doctorate programs do? I'm an undergraduate and I want to plan out course I should take if there are prerequisites for masters in whatever that leads to LPC/LMHC.
|04-09-2012, 06:35 AM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2010
The LPC varies by name and requirements - state by state - it used to be a 48 hour Community Counseling degree and now is (in many states) a 60 hour Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree. Many states are moving to ONLY accept CACREP grads for licensure. If you want to accept Tricare insurance or work at the VA, you must have graduated from a CACREP accredited university.
Some states only require the NCE - a test of book knowledge - and little supervision for licensure - other states require the NCMHCE - lots of direct hours and lots of supervision. Hence the lack of license portability.
There has been a lot of discussion of this here - so you should be able to find lots of info on this site. Also join the counsgrads list serv. Lurk there and you will learn a lot.
Visit the CACREP site and also the ACA - American Counseling Association website so learn about educational paths.
And yes - the CMHC/LPC can practice without supervision after licensure. It typically takes two years (if full time work) to complete the direct hours and indirect hours and supervision hours toward licensure. In my state, because I graduated from a CACREP program - 900 of my internship hours counted toward my 4000 hours of residency - which is a good thing because I am working part-time (by choice).
In my program - there were always one or two who came straight from undergrad into graduate counseling - but most of the younger students took a year off and worked in a counseling related or research psychology related job. Many folks in my program were in their late 20s and early 30s - they brought great experience into their work.
It can be done straight from UG - but there is a tempering, seasoning, growth process in becoming a therapist - and it can't be rushed.
Get some hands on experience helping others :) and keep asking questions here :)
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