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Become A Licensed Professional Counselor

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Working As A Licensed Professional Counselor

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $41,880

    Average Salary

What Does A Licensed Professional Counselor Do

A Licensed Professional Counselor helps patients resolve their psychological, emotional, and substance abuse problems. They generally are specialized in areas, such as school, family, substance abuse, and mental health.

How To Become A Licensed Professional Counselor

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists are typically required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.

Education

To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s program.

Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how these relationships can affect mental and emotional disorders.

Many employers prefer to hire counselors who have graduated from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Training

Candidates gain hands-on experience through postdegree supervised clinical work, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In training, they learn to provide family therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic interventions, under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

Licenses

All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of postdegree supervised clinical experience, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In addition, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Contact information for state boards regulating mental health counselors is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Contact and licensing information for marriage and family therapists is available through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Counselors and therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors and therapists. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and other professionals and must be able to encourage good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, both of whom need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals.

Organizational skills. Good organizational skills are especially important for counselors and therapists in private practice, who must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies.

Speaking skills. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively. They must express ideas and information in a way that clients can understand easily.

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Licensed Professional Counselor jobs

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Real Licensed Professional Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Licensed Professional Counselor Community Care Service, LLC Durham, NC Nov 04, 2011 $100,176
Licensed Professional Counselor Community Care Service, LLC Durham, NC Nov 08, 2011 $100,176
Licensing Professional University of Notre Dame Du Lac Notre Dame, IN Sep 30, 2015 $98,500
Licensed Professional Counselor Center of Revitalizing Psychiatry, PC Hackensack, NJ Oct 01, 2011 $45,000
Licensed Professional Counselor Fort Valley State University Fort Valley, GA Aug 01, 2015 $41,309 -
$45,000
Licensed Professional Counselor Center of Revitalizing Psychiatry, PC Hackensack, NJ Oct 01, 2011 $40,000
Pre-Licensed Counseling Professional Fritz A Galette Psychologist PC New York, NY Sep 14, 2016 $37,566
Licensed Professional Counselor Fort Valley State University Fort Valley, GA Aug 01, 2012 $35,000
Licensed Professional Counselor Fort Valley State University Fort Valley, GA Aug 17, 2009 $35,000

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Top Skills for A Licensed Professional Counselor

FamilyTherapySessionsIndividualTreatmentPlansMentalHealthServicesCrisisInterventionSubstanceAbuseIssuesAnxietyDisordersDualDiagnosisGroupTherapySessionsPrivatePracticeSettingProfessionalCounselorTraumaChildIntakeAssessmentsGriefAngerManagementIndividualTherapyCognitiveBehavioralTherapyReferralLPCCommunityResources

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Top Licensed Professional Counselor Skills

  1. Family Therapy Sessions
  2. Individual Treatment Plans
  3. Mental Health Services
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitated Family therapy sessions to help troubled youth/family rebuild damaged relationships.
  • Developed and review integrated individual treatment plans.
  • Coordinate with the client to ensure appropriate mental health services within the agency or within the community.
  • Provide crisis intervention in situations requiring psychological treatment.
  • Provided clinical treatment for outpatients with HIV/AIDS and substance abuse issues.

Top Licensed Professional Counselor Employers

Licensed Professional Counselor Videos

A Day in the Life of a School Counselor

Therapist (Licensed Professional Counselor), Career Video from drkit.org

Licensed Professional Counselor, Private Practice

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