What is an LPC Intern?
In Texas, an LPC-intern is a temporarily licensed professional counselor. This means that the intern possesses at least a Master’s degree in counseling or related field (including supervised field experiences, “practicum”) and have successfully passed the National Counselor Exam (NCE). They then applied and were accepted for the temporary license. In the state of Texas, this means the intern must remain in supervision for the first 3,000 hours of their career before upgrading to an LPC credential that allows independent (unsupervised) practice.
What’s the difference between an LPC and an LPC Intern?
The difference between an LPC Intern and an LPC is three-fold.
1. An LPC Intern is someone who holds a provisional license. This means he/she has met all the educational and competency requirements to be an LPC in the state of Texas, but the state wants this person to accumulate more hours of counseling experience and training.
2. An LPC Intern is in the process of completing 3,000 professional counseling hours. It typically takes LPC Interns between 18 months to five years to complete 3,000 hours. An LPC has completed said hours and had them approved by the State LPC Board.
3. An LPC Intern is supervised. LPC Interns are required to be trained and guided by a state-approved LPC Supervisor. An LPC is no longer required to have official supervision, and is able to lead their own private practice.
Is an LPC-intern a student?
No. An intern has already completed their graduate degree, completed practicum and other experiential training in graduate school, sucessfully passed the NCE, and been temporarily licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Interns are not students, but initiates into the profession of counseling in the early stages of building a professional identity as a counselor.
Is an LPC-intern inexperienced?
No. While in graduate school, students are required to complete practicum (field experience or live training). The minimum required to graduate is 300 hours, but most students do more. As LPC-interns have graduated, they have completed their required trainings. While in graduate school, students may even select practicum that specialize in certain populations, diagnoses, or treatments. Therefore, some interns already have specialized training in some areas having completed such practicum while in graduate school. Additionally, some interns are actually transitioning from one mental health profession to another or transitioning from one previous career in another field to counseling. The licensing laws in Texas require that all individuals seeking to become a Licensed Professional Counselor obtain a temporary license, even for those who may have practiced in the mental health field under a different license as the professional identity of “counselor” can be quite different from that of a social worker or a marriage and family therapist (as an example). As such, interns have varying levels of experience and potentially a variety of specialties or specialized training.
Some equivalent comparisons:
Someone who has completed law school and passed the bar exam.
An Associate Professor at a university, who has finished all the credit hours for a Ph.D. and is completing or waiting to defend his dissertation.
How long will I need to be in therapy?
That’s a tough one to answer. My job is, essentially, to eliminate my job as soon as possible. Your job is to commit and do the work required to support your healing.
I would say the minimum timeframe to expect to be in therapy is 9-12 weeks of weekly sessions. After that time, you will have some tools to help you more effectively deal with your anxiety and/or depression and should be feeling significant relief.
From that point on we can revisit how you’re feeling and determine if our sessions should be less often or more frequent. Your therapy experience is custom tailored to you and is responsive to your needs at that moment in time.
That said, I’m not an old school psychotherapist so you won’t be seeing me weekly for decades, although yearly mental health check-ups, after concluding weekly treatment, are strongly encouraged. Over time we will move from weekly sessions, to bi-weekly sessions and then to monthly check-ins and eventually you may decide even those are no longer necessary. That point is a win for both of us!
What should I expect during my first session therapy?
During our initial session, we’ll talk about what brought you to therapy and what life will look like when you’re finished with therapy.
Our first session is similar to creating a map. We will identify where we are and where we want to go. Then we’ll talk about how we’ll get there.
You’ll know what to expect from me and what your responsibilities are.
From the first to the last session we will be talking about you and how you can move closer to living the life you want and deserve.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Supervised by LaShasta Bell LPC-S
© 2019 Ana María Serrano LPC-Intern. All rights reserved.