Become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in 5 Steps
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors help clients with family situations, substance abuse or stress while developing and implementing therapeutic treatment plans for their well being. They understand when a client needs supportive services for mental health problems and when to refer clients to supportive services. Clinical Counselors need a license and a master's degree in Counseling. Schools offering Mental Health Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Step 1: Career Duties and Educational Requirements of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors interview clients for medical history and other pertinent information to provide counseling services. They observe and determine abnormal physical or mental behavior then administer tests to determine behavior traits for the development of a treatment plan. Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors plan and implement therapeutic treatments, such as behavior modification and stress management to help clients control problems. Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors must have a graduate degree in Professional Counseling before they are eligible to take a state licensing exam required for practice.
Step 2: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in a Related Field
College Board, www.collegeboard.com, recommends earning a bachelor's degree related to counseling, such as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. These programs develop your understanding of human development, psychological and social issues related to mental health disorders.
Step 3: Earn a Master's Degree in Professional Counseling
The American Counseling Association, www.counseling.org, identifies two types of counseling training.
The first type is competency based, which emphasizes course content, theoretical lecture and examinations to determine understanding of materials. The second is experienced based, which emphasizes experience training through group work, skill development and self-evaluation. Either type of program you choose should be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
Step 4: Receive National Certification
Once you have completed your master's program, you receive national certification as a professional counselor by passing the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) developed by the Center for Credentialing and Education, www.cce-global.org. The CPCE assesses your knowledge of counseling information and is a critical component of over 240 university programs. The CPCE is also affiliated with the National Board of Certified Counselors, www.nbcc.org.
Step 5: Receive a State License to Practice
You can obtain a license after earning a master's degree and passing the CPCE. The American Association of State Counseling Boards, www.aascb.org, reports that obtaining your license requires a college transcript, documentation of supervised clinical experience. You may also need letters of recommendation and any other state requirements, such as a resume, certifications and other licensing credentials.
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