The goal that a Licensed Professional Counselor has is to implement a program of mental health and wellness by working with people to assist them in solving their own problems through a series of institutional and traditional methods. Some Licensed Professional Counselors only do research on therapeutic methods and models and many work at institutions or have their own private practice.
The purpose of therapy and therapeutic alliance is simply to support the process of inner healing, mainly of the psyche. Most patients that invoke the services of a Licensed Professional Counselor have been traumatized to some extent, whether it be from abuse, a tragedy or misunderstanding of life’s’ purpose. The Licensed Professional Counselor provides and environment of self examination by assisting the client through the process and models of support through analyzing their problems from different angles, therefore providing different solutions.
These methods set the stage for growth and change to occur. An atmosphere of non-judgmental acceptance is created in which the client feels respected, valued and accepted. These are key ingredients to healing and transformation of the client. When these conditions exist, the Licensed Professional Counselor sets an environment to openly discuss troublesome life events, thoughts, feelings and behaviors without reservation or fear of judgment.
How Do you Become an LPC?
A career as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) can be very rewarding if you are into assisting people sort out troubles and difficulties in their lives. A Licensed Professional Counselor holds either a master’s or doctorate degree, has two years of clinical supervision, and must pass a written examination to become licensed. To obtain a license or certification, a person must:
– Obtain a High School Diploma;
– Complete a four-year bachelor’s degree with a major in counseling or a counseling-related field such as psychology, social work, education or human services.
– Complete a Master’s Degree in counseling or a counseling-related field from an accredited college or university such as a Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Arts in Psychology (MA) or a Master of Education (MEd).
– Obtain post graduate classes to equal 60 credits of graduate course work (most Master’s programs are 48 credits.
– Complete of a doctoral degree in counseling or a counseling-related field from a regionally accredited college or university.
There are also field certifications from accredited associations. Many states have board exams that a Licensed Professional Counselor must go through before they are awarded a license to practice or work for an institution.
Licensed Professional Counselors can work in any field in Behavioral Sciences. It’s very common to see LPC’s work closely with Social Workers, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and even Criminologists. Many Licensed Professional Counselors also work at State Mental Health institutions.
Licensed Professional Counselors also are found in the fields of art and entertainment. This is a new arena that helps artists cope with the demands and pressures of the entertainment arena by providing therapy and counseling. This is a new field that guides the artist to explore, identify and work through unexpressed thoughts and feelings which can block avenues of artistic creativity.
The sub-fields that a Licensed Professional Counselor can specialize in are:
o Couples/Relationship Counseling: regarding dating, premarital, marriage enrichment counseling, post divorce adjustment, problems with communication, intimacy, and verbal abuse.
o Family Therapy: including issues of parenting styles, blended families, step-parenting, single parenting, abuse;
o Emotional & Mood Disorders: problems related to: depression, anxiety, phobias, and post traumatic stress disorder.
o Grief & Loss: complicated grief, bereavement, and loss
o Sexual Dysfunction: Trauma from sexual abuse.
o Stress Management: behavioral relaxation techniques for job/employment/career sleep disorders,
o Women’s Issues: abuse, single parenting, isolation, emotional detachment, fear of intimacy.
Licensed Professional Counselors are governed by a strict board of ethics when they deal with clients, other associations and institutions. Client records and information must be guarded in strict confidentiality and not discussed with anyone. A breach of confidentiality can lead to a LPC losing their license and jeopardize the mental health and well-being of the client.
Some Licensed Professional Counselors work in “pools” or professional charter associations which demands accountability and integrity from their peers. Many of these associations meet quarterly and discuss new methods of practice and client assimilation. Studies of client cases are reviewed, discovering new methods to treat symptoms and identify new symptoms in a client.
A Licensed Professional Counselor is a very rewarding and challenging career. The private practice side of the occupation is very lucrative but challenging. The biggest reward is helping people recapture their lives.
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