Is an LPC-intern a student?
No. An intern has already completed their graduate degree, completed practica 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, which is hands on live experience counseling real clients in the community. While in graduate school, students often pick a niche area, specific populations of interest, or interventions. Many have specialized training with experts in the field before graduation.
Why hire an LPC-intern?
In the minimum 18 months awaiting full licensure, LPC-Interns cannot accept insurance and therefore often accept lower cash pay, out of pocket fees than a fully licensed LPC. Often LPC-Interns accept a payment close to your regular insurance copay amount.
Clients also have the unique benefit of having two clinicians with different skill sets and expertise working on their case, because interns are required to meet weekly with a supervisor. During supervision, LPC-Interns and their LPC Supervisor collaborate on treatment options, how to manage the case, find resources for the client and much more. LPC-Supervisors are often very seasoned clinicians, and you as the client benefit from two therapists working on your needs.
The State of Texas requires:
In the state of Texas, this requires obtaining a master’s degree, counseling experience and supervision, as well as passing a national examination, such as the National Counselor Examination (NCE).
- A master’s degree or doctoral degree in counseling or a related field.
- Academic course work in each of the following areas: normal human growth and development; abnormal human behavior; appraisal or assessment techniques; counseling theories; counseling methods or techniques (individual and group); research; lifestyle and career development; social, cultural and family issues; and professional orientation.
- During their education, they participate in supervised practicum experience counseling clients. The practicum is a minimum of 300 hours and can be longer.
- After graduation with a Masters degree, the potential Licensed Professional Counselor Intern takes and passes the National Counselor Exam and the Texas Jurisprudence Exam. They then receive the provisional LPC license from the board, and they begin their supervised post-graduate counseling experience (internship). 3000 clock-hours with at least 1,500 being direct client contact of internship under the supervision of a board-approved supervisor is required. The 3000 clock-hours may not be completed in a time period of less than 18 months.