Support equality and opportunities for Licensed Professional Counselor-Interns in Texas
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LPC-Interns hold at least a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, have passed the National Counselor Examination, and are qualified to provide counseling/therapy. LPC-Interns are temporarily licensed while they obtain 3,000 post-graduate supervised clinical hours required to become fully licensed for independent practice. This means they meet with a more experienced clinician (LPC-S) four times a month to ensure they are adhering to appropriate clinical judgment, ethical decision making, and licensing board rules.
Individuals who enter this profession do so because they want to help those in need. However, LPC-Interns face many barriers on their journey to becoming fully licensed. Many barriers are due to restrictions placed on them by the rules of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. LPC-Interns are not allowed to count graduate school clincal hours towards the required 3,000 post-graduate counseling hours, cannot take payment from clients, must list their supervisor’s name after their name on all advertising, documents, etc., and cannot be in private practice until they are fully licensed. These rules place significant barriers for LPC-Interns’ ability to enter into the helping professions successfully. Many LPC-Interns struggle to pay their bills, are unable to find paid employment, feel undervalued by the counseling profession as a whole, and often wish they would have taken a different career path.
Conversely, temporarily licensed individuals from other helping professions (Marriage and Family Therapy & Social Work) DO NOT experience the same barriers faced by LPC-Interns. Despite the fact that LPC-Interns’ graduate level training is as rigorous, if not more rigorous, as Marriage and Family Therapy & Social Work training, these inequities exist because of strong lobbying and support on behalf of these other disciplines. These inequities are unjust. LPC-Interns deserve the same allowances provided to others during the licensure process. They deserve to be seen as the qualified, skilled, and educated clinicians they are.
Please sign this petition if you believe LPC-Interns should be granted the following opportunities:
- LPC-Interns should be referred to as LPC-Associates. This language change in the board rules would accurately reflect the professional status of temporarily licensed counselors. The word “intern” suggests the individual is still in school, may create public concern regarding the qualifications of the counselor, and/or contributes to novice counselors feeling diminished. Marriage and Family Therapy Associates and Social Workers are not referred to as “interns” and have no more specialized or advanced training than counselors.
- LPC-Interns should not have to list “supervised by” on all advertising and marketing. The current rules state that the intern must inform clients of his/her/their status as an intern. Marriage and Family Therapy Associates and Social Workers do not have to indicate a supervior’s name and have no more specialized or advanced training than counselors.
- LPC-Interns should be granted permission to operate a private practice and take payments from clients. Marriage and Family Therapy Associates are able to operate a private practice and take payments from clients, and have no more specialized or advanced training than counselors.
- LPC-Interns should be allowed to count up to 400 roll over hours as Marriage and Family Therapy Associates are afforded this benefit.
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