Here are a few other resources that will be useful for Mental Health Counseling students.
Credential Titles and Levels
According to the American Counseling Association within the United States, several different titles are used to identify professional counselors. Though the counseling profession has endorsed LPC as the recommended title, the following are the most common:
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
- Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor of Mental Health (LPCC)
- Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
- Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP)
Obtaining an Associate License (titles vary by state) is often required for applicants who have met the education and exam requirements but have not yet met the supervised experience requirement. Examples of such titles include Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC), Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA), Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor, counselor-in-training, and Clinical Resident.
Most states require professional counselors to earn continuing education credits on an annual or biennial basis to renew their credentials.
Code of Ethics
All states require that counselors conduct themselves ethically, in accordance with generally accepted standards of practice. Several states specifically require counselors to abide by the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics, as most recently revised and updated in 2014. For more information regarding the ACA Code of Ethics, visit the ACA Web site.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is an independent agency, recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, which accredits master’s degree programs in mental health counseling and other counseling specialties. Many states require that licensure applicants’ counseling graduate degrees include a curriculum based on the CACREP model, even if full accreditation by CACREP is not required. CACREP-accredited counseling programs require coursework in eight core areas and a supervised practicum and internship.
For more information, or to view a listing of CACREP-accredited counseling graduate programs, visit CACREP online.
The Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) is an affiliate of CACREP, recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, which accredits master’s degree programs in rehabilitation counseling. CORE accredits programs meeting criteria in providing graduates who have the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to provide rehabilitation counseling services to individuals with physical, mental, and/or emotional disabilities. At this time, it is anticipated that CORE and CACREP will merge in 2017. For more information, visit CORE online.