The Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) is a professional that is responsible for assessing clients, establishing relevant diagnoses, and providing treatment as needed according to evaluations. Professionals with the LMHC license can find career options in multiple fields, making this a great option for versatile Counseling prospects.
If you have reviewed your state’s requirements for licensure and notice the LMHC distinction, you can begin by finding accredited Master of Counseling programs to enroll in. These degree programs are the go-to for both LPC and LMHC candidates and is the most straightforward in terms of curriculum and career responsibilities.
The degree program you enroll in can help you explore some of the most common symptoms and struggles associated with mental illness, which can be extremely important as you transition into your role in the community environment.
In this field, licensees can pursue career opportunities in general mental health or even work with specific agencies that require on-staff Counseling professionals. There are multiple career options that will be displayed in the coming sections.
While employed as a LMHC, you can work with children, adolescents, and adults that are seeking coping methods for daily stress or disorder. Some Counseling programs leading to this distinction can also offer specialization options for students that are interested in providing services to particular groups throughout their career.
LMHCs can also work with clients with certain treatment areas depending on their educational training. Some concentration options such as Substance Abuse Counseling, School Counseling, and Rehabilitation Counseling may also be available to those interested in providing specialized care to different sectors of society.
The role of the LMHC and the LPC is to provide individualized therapeutic services to clients in need. Whether it is simply finding pathways for coping with stress or anxiety or more complex mental health disorders, professionals in this field have received the proper training to provide valuable insight.
The LMHC and the LPC distinction share a lot of the same qualities in terms of educational requirements, techniques, and career options. Each state licenses mental health professionals as either the LMHC or the LPC, which is the primary difference between the 2 field.
For generalist professionals, the onset of the professional relationship may begin with a referral or intake for presenting mental health symptoms. Counselors can work with clients that are having difficulty managing stress, struggles with coping in response to loss or relationship struggles, or have diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illnesses.
Both professionals can conduct assessments and questionnaires with their clients to determine if there may be symptoms of mental illness present or if a generalized individualized therapy would be beneficial for their needs. In some cases, clients may present with diagnosed illnesses and require maintenance therapy to continuously manage their symptoms.
The process to completion for both LPCs and LMHCs depends on the progress made by their clients. Each individual case is unique and may have varying lengths to completion, making the estimated time to completion variable from case to case.
The educational requirements to becoming the LMHC and the LPC are basically the same. Each state licensing these professionals requires that students complete an accredited Master of Counseling program prior to engagement in a work experience requirement.
Since the educational requirements are the same, both professions are exposed to the same type and level of training for mental health care services. Individuals completing the same online degree program, but residing in different states could essentially be licensed as LMHC and LPC respectively.
The Master of Counseling program is the go-to option for people seeking licensure as a LMHC or LPC. This program may be widely available to residents of the U.S., with many accredited options even available in the online setting.
Before being accepted into the required Master of Counseling program, students may need to complete a related bachelor’s program at an accredited university. Popular and widely-accepted undergraduate programs include those in Psychology, Counseling, and Social Work.
These entry-level programs can help you gain an understanding of the basic concepts in Psychology that can be crucial to your professional development. Biological factors relating to mental health, environmental influences, and cognitive development can be studies at this level providing a great foundation for providing treatment in the future.
The Master of Counseling program is usually 2-3 years long, with programs including around 60 credit hours of course material. During this requirement, students can begin with a delve into some of the most common mental illnesses, their symptoms, and root causes.
This can allow students to explore factors beyond the brain that can influence the development of psychological symptoms. In addition to exploring mental health at its roots, students can also learn more about some of the most popular and proven treatments in the Counseling setting.
Most Counseling degree programs can include some practical components that allow students to receive hands-on training in the field. This requirement is conducted under the supervision of a licensed Counselor and can help to translate some of the curriculum materials to real-world experience.
In addition to the in-program experience requirements, graduates of this degree program may also be required to engage in 2-3 years of clinical experience in the field prior to being approved for licensure. This experience component can take place at local mental health agencies or any organization that employs licensed Counselors for the purpose of working with people in need.
The combination of education and experience through training programs can ultimately prepare students for the successful completion of a Counseling board examination required for certification. Once all of these expectations have been achieved, graduates can then apply for licensure within their state.
When you choose to pursue a career as a LMHC or LPC, you probably are interested in helping people that are in need of support and guidance. Since people can be found in every aspect of society, the field of Counseling is relevant in many different specialized areas.
The most popular career option for LMHCs and LPCs is within mental health agencies. These organizations often employ Counselors within many different specialties in order to provide the public with a one-stop shop for all of their mental health needs.
In one office, you might find Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Counselors, and even Geriatric Counselors. This setting is also popular with training Counselors that are gaining experience towards their licensure requirements.
Counselors can also be found in social service agencies providing supportive services to families involved in the state systems. These professionals may provide in-home services to children with behavioral or emotional problems, or provide specialized care to families that are reunifying after periods of separation.
If you have obtained a specialization with your degree program, you could even pursue careers in Career Counseling – helping people identify their own strengths and qualifications for productive growth, or Rehabilitative Counseling – working with people that are coping with loss due to injury or long-term illness.
School Counseling is another career option that is popular among Counseling students. This career field focuses on providing direct services to children in school settings, helping them work through common issues such as peer pressure, bullying, and interfering family issues.
School Counselors can also develop school-wide programs for drug abuse awareness and assist in preparing high school children for contact with colleges or career services. The training for school Counseling can be held within the school setting under the supervision of a licensed Counselor.
Each of these specialized fields can be incredibly important to the healing and support of people with a wide variety of different life experiences and trauma exposures. Depending on what interests you as a professional, you could potentially be a part of any of these fields.