Maine Mental Health Counselors Association
About Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors
A Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) is the license given by the state of Maine to a unique group of mental health professionals. We are not psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers. We are mental health counselors.
Mental health counselors offer a full range of services, including:
Members of all the aforementioned professions can and do offer such services. Mental health counseling, however, is the only profession whose primary purpose is to offer these services.
This is reflected in our education and training requirements. Counselor education is aimed at one thing: To assist the emerging professional to become an outstanding psychotherapist. Counselor training time isn’t taken up with medication management (psychiatry), the conduct of research (psychology), or advocacy & public policy (social work). These are all important pieces of treatment for an individual, but they aren’t psychotherapy. Counselor education remains focused on psychotherapeutic competence.
In addition, a counseling education imbues the professional with a particular philosophy of helping that can be quite different from that of other professions. While fully competent in contemporary diagnostic and treatment methods, mental health counselors have simultaneously maintained their humanistic roots: counselors tend to take a holistic, non-pathologizing, and collaborative stance in their work with the people we serve.
Like every profession, mental health counseling also has its own standards of practice, code of ethics, journals, and national exams. All of these are developed to support our profession in offering the highest quality mental health care available.
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