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Why Is It Important to Work With a Licensed Clinician?

Licensed clinicians can offer much-needed support to individuals in treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), mental health disorders, or co-occurring disorders. Clinicians can offer safety, evidence-based treatment options, and support for those who need it most.

What Is a Licensed Clinician?

A licensed clinician is someone who is licensed by the state to practice health care of some kind. Licensed clinicians can include doctors, mental health professionals, physician’s assistants, etc. Clinicians can help clients achieve their goals to become the healthiest version of themselves.

It is important to verify that your clinician is licensed by the appropriate governing bodies, which vary based on the state’s requirements and the type of treatment needed. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that clinicians can be licensed, certified, and accredited in various areas.

Certifications and Accreditations

According to NIAAA, clinicians who are certified in a particular area have taken intensive, specialty-specific training to obtain as much knowledge as possible within their specialty. This implies that you will be receiving some of the best, safest, most effective treatments with a certified clinician.

Accreditations typically apply to healthcare facilities, rather than individual clinicians. This status exists to keep their systems and practices within certain parameters to ensure the safest care possible. Mental health facilities like Sage Recovery ensure they’re up to date with their accreditations.

What Should I Look For in a Licensed Clinician?

With so many different types of doctors, counselors, and therapists, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the possibilities. Luckily, NIAAA created the following guidelines of five things to look for when seeking out quality care:


A clinician’s credentials ensure that they are qualified to be treating you. The type of treatment offered will depend on each clinician’s license, specialty, and certification.

For example, if a client is looking for a clinician to help them address trauma from an abusive relationship, they could look for a licensed professional counselor (LPC) who is certified in trauma-informed care and specializes in domestic violence counseling.

Similarly, NIAAA reports that finding a psychiatrist who is board certified in addiction medicine could be helpful for someone who needs support with their alcohol addiction. The clinician’s credentials and qualifications should align accordingly with the client’s needs.

Comprehensive Assessment

A licensed clinician should look at the full picture of the client. Quality health professionals generally prefer to get to the root of the problem, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Seeing the full picture of the client should result in the clinician coming up with an effective, healthy plan of care.

For example, someone who is being treated for SUD might also need to be treated for anxiety or trauma. In this situation, the client’s SUD may be a result of an anxiety disorder that was caused by childhood trauma. By treating the trauma and anxiety disorder, the client is more likely to recover healthily than if they were only treated for SUD.

A Customized Treatment Plan

The type of treatment received should vary based on the client’s individual needs. No two clients are the same. As such, no two treatment plans should be the same. Some treatments prove to be more effective than others. Holistic treatments may be done on a trial basis to see how the client responds.

In addition, some people respond positively to combining multiple treatment techniques. For people struggling with their mental health, this might include therapy and medications. Each person deserves to receive treatment that will work for their specific situation. It’s up to the clinician to work with the client on what is realistic and achievable.

Evidence-Based Treatments

Clinicians should be using treatments that are scientifically proven to work safely and effectively. Some common therapeutic techniques used by mental health professionals include:

As previously stated, treatments will vary based on the client’s individual needs and the clinician’s areas of expertise.

Continuing Recovery Support

Creating a recovery plan for the client is a vital step every clinician should take. Licensed clinicians should provide the client with healthy tools during treatment. This empowers the client to make positive choices for themselves, offering a higher chance of recovering fully. The ways clinicians offer continual recovery support may vary, but some may provide the following:

Why Should I Use a Licensed Clinician?

Ultimately, safety, health, and well-being during treatment depend on the type of care received. Using the right type of clinician can radically change the pace and depth of a client’s healing. A clinician should support and care about meeting their client’s health needs.

Here at Sage Recovery, we care deeply about our clients’ health and safety, which is why we only employ master’s-level clinicians. Every single person on our staff receives special trauma training. As a result, we are ready and equipped to help our clients heal.

People struggling with addiction, mental illness, and co-occurring disorders need assistance from licensed clinicians to recover fully. If you’re in need of treatment, Sage Recovery can help you. When you call us, you’ll be met with friendly, compassionate people who will guide you every step of the way. Our licensed, trauma-informed clinicians are ready to walk through this health journey with you. Individualized and evidence-based treatment approaches allow our clients to heal and grow. We can set you on the right path with outpatient care, residential programming, or family counseling. Additionally, you’ll have access to alumni support after finishing a program with us. When you’re ready to start a healthier life path, call us at (512) 306-1394.