Considering seeing an LPC is a big step toward healing. Some may find the thought of attending counseling intimidating, exciting, or even dreadful. No matter how you feel about seeing a counselor, there are some important factors to consider before you begin. Evaluating the basics, benefits, and importance of counseling can help set you up for success in your healing journey.
A licensed professional counselor (LPC) is a mental health professional who is licensed by the state to counsel patients. While the requirements to receive an LPC will vary for each state, usually it requires:
Seeing a licensed professional ensures that you are receiving care from someone who is legally required to protect your confidentiality, as well as ethically care for your well-being. This helps to keep you safe, as well as keep the LPC accountable for the way they advise their patients.
Additionally, LPCs are trained to provide care when their patients are experiencing hardships, grief, and relational difficulties. They can help equip patients with tools to healthily heal from the hard things they’ve been through, while also empowering them to make healthier choices in everyday life.
No one needs a specific reason to see a counselor. Everyone can benefit from having a safe place to process their feelings and emotions. However, some common reasons that people seek out an LPC may be because they need help with:
While licensure is required for an LPC to practice in their desired state, certifications are voluntary and can allow them to focus on certain topics within their practice. Certifications are usually given out by organizations and are not bound by legal requirements. However, the organization will typically have its own set of rules and regulations that must be abided by to uphold certification.
It’s important to see a provider whose specializations match your needs. For example, if you’re reeling from the death of a loved one, it probably wouldn’t be helpful for you to see an addiction counselor if you’re not struggling with addiction. While they may be able to provide you with some general advice, it wouldn’t be a productive use of your energy or the counselor’s resources. You would be better suited to see a counselor who specializes in grief and practices trauma-informed care.
Some other examples of common specialty certifications may include:
Each counselor will have their own personality, experience, and way of doing things. The way each LPC operates will depend on their skills, available resources, and expertise. Types of techniques and variations used will depend on the patient’s needs, however, there are a few evidence-based techniques that are commonly used by most counselors, including the ones at Sage Recovery. These may include:
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to counseling is that it’s never too late to get help. No matter what’s happened in your life, how sad or broken you feel, it’s never too late to reach out for help. That’s why professionals, like LPCs, exist: To help.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that it may take time to find a counselor that works for you. This is where specialties come into play. Choosing someone who is licensed and specializes in the area you need help is important. It’s also equally important that you feel safe and comfortable with this person. This mutual feeling of safety and vulnerability will take time to build, and a good counselor will take the necessary steps to create a safe space for you.
Counseling won’t always feel good in the moment, however, it’s vital to feel physically and emotionally safe as you share your feelings and thoughts. The point of counseling is to provide a safe place for patients to express their fears, experiences, and emotions. If you don’t feel comfortable with a mental health professional, you are allowed to speak up. You can talk about your hesitations with the counselor, ask to speak with a supervisor, or request a different counselor.
Your safety and overall health are of the utmost importance. If you ever feel unsafe or in danger, contact emergency services immediately.
If you think you could benefit from seeing an LPC but aren’t sure where to start, you can:
Here at Sage Recovery, we know how important it is to receive quality care. That’s why our masters-level clinicians are trained to provide evidence-based techniques, as well as innovative ones. Whether you attend individual counseling, group therapy, or family and couples counseling, you can rest assured that our counselors are experts in their field and will provide you with the highest quality care. Every single staff member is trained to provide trauma-informed care, so you can be sure that you will be treated with dignity and respect as you heal. Whenever you’re ready to begin your healing journey, reach out to us at (512) 306-1394. We’re here to support you.