What is a licensed mental health counselor?

A licensed mental health counselor is a specialist in mental health who has met national standards for education, training, and clinical practice, according to the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). A licensed clinical mental health counselor has met or exceeded the following professional qualifications, according to the AMHCA:
  • earned a master's degree in counseling or a closely related mental health discipline
  • completed a minimum of two years post-master's clinical work under the supervision of a licensed or certified mental health professional
  • passed a state-developed or national licensure or certification examination
Licensed mental health counselors typically provide traditional psychotherapy in combination with practical, problem-solving approaches as part of treatment. They can treat wide-ranging issues including crisis management, substance abuse, family conflicts, job and career issues, personal growth and more. They can provide assessment and diagnosis as well as therapy from their workplaces, which may include private practices, community agencies, hospitals, substance abuse centers and other medical facilities.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.