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What types of mental health counselors and therapists are there?

I want to be a therapist and help people with their mental health. I'm good at communicating and I'm emotionally intelligent.
#mental-health-counseling #mental-health #public-health #hospital-and-health-care #health #mental-health


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Elisabeth’s Answer

I have degrees in clinical counseling and social work. These degrees allow me to seek licensing as a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Master of Social Work, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
My counseling program centered on diagnosis and treatment. Social work focused on social justice and leadership ( I was in the clinical and the PLCO tracks (PLCO focuses on leading organizations ). Social work schools vary in their focus on developing clinical skills so that is something to research when looking at schools and programs.
Medicare does not recognize LPCs and LMHCs for payment. LCSWs are recognized by Medicare and seem to have the most flexibility billing in primary care. PhDs in Clinical Psychology and PsyDs are recognized by Medicare but I've heard them express frustration around billing in primary care. Most master-level psychologists are licensed as LPCs/LMHCs-at least in Oregon and Washington.
Substance abuse counselors may have different tracks. For example, in OR counselors with an AA/AS or BA/BS may be certified to provide substance use treatment.

Elisabeth recommends the following next steps:

Research various schools and programs to decide if counseling, psychology, or social work is a better fit for you
Join a social networking group to explore programs others have completed and recommend

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