|WHAT IS A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR (LPC) OR A LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST (LMFT)?
What services do licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists provide?
LPCs offer counseling services to individuals, groups, organizations and the general public in private or other settings. These services may be in the areas of personal-social concerns, educational programs, and career decisions. Counseling services include the use of recognized counseling techniques, appraisal and assessment methods, and research activities.
LMFTs bring a systemic approach to consultation with individuals, couples, families, groups and organizations through independent or group practices, public or private agencies.
For example, LPCs & LMFTs assist people who are facing pre-marital, marital, couples, or sexual abuse problems; are suffering from depression, anxiety, grief, or personal growth issues; are experiencing problems with family members or in the workplace; or are recovering from chemical dependencies.
Why select a licensed professional?
Since the law does not require that counselors be licensed, clients who are not willing or able to evaluate training or check credentials may be assured that LPCs & LMFTs have met the standards identified by the State of Oregon to ensure competent service. The licensing board has verified that the licensee holds a graduate degree from a recognized school, has completed appropriate courses and training, has completed supervised experience, and has passed an examination to identify a minimum standard of knowledge. In addition, licensees are held accountable to the state. State law and the licensing board's Code of Ethics require that conduct meets acceptable standards, and all licensees must provide clients with a professional disclosure statement explaining their approach, credentials, and client rights.
Licensure is often used by insurance companies to determine eligibility for payment or reimbursement for mental health care services.
How to find a professional counselor or marriage and family therapist
You can search the licensing database on the Board's web site. Searches may be by name or by city, and the site contains information about disciplinary action.
What are the license requirements?
LPCs and LMFTs must hold a graduate degree (master's or doctorate) from an accredited college or university. The degree program must have been a planned course of study covering specific areas of knowledge and including clinical experience. Licensees must have completed approximately two years of post-degree supervised counseling experience with direct client contact hours and pass an examination. Renewal of licensure requires completion of 20 clock hours of continuing education every year.
What is the licensing board?
The Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists was created January 1, 1990. The eight-member Board, appointed by the Governor, establishes standards for licensure, identifies individuals meeting those standards, administers a state licensing examination, develops and enforces disclosure and ethical standards for licensees, investigates complaints, disciplines licensees found in violation of ethical standards, and establishes Board rules consistent with the law.
Members include 3 licensed professional counselors, 2 licensed marriage and family therapists, a faculty representative for graduate counseling/therapy programs, and 2 public members.
The Board conducts public meetings every other month in accordance with the Public Meetings Law and carries out its regulatory duties under the Administrative Procedures Act.