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Who are LPCCs?

A Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) is a mental health professional who provides counseling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups. LPCCs work in a variety of settings, including private practice, schools, hospitals, VAs, and community agencies. They can provide a range of services, including counseling, psychotherapy, assessments, diagnosis, evaluations, psychoeducation, clinical case management, career counseling, and crisis services.

Professional clinical counselor education and training are on par with marriage and family therapists and clinical social workers. 

To become an LPCC, individuals must:

  • Minimally complete a 60-unit master's degree in counseling or a related field from an accredited program
  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience performed over two years prior to licensure
  • Pass both the California Law and Ethics Exam and the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE).
  • Adherence to the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics and recognized standards of practice, as regulated by California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences 
  • Continuing education requirements are additionally required for every license renewal
  • LPCCs are licensed and regulated by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).

Some additional details about LPCCs:

  • They are the second largest master's level mental health professionals in the United States, behind social workers.

  • There are more than 162,000 licensed professional counselors in 50 states.

  • California was the last to adopt the license in 2009, but the license has been around since the 1970s, and the counseling profession has been around since the late 1800s.
  • Professional Counselors meet requirements for the general practice of counseling and may develop an area of expertise to work with special populations or issues, requiring advanced knowledge that is documented by coursework, national certification, or a state credential.
  • For more California license statistics, please see the BBS License Population report for FY 2022-2023.

Resources on the LPCC License

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