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​ What Do Those Acronyms Mean?

What is an LPC/I?

The state of South Carolina has two levels of licensing; a provisionally licensed counselor (LPC/I) and a fully licensed counselor (LPC). By completing educational and examination requirements, an individual can apply to become a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern (LPC/I) through the South Carolina's licensing board. The LPC/I then goes through a period of clinical supervision by a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC/S or a fully licensed counselor). After fulfilling the requirements of supervised practice, the LPC/I is eligible for licensure as a fully Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Source: South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists and Psycho-Educational Specialists 

What is an LPC?

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) utilize the principles of integrated strategies including, but not limited to cognitive, behavioral, or systemic interventions in order to address the needs of the client.  The primary purpose of counseling is to empower the client to deal adequately with life situations, reduce stress, experience personal growth, and make well-informed, rational decisions." (U.S. Dept. of Human Services, Mental Health, United States, 2002)

"The practice of professional counseling includes, but is not limited to, the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, including addictions; psychoeducational techniques aimed at the prevention of such disorders; consultation to individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations; and research into more effective therapeutic treatment modalities. Counselors' training in the provision of counseling and therapy includes the etiology of mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and the provision of the established, research-based "talk therapies" of cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic therapy. Counselors' education and training is oriented toward the adoption of a truly client-centered, approach to therapy." (American Counseling Association, Who Are Professional Counselors)

What is  LMFT?

Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) are licensed mental health professionals who work with individuals; couples - whether or not married; families of all types; and groups to cure or relieve mental, emotional, and relational concerns of all kinds. LMFTs work in a variety of settings throughout South Carolina, and the rest of the country providing mental health services, as well as provide services in independent practice. LMFTs have minimally acquired two-year master's degrees, 3,000 hours of supervised experience, and have passed two rigorous exams.

Source: California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

What is LISW?

Social workers assist people by helping them cope with issues in their everyday lives, deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems. Some social workers help clients who face a disability or a life-threatening disease or a social problem, such as inadequate housing, unemployment, or substance abuse. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, sometimes involving child or spousal abuse. Some social workers conduct research, advocate for improved services, engage in systems design or they are involved in planning or policy development. Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting. Although a bachelor's degree (BSW) is sufficient for entry into the field, an advanced degree has become the standard for many positions. A master's degree in social work (MSW) is typically required for positions in health settings and is required for clinical work as well.

Source: National Association of Social Workers

Psychologist (Ph.D. or PsyD)

Psychology is a diverse discipline, grounded in science, but with nearly boundless applications in everyday life. Some psychologists do basic research, developing theories and testing them through carefully honed research methods involving observation, experimentation, and analysis. Other psychologists apply the discipline's scientific knowledge to help people, organizations, and communities function better. Psychology is a doctoral-level profession. Psychologists study both normal and abnormal functioning and treat patients with mental and emotional problems. They also study and encourage behaviors that build wellness and emotional resilience.

Source: American Psychological Association

Psychiatrist (MD)

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological disturbance. A psychiatrist has completed medical school (MD or DO) and has an additional four or more years of residency training in psychiatry. People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, or frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing "voices." Or they may be more long-term, such as feelings of sadness and hopelessness or anxious feelings that never seem to lift, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control.

Source: American Psychiatric Association


Informational Links

What is Neuropsychology?