What is the Difference Between a Licensed Professional Counselor, an Intern Therapist, and a Registered Therapist?

By Stephanie Camins – MA, LPC  

verified by Psychology Today

Licensed Professional Counselor (MA, LPC)

must hold a Master’s degree in their profession and have two years and 2,000 hours Post-Master’s supervision by a licensed professional in direct client/patient care.

Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (MA, LPCC)

must hold a Master’s degree and is working towards licensure under the supervision of a Licensed Professional Counselor to accumulate the 2,000 hours required for licensure.

Intern Therapist

is a Master of Arts in Counseling student in good standing, enrolled in a counseling training graduate degree program at an accredited college/university. They are working towards the 800 hours of supervised experience in client/patient care under the supervision of an MA, LPC.

Registered Therapist

is registered with the State Board of Registered Psychotherapists and is not licensed or certified; no degree, training or experience is required.

What are the Benefits of an Intern Therapist?

An intern therapist is near the end of their training as a therapist. They have completed extensive education in theory and skills. At this level, an intern therapist has often had experience with several different clinical populations. Intern therapists are in close supervision not only with their site supervisor but also their university professors and peer groups. The benefit to clients is an abundance of professional perspectives and recommendations given to support the intern’s direct client contact.

Additionally, Intern therapists provide a high level of quality care at a reduced rate. Clients are able to benefit from the personal care and service of a private practice environment rather than a larger institutional setting without paying full out of pocket rates for a licensed professional counselor.

Another benefit is the flexibility and availability of appointments intern-therapists are able to offer.  As many who have struggled to get into therapists know, finding a therapist who has available appointments open at all is challenging much less appointments that are convenient to your schedule.  Our interns are available for late afternoon, evening and weekend appointments.

See my Reading Recommendations


Want to read more?

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

Get the latest news, curated articles on mental health, tips, and more!