Why Should I Work with an LPC Associate?
There are five main reasons I believe you should consider working with an LPC Associate if you’re seeking therapy. Those five reasons are:
- Lower Cost
- You Get Two Therapists for the Price of (less than) One
- Benefits of Group Supervision
- Associates are Often Experienced in Other Ways
- More Experience Does Not Always Mean Better Therapy
1. Lower Cost
LPC Associates often charge lower fees compared to their fully licensed counterparts. This is generally true in group practices as well as agencies and other settings. Many LPC Associates charge in the range of $60-100 per session. (Some closer to $30 or less.) Compare that to independently licensed counselors who charge anywhere from $100 to $250 per session.
This can be beneficial to those who do not have insurance that covers mental health or who have opted not to utilize their insurance. LPC Associates are not eligible to bill insurance, so they do often charge less. This makes mental health care more accessible to those who may otherwise be unable to afford services.
2. It’s Like Getting Two Therapists for the Price of (less than) One
Because LPC Associates are unable to practice independently, they must be under the supervision of an LPC Supervisor. This means that while they gain the 3,000 hours of experience necessary to become fully licensed, they must meet weekly with their supervisor.
Working with an LPC Associate means you also get to work vicariously with their supervisor. There may even be times when the LPC Supervisor will monitor the sessions in real-time or review recordings of sessions later.
The supervisor’s role is to monitor client progress as well as provide training and intervene when necessary to ensure you get the best care possible. If your therapist ever feels stuck, they have the opportunity to discuss this with their supervisor. As a supervisor, I can then teach, guide, or problem-solve with them.
It’s as the old adage says, “two heads are better than one.”
3. You Also Benefit from Group Supervision
Not only do you get the two-for-one I mentioned above, LPC Associates often meet in groups for supervision as well. In my supervision practice, associates meet with me in small groups every other week. It is an opportunity for your therapist to share cases and gain additional insight and information from their peers.
If you’re concerned about your private information being shared, don’t be. LPC Associates and their supervisors are bound by confidentiality. We also don’t share identifiable information with the group. I encourage my associates to share just enough information to ask what they need, and we never use full names. Most associates choose to use pseudo names for their clients to protect them as well.
4. Many LPC Associates are Experienced in Other Ways
Many LPC Associates are second-career professionals. They have years of experience in various other fields which informs their practice as therapists. I know LPC Associates who were teachers, lawyers, even yoga instructors or doulas.
Not only have all LPC Associates graduated with a Master’s degree, completed at least 300 hours of practicum, and passed a licensing exam, they also come into the therapy room with years of life experience. They have faced challenges, experienced triumphs, overcome adversity… and that is valuable.
It’s also common practice for LPC Associates to have been in therapy themselves. There is almost nothing better than being on the other side of the couch (or computer screen) when it comes to becoming a great therapist. In fact, I encourage my associates to be in therapy themselves. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in therapy myself, so I know how beneficial it can be.
5. More Experience Does Not Always Mean Better Therapy
A more experienced therapist is not necessarily a better therapist. The fact is that the therapy world is changing rapidly to better meet the needs of our clients. An LPC Associate fresh out of graduate school has likely been exposed to more modern techniques and interventions.
That’s not to say that more experienced therapists can’t continue their education or be on the cutting edge of modern therapy. There is, however, a difference between having 20 years of experience and being a therapist for 20 years who hasn’t changed the way they practice in that time.
LPC Associates have and will continue to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the field of therapy. That’s one of the benefits I have as an LPC Supervisor; I get to learn from my associates as much as they learn from me. It’s also one of the benefits to you as a potential client if you choose to work with an LPC Associate.
So Why Choose an LPC Associate?
They often charge less, but you get the same (or better) clinical care. You get the benefit of having multiple professionals with various backgrounds who all have your best interest at heart. I mean, other than the whole can’t-take-insurance-thing, there are few reasons not to work with an LPC Associate.
If you’re in the state of Texas and interested in beginning therapy with an LPC Associate, feel free to contact me for a list of referrals. I’ve got some really great therapists just waiting to meet you. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll be sure to get in touch.
About the Author
Mark Cagle is an LPC Supervisor in Texas and provides online supervision to LPC Associates throughout the state. He also has a thriving private practice in Dallas focused on working with couples in crisis.
Being the nerd that he is, he also builds websites and creates digital marketing plans to help other therapists flourish in their practices.
There are many great reasons to work with Mark, but don't just take his word for it. If you want to skip the usual associate slog and jumpstart your career in private practice, schedule a chat.