Are you a real therapist? The ABCs of Clinician Titles

Written by Tana Yager, MS, LPC, NCC (she/her)

What do all the different titles mean? Are you a “real therapist?”

This is an excellent question! Hometown Counseling is a group private practice focused on not only helping clients, but also helping support and nurture wonderful new therapists.

Hometown Counseling accepts both student interns and licensed interns to work at the practice with regular supervision from a seasoned therapist. While everyone is a “real therapist,” our levels of education and experience do differ so it’s important to know your preferences.

Our most common titles/acronyms:

LPC – licensed professional counselor. Anyone with this license has finished an accredited Masters program, successfully completed 3000+ hours of supervision, and is fully licensed to work individually. (Tana)

LPC Associate – licensed professional counselor intern or license professional counselor associate. Those with this distinction have successfully completed their national exams and graduated from a Masters level program. They can now work fully with clients while continuing to be supervised for 3000 hours. These are not students. They have already graduated and are working towards full licensure.

Skills Trainer – A skills trainer is a clinician who works with you to quickly identify your goals and create actionable treatment plans that focus on results. These individuals have graduated from a master’s program but are not yet licensed by the State of Texas. They do not offer therapy nor is this a good option for processing trauma. (Amanda, Bailie)

Student Counselor or Student Psychological Associate – These individuals are completing their master’s degree. They are actively engaged in supervision at Hometown Counseling as well as their respective universities. If you choose to work with a student intern, you’ll also be provided their supervisor’s information should you ever have any praise or concerns. (Ashley, Michelle)

Your clinician should always disclose their credentials and level of education. If you ever have questions, feel free to reach out to clinicians directly or contact our admin team at

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