I am often asked, “What do I call you? Are you a therapist or a counselor?”
The simple answer is, I am both, I am either.
It really boils down to preference. My licensure suggests that I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). But I have, for whatever reason, strongly disliked the word counselor from the get-go. For me, the title of counselor belongs to those doing the good work at a summer camp, or within a church, or navigating the murky waters of the law, none of which I do.
No matter how I spin it in my mind, I am a therapist, and prefer to be called such. Don’t get me wrong, we are called counselors often, which is always ok. But if asked, I will push for therapist, even more specifically: psychotherapist. Because trust me when I say, I’ve been mistaken for a massage therapist more than once in my career.
We psychotherapists (and counselors) have a lot of education. We have a Master’s degree in some sort of psychology and family therapy, we have passed a national certification exam (NCE), and we have served as a therapist associate, under supervision, for 3000 hours post the master’s degree and only after we’ve passed that NCE. Once we have those milestones completed, we register with our board, and we are finally fully licensed as an LPC. A small handful of us who hold our LPC licensure go even further with our education and certification by acquiring a Supervisor license, allowing our final credential to be: LPC-S (Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor).
I feel that therapists, who practice therapy (as opposed to counseling) are offering a deeper dive into the psyche, childhood and brain functions, therefore behavioral and emotional habits of our clients. While this isn’t very accurate to SAY, I FEEL as though using the words counselor and counseling gives the vibe that we are here to instruct you how to do your life better, which is too thin of a descriptor for what it is we are doing as therapists at Vervewell.
At Vervewell, my staff and I work diligently, on a high-end level, to offer inspired, genuine, connected therapy for each client, 50-minutes by 50-minutes, week by week, month by month. We pride ourselves in the quality service we offer.
Call us what is best for you, we take no offense. But either way you slice it, the therapy we therapists offer is strong self-care, guided direction towards personal growth, healing, doing life a whole lot better, healthier, stronger. Getting results in your life, driven by awareness for who YOU are.
Yes, it’s somewhat tomato/tomato.
But as for me and my staff, we prefer therapist/therapy.
Beth Lewis, LPC-S
therapist offering therapy