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Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in Tennessee

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in Tennessee

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What is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)?

A Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) is a mental health professional who has completed graduate-level training in counseling and has obtained a state license to provide therapeutic services to individuals, couples, families, and groups. LPC therapists are trained to help clients with various emotional, behavioral, and mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, relationship problems, substance abuse, and trauma.

An LPC’s education requirements are a master’s degree in counseling or a related field from an accredited institution. They can work in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient therapy within schools, community mental health clinics, addiction treatment centers, and hospitals. The goal of an LPC counselor’s education and training is to provide client-centered treatment.1

To become an LPC in Tennessee, an individual must complete a supervised field experience, such as a practicum or an internship. Either of the two requirements must last at least 500 hours, with at least 300 hours spent in a mental health or community agency environment. The person overseeing it must also have a master’s degree in counseling, social work, psychology, or psychiatry.

To be eligible for licensing as a mental health care provider (LPC/MHSP), candidates must complete 3,000 hours of clinically supervised experience, of which 50% must involve face-to-face client contact. In addition, a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), the National Counselor Examination (NCE) administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors, and the Tennessee jurisprudence exam are also required. An LPC therapist must also adhere to a criminal background check.

An LPC in Tennessee must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years. In addition, three hours must be devoted to state or professional ethics laws and regulations.2 Those who obtained their license in the first year are exempt from this requirement.

Some of the mental health issues that LPCs can help with include the following:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Relationship issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Addiction and substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-esteem and confidence issues
  • Life transitions or adjustments, like career changes and divorce

LPC counselors are trained to conduct mental health assessments, develop treatment plans, and provide therapeutic interventions tailored to each individual’s unique needs and circumstances. Depending on the client’s needs and preferences, they may use various therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, or humanistic therapy.

Insurance may be able to help cover the cost of therapy. Find out if your insurance can help with the costs by calling your insurance provider or by contacting us below. One of our care coordinators can help you navigate your insurance coverage and get the care you need.

What to Expect When You Talk to an LPC

When you talk to an LPC therapist, you can expect a safe, confidential space to discuss your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. A qualified LPC counselor actively listens and responds with empathy and understanding, creating a safe and non-judgmental environment. The exact steps of the therapeutic process can vary, but below is a general overview of what you can expect:

  1. Initial Assessment: The therapist will ask you about your mental health concerns, medical history, and personal and family background. This information will help the therapist understand your needs and develop a tailored treatment plan.
  2. Setting Goals: Based on the information gathered during the initial assessment, the LPC therapist will work with you to identify your goals for therapy. These short-term or long-term goals will help guide the therapy process.
  3. Developing a Treatment Plan: Once your goals are identified, the LPC will develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs and preferences. The treatment plan may include specific therapy techniques or activities to help you achieve your goals.
  4. Ongoing Therapy Sessions: The bulk of the therapeutic process with an LPC involves ongoing therapy sessions. During these sessions, you’ll work with the therapist to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to your mental health concerns. In addition, the therapist will use evidence-based techniques and strategies to help you manage symptoms and make positive changes in your life.
  5. Homework and Activities: Depending on the therapeutic approach, an LPC therapist may give you homework or activities outside of therapy sessions. These can help reinforce and apply what you learn in therapy to your daily life.
  6. Re-Evaluation: Periodically, the LPC will re-evaluate your progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed. This can help ensure that you are progressing toward your goals and that the therapy meets your needs.

An LPC therapist works collaboratively with you to identify your therapy objectives and develop a treatment plan that works for you. They’ll strive to build a therapeutic relationship based on mutual trust and respect and use evidence-based therapy techniques to help you manage your mental health concerns. A trained LPC therapist will adhere to ethical and professional standards, maintain boundaries, and always act professionally.

Signs an LPC Therapist is Right for You

You should take your time when choosing an LPC therapist. It’s critical to realize that every therapist is different, and each of us will have various requirements. Even if a therapist has experience with your illness and comes highly recommended, it is absolutely acceptable to change therapists if they are not addressing your particular needs.3

While choosing an LPC therapist may seem intimidating, it may be helpful to start by focusing on why you seek therapy. For instance, if you frequently feel anxious, angry, or depressed, you may consider looking for a therapist who specializes in anxiety and depression. Likewise, if you recently lost someone close to you, it may be helpful to seek a professional who specializes in grief and loss.

Below are some signs that an LPC therapist may be right for you:

  • You feel comfortable and safe: A good LPC therapist will create a safe, non-judgmental space to express your thoughts and feelings. You should feel comfortable with the therapist and feel that you can be yourself around them.
  • The therapist is licensed and trained: It is essential to ensure that your therapist is licensed and qualified to offer counseling services. Tennessee licensed professional counselors have finished a counseling program at the graduate level and passed a licensing exam administered by the state.
  • The therapist listens to you and is empathetic: When seeking a therapist, it’s important to find someone who listens to your concerns and empathizes with your situation. In addition, it’s crucial to have a therapist who is genuinely invested in your well-being and dedicated to helping you.
  • The therapist’s treatment plan makes sense: An effective therapist will create a customized treatment plan that aligns with your unique needs and objectives. As a result, you should feel more comfortable and satisfied with the therapy process.
  • The therapist challenges you and helps you grow: A good therapist will challenge you to think differently and help you develop new coping strategies. You want a therapist who will help you grow and develop.

While LPCs are trained to provide counseling services for a wide range of mental and behavioral health disorders, there may be situations where you may need a more specialized therapist or a different type of mental health professional. For example, LPCs are not authorized to prescribe medications or formally diagnose mental health disorders. With that said, they may collaborate with a psychiatrist or other medical doctor who can do so.

Additionally, here are some situations where you may want to consider seeking a different type of mental health professional:

  • Severe mental illness: If you’re experiencing symptoms of severe mental illness, such as psychosis, major depressive disorder, or suicidal thoughts, you may need more intensive treatment from a psychiatrist or other mental health professional trained to provide medication management and other specialized therapies.
  • Substance abuse and addiction: LPCs can provide counseling services for substance abuse and addiction. However, working with a substance abuse specialist or addiction counselor with specialized training and treatment experience may be more beneficial.
  • Eating disorders: Individuals with eating disorders can get therapy from an LPC counselor, but you may also benefit from consulting with a dietician or therapist who has expertise in treating eating disorders.
  • Trauma and PTSD: While LPCs are qualified to offer PTSD and trauma therapy, working with a trauma expert or therapist with special training in treating trauma may prove more beneficial.
  • Couples therapy: Licensed marital and family therapists (LMFTs), who have specific training and expertise in dealing with couples and families, may be more beneficial to you than LPCs for couples therapy.

How Much Does LPC Counseling Cost in Tennessee?

The cost of seeing an LPC counselor in Tennessee can vary depending on several factors, including the therapist’s experience, location, and type of therapy. On average, $50 to $80 for each session is what you should budget. Some offices will provide access to student counselors for as low as $20 per hour.4

Remember, many therapists offer a free consultation or initial session, which can be an excellent opportunity to ask questions and determine whether the therapist is a good fit for you.

Here are some general guidelines for LPC counseling costs in Tennessee:

  • Sliding scale fees: Some LPCs in Tennessee offer sliding scale fees, meaning they will adjust their costs based on your income and ability to pay. This can be a good option if you lack insurance or have limited financial resources.
  • Online counseling: Some LPCs in Tennessee may offer online counseling services, which can be a convenient option if you live in a rural area or have mobility issues. Depending on the therapist’s practice, online or in-person counseling sessions may cost the same or less.
  • Insurance coverage: Many LPC therapists in Tennessee accept health insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare. If you have insurance, your out-of-pocket costs may be lower than if you pay out-of-pocket. Therefore, it’s important to verify insurance benefits to understand your mental health coverage and any copays or deductibles that may apply.

Athena Care is in-network with most major insurance plans, and we have multiple therapy centers in Tennessee. To learn more about your benefits, let one of our knowledgeable care coordinators contact your insurance company. They’ll review your coverage in detail and go over all of your possibilities for getting therapy in Tennessee. Complete our no-obligation, confidential online form today, or call (615) 320-1155.

How to Choose the Best LPC Therapist in Tennessee

Choosing the best LPC therapist in Tennessee might be challenging, and it’s a very personal decision. However, the most critical component is finding someone who can offer the support and guidance required to meet your mental health objectives. So, to select the best LPC therapist, take your time, do some research, and follow your instincts.

Below are a few key factors to consider to help you make an informed decision:

  • Verify credentials: You can check the Tennessee Board of Licensed Professional Counselors to verify a therapist’s license and check for any disciplinary actions.
  • Consider their specialties: You may want to look for an LPC therapist with specialized training or experience in the area you want to work on in therapy.
  • Read reviews and testimonials: Ask friends, family, or healthcare providers for recommendations for LPC therapists in Tennessee. You can also check online reviews or therapist directories to find therapists with good reviews and ratings. Be sure to read positive and negative reviews for a more balanced perspective.
  • Consider therapy format: LPC counselors in Tennessee may offer in-person counseling, online counseling, or a combination. Consider the best format for you based on your schedule, location, and preferences.
  • Schedule a consultation: Many LCSW therapists offer free consultations to potential clients. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the therapist and ask any questions you may have before committing to therapy. Ask about their approach to treatment, their experience, and any questions you have about the therapeutic process.

LPC vs. LCSW vs. LMFT: What’s the Difference?

Counselors, psychiatrists, and psychologists are just a few qualified people who may offer advice and assistance to persons needing mental health treatment. To find the proper professional and ensure they match your demands, it’s vital to consider their credentials, experience, and therapeutic style.

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs): Mental health professionals who have completed a master’s degree in counseling and have obtained a license to practice in their state. LPCs are qualified to offer counseling and therapy to individuals, couples, and families. They have received training to deal with various mental health conditions, including substance abuse, trauma, depression, and anxiety.

Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs): Practitioners in mental health who have earned a license to practice in their state and have finished a master’s degree in social work. LCSWs have training in advocating for people, communities, and families, as well as therapy, counseling, case management, and advocacy. LCSWs have received training in treating various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs): Individuals in the mental health field who have earned a master’s degree in marital and family therapy and a license to practice in their state. LMFTs are equipped to provide counseling and treatment to clients of all ages, including couples and families, for a variety of mental health conditions, with a particular emphasis on relationship and family dynamics.


  1. “What Is an LPC? Degrees, Careers and Salary.” Online Counseling Programs With edX, 2022, onlinecounselingprograms.com/become-a-counselor/what-is-an-lpc.
  2. “How to Become a Counselor in Tennessee.” Online Counseling Programs With edX, 2022, onlinecounselingprograms.com/become-a-counselor/counseling-licensure/how-to-become-a-counselor-in-tennessee.
  3. Todd, Lindsey. What to Know About Talk Therapy. 9 July 2021, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/talk-therapy#choosing-a-therapist.
  4. Grupa, Tom. “How Much Does Therapy Cost?” Thervo, 28 Oct. 2022, thervo.com/costs/how-much-does-therapy-cost.

If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.

One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control. 

(615) 320-1155