Six (good) Reasons to Get Your Independent Counselor’s License as Soon as You Can…
- You are eligible to be paneled with insurance companies and accept third party payments for your services in private practice OR at the agency for which you work. Believe me, your agency will be VERY happy about your independent licensure…
- There is folklore out there that ANYBODY can do private practice with only an LMHC, and/or without taking insurance. The lore goes that you can do just fine that way. The reality is that very few people really can pull this off, and make a full living doing it. Yes, there is discretionary money out there; yes, some people are willing to pay cash on the barrelhead. But some practitioners are either 1) Extraordinary! 2) Have a natural niche market that makes them unique, or at least unusual in the market place 3) Willing to make less money than they could with access to insurance funds. I know we all know a few people who are killing it in private practice, NOT taking insurance, or with only an LMHC—but I can guarantee you, they are in the minority…
- You are eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness programs.
- You are eligible to explore supervision as part of your practice (at the state level, they are messing around with this one a bit, and it is not clear if an LPCC with CECs in Supervision will be enough, or whether you will have to have three years of experience POST LPCC in order to supervise. I am still researching this one….
- There are more jobs for independently licensed practitioners, plain and simple. There just are. The agency does not have to provide supervision for you, YOU can provide supervision for OTHERS, and you generally know more by then!
- You no longer NEED to have a supervisor sign off on your work and hours. You may CHOOSE to keep getting supervision, but that is up to you
- IF YOU PLAN TO WORK IN ANOTHER STATE, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go for that license ASAP–DO NOT WAIT until you move there two or three years from now—the licensure requirements may change and put you in a position where you cannot be licensed!! DO NOT DO THAT TO YOURSELF. No kidding. I am not kidding. Don’t do it. Just do it.
Some folks seem very, very lackadaisical about the issue of “Getting Your Independent License.”
I am not. Get it as soon as you can. Your professional life will improve, and doors will open. There will always be limitations to what you can do without it.
Jim Nolan, Ph.D., LPCC, Independently Licensed Psychologist, NM #1382