What do all the credentials mean?

Counselors and therapists who are licensed in the state of Idaho will have at least one of these types of credentials.

Clinical Social Work perspective considers the social, economic, and environmental factors that may be affecting the clients mental and physical health. Social workers use the same theories and psychotherapeutic tools as a professional counselor but approach treatment through a broader lens. Social workers work with individuals, couples, families, groups, and may work with schools, organizations, and the government. 

LMSW – Licensed Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Passed master’s licensure exam

Must practice under LCSW supervision

LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Completed 3000 hours of supervised clinical practice

Passed the clinical licensure exam

May diagnose mental health conditions

May practice independently

Professional Counseling perspective focuses on treating behavioral and mental health challenges. Counselors work with individuals, couples, families, and may work with groups.

LPC – Licensed Professional Counselor

Master of Counseling (MCOUN)

Completed 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice

Passed master’s licensure exam

May practice independently

LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Master of Counseling (MCOUN)

Completed 2000 additional hours of supervised clinical practice

Passed the clinical licensure exam

May diagnose mental health conditions

May practice independently

Marriage and Family Therapy focuses on the relationships between individuals through a family centered perspective. Therapists evaluate how these relationships may be impacting client’s mental health and their treatment. They work with individuals, couples, families, and groups.

LAMFT – Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT)

Or Master of Counseling (MCOUN) + additional practicum requirements

Passed master’s licensure exam

Must practice under LMFT or LCPC supervision

LMFT – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT)

Or Master of Counseling (MCOUN) + additional practicum requirements

Completed 3000 hours of supervised practice

Passed master’s licensure exam

May practice independently

Psychologists approach mental health treatment from a more medically informed perspective. Psychologists may work more with behavioral and mental health conditions such as schizophrenia or autism. They are also trained in the same theories and treatment methods as other counselors, therapists, and social workers.

PSY – Licensed Psychologist

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Or Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Completed 2 years of supervised practice

May diagnose mental health conditions

May practice independently

If your provider has one of these two credentials, they are also certified to treat clients who are struggling with substance use disorder.

CADC – Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Holds at least a bachelor’s level degree

Must practice under ACADC supervision

ACADC – Advanced Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Holds at least a master’s level degree

May practice substance use treatment independently

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in managing symptoms of mental health conditions. If you need medication to help manage your mental health, you will likely see a psychiatrist. While counselors, therapists, and psychologists may see their clients on a weekly basis, a psychiatrist may only see their patients every few months.

AASECT – American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists

ABPP – American Board of Professional Psychology

ACSW – Academy of Certified Social Workers

CCPT – Certified Clinical Pastoral (Religious) Counselor

CPC – Certified Professional [Life] Coach

CST – Certified Sex Therapist

ITCA – International Transgender Certification Association

MDiv – Master of Divinity in Professional Counseling

MT-BC – Music Therapist – Board Certified

NCAC – National Certified Addiction Counselor

NCC – National Certified Counselor

NCPC – National Certified Pastoral (Religious) Counselor

RAT – Registered Art Therapist

RCT – Registered Child Therapist

RPT – Registered Play Therapist

SEP – Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

SUDA – Substance Use Disorder Associate

WPATH – World Professional Association for Transgender Health

You can learn more about Idaho Mental Health Professionals here:

https://www.labor.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/publications/mental_health.pdf

https://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/24/241501.pdf

https://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/24/241401.pdf

https://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/24/241201.pdf

https://www.ibadcc.org/

And more about different types of credentials here:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/therapy/the-difference-between-a-psychologist-and-a-psychiatrist

https://www.uplift.app/blog/therapist-credentials

If you find that any of this information is incorrect or out of date please let us know. We want to make sure all the information on this site is relevant and useful. 

Thank you.