Written by: Kaycee Beglau, PsyD
Psychotherapy can be a wonderful way to better understand yourself and improve your life. Psychotherapy can help you process past traumas, get through difficult emotions, and learn new coping skills. It can also be a helpful part of recovery from substance abuse, help you improve your relationships with others, or even to be a better parent to your children. But not everyone can afford to see a licensed therapist. If you're looking for some guidance without breaking the bank, pre-licensed therapists are one option to consider.
What's a pre-licensed therapist?
A pre-licensed therapist is someone who has graduated from a master's degree program but has not yet passed the licensing exam or accumulated enough post-graduate supervised hours to meet the licensure requirements. While every state has different requirements for licensure, in the state of Pennsylvania, master’s level therapists are required to earn 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience over a minimum of 2 years. During these 2 years, they are required to spend at least 2 hours each week in supervision with an experienced, licensed clinician who is there to guide them and help them continue developing and applying their skills.
Pre-licensed therapists will have gained some experience in their graduate training program, through their practicums and internships. They have most of the skills and knowledge of a licensed therapist, but simply haven’t “been around the block” as much as licensed professional. While there are pros and cons to this, they are still highly knowledgeable and committed to helping clients heal and grow into their best selves!
Why see a pre-licensed therapist?
There are many reasons why you may want to see a pre-licensed therapist. Some of the most common include:
Are there downsides to seeing a pre-licensed therapist?
There are a few downsides to seeing a pre-licensed therapist. First, as noted above, they may not be able to provide the same level of care as someone who is licensed. This is because their training and experience are limited. Even though they have gone through the necessary education to earn their master's degree in counseling and have an understanding of the field (and probably even more than some fully licensed clinicians), not having that extra qualification could mean that they don't have access to certain treatments or techniques that may be helpful for you.
Additionally, if your health insurance doesn't cover out-of-network mental health care costs—or if it only covers therapy delivered by licensed professionals—you may not be able to submit claims for out-of-network reimbursement.
As you can see, there are many benefits to seeing a pre-licensed therapist. They’re more affordable and their training is similar to that of licensed therapists. Although they may not have all the skills of a licensed therapist yet, they’ll still be able to help you work through your problems with a supportive environment that can give you valuable insight into how therapy works in general. So, if you’re looking for someone who offers reasonable rates on therapy sessions or just want someone with less experience but still has an understanding of what it means to be in therapy then pre-licensed therapists are definitely worth considering!
At Turning Leaf Therapy, we take our training program very seriously, and hand select the most qualified applicants from a very large pool. We invest heavily in their training and supervision to ensure you get the best care possible!
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We are a full-service private practice offering a variety of therapeutic services conveniently located in Old City, Philadelphia.
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