Liberty University-Masters in Professional Counseling?

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by armywife, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    I'd also note that there a BAZILLIONS of counseling opportunities out there for a determining factor to be a DOD/VA requirement.
  2. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    One issue I'll throw out there: Counseling laws (licensure, scope of practice, etc) vary tremendously across the 50 states. In fact, California didn't even have licensure for counselors until, I think, 2009. (Though there was licensure for certain classes, MFCC, for example.) And I have heard from quite a number of masters-level therapists that insurance reimbursement is a huge problem, and there are issues with limitation on what they're allowed to do.

    The more I have looked into the field of social work, the more I've come to understand that, owing largely to the efforts of the National Association of Social Workers, the masters-level social worker is better recognized and has a wider scope of practice in pretty much all 50 states compared to the masters level counselor or psychologist. And it is my impression that masters-level social workers also have much greater insurance reimbursability than their MA Psych counterparts. So you might want to consider looking into that as a possibility, depending on your ultimate needs or goals. With an undergrad psych degree, you would have most of the requirements (save maybe for 2 or 3 courses) to enter a 2 year MSW program. There are a number of online MSW programs, and quite a few that are partially online with limited campus visits required.

    USC has a very highly regarded online program, and there's another one at University of North Dakota, along with several others as well, including Memorial University in Newfoundland (Canada).

    This may not suit your needs, but it's a commonly overlooked alternative so I thought I'd throw it out there.
  3. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    Thank you graymatter. First, you should read the threads surrounding this to understand what was going on at that time. I had posted numerous times, seeing my reply on the screen and then not there once I returned. I was unaware of the of the forum's rules regarding new forum members, and their posts needing mod approval.

    If you were unaware, but kept seeing your posts disappearing, wouldn't you be critical too?

    Now. As long as we are on the topic of being unaware... I am not preoccupied with anything. I am, however, worried that people will not be able to meet their career goals and simply by looking into the laws and statues of their aspiring careers.

    How you were able to provide contracts to government agencies for non-CACREP counselors is helpful information, and it would probably benefit all of us for you to write about how you did that instead of taking it personally.

  4. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    I don't know that I'd say that there is a large variance. There are some differences but most states follow a similar structure; many states reciprocate licenses from other states (I've transferred three times and will again in the next year or so).

    Here's the best site for finding your state and its requirements: National Board For Certified Counselors
  5. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services Under TRICARE (2010) includes an appendix that notes the requirements for licensure in each state.

    Many states read something similar to Alabama (chosen only because its first alphabetically): "Master’s degree or higher in counseling from a CACREP-or CORE-accredited program or its equivalent at a regionally accredited institution, with at least 48 graduate semester hours."

    The only states that that source indicates CACREP-accredited programs are REQUIRED (without any "equivalent" consideration) are: Arizona, Louisiana, Maine, Utah.

    BUT, then I went to the websites of those four states. Arizona does not indicate CACREP only ("regionally accredited college or university"). Louisiana states "regionally accredited institution" as well. Utah reads "Master’s degree or equivalent."

    So there. We're down to Maine.

    If you want to practice in Maine or with clients whose sole funding source is TRICARE... then you should rule-out regionally-accredited non-CACREP programs.
  6. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    Thanks for blanketing each thread with the same info. I am still curious how you are able to provide services to government agencies when the GS requirement for professional counselors required a CACREP degree. This information would be useful for many people.

    Also, CACREP may not be too important now, but the standards are. The NBCC and ACA are working very hard with legislature to make CACREP an equal standard to NASW. Many of you are bringing up the issue of MSWs being more accepted by insurance companies, the government, etc professional counselors. The NASW is the reason why. Since every social work program in the nation is accredited by the same agency, organizations and even clients know what to expect. This is why in most cases, the MSW and LICSW are reciprocal throughout the US.

    Choose your program, but think of your future as a professional too well. If you care about the profession, hopefully you will care about raising it's efficacy. If you don't agree with CACREP standards, advocate. Use your power in professional organizations to make your voice heard. Simply sitting around and boycotting does nothing to help you, your colleagues, your profession, and your clients.
  7. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    P.S. You should be able to edit long after 10 minutes from posting your thread! There are so many typing errors in mine above, but I had to the post had to be approved and went over the 10-minute time limit!

    It is what it is. I have no shame in bad grammar. I've seen PhDs submitting articles with much worse ;)
  8. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    Hey Chip,

    Thanks a lot for bringing up the MSW programs, and I apologize for your post going unnoticed. The University of New England ( also has a good online MSW program. I also posted about USC in another thread.

    Undergrads from a NASW-accredited BSW program can usually transfer into a MSW program with advanced standing, and finish their program in one year. I don't recommend this though, because it means less field/practicum experience at the graduate level. It would get you into the the profession faster, though.

    There are some differences between Social Work and Counseling, just like these are both different from Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Psychology, etc. In theory, SW draws a lot from Group Theories (an environmental perspective), Counseling trains in a developmental/humanistic/strengths-based perspective, MFT focuses on systems, yada yada. Though, once you have your degree you can basically focus on whatever you want... and that is why the field of psychology is so great! Constant self-directed education, if you want it.

    So really, much of what these professions do are the same at the masters level. Key differences are insurance issues and the ability to work in Government positions. Social Workers have the easiest time because of history and the reciprocity created by NASW. Maybe Social Workers have advocated more for their profession because of their socially-minded training? Who knows. This is not to say that LPC/LMHCs can not bill insurance companies... but it is often more difficult.

    If anyone wants to be a psychotherapist or perform counseling, there are many opportunities leading basically to the same profession. It is up to you to decide which one is best, and look into all of the reasons of why that may be.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2011
  9. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    In the reply above I mentioned "NASW-accredited Social Work programs" by mistake. I meant to refer to CSWE-accredited programs. NASW does not accredit Social Work educational programs.
  10. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    You're talking about two different things here. One is billing Tricare and the other are people that are government employees who are professional counselors . One may make an impact and the other is statistically insignificant.

    CACREP is great, but for most people it isn't going to make a difference at this point. If you travel a lot then it is definitely good to have but as long as you know the requirements for your state and any that you would consider living in you should be good to go.
  11. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    Hmm... I did confuse the two in that post, wherein a contracted employee and GS workers are different. However, since Tricare is used only by military active duty and their families it would not be used by veterans. So in the case of wanting to know how LPCs are able to contract with the VA, when they have specified specific educational guidelines... I am still curious.

    Regarding Tricare, this is an important publication to read: Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services Under TRICARE. Congress also passed a law this past December allowing for independent counselors to bill for Tricare, but it does not specify anything about CACREP. However, as you can see in the publication it is recognized as something of importance by the Institute of Medicine, and others, and has the ability to effect counselors in the future.

    It could also effect student-counselors as states continue to raise the bar on licensing requirements... and the last thing that anyone wants to do is go back to school. Maine requires a CACREP degree, NJ will require a CACREP degree in 2012, Oregon does not accept non-CACREP accredited online degrees, many other states require that a program fit the CACREP model, and many have recently changed their hourly requirements from 48 to 60. So, things are becoming somewhat normalized, and I think that it is safe to say that in the future it will be much more important.

    Maybe statistically unimportant for now, people should know what changes are being made and how it could effect them. That is all.

    I do accept responsibility for being mistaken on the Tricare issue. However speaking to the issue of contracting with the VA, Tricare is not an issue... but it does matter in treating returning soldiers still on AD. Many miss the opportunity to be treated while on active duty, but this is another issue that may not be important for everyone on this discussion board. I'll leave that up to others to decide and will join the conversation accordingly.

  12. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    Retirees can use Tricare, so some veterans would use it.
  13. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    I was going to state this as well.
  14. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    This may not be the case for everyone, but I have known many more people who have separated from AD after one or two terms than have decided to stay on for retirement... and I was in the Air Force. I would imagine that branches such as the Marines or Army, which typically see more ground combat and have more difficult intra-rank relations, would have a higher separation rate. Actually, zero marines that I knew are still marines and one army person is still in the army. More have stayed in the AF, but many many more people who I knew while in have left. Again, this is based off of my own experience.

    It would be interesting to see a figure on this.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2011

Share This Page