Information you need to know when seaching for a Boulder therapist or Denver therapist.
If you are looking for a good Boulder therapist or Denver therapist, this guide to finding the best Denver therapist or Boulder therapist will give you some guidelines as to how to pick the best therapist for you.
There are many different degrees that allow the privilege of someone calling themselves a therapist. The masters in counseling degree is common among Denver therapists and Boulder therapists. Upon completion of the two or three year master in counseling program, an additional two to three years of supervised work experience must be obtained before DORA (the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies) will grant the Denver therapist or Boulder therapist the status of “Licensed Professional Counselor.” Once a Boulder therapist or Denver therapist has been granted the Licensed Professional Counselor designation, they can legally market themselves as a therapist.
One note about the Licensed Professional Counselor designation in Colorado is that not all therapists are created equal. In the state of Colorado the barrier to entry to the therapist profession is very low. Many online programs offer the masters in counseling program and these programs are often of poor quality. Despite the poor quality of these online programs, the state of Colorado will still allow individuals with these credentials to obtain the Licensed Professional Counselor license. So, when searching for a Denver therapist or Boulder therapist, be sure to inquire about where your therapist obtained their graduate training.
Another route to the therapist profession in Colorado is to obtain a masters in social work degree (MSW). Unlike masters in counseling programs and the LPC license these programs lead to, a person who earns a masters in social work will be eligible to obtain a Licensed Clinical Social Worker license upon completion of two years of supervised post graduate work experience. The barrier to entry to the social work profession if much more stringent than that of licensed professional counselors. Unlike masters in counseling programs, masters in social work programs are held to much more stringent accreditation standards and therefore most masters in social work programs have quality curriculums which produce highly competent graduates. Additionally, all masters in social work programs have a required field education component ensuring that all MSW graduates have two years of supervised internship experience before graduation from the MSW program.
In addition to the masters in counseling and masters in social work degrees, PHD level therapists can also obtain LPC licensure. Typically however, PHD level therapists will obtain licensure as a psychologist. Some psychiatrists (medical doctors with specialized training in mental health) perform psychotherapy but most limit their practice to prescribing medications that help to regulate mood and mental health disorders.
In addition to the masters degrees that allow a Denver therapist or Boulder therapist to practice psychotherapy, there are many certificate programs and additional credentials that can be earned to give a therapist additional training in a particular therapy modality such as addiction counseling or trauma. For trauma, many therapists will undergo training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing). In the state of Colorado the gold standard for specialization in addiction is to obtain the Certified Addiction Counselor license.
The Certified Addiction Counselor license is issued by DORA upon completion of several weeks worth of classes followed by several thousand hours worth of supervised work experience. The Certified Addiction Counselor license can be obtained from level “1” through level “3” all the way up to the Licensed Addiction Counselor designation. Each level of the designation denotes additional classroom work, formal education and number of hours of supervised work experience.
Thus, if you are looking for an addiction counselor or addiction therapist in the state of Colorado, the most highly qualified professionals will have either an “LPC” or “LCSW” and will hold a Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) license of level II or higher. For example, look for “LPC CAC III” or “LCSW CAC III” credentials when you are looking for a Boulder addiction therapist or Denver addiction therapist.
I hope that this blog post will help you with your search for an addiction counselor or addiction therapist in the Boulder or Denver area.
NorthStar Transitions offers addiction counseling and addiction therapist services in both Denver and Boulder at the rate of $120.00 per hour. We do not accept insurance because of the limits insurance companies place on clients receiving quality addiction treatment services. Insurance companies will dictate how many sessions of therapy you can receive and which addiction therapists you may see to receive addiction treatment.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of NorthStar’s highly qualified Boulder or Denver addiction therapists, please call us today at 1-888-787-9377.