The day had finally come. After completing the required internship hours I submitted my paperwork to transition from LPC-Intern to LPC. At this time, I was mere days away from delivering my first child, so I could not have been more relieved. This was in January. Flash forward to May. My son was now 4 months old and I was still an LPC-Intern. Fortunately everything worked out. I was fully licensed just in time to return to work at the beginning of June. But I can say that during those 4 months, I spent more time and energy than I would have liked calling the board, locating lost paperwork, and trying to calm my anxious nerves. So, what went wrong? It was actually a strange multitude of random occurrences that made the journey more difficult. But I did learn a few things about the application process. Hopefully my experience and lessons learned will be helpful to those of you who have yet to file for your LPC license.
1. When keeping track of your hours, do so on one form. During the middle of my internship my supervisor moved and I had to find a new one. My new supervisor recommended that I use the Supervision Log Form provided by the board. Because I tend to be a creature of habit I resisted this change. This resulted in my having to transfer my hours from my original log to the official form. It was a huge pain and I got confused in the mix of it. It took me forever to get the numbers on the original log and the numbers on the new form to match. Hear me now, just use the official form from the start. You will thank me later.
2. Copies. Make copies of your copies and then copy those as well. Seriously. I had two wonderful supervisors throughout my internship. They were organized, professional, and on top of everything. Unfortunately they both moved to a different city. So when I couldn’t find my copies of my paperwork and decided to reach out to them and ask for theirs, everything was packed away. It was stressful for everyone.
3. If there is a problem with your paperwork that is not quickly resolved email the board to formally request a copy of your records. If I had done this sooner, I would have quickly seen the problem and fixed it easily. In fact, once I had the copy of my records, I was able to take care of the problem within an hour.
4. When contacting the board be pleasant and thorough. Be prepared with a specific list of questions. You will not be offered information that you have not specifically asked about. For example, the first time I called I was told I was missing the jurisprudence exam. I rectified this, but still no license. The next time I called, I was informed that there was a mistake within the paperwork I filed and I would need to correct this mistake. Later, after many more phone calls, I found out that there were actually 3 mistakes. This brings me to my next tip.
5. Take notes while talking to the board and always ask who specifically you are speaking with.
6. Last but not least, as my grandmother has always said, you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Once I corrected all mistakes and sent the new paperwork in via both email and fax (better safe than sorry) I made sure to include a letter explaining the corrections and apologizing for any inconvenience that the errors may have caused anyone. I cannot prove it, but I firmly believe that this made all the difference. I was licensed less than 3 days later. Ask anyone, that turnaround time is almost unheard of.
If you have any other tips or suggestions to help with the process of filing for your LPC license, please share them with us all by leaving a comment in the box below!
Tiffany Frias, LPC