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How do I find out a therapist credentials and licensing?

29 Answers
Last Updated: 12/10/2021 at 5:17pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
July 7th, 2016 3:16pm
Check on government/therapy/counselling/psychology association pages. If they are registered, there should be registration number and a profile.
July 22nd, 2016 5:37pm
You can look them up online, as this is public record, on your state's licensing website. If you are already seeing a therapist, you can ask them, as they legally have to provide you this information. Their license should also be visible somewhere in their office and their credentials should be listed behind their name, such as LPC, LCSW, PsyD, or PhD. If you don't feel comfortable with this you can ask the administrative staff at the therapist's office as well.
January 11th, 2018 1:32am
You can look on Psychology today's website. they have all creds listed and you can narrow your search for your needs and insurance.
June 18th, 2020 2:58pm
You can always research a therapist credentials and licensing and also research any reviews or websites they are apart of to get a better idea on who you could or would be talking to. If you do not feel comfortable with the therapists credentials or licensing that they have, do not settle. It is your decision after all and if you would feel better looking into more research, then by all means please do so. It's important to find the right therapist with the correct credentials and licensing in their line of work. The internet is our friend, but also referrals is a good way to start too.
July 18th, 2016 4:32pm
You can look online to find out their general information and you can also just ask, but usually they have some sort of degree on their wall.
September 8th, 2016 9:54pm
You most of the time cant. Most things are very confidential. But know that whoever youre talking to, its between you and them.
September 9th, 2016 5:12pm
Generally, a therapist will provide you with this if asked. If they have a website, it will often list education, state of licensing, academic honors, and other meaningful information. If they do not, you may have to contact them and ask for this information.
November 19th, 2016 4:12am
Usually most therapists have their degress and what not on their walls in their office to sort of display their success
February 3rd, 2017 1:25pm
Each state has their own requirements for counselors to obtain licensure or certification. Some states have similar requirements while others may be entirely different. Finding those requirements via government websites, sorting through the pages of requirements and deciphering those requirements once found is a tedious has simplified the search process
April 8th, 2017 1:40am
Ask them for it, a medical profession by law if you are their client has to provide you with them if you inquire. I have individuals ask me for mine all the time due to my age.
May 4th, 2017 4:26pm
Depending on which country you live in, you need to find the governing body for the licensing and then look them up on their website. You could also approach your therapist and ask them directly.
July 5th, 2017 1:30am
I usually just ask up front. A therapist should be honest about what training they have had and should be able to explain what they can help you with. If you want to really understand what training they have gone through after finding out what they have, look up the state board they are licensed by and their requirements to become licensed in that state. It was very helpful to me in understanding what a therapist has done and has experience in.
August 4th, 2017 3:33pm
I typically suggest using a search engine (i.e. Google, Bing) to look up registered therapists, counselors, psychologists, and social workers in your area. For example, if you were looking for a therapy in your city, search "registered therapists in _____ (your town name)". This will be a good place to start. You can also contact your family doctor, local hospital or health center and ask them for help finding a therapist to meet your needs.
September 1st, 2017 4:42am
This answer is easy - you ask them :) Really though, you can call the office where the therapist works and ask the receptionist or whoever answers the phone. You can sometimes find the therapist's credentials online; especially if his/her 'clinic' has its own website. But really the easiest way is to just ask him/her when you meet. I was recently transferred to a new-to-me therapist and I asked her lots of things. But things like, what school did you go to? or when did you graduate/how long have you been working in this field? What sort of job did you do before that? ... and important to me at least, What is your specialty? Do you have any 'extra' training, verification, or certificates of learning? I hope this is helpful! :)
December 9th, 2017 4:51am
Typically, this is something that a therapist would have on their website. If they have an office phone number, you could always call and ask.
January 19th, 2019 5:58am
When we go to a hospital nearby then we can find out whether they have a certified theraphist or not , all the theraphista are different when we visit them once or twice then only we come to know if he/she is really helpful and the best for us , so it depends upon individuals perspective and first or initial meetings to find the right theraphist at a hospital or clinic . So the best thing to do is visit a hospital or a mental health clinic and they will let you know the therapist credentials and licensing as it is their duty
April 9th, 2020 1:51am
My personal experience has been by visiting my personal physician or nurse practitioner. They have a list of reputable counselors and psychiatrists who they will be able to provide a referral to if necessary. There are so many counselors out there and the last thing you want to do is to get a hold of one who doesn't meet with your personality. That is why asking your doctor or NP is such a good idea, because they know you and can direct you to a good fit. Congratulations on taking this monumental step and seeking therapy. I wish you the very best on your journey!
April 23rd, 2020 4:10pm
I would recommend looking for therapists/counselors on Psychology Today or a similar site. You can look up reviews, licenses, locations, etc. Something that I have always found very helpful is that you can search what topics they specialize in. This can be anything from anxiety to therapy with college students! Therapists usually also list the insurances they take as well, or if they run any group therapy sessions on certain topics. In the United States, most therapists will be either a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), LCPC (Licensed Clinicial Professional Counselor) or a PsyD (Doctorate in Psychology). Some may have other additional titles or certifications in certain topics.
April 26th, 2020 4:23pm
This is a great question. I would encourage you to start by by looking up therapist groups online, credentials for individual therapists should be listed on their websites. If you want any more specific credentials you can call the group by phone and ask if they have more details on their therapists, You will want to pick a therapist who deals with topics that are applicable to you and your situation. Another option would be to ask your regular licensed doctor for referrals to be sure you are dealing with licensed therapists who will give you the best care possible.
May 27th, 2020 11:19pm
A therapists credentials and licensing can often be found online (if the individual has a website), you can also search their name on the appropriate database ie. in Canada, a psychologist would be registered under the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or under the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) database if they are a social worker. Depending on where you live, their credentials may also be posted in a frame in their office (In Canada this is mandatory). You can also ask the therapist directly about their credentials and licensing and what their qualifications are. Most therapists will have qualifications within a specific domain that they share as well.
July 2nd, 2020 1:38am
The best thing you can do is research! Typically, you do need a college education and licensing to do so. A friend of mine is a therapist and had to get her Masters Degree as well as doing hours at a facility and then take her licensing exam. It sounds like a lot of work, which it is, but if this is what you want to do- go for it! Definitely look into courses and degrees that can help. Once you get your foot in the door, the rest is learning. You will be required to do hours somewhere for credit! Best of luck!
July 9th, 2020 9:44am
Try to google their name, maybe you will find a site with such information you are interested in. Look them up in social network sites, as their accounts might have some information. You can also try to ask them directly in person, or ask someone who knows them, or their workplace, if possible. Before you go to a therapy session, it's completely normal to ask about their licensing and stuff, most of them will be comfortable to answer you and let you make sure you know you are in good and professional hands. Research and ask anything you are curious about.
August 15th, 2020 7:57pm
Typically, a therapist's licensing will be visible somewhere in their office and their credentials should be listed after their name (i.e., Jane Doe, LPC/LCSW/LMHC, etc.). You could also call the therapist's office and ask what their credentials and licensing are. Also, most therapists have a webpage where they list their licensing and credentials in addition to providing a bit about them in their biography section. Here, you can also find out what topics the therapist has provided counseling on (e.g., bullying, trauma, mental health, eating disorders, family issues, student life, PTSD, self-image, self-esteem, abuse, domestic issues, and so on).
August 22nd, 2020 5:51am
You could directly ask or look them up. They should be registered, and they should provide to you any credentials and licenses they have if asked. If they are unwilling to do this I would not trust them. Additionally, many of them have these listed online and can be found by looking at a website or typing in their phone number or name and pulling up their info. Different therapists will have various different credentials but all should be licensed. Some will be Doctors, some will have only BA's there are so many ways to get into or become a therapist. It's good to know what their credentials are because you may be looking for or needing certain things in therapy.
September 17th, 2020 7:42pm
To find out therapist credentials and licensing, you are more than welcome to ask them directly. It's perfectly normal and within your rights as a client to make sure that the treatment you are receiving and paying for is in line with the things you're looking to have treated. For example, if you're struggling with anxiety, you can directly ask them if they specialize in anxiety or have had clients or experience with that in the past before. You can also get a referral from your general physician or primary care doctor and see if they have any therapists with certain credentials that they can refer you to. Best of luck!
November 22nd, 2020 10:10pm
To do this, you can go to a website such as Psychology Today, search their last name, and find their profile. On their profile, you'll find their licensure number and the state(s) that they're licensed to practice. It's a quick and easy way to find out whether they have a license to practice or not. The specific credentials you should look for are licensed professional counselors (LPC) who have a master's degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) or licensed social worker (LSW). Usually (but not always), a therapist's license simply matches their field of education. If the therapist's education is in a counseling field (MA or MS or MEd), they will be licensed as a counselor. If their education was in social work (MSSW), they will be licensed as a clinical social worker.
January 31st, 2021 10:41pm
It matters that your therapist has a license because they need to have the verified skillset to help people with various mental health issues. When your therapist has a license, it means that they've satisfied different state and clinical requirements and have the qualifications to treat you. You want to work with a mental health provider who has fulfilled supervised clinical hours. That way you know that they've got the proper training from an experienced mental health professional. Your mental health matters, and ensuring that your therapist has a license is one of the first steps you're going to take in your treatment plan. Thankfully, there are ways to verify a license through by utilizing license lookup tools, which you will learn about as you continue to read. on other hand, According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, more and more people are seeking therapy each year. Many people have taken the step you're about to take, checking to see if their counselor or therapist has a license. It's a smart idea to ensure that the person who is treating your mental health has the credentials to do so. Think about it, would you see any medical doctor you found online? Probably not. You would search their reviews on various websites. That same reasoning that you apply to your physical health you can use with your mental health. It's essential to take care of your body and your mind so you can live a healthy and productive life.
March 26th, 2021 12:52am
Often a therapists credentials and licensing is listed in their licensing body website. For example, physicians are licensed by State or Province and their licensing information is publicly posted. You can google physician or social work licensing body in the state/province you are looking for this information. You can then search by their name. The governing bodies often list addresses, hospital privileges and licensing status as well as any complaints or formal inquiries brought forward to the licensing board. Most licensing boards have phone lines to answer any inquiries you might have if you are not able to find information on their website. They will most likely help you find what you are looking for too. If you cannot find any licensing or credentials on their personal site or organization site you can kindly ask them if they can send you information verifying their license by email.
December 10th, 2021 5:17pm
This information should be public information meaning that if you type their name into the search engines and find their credentials and licensing. If you can't find it this way, you can always call and ask them or their office. This is such a good question though. I'd honestly want to do as much checking as possible. I'd even go so far as to see what other information I could find out about them like what they specialize in or how others have rated their experience with this therapist. Make sure you also understand everything that you're reading about them and their office.