LPC or LPCC? – Brief news update – plus the LPCC gap exam


By David Joel Miller.

Is there a difference between LPC’s and LPCC’s and if so what is that difference, and how hard is the gap exam?

There have been several web searches on this topic and a couple of emails so now might be a good time to explain this. This question primarily applies to California clients and professionals.

Mental health practitioners in California are regulated by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). They administer the laws passed by the California legislature and their rules and regulations. A recent news update from CALPCC explained the sudden appearance of multiple sets of initials for mental health clinicians.

The difference between LPC’s and LPCC’s has to do with the BBS computer system not any difference in the licenses or qualifications.

The BBS computer program only allows for three initials in front of the license number no mater what the designation of the practitioner. The correct designations are:


Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors are designated LPCC’s. Their license number begins with LPC. 

Licensed Clinical Social workers are designated LCSW’s. Their license begins with LCS.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists are called LMFT’s. Their license number begins with MFC.

MFC is a throw back to the days when they (we) were called Marriage, Family and Child Counselors. MFT’s are the same thing as LMFT’s since you can’t call yourself an MFT unless you are licensed. Marriage and family therapy interns and trainees should be identified as MFT intern and MFT trainee – NOT MFTI or MFTT. Both of these groups are working under the supervision of a licensed clinician.

How hard is the LPCC gap exam?

People have been asking “How hard is the LPCC gap exam?” Personally I would say based on my experience – well that depends on whether or not you known the answers. Since the exam is only on the differences between LCSW, LMFT and LPCC’s there is a lot of material to cover in a very few questions. If you graduated recently or have been studying LPCC material since graduation you should be in good shape. Some of the material was very specific so if your school covered it you were in luck. If your particular instructor did not cover an item it would have been hard to know what to study.

I would recommend a review course, though it is early for the review classes to know what to teach you. Also study anything in the BBS booklet that looks unfamiliar. The wider your knowledge base the better you should do.

Hope this helps explain LPC’s, LPCC’s and the gap exam.  

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog there is also a Facebook authors page, in its infancy, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. Thanks to all who read this blog.

If you enjoyed this post or think others might enjoy it please click on one or more of the “Like” or “Share” buttons on this page.

About these ads

2 thoughts on “LPC or LPCC? – Brief news update – plus the LPCC gap exam

  1. Pingback: CALPCC, California and the future | counselorssoapbox

  2. Pingback: Ca. Professional Counselors – CALPCC and LPCC’s | counselorssoapbox

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s