Tel: 605-725-5505.  Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Other Times By Appointment 

Alphabet Soup

& What it means to you...

125 Railroad Ave SE, Suite 1

Aberdeen, South Dakota

(605) 725-5505


B.S. ~ Bachelor Degree in Psychology

A Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree offers a solid foundation into the cognitive and affective processes that underlie human development and behavior. The curriculum, which includes courses such as Human Motivation and Theories of Personality, emphasizes development of communication, critical thinking, problem- solving and collaboration skills. The bachelor's degree in psychology is only meant to provide a foundation for many professions and therefore does not include any clinical training or professional licensure.

M.S. Ed ~ Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

The Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degree provides a practitioner with the skills necessary to provide competent, ethical psychotherapy through the disciplinary studies and contemporary professional practice of counseling psychology.

The program philosophy is shaped by an ecological model of development and intervention, attending to the ways in which individuals interact with their environments (family, cultural background, social, economic, and political structures) to develop health and/or pathology, and embracing the need to attend to these multiple levels when intervening. The program consists of 2-3 years of upper level clinical classes and 1.5 years of supervised clinical training.

The clinical training is selected from sites approved by the department, and representing a full range of practice settings for mental health counselors. These sites include: college and community counseling centers; inpatient psychiatric units, behavioral medicine, emergency, and other services within hospital settings; comprehensive community-based programs as well as services for identified populations (e.g. battered women, persons with AIDS, persons with substance abuse, and members of the justice system--adults and adolescents). Students with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology will develop and practice skills in individual counseling, assessment and diagnosis, and group work. Required classes provide grounding in theory, strategies, and application of counseling skills relating to human development and sources of difference, psychopathology, individual and group counseling, vocational counseling, and assessment.

LSWA ~ Licensed Social Work Associate

Requirements: Baccalaureate degree in a nonsocial work field or discipline or an associate of arts degree in the human services in a program approved by the Board from a junior college, college, or university approved by the Board or equivalent as determined by the Board; and Passed an examination prepared by the Board for this purpose.

LPC ~ Licensed Professional Counselor

South Dakota: The board shall issue a license as a licensed professional counselor to an applicant who pays a license fee and furnishes satisfactory evidence of the following to the board:

(1) The applicant is at least nineteen years of age;

(2) The applicant is of good moral character;

(3) The applicant resides in the State of South Dakota, or is granted an exemption to residency by the board, pursuant to § 36-32-16;

(4) The applicant is not in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and the rules adopted pursuant to this chapter;

(5) The applicant has received a doctorate or master's degree in counseling including a supervised counseling internship, which consists of at least forty-eight semester credit hours, which are from an accredited institution of higher learning. The board shall use the standards of nationally recognized professional counseling associations as guides in establishing the standards for counselor licensure;

(6) The applicant has 2000 hours of supervised full-time experience in professional counseling acceptable to the board, all of which shall be obtained AFTER granting of the master's degree;

(7) The applicant demonstrates competence in professional counseling by passing an examination, written, oral or situational, or all three, as the board may prescribe by rule promulgated pursuant to chapter

LPC-MH ~ (Clinical) Licensed Professional Counselor - Mental Health

Requirements for LPC-MH certification: The board shall certify an applicant as a LPC-MH if the applicant fulfills the following requirements:

(1) Has already obtained licensure under this chapter as a LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR;

(2) Completes a master's, specialist, or doctoral degree with an emphasis in mental health counseling from a counseling program approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs as listed in the Directory of Accredited Programs, July 1991, or an equivalent program as demonstrated by studies in the following areas:

(a) The general principles and practices of etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders and dysfunctional behavior, and the general principles and practices for the promotion of optimal mental health;

(b) The specific models and methods for assessing mental status and the identification of mental illness or abnormal, deviant, or psychopathologic behavior by obtaining appropriate behavioral data using a variety of techniques, including nonprojective personality assessments and achievement, aptitude, and intelligence testing, and translating findings into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual categories, as adopted by the board by rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26;

(c) The specific theories of psychotherapy for initiating, maintaining, and terminating therapy with a mentally and emotionally impaired client or a client with disabilities in a variety of settings using a variety of modalities, including crisis intervention, brief, intermediate, and long-term modalities;

(d) The basic classification, indications, and contraindications of the commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications for the purpose of identifying the effects and side effects of prescribed psychotropic medications;

(e) The guidelines for conducting an intake interview and mental health history for planning and managing of client caseload;

(f) The specific concepts and ideas related to mental health education, outreach, prevention, and mental health promotion;

(3) Completes two years of clinical experience and supervision under a licensed mental health professional after receiving a master's degree AND Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) certification. The supervising mental health professional must hold the highest level of licensure within that supervisor's profession. Clinical experience must consist of two thousand hours of direct client contact in a clinical setting. Supervision must consist of one hundred hours of direct supervision, at least fifty hours of which shall be face-to-face. The balance may be face-to-face or by telephone conferencing or interactive video conferencing. However, any telephone conferencing or interactive video conferencing must be secure such that reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure that the conference will not be intercepted or listened to by unauthorized persons; (

4) Passes an examination approved by the board for the purpose of assessing an applicant's knowledge in the content areas of mental health counseling

QMHP ~ Qualified Mental Health Professional

South Dakota state law requires Qualified Mental Health Professionals (QMHP) to be “endorsed by the South Dakota Department of Human Services" Only a QMHP may do the examination required as part of an involuntary mental illness commitment process (SDCL 27A-10-6). Physicians licensed pursuant to SDCL 36-4 are considered Qualified Mental Health Professionals and are not required to receive the endorsement.

NCC - National Certified Counselor

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) is an independent not-for-profit credentialing organization for professional counselors. Since its inception in 1982, the NBCC has become the primary credentialing organization for professional counselors in the United States and has initiated a worldwide effort, in conjunction with the World Health Organization, to identify, assist and encourage mental health programs on a global level. The NCC is NBCC's flagship professional counseling credential. The end product of an application for national certification is the right to call oneself an NCC.

Counselors who hold this credential must have a qualifying master's or doctoral degree, pass a national exam, adhere to a strict code of ethics, and participate in continuing education activities.