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The Lay Counselor Academy

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What is a Lay Counselor?

Lay counselors are trained helpers who do not have a traditional mental health education, master’s degrees, or licenses but can provide crucial support, comfort, and care to patients or clients who are suffering. 

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Where do Lay Counselors Work?

Lay counselors can work in any health or social care setting, such as primary care or mental health organizations.

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Why Lay Counselor Training?

Mental Health

We are in a mental health crisis in this country, with children, adolescents and adults with high levels of need


We do not have enough licensed mental health therapists to meet the current need


There is good evidence that Lay Counselors can provide comparable services to licensed therapists

What if your staff could get 65 hours of deep,
transformational learning to be a lay counselor?

When Should Your Organization Use Lay Counselors?

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If your organization has long wait lists for patients, clients or students to see behavioral health clinicians...

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If your patients, clients or students experience long wait times before a first BH appointment…

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If you’ve had continuous open BH clinician positions that you can’t fill…

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If you can’t find bilingual or bicultural BH clinicians….

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At its center, counseling is deep, skillful listening; creating a sphere of non-judgment and empathy; focusing on strengths, and working shoulder to shoulder with another, to help find the best path forward. These skills and strategies are not degree or license-dependent.'"
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Benefits of Having Lay Counselors In Your Organization

Provide Timely Care

Get your patients, clients, or students the care they need in a safe and timely manner

Enrich Your Team

Enrich and elevate your most dedicated, skillful employees

Additional Counseling Skills

Spread core behavioral health counseling skills throughout your organization

Our Course Modules:

In the Lay Counselor Academy your staff will learn the following:

Counseling Strategies:
Equity and Empathy:
Conditions and Evidence-based Treatments:
Nuts and Bolts:

For more information, see the documents below

LCA Counseling Philosophy
Comparison of BH Helping Roles
LCA FAQs and Costs
Standard Practices of Lay Counselors

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