Wayland counselor receives professional license

Wayland Baptist University counselor Brian McClenagan added to his title recently after receiving his licensed professional counselor designation from the State of Texas.

McClenagan has served as Coordinator of Counseling and Career Planning for the university since 1997. He received his master's degree in counseling from West Texas A&M University in August 1998 and has been working for two years to accumulate the hours needed to sit for the LPC exam.

"You have to have 2,000 hours of supervised counseling, 1,000 directly and 1,000 with office visits," McClenagan explained. "It took two years to get that, through my work at Wayland, volunteering with Dr. Wilburn Lackey (a counselor and a professor of psychology at WBU) and counseling at-risk youth."

After the hours were completed, McClenagan took and passed the licensing exam this past February. He explained that receiving that designation was a personal goal and not a requirement of the university.

"Because we are private, Wayland is an exempt setting," he said. "The LPC is a state license and is mostly for those who aspire to private practice. Even though I don't have to have it, my goal when I started the master's work in 1996 was to get the license. I may not always be in an exempt setting."

McClenagan said he believes the LPC designation gives the counseling position at Wayland more credibility, though he admits it doesn't mean he's a better counselor.

"The two most important things that make a good counselor, in my opinion, are maintaining a rapport and strict confidentiality," he said. "Students have to feel safe and know you're not going to talk outside the time with them."

In his current position, McClenagan serves two roles. For one, he offers personal counseling to students, faculty and staff of the university. He also oversees the career services program, which includes arranging job fairs, helping students with resumes, job leads, interview skills or anything else to do with gaining employment. While he said that part of his job is just as challenging as the counseling portion, he admits the counseling is the heavier of the two loads.

Though Wayland counseling services are not open to the community, McClenagan said he does make referrals to other counselors in the community.

McClenagan, a Wayland graduate, is married to the former Cindy Marlow, an assistant professor of English at Wayland. The two have a seven-month-old son, Kyle.