FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 05/01/14
Most LPCs are Unaware of the Possible Loss of Federal Insurance Provider Status, Licensure Portability, and Livelihood Due to CACREP Restrictions.
www.concernedcounselors.org will fill in the knowledge gaps and provide a focal point for advocacy efforts.
Coalition of Concerned Counselors (CCC) & Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland (LCPCM)
Michael Reeder LCPC – National Advocacy Chair, LCPCM
Larry Epp LCPC – President, LCPCM
Betty Bracht LCPC – Board Member at Large, LCPCM
As many as 70% of all currently working counselors are quietly in danger of being dropped from TRICARE, potentially excluded from MEDICARE (when the legislation is finally passed), and gradually losing the ability to transfer their license to another state. Recent actions by the Ohio and Florida licensing boards have even restricted the ability of counselors from CACREP-unaffiliated graduate programs to obtain state licensure or transfer their licenses state to state. (CACREP is one of several organizations which certify masters programs for counselors nationally.)
In order to provide badly needed education and a focal point for advocacy efforts, The Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland (LCPCM) is proud to announce the launch of the Coalition of Concerned Counselors website at http://www.concernedcounselors.org .
Larry Epp, President of the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland, states “most counselors who graduated and obtained their licenses years ago think of graduate program accreditation as something that no longer concerns them. They have no idea that licensing boards, government programs and, potentially in the future, private insurance panels may start to restrict participation by the training you obtained in the past. CACREP-unaffiliated counselors will find themselves on gradually dwindling islands of practice. The sufficiency of state licensure is being challenged.”
Counselors who are dimly aware of the issue assume that there must be grandfathering clauses or upgrade paths to certification available as this would only make sense. But this is not the case, as grandfathering in TRICARE only opens a narrow window for most LPCs and the Veteran’s Administration offered no option for grandfathering at this time.
Some other problems in brief with current CACREP restrictions:
~ The exclusion of other professions from supervision and core facility positions, leading to the loss of training diversity, the threatened extinction of masters level counseling psychology programs, and the invalidation of supervised experience from the past when counselor supervisors were not available.
~ The potential loss of huge numbers of therapists at a time when public mental health needs are soaring.
~ The definite loss of trusted counselors from the TRICARE system in light of the mental health difficulties of returning veterans and their families.
~ The continual and unsubstantiated portrayal of CACREP-unaffiliated counselors as inferior in training. Top notch universities including Harvard, Columbia, George Mason, Towson, University of Maryland, Seton Hall, and (until recently) Johns Hopkins have graduated excellent CACREP-unaffiliated counselors for years.
~ The complete failure of any of a number of possible solutions, from multiple allied standards, to upgrade paths to certification, to generous grandfathering.
~ The decades-long divisions and animosity likely to ensue in the profession.
We invite counselors and the public to take a closer look at the issues, sign-up to take action and receive newsletters and alerts, and to read the many documents in our document library outlining the lack of organizational leadership in appropriately addressing this crisis. You can also find FAQs, the latest blog entries, proposed solutions, and more at http://www.concernedcounselors.org .
About The Coalition of Concerned Counselors (CCC): CCC is a growing confederation of individual counselors, client rights advocacy organizations, counseling associations, and professional graduate programs created in order to educate counselors and the public on the growing threat of CACREP restrictions on counseling practice.
About Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland (LCPCM): LCPCM is a 501c6 advocacy organization for the rights of clients and the development and equity of professional counselors in Maryland.