|Action||Requirement for CACREP accreditation for educational programs|
|Comment Period||Ends 7/1/2015|
Dear Aid to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Ms. Judith Ahern,
I am the director of two doctoral programs in Marriage and Family Therapy at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Our graduates practice in various states, including Virginia. Our graduates are highly valued by the communities they serve, where they provide clients with essential services related to their mental health needs.
I am joining counseling professionals from across the country to urge you to stop the proposed counselor licensing regulations that would require graduation from a CACREP-accredited program for licensure in Virginia. The majority of counselor training programs are not CACREP-accredited. Passing this legislation would limit the number of counselors available to those in need of quality mental health care. Please do not restrict licensure to a minority of graduates from programs across the country that seek to train highly competent practitioners.
If you look carefully at outcome studies regarding counseling and therapy, you’ll rapidly see that research does not show that counselors who have graduated from CACREP programs are more effective in their work with clients or in their service to their communities. No evidence to support the claims of CACREP has been found. Also please note that the American Counseling Association (ACA), the largest national counseling association, opposes the CACREP-only restrictions regulatory change would establish in Virginia.
It is a vital time for strong state Boards to continue to protect the people of their states and to remove these CACREP- exclusive clauses from their regulations. Please oppose this proposal so that the people of Virginia can continue to get the accessible mental health care they need.
Gwen White, Psy.D.
Director, Doctoral Programs in Marriage and Family Therapy