Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling [18 VAC 115 ‑ 20]
Action Requirement for CACREP accreditation for educational programs
Comment Period Ended on 7/1/2015
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6/21/15  4:52 am
Commenter: Lorah E. Hauf, LCPC

Oppose reducing access to mental health

Creating arbitrary standards is the quickest way to destroy the mental health profession and create even more barriers to access for military. I am a Tricare provider and have heard first hand how difficult it is to find a counselor, any counselor who accepts Tricare. Tricare has sent emails saying that they are in great need of counselors and yet they can't seem to connect members to providers. 

This change is going to make it even more difficult to find qualified mental health providers. As it is, the reimbursement rates for in-network mental health services have been cut nearly in half over the past 30 years. This creates a lack of stable employment opportunities for counselors and therefore, a lack of stable support for those who need it. 

Lets not make a difficult situation even worse. A bad counselor is not going to retain clients for long. A good counselor can only ever learn the tip of the ice berg in school. Much like a surgeon, you can only learn so much from looking at a book and listening to a lecture. The real skill comes when you are launched into the real practice, in the room with a real person. That can't be taught in school.

CommentID: 40331