|Action||Requirement for CACREP accreditation for educational programs|
|Comment Period||Ends 7/1/2015|
Professional counseling is a relatively new profession.As I understand it, there were virtually no CACREP institutions in the beginning of this profession, particularly in the Northeast & Mid Atlantic Regions of the United States. Those of us who wanted to become counselors saw the ever-growing master's degree of counseling and clinical psychology as a wonderful opportunity. The programs offered clinical course work designed to teach students how to become a counselor/psychotherapist. It was an alternative to becoming a licensed clinical social worker. I researched both programs and I chose to be a counselor. Like many other counselors, I had no idea of the world of slander and threats of disenfranchisement that I would face. Many of us went to top-notch schools, where an accreditation was stated. I knew nothing about an organization called CACREP, untiL my school decided to offer the NCE within the school 5 months after graduating. We had to register with the NCC, naming who are licensed supervisors would be and complete our clinical hours. It was 3600 clinical hours with 190 hours of supervision then. It's now 3000 clinical hours with 150 supervised hours. I learned that my curriculum was modeled after the CACREP MODEL. So, I took every area of study necessary to be CACREP compliant, completing well over 60 credits . I passed the NCE, completed my clinical hours with a licensed supervisor, while working in Community Mental Health Center. I was taught that the ACA was my organization, that I ought to be a member, and abide by its Code of Ethics. I first became so disheartened to learn that Medicare and the VA didn't recognize my license. Afterward I have bore witness to several injustices., including CACREP grads only being permitted to work for the VA. I Believed I would be recognized if I took the NCMHCE. I APPLIED through the VA portal of NBCC. I passed NCMHCE but then learned, that because psychology was a word within my degree program, I would be locked out of the VA, Even though the NBCC AND THE VA had no problem taking my money for the examination.
So now I have a bit of an alphabet after my name, which seems to mean little. Is this America? We took the same course work, the same tests, (some have not taken the NCMHCE)- not required in all states. We all have had clinical practice under supervision.
When something doesn't make sense, it doesn't make sense. When an organization it's alive to promote Counselors. Shouldn't it be all of those who followed their rules and standards.?. If Virginia puts into place this CACREP ONLY statute to gain licensure in Virginia for counseling, it will be blatant discrimination and an absolute INJUSTICE. Please please do the right thing!
Respectfully & Sincerely,
Carol Anne Robinson, MS, LPC, NCC, CCMHC