Agencies | Governor
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 Ends 7/1/2015
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6/1/15  2:47 pm
Commenter: Patricia J. Simpson, MS, LCPC

Opposition to non-CACREP proposal by Virginia Board

I am an elder Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Maryland and I graduated from a non-CACREP accredited program, the University of Baltimore. I have a MS degree in Counseling Psychology and have been licensed in Maryland as a counselor since 1997.  I have helped people, including the military and veterans, to overcome depression, anxiety, PTSD, family conflict, behavioral problems and myriad other conditions. I have served seven Family Courts in the State of Maryland. I would like to formally submit my emphatic opposition to the CACREP only proposition for the state of Virginia. Although I do not practice in your state, I live close enough that I have considered Virginia as a place to volunteer my services after I retire. Should the long term impact of the non-CACREP accredited program continue to damage non-CACREP accredited counselors, my reputation and ability to practice independently will be destroyed.  My years of education and training and expertise in counseling will taken away from me. I am vehemently opposed to any legislation that limits public access to mental health services and destroy the livelihood of me and my peers. As a seasoned LCPC, I am firmly convinced that this regulation that results in an accreditation body dictating state licensure laws regarding training is harmful for university training programs in Virginia and other states.  establishes a very dangerous national trend whereby states lose their autonomy to determine criteria for licensure. My graduate program predates CACREP; my Maryland license predate CACREP.  I believe the Virginia board and the counseling profession are quite capable of evaluating the quality of an individual's preparation to serve as a counselor without becoming part of the political flood tide of the CACREP-Only forces. Whatever five year waiting program exists to create a loop hole to allow non-CACREP Maryland counselors to work in the Commonwealth is still a symbolic disparagement of our credentials without merit and a disastrous impediment to LCPCs working in your state. The Virginia Board's decision to allow non-CACREP-only counselors may well end in the severe cutting off of services to not just Virginia, but the nation; effecting 400,000 counselors and a huge population needing mental health services in their local communities. 

The CACREP only movement is incredibly dividing our profession, disenfranchises our Counseling Psychology programs and their graduates, and seems based in a system that is contrary to the creative spirit of the counseling process. There has to be many more humane and respectful ways to promote national accreditation in our profession rather than the one Virginia proposes.


Patricia J. Simpson, M.S., LCPC

CommentID: 39974