Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling [18 VAC 115 ‑ 20]
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5/6/24  6:03 pm
Commenter: Graduate Intern

Support Petition for changes

Let me start off by saying that if I did not think this was my calling, I would not be attempting to complete this whole process. When I initially looked at the requirements, I put of enrolling in school for a year because I wasn't convinced the payoff would be worth the sacrifice. I have had to quit a well-paying job to find a way to incorporate my internship hours. And now I'm hearing about the discord around counselors being told they shouldn't get into the field for money??? So, after racking up student loans and literally working years to get licensed we shouldn't expect to make a livable salary?? This is why people are not looking at getting into this field. Students get burned out before we are even able to have the benefit of saying we have a license and then we get slapped on the hand if we mention that we would like to be able to afford our necessities, but work/life balance is preached from the rooftops-but not for us. I know friends who have left the field to pursue jobs in IT or other fields that pay way more and have less stress. And that will continue to be the case if things are not changed. There is already a shortage of mental health professionals, and it is projected to only get worse in the next couple of years. 

Those who have commented that they have been in the field for decades and that they were able to figure it out and make it work, well done. That was then. However, just because that is the way it was does not mean that is the way it needs to remain. If the petition had been made then to reduce the hours, I'm sure some would have jumped at it but don't be bitter because it wasn't, and you had to suck it up. This "generation" isn't lazy. We aren't lacking work ethic. We have been provided the opportunity to look at a requirement that may be more detrimental than beneficial to bringing good talent into the field. A reduction in hours does not automatically mean an influx of unqualified LPC's. Are we saying that other states that have less direct contact/supervision hours are producing subpar LPC's? I have met some counselors who have gone through the process and are horrible at their job but stay because of the money and time invested. It is the person doing the work. Either they have a passion, or they don't. If changes are not made, the outcome will be a loss of talent and those who do "suck it up" will be coming in burned out and questioning their life decisions. With these changes, no one is being handed a license on a silver platter. Time, effort and energy will still have to be invested so please stop gatekeeping. 

CommentID: 222599