My new years resolution is to do everything I can to help promote the legislative issues surrounding the LPC and its passing in the State Senate. This is extremely important to me because I was not educated in California, and therefore do not have the required degree to become licensed in this state. Currently, Social Workers, Associate Clinical Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists are able to be licensed in California. California is the last state not to have the LPC license.
The purpose of having an LPC license is not to take away jobs from the LCSWs or the MFTs, but to protect the rights of clients and regulate counselors that are not currently licensed by the state. The LPC license would help monitor and standardize the ethics, quality of care and level of expertise of the mental health professionals in the State of California. The LPC standards set up by the California Coalition for Councelor Licensure parallel the LCSW and MFT license requirements in the state of California.
For various reasons, I cannot simply take the few extra courses that it would take for me to parallel my MA degree in Creative Arts in Therapy from Drexel University with the technical requirements for a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy or Social Work. If the LPC does not pass I will have no choice but to go back to school, which is both an expensive and frustrating prospect- especially because the courses that I already completed with my current MA may not be recognized by other Universities. Higher educational institutions are notorious for forcing students to retake classes they’ve already taken…anyone who has tried to transfer credits from one school to another knows this all too well.
So…what to do? Check out the NorCATA website, specifically the legislative issues page. Here, you will find information about what happened last year to the LPC bill and who to contact/how to help this year. I know last year I received many emails asking me to print out and fax letters to my congressman/woman to support the bill. With the renewal of my NorCATA membership this year I also provided a donation to the cause.
Every little bit helps…even words of support by art therapists in other states who are not facing this issue.