The Counseling Profession Asks State Licensure Boards to Adopt A Consensus Title and More

Jul 01, 2015
On behalf of the counseling profession, letters were sent to each state licensure board asking them to adopt the licensure title (“Licensed Professional Counselor”) and scope of practice agreed upon as part of the Building Blocks to Portability Project.

The Building Blocks to Portability Project is part of 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling, an ongoing and systematic collaboration of 31 counseling organizations representing the profession of counseling. Licensure portability across state lines is  a critical issue for many ACA members and other counseling professionals. As ACA’s Chief Professional Officer David Kaplan has noted in the past, more than 35 different license titles are currently in use by professional counselors across the country, and licensure requirements can vary greatly from state to state. 

In an effort to both solidify the counseling profession and further the likelihood of national portability, the letters ask each state licensure board to adopt the licensure title of Licensed Professional Counselor, and the following licensure scope of practice: 

“The independent practice of counseling encompasses the provision of professional counseling services to individuals, groups, families, couples and organizations through the application of accepted and established mental health counseling principles, methods, procedures and ethics.

Counseling promotes mental health wellness, which includes the achievement of social, career, and emotional development across the lifespan, as well as preventing and treating mental disorders and providing crisis intervention.   Counseling includes, but is not limited to, psychotherapy, diagnosis, evaluation; administration of assessments, tests and appraisals; referral; and the establishment of counseling plans for the treatment of individuals, couples, groups and families with emotional, mental, addiction and physical disorders.

Counseling encompasses consultation and program evaluation, program administration within and to schools and organizations, and training and supervision of interns, trainees, and pre-licensed professional counselors through accepted and established principles, methods, procedures, and ethics of counselor supervision.

The practice of counseling does not include functions or practices that are not within the professional’s training or education.”

Please read a sample of the letter being sent to each state licensure board here.

Read more about efforts to increase portability in this Counseling Today article.

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