The legislative session this year resulted in a big change in the composition of the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists. With the strong support and leadership of former Senator Paula Hollinger, the art therapists passed licensure legislation and won a new seat on the Board. Unfortunately, our efforts to prevent the removal of two LCPC seats from the Board, succeeded in only saving one. The Board’s composition now consists of 4 LCPC members, 3 LMFT members, 3 LCADC members, 1 Art Therapist member, and 2 consumer members.
LCPCM and the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists were successful in amending the original art therapist licensure bill to include the specific clinical education and training standards that are consistent with the other licensed professionals regulated by the Board.
We have concerns regarding these changes. Board members each have one vote on issues directly effecting our profession. Representation of the professions on the Board is vastly disproportional to the numbers of licensees. Secondly, the workload of our members is much greater due to our greater numbers. For example, members of each profession review applications for licensure and most recently supervisor approval. The reduction of our seats on the Board is likely to delay the processing of applications and possibly the adjudication of grievances.
There are over 3000 LCPCs and LGPCs in Maryland. The numbers of the other licensed groups are in the low hundreds, although the addictions profession certifies approximately 2000 other individuals working under supervision at various levels.
LCPCM has nominated two of our most experienced members on the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists, Lisa Jackson-Cherry and Alan Twigg, to serve second 4 year terms. Only one will be able to continue their invaluable service. We owe a debt of gratitude to both for their service to the LCPC profession. If you get a chance, please let each know how much we appreciate their efforts.
Susan Roistacher, LCPC