President's Message - 2021

Dear Colleagues:

I am proud to let you know that LCPCM is thriving. We organized on your behalf 23 years ago when we were first licensed. LCPCM is a volunteer association that has grown because LCPCs like you have stepped into leadership positions and dedicated many hours of personal time to our professional association. We are so grateful to all who have served on our Board.

And to show our gratitude to you, our members, who faithfully attend our events and renew membership each year, we are reducing our fees.  Beginning May 1, 2021 membership fees will be lowered to $90 for LCPCs, $55 for retired LCPCs, and $45 for LGPCs. And, to improve our responsiveness to you, LCPCM has extended our business manager’s hours. Sharon Nalley will be available during her regular working hours to personally respond to your phone calls. Her office hours will be Monday-Friday from 12-5PM. 

Even during this 2020-2021 pandemic, LCPCM Board members continued to work diligently and creatively to provide benefits to you without disruption.  I am so proud to take this opportunity to share what we have accomplished.

  • We are holding our third virtual LCPCM conference on April 30th. These conferences have been great educational events, even though we miss the pleasures of our in-person conferences where we can network, greet friends and colleagues, share a meal and even a hug or two. Perhaps our Fall Conference will be in person. Let’s hope so. We want to enjoy a wonderful luncheon with you as our thank you for being loyal members. 
     
  • As many of you know, in addition to our virtual Spring and Fall Conferences, we continued our supervisor trainings and for the first time, offered frequent and affordable webinars. Hillary Alexander, our LCPCM President-Elect, and Sharon Nalley, our business manager, are to be thanked and recognized for making all this happen and doing a fantastic job.
     
  • Saundra Lynch, LCPCM Secretary, is heading a committee to strengthen our connections with the university graduate program advisors and their students. We are exploring ways to help students and LGPCs connect with each other and to offer services that are tailored to their needs. This work is evolving, and we would welcome your ideas and involvement.
     
  • We are immensely proud and excited to offer the comprehensive guide, “Becoming a Professional Counselor in Maryland”, on our website. This is an extraordinary manual written and created by Robert Castle, LCPCM Treasurer, and his committee that explains everything you need to know to succeed on the journey from counseling student to clinical supervisor.  If you have not already done so, take a moment to explore it. The concept and technology behind it is wonderful.
     
  • LCPCM worked extensively to update, clarify, and re-organize the COMAR regulations pertaining to LCPCs and LGPCs. We advocated for our own separate chapter so that our regulations would be all in one place.  We presented several proposals to the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists (BOPCT). This year, the BOPCT integrated our proposal into their own version, approved it, and then sent it to the Health Department for approval. Due to pandemic, however, the Health Department is behind in approving new regulations, but we expect it to be enacted.
     
  • The LCPCM Supervision Subsidy Program was created to help LGPCs pay for private LCPC supervision if they are working in programs for underserved populations. It provides up to $50 dollars per session toward clinical supervision fees. Please help us spread the word about this membership benefit.
     
  • Very recently, LCPCM contracted with Kelley Rodill to handle our social media presence. We are hoping that this will help LCPCM to reach a wider audience of LCPCs.    
     
  • You will be excited to know that LCPCM is embarked on a project to achieve Medicare eligibility for Maryland LCPCs. Robyn Elliot, our lobbyist, will lead us in this effort. She and Rachael Faulkner have identified an avenue that is unique to Maryland and would exclusively be for LCPCs in Maryland. This effort will take at least 18 months, but we are acting now. Our state Medicare project is separate from the Medicare eligibility advocacy efforts on the federal level that would apply to all states. We will be calling on you to help when the time is right and will keep you posted as we make progress.
     
  • Everyone knows that LCPCM is dedicated to advocating for the LCPC profession in Maryland. Our advocacy work in the 2021 Maryland General Assembly greatly enhanced our visibility and resulted in some very concrete actions that will affect all of us. Rachael Faulkner has provided us with a legislative annual report which you can view on our website. Here are some legislative highlights:
  1. The LCPC scope of practice was expanded to include the authority to be the second signature required for an involuntary hospitalization. This will likely increase employment opportunities for those who wish to work in emergency rooms and psychiatric settings.
     
  2. The age of consent is now 12 years old rather than 16. This means that therapists can serve young clients without parental consent, if prudent to do so. We supported this bill to allow LCPCs to respond to emergency situations where parental consent could delay or deny much needed treatment. Therapists can now rely on their professional judgement to determine how, when, and if to involve the parents.
     
  3. For the first time ever, LCPCs are a part of an interstate counseling compact that will be implemented once a minimum of 10 states each enact the same legislation. Currently there are 5 states including Maryland to have done so. This compact will allow for much needed license portability between the member states. 
     
  4. The Maryland teletherapy law now applies to private insurance companies operating in Maryland as well as Medicaid. Teletherapy must be reimbursed at the same rate as in-person treatment and includes audio only (by telephone) services.  The bill is effective now and is applicable for two years, after which there will be a study to determine whether it should be extended.

Lastly, LCPCM will be sending you a membership satisfaction survey. Please take the time to give us your feedback and suggestions. As a Board we often brainstorm to come up with ways to identify your needs and to provide services you value. We want to include all of you in this brainstorming.

With Gratitude,
Susan Roistacher, LCPC
LCPCM President
April 28, 2021
LCPCM | P.O. Box 7762, Wilmington, NC 28406  • 443-370-1255 • mylcpcm@gmail.com
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