This is a guest post by Ann Stoneson. She is a counselor, LPC supervisor, and internship guru for beginning counselors. You can read her latest internship and practice-building tips and tricks at counselinginterns.com.
With all the work that goes into being a top notch counselor, it’s not surprising that most counselors don’t have a lot of spare time on their hands.
So, it’s also no surprise that most busy counselors don’t sit around checking and re-checking the licensing board website for updates to the ethics code.
That’s probably why we’re required to take the Texas Jurisprudence Exam every time our license renews, along with 3 mandatory hours of ethics CEUs. These practices force us to slow down, review the ethics code, and get up to speed on any changes that were made.
This past May, the Texas LPC Board put out a list of proposed edits to the current rules. Some of the proposed edits that caught my attention included:
1.) Increasing application and renewal fees by approximately 30%-50%.
2.) Requiring counselors obtain five years of post-graduate experience before becoming supervisors, instead of three.
3.) Including clauses that excuse the board taking longer than the authorized times to process licensing applications.
4.) Requiring counselors to have an initial face-to-face intake session before initiating a distance counseling relationship.
Counselors had the opportunity to submit comments and concerns to the board up through June 14th. Interestingly, the board chose to withdraw these proposed edits. So, none of the proposed edits listed above are going into effect. Nonetheless, this gives you some idea of changes that the board may be proposing in the future.
To stay informed about upcoming Texas LPC board meetings, you can enroll in their email notification system by going here: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/
In the middle of the homepage is a section titled “Sign Up for Email Updates.” Even if you sign up for email notifications, you’ll still need to make a habit of checking the rules page from time to time.
Remember: the board accepts feedback on any set of proposed edits a month after they are made available to the general public. So, be sure to contact the board with your thoughts the next time a set of proposed edits is published!
No matter what license you practice under or which state you’re in, staying up-to-date on changes to the ethics code is important!
Not practicing in Texas? Check with your own licensing board to see how things are handled.