Virginia was the first state to license professional counselors for independent clinical practice. The Virginia Association of Clinical Counselors has been in existence since 1980, just four years after licensure was established. VACC has been protecting and promoting the clinical counseling profession for over 30 years. Disaffiliating from the Virginia Counselors Association in 2003, VACC has functioned independently since that time, with the exception of its state affiliate of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA).
Who We Are
- To monitor and take positions regarding legislation that affects Clinical Counselors.
- To coordinate and ally with other organizations to promote the counseling profession.
- To monitor third party payment issues and initiate appropriate action.
- To exchange information with other Clinical Counselors throughout the state.
- To promote and advocate for high standards of professional development.
- To provide a forum through which Clinical Counselors may advocate for clients.
- To promote ethical standards and conduct in the counseling profession.
- To support and promote scientific research relevant to Clinical Counselors.
What We Do
- Passed the first legislation in the country to license counselors.
- Passed legislation which achieved third party reimbursement for counselors.
- Passed legislation that enhanced the definitions of practice for Licensed Professional Counselors.
- Passed legislation to include LPC's in statutes which cap malpractice awards.
- Successfully lobbied to have LPC's included as Medicaid providers.
- Operates a professional advocacy committee to address discrimination in hiring or reimbursement of members.
- Negotiated with Blue Cross/Blue Shield to obtain the first third party reimbursement for counselors.
- Testifies at public hearings pertaining to legislation affecting counseling.
- Monitors legislation pertaining to counseling.
- Participates as an organizational member of Virginians for Mental Health Equity.
- Helped LPC's obtain reimbursement from the Department of Rehabilitative Services.
- Successfully nominated competent counselors to the Board of Professional Counselors, the National Board of Certified Counselors and the American Mental Health Counselors Association.
- Publishes a newsletter to keep members abreast of important developments.
- Provides conferences and workshops for professional development.
- Produces a variety of publications to assist the marketing and advocacy of LPC'S.
FUTURE OF VACC
VACC has consistently fulfilled its mission, and continues to do so. Still, we are taking steps to increase the size of our Board and our membership. We have increased the pace of our newsletters. Our comprehensive website serves a wide variety of counselors, and we expeditiously e-mail any issues of concern to our membership. We have delegated increasing responsibility to our able webmaster, who has begun to handle membership tasks as well. We have recently incorporated, and are pursuing nonprofit status as a 501(c)(6). We also have solidified our alliances with our colleagues in other professions.
VACC has always been focused on the clinical practitioner, whether they practice in public or private settings. The clinical counselor can be assured that VACC is there for them, fulfilling its mission, as always.