We have passed the mid-point of the 2018 General Assembly.
This year the Virginia General Assembly had your VACC advocating on your behalf on two bills.
The first was to ban Conversion Therapy in Virginia. This concept was confusing to the members of the General Assembly. They could not seem to wrap their heads around the idea that ethically, for those counselors licensed in Virginia, Conversion Therapy was already banned. As your president, I supported the ban since all our national organizations have banned it. The idea behind the bill was to ensure that those who were not licensed in Virginia would stop using the method in Virginia. Unfortunately, the bill was opposed by those who said the bill interfered with parent’s rights to make decisions regarding the type of therapy their child should receive. The bill was killed in committee on a straight republican vote which included a medical doctor. Nobody seemed to know what they were doing even when explained to them.
The second bill that VACC was tracking would have reduced our supervision hours for licensure to 2300 hours. When Katie Hellebush and I explained to the delegate that we only need 200 hours of supervision to be licensed and the bill was really talking about client-contact hours, the bill was striken. Apparently, the delegate had a constituent who didn’t want to spend all those hours seeing clients to get licensed. A successful passing of the bill would have absolutely stopped any chance of our ability to have our license portable in all 50 states.
Mke Jeffrey, LPC, LMFT