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CACREP questions

Discussion in 'Mental Health and Social Welfare' started by DynamicDidactic, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof

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    I tried searching the forums but could not find anything recent. I have a few questions about masters-level licensure:

    1. Are there any states that ONLY allow CACREP accredited training programs? It seems only about half of the states mention CACREP but most accept it as one form of training but allow for many variations.

    2. It appears that psychology is slowly being phased out of masters-level training. How (un)common is it to have programs that are designed for LPC or LPC-like (not Social Work or MFT) training staffed mostly by psychology faculty rather than counseling faculty?

    3. What exactly is "counseling" rather than "psychology"?
     
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  3. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician

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    ACA publishes a guide to state licensure and the requirements that my current CAGS program sent to us. A quick browsing of the guide:

    1. There are a handful of states that only accept CACREP accredited programs and a few who are implementing CACREP only in later years (2022 for example). Some states approve applications if you graduated from a CACREP program but will review coursework from non-CACREP and if equivalent will approve it. It's similar to states who expect APA for psychology licensure but if you didn't go to APA program the onus is on you to prove equivalent training.

    2. I can only speak to my program. Most of the faculty have Ph.Ds in Counselor Education and Supervision but there are some who have Ph.D in psychology. There are far fewer PhD programs in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) than clinical or counseling psychology so the number of potential faculty being trained is less than psychology faculty. There are more masters programs in MHC. CACREP only requires that majority of core faculty have PhD in CES to be accredited, probably because supply does not meet demand. My program is one of a few CACREP accredited programs in MA. The other counseling programs in my state that are not accredited have mostly PhD in psychology faculty. I'm not sure how it is in other states.

    3. To me, "counseling " is psychotherapy consultation and collaboration while psychology is research and scientific application of theory to practice. I was in a PhD program for clinical psychology but withdrew after obtaining my masters. I'm now in a CAGS program to fulfill requirements for licensure in MA at the masters level. MY psychology program had 3 stats classes, 2 assessment courses, several treatment/theory courses, and incorporated the APA core curriculum (bio, social, cognitive, multicultural) as well. Classes required reading research and incorporated latest research and interventions. We had an in-house clinic for initial training in therapy (though not every doc program in psychology does). The M.Ed program in counseling has one class that briefly reviewed stats and research methods, a class on psychopharmacology and one class on assessment. Students don't practice giving or interpreting assessments. There is no in-house clinic. A thesis is not required, it is one of several "capstone" projects. There is an emphasis on strength based conceptualization of clients. But the theories of counseling come from psychology (CBT, client centered, existential, behavioral, Gestalt etc). I had to take a career counseling course as well. CACREP now calls their accredited programs CLINICAL mental health counseling instead of just MHC. But it is not the same as a clinical psychology program.
     
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  4. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof

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    The best info I could find is below but a bit outdated:
    https://www.counseling.org/docs/licensure/72903_excerpt_for_web.pdf

    The majority of states that mention CACREP appear to weigh it equally with any other similar degree. A few seem to place it above degrees that are not CACREP. Does anyone know the accuracy of that view? Additionally, for the states that prefer CACREP, how onerous is it to show equivalency?

    I ask b/c I know so little about LPC licensure and I happen to be training those students now. I want to be able to provide the most accurate information about licensure, training, and the future. I am also trying to figure out if LPC programs with psychology faculty are viable in the future.
     
  5. Goobernut

    Goobernut LMSW

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    TL : DR It's complex and difficult to move master's level licenses between states.

    I don't know all the answers to your questions, but don't forget to look at insurance panels too. I know that several insurance companies are moving to allowing only CACREP graduates, vs. just being concerned with the LPC license. While there are "community counseling" and "mental health counseling" programs out there that are well respected and produce good graduates, that are often basically the first two years of a counseling psychology PhD program, they will most likely require tweaks to become CACREP accredited. Honestly, these programs are really good, but they most likely will never be CACREP accredited. And unless they are forced to by state licensing laws, there is no incentive to do so. Some states will most likely continue this process for the forseeable future.

    "The majority of states that mention CACREP appear to weigh it equally with any other similar degree. A few seem to place it above degrees that are not CACREP. Does anyone know the accuracy of that view? Additionally, for the states that prefer CACREP, how onerous is it to show equivalency?" I would say that some CACREP programs are terrible and some non-CACREP programs are good. It really depends on licensing laws in a state. To address the "additionally" part, it depends on the state's board. With MSW licensure for example, there are several states that are part of a pact or alliance if you will, and they accept our licenses and we accept theirs. We all play nicely together and it's not too difficult to show equivalency. There are some states, like Florida who don't play nice with anyone ever, and it's extremely difficult to show equivalency with anything.

    Another thing to keep in mind is the number of supervised hours (and type) required by the state board. This varies by state and is a barrier to moving a MH license between states. You may have to show additional hours of supervision before the new state will grant you a license. Some states like New Mexico have competency requirements and require education in specific state interest topics.

    My husband retired from the military recently, and I was really concerned about this topic in undergrad, as I was terrified I'd get a degree and then not be able to work if we moved to a state with crappy reciprocity. So I did a lot of research on all mid-level 'counseling' degrees and licensure. If you want to PM me, I can speak more specifically about what state I'm in and help you with your state specific info. The LPC board in your state might or might not be helpful if you call and ask them for info.
     
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  6. IncognitoCats

    IncognitoCats Future Therapist. Past Prof. of Philosophy.

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    This is an excellent and comprehensive study of CACREP accreditation vs MCAC accreditation, lining each up against each state's state’s specific education and licensure requirements. The article abstract is pasted at the end of this post. But can anyone tell me - a wannabe therapist looking at MA programs everywhere - why CACREP has a problem with programs primarily staffed by faculty with psych degrees? I am struggling to understand this aversion. Can anyone explain it to me in a nutshell?

    I am struggling because many excellent long-standing training programs (such as NYU's, for example), are not eligible for CACREP accreditation, but are eligible for MPCAC accreditation. These include (1) programs housed in psychology and counseling psychology departments given CACREP does not accredit psychology programs, (2) counseling master’s programs in departments that also house doctorate programs in counseling psychology – because of the CACREP requirement that core faculty be graduates of a counselor education program, not a doctoral psychology program, and (3) other standalone counseling master’s programs with a professionally diverse faculty, again due to CACREP's narrow definition of acceptable core faculty.

    Abstract: "Although all 50 states, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico, have passed laws that license master’s-level professional counselors, the American Psychological Association has historically not taken a role in addressing master’s-level education. In 2009, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) initiated standards excluding psychologists as core faculty and has been a driving force with state licensing boards to credential graduates from CACREP- accredited programs exclusively. The Council for Counseling Psychology Training Programs explored the Masters in Counseling Accreditation Committee (MCAC) as an alternative accreditation for master’s counseling programs. This study examined the extent to which MCAC accreditation standards align with state counselor licensure statutes. Content analyses indicated that MCAC is a viable alternative accreditation if programs pay attention to state required credits for a degree, curricular requirements not specified by MCAC, and clinical requirements. Implications of these findings and recommendations are discussed."
     
  7. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician

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    My take is it's a turf war/professional development identity thing. CACREP has been around far shorter than APA or NASW. They want to develop and promote programs that train counselors and probably want to ensure that graduates of their doctoral programs have jobs to teach in. The Ph.D in Counselor Education and Supervision is not eligible for licensure as a psychologist in any state, does not provide higher reimbursement from insurance companies so it's primarily useful for teaching and research. If most of the teaching positions are taken by psychologists in masters program then there are doctorates without a job. CACREPs solution is to require the majority of core faculty to be CES doctorates.
     
  8. IncognitoCats

    IncognitoCats Future Therapist. Past Prof. of Philosophy.

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    Ah ha! Now I see some sense to this. Still, it leaves plenty of MA graduates who have perfectly excellent educations as counselors inside psych departments out in the cold as far as CACREP is concerned. Seems a mighty high price to pay for creating a protected job market for CES doctorates.
     
  9. foreverbull

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    1. Are there any states that ONLY allow CACREP accredited training programs? It seems only about half of the states mention CACREP but most accept it as one form of training but allow for many variations.

    I haven't heard of states being strict about this, so you'd have to literally look up each state board at the master's level to determine which require CACREP-accredited graduates. CA is one of the toughest states in the country for mental health practitioners regulations-wise, yet still allows graduates from only regionally-accredited programs (i.e non-CACREP) so long as they meet the specific course requirements within the program. If CA is any indication of the standard, CACREP-accreditation isn't required.

    2. It appears that psychology is slowly being phased out of masters-level training. How (un)common is it to have programs that are designed for LPC or LPC-like (not Social Work or MFT) training staffed mostly by psychology faculty rather than counseling faculty?

    In my doctoral program, we had some classes side-by-side with master's level counselors within the same department, with some courses taught by psychology faculty, the rest taught by adjunct master's level counselors. Not sure how common this is.

    3. What exactly is "counseling" rather than "psychology"?

    Different foundations entirely, but a lot of overlap. Counseling came from vocational/career counseling and began to incorporate counseling theories into it, psychology came from a science background (i.e. James, Watson, etc.) and incorporated counseling theories into it as well (i.e. Glasser, Rogers, Perls, Ellis, Beck, and so on). I've been in both a counseling master's program and a doctoral psychology program, and there's much overlap in counseling theory and practice, but psychology is heavier on science/research understanding in addition to clinical skills. Counseling doesn't emphasize research/science, generally.

    In my psychology training, I noticed I had more exposure and deeper training in more recent counseling theories (ACT, DBT, EFT, Interpersonal Therapy), while my master's program focused on Rogers, Ellis/Beck, Perls, and a lot of the older foundational theories that aren't used much in practice anymore (i.e. Person-Centered Therapy, REBT/CT, Gestalt). Not sure of that was a fluke within my master's program, but it was concerning. I think many master's programs I've heard about at least near me now (on the West Coast) offer a more updated education than my midwest program, but you just never know unless you ask current students or faculty what theories they teach. That is very important to find out prior to going into a master's program.
     
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