Tuesday, November 5, 2013

West Kentucky Mental Health Counselors Association (WKMHCA) Planning Meeting

October 15th, 2013
WKMHCA leadership met in Mayfield, Kentucky to discuss the program for the spring WKMHCA meeting at Barkley Lodge in association with West Kentucky Counseling Association (WKCA). They also reviewed the proposed changes to the licensure law which will be discussed at Kentucky Counseling Association (KCA) Fall Conference October 24th.  The group discussed the changes being suggested by members of the Kentucky Professional Counselor’s Board.  Several LPCCA’s who are currently being supervised by one of the leaders were in attendance. 
     Amy Washington, President of KMHCA, offered to present a session on working in groups with adolescents. Amy has had extensive experience in working with groups of adolescents with significant behavioral and emotional problems through girl’s and boy’s group homes in Western Kentucky. In addition Donna Barrix suggested contacting presenters who could do a session on Sandbox Therapy.  These were the primary topics presented by the group for discussion.  Both topics were approved and the leaders agreed to seek further information about these topics to help with planning the spring program. 
     Discussion about the proposed licensure law changes was very positive with members expressing their approval of the proposed changes.  There were some questions related to the nomination of new Kentucky Professional Counselor Board members.  The new law, as proposed, gives the authority of nominating new board members exclusively to Kentucky Counseling Association.  Amy Washington, current president of KMHCA, indicated that she felt it would be a good idea to include KMHCA in these decisions and the best way to have this documented was to have KCA consider adding to their bylaws that KCA  would include KMHCA in the process of nominating new candidates for these board positions.  This would be a blending of previous procedure for nominating candidates to the governor who makes the appointments to this board. Originally, KCA was responsible for making these nominations, but when the licensure law was passed, it was written in the new law that KMHCA was responsible for nominating professionals to the governor for appointment to the board.  WKMHCA leaders and members in attendance in this meeting expressed interest in having KMHCA continue to play an important role in this process.
     WKMHCA leaders and members also expressed concern that requiring two tests as a part of licensure would be burdensome to applicants for licensure.  They indicated that the cost of the tests for persons not working in permanent positions and the pressure to study and prepare for two very comprehensive exams would present barriers which might not prove helpful in building the profession.
     WKMHCA leadership made it clear that all interested counseling professional counselors would be welcome to attend and participate in the spring conference.  CEUs and EILA credits will be offered for these trainings.  Further information about dates and times will be published in time to plan for attending this meeting. 
Submitted by Jan Roberson