One interstate compact you may not have heard of yet that could be very helpful for the behavioral health field is the Interstate Compact for Counselor Licensure. As of August 4, 2022, the Counselor Compact now has 17 members – Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (the first state to enact the Counseling Compact), Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Utah – and The Compact became active when ten states passed it.
This month, the Compact Commission will convene for the first time in October of 2022! According to the Compact’s website, “The Commission will adopt initial bylaws and rules to carry out the Compact. The Commission will also provide for creating an interstate licensure data system allowing for rapid verification of practitioners’ good standing and sharing of disciplinary information among member states. This activation process generally takes up to a year or longer.”
This Compact is for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) only. It specifically does not include licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs), licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), or psychologists.
The Compact website FAQ page notes, “If your state uses a title different than but equivalent to LPC (e.g., LMHC, LPCC), and you are a counselor who can independently diagnose, assess, and treat, then you will be able to participate in the compact.”
There are several other compacts behavioral health providers should also be aware of. A few examples are below:
- PSYPACT is the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact, an interstate compact that facilitates the practice of telepsychology and temporary in-person, face-to-face practice of psychology across state boundaries. PSYPACT applies only to psychologists and to no other type of behavioral health provider. Significantly, PSYPACT does not apply when a psychologist is licensed in both the home and receiving state. PYSPACT is enacted in over 30 states, including Arizona in 2016 and Tennessee in 2021, with more on the way. Notably absent so far are 3 of the top 5 most populous US States: California, Florida, and New York.
- The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact applies to psychiatrists. The IMLC is an agreement that allows states to work together to significantly streamline the licensing process for physicians who want to practice in multiple states. It’s been operational since 2017 and has been enacted by more than half the states, including Arizona, Michigan, and Tennessee. Again, notably absent from IMLC are CA, FL, and NY.
- Also on the horizon: The Social Work Compact. Currently, an initial draft of the Social Work Compact has been completed.
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