How did the Practice Act come about?
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Over a period of 15 years, several LPCs and LMFTs tried to amend the Title Act (an act which established LPC and LMFT licensure and created the OBLPCT oversight board) in order to make it possible for counselors and therapists to receive insurance reimbursement. Over this time, it became apparent that the title act needed to be replaced, rather than amended. For several decades, Psychologists had worked under a “Practice Act” which included a definition of the practice of psychology and required that anyone engaging in those practices, as defined, be licensed, while the Social Workers and LPCs/LMFTs both worked under Title Acts.
From 2004-2009 a group of LPCs and LMFTs throughout the state formed a coalition to achieve the passage of the Practice Act. The process started with an LMFT from Ashland, Mary Lou Brophy, who contacted her legislator, Peter Buckley, and impressed upon him that there was a problem that needed to be resolved. Several hundred LPCs and LMFTs joined her in her effort, offering both financial support as well as personal time and effort. After a painful defeat in 2007, Mary Lou Brophy had to move out of state to address a family need. At that time, Bryan Nilsen LMFT, Jeff Harman LPC, and Larry Conner LPC, as well as a number of other core team members, took over the leadership at that time. This group of LPCs and LMFTs wrote a practice act and hired a lobbyist, Elizabeth Cushwa.
Finally, in 2009, after 15 years of hard work and failed efforts, a group led by the leadership of OAMFT, ORCA, and OMHCA were successful in passing the Practice Act finally allowing LPCs and LMFTs to receive insurance reimbursement.