Once again, counselors lead the way in telemental health education and training. In May 2015, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) released their new accreditation standards for 2016. Those standards have now gone into effect.

What is CACREP?

CACREP accredits master’s and doctoral degree programs in counseling and its specialties that are offered by colleges and universities. The revision of these standards has been eagerly anticipated by the counseling due to their influence in setting the bar for the professional development of counselors throughout the world. For instance, the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) has announced that beginning January 1, 2022, applicants for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential must be graduates of a CACREP-accredited program.  This new educational requirement will not affect the professional counselors who are currently certified, nor those who obtain certification prior to December 31, 2021.  Read the full announcement from NBCC.

The 2016 CACREP document outlines eight “common core areas” that represents “the foundational knowledge required of all entry level counselor education graduates.” To be in compliance with these new accreditation standards,  counselor education programs must document where each of the identified standards is covered in their curricula. Click here to read CACREP’s 2016 Standards and conduct a search on the term “technology” to easily identify which areas of counseling are to soon require technology-related expertise by counselors in training. These standards are preparing the way for counselors to be adequately prepared to engage in responsible distance counseling techniques when using technologies such as the telephone, video, email and text messaging.

TMHI’s Role with CACREP

TMHI is proud to have commented on the CACREP standards when they were open to comment in 2014. We are delighted to see that CACREP took many of our technology-related suggestions to heart, and included them in their new standards. We tell you this final bit of information to help you keep focused if you too, are a technology advocate. It is easy to become jaded with respect to how large organizations function, and give up hope of change. What we’ve realized after 22 years of advocacy for the responsible use of technology is that change may be slow, but it does come with patience. Persistence pays off.

What’s the lesson to be learned with this CACREP Example?

Whatever your “cause,” stick with it.