July 26, 2019
The Texas Counseling Association is the voice for Texas professional counselors at the state and federal level. Every aspect of professional counseling is impacted by public policy decisions. TCA's goal is to influence the laws, rules and policies to positively impact and increase access to professional counselors across Texas. In conjunction with the American Counseling Association, TCA sends organizational leaders to advocate at the federal level in Washington D.C. every July.
by TCA President, Mike Moyer
I had the privilege and honor of representing the Texas Counseling Association at the American Counseling Association's Leadership Training Institute. This was a wonderful opportunity to join with other ACA branch and division leaders in Washington D.C. to learn and advocate on behalf of all professional counselors.
On Wednesday, we boarded buses and headed to Capitol hill to visit with members of Congress. Personally, I had meetings (along with TCA president-elect Michael DeVoll and TCA board member Carolyn Greer) with both Senator Ted Cruz and Senator John Cornyn's staff. I also met with the staff of my local Congressman, Will Hurd. At each meeting I shared the wonderful work professional counselors do in Texas and nationwide. I provided information related to the education required to become a professional counselor, the many settings in which professional counselors practice, and the ways in which professional counselors impact client's lives.
We discussed Medicare expansion and advocated to allow professional counselors to bill Medicare. We also spoke in support of bills currently being considered for education loan repayment programs for professional counselors and other mental health professionals. I am honored and thankful to have had the opportunity to connect with leaders of the counseling profession from across the United States and speak to our Congressional delegation on behalf of professional counselors in Texas.
One of my many takeaways from this trip is the continued importance of advocacy and speaking up! As professional counselors, we are experts on our profession and issues that impact our profession. If we do not advocate for ourselves, no one else will.
While waiting for my appointment in Congressman Will Hurd's office on Wednesday, I overhead two of his staff members talking. One said to the other, "That is 14 phone calls in the past 10 minutes. We really need to talk to the him (Congressman Hurd) about this and let him know."
Your calls matter! When you receive action alerts from TCA, email or call your elected officials; visit your representative's office especially now when they are on recess; and offer to be a resource for your representative on issues related to mental health or school counseling! Each contact makes a difference, the more we speak up, the more we can accomplish.
TCA works hard to stay on top of legislation that effects the counseling profession, both at the state and federal level. These efforts are possible through our dues paying members.
Any time there is an issue that needs attention, our members are the first to know through our timely action alerts. During the state legislative session we also send our members a weekly update surrounding issues at the Texas legislature. Members also have access to TCA's Advocacy Hub that includes resources to help you advocate effectively.
Join TCA today and be a part of the largest and strongest professional organizations for counselors in Texas.
Photo Credit: Mike Moyer
Photo Credit: Michael DeVoll
Photo Credit: Michael DeVoll