The first interstate compact for counselor license reciprocity

By Mk2010 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia CommonsI’ve talked a fair amount in this blog about the need for better license portability across states. True license reciprocity, where one state automatically recognizes another state’s licensure, is rightly the long-term goal of some professional associations in mental health. (I’ve argued that telehealth will help us get there.)

A key step toward reciprocity is an interstate compact, where multiple states maintain their independent oversight of practitioners within their states but agree to follow consistent standards for licensure, and to recognize licenses granted by other states within the compact. Last week, the first interstate compact for counselor license reciprocity was signed by Kentucky and Tennessee, with two other states planning to join them.

From the American Counseling Association‘s announcement:

The Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia counseling licensure board representatives met at the ACA 2015 Conference in Orlando to discuss an interstate compact for counselor licensure. On Friday, March 20th, Kentucky and Tennessee signed the agreement and the other two states are moving forward to implement the compact.

This is a significant step forward in the recognition that mental health professionals often move to new states, and shouldn’t be unduly burdened when that happens. Congratulations to the states involved, and to the American Association of State Counseling Boards for successfully facilitating the compact.