Licensed professional counselors around Battle Creek and the rest of the state are expressing relief. The Michigan State Senate is setting up rules to regulate their work. The upper chamber of the state legislature is voting to approve House Bill 4325. It allows licensed professional counselors to retain their ability to diagnose and treat clients.

The earlier State House vote was unanimous to approve the bill. Interest in the bill skyrocketed after the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs began considering wording to “clarify” the scope of practice for the profession. The original proposal from state regulators would have meant that licensed professional counselors would no longer be allowed to diagnose and treat clients in a clinical setting. Counselors claimed the change would cost them their livelihood and jeopardize the mental health of clients who depend on them.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says her administration is working with lawmakers to make sure any remaining concerns are addressed.