It has been long in the making. Starting in 2008, MAPP and MPA sat down together for the first time to see if we could work together and design a bill that would remove the “eternal supervision” provision for LLPs.

That first meeting proved hopeful. We were able to lay out on the table our “die on the sword” issues: MPA: Scope of practice; use of the title Psychologist exclusively. MAPP: Independent practice; advertising freedom.

We agreed that this could be done. From this meeting, a committee from MAPP and MPA met in Lansing. We were able to learn what had gone wrong with previous bills that had been submitted to the legislature. The lobbyist was able to obtain all this data and MPA and MAPP members researched each item and designed proposals that would counter and satisfy the complaints (which, by the way, were mostly legitimate). MPA and MAPP also researched other states that had licensed Master-level clinicians to see how they designed legislation and how they were able to pass it.

Keeping in mind that the Board of Directors of MAPP and MPA all serve in a volunteer capacity, and have day jobs, this has been years of additional time, travel, and “homework” for us all. It has been rigorous. Meetings are held in Lansing—often between MAPP and MPA and the lobbyist, sometimes also with graduate program professors, legislators, etc. After the research was assembled and all the information was gathered, there were more meetings to discuss the title, scope of practice, how the change would be made to the new license, requirements for new applicants, etc.

When we reached the point of writing a bill, MPA offered MAPP, free of charge, the services of their lobbyist. This was an incredible offer. MPA has had much more experience with legislation and knew the “ins and outs” of the Michigan legislature. The lobbyist has amazing expertise of how to make sure we have the strongest possibility of having the bill pass. For example, when the legislature changed from the majority democrat to majority republican, new sponsors needed to be obtained and a new bill needed to be submitted again. The bill has since been submitted three different times only to run into barriers and glitches that were quite unexpected—nothing to do with the merits of the bill, just politics!! It has been quite an education in civics!!

With Senate Bill 641 the vision is finally happening. This bill has the backing of LARA, State Judges, the university community, LPs, and hopefully the 4000 LLPs in Michigan (and all their friends and families!).

From the Board of MAPP, we can only share our deepest appreciation and thanks to MPA for their graciousness, expertise, generosity and pulling the “lion’s share” to make this licensing change happen.It has truly been a professional partnership, and would make Washington DC envious! Also, a great big THANKS to the MAPP members who have “hung in there” throughout the process, even when it was discouraging, who renewed their membership each year and even donated extra to make sure that MAPP stayed alive. You will never know how much it has sustained our work and kept us going over the past 10 years!!!

Cheers!! There will be a party!!