State to license counselors who are also pastors

MGN Online

ST. MATTHEWS, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky is set to become the sixth state to license pastoral counselors to help people with issues such as marital difficulties, addictions and depression.

A law allowing the licensing goes into effect Tuesday and is expected to cover about 30 pastors who also work as mental and behavioral health counselors across the state. The other states licensing pastoral counselors are Arkansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Tennessee.

The chairman of the Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, Martin Cortez Wesley, told the Lexington Herald-Leader he'll take a wait-and-see approach to the new law. Wesley is concerned the public will confuse licensed professional counselors with licensed pastoral counselors.

The legislation and more than 100 other new laws approved by state lawmakers and Gov. Steve Beshear take effect Tuesday.

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