Michigan therapists unable to find testing sites to renew licenses amid pandemic

Hundreds of mental health professionals could lose certification

DETROIT – Michigan state officials are responding to a story about a crunch when it comes to renewing certain professional licenses.

Most people are caught in the middle of a COVID-19 ripple effect -- including patients who need support.

Rhonda Ravenell lost her license to practice psychology. She said she’s trying to arrange to be re-certified as a Temporary Limited License Psychologist (TLLP).

“I went online to try to set up an appointment,” Ravenell said. “I was unable to get in.”

As a Master’s level clinical psychologist, she is licensed to practice counseling while she continues her education. She normally she works as a contract school psychologist except she can’t anymore because -- like many others -- her license to practice expired and she is struggling to find access to re-certification testing that’s limited by COVID shut downs.

Hundreds of psychologists are expected to lose their certification because they are not able to get their licenses renewed.

Read: Therapists losing jobs due to Michigan license renewal crunch caused by pandemic

In four separate attempts, Local 4 asked a representative of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to address the complaints. At every turn, officials with LARA have declined an actual interview, but did send written answers to many questions.

According to LARA, 93 TLLPs had licenses that were about to lapse in March. They were given a six month extension to take and pass the re-certification test.

In September, 86 licenses expired and 33 more are expected to expire before December.

The interim LARA communications director said in an email that despite getting as many as 5,000 emails a week, staff and teams at the Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) within LARA have continued to provide customer service and -- in many ways -- have proven to be more productive despite having to work through the ever-changing environment.

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