Erik Oostenink, MA, LMHC
Iowa Board of Behavioral Science
This is my third consecutive year attending AASCB. I have been on the Iowa Licensure Board for the past four years, including three as the Chairperson. Additionally, I attended the State Licensure Boards Meeting in North Carolina in August. I have enjoyed serving the profession of counselors in a variety of leadership roles. I was a board member of the Iowa Mental Health Counselors Association (IMCHA) from 2006 – 2012 serving as Public Policy Chair, Secretary, President-Elect, President, and Past-President. In that role, I was instrumental in obtaining insurance reimbursement for LMHC’s under Blue Cross/Blue Shield as well as achieving legislation including LMHC’s as Medicaid Providers in Iowa. I have also served on the Public Policy Committee for the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) for approximately six years and most recently have served on AMHCA’s Board of Directors as the Midwest Region Director for AMHCA for the past four years. In this role, I have had the privilege of communicating with other representatives of professional associations in the Midwest and throughout the country to continue to advocate for our profession, develop high quality professional standards, and develop and promote continuing education opportunities.
Professionally, I have worked for the same not-for-profit organization for the past 13 years, as a therapist in a community mental health center and residential treatment program with children, adolescent, and their families. In this work, I also developed, supervised, and administered a state-granted system of care project in two counties over a four year period.
In my role as a member of a licensure board as well as through my professional interest in the profession, I would like to work on the executive committee of AASCB to continue to advance the counseling profession. AASCB has a unique role in being able to provide guidance and direction to state licensure boards to continue the work of promoting consistent, high quality standards that not only protect the public, but also allows for reciprocity between states. Last year, I was inspired by participants at the AASCB conference in San Diego to recognize commonalities between states. Through group discussions and networking, I gained information that I shared with our licensure board. Eight months later, Iowa adopted a rule to recognize those applying for licensure from other states who were licensed at the highest level for at least five years with no ethical violations. This was a positive example of what AASCB can bring to states. I intend to continue this effort on the AASCB board, of providing leadership in practical areas to bring about standards that licensure boards can adopt to continue to protect the public and encourage portability/reciprocity.