Whitmer signs bill protecting counselors, allowing them to continue treating patients

Licensed professional counselors will continue to be able to diagnose and treat patients after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation updating their scope of practice.

Whitmer says the law enacted Tuesday will ensure that more than 150,000 people can still receive mental health care and protect 10,000 counselors from losing their ability to practice as they currently do.

The legislation was sparked by concerns that the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will change counseling regulations in a way that affects counselors' work. 

The agency has said the current rules are outdated and the old law did not let counselors diagnose and use psychotherapy techniques, even if they have been doing so for many years.