LPCAGA History


LPCA of Georgia History 

The History of LPCA, the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia, Inc.

“An organization without a history is like a tree without roots” (W.T. Sherman)

George E. Rolle, Ph.D., LPC, (Historian, 2002)

Abstract: At the Annual Convention of 2002 Phil Foster, President of LPCA, the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia, Inc .commissioned George Rolle to serve as the first historian of the organization with the task oflocating and recording LPCA historical roots. This action was later approved by the LPCA board. This report is the first recorded documentation of LPCAGA history and development and should be viewed as only the beginning.

 For several years LPCAGA (Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia, Inc) a non-profit association, members and officers have discussed the need for written Documentation and recorded history regarding the growth and development of the organization.The task of locating and recovering significant pieces of our history and communicating with key individualsinvolved in the early development of the organization has been a challenging and undaunted process.Hence, gaining knowledge and understanding from whence we come (our past) could very well help establish a pathway for our future. This historical overview provides an outline of information obtained from several sources and is an attempt to design a template for collecting and properly recording significant events & developments in the life of LPCA. Special thanks and acknowledgement to Gale Macke (Executive Director) for providing selected LPCA files for review; to Dr. Linda Painter (Past President) for information provided from the power point presentation “Past Presidents Forum” (2002); to Dr. Chuck Goodrum (Organizational Leader and Past President); and Elizabeth Goff, University of West Georgia Graduate Research Assistant, for providing help in finishing this document.If you have questions or would like to provide valuable information to this process, please to not hesitate to contact me or Gale Macke at the LPCA office, 404-370-0200 or www.LPCAGA.org

GMHCA (Pre-LPCA Era 1981-1987):


    • A statewide annual conference for the Georgia Mental Health Counseling Association (GMHCA) was held at the Ramada Inn (I-85 @ Monroe, Ave, Atlanta) on December 5&6, 1981.Pre-registration = $4.00 for members… $6.00 for non-members.At the door = $ 7.00 for members … $ 10.00 for non-members. (Non-members spouse Free)J !!!President, Tim Kirby, Ph.D. (Warner Robbins, GA); President-Elect, William “Bill” Waters, Ph.D. (Albany, GA).Key-Note Speaker: The Honorable Mr. Billy Randall, State Representative and Chair of the Black Caucus. Theme: Licensure Issues.
    • Chuck Goodrum, GMHCA President and AMHCA Georgia State Coordinator, secured financial assistance from AMHCA to establish state affiliated association


and to purchase stationery and promotional brochures. A steering committee was formed to accomplish the necessary steps to have the Georgia Association chartered by March 1989 as a state division of the American Mental Health Counselors Association.Additionally, the steering committee developed a set of By-Laws and the Governing Body structure for the new state division, and had consensus of believes in the importance of establishing professional parity on matters of third party payments, clarifying private and state employment practices, and raising public awareness of the services to be offered.

In a strong appeal to mental health professionals state-wide, Goodrum stated …“I personally know of no other professional association that addresses the concerns of the Mental Health Counselor as our new association can.You will be among the Association’s charter members who are now seizing the opportunity to build a mutually supporting Mental Health Counselors statewide network” (October, 1988).

The first state division convention was held at Ridgeview Institute, Smyrna, Ga., with 25 attendees (1988) and established free continuing education workshops as a primary membership benefit.Goodrum served as president 1987-1990.

GMHCA (Pre-LPCA Era 1988-1994)


    • A PROCLAMATION: I, Joe Frank Harris, Governor of the State of Georgia, do proclaim the week of May 7-13, 1989, as “MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS WEEK” in honor and recognition of these health care professionals and the vital services they render.Signed this 1st day ofMay, 1989(see Appendix A)
    • GMHCA membership now provides free continuing education workshops forlicensure, expanded association and collaboration with other counselors, a strongadvocate to negotiate with other professional groups, and a lobbyist to look after LPCA interests. 
    • New Licensure Law: On March 17th,, 1986the Georgia House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 137 without amendments.The passage of this act was significant because, for the first time, Georgia has a true licensing law (with thescope of practice statement) and mental health counseling is included.
    • A PROCLAMATION: Zell Miller, Governor of the State of Georgia proclaim the week of May 5-11, 1991, as “MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS WEEK” in recognition that mental health counselors’ work is a specialized field of counseling which emphasizes the developmental and adjustive nature of mental health services.Signed, April 25th 1991(see Appendix B).
    • A PROCLAMATION: Sonny Perdue, Governor of the State of Georgia proclaim the week of May 5-11, 1991, as “MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS WEEK” in recognition that mental health counselors’ work is a specialized field of counseling which emphasizes the developmental and adjustive nature of mental health services.Signed, February 6, 2006 (see Appendix C)
LPCAEra (1995-2006)


LPCA Annual Legislative Breakfast:LPCA invites all Georgia Legislators (House Representatives and Senators) to a special breakfast with LPCA membership during the opening legislative session. This event begun in 1995 and spearheaded by the Government Relations Committee as become as annual event. At the overwhelming request from the LPCA membership, 1998 event was the first late afternoon/evening function held from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. The degree of legislative recognition and involvement with LPCA have helpeddetermine the economic well-being of all LPCs and the quality of treatment that can be provided.

Name Changed:dedicated to promoting the profession and theprofessionalism of LPCs in Georgia, the organization’s new name became Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (LPCA of GA).

Plus in 1995, the privileged communication law was passed.

Business Location for LPCA Office, Downtown Decatur, GA 250 E Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite # 427, in the beautiful 8 story Glass and Marble Bank Building since July 1998. 

2002National Recognition for LPCA of Georgia: At the Annual Conference of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), LPCA of Georgia received the 2002 National Award as the Outstanding State Chapter with over 500 members and exemplary service to consumers and membership. 

Membership Survey Results: A membership survey, pertaining to purpose for joining and strength of LPCA, was conducted at the 2002 Annual Conference and the results as indicated below are quite revealing:

a)210 survey forms were distributed and 114 were returned (54.286%)

- roughly 67 or (60%)of attendees who returned a completed survey became

affiliated with LPCA of GA. Between t 1995-2003; Plus, 70% became

affiliated through testing certification (see graph 1)

b) Responding to their purpose(s) for joining LPCA, 35% indicated their first

desire was networking; 32% indicated their second reason wasfor continuing

education opportunities; 30% for professionalism; and 20% for personal

enrichment (see graph 2)

c) Responding to perceived strengths of LPCA, roughly 23% indicated that net-

working and continuing education opportunities were top strengths; 20% felt

that legislative initiatives and conferences/workshops were strengths; and 9

to 17% indicated that leadership, advocacy, and communications (newsletter,

emails, journals, etc) were strengths (see graph 3).

Graphs and more are listed below due to the detailed information.

George E. Rolle, PhD, LPC is Professor in the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department at the State University of West Georgia. 

 The George C Podein Counselor of the Year Award

Subject: George Podein

George Podein was born in Valdosta .

His father was a pitcher for Valdosta ’s minor league farm team when he met George’s mother. George’s maternal grandfather was a dentist and George deeply admired him.

George was raised in Detroit and Jacksonville where he father was an executive with Ford Motor Company.

Although his early years were spent in the north, George loved the South and considered himself a Southerner.

He was also extremely proud of his German heritage.

He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He was an animal lover and often said they had more sense than humans.

He graduated from Valdosta State College with a B.S. in Psychology and from Auburn University with a M.Ed. in Counselor Education.

He held direct service and supervisory positions with the South Health District Mental Health Center in Valdosta , Coosa Valley Mental Health Center in Rome , and the Haralson County Mental Health Center in Bremen . He had a very big heart and was proudest when he felt as though he had helped someone better their life.

George and Dave McCracken were hired by John C Burns, III in Rome , Georgia for positions with the Coosa Valley Mental Health Center in the late 70's).

In the Early 80s, George, Dr. Joe Mann ( West Georgia College ), Dr. Fred Richards, and Dr. John C Burns, III, met at a high school in Carrollton to discuss getting more MH Professionals involved.  This later turned into the Georgia Mental Health Counselors Association until influences from Georgia State University created pressure to change our name to the Licensed Professional Counselors Association. At that time the Association was more of a higher-education based group with a lot of folks from West Georgia College and a sprinkling from Georgia State University . Most members were either University professors, college counselors, or school counselors.  The move for private practitioners was just beginning to take shape. Those active were an extension of ACCA (American College Counseling Association).

None of us had any real desire to take lead roles with the Association.  Joel Bagby also worked with Coosa Valley MH Center. He became involved with the Association and later became president.

George had a real gift for politics. He worked very closely with the former speaker of the House, Tom Murphy, to help the Association become recognized by the legislature. 

George was an excellent Outpatient MH professional. He did an excellent job of individual/group counseling. He also ran the Haralson County MH Center Office in Bremen , Georgia . He was instrumental in setting up a number of innovative programs for his patients. The Speaker of the House came to every open house that George set up.

George had a real feel for politics as well as a real love for helping to create new allies for our Association. He talked for hours about his vision for Georgia, his vision lives on.