Hi Linda, and I see what you are saying.
I can only speak for practice here in the US and I do not know if you are aware of this, but as of a few years ago, every US state offered licensure to qualified professionals. I believe that up until that time you could practice without a license in Utah and New York. I am not sure about Utah, but I lived in NY and that was the situation there. In order to be licensed to practice there are qualifications that would include an advanced degree, several hours supervised internship and passing a fairly rigorous exam.
In other words you just can't set up shop somewhere without meeting these standards. You can not get malpractice insurance and you cannot bill insurance companies for payment. It insures a minimum standard of care and prevents people from going into practice and possibly harming others.
Now I am sure you are very good at counseling, but just as I cannot go out and practice medicine (because I have not completed all the requirements to be a doctor of medicine) you cannot call yourself a counselor until you have completed these requirements.
You say that you have attended over 15 years of counseling sessions, might peer counseling be the right route for you? You might want to look into this. You would need only your experience as a mental health consumer, completion of a training course, and to pass the Certified Peer Specialist exam. Is this something you would be interested in?
Let me know what you think.