Under a bill signed into law last week by Governor Jerry Brown, counselors (PCCs) and marriage and family therapists (MFTs) in California who have completed their graduate degrees but are not yet licensed will see their title change from “Intern” to “Associate” on January 1, 2018.
I’m presenting at the Networking Luncheon at this week’s AAMFT Annual Conference in Indianapolis. (Come see!) The topic of the presentation will be the big picture of what’s happening in the field of psychotherapy: Fewer people are coming for services, they’re paying less for them, and our salaries as professionals are dropping relative to inflation. I’ll be talking about what individual practitioners can do to turn the ship. With the steps I outline in the book Saving Psychotherapy (and in next week’s talk), you can improve your own practice while helping the field as a whole. If you’d like a brief taste of what I’ll be talking about next week, I’ve recently done a couple of interviews you might like.
I’ll be presenting multiple times at this year’s AAMFT Annual Conference in Indianapolis. Come see me at any of the following:
We have decades of data proving that psychotherapy works. But data also shows that spending on therapy is rapidly declining — fewer people are coming — as training costs and requirements increase. MFTs at all career levels are impacted by these trends, which are already pushing some well-qualified therapists out of the field. Ben Caldwell hosts this fast-paced, data-driven, and ultimately optimistic presentation that will outline the specific steps MFTs can take on an individual basis to improve their own practices, while saving our field from becoming one by and for the wealthy.
The National Labor Relations Board declared this week that student assistants at private universities are employees and have the right to unionize. The decision overturned a 2004 precedent. It will allow thousands of teaching and research assistants to use collective bargaining to demand better pay and working conditions.
The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) has announced the development of the EPPP-2 (or EPPP Step 2), a new licensing exam for Psychologists. States would adopt it as an addition to, and not a replacement for, the current EPPP. Even though the test is in the early stages of development, it’s already controversial.
A while back, I wrote a textbook. It is now on its third edition, with the fourth edition due out in January. The book is, objectively speaking, expensive at $79, though good texts costing twice as much are not uncommon in graduate education for psychotherapists. Why are graduate textbooks so expensive? I’ll tell you.
Since the qualifications for each of the psychotherapy professions is largely consistent across state lines, it makes sense for the professions to do what they can to make it easier to take your license from one state to another. In recent months, there have been a handful of advances in license portability. Here’s where each of the professions stands today.
First thing, to be clear: I am pro-union. If there is any possible way that employees at your workplace can unionize, you probably should. Union workers have significantly better pay and working conditions than their non-union counterparts, and the notion that union dues will outweigh the gains you make as part of a union is typically false. Unions are good.
Psychotherapists often decry the current state of the field. Education and training costs continue to rise. Reimbursement rates are not rising. Salaries aren’t keeping up with inflation. The list goes on. (I discuss each of these issues at some length in Saving Psychotherapy.) It makes sense to wonder why there isn’t something like a therapists’ union to protect the interests of psychotherapy professionals.
However, the idea that a union of therapists will fix the problems in the field is largely wrong. A union for psychotherapists is not the solution we’re looking for. Here’s why.
The aftermath of a tragedy is perhaps when the public needs professional associations in mental health the most. These groups can speak from their collective knowledge and wisdom about how to best cope with the trauma and find meaningful ways to contribute. Here are the major US mental health professional associations’ responses to this week’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, where 49 were killed and 53 others wounded.