In a major victory for marriage and family therapists, the Texas Supreme Court today ruled that MFTs can independently diagnose in accordance with the DSM. The ruling was surprising, given that the Court had denied review of the case last year. In an unusual move, the court agreed to reconsider the case last fall.
Twitter has become one of the world’s largest social media sites. An estimated 200 billion tweets are sent each year, or more than 6,000 per second. The Twitter web site gets more than 90 million unique monthly visitors in the US. It’s easy to mistake that data as an indication that everyone is on Twitter, and therefore you should be too. But they aren’t, and you shouldn’t, and I’ve had enough.
Note: The following opinion is a lightly-edited excerpt from the new fourth edition of Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. The ban on soliciting testimonials from clients is discussed in one of the book’s new “Room for Debate” segments. To see Emma Jaegle’s counterargument supporting the ban, get the book. For more on what’s in the new edition, which is updated to 2017 state law, click here.
Therapists in private practice often set aside money for marketing. Those in agencies or group practices may also have some control over how and where the business is advertised. But as therapists, we don’t usually get much training in marketing. As a result, it’s easy to be tricked into wasting that money. Here are four ways that can happen.
Note: The following opinion is a lightly-edited excerpt from the new fourth edition of Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letters are discussed in one of the book’s new “Room for Debate” segments. To see Emma Jaegle’s counterargument supporting therapists writing ESA letters, get the book. For more on what’s in the new edition, which is updated to 2017 state law, click here.
If you are soon to be taking your state’s MFT licensing exams, congratulations! Here are five tips on how to study and prepare.
Licensing exams are a major milestone in the professional development of a marriage and family therapist (MFT). While there are differences from state to state, every state except California uses the National MFT Exam, and most states require that exams be taken at the completion of at least two years of full-time, post-masters experience in supervised practice. (California uses exclusively its own exams.) As you approach completion of the supervised experience necessary to take the exams, how can you best prepare? Here are five things that can help:
Donald Trump was elected President of the United States yesterday in what has been labeled a stunning upset. While much of the broader social discussion today will focus on how Trump’s victory happened, as psychotherapists we now must consider how President Trump will impact our profession.
Mental health is not mentioned in Trump’s health care reform paper or on the health care page of his campaign web site. So for this post, we look to his other stated policy goals to see how mental health care would be impacted.
Becoming a therapist isn’t the only way you can put a psychology or counseling degree to work. You can also become a “life coach,” a growing profession that involves helping people come closer to reaching their life goals. Some clients who would resist going to therapy will happily visit with a life coach, as receiving coaching does not carry the same implications that going to therapy might. And some therapists see coaching as a way to diversify their practice, allowing them to market to clients who simply wouldn’t attend counseling or therapy.
Life coaching is a perfectly respectable and well-defined profession. The problem with life coaching isn’t the work itself, for which there clearly is a market. It’s with the people providing it.
Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear a case about marriage and family therapists’ (MFTs’) ability to independently diagnose mental illness. While MFTs are trained in diagnosis, a lower court ruled that the state’s licensing board overstepped its authority in an attempt to add the word “diagnosis” to the MFT scope of practice. Going further, the court ruling determined that MFTs should not have been independently diagnosing in the first place. (Though the word “diagnose” was not previously in the scope language, MFTs diagnosing mental illness was common practice, as it is around the country.) The state Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case meant that the lower ruling stood, and MFTs could not diagnose.
Court procedures in Texas allow for one final appeal of the court’s decision not to hear a case. The AAMFT filed an appeal on June 13. In a rare move, the court granted that appeal. Later this year, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether MFTs should be allowed to independently diagnose mental illness.
Bill Doherty gave an interview to Minnesota Public Radio last month, cautioning that therapists should avoid issuing diagnoses of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Doherty is certainly correct that diagnosing from afar is dangerous, for a multitude of reasons. But as it turns out, most mental health ethics codes are fine with it.