Getting (and giving) better answers to legal questions on Facebook

Matthew Henry / Burst / Licensed under Creative Commons ZeroFacebook is a great resource for gathering information. Often, and for the right reasons, we turn to social media in hopes of gathering information we need in a short period of time and with little effort. But for therapists going to social media with legal questions, that convenience may not be worth it. Many of the answers therapists give peers for legal questions on Facebook are incorrect.

We reviewed 20 recent posts that included legal questions in therapist groups on Facebook. We looked strictly at legal questions where there was a clear correct answer that we could easily reference. So anything requiring interpretation of law was purposefully left out. Our review was by no means comprehensive — it falls more closely in bar-napkin-math territory. But we still think this quick review offers some valuable information.

Read moreGetting (and giving) better answers to legal questions on Facebook

AA should not be the frontline referral for every client with alcohol issues

12-stepA couple of weeks ago, we took a quote about alcohol treatment (AA, specifically) from Saving Psychotherapy and put it in an Instagram and Facebook post. It didn’t go well!

You can see our post there to the right. That was the image we shared. Here’s a sampling of how people responded:

  • I find this to be a dangerous overgeneralization.
  • Be careful with this. Lives are at stake.
  • This is just wrong!!
  • Dangerous, irresponsible statement!

Not only do we stand by the quote, the finding itself isn’t especially controversial in the world of research on treatment for substance use disorders. It’s mostly controversial among professionals who don’t want it to be true.

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Even when marijuana is legal, therapists who use it face risks

foggy leavesWe have all heard it before. The classic argument. “If you can go home and have a glass of wine or a beer after work, why can’t I smoke a joint? Why can’t I have an edible?” We tend to roll our eyes when we hear this from clients who may be minimizing their marijuana use or its effects. But what do you do when you hear that argument from your colleague, or from a supervisee?

Many therapists have been discussing the impact of marijuana use with clients for years, but have only recently begun to question using themselves. With the increasing number of states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, therapists now must consider the impact that using marijuana can have on themselves and therapy. While the legalization of marijuana does not appear to lead to increased use, those therapists and counselors who have been using marijuana all along may now be able to be more open in discussing it.

Read moreEven when marijuana is legal, therapists who use it face risks

The Last 100 Hours, Part 3: The California Law and Ethics Exam

track-running-lanesThe California Law and Ethics Exam is a major source of anxiety for many people in the process of becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have heard colleagues repeatedly express anxiety about studying for the exam, the exam process itself, and even the process for receiving results. I’ll address each of these areas below as it relates to my own experience with the exam. As someone who just went through the process myself, I can relate to some of these concerns.

Before I continue, a quick aside on sharing test experiences: Ben’s two posts (part 1 & part 2) on what can and can’t safely be shared from a licensing exam are worth checking out before you post your exam experience on Facebook or otherwise share it with the world, especially in writing.

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The Last 100 Hours, Part 2: Is paying to track your hours worth it?

256px-2010-07-20_Black_windup_alarm_clock_faceFifty hours. Five-oh. That is all that is left. It truly is hard to believe just how close I am to being done with my 3,000-hour requirement for MFT licensure.

For a majority of the time I’ve been gathering hours, like most interns I haven’t had a clear sense of exactly how close I have been to being done. California’s process of categorizing and tracking hours for MFT licensure is notoriously complicated. It can be hard enough to keep track of the hours we work, let alone figure out which of the many categories or “buckets” the hours belong under. The process is even more difficult, and often frustrating, due to the maximum and minimum requirements under each individual bucket. Anyone who is currently tracking his or her hours, or who had in the past, understands that this is a daunting process.

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The Last 100 Hours, Part 1: Introducing Jeff Liebert

track-running-lanes[Ed. note: With this post, I’d like to personally welcome Jeff Liebert, MA, to the Psychotherapy Notes team. Jeff is from Sacramento, currently lives and works in Los Angeles, and is ever-so-close to completing the journey to MFT licensure. His first few posts here will focus on the big decisions that come with the last 100 hours of that journey. Welcome aboard, Jeff! -Ben]

It’s here at last: The final 100 hours. I am so close to completing my supervised experience, which is the most extensive requirement in my way of being a licensed therapist. As I sit here on the edge of licensure, I am full of both excitement and dread.

Read moreThe Last 100 Hours, Part 1: Introducing Jeff Liebert