Does continuing education matter for prelicensed therapists?

Brodie Vissers / Burst / Used under licenseTherapists and counselors never stop learning over the course of their careers. The educational process starts in graduate school, where trainees and students absorb as much information as they can within and outside of the classroom setting. In California, following graduation and registration with the BBS (Board of Behavioral Sciences), associate marriage and family therapists seek work and training opportunities that will allow them to continue expanding upon their knowledge of therapeutic techniques and treatment modalities. Once licensed, marriage and family therapists are required to obtain CEUs (Continuing Education Units*) in order to continue practicing.

We know that continuing education is important, but do continuing education hours matter for prelicensed therapists? CEUs are required in order to renew licenses with the BBS, but not registrations; therefore, the answer may seem like a straightforward “no.” The more complex answer is that CEUs can be beneficial for prelicensed therapists in certain situations.

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MFT job listing lingo

Matthew Henry / Burst / Used under licenseImagine seeing a job listing for a paid position that’s located close to home, involves working with the client population of your dreams, and offers excellent benefits. Excited to learn more, you begin to read over the job description. Upon reaching the “Qualifications” section, you see unfamiliar terminology. You start to question whether you meet the requirements for this position, and you wonder whether it’s worth applying for the position at all.

Many of us have encountered this situation and struggled to make sense of MFT job listing lingo. Fortunately, this article can provide clarification on several terms that may be unfamiliar to prelicensed MFTs who are seeking their first paid clinical opportunity.

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Common mistakes when dealing with the BBS

Alice Achterhof / UnsplashThe California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) tends to elicit negative responses from MFT registered interns, trainees, and students, and probably for good reason. The “horror stories” relating to therapists’ experiences with the BBS seem endless at times, and unfortunately, these stories can contribute to feelings of stress that are already being experienced by aspiring marriage and family therapists. Avoiding these five common mistakes can help reduce those feelings of stress when dealing with the BBS.

[Ed. note: This is a guest post written by our friend Robin Andersen, who runs the excellent resource More about Robin appears at the end of this post. For more great resources for prelicensed therapists, check out this article. -bc]

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