Agencies are now charging trainees to work there, too [Updated]

currencyIf you’ve been around this blog a while, you’ve heard me rail against unpaid internships that are often illegal. I’ve encouraged anyone who has been through such an internship to fight for their rights — including back wages. I’ve also argued that the “intern” title is part of the problem, and thankfully, it’s changing to “Associate” for California MFTs and PCCs in 2018. But interns aren’t alone in troubling and potentially exploitive work settings.

Around Los Angeles, it is increasingly common for agencies to charge significant fees to trainees — students in graduate school, doing the clinical hours they need to graduate — for the privilege of working for free.

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See me at the 2016 AAMFT Annual Conference

I’ll be presenting multiple times at this year’s AAMFT Annual Conference in Indianapolis. Come see me at any of the following:

Networking Luncheon for 2016 AAMFT Annual ConferenceNetworking Luncheon

Friday, 12:30p-2:00p
Benjamin Caldwell

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.

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How this year’s religious freedom bills would impact therapists

Golden gavel 1, By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsSeveral states are considering religious freedom bills that would directly impact therapist training and licensure, and clients’ ability to access appropriate mental health care.

As has been the trend for several years now, these bills — also commonly referred to as “conscience clause” legislation — are being framed as protection of the rights of religious people to act in accordance with their moral or religious beliefs, free from government interference. The bills tend to be broadly written, though there have been at least a few instances of bills being written specifically to apply to mental health (including one this year — see discussion of Tennessee below).

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Why you should read Saving Psychotherapy, in two charts

Saving psychotherapy cover image (c) Copyright 2015 Benjamin E. Caldwell.My new book, Saving Psychotherapy, will be officially released September 22 [Update: Here it is!]. An edited excerpt about licensing exams is available here. Another excerpt focused on student debt appeared in the January/February 2015 issue of AAMFT’s Family Therapy Magazine (it starts on page 26).

I could spend a lot of time convincing you why you should read the book, but I think these two charts will be sufficient.

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