Your first clients: How to feel more at ease

Tyra ButlerMy first six months of seeing clients while in graduate school felt pretty crazy, though at the time I didn’t realize how crazy. When we are on a significant growth trajectory and learning curve, it’s challenging to see through the fog of all the factors involved in adjusting to becoming a therapist. It seems whenever we are in an important and difficult phase of life — potentially transformational — it’s hard to see what growth is actually occurring.

Looking back on those first six months of clinical work has taught me some valuable lessons. When I was seeing my first clients, I wish I had known how to intentionally let go of the pressure I felt to make something happen or employ technique.

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Advocacy for prelicensed therapists: A conversation with LA-CAMFT

LA-CAMFT and Ben CaldwellIn late 2017, I sat down with my friends at LA-CAMFT for a wide-ranging discussion of issues that impact prelicensed therapists. Advocacy is sort of my jam, so we knew that advocacy would be a big part of the discussion. But we also got to talk about interviews, health insurance, employment, exams, and a lot of other issues relevant to early-career therapists.

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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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California to change Counselor and MFT intern title to “associate” on January 1, 2018

California flagUnder 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. [Originally published September 26, 2016. Updated August 2, 2017: Added FAQ section. Republished December 19, 2017.]

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