Call for Change group offers non-rebuttal rebuttal

MFT Call for Change group responds to my previous post, where I highlighted several of their erroneous statements about California.                                                                                                                                                                                     

The group calling themselves “MFTs Call for Change” (CFC) has posted a lengthy rebuttal to my earlier post criticizing CFC misstatements about California, specifically in areas related to the LPCC license and its development here.

Notably, they rarely, if ever, challenge my statements of fact. They claim that my post included “misinformation,” but their arguments are more often of the moving-the-target (“yes, but”) variety than they are factual disagreement. And they add at least one to the list of factual errors of their own.

  • CFC criticizes my statement that “When CAMFT was negotiating changes to various versions of the LPCC bill, they sought to make MFTs and LPCCs as indistinguishable as possible.” They would prefer I label this as my own belief, or an opinion of AAMFT-CA. But there’s no need. I saw, firsthand, CAMFT’s opposition to language supporting distinctiveness of professions during the negotiation process. Remember, CAMFT wanted grandparenting to be automatic for licensed MFTs based just on coursework (this version of the bill allowed exactly that), and indeed, CAMFT has continued to argue there are no meaningful differences in practice between the MFT and LPCC professions (as CAMFT themselves said, they believe “LMFTs and LCSWs may do in practice everything LPCCs may do“) — which would make the licenses effectively indistinguishable. That’s not my belief, that’s an argument CAMFT itself is continuing to make and act upon.
  • Along similar lines, CFC calls my discussion of CAMFT’s lawsuit against the BBS “patently irresponsible” because… well, I can’t tell why, exactly. I’m not even sure which part they’re taking issue with. CAMFT sued the BBS to try to make the “gap exam” for MFT grandparenting go away, based on their belief that the practices of the professions are indistinguishable. They have very clearly said so. That the lawsuit attempted to use technical means (like the BBS’s failure to consult with a state agency on exams, the one point of three in the lawsuit on which CAMFT won) to reach their desired ends (no gap exam) does not change those desired ends or the publicly-stated rationale behind them.
  • AAMFT-CA and AAMFT have not been “against the LPCC bill since its inception,” as CFC newly and falsely claims. Primary sources here tell the tale. California counselor legislation was first introduced in February 2005. In November 2005, nine months later, I first spoke to a legislative committee about AAMFT-CA’s concerns with bill language. Even then, AAMFT-CA took no formal position, as we understood the bill would be further amended. AAMFT-CA only formally opposed LPCC legislation in 2007 (this legislative committee analysis is the first mention of AAMFT-CA opposition), after it became clear that the legislation was moving in a direction that would hurt the MFT profession. Furthermore, in 2009, once we worked out the compromise language that became the LPCC law, AAMFT-CA’s opposition was removed [page 2], helping the bill pass. The larger AAMFT never took any formal position at all on the bill.
  • In discussing Kim Madsen, the BBS Executive Director, the CFC rebuttal suggests that in my post, “The reader has been lead [sic] to believe Ms. Madsen would be less than forthcoming” when discussing licensure issues. Nonsense. Ms. Madsen has been, in my experience, extremely professional, highly ethical, and very forthcoming, even when we have disagreed on policy. In my earlier post, what I suggested was that CFC, not Ms. Madsen, was being less than forthcoming by leaving out important details. This should have been evident in my preface “I suspect what Ms. Madsen said was…” Given my experiences with each of them, I trust her to be complete and forthcoming much more than I presently trust CFC to do so.

As I said previously, the CFC group seems to be well-meaning. I just don’t understand their dogged pursuit of this line of criticism. It is not supported by facts, and makes CFC look more interested in finding fault with AAMFT than actually supporting or developing the profession.

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If I did make any errors of fact — there or here — I would like to correct them. Email me at ben[at], post a comment, or call for a change to my Twitter feed.