“I’m just an MFT student”

Brodie Vissers / Burst / Used under licenseLanguage fascinates me. As therapists, we use language to reframe situations, craft metaphors, and ultimately instill feelings of hope. We recognize how powerful this tool is, so we carefully select our words when in sessions with clients. If only we did the same outside of sessions.

I love speaking with associates, trainees, and students at various events and settings. I’ve heard about the highs and lows of the journey to licensure, the successes and struggles, the hopeful and (seemingly) hopeless situations. One of the statements that always gets to me is “I’m just a(n) ___” (student, trainee, associate).

“Just.” As in “simply,” “only,” “no more than.” Imagine how quickly you would point out the use of this word to a client, drawing their attention to the potential consequences of viewing themselves in a negative light. Unfortunately, we’re not always good at catching ourselves when we do this.

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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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#PostThePay is working

#PostThePayBack in January, we launched #PostThePay in hopes of making life a little bit easier for prelicensed therapists and those who employ them. As we described then, too much time is wasted by those on both sides when applicants for a therapy or counseling job wouldn’t take the pay scale that the job offers. Furthermore, California law now requires that employers provide the pay scale to any applicant who asks — so why not just put it in a job announcement?

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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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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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