Texas Supreme Court to hear appeal on MFT diagnosis

Texas CapitolEarlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear a case about marriage and family therapists’ (MFTs’) ability to independently diagnose mental illness. While MFTs are trained in diagnosis, a lower court ruled that the state’s licensing board overstepped its authority in an attempt to add the word “diagnosis” to the MFT scope of practice. Going further, the court ruling determined that MFTs should not have been independently diagnosing in the first place. (Though the word “diagnose” was not previously in the scope language, MFTs diagnosing mental illness was common practice, as it is around the country.) The state Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case meant that the lower ruling stood, and MFTs could not diagnose.

Court procedures in Texas allow for one final appeal of the court’s decision not to hear a case. The AAMFT filed an appeal on June 13. In a rare move, the court granted that appeal. Later this year, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether MFTs should be allowed to independently diagnose mental illness.

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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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MFTs lose diagnosis fight at Texas Supreme Court

TexasUpdate, February 24, 2017 – The Texas Supreme Court agreed to rehear the case, and ruled that MFTs *are* allowed to independently diagnose. More on the ruling can be found here.

Original post, published June 6, 2016 – Ten days ago, the Texas Supreme Court refused a petition for rehearing from marriage and family therapists (MFTs) seeking to preserve their ability to independently diagnose mental illness. The refusal brings at least a temporary close to a years-long fight between MFTs and the Texas Medical Association, with TMA winning. It could impact other master’s-level professionals not just in Texas but around the country.

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The Last 100 Hours, Part 3: The California Law and Ethics Exam

track-running-lanesThe California Law and Ethics Exam is a major source of anxiety for many people in the process of becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have heard colleagues repeatedly express anxiety about studying for the exam, the exam process itself, and even the process for receiving results. I’ll address each of these areas below as it relates to my own experience with the exam. As someone who just went through the process myself, I can relate to some of these concerns.

Before I continue, a quick aside on sharing test experiences: Ben’s two posts (part 1 & part 2) on what can and can’t safely be shared from a licensing exam are worth checking out before you post your exam experience on Facebook or otherwise share it with the world, especially in writing.

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