Santa Barbara’s Community Counseling and Engagement Center is a popular and well-respected training site for prelicensed therapists. And they’re doing something I’ve never heard of any community agency doing: They charge prospective volunteers just to apply to work there.
I’ve recently been hearing clinicians voice concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) taking over therapy. Admittedly, I’ve had those same concerns myself from time to time. It makes sense. We are constantly bombarded with technological advancements that often seem like science fiction. It is becoming increasingly difficult to deny the impact that technology is having on the mental health field. And the technology seems to be getting more human-like every day.
At the most recent national conference for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, there were multiple presentations about the intersection of technology and therapy. At one particular presentation, a number of emerging artificial intelligence applications were discussed. Some of the applications were promoted as potential replacements for therapists.
When you decide to become a therapist, it is important to consider your finances. You need a plan for how to make ends meet. Ben made the point in Saving Psychotherapy that our field is mostly comprised of wealthy people, in part because those are the people who can afford to take on the financial burden of grad school and the years of low income while working toward licensure. One of the main reasons people drop out of our field before licensure is that same financial burden.
Some of us are fortunate to be able to lower our cost of living by moving back in with family or having a spouse’s support to draw from. The rest of us aren’t so lucky. We need side income to make it through to graduation.
So, uh, yeah, it’s pretty much all in the headline! We’ve updated our essential guide to California law for master’s-level mental health professionals. Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs (6th edition) is now available on Amazon and at our site. Here’s a rundown of what’s new, with a discount link at the end of this post.
It’s worth pointing out here that, unlike the fifth edition, this sixth edition isn’t what we would call a major update. While there are several new laws we included in this edition, the main legal changes taking effect in 2019 are around supervision — more on that below.
Here’s a quick and easy lifehack for California mental health professionals working under supervision: Get automatic email notifications if your supervisor’s license lapses or changes status.
This has been available for a few years, and I’m surprised how few people seem to know about it. If a supervisor’s license lapses, any hours you gain while that license isn’t active will not count toward your own licensure. Unfortunately, I’ve known several folks who lost hours for precisely this reason. It’s imperative — and really easy! — to make sure your supervisor’s license remains current and active while you’re under their supervision.
I get really passionate when talking about data and using data to direct clinical decisions. Although I’m aware that I am often alone in that passion, it’s worth acknowledging that we all use data to direct all of our decisions. We’re not just guessing in the dark. We may not always directly attend to the data available to us, but I have yet to meet anyone who makes a decision without using some form of information to guide them.
Previously, I wrote about the importance of using assessments to collect data on clients, both for the purpose of diagnosis and evaluating progress. I continue to promote the value of those assessments and want to take one more opportunity to encourage you to use them in your own practice if you are not doing so already. That client data can be tremendously helpful in a variety of ways. This post, however, is meant to discuss a different category of data. One that I would argue is equally important: Therapist data.
I’ve been doing couple therapy (not “couples therapy”) for almost 20 years now, going back to my time as a graduate student. I truly enjoy the work. It’s enriching in countless ways, one of which is the amount of time I get to spend learning about and thinking about how romantic relationships are built and sustained. While my couples have taught me a great deal, I’ve also learned from some great books that take the mechanics of couple relationships and either break them down or bring them to life.
Here are, in just one therapist’s opinion, three books every couple therapist should read.
But they’re also a little long in the tooth, you know? Laws change quickly, and we’ve seen some significant changes since our blue book first came out in 2015. Our green book (Practice Tests) came out in 2016, and it could use a refresh as well.
So we thought, as we tend to do around here, let’s go big. Sure, we’ve launched a very useful video-based online prep program for the California MFT Law and Ethics Exam, which is less than half the cost of programs offered by our competitors. But we know that a lot of folks still prefer good old-fashioned paper, and if you’re in that group, we’ve got your back.
Wait, we’ve been at this for 10 years? Huh. Guess so. Well, happy birthday to PsychotherapyNotes! This little blog is turning 10 years old. We now boast more than 300 articles, many of which are even good! (Some of mine are questionable.) Here are some of my favorites from over the years. They’re still worth a read, I think.
In response to mass shootings and California’s recent wildfires, many therapists and counselors have sought to support impacted areas. One way they’re doing so is with free services. Marketing therapy after disasters can be difficult, though. Done well, it reinforces our roles as community caregivers. It shows off the best of who we are as professionals. With some common mistakes, it can instead come off as a tacky form of marketing, accidentally pushing people in need away from help. Here’s how to tastefully and effectively offer counseling and therapy services to those in need.