How to seek back pay from an unpaid internship

USCurrency_Federal_ReserveI’ll be presenting to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences tomorrow on the possibility of changing the title for a post-degree, pre-license MFT from “intern” to “associate.” [Update: That change is going to happen. It takes effect in 2018.] The current intern title is confusing for interns and employers alike, and is likely one reason (albeit certainly not the only one) why so many prelicensed MFTs in California work in unpaid internship settings.

The licensing board meeting will be webcast, and you can get to the webcast through the BBS meeting calendar. But for those who have been through a post-degree unpaid internship in mental health, there are ways of seeking — and sometimes getting — back pay that don’t require a change in professional title.

Read more

Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act would ban conversion therapy nationally

US Capitol domeFollowing successful bans of conversion therapy for minors in California, Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, US Representative Ted Lieu — who authored California’s ban when he was in the state Senate — has introduced the federal Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act. The bill would order the Federal Trade Commission to classify for-profit conversion therapy as fraud. It would also classify any advertising that claims to change sexual orientation or gender identity as fraud.

Read more

No one really knows what supervisors should pay for

California flagCalifornia law — with apologies to folks in other states, this post is pretty California-specific — says that any master’s level therapist who is not fully licensed cannot “lease or rent space, pay for furnishings, equipment, or supplies, or in any other way pay for the obligations of their employers.”

Fair enough. But what reasonably is an “obligation of their employer?” What should you expect to see as supervisor expenses, and what should you expect to pay for yourself as an intern? I surveyed MFT interns in the state to find out.

Read more

Blue Shield of California loses non-profit status

The LA Times is reporting that Blue Shield, the state’s third-largest health insurer, has been stripped of its state non-profit status. State officials have not commented on the reasons for the decision, but the Times suggests it may have to do with the company’s billions in reserves, high executive compensation, and political spending.