California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday signed Assembly Bill 1759, making a couple of key changes in continuing education (CE) requirements for California MFTs, clinical counselors, and clinical social workers. There’s a new one-time Telehealth CE requirement for everyone, and a new annual Law and Ethics CE requirement for Associates.
The bill was tagged as urgency legislation, meaning it took effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature. In addition to making video supervision legal across all work settings, it also newly requires supervisors (in all work settings, not just private practice) to assess a supervisee’s appropriateness for video supervision. I’ve created a form for that, modeled after the specific requirements in the bill. It’s available on my Resources page at the Ben Caldwell Labs site.
On Tuesday, mental health clinicians for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California went on strike. While Kaiser and the union representing the therapists appear to have reached agreement on wages, the sides remain in dispute on issues related to staffing, working conditions, and client access to care. Kaiser reps have responded by calling the strike itself “unethical.” They have said that union leaders were asking therapists to “walk away from people who need help.” Suggesting that your own employees are unethical when they are striking to force Kaiser to improve patient access to mental health care is, as they say, a choice. It’s one that would seem destined to only worsen Kaiser’s ability to recruit and retain therapists in the future.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) informed its members last week that CareDash, which operates a health care provider directory, is engaging in what “appears to be an improper deceptive practice.” NASW says that CareDash’s process of using clinician listings to direct prospective clients to online therapy platform BetterHelp rather than to the listed clinicians “potentially violates federal and/or state consumer protection laws.”
Despite what a reasonable consumer would expect, you cannot, in fact, check my availability using the button that says Check Availability.
How much does the average Psychologist, counselor, MFT, or social worker make? Are salaries rising or falling relative to inflation? Therapist salary data can tell us a lot about the overall health of the professions. I’ve gathered 15 years of therapist salary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to see what insights can be gained from it.
In California, it is perfectly legal to advertise mental health services provided by associate therapists. Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapists (AMFTs), Registered Associate Clinical Social Workers (ASWs), and Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselors (APCCs) all can advertise or have ads placed by their employers for services they provide. However, many of the ads I see for California associates do not appear to be compliant with the legal requirements for such advertising. Here are some important advertising reminders for California associates governed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).
Emotional support animals (ESAs), and therapists writing ESA letters for clients, are frequent topics around here. After years of overuse, the FAA allowed airlines to ban ESAs from passenger cabins early this year, and every major domestic airline has done so. Now California has developed new rules for therapists wanting to write ESA letters, most commonly for clients who want an ESA in a housing situation that does not allow pets.
If you’ve been confused by recent announcements related to California BBS supervision rules, you’re not alone. The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), which governs LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs in the state, has been trying to get word out about three sets of supervision rule changes that are all happening on January 1, 2022. As of that date, remaining waivers expire, new regulations take effect, and new statutes come into effect as well. Here’s what you need to know.
Almost eight years ago, I wrote about how California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act was naive and discriminatory. By applying one set of child abuse reporting mandates to consensual heterosexual intercourse, and a very different, stricter set of reporting mandates to other forms of consensual sexual activity, the law plainly discriminated against LGBT adolescents in same-sex relationships. It also failed to address typical adolescent sexual development, making intercourse non-reportable in many instances where other activities adolescents would engage in during the run-up to intercourse were mandated reports.
That law has finally changed.