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.
When I’m considering my vote for professional leadership, my test is pretty simple: What has the candidate actually done for our field? Therapists are great at talking about problems. We’re often not so great at actually rolling up our sleeves, fighting where we need to, and creating real, tangible changes.
I’m proudly endorsing Curt Widhalm and Robin Andersen in their campaigns for CAMFT board positions because they pass the What Have You Actually Done test with flying colors. They are best suited to create the real changes our profession needs to survive and advance.
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.
Around the US, most mental health professions have the same titles. A Psychologist in New York is likely to be pretty much the same, in terms of what they do, as a Psychologist in California, Montana, or anywhere else. Same for Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs). In other words, you can recognize the job by its title. If you’re a counselor, on the other hand, you may have any one of several different titles.
I mentioned recently that our old California MFT Law & Ethics Exam prep books kicked ass. But you know what was even better? Our California Clinical Social Work Law & Ethics Exam prep book.
It’s gotten more love than I ever expected, and only now do I see why: With a study guide and practice exam already baked in, it’s a power pack of exam prep. It’s a lot cheaper than the online prep programs available for L&E. And, like our books for the other professions, it’s efficient. We teach you what you need, without a lot of fluff that only serves to make people more anxious.
We gave the book an update for 2019.
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.
We’ve all been dropped by clients at some point in our therapy careers. It may be due to scheduling, payment for services (or lack thereof), your specialty or theory of choice, your interventions, or just your own unique personality. That is all OK. It is OK to lose a client. In fact, there are a number of situations when losing a client may be beneficial. When a client drops you after you were challenging them in session, it may make more sense — at least sometimes — to consider it a success than a failure.
I’ll share a personal example here, from earlier in my career.
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.
When a piece of technology works well and makes life easy, that doesn’t mean that the building of it went well or that the lives of the builders are easy. Many in the technology industry struggle with symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, they struggle with these symptoms much more often than the general population.
Working 50-hour weeks for months on end, having limited interactions with others, feeling multiple levels of oversight, and constantly being unsure whether your project will be used or scrapped — technology professionals experience all of this, typically with little or no recognition for their work. (Think about it: You probably use Gmail, but if you don’t know them personally, how many Google employees can you name?)