A while back, I posted on some of our favorite therapy podcasts. We’ve also celebrated our friends at the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide releasing their 100th episode. Since then, there’s been an explosion in the number of therapy podcasts available. This is unabashedly good — no matter what element of the therapy process you’re interested in, no matter what problems or populations you serve, odds are there’s now a podcast out there for you.
Thousands of California mental health professionals working for Kaiser plan to begin an open-ended strike on June 11. They are protesting the company’s ongoing failure to staff up their mental health operations, resulting in Kaiser patients waiting several weeks between appointments. More than 700 stories of the human impacts of these wait times can be found at kaiserdontdeny.com.
I initially posted about Kaiser’s mental health labor force struggles late last year, when therapists staged a five-day walkout. Kaiser has told its workforce that they believe progress has been made since then on a new contract, but Kaiser’s NUHW workers have been working without a contract since September, and are clearly tired of waiting. The dispute hasn’t fundamentally changed since the December walkout. In April, NUHW workers staged a one-day work stoppage in Pasadena.
My original post, published December 12, 2018, follows:
On Monday, roughly 4,000 mental health professionals employed by Kaiser Permanente in California began a planned five-day strike. The therapists (and nurses, who also walked out in solidarity) say they are protesting the massive and continued failure on Kaiser’s part to provide adequate mental health care to its own patients.
This strike is, in some ways, like other strikes you’ve heard about. While the therapists are highlighting client care issues, Kaiser itself notes that those therapists also are demanding better pay and working conditions — common demands to strike over. But this strike is also deeply unusual in the mental health world. Even when therapists are in a union, strikes are very rare. For that reason, this strike is uniquely important.
The time period between completing a graduate degree and obtaining an MFT Associate registration number can feel like a strange state of limbo. You’re no longer a trainee, but you’re not yet a registered associate either. Thankfully, hours of supervised experience gained in that time can still count toward licensure — if you fall within the 90-day rule. What is the 90-day rule, and why does it matter so much?
We all want to pass our licensing exams. If we don’t pass, we may prolong our progress to licensure by several months. Preparing for exams takes a lot of time and money. One way people have sought to save money is by sharing an exam prep login. In other words, letting a friend or colleague access license exam test prep material under your username and password.
Paying half (or less) of the price feels a lot better than paying the whole price, and sharing an exam prep login provides a sense of community around your study experience. But before offering your password to someone else or using someone else’s account, here are some things you should consider.
From the time you were in graduate school, your instructors and supervisors have likely emphasized the importance of self-care. Burnout is a real risk in the world of counseling and psychotherapy, and you have to be able to take care of yourself in order to avoid it.
These messages come from a good place. But they ignore reality for many therapists, especially those early in their careers. And those messages often come with dangerous assumptions and a dark undercurrent: If you’re having a hard time, it’s your own fault.
Two of the most frequent questions to come up in social media groups for therapists involve licensing exams: What is the pass rate for [a specific license exam]? And, What is the passing score? Passing scores and pass rates are both good questions, and it’s easy to confuse them.
Sometimes people ask one when they mean the other. And sometimes people ask the question in a way that could mean either one, like “What’s the passing percentage?” Let’s clarify the difference, and answer both.
In 2013, two former interns at publishing company Conde Nast filed suit demanding back wages and attorney fees. Their lawsuit came on the heels of two other successful lawsuits demanding that interns actually get paid for their work: A federal district court sided with the interns who sued Fox Searchlight Pictures, saying the interns should have been paid for their work on the film “Black Swan.” And the year before, Charlie Rose and his production company agreed to pay up to $250,000 to more than 150 former interns to settle a class-action suit.
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.