Fifty hours. Five-oh. That is all that is left. It truly is hard to believe just how close I am to being done with my 3,000-hour requirement for MFT licensure.
For a majority of the time I’ve been gathering hours, like most interns I haven’t had a clear sense of exactly how close I have been to being done. California’s process of categorizing and tracking hours for MFT licensure is notoriously complicated. It can be hard enough to keep track of the hours we work, let alone figure out which of the many categories or “buckets” the hours belong under. The process is even more difficult, and often frustrating, due to the maximum and minimum requirements under each individual bucket. Anyone who is currently tracking his or her hours, or who had in the past, understands that this is a daunting process.
Fortunately, there are some options available that make the process significantly less complicated and stressful. As of 2016, the BBS has provided an option for logging hours that removes the buckets and is much more streamlined. You can read about the differences between the old and new processes, and about how they overlap, here. (Through the end of 2020, applicants can come in under either system, old or new, whichever the applicant prefers.) Regardless of which process you use, there is software available that can track hours, and even create the necessary BBS forms pre-filled with your information and ready for signatures.
When it came to monitoring my own progress, I had originally been using a spreadsheet that I created in 2013 to track my hours. The spreadsheet was helpful because it was able to track my hours, supervision requirements, and even the maximum and minimums for the hours buckets. Eventually, I began to realize that slight updates and even major changes (like the new system that became available in 2016) made my chart outdated. So, I did my research, and determined it was worth it to purchase a subscription for trackyourhours.com. My favorite parts about TYH (and no, they’re not paying for advertising here):
- It is very user friendly – It took under 5 minutes to figure out how to use the software and start inputting hours. Also, there is a very simple and straightforward way of inputting hours and creating logs and forms.
- The software creates and automatically updates each and every form that you will need.
- The software will notify you of any concerns, mistakes, or errors.
- You can determine which system (new or old) you would like to count hours under based on which one will be more advantageous to you.
One happy consequence of using TYH is that it removes the need to hire someone to validate your hours. I have been hearing a lot of peers mention that they are planning on paying up to $200 to have their hours validated — that is, to have their addition and the bucket limits checked — and an application for licensure created prior to submission to the BBS.
At $160, a 3-year subscription to TYH would cover my entire trainee and intern experience and still save money compared just to having my hours validated at the end of my experience. Money is something that can be a big factor in making these decisions as interns, and in my case, the stress reduction that came with a TYH subscription was well worth the cost.
Stay tuned for a post in the upcoming week about my game plan for the new California Law and Ethics exam.
-Jeff Liebert, MA, is a California Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern (#83284) working under licensed supervision at Caldwell-Clark in Los Angeles. He focuses on working with professionals in the technology industry. You can learn more about Jeff and his clinical work here.
If you missed Part 1 of Jeff’s “The Last 100 Hours” series, check it out here.