Attorney Articles | CAMFT Surveys Pre-licensed Members

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CAMFT Surveys Pre-licensed Members

CAMFT surveys pre-licensed members

Catherine Atkins, JD and the CAMFT Marketing Team
The Therapist
January/February 2011

Associate MFT members (interns and trainees) comprise approximately thirty-seven percent of the CAMFT membership. Accordingly, the voice of interns and trainees is extremely valuable to CAMFT.

Feedback from pre-licensed members is essential when reviewing and creating programs, as well as determining the future direction of CAMFT. In August 2010, the CAMFT Marketing Team conducted a survey of pre-licensed members in an effort to assess pre-licensed members’ needs in order to determine from what additional services and benefits pre-licensed members could benefit.

While reviewing the results of the survey, we were very pleased to see that the majority of the prelicensed members were very happy with CAMFT and the resources CAMFT provides. However, what we found was that many of the resources that were requested, CAMFT already supplies to members. Therefore, in this article we discuss the resources that were requested, how to find them, or why we may not be able to provide them at this time.

Here is a list of some of the more commonly requested resources by Pre-licensed members.

“I wish there was a resource solely for Pre-licensed members.” 
There is…the Pre-licensed Corner! There is a prelicensed Corner in The Therapist magazine, on the CAMFT website, and in the CAMFT Community!

On the CAMFT website there is a section dedicated just to pre-licensed members. Included are articles related to internship and trainee hours, employment and supervision issues, clinical concerns, etc. To access the Pre-licensed Corner on the CAMFT website, logon to the CAMFT website at and enter the Members Only section (you will need your username and password to enter into this section of the CAMFT website. If you do not have a username and password, please contact CAMFT at 888-892-2638).

In the CAMFT Community, CAMFT’s online social network, there is a large section in the Forums devoted solely to prelicensed members. In this medium you can discuss with fellow trainees and interns issues such as exam and test related topics, trainings and classes, student discussions, or any other topics you wish to raise. To join the CAMFT Community, go to, (you’ll need your Members Only login and password), once you’ve agreed to the terms of use, go from the Welcome page, click on the Forums tab, scroll down and find the prelicensed topics.

“I need help finding an internship.” 
CAMFT strives to put together resources that will help members find internships and trainee training sites they desire. The CAMFT Job Board (in the Members Only section) allows members to access the latest jobs available to both prelicensed and licensed members, as well as provides the ability to send cover letters and resumes. Once in the Members Only section, click the “Job Board.” Once a member finds interesting job opportunities, just click “Apply Now,” attach a cover letter and resume, and it will be sent to the Employer or Recruiter. It’s that simple!

We also recommend prelicensed members take advantage of educational opportunities offered by CAMFT or local CAMFT chapters. Networking is the best way to find your ideal job, and conferences and educational forums are a great place to mingle with licensed therapists and potential employers!

If you need additional help writing your resume or cover letter, take the time to review the CAMFT article, “Putting Your Best Foot Forward—Job Hunting and CV Writing Tips,” which can be found in the Members Only section. Once in Members Only of the CAMFT website, click on “Articles.” Remember: Make sure to have a colleague or friend review your cover letter and resume before sending it, two sets of eyes are better than one. Your cover letter and resume must be free of errors and should relate directly to the particular job you are seeking.

“How do I Find a Mentor?”
CAMFT can help you with finding a Mentor. The purpose of this program is to unite licensed and prelicensed/newly licensed members in order to assist prelicensed or newly licensed members with general questions concerning the profession and other relevant issues. The goal of CAMFT is not to interfere with matters of supervision or traineeship, but instead to offer a place to find counsel, on a voluntary basis, from clinical to prelicensed or newly licensed members.

In the Members Only section of the CAMFT website, click on “Mentor/ Mentee” and you can fill out and send in an application. In addition, CAMFT is in the process of re-designing the current mentor/ mentee program to be placed in the CAMFT Community, so you can apply online as well. Stay tuned for new developments!

“How do I find a Supervisor?”
Are you looking for a Supervisor? Did you know there are over 300 CAMFT Certified Supervisors throughout the state. CAMFT’s philosophy in setting criteria for certification is that standards be thorough, reasonable, and relevant. Supervision, like therapy, is both an art and a science. The CAMFT Certified Supervisor designation will assist mental health professionals and those in training to find supervisors who have made a continuing commitment to quality supervision. This certification does not guarantee competency, nor should it be relied upon as a substitute for individual judgment in selecting a suitable and appropriate supervisor. It does demonstrate that the supervisor has made a commitment to enhancing the profession by meeting the criteria of the CAMFT Certified Supervisor Program and going above and beyond BBS requirements.

CAMFT Certified Supervisors are searchable on CAMFT’s therapist database, www. Once there, you can find a supervisor by selecting “CAMFT Certified Supervisor” as the area of emphasis. You can also find a list of CAMFT Certified Supervisors in the “Supervision” group library in the CAMFT Community. A complete listing can also be obtained by contacting CAMFT directly.

Reminder: If you are working for a governmental entity; school, college or university; or an institution (both nonprofit and charitable), CA Business & Professions Code section 4980.43 (c)(6) allows you to obtain supervision via videoconferencing.

“I wish CAMFT provided low fee or free workshops.”
CAMFT provides its conferences at the lowest fee possible in order to cover the actual expenses of the conferences. The CAMFT Conference is usually the best deal in town. CAMFT offers a discount for prelicensed members to attend CAMFT workshops and Annual Conferences. There are many presenters and topics at the Conference and you can gain hours of experience, with your supervisor’s approval, by attending CAMFT workshops and conferences! Something to think about when deciding whether to attend CAMFT conferences…conferences are great places to network with supervisors and employers!

Reminder: Did you know that your school can request a free CAMFT webinar presented by one of CAMFT’s attorneys? Ask your professors to contact CAMFT and schedule a webinar on a legal issue of your choice!

“Why won’t CAMFT do an exam preparation course?”
The Board of Behavioral Sciences (“BBS”) tends to be suspicious of entities that offer exam preparation courses. The reason is that to provide the best trainings it appears that confidential test information has been acquired inappropriately from persons being examined. Although we realize that members may benefit, the impression the Board of Behavioral Sciences (“BBS”) has with regard to our integrity must be preserved.

CAMFT encourages prelicensed members to form study groups or participate in existing study groups. Did you know that many CAMFT chapters have study groups? Also, using the Prelicensed Corner in the CAMFT Community, you can form online study groups. These are but a few of the ways you can use the CAMFT resources and fellow CAMFT members to enhance your ability to pass the MFT licensing examinations.

“ Why can’t prelicensees do online workshops to obtain licensure hours?” 
Currently, California law does not allow prelicensed therapists to obtain workshop hours online. CAMFT may request that the BBS consider this issue at a future BBS meeting. Until law is amended to include online workshops, training sessions, seminars, and conferences as eligible for hours, CAMFT encourages interns and trainees to attend live conferences to obtain their hours1; but also, attendance at online workshops can be a worthwhile way to obtain additional preparation towards your discipline or specialty.

“I need more law & ethics training courses, but don’t know where to find them…”
As indicated earlier, the CAMFT attorneys provide free webinars to schools who wish to participate. A CAMFT attorney will provide a one to two hour presentation, live, via the web, directly to your classroom. If you think this is something your class could benefit from, contact CAMFT to get additional information.

Almost all CAMFT chapters provide law and ethics educational instruction. Just contact your local chapter to get additional information. Even if you are not a member of a local chapter, you can still attend any law and ethics workshop as a non-member, even though you would benefit in other ways as a member.

“I don’t like how my local chapter …”
CAMFT has twenty-nine chapters throughout the state to serve the interests of marriage and family therapists and those pursuing licensure in various geographic areas. Although the chapters have interests similar to CAMFT, they are autonomous entities. If you are unhappy with the way your chapter operates and/or the events it hosts, we suggest you discuss your concerns with the chapter president or better yet, run for the chapter board of directors, or participate on a chapter committee.

“Why can’t we be part of”
Because prelicensed members are not yet licensed, the information placed on the website would have to be heavily scrutinized for compliance with statutory requirements to avoid liability. Information would need to be reviewed and verified with supervisors and employers for each prelicensed member listed.

“Why can’t CAMFT offer health insurance?”
CAMFT cannot offer group health insurance for a variety of reasons, including the fact that in a group health insurance, according to California law requires each insured group to have at least two employees, amongst other requirements. For more information on this topic, you can find two very detailed articles in the Members Only section of the CAMFT website called “Finding the Right Fit: Piecing Together Health Insurance Options for CAMFT Members” and “Insurance Solutions
for CAMFT Members.”

“I wish CAMFT would help us with our student loans.”
While CAMFT cannot pay for each member’s education, the CAMFT Educational Foundation does have scholarships members may apply for. CAMFT has the following opportunities for its members, which can be used during or after graduation from one’s Masters or Doctoral program: CAMFT Educational Foundation Scholarships (Two for $2,500 each); Clinton E. Phillips Scholarship (One for $2,500); Ronald D. Lunceford Scholarship (One for $2,500); and, the CAMFT Educational Foundation Grant (One for $2,500). Applications can be found on the CAMFT website, under “Educational Opportunities.”

“I’d like more resources for doing research on various clinical issues and disciplines.”
CAMFT offers a research database, free of charge, called EBSCO Host. This research database allows free access and downloading of articles, journals, and research materials. To access EBSCO Host, simply click on the “Educational Opportunities” link in the Members Only section of the CAMFT website and begin your research.

“I’d love to get more education in XYZ theory or practice…”
There are numerous ways to obtain education and information on various clinical disciplines and theories. Why not attend the CAMFT Annual Conference? How about the CAMFT Fall/Winter Workshops? Although you cannot currently get workshop hours, there are many online educational opportunities found at CE Finder on the CAMFT website. Just visit the Members Only section of the CAMFT website under “Educational Opportunities” and click on the CE Finder link.

The CAMFT Community has many groups dedicated to specific therapies or modalities. Join the group that meets your needs/interests and inquire with the group about how to find more education in that theory or practice. Also, the Community Forums have a section for workshops and trainings.

And, don’t forget about EBSCO!

“I wish there was a way to double check my licensure hours.”
There is! If you go to the Board of Behavioral Sciences website under “Applicant,” there is an “Experience Calculator” on the left panel, which many interns find of value to use before submitting their hours to the BBS for approval. For more information on how to use the BBS Calculator, see the link provided by the BBS at: expcalc_instruc.pdf.

“How do I learn how to market myself or run a private practice?”
CAMFT has articles specifically on this topic. If you search the CAMFT articles database in Members Only, there are four articles called “Building Your Private Practice” (Part 1, 2, 3, and 4). Also, there is an entire manual, “How to Build a Private Practice” available to members. Additionally, there are various articles on advertising that can help you put your best foot forward. We also suggest networking with your fellow colleagues on the CAMFT Community by asking other therapists what they have found successful in marketing or in succeeding in their private practices. In fact, there is a CAMFT Community group devoted to the “MFT Business Practice.” At every Annual Conference, CAMFT dedicates at least one session to the topic of marketing ones practice, where each attendee will learn tools to market their practices.

“It is too hard to reach the BBS…”
Unfortunately, CAMFT has no control over access to the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). We do remind you however, that like most of the state of California, due to budgetary issues, the BBS is currently short-staffed and it is taking longer periods of time to process applications, amongst other things. Our best suggestion is to submit your paperwork as early as possible. You may also attend a BBS meeting and voice your concerns. The BBS holds regular Board Meetings that stakeholders may attend. To obtain the Board Meeting schedule, go to the link “Board Activity” on the BBS website at for additional information.

“ We need help with the issues that surround becoming licensed.”
The licensure track is not an easy one to navigate, but CAMFT has produced many helpful tools and guides to assist prelicensed members from their masters program through licensure. There are numerous articles in the Members Only section of the CAMFT website (for example, “Critical Reminders for Interns and Trainees,” “Supervision Manual,” and, “Interns and Trainees—Employees Not Independent Contractors.”) CAMFT is also in the process of producing a podcast, which will be available online, to take prelicensed members through the licensure process. Additionally, CAMFT attorneys and Executive Director routinely provide presentations at schools throughout the state specifically on the topic of the licensure process, as well as provide answers to these questions over the phone. The number is tollfree—(888) 892-2638.

CAMFT also recommends reviewing the various forms, FAQs, and links on the BBS website. At, click on the Applicant/Registrant link, and review the various “forms” produced by the BBS, including applications. These documents provide a very extensive and up-to-date review of the current laws, regulations, and requirements for registration and licensure.

“CAMFT dues are too much; why can’t students and interns pay less?”
Actually prelicensed members do pay less for membership than clinical members, actually $90 less. In order to provide the services CAMFT offers (such as representation before the legislature, advocacy on behalf of the membership before the BBS and other regulatory entities, lawyers to answer legal and ethical questions, EBSCO Host, The Therapist, the website, the CAMFT Community, etc.), CAMFT must charge for the services it makes available to members. Prelicensees’ dues translate to only $5 a month.

“Why are there no conferences specific to prelicensees?”
CAMFT thinks this is a great idea! CAMFT has asked the CAMFT Conference Committee to add a “Prelicensees Conference Day” for a future Annual Conference. The sessions would focus on succeeding on the road to licensure and related topics. Also included in the proposal is the possibility of a job fair for interns and trainees. We will keep you posted!

“How do I obtain information about getting licensed as a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC)?”
CAMFT has written numerous articles on the subject of obtaining your license as a LPCC, as well as how to be grand-parented into the LPCC profession. In the Members Only section of the CAMFT website, you can find the article, “LPCC Track for Prelicensed MFTs.” And, if you still have questions, call to speak with a CAMFT attorney or the Executive Director for guidance as to your special circumstance.

“How do I get liability insurance?”
There are many companies that offer professional liability insurance to therapists. CAMFT recommends CPH & Associates based on the great rates and exceptional benefits they provide CAMFT members, as well as the substantial coverage they provide for disciplinary actions, attorney reimbursement for depositions, and post-incident claims. To reach CPH & Associates, call (800)875-1911 or visit them at

“I wish CAMFT had better resources for members with disabilities.”
CAMFT has just launched the CAMFT Community group “Therapists with Disabilities” for licensees and prelicensees to discuss, share, and learn. Also, CAMFT provides The Therapist via CD for the visually impaired, strives to make all conferences accessible to persons with disabilities, and strives to keep its website user-friendly and accessible for those with disabilities. If you have suggestions on ways in which CAMFT can improve, please contact us.

NOTE: There is currently an article being drafted on the topic of therapists with physical disabilities, and we encourage members who wish to discuss their physical disabilities and the affect it has on obtaining education, obtaining internships, qualifying for licensure, and providing therapy services, etc. to contact Cathy Atkins, J.D., to discuss this topic further.

“How do we know what services CAMFT offers prelicensees?”
When a person joins CAMFT, the new member receives a packet of materials including a listing of the resources and benefits as a CAMFT member. You may also review the benefits and services offered by clicking on “Member Benefits” in the “Members Only” section of the CAMFT website. If you would like to speak to a CAMFT representative about the CAMFT benefits and resources, please call us at 888- 892-2638.

Your membership is valuable to you and to CAMFT. We thank prelicensees for taking the time to complete the survey. It will help us improve our services to you. 
1 Remember, to have supervisors sign for hours for workshops, training sessions, seminars, and conferences as well as have supervisors provide supervision for workshops, training sessions, seminars, or conferences attended.