• Welcome to the CTAMFT Blog!

    A dynamic community for members of the Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and their constituents.
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 43 other followers

  • Advertisements

Letter from the President – Facing Organization Changes in the New Year

Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT

by Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT (president@ctamft.org)

You may have seen, or will begin to see, a number of communications from AAMFT regarding its potential restructuring process, which will be raised for a membership vote in summer 2015. As the Board President, I am committed to sharing what we in Connecticut know, how we understand it, as well as share our opinions.

First, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to our Connecticut Division Survey this fall regarding your thoughts about a potential restructure. Your input was helpful and has been shared not only with our Board of Directors, but also with the national organization. I am pleased to confirm that the majority of our Connecticut members truly value this division and what we offer our members.

This October, our President-Elect, Heather Ehinger, as well as our Student Directors, Jessica Floyd and Michelle Triompo, attended AAMFT’s Annual Conference and Division Leaders meeting in Wisconsin, where a potential reorganization of AAMFT was discussed.

In short, AAMFT’s Board of Directors voted on the task force recommendation to eliminate the mandatory two-tier dues structure that requires members to pay state division dues in addition to AAMFT national dues. In the proposed restructure, members will pay national dues and then have the option to pay to join an array of special interest groups, which may include regional areas or states, a la carte. It is not clear how many geographic regions will (or won’t) be defined, but AAMFT has said that joining legislative special interest group(s) will be free.

As a Board, we continue to be concerned about what seems to be a lack of an operational plan. We have not received information about how transitions are envisioned, what a new national organization would look like, what special interest groups would be offered, and where and what criteria would be used to define special interest groups or geographic regions.

Most importantly, we don’t know what the strategies are for strong local and national advocacy for the MFT profession throughout the US and Canada – even as AAMFT adds goals for transnational and global outreach. There doesn’t appear to be any collection of data on the professional assets of each unique local division, or consideration of how those assets will be rolled into the larger picture.

One major gap I’d like to share is that a vote to change bylaws under the current regulations excludes student members who represent the millennial demographic (birth year from early 1980s to early 2000s) that AAMFT hopes to engage.

Because of these concerns, we have concluded as a Board that if a bylaw change vote is raised, we will all vote “no.”  This is not because we are against a progressive change that is essential for our professional organization to be innovative, competitive and relevant to the future of mental health services.   Rather, we cannot support change that lacks a plan that is able to provide explicit strategies as to how AAMFT will resource and sustain local attention to the inevitable opportunities and threats that arise and impact Connecticut MFTs.

We believe that all division leaders should be meaningfully utilized in building the future vision. We also believe that the whole membership, including students, should have the opportunity to dialogue and vote on the shape of an organization that has the power to impact their professional lives. As members and funders of the association, we have yet to see information concerning the actual budgeted cost of the proposed transition and how funds in the new organizational structure will be distributed. As such, we feel a lack of essential information in order to exercise our ability to vote on the new bylaws as informed members of our professional organization.

The CTAMFT Board believes strongly that our main focus must still remain on our profession, and we have continued to operate CTAMFT in its full capacity. We will continue to do so, while committing to helping AAMFT to fulfill their responsibilities to our profession, as our national organization.

We hope that the discussion thread taking place in the AAMFT Community will soon be available for all members, so that you may read a variety of Division Leaders perspectives about the restructure in addition to AAMFT’s communications. In the meantime, we will continue to keep our Connecticut members updated. And as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions/comments.

Enjoy the holiday season and I appreciate your time and attention always.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s