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Attention Associate License MFTs and MFTs in the School Candidates – 2/16/2016

Hope you’re all staying warm with all this chilly weather. Brrrr!

We have some exciting news!  We now have confirmation of the Public Health Committee raising the MFT Associate License bill at this Tuesday’s (2/16/2016) meeting.  We have requested that the Committee introduce the version of the bill that passed out of the Committee last year.  Below is a provided link to last year’s language for your information.

Is anyone available to testify?  We are also accepting electronic testimonials if you cannot attend. Task force Chair Jes Joseff will be there along with a couple of others.  The bill:
1.) Allows recent graduates to be eligible for 3rd-party reimbursement, which would make them more marketable for jobs
2.) Closes the gap between graduation and becoming eligible to be certified by the state Dept. of Ed for school-based MFT certification
3.) Creates parity with social workers.

When this bill passes, with an associate license you can be hired right out of school for a school-based position, without waiting for full licensure.  It means that schools can now be in a position to hire MFT clinicians if they have been a good match during their internships.  We have been overdue for this adjustment to the law.

Special thank you to Dr. Laundy and Dr. Cohen for writing testimony as they are the original advocates for the MFTs in Schools law from 2007.  Now we need certified MFTs, “almost graduated” MFTs (please send to students) who need the jobs they have trained for, as well as those of senior clinicians who saw the original bill pass.  Please come and be a representative at the capital TOMORROW.

Special areas of interest are New Britain and Hartford, the districts of the Co-Chairs.

Link to last year’s bill: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/TOB/h/pdf/2015HB-06861-R02-HB.pdf

Please pass this along to others!

Keep in touch with us!

Sometimes we forget all of the ways we can share information. Attached is a simple form to keep you connected to us, and us to you!

Communication Tools (updated July 2014)

AAMFT Restructure Vote Results Are In

Dear Connecticut Membership;

The results are in from AAMFT’s recent call for partial by-law changes that would include eliminating the state divisions.

The vote DID NOT PASS. This means the vote to eliminate the state divisions did not pass. The result percentages per state were published, and in CT, we were very close to 50% in favor of keeping the CT division intact; while 50% voted for elimination of divisions. Many of the other states were either slightly or significantly in favor of the change, and a few states were strongly opposed. We do not know the total number of voters per state, so we do not yet know what percentage of the CT membership that voted. We do know that AAMFT needed a 2/3 vote (66.6%) to pass and only received 61%.

What does this mean for us here in CT? For now, it means that nothing changes in terms of how your dues are distributed, including day-to-day operations of the Connecticut division. We do anticipate that AAMFT will have a backup plan, which we expect to hear more about at this year’s national conference in Austin, Texas next week, September 3-6, 2015. I am pleased to represent you, along with several of our Board members, as well as our Student Representative. We will gather as much information as possible and share it with you after reviewing at our next Board meeting on September 11, 2015 at Fairfield University.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to talk to all of us on the Board and who contributed to the rich discussions and provided feedback. Thank you for taking the time to vote on this important topic.

Warm regards for a happy fall, and I will be in touch soon.

Kindly,
Heather Ehinger
President, CTAMFT

Heather Ehinger

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.

National Conference Update, 2014

Heather MacLetchie Ehinger, President-Elect

Heather Ehinger and Patrick Kennedy

Heather Ehinger (r) pictured with keynote presenter, Patrick Kennedy (l), at AAMFT’s 2014 Annual Conference in Milwaukee, WI

In October, Jessica Floyd (student consultant), Michelle Triompo (student representative) and I attended the AAMFT National Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The theme of the conference was brief solution therapy. The keynote speakers focused primarily on celebrating the lives of the founding mothers and fathers of brief solution therapy, as well as the many small break-out learning opportunities.

As an important side note, Connecticut’s Student Consultant, Jessica Floyd, was presented with the AAMFT Master’s Student Minority Scholarship for 2014. Congrats to her!

As Connecticut Division Leaders, Jessica, Michelle and I attended the Division Leaders Workshop – an annual meeting of leaders from the state divisions. We had the opportunity to spend time with Victor Olsen, former President of CTAMFT and current member of AAMFT’s Board of Directors.

The leadership meeting focused on AAMFT board approval of the director’s recommendation to centralize the organization and eliminate the state divisions. This announcement of the national board approval was followed by a presentation on the recommendations by Tracy Todd (Director of AAMFT), the President Michael Chafin and President-Elect Marvarene Oliver. According to their presentation the primary reason for this proposed change is the future of AAMFT is at risk of becoming “irrelevant,” thus losing substantial membership in the future. The presentation focused on the retirement of the “baby boomers” and the rise of the “millennials.”

The proposal suggests eliminating the state chapters, infusing special interest groups and giving membership a choice. This choice would allow members to participate by joining the national organization with options to participate in the special interest groups. It was explained that regional or even state interest groups may be established. This proposal was approved in hope to increase interest by the “millennials’” need for choice, thus increase their interest in being an involved member.

Overall, during the meeting and during the entire conference, there was a climate of uncertainty and mistrust, although many of the smaller states were enthusiastic about the change due to their struggles to remain productive. During the Q&A that followed the presentation, many of the states expressed their concerns and asked questions that the Board of Directors were unable to answer. Answers to many of the questions included “we will take the vote this summer and figure out the rest later.”

Our Board of Directors in Connecticut has taken notice of this important possible change. Over the next several months, we will research, discuss and plan how to preserve the important work of the CTAMFT, including advocacy, education, communication and connection.

In February, we will be sharing our findings and thoughts. Until then, please contact me (or any board member) if you have any questions or concerns.

Student Corner

2015 Pamela N. Griffin Scholarship – Application Deadline Extended

Would you like to attend the 2015 national AAMFT Conference next fall in Austin, TX? Or perhaps the CTAMFT’s Annual Spring Conference April 30 – May 1, 2015 in Trumbull, Connecticut? Here’s how you can apply to receive either $500 for the national conference or full admission to CTAMFT’s 2015 Annual Spring Conference!

Pamela N. Griffin established a trust to award scholarships to MFT students entering the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. The intent of the scholarship is to support students wishing to attend CTAMFT, AAMFT and other MFT conferences.

The amount to be awarded in 2015 will be $1,250 – and distributed in two ways:

  1. One (1) award of $500.00 for the 2015 AAMFT National Conference (or another MFT conference of applicant’s preference).
  2. Five (5) awards of $150 to one student member from each MFT program in CT (i.e., one student will be selected from each of the following programs: SCSU, UConn, University of Saint Joseph, CCSU and Fairfield University) to attend CTAMFT’s annual conference on April 30 – May 1, 2015.

Please link here to learn more about this scholarship, as well as to download a copy of the application. The application deadline is Saturday, February 28, 2015.

Call for Posters, 2015

The Poster Session Committee invites the submission of proposals for poster presentations during the 2015 CTAMFT Annual Conference “The Couples Experience: Therapy Comes Alive!” The poster session will take place on Friday, May 1, 2015 from 12:30-1:30pm at the Trumbull Marriott. Presenters will be asked to stand by their poster during the poster session to respond to comments and questions posed by conference attendees.

A poster may be about research findings, clinical interventions, or any topic of interest to Marriage and Family Therapists. Posters can include text, charts, tables or other graphic representations suitable for conveying the message. We encourage posters that are creative and that address current issues or trends in the marriage and family therapy field. Teams may submit posters if at least one member of the team will be present during the poster session at the Annual Conference on May 1, 2015.

Posters will be based upon the quality and relevance of the proposed presentation. Poster Committee members will hold a blind review of submissions, with preference given to submissions that are consistent with the Annual Conference theme, “The Couples Experience: Therapy Comes Alive!” Accepted presenters will be notified by March 1, 2015 and must confirm attendance by March 15, 2015.

Four posters will be selected as recipients of the 2015 Poster Awards. Each poster category award winner will receive a cash prize of $100. The Poster Award categories are: Best Research-Based Poster, Best Clinically-Based Poster, Best Poster Related to Conference Theme, and Best Poster by a Clinical Fellow. The Poster Committee and CTAMFT Board will evaluate accepted posters being considered for the Poster Awards during the Annual Conference.

Completed applications shall consist of the “Poster Session Proposal Form,” which includes the “Poster Presenter Agreement.”

Posters selected for presentation must be no larger than 36” x 48”. In addition, each presenter should bring a sign-up sheet for conference participants who may want more information about their poster. For additional information about poster requirements, please contact the Poster Session Committee Chairs: Dr. Nicole O’Brien and Dr. Erica Hartwell at posters@ctamft.org.

Email the completed Proposal Form/Agreement to: posters@ctamft.org by February 1, 2015.