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Letter from the President: AAMFT Restructuring Update

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

Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT

Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT

At our recent conference, we received several questions about AAMFT’s Division restructuring process.  Most recently, you received a survey from AAMFT about this subject. The CTAMFT Board is receiving information at the same time as you are, so we are processing this as well. Our understanding is that this restructuring would change the state “division” structure, possibly replacing it with “chapters,” “specialty” groups, or regionalizing etc.

The short version, after the Board’s thorough review of the AAMFT documents and discussion, is that AAMFT’s goal is to find the correct organizational structure for AAMFT to a.) Participate effectively in the greater mental health delivery system (i.e., remain “relevant”), and b.) Offer high-quality member benefits in a “transnational environment.”

aamft

 

 

Issues AAMFT raised are as follows:

  • Inconsistent member benefits across states based on the size of membership and local volunteer interest, create divisions that “have” and “have not.”
  • The possible retirement of many of the current Clinical Fellow population means potential for substantial loss of dues revenue in the next 10 years.
  • The new smaller cohort of “millennial” Clinical Fellows coming up are anticipated as being more diverse, nationally and globally mobile and tech savvy, with different needs –  possibly finding state division and council of division presidents structure bureaucratic.
  • The cost of AAMFT dues are approximately twice that of sister organizations.
  • Many states experience inconsistent interest and performance in division management issues like finance, conference event planning and legislative advocacy.

Connecticut has always had a reputation as a legislatively active, innovative and fiscally responsible division that can pull off a great conference. We strongly support student “millennials” through their travels to licensure and highly value our established clinical members of all ages. We believe that AAMFT has to have a strong national presence for important federal initiatives like Medicare, and items that cross over state lines, like interstate license portability. We also feel that there is an equally strong need to build local relationships for legislative and professional advocacy, as well as support members in strong networking/educational opportunities, new professionals mentoring, state-specific communications and “in person” contact.

AAMFT will convene a meeting with an Association Consultant and a task force with a mix of invited division leaders from larger and smaller divisions in August. I was told at the Division Leaders meeting in March that any decisions regarding this would depend on task force discussion and will take at least three years to implement. Victor Olsen, a Connecticut-based LMFT and a member of the AAMFT Board, has been invited to participate in the task force, while Nancy Knudsen, President of the Massachusetts Division, will represent the New England states and voice the needs of smaller divisions.

As a Board, we hope that we have struck a good balance in Connecticut and hope that there will be strong national and local presence in whatever new structure is chosen.  In spite of the lengthy material we have received from AAMFT, it is hard to speculate how this will roll out in Connecticut.  It seems that there is an inclination toward financial management and strategic planning taking place at the national, rather than local level, but we can’t be sure.

We will stay alert to the process and be vocal about promoting the field of MFT, which we see as the Association’s chief responsibility, both nationally and locally.  If you have further questions or comments, please feel free to email.  Our Board is preparing comments to submit to the task force at their August meeting and would be happy to hear your thoughts.

I look forward to hearing from any of you with questions or comments.  I can be reached at president@ctamft.org.

Changes in Connecticut

We are re-posting Dorothy’s President’s Letter, recently featured in the Connecticut Connection, to better ensure that all members learn about the changes in store for CTAMFT.

_________________________________________________

Dear Members,

We all understand that change is inevitable and even though change has always been a part of life it seems that change is happening faster than ever before. Being able to adapt and respond effectively in a constantly changing world has become a necessary skill. How we respond to change is a funny thing. When we initiate change we may view it as stimulating and full of opportunities. When change is imposed on us, our experience is likely to be quite different.

“The Drama of Opposites” written by Charlette Mikulka, a presenter at our upcoming 2013 Annual Conference, helps to illustrate this point in family life. The changes and “growth” of our professional association also demonstrates this to us as a group. So what types of changes are we referring to now you may be asking yourself?

A significant change that has been determined by the Board to be important in adapting to the changing times, as well as being fiscally responsible, is the elimination of future printings of the newsletter. Communication platforms have shifted so significantly over the last two years and we believe that we can reach our members most efficiently and effectively in an electronic format. Even Newsweek magazine has recently announced that they will publish their final print edition December 31st, as they go completely digital in 2013. We have already been publishing a Monthly E-News and our plans include enhancement of this communications vehicle as we move ahead.

Another change that is underway is the offering of a new marketing/advertising program that provides an opportunity for members and other organizations promoting workshops and trainings to gain inclusion on our website and reach members via email with a Listserv package. This is in part due to diminishing income from individuals seeking MFT CEUs for workshops, a change that has been occurring over time due to many providers choosing to offer just NASW CEUs, which meet the requirements for MFTs as well. This new program will go into effect as of January 1st, 2013, and will include the limiting of Listserv postings that are advertising directly to members for workshops and trainings to those that have either contributed via applying for MFT CEUs or have taken advantage of the new marketing/advertising program.

A final note on change has to do with our 2013 Annual Conference on April 25-26. Following a year of engaging our neighboring divisions in discussion about collaborating for growth opportunities, the Rhode Island division has elected to join us in hosting an expanded conference offering. Our upcoming conference will encompass two days and feature multiple popular presenters including: Dr. Kenneth Hardy, Dr. Eliana Gil and Charlette Mukulka. There will be new social and networking opportunities along with special offers from the Mystic Marriott to enhance your visit and encourage overnight stays. We will also offer multiple ticketing options to accommodate various needs. Further details and registration will be available soon.

On a closing note, I would like to remind members that one way to accept change more readily is to be a part of it and understand all that goes into the decisions that are being made on behalf of the organization. We are actively recruiting at this time for committee involvement and hope that you will consider getting involved. Some of our more active committees include: Membership, Annual Conference, Professional Development, Ethics, the Student Committee and the Legislative Task Force. For further information please email us at manager@ctamft.org.

-Best Regards, Dorothy Timmermann, LMFT

Letter from the President – We’re Back in Action!

CTAMFT President
Dorothy Timmermann, LMFT, CTAMFT Board President

Welcome back to the CTAMFT E-News following our two months summer hiatus. We hope that everyone has gotten a chance to enjoy a bit of summer relaxation time.

Your Board of Directors is back in action after meeting a couple weeks ago for the purpose of orienting the new members and staff. I’d like to officially welcome our new Board Members: Normajean Cefarelli (Clinical Fellow), Betsey Lebow (Clinical Fellow), Jeffrey Schutz (Pre-Clinical Fellow) and Michelle “Mika” Vinci (Student Representative). Their enthusiasm for serving our organization is very exciting.

We have also transitioned our Newsletter staff and would like to introduce Colleen LaFrancois as our new CTAMFT Newsletter Editor, along with John Suchocki as our Clinical Consultant & Contributing Writer. Colleen is a former Corporate Vice President of Marketing who now owns and operates LaFrancois Marketing Consultants, a full-service marketing, PR and events firm based in Old Saybrook. Colleen offers exceptional writing, editing, verbal and presentation skills. Colleen’s true passion is working with non-profit groups to help creatively solve problems and develop exciting programs and products. This role with CTAMFT is a perfect blend of her interests and skill set, and the organization’s needs. John will work with Colleen to provide clinical expertise and be an ongoing contributing writer for the Newsletter. John has been licensed as a Marital and Family Therapist since 1998, holding several progressively responsible positions in the field. Currently, he is a Service Director at Community Health Resources in Manchester, CT where he manages several outpatient and community in-home clinical programs for youth and families. John is also the co-founder and co-director of a private practice (Life Counseling, LLC) that offers counseling services for youth, adults, couples, and families, supervision for therapists, and consultation services.

Please take a moment to read this E-News in its entirety. There is information regarding an upcoming Professional Development offering on “Social Media” as well as a Save-the-Date for our 2013 Annual Conference. A Call for Submissions for the next Newsletter is also included. In addition to articles reflecting the theme of “Technology and Your Practice,” we are inviting you to contribute member announcements such as professional accomplishments and milestones, interesting news items, responses to previously published articles and Letters to the Editor. Finally there is a note in remembrance of Jane Lobdell, a member who passed this summer but lives in the hearts and memories of many in our community.

Call for Submissions

Colleen LaFrancois, CTAMFT Newsletter Editor

I am delighted to serve as CTAMFT’s new Newsletter Editor for the Connecticut Connection and look forward to working with you!

The theme of our Fall 2012 publication is “Technology and Your Practice.” Technology extends our realm of influence, but it can either build bridges or walls between people. Some people use technology to overcome physical distance and enhance relationships. Others surround themselves with technology and ignore the needs of others.

How are you integrating technology into your practice? Are you utilizing social media effectively? What are the legal, ethical, HIPAA-related concerns you have about moving toward this boundless horizon? And, how is technology, in its many forms, affecting your clients? Is instant gratification a good thing? With cyber-bullying and internet affairs, clients’ presenting issues often include problems navigating through this ever-changing electronic world.

If you are confronting any of these intensifying challenges and opportunities in your practice, consider sharing your knowledge by writing an article. We also invite you to contribute member announcements such as professional accomplishments and milestones, interesting news items, responses to previously published articles and Letters to the Editor. Please respond with interest via email to ctamftnewsletter@gmail.com by September 21. Final copy is due by September 30, 2012.

Lastly, advertising in the Connecticut Connection is a very efficient and cost effective way to reach 1100 MFTs across the state. Member prices for advertising range from only $40 for classified ads to $300 for full page display ads. Please reserve your space by September 21, and submit display ads electronically (in camera-ready form unless exclusively text) by September 30, 2012 to October 8, 2012.

Note: Publication of submissions is not guaranteed, and editor retains the right to edit any submissions.

Letter from the President

Building Community
Dorothy Timmermann, LMFT, CTAMFT Board President

CTAMFT President

Last month, the Board of Directors was welcomed at Central Connecticut State University for a Networking Breakfast followed by our November Meeting. We were so pleased at the warm hospitality and the nice turnout from CCSU students and faculty, as well as others in our community that found the location convenient and were motivated to join the conversation and make connections. This has been the essential goal of “The Board on the Road” and we plan to continue this next spring, hoping to reach many of you from all areas of our state. In the meantime, we hope that members will reach out to us with ideas, needs, hopes and wishes. We have a number of committees that would benefit tremendously from your involvement as well.

So how do we stay in touch?

connect

connect

We are continuously exploring ways to refine our communications platform and the latest exploration prompted us to revitalize our CTAMFT Blog which you will easily see by clicking here and reading more!

This space will complement our other communication vehicles by providing more space for dialogue and a nice format for our E-News; along with offering opportunities for members to share articles, book reviews, and other interesting information. We welcome submissions to the Blog at ctamft@snet.net and you can follow the Blog by email or RSS feed for your convenience.

In addition to our Blog, CTAMFT has several other communication platforms and each has an intended purpose in serving our membership.

Our website, ctamft.org, has many resources and functions including linking all of our communication vehicles together in one place. It is also the place to see a complete list of CEU Opportunities (under Professional Development) and register for our own events including the Annual Conference which is scheduled for April 20, 2012 (registration will open shortly for that).

The Connecticut Connections Newsletter, published twice annually, is our organization’s way of communicating in a more formal fashion what we hope is most relevant and useful to our membership.

Our Facebook page provides a quick and timely way of communicating to and among each other especially with content regarding events and happenings.

Our Listserv continues to be a fantastic avenue for sharing career opportunities, referrals, available office space, new groups forming, and so forth.

We also have the Connecticut Forum on the AAMFT Community which is a place for discussion to and from your Board of Directors in a members-only space.

social network

social network

Finally, our Marketing and Communications Committee tell me something about the future developments with the use of LinkedIn specifically for networking purposes and even the possibility of Twitter on the horizon. Oh my!

So thank you all for taking the time to connect in one way or another with CTAMFT. The season is getting busy but I hope you join my sentiments in feeling great about being part of our community that shares the common ground of enhancing our lives as MFTs, both personally and professionally.

All my best,
Dorothy