I spent a total of about 10 years as Advocacy Committee Chair for the California Division of AAMFT (AAMFT-CA). During that time, I had the privilege to work on a number of projects to support and advance the cause of psychotherapists of all kinds, in California and around the country:
Ban on Conversion Therapy for Minors
California was the first state in the United States to prohibit licensed mental health professionals from offering Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (also known as "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy") to minors.
The process of drafting the language was fraught -- everyone involved knew that it would be challenged in court, so the language had to be precise. It also had to be clinically appropriate, balancing the desire to ban a discredited treatment with the desire to allow therapists to continue having appropriate conversations with adolescent clients about their emerging sexuality.
I was proud to be one of very few actual clinicians involved in writing that language. It survived a Supreme Court challenge, and has been accepted as a model for many of the (as of October 2018) 13 other states, the District of Columbia, and 47 cities and counties that have enacted similar bans.
Streamlining Experience Hours
In collaboration with CAMFT and CALPCC, we made a proposal to the BBS to ease the pathway to licensure for California MFTs and clinical counselors. That proposal was ultimately signed into law, making the process of gaining qualifying experience for licensure much less confusing. Early data suggests that we achieved the goal of getting people through the pipeline to licensure faster, though we are still awaiting more detailed data to inform future efforts.
More information coming soon! We're a work in progress. Thanks for your patience.