Monthly Archives: January 2012

Licensing Applications and BBS Processing Times

We know that one of your main goals as an intern or trainee is to gain enough hours to sit for licensure with the BBS. With cutbacks in staff in early 2011, the current processing time for MFT and LCSW applications is running a few months out.  If you’ve already submitted your application and are wondering where you are in the process, the BBS website frequently updates what ‘week’ of submitted applications they are currently working on.  For the week of January 23rd, MFT applications received the week of August 2nd, 2011 and Clinical Social Work applications received the week of October 31st were being processed.  You can find the most recent information here.
A completed application provides the best opportunity to avoid delays in approving the applicant for the licensure examination. With that in mind, below are suggestions to help ensure your application has everything in order when you submit your materials to the BBS.
Make sure your application is 100% complete. This sounds pretty basics, but according to the BBS, the number one reason why applications are refused from sitting for exams is that they are missing information.

Double check that your graduate course work meets all the requirements. The BBS lists accredited and approved schools,  so you can see if your program is on the list.  If not, it is possible to take CEUs that meet the BBS criteria.

Submit your weekly experience logs in date order. This will not only make for a smoother review of your weekly logs, but ensures that you’ve gone back through your signed statements and know that they are all present.  If you do find that you’ve misplaced a weekly experience sheet, don’t worry, you’ve got all your hours still logged on TYH.  Scroll back through your weeks, reprint and submit to your supervisor.

Include all signed experience verification logs. Double check each sheet to make sure your hours add up and that each sheet includes signatures in the proper place.  This is the time you want to dot all your i’s and cross your t’s.

Are your transcripts in a sealed envelope? This is a must for the BBS.

Don’t forget your payment! After making it through your grad program, successfully logging 3000 hours and beginning to prep for your exam, the last reason you would want to be denied is for forgetting to submit payment.
For additional information on the application process, contact the BBS with your questions.

New Disclosure Requirements for MFT Interns and Trainees

To all the MFT Interns and Trainees out there, we’re sure you know by now that there have been new changes to how you are able to accrue hours due to a law that went in effect January 1st, 2012. In addition, the statute makes several changes to the proper ways of informing clients of your licensing status and new guidelines on advertising.  We want you to be in the loop, so get all the details from the BBS here:

Finding a Mentor

The path to a career in Social Work or as an MFT can take many forms and navigating your first steps in the field can seem daunting.  Seeking the guidance of seasoned colleagues can help build towards a successful career and provide invaluable insight along the way. A mentor is not meant to take the place of your supervision or substitute for your traineeship, but rather to offer additional guidance on your path towards licensure and your career development.

So how do you go about starting the process?

Determine who you’re looking for. Begin your search by consciously thinking about where you are in your career and where you would like to go after licensure.  Do you plan on honing in on a specialty, starting a private practice or desire to do group work?  Assessing the path that you want to pursue will help to gauge and guide who will be able to help you grow in the areas that are most important to you.

Know what you want from the relationship. Take time to gain a clear understanding of what you are looking for in the relationship.  Insight into your goals and desired results will ensure not only that you find a suitable mentor but help determine roles and expectations in your relationship.  A mentor-mentee relationship can take many forms.  It can be a monthly lunch, a quarterly phone call or a steady stream of e-mails.

Use Your Network. Start with the connections that you already have. CAMFT has a mentor program for pre-licensed/newly licensed MFTs in place and can connect you with seasoned colleagues in the field. Another option is to reach out to your school’s alumni association and see if they have a formal mentoring program.  If not, contact a faculty member you respect or the student services agency if they have suggestions about possible mentors.

Declutter Your Digital Life

Though our professional and personal lives are moving away from paper, our digital lives can still be filled with clutter.  The more time we spend working through e-mail, downloading journal articles or combing through RSS feeds, the more messy our digital lives can get. Use these 6 tips to clean up your inbox, tidy up your files and tackle your digital clutter.

Clean Up Your Contacts: Most e-mail programs have a feature that cache your contacts and autofills e-mail addresses as you type.  While this can be a good thing, it can also create confusion when a contact moves addresses or uses multiple e-mail addresses. Spend the time now culling and organizing your e-mail contacts to avoid confusion later.

Move E-Mails Out of Your Inbox: By keeping your read e-mails your inbox, you risk the chance of missing something important on days when keeping up with your new mail gets daunting. Mail providers like Gmail allow users to create labels and file message away for later access.  Once you’ve addressed the e-mail, take advantage these labels and folders. We all know physical clutter can be overwhelming and digital clutter is no different.

Use Dropbox: We’ve recommended the file syncing service before, but the benefits cannot be overstated. With 2GB of free storage space you can keep files PDFs, documents, photos and more organized and accessible from your smart phone or any computer you use.

Simplify Your Feed: If you have dozens of RSS feeds, chances are you’re over subscribed. Though it’s great to get your news and information from a variety of sources, trying to keep up with every blogger or new agency that you once found an interesting article from can leave you stressed. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing inherently bad in subscribing to a lot of RSS feeds, but when managing them consumes your time and energy then it’s time to begin the re-selection process.

Ban Clutter From Your Desktop: Your desktop on your personal or work computer is the gateway to your digital life. At the end of the day — or week — move all files you don’t use daily off your desktop into broad topic folders.

Create an Effective Go Bag: If you are a clinician that works at multiple sites or grad student on the go, making sure that you have what you need with you is a priority.  You’ll be the best judge of your own needs, but plan ahead bag by stocking designating one bag to always move around with. Stock it with items like a flash drive, laptop extension cord, writing utensils, business cards and your favorite worksheets for clients. When you keep your bag stocked, you can spend less time wondering if you remembered the necessities and more time on your work.

New 2012 BBS Rules for California MFT Trainees and Interns

The BBS has made some changes to the rules for hours gained beginning January 1, 2012

The change in law limits the maximum amount of client centered advocacy that can be gained as experience for licensure to 500 hours.  Actually, you can only claim up to 500 hours total from the Notes and CCA categories combined.

We are working on updating trackyourhours to accommodate these rule changes and plan to release an update in February.

Please continue to log your hours as you normally would. The changes we are making will not affect how you enter hours, only how we do some calculations and how we report the Valid hours count to you.

We will be sending updates via email, twitter, and facebook.