When you went into the helping profession, most people told you there wouldn't be a lot of money in it... but this is getting ridiculous!
So here is a common story we hear:
"I paid a ton of money for a solid Master's program. I wasn't able to find a paid Internship- but chalked it up to lack of experience. Now I am done with my hours, have a ton of experience, and I'm waiting 6 months just to get approved to take my first exam! (MFTs in California- this isn't an exaggeration) I can't find a supervisor for a private practice internship, and the ones that I do find want me to work for $12/hr. I can't support myself on that! But, I can't go out and work for myself with the expertise I have, because I will lose my future license! Now I feel like I paid tens of thousands of dollars to be able to do LESS than I could have if I had just started providing "coaching" 5 years ago! Help!!"
So here are some things that you need to know:
1. In most states (including California) the practice of psychotherapy is limited to therapists licensed through their state board.
2. Your Master's degree prepared you for a lot more than just providing psychotherapy.
3. Nobody said you can't write a book, provide consultation, run psycho-education groups, etc.
4. Simply working as an Intern as a coach, consultant, trainer, etc. does not put your license in jeopardy. Trying to circumvent rules and provide psychotherapy on the sly gets your license yanked.
You can't provide psychotherapy services. You can't work as a MFT Intern (in California) without a supervisor, but you can provide expertise to the marketplace. You can't advertise that you are an Intern, you need to make it clear that you don't provide therapy at this time, and you need to be clear about what you do provide.
But, don't take my word for it. Call and get consultation from CAMFT or from a lawyer with expertise in this manner. And, if they tell you that you can't work with your Master's degree that your earned in non-psychotherapy activities without a supervisor in California- get it in writing and send it on to me ;0) I have some great ideas about what the next step may be.
And, if you are a supervisor who provides private practice internships, we have a list of several thousand interns around California (and the US). Send in a free listing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post it on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and get the word out!
Are you a Licensed person who wishes you could be a support to Interns-but your business is struggling? Send us a message at email@example.com and find out how we may be able to help you build a profitable therapy practice that sustain interns and make you a great income and retirement!