Upcoming events

  • 15 Jun 2014 5:16 PM | Deleted user

    Thanks to Menninger for providing lunch.

  • 13 Jun 2014 1:53 PM | Deleted user

    Sunset Review puts Texas Licensing
    Boards at Risk: Act Today!!


    The Texas Sunset Commission staff is recommending in its report on the reauthorization of the Department of State Health Services that the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists as well as the Professional Counselors and Social Worker licensing boards be reconstituted as advisory committees at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Transferring the existing authority of our board for licensing, enforcement action, and rulemaking to TDLR would significantly reduce the voice of Texas LMFTs on the regulation process.

    TAMFT is asking members to submit brief comments between now and the public hearing on June 24 and 25. While the initial submitting period ended June 6th, the Sunset Commission staff will compile those comments and provide them to the Sunset Commission at the time of hearing. Also, comments can be submitted verbally and in writing at the public hearing and those will also be compiled and shared with the Sunset Commission.  Finally, there will be an additional open comment period that usually lasts for two weeks after the Sunset Commission hearing.  The deadline for submission of comments will be but has not been set by the Sunset Commission Chair, Senator Jane Nelson.

    Please take a moment before June 24th to send a comment in opposition to Recommendation 3.2 to transfer the Texas State Board of Examiners to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and reconstitute this independent board as an advisory committee. Submit comments to: www.sunset.texas.gov/input-form. **Select "Department of State Health Services (DSHS)" on the Public Input Form; it is the 11th agency listed.**

    • Recommendation 3.2 places the public at risk. The regulatory oversight provided by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists which includes licensed marriage and family therapists as well as public members ensures that all LMFTs are well trained and adhere to high professional standards. The impact of LMFTs on the health and safety of the clients they serve mandates the oversight of an independent regulatory board that includes experienced licensed professionals. 
    • Unlike the other professions recommended for transfer to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation in Recommendation 3.2, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Professional Counselors, and Social Workers must hold advanced graduate degrees and are considered Health Professions under Texas law. None of the occupations currently licensed by TDLR are required to hold even a bachelor's degree.  

    Final action on these recommendations will require legislative action but TAMFT is hoping to build significant opposition to this recommendation now. We will continue to keep you updated throughout this process.

    To access the Sunset Advisory Commission Staff Report on DSHS and process details go to: www.sunset.texas.gov/reviews-and-reports/agencies/department-state-health-services-dshs.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please send them to me, Peter Bradley atpdbradley@crosstimbersfamilytherapy.com or Chuck West, TAMFT Legislative Chair, atckwest2222@gmail.com.


    Thank you,


    Peter D. Bradley, Ph.D.
    TAMFT President

  • 24 May 2014 8:56 PM | Deleted user

    Memorial Day weekend is here, and we make time in our lives to honor our service women and men. As flags align our neighborhoods and are especially prominent in cemeteries throughout our country, Houston’s own National Veterans Cemetery will be decked out as hundreds gather in this sacred place to honor fallen heroes. Wreaths will adorn all the service members' headstones, and city officials will pay homage to those who gave so much for their country. Texas is second only to California in military/veteran population.

    As mental health providers, we are reminded that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health concerns hover over our returning vets, and as many as 22 veterans on any given day take their own life. These “invisible wounds of war” beckon each of us to take action and commit some time to serve military families. As the national news calls attention to the gaps in services and funding problems in Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics in 26 cities, we as marriage and family therapists know how toxic the blame game can be in generating any positive change. We simply cannot afford to wait until investigators find out who is to blame for the latest shortage in services for veterans.

    Funding shortfalls for mental health services for all Americans is not news and it is certainly not a surprise to thousands of veteran families who have lost more veterans to suicide than on the battlefield. Even with congressional support our professional organizations have been fighting for parity in health care reform, but waiting for legislative solutions will be too late for those suffering without hope. The time is now for us to attend to our veterans. If every clinician volunteered time providing pro bono services for an uninsured or underinsured veteran, we could be part of the solution to the high cost of modern warfare. Helping returning soldiers transition back to their families and healing deep divisions in families separated by prolonged or multiple deployments, could be our solemn vow this Memorial Day, this May, 2014 Mental Health Awareness Month. Partnering with Veteran groups, nonprofits, the VA, MHA, and our city, will turn our gratitude into social action.

    Our May 9, 2014 HAMFT workshop featured seasoned clinicians who encouraged all of us to stay involved in our professional organization as they revisited our long established tradition of being innovators and creative practitioners who see a need and step up to meet that need. I am urging all of us to step up now. Make this Mental Health Awareness Month mean substantial support for soldiers, and make this Memorial Day more than a day to eat barbecue.

  • 11 May 2014 8:05 PM | Deleted user
    Thanks to everyone who attended the "Politics and Practice" workshop with George Pulliam, Leslye King Mize and Lee Winderman.

  • 23 Apr 2014 7:54 PM | Deleted user

    Three of Houston’s foremost family therapists -- Leslye Mize Ph.D., George Pulliam MSSW, and  Lee Winderman Ph.D. -- will present at the May workshop and discuss two intricately intertwined issues affecting marriage and family therapists: politics and practice. The panel will discuss what they have experienced and learned during their long careers and how it has shaped their view of field, the issues impacted, and their vision of the future. They will also talk about where they stand now regarding the way they practice marriage and family therapy and their evolution as therapists.

    Below are their thoughts on some of the topics to be discussed at the workshop.

    What do you wish you knew when starting out?

    Lee: I think what I would have liked to know most is that everything was going to work out ok. erhaps that is not the most helpful answer for other therapists. So let me answer another question; looking back, what has been most useful and helpful in your development as a therapist? Three things stand out: mentors, colleagues and personal therapy.

    First, affiliating with senior experienced therapists whom I respect and admire, who are smart and generative, has helped me learn the art of the therapeutic process. Continuing to open my work to scrutiny has helped me gain maturity as a therapist and helped me continue to learn. Perhaps most importantly, it has kept me humble.

    Second, I have been lucky, or perhaps skilled, at having a career in which I work with colleagues I respect and trust. My work environment has been stable and collaborative. That security has freed me to do my best work.

    Third, I have been in therapy a few different times; all were extremely helpful. My first experience, while I was in graduate school, was perhaps the most significant. It both affirmed me as a young man struggling to find my way, and provided me with a personal experience of the value and importance of the psychotherapeutic process.

    What is the most important advice you have for new therapists?


    Leslye:  Keep involved with mentors and peers while you practice your profession.  Never stay too isolated and know that you never become too much of an expert.   Hold on to those who make sense to you.  

    Why do therapists need to know about politics as they navigate their careers?  

    George: One can not avoid politics, and to wade through them in an agency or an or ganization one needs to use the same tools one develops as a therapist while maintaining one’s values and ethics--sometimes a difficult task. Politics, from one perspective, is involved in every relationship, in every system. It is not necessarily a nasty word.

    Leslye: Our profession needs our commitment and leadership.  It is vulnerable and needs our time. Your professional life could change for the best if we just put in some of our energy and have fun working with our peers.  To me, politics is the development of our leadership in good ways.

    How did you decide you wanted to be a family therapist?

    George: I never made a conscious decision. I just evolved into it as I bumped into problems that needed a different approach, which began early in my career and picked up speed when I moved to Galveston in 1969.

  • 11 Apr 2014 10:18 PM | Deleted user

    A heart felt thank you, HAMFT,  for your kindness in awarding me the Warm Hearth Scholarship to attend the 50th Annual Symposium on Family Theory and Family Psychotherapy held on November 1-2 , 2013. The event took place at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Arlington, Virginia. The experience was one of a kind and helped me understand the work being done by researchers using Bowen Theory as they find ways to improve the health and healing for individuals with behavior and relationship issues.

    We left Houston on October 31st and reached our destination safely. Finding the beautiful mansion-like home of the gracious Bowen Center supporter was a bit challenging. Once in, we realized that there was a warm welcome awaiting us. After a short reception we left to prepare for the next busy day.

    We had a full day with five speakers. The sessions were followed by a panel discussion which lasted about thirty minutes and help us understand their perspectives. Daniel V.  Papero , PHD, MSSW focused on "Psychological Symbiosis Revisited." This research inspired by the the publication of Dr. Bowen's annual reports at the National Institute of Mental Health and  "would review this idea in his earliest writings and discuss its relevance to current thinking and clinical practice."

    Ann S. Mcknight's recent research focused on " the examination of gene X environment which examines how the environment, especially the  social environment, has an epigenetic influence on the development of the child and examined  through the lens of Bowen's concept of the family projection process and the formation of differentiation of self in the child."

    There were other researchers working with the Bowen theory from various fields, such a psychologists, social worker, and others researching from the spiritual aspect of the same lens with  positive outcomes. We had eight speakers the next day with a similar format of the previous day.

    The celebration of this special event  took place Friday evening. Many friends and supporters shared their personal experiences with Dr. Bowen and other colleagues of his era. They helped us understand the humor and leisurely aspect of their experiences during their relaxation and recreational time together, along with the passion of their research.

    This was a wonderful event. The experience was unique and one which I will not easily forget. I am eternally grateful for your support.

    Beulah Moses RN, LMFT-A

    Beulah began her career as a nurse and has several years of practice in numerous nursing practice settings. She is currently practicing as a nurse as well as offering counseling in a private setting. Her passion is building healthy lifestyles for individuals, couples, and families by improving, repairing, and supporting interpersonal relationships.
  • 24 Mar 2014 10:08 PM | Deleted user

    Jenny Dietz Presents "In My Mind's Eye"

    There is no denying that social media has taken the 21st century by storm. With the  introduction of social interaction through keypads and cameras, one might presume we’re more connected than ever. However, it seems as if more connection has brought about more distortion over what’s even real anymore, and as clinicians, a great deal of our responsibilities are housed under an umbrella of discerning that very same reality. As a therapist working primarily with eating disorders, Jenny Deitz deals with this discussion on a regular basis, especially when conversations shift to body-image. Join us for a 3-hour interactive workshop entitled “In My Mind’s Eye”, where we will explore the influences of the world around us through the filter of an eating disorder lens.

  • 22 Mar 2014 12:43 PM | Deleted user

    There’s a mental health workforce shortage in Texas, according to a report by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

    HB 1023 (Burkett/Nelson) directed the commission to develop policy recommendations to address the shortage. The commission is looking for recommendations from counselors and other stakeholders on how to do any of the following:

    1) Improve employee recruitment and retention

    2) Give greater attention to the needs of rural and border area

    3) Increase cultural and linguistic diversity

    4) Reevaluate and update the educational curriculum for health professionals 

    5) Collect more data at the state and national level to fully inform workforce planning initiatives

    Check out the report and send your feedback by April 1, 2014 HPRC@dshs.state.tx.us.

    According to the report:

    • There were 3,062 marriage and family therapists (MFTs) practicing in Texas as of September 2013, giving a ratio of 8,708.2 persons per MFT.
    • Within the state’s five most populous counties the population to MFT ratio was 6,442:1 while it was 11,923:1 in the rest of the state, comprising proportions of 41.35% and 58.65%, respectively.
    • In 2013, 27.7% of MFTs were 65 or older and another 31.8% were between 55 and 64 years old, meaning that 59.6% of the workforce will be of retirement age by 2023.
    • Average annual growth of the MFT workforce in Texas has been 1.8% from 2008-2013. Yet when considering population growth, there has been just 0.2% average annual growth.

    The Texas Counseling Association plans to submit comments on the following areas, according to an email to its members.

    • Include Licensed Professional Counselors in the Core Mental Health Professions. LPCs credentials, experience and clients completely align with the mental health professionals listed as Core Mental Health Professions. LPCs are the largest group of independent mental health Medicaid providers (3,733) in Texas as of July 2013. LPCs are identified as eligible providers to address unmet need under the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program. (There is no cost associated with this change. It would require either a rule change (agency) or a change in definitions in statute.)
    • Allow LPC-Interns to bill for services under the Medicaid program. These mental health professionals have completed their graduate degrees, earned practicum experience and passed their licensure and jurisprudence exams. They are licensed to deliver mental health services directly to clients under the supervision of an LPC-Supervisor. Their education and experience level are comparable to Psychological Associates and Provisionally Licensed Psychologists who are currently allowed to bill for their services under Medicaid. Allowing LPC-Interns to bill for services under Medicaid will also create a pathway to increase the number of fully licensed mental health professionals willing to work with this population, which will also address the aging-out of mental health professionals in Texas. (The cost for this change could be handled through existing Medicaid allocations to reduce waiting lists and expand services. It would require a rule change (agency) and may require legislative action.)
    • Expand the focus of this report to include access to services provided in educational settings. Professional school counselors in Texas are required to hold at least a master’s degree, have two years of teaching experience and pass a unique certification exam. Through individual planning and responsive services, they often provide the link between students struggling with psycho-social-emotional issues and mental health services. Mental health professionals working in the counseling offices of Texas universities and community colleges provide a similar service.
  • 10 Mar 2014 10:40 PM | Deleted user
  • 10 Mar 2014 10:34 PM | Deleted user

    A Letter from HAMFT President Anne Way

    As I begin my journey as president of HAMFT, I am aware that several generations of marriage and family therapists are housed under the strong, 40-year-old roof of TAMFT. Never before was this more evident than at the recently concluded 40th anniversary TAMFT conference held this past week in Sugar Land. This powerful roof has withstood the challenge of gaining licensure in this great State, fortified itself to maintain that licensure despite the great storm of opposition it has faced in Texas and covered several generations of therapists who came of age under its protective shield. This formidable terrain housed under a single roof calls for equal measures of grit and grace, wit and wisdom. If we are to sustain this great profession we must keep our roof hardy, repair any leaks that arise and quite truthfully tear it down and rebuild it when necessary. This roof needs to last for generations to come. How will we sustain our organization while remaining relevant to the entire membership? We must shepherd these transgenerational marriage and family therapists through a variety of successful career trajectories.

    Clear and sustainable pathways must be available for:

    • private practitioners,

    • group practices,

    • the nonprofit agency settings,

    • hospital settings,

    • managed care managers,

    • EAP clinicians,

    • academic clinicians,

    • and family researchers.

    How can we design a viable succession plan as some of the wise sages in our organization retire, close their practices, or begin a new phase of life? We are fortunate in our HAMFT family to have members who gladly mentor students and young professionals just as the younger generation smiles politely when their elders discuss the good ole days when live supervision involved the use of high tech drop in microphones, rotary phones, and beta max recordings.

    Recently Past President Joan Harwood sent an email blast out to members that she needed “all hands on deck” to help with our Awards Banquet. On a naval vessel this means everyone on board assembles on deck to help out with whatever needs to be done. Answering the call to help with the business of HAMFT in supporting its members is essential to sustaining our vessel and keeping it sound. Generations of leaders have steered us through rough seas and calm seas, but in all conditions it was the membership who kept the machinery running smoothly. We need members to continue efforts in inviting colleagues to join HAMFT, serve on committees, run for board positions, develop creative and relevant programs and make it a goal to attend our monthly educational opportunities. There may be rough seas ahead for practitioners and clients but we must stand ready. We must ask:

    • How can we equip students and the beginning professionals to navigate the new world of mental health care?

    • How will we meet the challenge that the affordable health care act presents in our practice settings and more importantly what can we do as a collective, multi-generational collaborative of therapists to dream together and shape a mental health care system that promotes our profession as marriage and family therapists while also promoting healthy families?

    I invite all members to get on board to help get this vessel moving. We will need all hands on deck. For me faith has sustained and energized me; it is my life raft that helps me weather storms in my family, in the families I witness in my practice, in our profession, and in our world. For some it is faith that helps us traverse rough waters, for others it is science that helps construct what is needed to make a worthy vessel, still others it is clear guideposts and rules that make navigation more smooth…whatever “floats your boat” my hope is that we promote faith in ourselves as healers, faith in our collective and individual vision for our profession, ourselves, our families, our clients--moving us to envision a better world, one progress note at a time.

    If you have suggestions on HAMFT's role in the profession's future, questions on how you can get involved or would like to offer ideas on the association's events, send an email to president@hamft.org.

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