Thursday, January 2, 2014

The four biggest MFT Progress Notes posts of 2013

Ranked by page views.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

" 12 - ITALY - fuochi d'artificio a Padova ( fireworks Padua ) PrĂ  della Valle 2 2013 was a big year here on the blog. I've crossed 250K pageviews, which is certainly humbling, and broke my monthly traffic record multiple times. Here are the four posts that drew the most eyeballs in 2013, counting down to the top:
4) Prologue. To be honest, the continued interest in this has surprised me. It's a poem for new students in family therapy (though it certainly can be applied to other mental health fields as well), summarizing what I often wish I had said to students I've had in years past.

3) California MFT program rankings: The best license exam preparation. As I make the case for in the full book, license exam performance is one of the few areas where you really can objectively compare the performance of alumni from various graduate programs. There are some problems with doing so (after all, we don't all admit the same students), but it's still compelling data. Want to see whose graduates do best among the state's bigger programs? The top program is revealed here.
2) The difference between an LMFT, an LCSW, and an LPC (or LPCC). This was originally posted in October 2012, but continues to get a lot of readership. Counselors (LPCCs here in California) have rightly criticized me for framing their work too narrowly, a problem I plan to correct in the next edition of my California Law book for MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. But if you want a quick summary of what makes the professions different, it's in this post.
And at the top of the traffic list for the year? Mental drumroll...
1) The best MFT graduate programs. This post, originally put up in 2008 and regularly updated since, has spawned several others and, now, a book with data on 34 of California's biggest programs. Neither I nor anyone else can tell you which program will be best for you (that's a decision you need to make based on what's most important to you personally), but if you're struggling to decide, this post may help you at least sort out what to pay the most attention to.
I have a lot already in the works for 2014, including a long-overdue facelift for the blog and some cool new ways to navigate. If there's something you would love to see me cover here, please feel free to say so! Many of the blog's best and most popular posts were born from reader suggestions, classroom discussions, and talks with colleagues. It's meant to be a conversation, here, not a lecture. I'd love to hear your thoughts. And as always, my thanks to you for reading.
Happy New Year!
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Randi Cutler said...

Hey! your blog has been a godsend to me trying to figure out how to navigate the world of MFTs. I was wondering if you could cover how the field is going to change with the institution of obamacare? Many of my professors have said that private practice is going to go out the window. what do you think?!

Ben Caldwell said...

@Randi - Thanks for your comment! I'll write more in the future about Obamacare and how it is likely to influence our work, but the short version is this: Your professors who are saying that are likely mistaken. Obamacare will bring millions of people who didn't have insurance previously (and couldn't afford to pay out of pocket for therapy) onto insurance rolls. Couple that with the requirement that insurance cover mental health at comparable levels to physical health (i.e., parity laws), and you'll have far better access to services than before. Those therapists who accept insurance in their private practices seem likely to see their client loads grow, while those who don't will probably see their practices shrink to some degree as any newly-insured clients move to providers where their sessions will be covered.

Randi Cutler said...

Thank you so so much for your reply. I think it is so incredible that you add that personal level of commitment to your blog! Your response was really helpful!

I also have one more question for you.

I'm currently a first year MFT student at the family Institute @ northwestern University in the chicago area. The program is accredited and provides you with everything you need, aside from the 2000 hours of supervision to sit for the licensing exam. My plan so far is to get licensed in the state of Illinois since I just moved here and made so many wonderful connections. BUt ultimately, I plan to live in california. That said, i was wondering if applying for Ph.D. programs in california after I am licensed here makes sense to help me not only open my career options, but also to help me make the transition smoother to the California system. From my understanding, after a Ph.D. program, you are eligable to be licensed in the state of your school, as long as its accredited. I was imagining that this would help ease the transition socially as well to be back in an academic setting, as well as towards getting the requirements i need to be licensed in california. I'd love to hear your feedback on this. Thanks so much again!