Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy [18 VAC 115 ‑ 50]
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8/28/12  12:23 pm
Commenter: Esther Boykin, LMFT; Group Therapy Associates

in suppport of positive change

As someone who was quite lucky in her residency, I feel that it is important to lend my support for this petition.  Like many of my colleagues I am very familiar with the challenges of the residency process for MFTs (and I believe most mental health licenses) in Virginia but as I said I was lucky.  My supervisors were approved quickly as was my work location, coursework, and residency hours.  I moved through the process quite smoothly but all the while I listened and supported former classmates, who tok the same classes, worked in similar professional settings, and even had the same supervisors as I did all struggle with delays, multiple requests for information, and minimal communication.  This process should not be one of "luck" but a consistent and efficient system that encourages residents to develop their professional skills so they can provide licensed services to our communities.

As a private practice owner working with residents, I can see that the challenges continue and I am so glad that this petition has been started.  We are losing excellent clinicians to other states (particularly in Northern Virginia where you can easily commute to Maryland or DC) and other professions because of the problems with residency and licensure in Virginia.  It's time to make a change in support of the next generation of therapists and the thousads of individuals, children, and families that are in need of our services.  I strongly support the 30 day approval period as well as backdating and many of the other changes suggested in the peition and comments.  In particular I would reccomend a database of supervisors and work locations- which would not only help residents but encourage supervisors and potential employers to meet a consistent standard when working with residents. 

CommentID: 23836