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NYMHCA NEW YORK MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION.

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Presentation on theme: "NYMHCA NEW YORK MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION."— Presentation transcript:

1 NYMHCA NEW YORK MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION

2 What is NYMHCA? NYMHCA is the professional organization representing the current and future licensed mental health counselors of New York State.

3 What is NYMHCA’s Role? To protect and enhance the rights of counselors to practice our profession. To protect and enhance the rights of counselors to practice our profession.

4 History of NYMHCA

5 American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) was founded in American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) was founded in AMHCA was founded because thousands of professional counselors working in non-school settings had no organizational home. AMHCA was founded because thousands of professional counselors working in non-school settings had no organizational home.

6 AMHCA has capitalized on the uniqueness of mental health counseling by touting the counseling skills, developmental approach, and preventative strategies employed by its members and demanding recognition of their contributions to health care team. AMHCA has capitalized on the uniqueness of mental health counseling by touting the counseling skills, developmental approach, and preventative strategies employed by its members and demanding recognition of their contributions to health care team. The New York State chapter of AMHCA (NYMHCA) was founded in The New York State chapter of AMHCA (NYMHCA) was founded in 1979.

7 The Profession of Mental Health Counseling

8 Mental Health Counseling is a distinct profession with national standards for education, training, and clinical practice. Mental Health Counseling is a distinct profession with national standards for education, training, and clinical practice. The New York Mental Health Counselors Association (NYMHCA) is the professional membership organization that represents the mental health counseling profession in New York. The New York Mental Health Counselors Association (NYMHCA) is the professional membership organization that represents the mental health counseling profession in New York.

9 Qualifications of a Licensed Mental Health Counselor

10 A Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York has met or exceeded the following professional qualifications: A Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York has met or exceeded the following professional qualifications:  Earned a master’s degree of at least 60 credits in counseling or a closely related field;

11  Completed a minimum of 3,000 hours of post-master’s clinical work under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional; and  Passed a licensure examination.

12 Where do Mental Health Counselors practice?

13 In a variety of settings, including independent practice, community agencies, managed behavioral health care organizations, integrated delivery systems, employee assistance programs, and substance abuse treatment centers. In a variety of settings, including independent practice, community agencies, managed behavioral health care organizations, integrated delivery systems, employee assistance programs, and substance abuse treatment centers.

14 Mental Health Counselors are highly skilled professionals who provide a full range of services including:

15 1. Assessment and evaluation 2. Psychotherapy 3. Treatment of individuals, couple, families, and groups 4. Treatment planning and utilization review 5. Helping clients to identify goals and solutions to problems

16 6. Brief and solution-focused therapy 7. Alcoholism and substance abuse treatment 8. Crisis management 9. Psycho-education 10. Supervising counseling interns and graduates of counseling programs to develop skills necessary to practice as a mental health counselor.

17 11. Engaging in program development, advocacy, research and program evaluation to improve mental health treatment and prevention crisis.

18 In today’s managed care environment, mental health counselors are uniquely qualified to meet the challenges of providing high quality care in a cost-effective manner.

19 Mental health counselors provide flexible, consumer-oriented therapy. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical problem solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution.

20 Scope of Practice

21 In New York State the scope of practice of mental health counseling is defined as: “a. the evaluation, assessment, amelioration, treatment modification, or adjustment to a disability, problem, or disorder of behavior, character, development emotion, personality or relationships by the use of verbal or behavioral methods with individuals, couples, families or groups in private practice, group, or organized settings; and “a. the evaluation, assessment, amelioration, treatment modification, or adjustment to a disability, problem, or disorder of behavior, character, development emotion, personality or relationships by the use of verbal or behavioral methods with individuals, couples, families or groups in private practice, group, or organized settings; and

22 b. the use of assessment instruments and mental health counseling and psychotherapy to identify, evaluate and treat dysfunctions and disorders for purposes of providing appropriate mental health counseling services” (Section 8402 of Article 163 of the Education Law). b. the use of assessment instruments and mental health counseling and psychotherapy to identify, evaluate and treat dysfunctions and disorders for purposes of providing appropriate mental health counseling services” (Section 8402 of Article 163 of the Education Law).

23 Counselor Preparation

24 Licensed mental health counselors have at least a 60 credit master’s degree (or its substantial equivalent) from an accredited college or university. Included in the curriculum, students must engage in a minimum one year- or 600 hours-of supervised internship in mental health counseling.

25 In addition, to be licensed, the applicant is required to satisfactorily complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised experience in the profession under the authority of a limited permit issued by the NYS Office of the Professions.

26 Authority to diagnose The biggest problem facing the profession of mental health counseling in New York is the misinterpretation of our scope of practice. Even though our education provides us with the theoretical framework for diagnosis, our internships provide training in diagnosis, and our licensure examination specifically evaluates our capacity to diagnose, some have determined that because the specific word “diagnosis” is not found within our scope of practice, LMHCs may not diagnose. The biggest problem facing the profession of mental health counseling in New York is the misinterpretation of our scope of practice. Even though our education provides us with the theoretical framework for diagnosis, our internships provide training in diagnosis, and our licensure examination specifically evaluates our capacity to diagnose, some have determined that because the specific word “diagnosis” is not found within our scope of practice, LMHCs may not diagnose.

27 It should be noted that our scope of practice states that a LMHC may use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) to “identify, evaluate, and treat dysfunctions and disorders for purposes of providing appropriate mental health counseling services.” NYMHCA and its lobbyist see this as providing authority to diagnose and are working with the Office of Professions on this issue. It should be noted that our scope of practice states that a LMHC may use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) to “identify, evaluate, and treat dysfunctions and disorders for purposes of providing appropriate mental health counseling services.” NYMHCA and its lobbyist see this as providing authority to diagnose and are working with the Office of Professions on this issue.

28 The Licensure process: Step-by-Step

29 1. The Licensure process begins with your education. It is a relatively simple process if you graduate from a Master’s program approved by the State Education Department of New York, as leading to licensure. 2. Save all of your syllabi and other related course materials. Sometimes applicants find that SED challenges the title or content of certain courses.

30 3. Request and submit an application packet about 3 months before you graduate. Always make copies of everything you send to the SED! 4. Upon graduation have your transcripts immediately sent to the SED from your school or university. 5. Once your education has been approved you can look for a job and apply for a limited permit if the setting is not exempt from the licensure law.

31 6. The limited permit is a temporary license given to you for 2 years. If you have not completed your 3,000 hours in those two years you could receive two extensions of one year each. The clock starts on your 3,000 hours only when your limited permit has been issued! If you cannot complete your 3,000 hours before your limited permit of 2 years and your extensions of 1 year each run out, you can never be licensed to practice mental health counseling in New York State.

32 7. In addition to at least 1500 client hours, mental health counselors can count time used for phone calls to clients, record keeping, supervision, continuing education and any other time related to your work with clients. Your internship hours do NOT count towards the 3,000 hours. 8. Counselors should ask to see the agency’s operating certificate if they have a question about a work setting and the need for a limited permit. If you or your agency director are still unsure if a limited permit is needed, contact the Office of Professions.

33 9. The approval of your education also comes with a clearance to take the licensure exam. NYMHCA suggests that applicants not take the exam until they have accrued at least 2,000 hours of clinical experience. That gives you plenty of time to take the exam again before your limited permit runs out in the event you fail it. NYMHCA offers licensure examination preparation workshops that can help you take and pass the exam the first time. Information on the workshops can be found on our website. The pass-rate for the exam is about 75%.

34 Some of the many benefits of NYMHCA membership:

35 Public Policy and Legislative Efforts- the NYMHCA lobbyists at Hinman-Straub Advisors work very hard to protect and enhance our ability to practice our profession. Our lobbyists and NYMHCA leaders regularly meet with representatives of legislators and state agencies to resolve the lingering issues related to out licensure. Public Policy and Legislative Efforts- the NYMHCA lobbyists at Hinman-Straub Advisors work very hard to protect and enhance our ability to practice our profession. Our lobbyists and NYMHCA leaders regularly meet with representatives of legislators and state agencies to resolve the lingering issues related to out licensure.

36 The NYMHCA Quarterly Newsletter- provides members with vital information about licensure, NYMHCA events, chapter activities and opportunities for member involvement in the organization. The NYMHCA Quarterly Newsletter- provides members with vital information about licensure, NYMHCA events, chapter activities and opportunities for member involvement in the organization. Find-a-Counselor Directory- Hundreds of our members are listed on this directory open to the public. Find-a-Counselor Directory- Hundreds of our members are listed on this directory open to the public.

37 Find-a-Supervisor Directory- Allows those looking for clinical supervision to find professionals with the expertise they need to continue their clinical education. Find-a-Supervisor Directory- Allows those looking for clinical supervision to find professionals with the expertise they need to continue their clinical education. The NYMHCA Journal of Clinical Counseling- this online scholarly journal will provide mental health counselors with cutting edge research and practice information. The NYMHCA Journal of Clinical Counseling- this online scholarly journal will provide mental health counselors with cutting edge research and practice information.

38 Member Message Board- An open forum for NYMHCA members to share information and concerns. Member Message Board- An open forum for NYMHCA members to share information and concerns. Counselor Educator Newsletter- Sent at the beginning of each semester to counselor educators to keep informed of work being done on issues related to the education and licensure of mental health counselors. Counselor Educator Newsletter- Sent at the beginning of each semester to counselor educators to keep informed of work being done on issues related to the education and licensure of mental health counselors. Licensure Examination Preparation Workshops- help to prepare counselors to take and pass the licensure exam. Licensure Examination Preparation Workshops- help to prepare counselors to take and pass the licensure exam.

39 Regional NYMHCA Chapters- NYMHCA’s chapters provide networking, mentoring, advocacy, community activities, and continuing education programs. Regional NYMHCA Chapters- NYMHCA’s chapters provide networking, mentoring, advocacy, community activities, and continuing education programs. Website: NYMHCA.org Website: NYMHCA.org Biennial Convention in Albany! The next one is April nd,, Biennial Convention in Albany! The next one is April nd,, Please visit our website for additional information on the many services NYMHCA offers to its members. Please visit our website for additional information on the many services NYMHCA offers to its members.

40 NYMHCA’s 1200 members have a strong voice in Albany, but a stronger voice can accomplish more for our profession. Add your voice by joining NYMHCA today!

41 This presentation was designed by Ms. Amee Sinha, a graduate student at St. John’s University.


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