The following notes highlight discussion and action from
the March 13-14, 2015,
CAMFT Board of Directors meeting in Washington, DC.
(Note: Prior to the Board meeting, the Board spent two full days on Capitol
Hill lobbying key California legislators about including LMFTs as Medicare
and removing the barrier to employment of LMFTs by the Department of Veterans
Front row: Guillermo Alvarez, Antonia Bouyer, Leah Flagg-Wilson, Barbara
Griswold, and Patrica Ravitz; Back row: Laura Strom, Larry Langford, Bob
Perlmutter, Chris Trailer,
Jodi Baldel, and Jurgen Braungardt
The Board received reports from the following Committees: Executive, Honors,
Ethics, Political Action, Nominating, Continuing Education Provider Approval
Committee, Clinical Editorial Committee, Public Outreach Committee, Annual
Conference and Continuing Education, and Crisis Response Education and Resource
Committee. The Board also received reports from the Educational Foundation,
Leadership Advisory Council, CAMFT Connects Task Force, Bylaw Report Task
Force, and the Chapter Advisory Council.
The Board reviewed and accepted a report from the Ethics Committee regarding
a member proposal to amend the CAMFT Code of Ethics to include provisions that
the practice of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) be declared unethical.
The Ethics Committee concluded that it, like every other major mental health
organization, found no basis for a per se ethical ban on the object or goal
of therapy. The Committee did agree that that it is unethical for a therapist
to conduct therapy with a predetermination that a particular outcome was required
(an a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual orientation).
The Board directed staff to create a proposed policy for the Board to review
in June, 2015, that prohibits referencing SOCE and/or reparative therapy in
advertising in CAMFT publications, including CounselingCalifornia.com. The
Board intends to get member input once the policy is drafted.
The Board approved the following members to serve on the inaugural Insuranceand Healthcare Reform Committee through May 31, 2016: Gerald Anderson, Barbara
Griswold, Ernest Isaacs, Stuart Kaplowitz, Steve Kassel, Vida Makowski, Jennifer
Perkins, and Karen Ziccardi.
The Board approved the creation of a Legislative Committee with a purpose of
analyzing legislative proposals for possible CAMFT sponsorship and making recommendations
to the Board. The Committee will also review state and federal bills as they
arise and will make recommendations. A call for nominees with prior experience
with local, state or federal politics or legislative advocacy will be sent
to the members in coming weeks.
After extended discussion the Board was not able to agree on a statement about
the bylaws. The Board agreed not to pursue this issue.
The Board acknowledged the Elections Committee results of the 2015-2016 Board
President-Elect: Patricia Ravitz, LMFT
Secretary: Bob Casanova, LMFT
Director-At-Large: Liz Birch, LMFT
Director-At-Large: Jonathan Flier, LMFT
Director-At-Large: James Guay, LMFT
Pre-Licensed Director-At-Large: Mark Perlmutter, MFT Registered Intern
Policies and Procedures
The Board adopted a Policy on Member Engagement, a Policy on Posting Policies
on the CAMFT Website, a Policy on CAMFT Board Members at Chapter Events,
and a Policy on Considering Members for Non-Presidential Vacancies on the
Board. The Board also revised and rescinded a number of existing policies
that were out of date or no longer relevant.
Chapter leaders will be able to make comments on the final proposed Chapter
Agreement until April 30, 2015, via email to Jill Epstein.
The Board clarified that the intent of the current $500 stipend per chapter
for proof of commercial liability insurance with CAMFT as an additional insured
replaced the 2013 decision to offer $1000 stipend to Chapters who sign the
Chapter Agreement to assist Chapter with coming into compliance with the agreement.
Executive Director Goals
The Board went into closed session to discuss personnel issues and to set goals
for the Executive Director for her current contract period.
The CAMFT website launched on February 23, 2015. Testing for a new CounselingCalifornia.com
is beginning and that site will launch in coming months.
Liz Bautista, Member Service Representative, resigned effective March 20 to
pursue a new career opportunity.
The Finance Committee and the Board accepted the February, 2015 financial reports.
Total net assets as of February 28, 2015 were just over $7.8 million. The
Board also reviewed the 2014 audit report, which indicated that the financial
statements fairly presented, in all material respects, the financial positions
and no material concerns were noted.
The Board was updated on the status of the BBS Supervision Committee and the
BBS Board meeting. Members were encouraged to participate in the BBS Supervision
Committee meetings as the Committee is discussing sweeping changes supervision
ratios, possible recognition of triadic supervision, and continuing education
for supervisors. BBS calendar of meetings.
The two CAMFT legislative priorities identified by the Board in December, 2014,
have been introduced as bills. AB 250 (Obernolte) clarifies that MFT trainees
are included in the Business and Professions Code as appropriate telehealth
providers. AB 690 (Wood) would include LMFTs as health care professionals
eligible for reimbursement under MediCal for services provided at Federally
Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).
The Board also discussed other bills of interest. SB 128 (Wolk) is the “End
of Life Option Act,” which covers physician-assisted suicide. The Board
directed staff to survey members about this bill and the desire for CAMFT involvement.
SB 620 (Block) is the BBS bill that streamlines the experience requirements
for LMFT and LPCC applicants by removing most of the “buckets.” While
some aspects of the bill were troubling to some Board members, the benefits
ultimately outweighed the concerns. The bill provides enhanced value to the
license and removes the BBS’ administrative challenges of evaluating
the complex assortment of minimum and maximum hours for different types of
experience. This will allow interns to proceed to their examinations more expeditiously.
CAMFT will be producing an article that provides details and an analysis about
the bill. The Board recommended that pre-licensees who are concerned about
specific provisions of the bill should contact the BBS directly, as the BBS
is the sponsor of the legislation.
AB 832 (Garcia) is a bill that would provide the same reporting requirements
to oral copulations and sodomy as is applied to sexual intercourse. The Board
directed staff to survey members on issues surrounding this bill as well.
The Board reviewed input from various stakeholders and discussed the pending
lawsuit against the Attorney General for Declaratory and Injunctive relief
regarding AB 1775 (Melendez), which went into effect in January, 2015. The
bill added “knowingly downloads, streams, accesses through any electronic
or digital media” a child engaged in an act of obscene sexual conduct
as a mandated report under CANRA. The Board directed staff to develop an educational
piece on the law and took no further action.
Texas Medical Association v. Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and
Family Therapists and the Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
In September 2008, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) filed a lawsuit against
the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists (the Board)
challenging two Board rules defining MFTs' scope of practice. The Texas Association
for Marriage and Family Therapy (TAMFT) joined the lawsuit in 2009. One rule
allows MFTs to make a diagnostic assessment using the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM), and the other rule allows MFTs to base services
on a diagnosis of a client. In January 2009, with assistance from AAMFT, the
TAMFT intervened as a party in this lawsuit in order to help defend these two
A district court judge upheld the rule that allows LMFTs to base services on
a diagnosis, but struck down the rule that allowed LMFTs to make diagnostic
assessments using the DSM. This decision was appealed to the Texas Court of
Appeals, Third District, in Austin.
In November, 2014, a majority of the judges on this Court of Appeals panel
issued a decision that upheld the Travis County district judge’s prior
decision. In March, 2014, the Court of Appeals denied the request for a re-hearing
en banc. The case will now be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.
CAMFT has prepared an amicus brief in support of the defendants. If the lower
court decision stands and LMFTs in Texas lose the right to make diagnostic
assessments using the DSM, opponents of LMFTs in California could use this
decision to argue to our own legislature or state agencies that, since the
Texas courts state that LMFTs cannot make diagnostic assessments, this should
not be allowed for LMFTs in California. While this is unlikely to happen in
California, given the long history of the MFT license and the number of LMFTS
in California, it is not outside the realm of possibility.
The bigger issue for CAMFT is the implication of other LMFTs around the country
losing the right to make diagnostic assessments using the DSM and how this
could weaken the LMFT license in the eyes of federal legislators and agencies.
While the court decision did not question the competence of LMFTs to diagnose
or use the DSM, this distinction will be lost on most legislators and others
who will only have a superficial understanding of the issue. This would greatly
hinder LMFT efforts to be included as Medicare and VA providers.
2015 Scholarship and Honors Recipients
The Board ratified the Educational Foundation’s selections for the 2015
CAMFT Educational Foundation Scholarship: Sarah Dardick
Clinton E. Phillips Scholarship: Stacia Stamas
Ronald D. Lunceford Scholarship: Owonda Allu Epiphany
CAMFT Educational Foundation Grant: Rajani Venkatraman Levis, LMFT
The Board approved the following recipients for the 2015 Honors Awards:
Mary Riemersma Distinguished Clinical Member Award: Kathy Langsam, LMFT
School and Agency Award: Alternative Family Services
Next Board Meeting
The next Board meeting will be held June 6-7, 2015 in San Diego, CA. For more
details, please visit the CAMFT website.