Did you know that sometimes people get it wrong? It happens... all the time. I was doing research on another pre-licensed topic and realized- I was out of the loop! I had a piece of information stuck in my head that was no longer accurate. Thankfully nobody had asked me this particular question in awhile, but it could've happened and I would have probably confidently answered the question- and I would've been wrong.
Wherever you are in your licensing process- whether you are supervising others, or just starting your path as a student, I want to share with you some tips to stay on top of the most accurate information.
Tip #1: Get to know your state board website
Each state in the United States, yes all 50 of them have at least one website where they share the laws and regulations that relate to mental health providers. If you live in one state and are going to school in another. Or, if you are going to school in one state and plan to relocate to another- I recommend you get to know BOTH websites. Bookmark those babies. And, if there is an option- like in California- to have updates emailed to you- subscribe to it.
Tip #2: Read the updates
I know it can be overwhelming to navigate these websites. Many of them aren't user friendly. Even if they are user friendly- these websites are extensions of legislation. And, let's face it, legislation or laws are not known for being streamlined and succinct. This is your career, swallow that bitter pill and start reading these laws and FAQs, send in questions and start getting really informed. Don't rely on supervisors, or even your professional organization to tell you exactly what needs to happen.
Tip #3: Keep your records
Have a spot where you keep track of the changes and shifts. You don't have to be perfect, but have a clear spot to look for the information you need. While you are at it- be sure to keep your syllabus, hours collection, and university catalog handy in that same spot. If you ever plan to move from one state to another- you might be surprised at what data you will need to provide!
So, are you wondering what update I missed? In California, as of January 2013- you can gain hours of credit for workshops, and trainings- with your supervisor's approval in a week where you didn't get supervision. Not a huge change for sure. But this change makes SO much more sense! It always felt odd to me as a supervisor. If I send my intern or trainee to a week long training they can't count it because I wasn't there with them?
Anyways- share your tips for staying up to date with the laws and changes in your state in the comments below!