Reader Questions

Counselorssoapbox.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

A slight change in format and procedure here. In the past, I was calling this feature “Morning Questions” but there needed to be a change in my writing schedule if that book in my brain was ever going to get down on paper or electrons. So the main blog post will be going up in the early AM.

I thought about calling this feature short questions or brief answers but sometimes they will be brief and other times not so brief. I settled on the title “Reader Questions.” My goal is to provide useful information and commentary while avoiding filling your inbox with excessive posts. These Reader Question posts will probably be infrequent unless there get to be more questions. Henceforth when a question or comment comes in or someone uses a search term that needs an answer you will see a Readers Question post.

Advertisements

Ca. Professional Counselors – CALPCC and LPCC’s

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

October CALPCC board meeting.

This year California became the 50th state to License Professional Counselors. The official designation in California is “Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor” LPCC for short. Other states had some form of professional counselor’s licensure before California, so we are still finding our way as this profession matures and adapts to California.

CALPCC, a non-profit organization, is the statewide organization for this new profession. Last weekend was the annual “retreat” for CALPCC’s board of directors which I was able to attend.

CALPCC has seen fit to appoint me to that board to fill out an open board member term. I am excited about this opportunity.

Some short recaps of what we talked about are below. Remember that as a new board member these are my impressions and that I can’t speak officially for the board. So any sentiments expressed are purely my own. Here are some of the questions that came up.

1. Why are Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT’s or LMFT’s) becoming LPCC’s also?

At least 4 of the CALPCC board members, myself included, are also licensed as LMFT’s so there was some discussion of why LMFT’s might want to also become LPCC’s.

My belief is that there are things that each profession does that the other does not do and to best serve my clients I needed to be trained in both areas.

Most LMFT’s work with couples, families and sometimes children. Since I see some children, couples, and families I need to stay licensed, active and up to date in the LMFT field.

Much of my private practice is in individual counseling, particularly something I loosely call “men’s issues.”  LPCC’s are specially trained in things like career counseling and mediation. Sometimes this shades over into the area of life coaching. I approach these issues by trying to help clients solve problems that are causing social or occupational problems or interfering with having a happy life.

2. Why should someone join CALPCC?

Lots of counselors are already members of one or more professional therapist or counselor organizations. They asked why they should join another group.

My view is that if I was solely an LMFT I would need to belong to the one or two organizations in that field. Since I am also an LPCC I felt the need to join the organization that is specific to LPCC’s, which would be CALPCC. I chose to be a member of organizations in both fields and would recommend that to other people who are dually licensed.

3. What are the benefits of being a member of CALPCC?

CALPCC maintains a website. There is information on the website for anyone who is interested in the new Professional Clinical Counselor profession. There is also a member’s only area with additional information that is useful to LPCC’s that may not be of interest to non-counselors. Other professional associations also use this member’s only format for some of their website content to encourage those who use the resources to help pay the cost.

I recommend that if you are licensed or seeking licensure as an LPCC, you want to be a member of CALPCC and get access to the members-only content on the website.

4. Can LPCC’s bill Medi-Cal?

Not yet, but we believe this is coming and coming soon. At this point, there are only a few LPCC’s licensed in California. The last license number I heard was about LPC200. Those who are getting licensed now are people with previous other licenses who are getting a second license.

We were told that there is a huge pile of applications for the LPCC license that were mailed on the last day of 2011. BBS will be working on that pile for a while. By the time those licenses are completed and the BBS moves to issuing new licenses to people who did not have a previous license we hope that the Medi-Cal approval will be completed.

There are other federally funded programs in which LPCC’s are already being hired.

5. Can LPCC’s open a private practice and take private insurance?

Yes, they can. Who the insurance company place on their panel is up to each individual insurance company. I am on several panels and each one that I have looked at will take LPCC’s.

That does not mean that if you are newly licensed as an LPCC the insurance company will automatically add you.  Most insurance companies want to know they are sending their customers to someone who is reliable. They require providers to have a certain length of time in the profession before they add you to their panel. They also look to see if they have too many or too few counselors on their list for your area.

This is not insurance companies picking on the new LPCC profession. These rules have also been applied to existing LMFT’s and LCSW’s.

Most insurance companies I have looked at require you to have been licensed for 2 to 5 or even 6 years before they will consider you for their panel unless you have a particular skill they need on their list. So if you speak Russian and Swahili you may get on insurance panels sooner.

6. Should students join CALPCC now or wait till graduation?

I recommend that you join while still in school and read the members only updates while you are preparing for your exams. This keeps you up to date on the latest events and trainings in your field.

Also – the CALPCC student member price is VERY reasonable.

Consider that the really good counselors and therapists do not stop learning when they graduate. If you want to be the best possible therapist or counselor you can be, stay active and up to date in your field.

If you are a client or an out of California professional forgive the very California LPCC specific post. The last two weeks have been extra busy for me. Shortly I will return to my posts on recovery, resiliency and having a happy life.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Morning Question # 2 Does Methcathinone help you get big in the gym?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Bath salts.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

NO! No stimulant makes you big and strong, you just think you are.

Not even if you consider someone with anorexia to be overweight. Methcathinone is a stimulant just like Methamphetamine. Different chemical formula but similar results. The people who are telling you this are also pushing the “Jenny Crank” diet. Is losing your teeth your idea of weight loss? The only bulking out you do on powerful stimulants is from the scabs on your face. There is to my knowledge no safe and effective way to get big in the gym other than eating healthy and lots of appropriate exercises. The shortcuts that do work are not safe. The safe shortcuts don’t work.  Want to get big in the gym? Lift more weight, run more miles and eat a lot of health food.

Are people who go for counseling crazy?

New post over at counselorfresno.com “If I go for counseling does that mean I am crazy.” If you check it out feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

By David Joel Miller.

 

 

 

He slept in trash cans.

He slept in trash cans.

“Mental health care advocates hope the video of police beating the homeless man, who later died, will spark systemic reforms in the treatment of the mentally ill, even in this era of funding deficiencies.”

This story about Kelly Thomas and how he died is moving reading. If you haven’t heard about this yet check out the story by Scott Gold, Richard Winton and Abby Sewell of the Los Angeles Times.

Full text is at:

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-kelly-thomas-mental-20120509%2c0%2c4023045.story?utm_source=Join+Together+Daily&utm_campaign=61e7621ec3-JT_Daily_News_Senate_Opens&utm_medium=email

People are like them trees.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Tree

Tree.

“People are like them trees,” the old man said as he pointed out the window. I must have looked at him like he was crazy because he started to explain.

“Ain’t a one of them that grows straight up to the sky, not one! Some of them look straight from far off but when you get to looking right up close they everyone gots their scars.”

“They start off all looking straight; we stake them up nice and neat but sooner or later we takes the stakes off and then the tree has to grow on their own. People try to do that with their kids, stake them up, fence them round and keep them growing up on the straight. But eventually, the parents got to back off and let the kids grow on their own just like we do them trees.”

“Trees grow for a while and then they take off in one direction or other, eventually they end goin off this way or that and then they head back towards the light and grow a different way. Lots of twists and turns in direction we all have.” Had to agree with that one, not many people grow up and grow out in the same direction I thought. “We need to change direction from time to time just like them trees.”

“Sometimes them trees get pruned back, branches cut off. Life done pruned me some, recon it pruned you too” he said and gave me a glance. I had to agree my life had changed direction, been pruned a few times too. Some of that pruning hurts at the time even when it makes you grow straighter, I thought.

“Look at that one there,” he said, pointing to one large tree with a lot of branches going every which way. “He been reaching out for a long time trying to find the sun when all the time it is up there above him. We peoples look all around for happiness and don’t even know it is there like the sun for the taking long as we don’t keep grown after every which way thing.”

The longer I looked the more I could see how he was right. Trees have knots and scars just like us. But they keep on growing, growing towards the light. Trees like people grow up or we die.

“What kind of tree are you?” He asked. I said I didn’t know exactly, just one that kept changing direction looking for the light.

Never thought about it that way I said to the old man. Mind if I share the “people are like trees” idea with some other folks? “Go right ahead,” he said. “Can’t recall who told me.”

Ever since our talk, I have been thinking about the way my life keeps changing direction but keeps reaching for the sky. What will this tree of my life look like when it is done growing?

Say what do you think? What kind of tree are you?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

New Counseling Website

New Counseling and Therapy Website

The new website for my counseling practice http://counselorfresno.com/  launched yesterday. Honest. This is no Joke. That I got this up and running is truly amazing, me, that old guy, who used to think that a “computer” was that guy in accounting, has my own therapist website. Mostly it is about information for my clients in private practice here in Fresno California. There is a page of “Frequently Asked Questions” about counseling and therapy that some of you may want to look at. Shortly there will also be a page of suggested resources. So check it out and let me know what you think.

I would never have gotten it done had it not been for the experience of using WordPress to do this blog. Don’t panic though. The counselorssoapbox.com blog will continue also. That’s it then.