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Monday, August 03, 2009

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Great links. I was thrilled to hear about that girl standing up to her dad. Gives me hope for the future.

It is a constant issue here, where I live. The parents push and connive and milk connections, and it seems to get the kids places, except at what a spiritual and moral cost. It's like taking steroids instead of just working out and making the best of the body God gave you. Just because "everybody" does it, and because you are at a disadvantage if you don't, doesn't make it right. Sorry if I sound judgmental. Naturally, in weak moments, I often feel guilty that I am not a gazillionaire, and don't have the money or connections to give my kids a jump start on life, but I try to tell myself they are good, intelligent, loving, and grounded kids who have achieved all their awards on their own merits.

My rather long comment on "behavioral health specialists" which I posted at Cheryl Fuller's site (edited to correct the mistakes that I didn't catch before posting there):

"Have you considered that it is made up term preferred by mental health agencies because the job doesn't require licensure?

Thus clients are assigned a bachelor's level "Behavioral Health Specialist" (or sometimes an associate level one). If a masters level clinician is desperate enough to work for them they will often get a title such as "Behavioral Health Provider." In other states the phony title is "Clinical Liaison" or some other phony term that implies professional therapy but doesn't require the level of education or license that would normally be required. In none of this is the state license process respected or even taken account of. Agencies don't like answering to state boards when they often have a board of directors and stock holders demanding return on investment.

Clients are told that they have a "Behavioral Health Provider" and think "counselor." The state board is told that the majority of the work provided is case management with licensed counselors available if needed. The shareholders take home the federal and state funds intended to support community based mental health.

The proliferation of this term has almost nothing to do with behaviorism and almost everything to do with corporate agencies needing to pay as little as possible to glorified case managers who work at a level far above their training. They are often given monthly training sessions on writing treatment plans, documenting interventions and the basics of dialectical behavioral therapy which makes the whole thing even more dangerous as these BHS/BHPs leave their training sessions to go try it all unsupervised on their "clients."

I know all of this because in one state I was a Behavioral Health Specialist until I earned my masters, then becoming a clinical liaison and a behavioral health provider. And then in another state while working on my PsyD I have been called a Behavioral Health Provider and then a Mental Health Provider (a term I loved, because it sounded like I sold mental health.) In none of these cases did the agencies care about my relationship with the state licensing boards other than to ask me to give them copies of my counselor license for their files.

It is a scam. The whole scheme of independent mental health agencies that live off of federal and state Medicaid dollars is a scam and a waste of resources that helps few other than the stock holders of for-profit companies like ValueOptions and Magellan."

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