INdiana Systemic Thinking

April 29, 2010

PLA Changes Notice Procedures

The Blogmeister was recently made aware the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA) was notifying current licensees of the need to renew their licenses via email.  While the PLA is to be congratulated for attempting to save money on postage (they used to mail the reminders), they apparently did not realize many people change email addresses over the two year license period.   End result…  some people did not receive the notice and their licenses expired.  As of the time of this post, they are allowing people to still renew their licenses, but there is an additional fifty dollar fee.  Some people are reporting they received a mailed notice of this policy change, while others are being caught unaware.  The Blogmeister’s advice?  Check your license status ASAP and renew if you are expired.

Spring presents at IAMFT Spring Conference

Janis Abrams Spring presented last Friday (April 23, 2010) at the IAMFT spring conference on the topic of forgiveness.  Spring, who is the author of “After the Affiair” and “How can I forgive you” presented her methods for helping patients work through forgiveness issues regardless of the perceived hurt.  Spring was an excellent speaker who gave a clear and concise lecture of her methods, lacing the talk with plenty of examples.  She also took many questions from the audience of about 120 participants, which included Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, and Mental Health Counselors.

March 16, 2008

25 Tips for Staying Married

The Evansville Courier-Press carried this article today.  As I read through them I was struck by how correct this writer is:

1. Always put her first — before work, friends, even basketball. Act as if she’s the best thing that ever happened to you, because we all know she is.

2. Keep no secrets. Pool your money. Allow nothing and no one to come between you.

3. Pick your fights with care. Play fair. Show some class. Hurtful words can be forgiven, but they’re hard to forget.

4. Fall in love again every day. Kiss her in taxis. Flirt with her at parties. Tell her she’s beautiful. Then tell her again.

5. Never miss an anniversary or a birthday or a chance to make a memory. Memories may not seem important now, but one day they’ll be gold.

6. Never give her a practical gift. If she really wants a Shop-Vac, let her pick it out herself.

7. Go to church together, and pray every day for each other and your marriage.

8. Pay your bills on time and make sure you each have a living will, a durable power of attorney and life insurance, lest, God forbid, you need them.

9. Love her parents as your own, but don’t ask them for money. Never criticize her family or friends. On her birthday, send flowers to her mother with a note saying, “Thank you for giving birth to the love of my life.”

10. Always listen to her heart. If you’re wrong, say you’re sorry; if you’re right, shut up.

11. Don’t half-tie the knot; plan to stay married forever.

12. Never go to bed mad; talk until you’re over it, or you forget why you were mad.

13. Laugh together a lot. If you can laugh at yourselves, you’ll have plenty to laugh about.

14. Never criticize, correct or interrupt her in public; try not to do it in private, either.

15. Remember that people are the least lovable when they are most in need of love.

16. Never fall for the myth of perfectionism; it’s a lie.

17. When you don’t like each other, remember that you love each other; pray for the “good days” to return and they will.

18. Tell the truth, only the truth, with great kindness.

19. Kiss at least 10 seconds a day, all at once or spread out.

20. Memorize all her favorite things and amaze her with how very well you know her.

21. Examine your relationship as often as you change the oil in your car; keep steering it on a path you both want it to go.

22. Be content with what you have materially, honest about where you are emotionally, and never stop growing spiritually.

23. Never raise your voice unless you’re on fire. Whisper when you argue.

24. Be both friends and lovers; in a blackout, light a candle, then make your own sparks.

25. Finally, be an interesting person, lead your own life. But always save your best for each other. In the end, you will know you were better together than you ever could’ve been apart.

Here’s to happily ever after.

February 9, 2008

Inside H.B. 1288: Certified Behavior Analysts

H.B. 1288 requires the state to establish the State Board of Behavior Analysts.  Behavior Analysis, as defined by the bill “means the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional and environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior through skill acquisition and the reduction of problematic behavior”.  It allows for two levels of Analysts, one requires a Bachelor’s degree, while the other requires a Master’s degree, although the degree can be in any area.  Both certifications require a test and supervised hours.  The requirements mimic the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, a non-profit Florida Corporation.

Background

This legislation was first requested at an Indiana Commission on Autism meeting.  Specifically, the commission was asked by Michelle Trivedi, “parent of an autistic child, for the commission to support legislation to be introduced in the 2008 session of the General Assembly that would require board certification for applied behavior analysts.”  The commission heard from Ms. Trivedi, but had many significant questions and did not recommend the legislation be pursued in it’s final report.  However, Rep. Vanessa Summers and Rep. Phil Hinkle, both commission members, introduced the legislation in the 2008 session.

Legislative Progress

Upon introduction, the legislation became very controversial for several reasons.  First, it did not exempt any professionals currently licensed to practice medicine, psychology, mental health counseling, social work, and marriage and family therapy.  Because the definition of what behavior analysis is, it would require all of those professions to become certified as behavior analysts to continue to practice with the licenses they already have.  Thankfully, the authors of the bill agreed to amend the bill to effectively state no-one could use the title Certified Behavior Analyst, unless they are certified.  With this amendment, the concerns of the already licensed professionals were satisfied and they did not oppose the bill in the house.  The bill passed the House last week and is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee.

February 5, 2008

IAMFT Announcement

For those who are members (or who would like to be, we’re not picky) of IAMFT, this just came through:

SAVE THE DATE

IAMFT REGIONAL MEETING & MENTORING DAY

Dear Region 2 IAMFT Members:

All are invited and encouraged to attend this year’s IAMFT Student Mentoring Day and Regional Get-Together so please mark your calendars now…

  • LOCATION:  Campus of IPFW in Fort Wayne, 2nd floor, Walb Student Union
  • DATE: Saturday, March 1, 2008
  • TIME:  10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon(coffee and snacks will be provided)

This event is co-sponsored by IAMFT and the Marriage and Family Therapy program at IPFW.  If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Linda Wark at (260) 481-6083; warkl@ipfw.edu  or Kurt Gregory (260) 432-2311 email:  kurtglmft@aboitecounseling.com

We’ll need to know if you plan to attend no later than February 25th.  Thank you and we’ll look forward to seeing you on March 1st!

Region 2 is basically the Northeast part of the state.  If you need to see if you are in the region, here is a map.

January 31, 2008

“Dr. Phil Show”: How’s That Working Out For You?

According to WTHR, Dr. Phillip McGraw “regrets” discussing his “visit” with pop singer Brittany Spears.  Here is the background:

Spears, 26, was hospitalized in Los Angeles after a child custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline resulted in an hours-long standoff with police January 3. Federline has sole physical and legal custody of their two sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1.

McGraw said he visited the pop singer as a family friend, and rejected critics who accused him of practicing psychology without a license.

This is what Dr. Phil has to say:

“I regret making the statement. It didn’t help. It didn’t work,” the syndicated TV psychologist said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“I did not go there to diagnose her. I did not go there to treat her,” said McGraw, who showed up at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on January 5 as Spears was about to be discharged.

McGraw said he retired his Texas license after 25 years of private practice because of the demands of his “Dr. Phil” daytime talk show.

The Spears family has accused McGraw of betraying their trust by making an “inappropriate” public statement about the singer’s hospitalization.

McGraw had told celebrity news TV shows that Spears was in “dire” need of medical and psychological help.

In an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday, McGraw said his public comments after visiting Spears were intended to prevent rumors and misinformation.

“I wanted to stop speculation about what may have gone on in there,” he said.

OK, whatever.  We all know he went there to get ratings for his pseudo-psychological show.  Anytime a person in the therapy, or psychological, field puts their needs in front of a person or family, in a professional situation, they act unethically.  Speaking of which, a formal complaint was filed in California over the incident.  The California Board of Psychology treats complaints as confidential, so we don’t know what will happen with this yet.  Interestingly, the complaint also alleges Dr. Phil violated Ms. Spears confidentiality rights under HIPA.  While the California complaint is a felony, the HIPA violation could result in federal charges.

January 29, 2008

Mental Health: Fourth Most Expensive Condition to Treat

Wow, I was really surprised when I read this today.  It’s a study estimating the top 10 most expensive health conditions.  It has the usual…heart conditions and cancer are numbers 1 and 3, respectively, but “Mental disorders, including depression”  came in at number 4 with an estimated cost of 56 billion.  I found that hard to believe because Therapists, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists don’t make anything near what a cardiologist or oncologist does.  Then I saw this:

The money paid for visits to doctor’s offices, clinics and emergency departments, hospital stays, home health care and prescription medicines [were included].

Okay, I get it now.  Most of the money in Mental Health care goes to hospitals, emergency departments and prescription medications.  This is due to the public perception they can handle any situation, or take a pill,  and do not seek help early.  When people figure out this strategy is usually ineffective, they usually end up in an emergency room or hospital, where the costs are astronomical.  This “solution” is vastly more expensive than outpatient therapy.  As an aside, most therapists, this one included, do not consider ER and hospital admissions treatment, but crisis management.  With those factors included, the numbers make sense.  If costs for “mental disorders including depression” are ever reduced, a correlating change in perception among the public would also have to occur.  In that regard, Mental Health is no different from any of the other conditions cited, where prevention and early detection is paramount to decreasing costs.

January 24, 2008

Black Marriage Amendment?

Not really, but I betcha that got your attention.  Now before you start sending the blogmeister hate mail, read this story over at the Indy Star.  Which makes more sense, the nonsense about the real marriage amendment currently going on over at the statehouse, or doing something to help a portion of our population that really, really needs it.  From the story:

About eight in 10 black children in Indiana are born to unwed parents — a start to life that sets them up for problems during adolescence and beyond, according to an Indiana Black Expo report.
Indiana’s black youths fare significantly worse than Hoosier youths in general across 18 indicators of well-being, such as graduation rates and poverty levels, and do worse than black youths in the U.S, according to the report being released Friday.
The explosion of births to unwed parents is driving many of the state’s social problems, such as increases in poverty and child abuse and the growing cost of public aid, said Bill Stanczykiewicz, president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute.
He added that the problem is not exclusive to any one race.
Indiana’s out-of-wedlock birthrate is at an all-time high, with unwed mothers accounting for nearly 40 percent of all births, he said. Nationally, about 36 percent of all births are to unwed mothers.

January 22, 2008

U.S. Abortion Rate Falls

Regardless of what side you fall on this issue, this has got to be good news.  From WTHR:

The number of abortions in the United States fell to 1.2 million in 2005, down 25 percent from the all-time high of 1.6 million in 1990 and dropping the abortion rate to its lowest level since 1974, according to report issued [last]Thursday.

January 15, 2008

CASA Rocks!

Yesterday’s South Bend Tribune carried this story about CASAs/GALs.  For those unaware, CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and GAL means Guardian Ad Litem.  These are legal terms for volunteers (generally) appointed to represent the interests of children in abuse, neglect, and domestic relations cases.  Most recently a GAL was in the news when she attempted to have TaJanay Bailey removed from her mother’s home against the wishes of the Department of Child Services.  TaJanay was allegedly killed by her mother the day of the hearing.

The Blogmeister has had the pleasure of serving on the board of Northeastern Indiana CASA for the last few years.  It’s a good not for profit organization totally devoted to the needs and representation of children in the court system.  Aside from a few paid staff to run the organization, it is completely staffed by volunteers and funded by private and United Way donations, as well as some funding from county courts.  As such, they are always looking for volunteers and other forms of support.

Check out the story, and if so moved, contact your local CASA/GAL office and inquire how you can help!

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