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On the Road to Becoming a Successful Marriage and Family Therapist Paperback – August 18, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"This is the first book I recommend to pre-licensed MFTs to get through the licensing process with confidence and ease." --Milena Esherick, PsyD, MA in Counseling Psychology Program Director, The Wright Institute
"Read this book! But only if you are looking for the perfect road map to get through your MFT education and licensing process with the least amount of stress and the most amount of fun possible. It is a treasure of a handbook."
Top customer reviews
So here's why this book is so incredibly bad:
First, each chapter is literally only a few pages long, with large text and plenty of margins. In other words, there really isn't much advice given, and the advice is either very simplistic and obvious. She covers applying to school, getting in and making it through your coursework literally in just a few pages. What is that all about? There was no concrete advice on writing the essay or interview strategies or what to look for in your classes. The only decent advice I picked up was to make copies of all your paperwork when you are accumulating your hours toward licensing. In this regard, there was more information about licensing than actual classwork, albeit only slightly more.
Most of the book is made up of a workbook format, where she asks you some questions and gives you plenty of space to write in the answers. This is what takes up so much room in the book. Otherwise, the information in the book could be condensed to a 15 page ebook. In the chapter about what to do once you've got your license, all she does is say (and I'm paraphrasing) "Congratulations!... Now what do you want to do with your degree? Do you still want to be a therapist? If not, here's a list of other things you can do. You can be a: tv personality, a consultant, a writer, blah, blah". Do I really need to buy this book to read all of that? Yuck.
Most damning of all is that the author's information is often just incorrect and poorly researched. For example, she provides a list of websites to look for jobs. One of them is a website to find therapist jobs- the only problem is that it is for occupation, speech and physical therapists, not psychotherapists. Did the author actually go to these same websites that she is recommending? Obviously, she does not use them for her own personal use.
Overall, I really, really wanted to like this book because I was considering becoming an MFT and I needed some guidance. Unfortunately, all this book did was make me feel like I was ripped off. It was clearly written as a marketing tool for the author, and was done in a rushed and sloppy way at that.
Please, just stay away from this mess.
The author suggests reading the book once straight through, and then going back and using it as a reference. With 241 pages plus appendix, each chapter contains valuable tips to get one started on quite lengthy projects. This guide is especially helpful for those becoming licensed in California, and yet the author has been mindful to make the material useful for marriage and family therapist candidates in any State.
The process is broken down into "The Therapy Three" as follows, graduate school, getting the hours, and passing the exams. The bulk of the book is dedicated to becoming a licensed MFT. However, a good portion is devoted to becoming successful after licensure, mainly geared toward private practice. Suggestions are given regarding finding your niche, running your business, handling taxes, practice management, office space, branding yourself, marketing, and networking.
Chris does not pull any punches when laying out the path to licensure. For example, in the chapter, "Choosing the Best Fieldwork Site", she writes, "There are plenty of agencies looking for free help, and that's where you come in! That is right, I said free. Chances are, you will not get paid. If you are paid, it likely won't be much. This fact is important to note up front so that you can plan and budget."
The "tip boxes" sprinkled throughout the book are especially helpful. For example, in the chapter on supervision, a tip reads, "your supervisor's license must be active and in good standing for your hours to count toward licensure. Check with your state licensing board to verify the status of your supervisor's license. You can often verify licenses online, so check your state board's website." This is crucial information for interns and trainees.
The book also functions as a sort of workbook, with questions and space to write the answers. For example in the chapter "Seeing Clients", the author writes about getting prepared to see a client for the first time. Space is given to answer the following questions, "Mental Preparation. Thinking about my first clients, I feel:" and "I am most concerned about:". In the chapter "Your Practice Niche", there is room to jot notes about "populations with who I am interested in working" and "populations with whom I do not want to work" as well as "problems in which I am interested" and "problems in which I am not interested". After completing a few of these lists, one begins to discover their niche.
The chapters on practice management, marketing, and networking are useful to anyone in a private practice. In the Practice Management chapter, author gives a list of forms every therapist should have, as well as a list of websites featuring practice management systems. The chapter on marketing is full of useful tips, as well as websites with additional resources. The chapter on networking encourages the therapist to prepare a thirty second "elevator speech". I plan to keep this book as a reference to use for years to come in strengthening my private practice.