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Advocate: October 2009
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Connect With Abuse Victims Through an Existential/Systemic Engagement Model

By Nick T. Ogle, PhD, LAC, NCC, and Ryan L. Rana, PhD, LMFT, LPC Abuse is so prevalent that it is likely that the vast majority of clients seen in psychotherapeutic settings have unresolved trauma that may be contributing to whatever other issues brought them to mental health counseling. The existential/systemic engagement model is a wholeness-to-wholeness model for working with victims of abuse that focuses on creating an environment where individuals can move from therapeutic wholeness to existential wholeness by means of relationship. 
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One Signature Away From Nationwide LMHC Licensure
By Julie A. Clements, JD, Director, Legislative Affairs
The mental health counseling profession is just one signature away from achieving licensure in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. With the California Assembly’s passage of the licensure bill by a 70–5 vote on Sept. 8, followed by the California Senate’s passage of the bill by a 26–1 vote two days later, the only hurdle between California mental health counselors and state licensure is the signature of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
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AMHCA Members Push for Expanded Diversity Efforts
By Amy Simonds, LCPC, Chair, AMHCA Diversity Task Force
Nearly 1,000 members responded to AMHCA's June survey regarding AMHCA’s attention to diversity within AMHCA. Responses indicate that members feel AMHCA is addressing issues of diversity but could do more. In addition, many respondents indicated that increasing AMHCA’s attention to diversity and social justice would not negatively impact the organization, and in fact would make membership more valuable to them.
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Report of AMHCA's Executive Director and CEO
W. Mark Hamilton, PhD
Look for lots of new initiatives at AMHCA this fall. Beginning next month, the Advocate will be published electronically, our revamped website at will go live, and AMHCA is taking a newl approach to how we plan and execute our Annual Leadership Training and Annual Conference. Plan now to join us in Boston for AMHCA's 2010 Annual Conference. Also, please consider serving on AMHCA's board of directors. Nominations for president-elect, treasurer, and director-at-large close Nov. 2.
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Reflections: How Do I Get Out of This Place?
By Nancy Heller Moskowitz, LPC, NCC, CCMHC
Several movies and in recent years, TV shows, have popularized behavior typical of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Featured this month: the 1997 movie, "As Good as It Gets," and the ongoing TV series "Monk." The main characters in both are obsessive and compulsive and are portrayed well.
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A Model for Working Effectively WIth Abuse Victims
Nick T. Ogle, PhD, LAC, NCC, and Ryan L. Rana, PhD, LMFT, LPC
A bulleted list of the key points for using The Existential/Systemic Engagement Model to make deep connections with clients who are victims of abuse.
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Legislative Update: AMHCA Pushes VA for Implementation of LMHC/LMFT Provider Law
By Julie A. Clements, JD, Director, Legislative Affairs
AMHCA, through a meeting that the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee is holding in September with Assistant Secretary for Human Resources John U. Sepulveda, is asking Mr. Sepulveda to address the overdue implementation of P.L. 109–461, so that licensed mental health counselors can work within the VA on an equal footing with licensed social workers.
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Legislative Update: Support Medicare Reimbursement!
Contact your U.S. Senators and encourage them to support Medicare reimbursement of licensed mental health counselors by supporting Sen. Blanche Lincoln's so-called "D-3" amendment.
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AMHCA Remembers Sen. Kennedy, Champion of Mental Health Counselors
By Julie A. Clements, JD, Director, Legislative Affairs
With the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D–Mass.) on Aug. 25, AMHCA lost a tireless defender of the importance of mental healthcare. Kennedy was 77.
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AMHCA Begins 7th Year of Mental Health Awareness * Self-Help Books May Not Help People Who Need Them Most * Government Asked to Make Preventive Mental Healthcare a National Priority
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Chapter News: Florida and South Carolina
Chapter News: News From AMHCA's Florida and South Carolina state chapters
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Student Corner: Help Create a Strong Future for the AMHCA Graduate Student Committee
By Melissa Gelnette–Fabrizio Chair, AMHCA Graduate Student Committee (GSC), and
Past President, Utah Mental Health Counselors Association (UMHCA) GSC
AMHCA's Graduate Student Committee has set several goals for the 2009-2010 year. Subcommittees are forming now, and the GSC welcomes all students who would like to be involved in the national organization or their state chapter.
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Counseling Tips: What Is Wrong With Being You?
When we focus on negative perspectives of life, we put ourselves at the mercy of outside influences. When we are mad, depressed, or anxious, we are centering our attention on what is wrong. We become more reactive as we attempt to “jump through the hoops” that others seem to be holding up for us as we try to meet their expectations. The best way to resist taking on the task of fulfilling others’ unreasonable expectations is to develop a positive capacity to deal with life’s challenges.
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Risk Management: Home Visits
Michael Jackson’s death, and the investigation of several doctors, including one or more “concierge doctors,” raised the question of home visits for attorney Richard S. Leslie, JD, who describes himself as working “at the intersection of law and psychotherapy.” Leslie's Risk Management articles address ways that mental health counselors can avoid liability. The topic of this month’s department is home visits.
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