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News From AMHCA's CEO
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By W. Mark Hamilton, PhD
AMHCA Executive Director & CEO

Tragedy in Connecticut

Like the rest of the nation, our thoughts are with the victims of the shooting at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, and the famililes of those whose lives were taken.
Our thoughts are also with the medical and mental health professionals who are helping those affected by this tragedy. 

Refer to AMHCA’s news page for a list of resources related to coping with trauma and for talking to children about tragedy.

Your New Partner in Private Practice

I am pleased to announce a new member of the AMHCA professional support team. Deborah Legge, PhD, CRC, LMHC, who has many years of experience running a successful private practice, will contribute articles on topical issues for clinical mental health counselors, such as CPT code changes (see article in this issue), billing ‘out of network,’ putting your practice online, as well as HIPAA compliance in private practice.

Dr. Legge’s information will be provided to our members in a variety of formats, including Advocate articles, webcasts, and Facebook. You can meet her at the AMHCA Annual Conference Exhibit Hall in July in Washington, D.C.!

For more about the plans for the Annual Conference, see the article in this issue on the theme and keynote speakers, the conference ad, or AMHCA conference info.

Learn more about Dr. Legge in the article in this issue that introduces her to AMHCA members.

New Information Technology Opportunities

Early in the new year, we are making a webcast series on trauma available to members. The six-part streaming, video webcast series on trauma will be presented by nationally recognized experts and relevant to mental health professionals. 

In “21st-Century Trauma Treatment: Learn From the Masters,” AMHCA’s new webinar series in partnership with Psychotherapy Networker, seven of the field’s most accomplished trauma treatment experts share an in-depth exploration of what really works and how to apply it.
Register by Monday, Jan. 14 and save $25. Use coupon code “AMHCA25” at checkout. 

The webinar format is popular with AMHCA members because it allows them to watch at a time convenient to their schedules, and because members can earn CE credits through the webinars. 

During the fall, I hope you were able to take advantage of the webinars AMHCA offered related to professional development. One was a six-part series we offered in collaboration with Psychotherapy Networker on, “Is Mindfulness Enough?” The other was a webinar in mid-December on “What’s the Dual? The Ethical Implications of Multiple Relationships,” presented by Michael Kahn, LPC, JD, an AMHCA 2012 Annual Conference presenter.

The AMHCA Diplomate

AMHCA’s Diplomate and Clinical Mental Health Specialist (DCMHS) credential is the first recognition of both advanced practice and professional clinical expertise in clinical mental health counseling. It is clear that both the public and insurance providers are seeking qualified clinical mental health counselors with cutting-edge training and clinical abilities.

You may already qualify for the credential, which has two main requirements:
1.    Demonstrate advanced clinical counseling proficiency beyond the level of full state licensing that is substantiated through documented certification and experience.
2.    Also demonstrate expertise as a specialist in one or more of the following specializations:

  • Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Couples Counseling
  • Developmental Disability Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • Geriatric Counseling
  • Substance Abuse & Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Trauma Counseling
AMHCA Social Media

AMHCA members and those interested in the field of mental health counseling can now stay informed via Twitter.

AMHCA recently joined Twitter to provide yet another format to stay connected to our nearly 7,000 members and to share time-sensitive iPromotions. 

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects individuals to stories, ideas, opinions, and news on topics of interest to them. Of course, AMHCA continues to be visible on Facebook, where we see a steady increase in the number of posts.

Follow AMHCA at @AMHCA1, and access the page at

The AMHCA staff and I 
wish you very happy holidays 
and a Happy New Year!