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Your Professional Accomplishments Deserve Recognition

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.
Today, individuals and insurance providers are seeking qualified clinical mental health counselors with cutting-edge training and clinical abilities. Earning the AMHCA Diplomate designation will enhance your stature as a clinical mental health counselor.

April 30, 2013, is the submission deadline for the next cycle of application review.
You may already have completed all of the requirements to qualify for this highest level of professional recognition. To achieve the DCMHS credential, you must demonstrate both:

  1. Advanced clinical counseling proficiency beyond the level of full state licensing that is substantiated through documented certification and experience, and
  2. 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 is accepting online applications from counselors who wish to qualify for the AMHCA Diplomate and Clinical Mental Health Specialist.

AMHCA Western Region Director Resigns

Steven Tierney, EdD, LMHC, CAS, resigned from AMHCA’s board of directors on Feb. 7. He was elected Western Region director in the spring of 2011 and his term began in July 2011. Tierney is professor of Counseling Psychology and chair of the Community Mental Health program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Tierney will submit his final written report to the March board meeting, at which the board will decide how to fill the position through the remainder of Tierney’s term, which ends June 2014. 

Society Wrestles With How to Identify Mass Killers Before They Act

Following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, Washington Post reporter David Brown asks, “If some of the mentally ill are dangerous, can they be found?” Meaning can they be reliably identified and persuaded not to act. 

His Jan. 4 article summarizes the research on the link between mental illness and violence (“People with severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and some personality disorders, are more likely to commit violent acts than others. But the risk is small. … although the risk rises sharply among those who abuse drugs and alcohol”). 

Brown’s article also mentions two studies of research in this area: the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study from the 1990s and the 2001 National Institutes of Health study on mental health and behavior. 

The MacArthur study describes and characterizes the prevalence of community violence in a 1,136 sample of people recently discharged from acute psychiatric facilities at three sites. The NIH study of nearly 35,000 people was designed to clarify “whether or how severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression lead to violent behavior.”

More recent questionnaires and protocols based on evaluating risk factors and protective factors that can incline an individual toward or away from becoming violent all include “the presence of a mental disorder as only a small contributor to risk, outweighed by such other factors as age, previous violent acts, alcohol use, impulsivity, gang membership, and lack of family support,” Brown writes. 

His article goes on to summarize the efforts to test the reliability of the findings and to plumb the line between the need to protect the public and the rights of individuals. The article appears on page A1 of the Jan. 4, 2013,Washington Post.

Money and Research Won’t Prevent More Mass Killings, Seligman Says

Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD, a former president of the American Psychological Association and a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania who is known for his work on learned helplessness and optimism, writes:

“I have spent most of my life working with mental illness. I have been president of the world’s largest association of mental-illness workers, and I am all for more funding for mental-health care and research—but not in the vain hope that will curb violence. …

“There is zero promise that any developments I am aware of will help curb the violence that mentally ill persons commit. … 

“Crazy people and evil people can commit mass murder, and they always do it with guns. Our society’s only real leverage, at least in the near term, lies in reducing access to guns. …High taxes on guns and strong restrictions on their availability are the only realistic hope for avoiding many more Sandy Hooks.”

Source: Jan. 4, 2013, editorial in the Washington Post, page A15.

For a New Job or a New Employee, Turn to AMHCA’s Online Career Center

Whether you’re looking for a new position or ready to take the next step in your career, AMHCA’s Career Center can help you find the opportunity that’s right for you.

  • Job Search and Job Alerts: Search by keyword, zip code or state, discipline, education, and more. Job Alerts will email you when jobs are posted that match your search.

  • Career Learning Center: Our Learning Management System will help you further your training with customized learning content.

  • Career Tips: Search by career stages or services you need using keywords or phrases.

Plus, you’ll also find information on professional resume writing, career coaching, social networking/profile development, and reference checking/employment verification.

To reach qualified candidates quickly and easily, target your recruiting by using AMHCA’s Career Center. Simply complete the online registration form and start posting jobs right away!

Use the AMHCA Career Center to recruit new staff for your organization in clinical, administrative, and executive positions. Draw from the best mental health counseling candidate pool across the country.

A 30-day posting in AMHCA’s Career Center costs just $195, or post to all participating partner sites for $350. You may also view the resumes of those who are currently searching for positions in clinical mental health counseling


Jane Pauley Talks About the Stigma of Mental Illness

Veteran broadcaster Jane Pauley, perhaps best known for her former roles as anchor of NBC’s “Today” and “Dateline,” developed hypomania after being treated for hives with medication that was known to affect mood.

“Every time I hear the word ‘stigma,’ I remember I’m supposed to feel ashamed or guilty,” Pauley said. “When I interviewed Michael J. Fox about Parkinson’s, he didn’t feel ashamed or guilty. 
“When my mother had cancer, one didn’t talk about it; there was an incredible stigma around it. Betty Ford changed that. 

“If a word makes me feel bad as a patient, why do we keep using it? We can fight attitudes with knowledge and hope.

“We have a new understanding of the brain; even civilians have a new vocabulary—we understand what might happen when there is a chemical or electric switch that malfunctions in a rather complicated set of working parts. Once you think about it like that, you can’t hold on to outdated stereotypes.”

Source: June 13, 2012, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, Minn.