Gifted Matters Training Program is for registered pre-licensed clinicians (MFTI’s and ASW’s). The goal of the training program is to develop top-quality, well-informed therapists who are knowledgeable in issues of giftedness and twice-exceptionality, and skilled in the treatment of those issues. The training program synergistically serves several ends. It allows Gifted Matters to offer individual therapy at a reduced rate, it provides training to pre-licensed clinicians, and it allows Gifted Matters to serve more clients.
If you are an MFT intern or an Associate Clinical Social Worker interested in training with Gifted Matters, please contact Mika to find out if there is an opening, and how to apply.
FAQs for clients
What is an MFT Intern?
An MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) Intern is a therapist who has completed a Master’s Degree in a related field (usually Counseling Psychology), which includes at least one year as a service provider in a trainee placement. Once the Master’s degree is accomplished, the intern must complete 3000 hours of supervised experience with clients. At the end of that 3000 hours, the intern takes the three examinations given by the state, and then receives their license to practice independently.
What is an ASW?
An ASW (Associate Clinical Social Worker) is a therapist who has completed a Master’s Degree in Social Work, which includes at least one year as a service provider in a trainee placement. Once the Master’s degree is achieved, the associate must complete 3200 hours of supervised experience with clients. At the end of that 3200 hours, the ASW takes the examinations given by the state, and then receives their license to practice independently.
How does Gifted Matters choose its Staff Therapists?
Gifted Matters Staff Therapists are generally either within the last 500 hours of their training, or preparing for or waiting for the results of their licensing examination. Occasionally, a pre-licensed clinician is invited to become a part of Gifted Matters prior to the “last 500” mark. Staff therapists are carefully chosen for their previous experience, both in their lives before entering their Master’s program, and the work experience doing therapy they have accumulated prior to coming to Gifted Matters. Of course, they need to be interested in working with gifted and twice-exceptional clients, as well. Staff Therapists don’t come to Gifted Matters to learn how to be a therapist, but rather to polish their skills and knowledge with the particular kind of clients we serve.
How many pre-licensed clincians work for Gifted Matters?
Legally and ethically, private practitioners are limited to three supervisees at a time. Mika also recognizes that supervising more than three at any given time might result in compromised quality or attention to detail. This is counter to the values and goals of the practice. There will never be a Gifted Matters training program that compromises the well-being of clients.
How are clients assigned to a counselor (licensed or intern)?
Mika, the Director of Gifted Matters, handles all initial screenings. During the first phone call, or during the first in-person meeting, she evaluates the type of problem the client wants help with, and determines who on the staff would be the best fit. Considerations include temperament of the client, particular expertise of the staff member, schedule, and caseload, among others. If there is more than one family member who needs to be seen, sometimes the family is served by more than one therapist (for example, when one staffer works with the child/ren and another with the parents).
I’m not sure I feel comfortable with someone not fully trained….how can this work for me?
Gifted Matters only hires staff therapists who have proven, successful track records with many, many clients. They come to Gifted Matters to receive advanced-level training, and they are closely supervised throughout the work they do. In fact, you may get the better deal out of it: sessions are less expensive with a pre-licensed clinician, and two people are involved in the case instead of just one. Supervisors and staff meet weekly to discuss cases, so clients will still have the benefit of Mika’s expertise, while also enjoying the added input of a second perspective.
What if I don’t like the staff member I’m assigned to?
Successful counseling is dependent on a comfortable working relationship between therapist and client. If you feel that things are not working out with your counselor, please bring it up in your sessions. Frequently, discussing any discomfort or hesitancy you may have with your counselor can give rise to a major breakthrough and a better outcome overall. However, if your counselor cannot make the adjustments necessary to make you comfortable, Gifted Matters will either assign a different counselor, or make a referral to an outside provider. Our goal is helping gifted and 2e folks to thrive, and if we can’t help you in-house, we will work to find someone who can.
How are the Staff Therapists supervised?
Staff therapists meet with Mika individually a minimum of 1-2 hours weekly. During that time, we consult on the cases they are seeing, and we go over any questions, as well as planning the treatment for the next few sessions. Occasionally the supervisor may observe, with prior arrangement with the client, a live session in the office. We also have the option, with the client’s permission, of video or audio taping actual sessions, so as to be able to review them together in supervision. These methods are the standard for supervising MFT’s and ASW’s throughout the state, and meet the requirements as laid out by the Board of Behavioral Science which regulates the profession.
Why do I pay Mika when a different staff member is my therapist?
The guidelines set out by the Board of Behavioral Sciences state that an MFTI or ASW cannot be in business for themselves, so all the staff therapists at Gifted Matters are employees, and fees are collected on behalf of the business, not the individual.
If I have a pre-licensed clinician as my therapist, does it mean they will leave and I will have to transition to a new therapist?
In addition to hiring only experienced, talented staff, Gifted Matters only takes on individuals who will be interested in long-term work with clients. Once a staff therapist becomes licensed, they have the option of continuing on as part of the practice, or of opening their own practice. In either case, the client gets to choose if they stay with the therapist they have been working with. We recognize that , having worked to form a bond with a particular therapist, it’s usually not the best thing to have to leave that therapist and start all over again with someone new.