What is an Associate?
You might have heard that term a lot lately in trying to find a therapist and may have become confused. Associate Marriage and Family Therapists (AMFT) and Associate Social Workers (ASW) have their Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy or Social Work, along with clinical hours already under their belt, they are just waiting to complete 3,000 clinical hours and pass the licensing exam before they can drop “Associate” from their title.
Some great benefits of seeing an associate are:
- Cost savings – Associate rates are typically lower than Licensed Clinicians.
- You get someone who was educated more recently having studied recent theories in school. This means they are likely to have the most up-to-date knowledge on how to best treat and help support clients.
- Two great minds for the cost of one! Associates are required to participate in at least weekly supervision sessions with a well trained Clinical Supervisor. This means they are getting regular feedback and support from another trained clinician on how to best help you!
Some additional information about Associates:
Associates are required to have a minimum of 500-700 clinical counseling hours before they even graduate from college, and many AMFTs and ASWs have a couple thousand hours already when starting at a private practice! Associate’s need 3000+ hours before they can apply for licensure, either as Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
An Associate must be approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences to provide therapy and are required to have weekly supervision meetings. During the supervision training, they will review each case with their supervisor (either verbally or by showing video/audio of therapy sessions), gain education and training from their supervisor, and discuss the ethics and legal issues of being a therapist. Not only do Associates have weekly supervision meetings, they also are attending trainings and learning new techniques and modalities while they work. The great thing about working with an Associate is that you not only get help from that therapist, but your case is reviewed by their supervisor, essentially meaning that you are getting TWO great minds at the cost of one therapist. Leah Mitchell, LCSW is the supervisor here at Freedom Within Center.