AAMFT and You - Better Together. Protecting Your Right to Practice.
AAMFT has made great strides in claiming a place for marriage and family therapists in the behavioral healthcare market. Those gains, however, are being challenged. In Texas, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) is challenging MFTs’ ability to diagnose. In North Dakota, a third party vendor is denying MFTs the opportunity to provide individual psychotherapy, and in Louisiana, the Attorney General made claims that MFTs are not qualified to diagnose.
These threats are real and pose severe challenges to MFTs and their ability to practice. AAMFT is asking you to help in defending against those striking out against our profession by making a contribution to the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund.
AAMFT, members, and marriage and family therapists continue to make
great strides in gaining mainstream acceptance. Marriage and family
therapists are gaining increased recognition in the global marketplace
(Best Jobs in America, CNN,
http://www.money.cnn.com/pf/best-jobs/2012/snapshots/42.html) and in
recent years, AAMFT and members have appeared in numerous media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Brides Magazine, and the New York Times.
However, imagine a potential client learns about the benefits of marriage and family
therapy through an article and seeks your
services--only to discover that as an MFT, you can no longer practice
independently and they must seek services elsewhere. You lose the
opportunity to help a client in need not because of your qualifications,
but because a licensing board, possibly with no MFTs, has taken away
your right to practice independently.
With success comes perceived threat. While we can enjoy the success
of increased recognition, others perceive this success as a threat to
their scope of practice, livelihood, and position in the behavioral
healthcare market. Groups like TMA are taking very aggressive steps to
stop our momentum of success; the collective whole of AAMFT must remain
vigilant in protecting that for which we have long fought. We must
continue to knock down barriers to employment as we have with the VA,
become eligible for participation and payment among all third party
payers - including Medicare, and develop career opportunities on par with
other behavioral healthcare professions.
This fund will be used to help pay for items related to serious threats to the profession and for major initiatives, particularly concerning threats to the MFT scope of practice. It may also be utilized for opportunities to advance the practice and scope of practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between the AAMFT Political Action Committee (PAC) and the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund?
The AAMFT PAC is established by AAMFT to support candidates for federal elected office. The purpose of the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund is to fund work relating to serious threats to the profession or opportunities to advance the profession, such as legal and lobbying expenses. All AAMFT members, as well as non-members, can contribute to the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund.
Why can’t the AAMFT PAC pay for expenses associated with AAMFT Practice Protection Fund?
The AAMFT PAC is still active and will continue to make contributions to candidates for federal elected office. Federal law places many restrictions on the AAMFT PAC, including restrictions on the solicitation and use of contributions. AAMFT PAC funds legally must be used for activities relating to contributions to political candidates, and thus, cannot be used for activities that involve protecting MFTs’ scope-of-practice laws. The AAMFT PAC would be unable to continue supporting candidates for elected office if the PAC funds are used for other purposes.
Are contributions to the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund tax-deductible?
Payments to the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund may be deductible as a business expense. However, IRS regulations limit the deduction based on the association’s lobbying expenses. Contributions to the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund are not deductible as a charitable contribution for income tax purposes. Consult your tax adviser regarding issues with tax deductions.
How do I make my voluntary contribution to the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund?
To make a voluntary contribution to the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund at any time, click here. AAMFT dues renewal notices will also include a voluntary amount that members may contribute to the AAMFT Practice Protection Fund. Members are free to contribute additional amounts to the fund by simply changing the amount listed on your dues invoice.