Exceptional Therapists Have Integrity, Competence and Support
It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since we were sitting in a coffee shop discussing an email stating that registration was open for the 2018 AAMFT Ethics Competition. We knew this competition would sharpen our ability to critically evaluate complex ethical situations. We did not know that this competition would be such an incredible showcase of the support and excitement of AAMFT members everywhere. We were excited to learn that we had won first place in the Doctoral category, and were able to attend the 2018 AAMFT Annual Conference in Louisville, KY. We reflect now on our experience there.
Natira Mullet shares:
“As a clinician, and someone hoping to participate in training future clinicians, it was exhilarating to see the knowledge and support our field has to offer. Attendees were eager to engage in conversations about ethics and other topic areas. I remember feeling excited as I sat in one particular session where the audience began co-creating ideas for the intervention presented to treat couples after a TBI occurred utilizing Narrative Therapy. Members of the audience began exchanging insights and knowledge about their training and work with clients who have experienced a TBI. As the conversation evolved so did my ability to conceptualize cases such as the one presented. It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by so many seasoned therapists who have such a passion for marriage and family therapy. It was clear to me that our field is full of people who care about uplifting one another.”
As doctoral students who were about to transition from supervisees to supervisors, the 2018 AAMFT Ethics Competition gave us useful insight into being an AAMFT approved supervisor. It challenged us to assess, process, and take action as a supervisor would in a complex situation. This competition also allowed us to grow through the feedback and support provided by our faculty at Texas Tech University. Our ethical decision-making skills were sharpened by their unique perspectives and collective experiences. However, even after the competition was over, our growth and the support we received did not end.
Lindsey Hawkins shares:
"As I stood on the stage to accept the ethics award, I reflected on how incredible it was to be in a room filled with people who have dedicated their lives to helping and empowering others. The AAMFT conference is home, it is a place to develop clinical and research skills, it is a place to network with others, it is a place to rub shoulders with esteemed MFTs in the field, but more importantly, it is a place that reinforces that competence is a collective effort. It takes all of us to maintain integrity. Competing in the AAMFT ethics competition solidified all of these things and was our first opportunity to think like a supervisor instead of as a student clinician. Overall, this experience kickstarted our transition to becoming AAMFT supervisors.”
We would like to thank the Texas Tech University Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy Program faculty, for their unwavering support and encouragement throughout the entire competition; and for the valuable opportunity offered by the American Association for Marriage and Family.
Natira Mullet is a doctoral student at Texas Tech University in the department of Community, Family and Addiction Sciences emphasizing in Marriage and Family Therapy. She completed her associates of science at Garden City Community College in mathematics before receiving her bachelors of science from Kansas State University in psychology and pre-medicine. Natira completed her master’s of science in Couple and Family Therapy at Kansas State University. During that time, she also received two graduate certificates in Financial Therapy and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Currently, Natira is a graduate research assistant for Dr. Antover Tuliao in the Addictive, Disorders and Recovery Sciences Program. Her research interests include both qualitative and quantitative methods of examining trauma and substance use in minority populations. Natira has also completed clinical trainings in TF-CBT and EMDR.
Lindsey Hawkins is a doctoral student at Texas Tech University in the department of Community, Family, and Addiction Sciences with an emphasis in Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy. She completed her bachelors of science from Texas A&M University in psychology. Lindsey completed her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Abilene Christian University. Currently, Lindsey is a graduate part-time instructor in the CFAS department. Her research interests include both qualitative and quantitative methods to study how substance use, chronic illness, and mental health intersect with trauma, specifically sexual abuse. Lindsey has also received training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) specific to working with sexual abuse.