Dr. Ronnie Zuessman, President

PRESIDENT, Virginia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

drzuessman-picture-4611

Dr. Ronnie Zuessman, PhD  LCP  LMFT  LPC

DrZuessman@gmail.com

mobile  (347)  267  3170

PO Box 4523, Fairfax VA 22038

www.DrZuessman.com

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As a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor in AAMFT since the early 1980s, my interest is in promoting the availability of systemically informed psychotherapy to the many individuals, couples and families who have the need for quality professional services.

I have an extensive background in public service and private practice, and in graduate teaching and clinical supervision.  Licensed in Virginia as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Professional Counselor, I have an appreciation of the disciplines, the preparation of practitioners, and how each may serve the people who reach out for assistance with the difficulties or problems they are experiencing.

Today, some of the stigma for seeking mental health (or what is now called behavioral health) services has diminished.  However, because of a system of insurance payment that relies and narrowly focuses upon a diagnosis of mental disorder located within one individual, practitioners with lesser preparation than Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists often miss the dynamics of the relationship or family system that are contributing to the ‘problem’ seen in the person suffering with symptoms.  By entering therapy with a LMFT there is enhanced opportunity to address those dynamics and to seek resolution.

This new era is calling upon LMFTs to maintain a balance between the needs of people presenting as our clients, understandings of systemically oriented theories, research informed practice, and the pressures of the contemporary health care system and pop culture expectations.  Our foremost concern is the welfare of our clients, and bringing to them excellent, ethical clinical practice, taking into account the client’s unique experience, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, identity and history.

Working alongside other members of the VAMFT board and the general membership, we are helping people who need the services of LMFTs by:  enhancing the profile of marriage and family therapy, improving the accessibility and quality of advanced professional education, and engaging in appropriate advocacy.

It is my hope that people seeking services come to LMFTs with a sense of confidence in their therapist.  The scope of my professional experience is indicative of the types of concerns LMFTs can address.

My experience includes working in:  community mental health, inpatient psychiatry, substance abuse treatment services, child and family services, disability services, public schools, correctional services, forensic services, residential services, not-for-profit agencies, and employee assistance services.  Some of the areas with which I have been clinically involved include child protection, domestic violence, sexual abuse, human resource management, civil commitment, court assessment and expert testimony, personality assessment, diagnostic reporting, and risk assessment.  I provide individual, couple, family, and group psychotherapy.  As an ASSECT Certified Sex Therapist, I also work in the areas of sexual identity, orientation, dysfunction, paraphilia, abuse survivorship, and harassment.  I have clinically supervised practicing LMFTs and graduate students.  I have also clinically supervised practitioners and students from other disciplines.  I have taught graduate courses at many universities and currently serve as adjunct faculty at George Mason University, and affiliate faculty at Union Institute and University.

Many LMFTs have a rich clinical experience and are prepared to help individuals, couples and families who have the need for quality professional services.

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How do I register my supervision?

Applicants for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia register their supervision on the Application Packet for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) by Examination or Application Packet for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) by Endorsement.  Both applications can be found in the Marriage and Family Therapist section on the Forms & Applications page of the BOC here.

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How do I become an approved supervisor?

For complete information on becoming an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, please click here.  Becoming an AAMFT Approved Supervisor meets all of the requirements to be approved by the BOC to provide MFT supervision to MFT Residents in Virginia.

In order to become a BOC approved supervisor you must:

“1. Hold an active, unrestricted license as a marriage and family     therapist or professional counselor in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided;

  1. Document two years post-licensure marriage and family therapy experience; and
  2. Have received professional training in supervision, consisting of three credit hours or 4.0 quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-50-96.”

The application form to become a BOC approved supervisor is available here.

 

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How do I find an approved supervisor?

To find an AAMFT Approved Supervisor please click here.

To find a BOC approved supervisor please click here.

 

Coming soon: To find a list of VAMFT/AAMFT Clinical Fellows in Virginia who are available to provide supervision to Residents in MFT in Virginia please click here.

Are there other requirements for becoming approved as a supervisor?

Supervisors must not enter supervision with a supervisee with whom they have a relationship that could compromise their objectivity.  Some examples would include family members, former or present clients, and people with whom one has a romantic relationship, to name a few.

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What license must a supervisor hold?

At least 100 of the 200 required supervisory hours must be provided by an LMFT.  The remaining supervisory hours may be provided by an LPC with the qualifications referenced below.

The recently revised Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (8-24-2016) state that the MFT residency supervisor must:

“1. Hold an active, unrestricted license as a marriage and family therapist or professional counselor in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided;

2. Document two years post-licensure marriage and family therapy experience; and

3. Have received professional training in supervision, consisting of three credit hours or 4.0 quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-50-96. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist. Supervisors who are clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, or psychiatrists and have been approved to provide supervision may continue to do so until August 24, 2017.”

Residents in MFT whose supervisory contracts with a clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, or psychiatrist were approved prior to August 24, 2016 and do not compete their residency or supervisory hours prior to August 2017 will be required to have a new supervisory contract approved by the BOC with a BOC approved LMFT/LPC supervisor in order to complete their residency requirements.

VAMFT strongly recommends that as much as possible your MFT residency supervisor be a Clinical Fellow of AAMFT and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.  AAMFT Approved Supervisors must meet much more stringent requirements that those required by the BOC (a 30 hour course in MFT supervision, 180 supervised hours of MFT residents, and a minimum of 36 hours of supervision of their supervision of MFT candidates).

You can find a partial listing of AAMFT Approved Supervisors in Virginia who are available to provide supervision, AAMFT Clinical Fellows who are candidates to be AAMFT Approved Supervisors, and AAMFT Clinical Fellows who are approved as MFT supervisors by the BOC linked here in the near future.

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Must all face-to-face supervision be one-on-one with the supervisor, or can I count group supervision hours?

No more than 100 hours of the supervision may be acquired through group supervision, with the group consisting of no more than six residents. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.

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