Meet our 2020 nominees

2020 AMFTRB Ballot Nominees’ Biographies

Member-At-Large

Lorraine Barry

Lorraine Barry, E.Ds., LMFT, LCADC, Board Chair of New Jersey

Why are you seeking a position on the AMFTRB Board and should you be elected, what do you hope to accomplish in this position?

  • I began attending annual meetings in 2017 and was in awe of the information, resources and scope of work AMFTRB does for our profession. The amount of information that I have brought back to my State Board has been invaluable.
  • I would like to work towards increasing our members’ ability to participate and attend our annual meeting so that our voices as a profession can have more opportunity to discuss the importance of portability and public protection.
  • To create increased dialogue on future trends and needs for our profession.

How can AMFTRB best support member boards during the next 5 years?

AMFTRB can continue to promote themselves as a resource of information for member States and to provide an annual conference that brings together the diversity of our members. Each State is shaped by their own regulatory landscape, but they are able to explore ideas and concepts that may work for them on a State level. AMFTRB’s decision to coordinate the annual meeting with CLEAR’s annual meeting over the past few years, has allowed additional exposure to resources and information on the regulatory level that also helps the member Boards.

What are the top (5) current regulatory issues faced by regulators?

  1. To enhance the ability of all interested parties within the state to work together to improve the pass rate for the AMFTRB exam.
  2. To develop regulations that allow for a reasonable balance in the use of technology and in-the­ room supervision, so that associate level MFTs have increased access to LMFT supervisors to preserve the uniqueness of our profession.
  3. Developing an RFP so that the Board can procure an essay-based assessment service for MFTs who have violated regulations. Remedial supervision can then be tailored to the particular behaviors and weaknesses of that licensee and hopefully be more successful.
  4. To eliminate unnecessary barriers to license portability. If a licensee has a full MFT clinical license in one state, then reciprocity or endorsement needs to be granted for practice in other states.
  5. To support a compact for MFTs that allows one multi-state license; similar to what is available for other professions. This allows MFTs to have no additional financial burden when needing to obtain several state licenses.

How are you currently leading in your profession?

I was appointed to the Board of Marriage & Family Examiners in 2014 and currently serve as the Chair. In 2019, I was part of the Angoff Panel Committee for AMFTRB as subject matter expert in Marital and Family Therapy; worked on the national Marital & Gamily therapy Exam for AMFTRB in conjunction with Professional Testing Corporation. Also, in 2019, I accompanied AAMFT lobbyists to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of congress to advocate for the inclusion of MFTs in Medicare. I have supervised associate level MFTs for over 10 years and have also been active in advocating for the use of telehealth as a method of delivery for both client services and supervision.

What are your greatest strengths/assets?

I am resourceful and flexible while also remaining focused on how to achieve the overall goal. have been in full time private practice for the past 22 years which has drawn on these skills. I also remain curious in both my personal and professional endeavors which spurs me to engage and collaborate, in order to keep learning.

List of Affiliations with related groups/organizations:

  1. NJ Board of Marriage & Family Examiners
  2. AAMFT, clinical member & approved supervisor
  3. NJAMFT-IA- clinical member
  4. NAADAC-The Association for Addiction Professionals, professional member
  5. APTPG-Association for Professionals Treating Problem Gambling, member
  6. NCPG-National Council on Problem Gambling, educational committee member 

Nadine T. Cepeda

Nadine T. Cepeda, M.A., LMFT, LMHC, LPC, Board Member-at-large of Guam

Why are you seeking a position on the AMFTRB Board and should you be elected, what do you hope to accomplish in this position?

 I am seeking a position on the AMFTRB Board, and should I be elected, I hope to accomplish three goals in this position. The first goal is to create and contribute a diverse and inclusive AMFTRB that will impart marriage and family therapy with multicultural perspectives. Secondly, strengthen and increase advocacy for marriage and family therapists as the foundation of our knowledge, action, and practice. Finally, to prepare and support marriage and family therapists for successful practice in technology-accelerated future.

How can AMFTRB best support member boards during the next 5 years?

In the next five years, the AMFTRB can best support member boards by addressing the changes in society that stem from the breakdown of family systems and adversities and to provide guidance and regulations that address national issues regarding telehealth, mobility and supervision. The Board needs to continue to work and learn from studies and to follow trends that impact the States and Territories.

What are the top (5) current regulatory issues faced by regulators?

  1. Telehealth-to develop regulations on service delivery aligned with national standards. General service delivery standards to ensure the confidentiality and quality of services provided are the same as face- to ­ face to individuals and families in need of behavioral health care.
  2. Mobility-licensure requirements should be transferable that will be accepted and honored in different States; this is to include not fully licensed individuals that were grandfathered into the system before the exam requirement.
  3. Anti-Regulatory Environment-ethical standards and sanctions to safeguard individuals in the community.
  4. Supervision experience and continuing education-a standard that is consistent for states and territories to supervise future therapists that know systems as a marriage and family therapist.
  5. National Exam-validity and reliability of the exam determines the standard of competency. The exam is reflective of systems and practices that are evidence-based and ethical.

How are you currently leading in your profession?

I am a member of the licensing board in Guam, representing Marriage and Family Therapists and mental health counselors for the past five years.  The board is currently updating the rules and regulations for all fourteen disciplines (e.g. psychologist, chiropractor, physician assistant, audiologist, licensed professional counselor, veterinarian, nutritionist) to meet the national standards. Last year, the ethics for all disciplines were signed into law by the governor, which was the first in Guam. We continue to update the policies reflective of the current trend. I am working on revising the current law regarding remote supervision. Currently, Guam law only allows face-to-face supervision. I am collaborating with the Association of Individual, Marriage and Family Therapists to address qualified supervisors.

What are your greatest strengths/assets?

My greatest strengths are maintaining honest relationships with stakeholders and collaborating with partners in the community. It is crucial to building capacity with limited resources as it relates to mental health issues in Guam. I am resourceful and resilient in overcoming challenges that, at times, result in complicated projects. I am eager to learn and actively participate in on-going training to keep up my skills to train others in Guam. I welcome feedback as it helps me grow as a person.

List of Affiliations with related groups/organizations:

  • Guam Board of Allied Health Examiners (2015-present) Secretary 2019-present, Treasurer
  • Guam Association of Individual, Marriage and Family Therapists, (2008-p, President 2012-1015
  • Vice President 2010-2015, Secretary 2009
  • Guam Psychological Association (2014-present), 2019, Secretary
  • Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence (2014-Present), Board Member, Vice Chair 2015-present
  • Protection and Advocacy for Individual with Mental Illness Program, (20 09-2015), Advisory Council Member

Treasurer

Scott Cohen

Scott Cohen, LMFT, LICSW, Massachusetts

Why are you seeking a position on the AMFTRB Board and should you be elected, what do you hope to accomplish in this position?

  1. I would like to continue to serve as Treasurer in order to make sure that our organization stays on the good financial ground it currently is.
  2.  We need to continue to fund innovative and crucial research to both protect the consumer as well as advance our understanding on how to regulate our profession.
  3. To better advance understanding of how to regulate our profession.

How can AMFTRB best support member boards during the next 5 years?

We can best support member boards by continuing to communicate and issue recommendations on telehealth, discipline standards and portability. We also need to monitor the anti-regulation movement and feed information back to member boards to keep them informed. We can also attempt to increase participation at our annual conference through the use of various platforms, thereby furthering and assisting in communication amongst our member delegates.

What are the top (5) current regulatory issues faced by regulators?

  1. The current threat to regulatory organizations from the de-regulation movement. Organizations such as the Institute for Justice and the Federal Trade Commission cite regulatory boards as a potential constraint of trade and push to deregulate all professions. As a regulatory board organization, we must continue to educate legislators and the public about our important roles.
  2. To encourage states to adopt guidelines for teletherapy and telehealth. This also includes encouraging universities and institutes to include teletherapy and telehealth in their curricula. This can be accomplished through the adoption of a national telehealth certification.
  3. To push for portability of licensure across state lines. AMFTRB has already made recommendations for licensure by endorsement but it is up to the states to adopt these recommendations.
  4. To strive for consistency in disciplinary actions throughout the states. Currently each state board uses different standards in deciding how to discipline their licensees. It is important for AMFTRB to develop a model disciplinary matrix for use.
  5. To find ways for regulators from different states and provinces to communicate with one another, sharing ideas and experiences. Often this is accomplished at the annual meeting but having a way in real time via electronic means might be helpful and increase participation.

How are you currently leading in your profession?

I am dual licensed as both an MFT as well as a LICSW in the state of Massachusetts. I am the current Treasurer of AMFTRB. In addition, I attended 4 out of the last 5 AMFTRB annual meetings before I was elected treasurer. I attended the CLEAR meeting after last year’s AMFTRB meeting, which I found very fascinating and helpful as a member of the MA regulatory Board. I maintain my membership in AAMFT. I had served on the ESS/ESL subcommittee of AMTRB which developed the guidelines we recommended to the state regulatory boards. I also served on an Angoff panel before I was elected Treasurer. I am currently retired form my private practice, in which I was the managing partner for 37 years. I am still on call as a supervisor and for trauma interventions with several Employee Assistance Programs. I also am a Disaster Mental Health volunteer clinician with The Red Cross.

What are your greatest strengths/assets?

I strive to be a good listener and synthesizer of information.  I hope that I am creative with solutions to I also like problems and a good leader when needed and a good follower when called for. I enjoy working as part of a team and I value a cooperative process of sharing ideas and building a consensus. I also have a good sense of humor.

List of Affiliations with related groups/organizations:

I am a member and Approved Supervisor of AAMFT, and I maintain membership in the successor organization to the MA Assoc. of Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) called New England Association of Family and Systemic Thinkers. I am the Vice President of a Jewish camp in NH. Until recently I was the VP of Finance and Fundraising at my temple in MA.


Lynell Rice Brinkworth

Lynell Rice Brinkworth, LMFT, Board Chair of South Dakota

Why are you seeking a position on the AMFTRB Board and should you be elected, what do you hope to accomplish in this position?

  1. I would like to be an AMFTRB Board member because I am committed and passionate about working to advance the profession of marriage and family therapy through regulation. I enjoy working with other professionals in this line of work and participating in this organization would give me an opportunity to create change, offer support, and be on the cutting edge of professional movements.
  2. To take the opportunity to implement changes that can have a significant long-term, positive impact on professional licensing.
  3. AMFTRB has been a leader in creating and encouraging best practices and keeping up with on­ going changes. Telehealth is an area that the organization has been focusing on for quite a while. Continuing to keep abreast of changing norms regarding this and other needs is important for State Boards and AMFTRB can aid in facilitation of the same. If elected I am open to participating in committee work to further meeting the needs of the State Boards.

How can AMFTRB best support member boards during the next 5 years?

Now is a great time to for State Boards to reassess their needs. I think it would be helpful to obtain updated feedback through a survey and assess what the current needs are since our focus areas have changed due to Covid-19. Hearing first- hand from each member Board would help AMFTRB be most supportive, efficient, and effective in our role.

What are the top (5) current regulatory issues faced by regulators?

  1.  Due to the pandemic, changes have been made to state regulations and after the pandemic many of the changes may become permanent ones and some may need to be reversed. Assessing and determining the impact these pandemic changes will have on the profession and regulation will be an ongoing challenge for state and national regulators.
  2. Licensure reciprocity/mobility across state lines continue to be a challenge. National Disaster and Emergency declarations have provided temporary changes to licensure reciprocity/mobility due to the pandemic.  Regulators need to utilize this situation and increase mobility for MFT’s.
  3. Clear and consistent expectations of supervisors and supervision using a systemic approach.
  4. Consistent Telehealth implementation and regulation, as this mode of delivery is increasing and evolving rapidly.
  5. Continuity in addressing ethical complaints/impaired licensees and providing remediation options.

How are you currently leading in your profession?

I currently serve as the Board President for the South Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Marriage and Family therapists. I have 3 years left in my 6-year term. I am frequently interviewed and provide mental health information to local news stations for timely concerns regarding mental health. I provide continuing education presentations through our state counseling association on a variety of topics. I created and participated in a counselor support group for helping professionals during the COVID pandemic. Lastly, I meet and coordinate a consultation group for local private practice clinicians.

What are your greatest strengths/assets?

My greatest strengths are commitment, follow through, being genuine, supportive, a team player, communicative and persistent.  I enjoy learning and engaging with people from all walks of life.  I strive to live a full life outside of my professional world to minimize compassion fatigue and maintain my sense of excitement with therapy.

List of Affiliations with related groups/organizations:

  1. South Dakota Board of Counselor examiners for LPC’s and LMFT’s
  2. Past Elections Committee Member AMFTRB
  3. Participant Angoff Panel for the MFT National Examination through AMFTRB
  4. South Dakota Delegate for AMFTRB
  5. AAMFT Clinical Fellow