June 21, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt
Rick Bruhn, a professor of counselor education at Sam Houston State University, has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Bruhn is one of three new members on the nine-person board who will begin his six-year term during the July 15-16 meeting in Austin.
“While I actively sought this appointment, I feel humbled and honored to have received the support of state Sen. Steve Ogden and Gov. Rick Perry,” he said. “I look forward to serving the citizens of the State of Texas, and, through representing my fellow professionals, giving back to the profession.”
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists regulates all licensees of marriage and family therapy in Texas.
“To my knowledge, I will also be the only full-time professional educator of marriage and family therapists to be serving on the board,” he said.
As part of his position, Bruhn will attend meetings four times a year and serve on the ethics and professional development committees.
The ethics committee deals with all complaints that are filed with the Department of State Health Services regarding marriage and family therapy licensees, for things such as complaints about breach of confidentiality or inappropriate relationships.
“The rules are quite long, if you download the form online, you would find that it’s about 60 pages long and quite detailed in terms of what goes on,” Bruhn said. “Those rules have developed over the years to protect the citizens to make sure that the professionals are delivering good services and also to outline the allowable activities of marriage and family therapists.”
As part of his work on the professional development committee, Bruhn will utilize his academic background to help revise the jurisprudence examination, as well as revise the entire packet of rules that will be looked at by the board this year.
Bruhn has been a practitioner of marriage and family therapy, a supervisor of therapists, and educator in the area for almost 30 years. He has taught in SHSU’s counselor education program since 1991, developing several of the courses and the degree plan for the university’s master’s degree students who are preparing for licensure as marriage and family therapists in Texas.
SHSU offers a degree in counseling with a specialization in marriage and family counseling that will allow master’s candidates to sit for the exam in that area, provided they fulfill all the criteria.
Bruhn said his professional experience as a therapist and educator will be helpful to the board, and his work on the board also will be valuable as an educator at SHSU.
“Currently I have over 60 active advisees in the marriage and family specialization, so this is a unique opportunity for me to be able to share information in a very direct way,” he said. “With my involvement with the board, I’ve requested to be reassigned to teach more marriage and family therapy courses, and fortunately the leaders of the program have agreed to let me do so.
“I’m feeling really energized right now to help the students who are going through the program,” he said. “I want them to be successful.”
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