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ACU professor leads Texas Marriage and Family Therapy board

For immediate release
July 8, 2005

Dr. Waymon Hinson, professor and former chair of the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy at Abilene Christian University, was appointed in May by Gov. Rick Perry to serve as chair of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists and will conduct his first meeting Friday, July 8.

As chair of the board, Hinson will be responsible for appointing members to committees and managing the direction of the board and meetings while working with an attorney of the board to ensure the meeting's procedure is in accordance to the law.

"I’m excited about the possibilities," Hinson said. "It’s an honor, and I see it as a challenge and an opportunity to lead. With 3,000 licenses in the state, it's a big responsibility but it's a challenge I'm excited about."

Hinson has been involved with the TSBEMFT since being successfully lobbied into position in 1998. The victory was repeated in 2001, and in 2003 lobbyists began working to get Hinson appointed as chair by the governor.

However, Hinson is not the first connection the TSBEMFT has with ACU. Of the four chairs in the board's history, two have been from ACU. Dr. Tom Milholland was the first chair of the board and served for seven years, appointed by Gov. Ann Richards. Milholland, assistant provost at ACU, also served one term as president of the Texas Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

"It's rare the two of us served on the board, though not at the same time, with only a one year window in 1997 without an ACU presence," Hinson said.

The TSBEMFT is responsible for regulating the practice of marriage and family therapy in Texas.

"Unless exempted by law, you must be licensed by the state to practice Marriage and Family Therapy," Milholland said. "The license is based on a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, passing the national examination, and the completion of an additional internship. When licensed, the individual can have an independent practice in marriage and family therapy. The board rules indicate the scope of practice. Marriage and Family Therapy is recognized by the federal government as one of the five mental health disciplines."

According to the TSBEMFT Web site, the board includes nine members appointed by the governor. These members must have engaged in the practice or education of marriage and family therapy for at least five years or have 5,000 hours of clinical experience in the practice of marriage and family therapy.

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