Dr. H. Dan Smith, professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at California State University, Fresno, has been elected president of the 28,100 member California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).
Smith, who is serving a three-year term on the association’s board of directors, previously was president in 1998-1999.
The San Diego-based association promotes the profession through federal and state legislative advocacy, sponsors professional-development programs and offers ethics counseling, among other benefits.
Dr. Paul Beare, dean of the Kremen Education School, said Smith’s presidency “will assure [Fresno State's] program maintains a leadership position within the state and that the statewide organization will have strong leadership.”
Smith said the association also works on laws and regulations that promote access for California consumers to practitioners and advocates stronger educational requirements and ethical standards.
“CAMFT is working on heightening public awareness of marriage and family therapists and promoting ‘therapy’ whether it be family or individual as a means for strengthening families and alleviating many mental health conditions experienced by Californians,” Smith said.
He said that, as president, his goals include enhancing relationships between the association’s directors and state legislators and working with the organization’s lobbyists in Washington, D.C., to include marriage and family therapists as providers in several government programs. “That includes working with our aging population and with veterans who frequently struggle with family problems when they return from war,” Smith said.
Smith joined Fresno State’s counseling, special education, and rehabilitation faculty in 1978 (then the Department of Advanced Studies) and served as department chair from 1985 to 2000. In 1985, he founded the Clovis Family Counseling Center designed to provide therapy services to families and students in the district. This university co-sponsored center is now the Fresno Family Counseling Center.