Los Angeles Chapter  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists


Voices — April 2021

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  • 03/31/2021 11:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Jenni J.V. Wilson, LMFT
    President, LA-CAMFT

    Notes:  Grief.  Loss.  Mourning.  Eulogy.  Legacy.  Vaccine.

    A year of locking down, a year of loss, a year of grieving and mourning at distances, mourning of norms, of hands held, of lives lived and not living. Who among us has been untouched by this, has felt no empty spaces, has driven no empty roads, faced no empty shelves, known no empty words of comfort? In this loneliness we are together, in our unknowing we are known.

    The call was no surprise. My father had been in and out of the hospital for years, was resistant to help, and refused himself self-care. Sam Cooke sings, “It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die‘cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky,” and no matter how hard I tried to stop the refrain from playing, a change was going to come.

    The constant terrible whirring of anticipatory grief, spiked each time the 313 exchange appeared on my phone. In the weeks between March 20th and April 9th, 2020 I somehow held it together, texting my sister Alejandra, “I am caught between crying that doesn’t come and numbness that feels like, ‘don’t get ahead of yourself, he keeps bouncing back . . .’". It took over a week, those days, for Covid test results to confirm what we already suspected. Then came radical acceptance.

    Pretty much all the women in my family are writers—different stylistically, but similar in that we seek an outlet with no immediate response . . . a quiet place to collect observations, explore ideas, howl in the wind, and temporarily escape judgments before feedback commences. Posts, texts, journal entries, and email exchanges record thoughts, feelings, and recollections of my dad in fantastical bilingual baroque elevations of his internal life, which none of us can truly claim to know. He’s memorialized in metaphors, imagery, and obscure references that most readers would skim without impact, due to unfamiliarity with their origin. We attempt appropriate homages to a deeply flawed, yet extremely interesting man whose obfuscations and projections created chaos and toxicity in his relationships. Hiding loudly in his interests, he displayed endless curiosity about all forms of artistic expression. He was drawn to esoteric, classic and modern art, as well as anything weird and off-beat. He immersed himself in music, literature, theatre, and film of all kinds. He studied eastern philosophy and Buddhism, with surprisingly limited ability to actively apply all he understood.

    He was a vain intellectual, handsome snob, with amazing hair and an accent. He was a lapsed Catholic, a blackbelt in Aikido, an accomplished director, actor, set-designer, and visual artist. His talents exceeded his ambition, and his traumas impeded both. He was the eldest of five, the only boy, a Chicano from Houston’s 5th Ward. He followed music and words out of the Barrio of his youth, to Florida then Detroit; married two women, and sired four daughters who could never love him enough to love himself.

    I text Alejandra: “. . . I think he disappointed himself more than he was ever disappointed by any of us. We have to allow each other to be different from each other, from our younger selves, from our parents . . . we have to acknowledge where we change and grow. That’s the hard thing in familiespeople create myths and roles that people are assigned and then punish or protect each other with them. We’re all just people doing the best we can.” Like the rest of us, my father was more than his worst moments, and he was more than how he was with just me.

    He gleefully sought to impose his appreciation for other cultures, and his broad acceptance of differing aesthetics, on everyone he encountered. As his guest, he would literally throw a book at you or anything he thought you should read, while regaling you with a forgotten fact about old Hollywood, a strange Japanese horror film, or the featured artist at the DIA. He would play you a recording, dig out an old photo he found, ask about your family, and offer you an exotic food or Little Debbie snack cake. He wanted to share where he found wonder, beauty, and worry. He wanted to change your life, and for better or for worse, he always did. He influenced everyone he allowed near, but he was not easy, no matter how much he insisted he was.

    He controlled by withholding affection or acceptance. A welcoming kiss on the cheek was met with a squinched-up face, as if he smelled excrement. He’d use biting sardonic wit to cut you down, saving his most elaborate praise or compliments for whenever you left the room. To make him laugh without sarcasm or a shaming headshake, was my favorite feeling in the worldI’m not alone in that.

    We’d been locked down less than a month. He was gone before we’d figured some things out. He was gone while people were still overwhelmed with toilet paper and Clorox shortages, before the advent of fashion masks. No one was getting on planes. No one was in the hospital room to witness any pithy last words he might have once imagined he’d utter. Everyone was as important and as unimportant as everyone else.

    There was no viewing, no service, no wake filled with empty stares, nervous energies, awkward acceptance of condolences, quiet tears, arguments, and overindulgent sobs. My family’s tributes were never voiced at a lectern or read aloud in a Zoom Room, because there’ve been no eulogies made for my father. Until now I haven’t written of him publicly, and this is more about me than him, right?

    Covid deaths were under 100,000 worldwide and 17,000 in the US the night that call came. That day 1754 people had died of Covid, 117 people in Michigan, 58 in Wayne County, with my father numbering one of the 25 in Detroit. One father, a brother, is survived by: 6 daughters, 1 granddaughter, 3 sons-in-law, 2 ex-wives, 2 of 4 sisters, 3 brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews, cousins, many dear long-time friends and coworkers.

    A year later we’re still separated behind doors, missing loved ones, evolving ceremonies, and writing blathering adventures in self-indulgence like this, to contain feelings of mourning without closure. You are not alone in your fatigue. Some colleagues have asked about forming a support group for those of us who are grieving and processing the loss of lives and the loss of our old ways. If this is of interest to you or if you’d like to volunteer to get such an effort off the ground, reach out to me at President@lacamft.org. If there are enough of us out there, I’m in.

    Each day I hear from those who are getting their shots, and I breathe easier. A text from my mother, announcing her first appointment is set, makes my step lighter throughout the waking hours. We have lost too many livesover 520K upon this writing. The virus has devastated our population of beloved village elders. If you’re able, I urge you to get the vaccine as soon as you’re eligible. I’m right behind you.

    Paz y Amor, mi familia. Paz y Amor, my friends.

    JJVW—Jenni June Villegas Wilson

    Jenni J.V. Wilson, LMFT is a collaborative conversationalist, trained in narrative therapy and EMDR. She works with creative and anxious clients on improving, avoiding, and eliminating co-dependent and toxic relationships, while finding healthy ways to be unapologetically themselves. She is the primary therapist at Conclusions Treatment Center IOP in Mission Hills, and has a private practice in Sherman Oaks.

  • 03/31/2021 10:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT
    April 2021 ONLINE Presentation
    including Q&A

    Friday, April 16, 2021

    9:00 am-11:00apm (PT)

    11:00-11:30 am (optional) 
    Participant Announcements are BACK!
    Sign Up When You Register!

    Via Zoom

    2.0 CEUs

    Financial Therapy:
    What is It and How Can It Help Your Clients?

    Dr. Megan McCoy & Dr. Alex Melkumian

    Financial Therapy is a relatively new field combining therapeutic and financial competencies. Financial problems are the top reported stressor in Americans' lives and a leading cause of divorce, yet many family therapists are hesitant to explore finances. This presentation will explore why it is essential to bring up money in therapy, potential obstacles to introducing financial therapy, and tangible tools you can start using immediately to explore the intersection between finances and overall health with your clients and for yourself.

    Event Details: 
    Friday, April 16, 2021, 9:00 am-11:00 am (PT)

    Where: Online Via Zoom
    After you register you will be emailed a Zoom link the Wednesday before the presentation.

    More information and register today by clicking the Register Here button below.

    Register Here

  • 03/31/2021 9:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT
    Voices Editor

    Getting Paid: The Gifts of Teletherapy—More Clients, Scheduling Flexibility, and Full Practices

    The perfect schedule for you and your practice.
    Have you found it?

    As a result of a year of providing therapy to clients through video and phone sessions, the structure of private practice is changing. The widespread use of teletherapy during this time of stay-at-home orders has brought with it many new opportunities, ideas, and possibilities for therapists as well as an increase in clients and income—and for many, the first time they’ve had a full practice. 

    Providing teletherapy certainly has had its learning curve and challenges, however, one of the main gifts it’s brought to psychotherapists who have exclusively been doing therapy with phone and video sessions, is that of more scheduling flexibility. No longer bound by office hours, location, driving time or finding a place to park, practitioners have offered earlier sessions and later sessions in the day and evening. This small change has allowed professionals to accommodate a wider variety of clients than they normally would—and both therapists and clients have benefitted from this increased range of times available to book for therapy appointments, and clients have responded by booking them. 

    Another surprising benefit from teletherapy turns out to be that therapists are now routinely working with clients out of their local area but still within the state. The result? Most have full caseloads and are having to refer clients to other therapists. Who knew that a full practice would be the result of teletherapy and stay-at-home orders! 

    After the past year of providing teletherapy, mental health professionals understand that virtual services are now part of the psychotherapy universe—in both private practice and agency work. While teletherapy isn’t for everyone, all the time, what’s emerging is that about 15 percent of therapists who previously only worked with clients in person are planning to continue exclusively working with clients virtually using video and phone platforms. Yes, their offices will only be virtual.

    Another 15 percent of psychotherapists are declaring that when the widespread need for teletherapy ends they will exclusively work in person from their offices and will rarely, if ever, utilize video or the phone for client sessions. The remaining 70 percent of mental health professionals are making it known that their practices will be hybrid ones—offering in-person in office therapy as well as video and phone sessions. These practitioners like the best of both worlds. 

    Those therapists who report that they’ll continue to provide teletherapy services state that they like the convenience of working from home or in any location, the ability to choose from more flexible windows of time during which they can schedule client sessions, the extra time saved from not commuting along with lower business overhead expenses. It’s also important to mention the benefit of working virtually with clients who live in the state but not within driving distance to the therapist’s locale. These additional clients have added a new segment to the people that therapists can now work with in their practice since the available technology makes providing services possible. 

    It’s also become apparent to therapists that the use of teletherapy has also made counseling and psychotherapy services accessible to a whole new group of clients who weren’t previously utilizing therapy—those who weren’t willing or able to travel to an office location whether it be for lack of time or transportation or for physical or emotional or psychological reasons. It’s opened up a whole new population for therapists to serve. Needless to say, these clients are filling spaces in therapy practices. This population is one of the reasons that psychotherapists have had full practices for most of the past year. Therapists don’t want to stop providing services to this client population both for the clients’ sake as well as that of their practice. 

    Another gift from providing teletherapy services besides an increased number of referrals and clients, is increased therapist confidence. Since more people have been calling about therapy services and have become clients, therapists have experienced an increase in confidence that their practice can be, and might possibly continue to be, filled. This also translates to an increase in income for the practitioner who is seeing more clients, and a willingness to make minor changes in scheduling that benefit their quality of life and work life balance. 

    Have you changed any of your session time availability? Do you work earlier or later than you would if you were seeing clients solely in office? Do you take breaks or longer breaks in between client sessions? Would you like to change the days or number of hours you see clients now that you’ve had a year to experience teletherapy and having a full practice? If you could have your perfect schedule of days and hours seeing clients without any loss of income what would it be? How many clients would you see each day? Each week? 

    These are all things that are worth thinking about. Allow yourself to consider your perfect schedule, your perfect practice, your perfect number of clients, your perfect day, your perfect week, your perfect month, your perfect year. Your perfect life. 

    Let’s see what the next year brings as we harvest the opportunities that come to us through our practice of therapy. Stay tuned!

    Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, is in private practice in Santa Monica where she works with Couples and Gifted, Talented, and Creative Adults across the lifespan. Lynne’s been doing business and clinical coaching with mental health professionals for more than 15 years, helping them develop even more successful careers and practices. To learn more about her in-person and online services, workshops or monthly no-cost Online Networking & Practice Development Lunch visit www.Gifted-Adults.com or www.LAPracticeDevelopment.com.

  • 03/31/2021 8:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)


    David Silverman,
    LMFT

    How Writers Channel their Muse

    “Don’t wait for the muse. As I’ve said, he’s a hardheaded guy who’s not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering. This isn’t the Ouija board or the spirit-world we’re talkin about here, but just another job like laying pipe or driving long-haul trucks. Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ‘til noon, or seven ‘til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.” —Stephen King

    Back in ancient Greece, people spent a lot of time thinking about life, and how best to live it. They also spent a lot of time thinking about the way we think and how we create. Maybe it was because they didn’t have a lot of real world distractions like movie theaters, cell phones, cars, computers, or the live streaming capabilities we have on Facebook.

    This was before people stated thinking about themselves in terms of self-determination. In those days the Greek Gods were at the center of the universe—and in fact were the center of all thought—including creativity.

    When the philosophers started wondering how people could sit down and write, they decided the Gods had to be involved. They came up with the idea that these Gods (they had a separate God for poetry, adventure stories, comedy, and for some reason—another one for astronomy) somehow worked their magic through us.  

    A certain amount of that kind of thinking continues today. After all the process of bringing a work of fiction into the world still seems a fairly mysterious and somewhat magical. The concept of a muse still serves a purpose for some writers.

    Elizabeth Gilbert gave a Ted talk about her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, in which she talked about carrying this burden after it became a huge hit—and then a hit film. She began to worry whether she could come up with a worthy successor.

    One day she was discussing the writing process with the singer/songwriter Tom Waits. He told her he was driving around L.A. one day and the melody to a song “Just came to him.” Since he was in the car he could stop and write it down or record it, so he just looked up—as if to God—and said something like, ‘Excuse me, can you not see that I’m driving?’

    As the rest of the story goes, he asked God at that point if he could come back when he was in the studio, when it would be more convenient. Gilbert was moved by this story, and found it helped her get though her next book. She was doing her part, she’d say—showing up at the keyboard every day. If the muse didn’t take over, that wasn’t her fault.

    Ray Bradbury, the prolific science fiction author (and screenwriter) also invoked the notion that God gave him his stories. He talked about writing as if it was something he opened himself up to, and was able to channel. He gave credit to God, but at other times referred to the muse as a her, him, it or whatever.

    Bradbury didn’t mean to say that writing came easy. On the contrary he talked about the necessity of writing a thousand words a day every day for the rest of your life. He talked about writers having to read poetry, essays, short stories and novels in order to prepare to accept muse’s gift.

    A career in writing was about assembling a lifetime’s worth of experiences, learned firsthand, or through reading, or viewing films, or through self-reflection. It was about reading the novels, short stories or screenplays of writers who wrote the way we’d like to write, who thought the way we’d like to think.

    Only with this kind of rigorous preparation would a writer be ready to accept the ideas, the poems and stories that flowed from his muse and transcribe them into works of art. The process was not just about sitting back and waiting for inspiration, but about perfecting the craft in order to be ready when inspiration struck.

    Nobody could describe the writing process quite as eloquently as Bradbury. "I sit there and cry because I haven't done any of this," he told his biographer about his body of work, "It's a God-given thing, and I'm so grateful, so, so grateful. The best description of my career as a writer is, 'At play in the fields of the Lord.'"

    Do you feel there’s a spiritual influence on your writing? Does the idea of being a vessel for creative energies resonate with you? Are you inspired by the persona of a beautiful woman like so many writers throughout history? Wherever your inspiration comes from, you’re lucky to have it—don’t take it for granted.

    David Silverman, LMFT, treats anxiety and depression, especially in highly sensitive individuals in his LA practice. Having experienced the rejection, stress, creative blocks, paralyzing perfectionism, and career reversals over a 25 year career as a Film/TV writer, he’s uniquely suited to work with gifted, creative, and sensitive clients experiencing anxiety, depression, and addiction. David received training at Stanford and Antioch, is fully EMDR certified, and works with programs treating Victims of Crime and Problem Gamblers. Visit www.DavidSilvermanLMFT.com.

  • 03/31/2021 6:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee
    Presents:

    LA-CAMFT Therapist Anti-Racism Roundtable, Phase 2

    Sunday, April 25, 2021

    2:00 pm-5:00 pm (PT)

    Via Zoom

    Therapist Anti-Racism Roundtable, Phase 2

    In August 2020, LA-CAMFT held its first Therapist Anti-racism Roundtable, “Anti-racism as a Movement, Not a Moment.” Several initiatives designed to address various inequities have been developing from the many ideas and suggestions shared during that event. Phase 2 of the roundtable will describe follow-ups from those discussions, will provide an opportunity to cultivate community inclusion around activism in our field, and will further the conversation around actionable steps we can take to cultivate anti-racist therapeutic practices and build an actively anti-racist mental health community. This discussion-based roundtable is presented by the LA-CAMFT Board of Directors and Diversity Committee.

    Open to LA-CAMFT Members and Non-Members
    Location: Zoom Meeting

    For more information, contact Leanne Nettles: PresidentElect@lacamft.org or Marvin Whistler: DiversityCommittee@lacamft.org.

    Event Details: 

    For:
    Licensed Therapists, Associates, and Students

    Event Details: 
    Sunday, April 25, 2021, 2:00 pm-5:00 pm (PT)
    Time of Check-In: 1:50 pm

    Where: 
    Online Via Zoom
    Once you have registered for the presentation, we will email you a link to Zoom a few days before the presentation.

    Cost:
    No Charge

    Online Registration CLOSES Sunday, April 25th at 5 pm.

    For more information, contact Leanne Nettles: PresidentElect@lacamft.org or Marvin Whistler: DiversityCommittee@lacamft.org. 

    Register Here


    In diversity there is beauty
    and there is strength.

    Maya Angelou

  • 03/31/2021 5:30 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)






    Maria Gray,
    LMFT, NMP, CGP

    To Swipe or Not to Swipe:
    How Much Are You Paying in Credit Card Fees?

    If you accept credit cards and are working virtually, you may have noticed an increase in your credit card fees. Prior to the pandemic, I swiped my clients’ cards in person using a card reader (also known as a dongle). When the cardholder is present, the card can immediately be verified by the credit card company, so the rate is lower. When my clients were present in my office the rate was 2.4% +25 cents. Now I email an invoice and the rate is 2.9% +25 cents. If I chose to hand key the credit card information into QuickBooks, I would be charged 3.4% + 25 cents.

    I review my credit card processing options every few years to see if I can reduce my costs. When I was charging my clients in person (pre-pandemic) I used QuickBooks GoPay card reader, I switched to GoPay when I realized the rate was much lower than Stripe’s. I chose GoPay because I was already using QuickBooks for my bookkeeping and the card reader works well and their rate was the lowest. GoPay is only available to customers who use QuickBooks’ accounting software. The software requires some effort to learn and I still use a bookkeeper to review my books each quarter to check for errors.

    QuickBooks is a major commitment and it’s not for everyone. I am one of those geeky people that enjoys bookkeeping. Here’s a sample of the many credit card processing options that are available:

    Credit card fees are based on a $200 charge. Rates as of 12/01/2020

    Vendor

    Charge based on a $200 fee Card Swiped in Person

    Charge based on a $200 fee Data Stored in System

    Invoiced $200

    Hand Keyed $200

    Notes

    QuickBooks Go Pay

    2.4% +25 cents=$5.05

    N/A

    2.9% + 25 cents $6.05

    3.4% +25 cents $7.05

    My clients who pay via invoice have the option to pay with most major credit cards and Apple Pay which they like. The swiper has consistently worked well and the customer service for payment issues is good. 

    Square

    2.6% + 10 cents= $5.30

    3.5% +15 cents $7.15

    2.9% +30 cents $6.10

    3.5% +15 cents $6.95

    I haven’t tried Square.

    Stripe

    No swiping, card data is stored in their system

    2.9% + 30 cents= $6.10 2.95% + 30 cents if you use Simple Practice=$6.20

    2.9% +30 cents $6.10

    N/A

    I used this for a year and the customer service was good. I still use it when people are paying for things on my website. 

    Pay Pal

    N/A

    2.9% + 30 cents= $6.10

    2.9% + 30 cents $6.10

    N/A

    I only use this for personal purchases.

    Ivy Pay

    No swiping, card data is stored in their system.

    2.75%=$5.50

    N/A

    N/A

    They offer $1000 credit when you join.


    I use a few apps in addition to my QuickBooks invoicing, but many of my clients prefer to receive an email invoice. I use CashApp which currently does not charge for transactions, this product was created by PayPal, and several of my clients use it and like it. The downside is their customer support is not great. Zelle is an app that facilitates bank to bank transfers via email or your mobile number, it easy to use and there are no transaction fees. I use Venmo for my Brainspotting consulting work and currently there are no fees, but Venmo is now launching a business version that will include fees.

    When a client is paying with an app, I ask them to use caution and verify my information when sending the first payment and I’ll also offer to request it from them if they prefer. I haven’t had a client send money to the wrong person yet, but I understand from other therapists that it can be hard to resolve.

    If an existing client asks me for a fee reduction due to a current financial hardship, I will ask them to pay me via Zelle or CashApp so I can save money on the transaction cost and pass that savings on to my client as part of the reduced rate.

    There are so many options for accepting payments and this post could be ten pages long. The bottom line is that I want to offer my clients a convenient, modern way to pay for therapy and I consider these fees to be part of the overall cost of running a service business. If you are feeling frustrated about the high cost of credit card processing, it may be time to raise your fees. I’m interested in hearing about your credit card processing choices. Feel free to reach out to me on Social or better yet give me a call, remember when we used to talk on the phone?

    Maria Gray, LMFT, NMP, CGP, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles. She is a Brainspotting Specialist who specializes in trauma and addictions. Maria is a Certified Group Therapist and currently offers three online groups in her practice. She enjoys working with adults who grew up around mentally ill or addictive family members. To learn more, go to  www.mariagray.net.

  • 03/31/2021 5:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)





    Christina
    Cacho Sakai
    ,
    LMFT

    The LA-CAMFT Black Therapists Support Group

    During our “Anti-Racism as a Movement, Not a Moment” Roundtable in August 2020, we came together as a therapeutic community to discuss and address racism and discrimination. We collaborated on what LA-CAMFT can do to be an actively and overtly anti-racist community. We specifically identified needed supports that we, as therapists, and as a therapeutic community, wanted to see provided. One of the many needed supports identified was a Black Therapists Support Group where students, associates, and licensed clinicians could have a safe place to come together to build community, receive support, and process experiences of racism (systemic, social, and internalized), discrimination, implicit bias, and micro-aggressions, along with additional experiences that therapists of African descent encounter in the field of mental health. 

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee is excited to hear the needs of the therapeutic community and in April 2021 to begin offering a no-cost monthly online Black Therapists Support Group on the first Saturday of the month, from 12pm-1:30pm facilitated by Baaba Hawthorne, LMFT.

    Baaba Hawthorne, LMFT is the Clinical Director at Two Chairs in Los Angeles. She was drawn to the field of mental health witnessing the everyday struggles of individuals and families. In their struggles, she learned that mental health matters. As a first-generation American, being connected to her African heritage means a lot to her. She has a unique understanding of how cultural influences play a part in our mental health. Her therapeutic approach is a combination of both evidenced-based practices and establishing a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship. Outside of work, Baaba loves exploring new cultures, trying new foods and traveling internationally.  

    If you are interested in sharing your ideas, being part of future initiatives and/or would like to become involved in the LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee, please email us at DiversityCommittee@lacamft.org.

    Christina “Tina” Cacho Sakai, LMFT, is a Latinx psychotherapist in private practice in NELA (North East Los Angeles) and the LA CAMFT Diversity Committee Chair. Her specializations include self-discovery & empowerment, building healthy relationships, healing from emotional, physical & sexual abuse, and alleviating depression & anxiety. Tina also specializes in finding your passion, tapping into your creativity, and navigating the world through a cultural, racial and LGBTQIA+ lens.

  • 03/31/2021 4:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee
    Presents:

    Black Therapist Support Group

    First Saturday of Every Month

    Next Meeting:
    Saturday, April 3, 2021
    12:00 pm-1:30 pm (PT)

    Online Via Zoom

    Black Therapist Support Group

    A safe place for healing, connection, support and building community. In this group, licensed clinicians, associates and students can come together and process experiences of racism (systemic, social, and internalized), discrimination, implicit bias, and micro-aggressions, along with additional experiences that therapists of African descent encounter in the field of mental health. As the late great Maya Angelou once said, “As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal someone else.” May this space, be the support needed to facilitate that journey.

    Open to LA-CAMFT Members and Non-Members

    First Saturday of Each Month
    Location: Zoom Meeting

    Baaba Hawthorne LMFT, bhawthorne@twochairs.com.

    Event Details: 

    For:
    Licensed Therapists, Associates, and Students

    Event Details: 
    Sunday, April 3, 2021, 11:00 am-1:00 pm (PT)
    Time of Check-In: 10:50 am

    Where: 
    Online Via Zoom
    Once you have registered for the presentation, we will email you a link to Zoom a few days before the presentation.

    Cost:
    No Charge

    Online Registration CLOSES Saturday, April 3rd at 1:30 pm.
    (Registration is open and available until the group ends.)

    Questions about Registration? Contact Marvin Whistler & Tina Cacho Sakai at DiversityCommittee@lacamft.org.

    Register Here


    In diversity there is beauty
    and there is strength.

    Maya Angelou

  • 03/31/2021 3:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Catherine Auman,
    LMFT

    Personal Growth and the Ostrich Egg

    It was hot that summer, hotter than four kids from the chilly Pacific Northwest could comprehend. Our dad had gotten a math scholarship for six weeks in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, so he and Mom had piled all us kids into the Volkswagen van and headed off cross country to a planet very unlike our own. 

    It was way too hot to play outside, so every day we escaped to the air-conditioned shopping center across the street. Malls were not yet ubiquitous, seemed jammed full of mystical treasures, and our parents let us go over unchaperoned!—the immensity of this freedom was almost inconceivable to us. 

    The most magical treat of all was right inside the front door: an aquarium that held six chicken eggs and a gigantic four-pounder from an ostrich. Listed on the pedestal below were the dates they were expected to hatch. It was only a matter of weeks, but in the time frame of children, forever. We waited every single day that summer for those eggs to hatch, and every single day we would run over to the mall to see if it was time yet. Waiting, waiting, we waited—and not too patiently. 

    The ostrich egg turned out to be a dud. But every one of us, my brother and sisters and I, remember the best day of the summer as the one when we arrived and the chickens were finally hatching. We city kids watched the natural miracle as they pecked their way out of their shells, wet and squeaking.  We found out it wasn’t all sanitized, Disney-fied as we’d been led to expect by the cartoons where adorable baby chicks burst out of their shells spotless and downy.  It took untold effort for them to facilitate their own births, and one chick was bloody from being cut by its shell. 

    I often recount this story for my patients who are grappling with why it all hurts so much. The way of personal and spiritual growth takes untold effort and is often ‘bloody.’ It doesn’t just spring out fully formed because you say a few affirmations or read shelves of self-help books. It’s a painful process; there are no two ways about it. “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding,” Kahlil Gibran wrote. Just as in the birth process of the chicks, the pain and struggle involved in the birthing of oneself is not an aberration, but the most natural thing in the world.

    © 2021 Catherine Auman

    Catherine Auman, LMFT is a licensed therapist with advanced training in both traditional and spiritual psychology with over thirty years of successful professional experience helping thousands of clients. She has headed nationally based psychiatric programs as well as worked through alternative methodologies based on ancient traditions and wisdom teachings. Visit her online at catherineauman.com.

  • 03/31/2021 1:30 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Online On-Demand CEU Courses from Charter for Compassionate Education

    LA-CAMFT is excited to announce new additions to our online on-demand CEU offerings from Charter for Compassionate Education. Starting in April, you can find links to these great online CEU courses on the LACAMFT.org Home Page under the Information tab:

    Emotional Intelligence for a Compassionate World (On Demand) (Barbara Kerr) (20 CEUs)

    Maybe you’ve thought about how empowering it could be to join with others who are willing to take action for a more compassionate world.

    And maybe you’ve recognized that building Emotional Intelligence skills could be helpful to you in your work with clients, your personal relationships, as well as in building a more compassionate community where you live.

    Emotional Intelligence skills and competencies can become the fertile ground for a more compassionate world. The skills that contribute to Emotional Intelligence can lead to the development of empathy and compassionin individuals, in families, in the workplace, in communities, and among the interconnected societies of people throughout the world.

    During this course, you will discover your own Emotional Intelligence strengths, learn ways to add to your Emotional Intelligence competencies, and consider practical ways to apply your skills to build a more compassionate world.

    Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) (10 Week Live Course) (30 CEUs)

    Have you ever wondered how you could cultivate the compassion called for in the world or help others cultivate that compassion? Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) is a great place to start!

    CIT is a resiliency-informed program that cultivates human values as skills, so we can thrive as individuals, and a society, within a healthy environment. By learning skills to calm our bodies and mind, becoming more emotionally aware, learning to practice compassion for ourselves and others, as well as engaging with compassion in complex systems, we can build towards compassionate integrity: the ability to live one’s life in accordance with one’s values with a recognition of common humanity, our basic orientation to kindness and reciprocity.

    The Compassionate Integrity Training is a 10-week, live-streaming course starting April 26th, 2021, so REGISTER NOW and don’t miss it!

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