Los Angeles Chapter  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Voices — February 2024

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  • 01/31/2024 11:30 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Jennifer Stonefield, LMFT
    President, LA-CAMFT


    Self-love is the cornerstone of personal growth and resilience. It involves recognizing and appreciating your worth, acknowledging strengths, and embracing imperfections. In cultivating self-love, you need to build a solid foundation for navigating life's challenges with confidence and grace. 

    Strength, both mental and emotional, is intertwined with self-love. It is in the power to confront difficulties head-on, learning from personal setbacks, and using them as stepping stones to personal evolution. True strength lies not just in physical prowess, but in the ability to endure, adapt, and thrive amidst adversity.  

    Embracing self-love and strength fosters a positive mindset, allowing you to set healthy boundaries and prioritize your well-being. It empowers you to make choices aligned with your values, fostering a sense of authenticity and fulfillment. When rooted in self-love, strength becomes a force that propels you towards your goals and ambitions. 

    In the journey of life, the synergy of self-love and strength becomes a compass to guide you through life's twists and turns. It is a powerful partnership that not only builds resilience, but also fosters compassion towards yourself (and others). Ultimately, a solid foundation for a fulfilling and meaningful life is created.  

    Remember that you don't need to be loved by anyone else in order to be lovable, so be easy on yourself and wrap yourself in self-love.


    Jennifer Stonefield, LMFT

    Jennifer Stonefield, LMFT, is Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She’s always had a passion for psychology and going on the therapeutic journey with her clients reminds her of this every day. She has a wide array of clinical experience ranging from working with children in an educational setting to those suffering from dementia to individual work in several group, private practices where age holds no boundaries. She has an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Jennifer applies a person-centered approach when working with clients, as she believes that a “one size fits all” approach simply won’t cut it.

  • 01/31/2024 11:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT February 2024
    Special In-Person Event

    State of the Profession
    Networking and CE Event

    Saturday, February 17, 2024
    9:30 am-11:30 am

    1 CE Credit

    State of the Profession

    Joy Alafia, MBA, CAE

    Join LA-CAMFT for the State of the Profession, Networking and CE Event with Continental Breakfast, where CAMFT Executive Director, Joy Alafia, CAE, will provide an understanding about events, legislation, and internal association processes that are currently impacting CAMFT members.

    Event Details: Saturday, February 17, 2024,
    9:30 am-11:30 am (PT)

    Where:  City of Beverly Hills Roxbury Community Center (Roxbury Park) 471 S. Roxbury Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90212

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

    Register Here

  • 01/31/2024 10:30 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT
    Voices Editor

    Getting Paid: Tips for Getting the Word Out About You, Your Practice & Your Expertise

    Getting the word out about your therapy practice and the services you provide is important. To be successful in private practice, you need a steady stream of clients—QUALITY referrals that are a good match for both you and your practice.

    Letting people know what you do therapeutically and how you can help them, not only helps fill your practice, it helps you help more people.

    The more people who know about your therapy services and expertise, the easier it will be for those who need your services to find you when they need you and to get the help they need. Consider the ways you can let colleagues, prospective clients, and referral sources know about you and your services.

    1. Getting the word out about your practice is a community service.
    Getting the word out about your therapy services and expertise is really about letting people in the community know about you, your practice, and your services. It’s educating those in your community—your peers, prospective clients, and referral sources—about what therapy is, who you serve in your practice, and how you help people.

    Tip: When clients go to your website, directory listing, and social media pages, what they are really looking for is: Who are you? What can you do for me? How can I contact you? Make sure your content on your website, directory listings, and social media pages gives them that information clearly and easily.

    Tip: It doesn’t matter what you do to get the word out about your practice and services but you have to do something. Since you have to do something, ONLY do the things you like.

    Tip: Remember, only do what fits or makes sense to you to get the word out—and always within legal and ethical guidelines! It’s okay to make things up to do that you like. However, you will have to try things out to see what you like.

    Tip: Be sure to make the act of promoting yourself and your skills and services energy producing instead of energy draining.

    2. Getting to know people in your community and letting them get to know you, the services you offer, and the type of work you do, brings in quality referrals.

    People who already know about, like, or trust you, are more likely to refer to you than anyone else. People trust their friends and people they know so that’s why word of mouth, whether in person or online, is the most valuable source of referrals for your practice.

    Tip: Connect with local businesses. 

    Introduce yourself to other local business owners who are your neighbors. One therapist I know who moved into a new office went to each one of the businesses around her—introduced herself, met and got to know the business owners and or those who worked there, found out about their business and gave them her business cards and brochures.

    Tip: Join a professional organization or association. Attend meetings of professional groups, associations or organizations to get known in your community. Become a member. Volunteer. Register and attend a conference.

    Tip: Post your professional and or practice information to a directory. GoodTherapy, Psychology Today, LinkedIn, etc. Remember that Linked In is social media for professionals, and is a trusted source for professional services and referrals.

    Tip: Either donate products or volunteer your services to a worthy cause and get your name and the name of your practice out there to new people while doing a good deed.

    Tip: Consider getting some promotional products with your name, website, phone number, email, and or practice specialties on them to hand out. Pens, notebooks, notepads, post-it notes, shopping bags, led flashlights, etc., are all favorite types of promotional swag that people appreciate.

    3. Tapping into existing relationships is the fastest way to fill and grow your practice.

    People trust other people and the experiences they have so that’s why when people hear from a friend, someone they know or a professional they trust, about a service or product they choose that one over others. For therapists, the first few referrals after you open your private practice will usually come through in person connections and relationships you’ve already built.

    Tip: Build an email list. Who should you put on it? Include those you meet while networking but don’t stop there, add close friends, acquaintances, family members, extended family; neighbors, acquaintances. Professionals you have personally used—medical professionals such as doctors, physical therapists, psychiatrists, dentists, dental hygienists—as well as business professionals who are lawyers, estate planners, financial planners, as well as nutritionists, doulas, Lamaze instructors. Personal trainers, Pilates instructors, meditation instructors, massage therapists, aestheticians, hair stylists. Those who attend your church or who worked with you in the past as well as elementary, middle and high school teachers and coaches. Mentors, past clinical supervisors and professors, classmates and supervision group members. teachers, guidance counselors.

    Tip: Send regular emails to your list to keep them informed of what you are doing in your practice—do this at least three times a year. Or start a free monthly email newsletter and send it to your email list.

    Tip: Utilize Your Email Signature. Make sure your email signatures contain contact information for your business—links to your website, upcoming workshop, new book or audiobook, podcast, video, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube channel, etc. This makes it easy for people to know more about you and what you offer.

    4. Consider using some type of social media to get the word out.

    Today there are a lot of people who are looking for help—and most of them aren't asking their friends or family for referrals. They are looking on the internet at websites, social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Messenger, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Tik Tok, Viber, Pinterest, etc.) and closed groups, discussion groups or forums (Quora, Reddit, etc.).

    Because social media helps you build relationships, using social media to get the word out about your services allows you to showcase skills and expertise and to build relationships with existing and potential clients and referral sources.

    When you post a variety of content on social media (blogs, articles, videos, quotes, podcasts—your content as well as other’s), you can build recognition, connect with your peers, referral sources, and potential clients to show them that you are trustworthy. You’ll definitely get some interest in your work from this—people will love your content and want more.

    Not all social media platforms may be suitable for your business. Different customer segments frequent different social media. There's no point in spending time and money on promoting your business on a social network that your customers don't use.

    Tip: When you blog or write articles regularly, social media is a great place for you to share that content. You can also share articles that you find interesting, inspirational quotes, podcasts, and videos that you think those following you would enjoy. All these are great relationship builders.

    Tip: Record a video blog post and put it on your website or upload the video to YouTube. Record a Facebook Live or Instagram Stories short video. People love this content and enjoy getting to know you through what they see and hear on the videos.

    5. Track what’s working and then do more of it.

    Know the results you get from each thing you do to get the word out and repeat what works. Quit what doesn’t work.

    These are all fairly low cost and not too time-consuming tips for getting the word out. See which ones you enjoy doing and that work best to fill your practice

    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 professionals 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.

  • 01/31/2024 10:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee

    Asian American Pacific Islander+
    Therapists Circle

    Friday, February 16, 2024

    Third Friday of Every Month

    1:30 pm-3:00 pm

    Via Zoom

    Asian American Pacific Islander+ Therapists Circle

    A safe and empowering place for therapists of the Asian diaspora to experience healing, renewal, and belonging. We will collectively process experiences of racism and internalized oppression. We will also explore the coexistence of privilege and marginalization along with invisibility and hypervigilance. This space will help us appreciate and reclaim what we have in common while honoring our differences. Grace Lee Boggs notes, “The only way to survive is by taking care of one another.” May this circle embody her words.

    Open to LA-CAMFT Members and Non-Members

    Third Friday of this Month
    Location: Zoom Meeting

    For more information contact Rachell Alger,  rachellalgermft@gmail.com.

    Licensed Therapists, Associates, and Students

    Event Details: 
    Friday, February 16, 2024, 1:30 pm-3:00 pm (PT)
    Time of Check-In: 1:20 pm

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

    No Charge

    Online Registration CLOSES on the date of the event.
    (Registration closes 1.5 hours prior to the meeting.)

    Questions about Registration? Contact Akiah Robinson Selwa at diversitycommitee@lacamft.org.

    Register Here

  • 01/31/2024 9:30 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Kim Scott, LMFT

    Embracing the Third Act:
    Mental Health and Therapy for Older Adults

    As we all know, the population is aging. At times it is negatively referred to as a “Gray Tsunami,” which the younger generation will be left to “deal with.” At other times, in a more neutral vein it is called the “Graying of America.” But however, you label this trend, the 65+ population is growing, and they are not the grannies and gramps of yesteryear who had much shorter life expectancies. They are not silently fading into the background and dying soon after they retire. In fact, in the 1950s the average life expectancy was 68 and now it is hovering close to 80. And the Baby Boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964 are 73 million strong, second only to their children, the Millennials.

    So, what does this mean to us as therapists? It means that since the demographics of our client base is changing, to provide effective therapy and to establish rapport we need to do more and dig deeper than just treating them the same as we would a 35-year-old client. Just as we need to take cultural issues into account when working with clients, we also need to consider age. I know that we routinely consider age with children and teens but seniors are often lumped in with all other adults ignoring the important and new developmental phase they are embarking upon. Additionally, this stage of life can span upward of 40 years! It is literally the longest span of human development! Accordingly, a 65-year-old and an 85-year-old are both seniors but are experiencing different aspects of aging, as a 5- and 10-year-old would be experiencing different aspect of childhood. To be effective therapists we need to understand the differences and diversity in this life stage.

    Not only is this phase of life ignored by so many therapists, but our society has also treated seniors as if they are invisible, irrelevant and have nothing left to offer, other than, of course, deciding when to retire so that their job can be reallocated to a young adult.

    In a 2014 article published in the Atlantic by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel titled “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” Dr. Emanuel suggests that Americans live too long and said that at age 75 he would basically stop all medical care aimed at prolonging his life. He questions “whether our consumption is worth our contribution.” This viewpoint epitomizes the belief that past a certain age, seniors do not offer much to society. They are just a drain. The 65+ Generation is so much more than this and to effectively meet their needs we must identify and confront our own ageist beliefs and attitudes.

    For instance, when your 75-year-old client tells you about his sex life, do you say things like, “that’s so cute?” or something else equally diminishing? Or when your 80-year-old clients says that she is treated like she is invisible when she is out in the world, do you discount her reality, or do you acknowledge that ageism does exist and help her navigate and confront this socially condoned prejudice. We need to learn about how ageism impacts our clients in the workplace, with their families and health care providers, and in their own thinking.

    It took an insightful, bright young woman in my life to call me out on the ageism I was displaying and to help me begin my education and consciousness raising. Just as the Feminist Movement in the 60s was spurred on by consciousness raising, I believe it is now time for each of us to begin this same process for our older clients. If we do not, I believe that this savvy senior will vote with their feet and look elsewhere for counseling. Today’s seniors were raised with a therapy consciousness and have quite likely been in therapy before. They will not be passive observers.

    Historically, women and people of color have been treated as “less than” and have been excluded from leadership and decision-making positions. Today those over 65 are being "othered" and treated as if they are irrelevant and again, a drain on the system. In fact, did you know that ageism is one of the only “isms” that is still socially acceptable? As therapists, we must become aware of ageism and how it impacts our treatment of our clients and their views of themselves. We as therapists need to let our senior clients know that we see them for who they are (more than just an age), that they are relevant and that they can create a better, fuller 3rd Act for themselves and the generations that follow.

    We also need to understand some of the specific issues that impact our 65+ clients. Such as: 

    • Empty nest and changes in parent/child relationships as their children become adults,
    • Physiological changes and medical conditions that impact depression and anxiety,
    • Feelings of isolation
    • Death of a spouse or loved one
    • Losses of many kinds including loss of friendships and body mobility
    • Cognitive changes
    • Lack of purpose
    • Loneliness
    • Existential issues related to life and death
    • Decisions regarding retirement or "unretirement"
    • Life Transitions
    • Chronic Pain

    In this column we will discuss the above topics and other issues that are significant to our treatment of the 65+ generation so that as a community we can raise our consciousness and keep ourselves relevant to our older clients.

    If you have ideas or issues that you would like to see addressed, please feel free to email me at kimscottmft@gmail.com.

    Kim Scott, LMFT is a licensed marriage, family and child therapist. She has a private practice in Granada Hills where she works with couples and individuals, in-person and via Telehealth. Kim has been licensed for 30 years and has expertise in working with older adults and women issues. To learn more about Kim's practice and to read more of her articles visit her website: www.kimscottmft.com.

  • 01/31/2024 9:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Keonna Robinson,

    Perla Hollow,

    LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color Mentorship Program: Expressing Gratitude and Sharing Our Collective Successes in 2023

    The leaders of the TOC Mentorship program would like to take a moment to express its gratitude and share our collective successes in 2023. My name is Perla Hollow, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist of Lebanese/Middle Eastern descent. As a member of the TOC Mentorship Program Committee, participating mentor, and Co-Founder and Co-Facilitator of the LA-CAMFT MENA Therapist Community group. I am so honored to share with readers our successes in 2023.  

    Since the First LA CAMFT Anti-Racism Roundtable, the mentorship committee was formed, The committee began the arduous work of creating the program including outlining the timing of our cohort periods, constructing mentor and mentee applications, generating outreach, and even creating and refining the matching process. 

    From our launch in 2022, the TOC Mentorship Program has had three cohorts of Mentees of Color being Matched with Mentors of Color totaling 118 mentees and 55 mentors. No one was left without an opportunity to receive mentorship, as we added 2 group mentoring sessions for mentees awaiting a mentor match. The committee has ensured that the program continues to evolve with the succession of each mentoring cohort as we invite feedback from participants through Mentor/Mentee surveys and Mentor Wrap-Up sessions. 

    The best way to make sure the program continues to be successful and sustain its impact, is to invite all who participate to collaborate on its growth and development. From the feedback we collected in 2022 we were able to host a virtual Mentor Orientation, create a Mentor Handbook, and provide goal setting worksheets designed specifically for therapists of color. 

    WOW!! So much has already been accomplished in such a short period of time!! This speaks to the passion, commitment, and dedication the committee has towards the mission of the TOC Mentorship Program.  

    As we continue prepare for the 4th cohort, the hope and desire of the TOC Mentorship Program aims to: (1) continue providing representation, support, and inclusion for future therapists underrepresented in their professional positions (2) be an example for other therapist organizations to provide similar representation for therapists of color (3) and establish a sound legacy for this program moving forward. 

    The committee encourages past mentees to pay it forward and become future mentors or future committee members so we can keep this vital and important work of equity and inclusion for Therapists of Color advancing. As the author and Ghanian youth mentorship advocate Lailah Gifty Akita writes, “With careful guidance and mentorship, you will reach your highest self.” We emphasize how cultural representation coupled with careful mentorship will lead us to our higher selves, and in turn will lead us to healing ourselves and our communities. 

    Well said my friend! Keonna Robinson, here —your TOC Mentorship Program Chair—and as Perla beautifully outlined above, how can one not get excited about the direction of this program. 

    I would like to jump in and take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for all the hard work of my committee members over the past year. The dedication and commitment of Tina Cacho Sakai, Leanne Nettles, Margareth Gomez, Perla Hollow, and Mayra Diaz has been truly inspiring, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside each and every one of these ladies.

    Throughout the year, they have gone above and beyond to help our mentees and mentors develop their skills, achieve goals, and grow both personally and professionally. Their guidance and support has made a significant impact within the program and has helped shape the future of our field. I also want to acknowledge their time and effort put into organizing events, creating resources, and establishing connections within our community. Your contributions have made our mentorship program one of the most successful and effective programs within LA-CAMFT.

    Towards the end of 2023, we hosted our first Mentorship Bonfire sponsored by Newport Healthcare. This event was inspired by our newest committee member, Margareth Gomez, LMFT. She joined our committee and hit the ground running with her innovative ideas, all while still serving as a mentor and practicing clinician. 

    As I reflect back on that day, I recall having a conversation with a mentee who expressed some of the hardships they were battling with their new employer. They described feeling unheard and undervalued for their unique cultural contributions as a clinician of color. They expressed sincere gratitude for the opportunity to sit fireside with other clinicians of color to share their story and failed to realize how much they needed to hear someone simply say “I hear you and you didn’t deserve that.” As tears welled up in their eyes, we hugged and shared a warm embrace. It was in that moment that I felt a tear also roll down my face as the power of fellowship and connection flowed through us both. 

    As we look ahead and prepare for the next cohort, I have no doubt that we will continue to build on the foundation that we have established and make an even greater impact on the lives of our community. I am excited to see what the future holds and the formidable connections that will be fostered. Make no mistake, none of this is made possible without our generous and extremely supportive mentors who graciously donate their time to share their experience and knowledge within the mentoring community. 

    While my family and I just finished celebrating Kwanzaa, I am in awe of how each mentor embodied the third principle of Ujima, understood as one’s collective work and responsibility to give back to its community in order to build and solve problems collectively. This is the true essence of the TOC Mentorship Program and I am humbled to be a piece of the puzzle. 

    As we bravely marching forward and make our imprints on this field, let us not forget to grab someone’s hand along the way as we inspire, support, and motivate each other to reach our mark.

    With gratitude.

    LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color (TOC) Mentorship Program Committee
  • 01/31/2024 8:30 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Marvin Whistler

    LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color Grant Award: Grant Award Registration Open

    The next cycle for the grant began on January 2, 2024. It is limited to members of LA-CAMFT, and the award is limited to once per calendar year.

    Description of Grant Stipend

    Every 4 months (3x per year), a grant award will be offered to two applicants who meet the following criteria: (1) must be a current LA-CAMFT member, (2) identify as a Therapist of Color, and (3) must be either an Associate, Trainee, or Student still in graduate school.

    Grant winners will receive

    • $530 to be spent at the winner’s discretion.
    • Free admission to 3 LA-CAMFT workshops or networking events of the winner’s choosing, with the exception of the Law & Ethics Workshop.

    The $530 award can be used at the recipient’s discretion based on their own individual needs (whether it be for BBS fees, testing materials, memberships, rent, groceries, etc.). Confirmation for the purpose that the money is used will not be required.

    Application and Selection Process

    Interested members can complete the application on the LA-CAMFT website. The selection process entails using a Randomized Generator of the applicants who met the full criteria and complete the application online to take out human bias and decrease activation of one's trauma history. The drawing will be recorded via Zoom and posted onto social media along with an announcement naming the grant winners, who will also be contacted via email directly. Registration for the next award cycle will open on January 2, 2024, and will close on February 24, 2024. The drawing will take place on February 25, 2024.

    Best regards,

    The LA-CAMFT TOC Grant Committee

  • 01/31/2024 7:30 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Chellie Campbell,
    Financial Stress
    Reduction Expert

    Sing Your Song for All You’re Worth!

    "It’s your story. Feel free to hit them
    with a plot twist whenever you want

     Karen Chen,
    American Figure Skater

    I love the theatre. Since I danced in my first musical, “The Boyfriend,” in high school, I’ve loved performing and going to see others perform, too.

    The excitement as you wait for the crowd to gather, to settle down, for the overture to play, the curtain to rise and then you get singing, dancing and stories galore!

    But sometimes the announcement comes over the loudspeaker: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re sorry to announce that XYZ celebrity will not be performing tonight. Instead, the role will be played by XYZ chorus
    member . . .” The energy shifts in an instant and disappointed audience members groan.

    But they don’t know what I know: that some of the most magical nights in the theatre happen when the understudy goes on!

    That’s how Shirley MacLaine was discovered. She was just 21 and a chorus girl in the Broadway hit “The Pajama Game” when Carol Haney who played the saucy, funny dancing role of Gladys, broke her leg. As her understudy, Shirley went on in her stead for the next several weeks. One of those nights, film producer Hal Wallis happened to be in the audience, saw her, shipped her off to Hollywood, and the rest was movie magic.

    Years ago, I got the chance to play Shirley MacLaine’s part of Gladys in “The Pajama Game” at a local 99-seat Equity-waiver playhouse called the Megaw Theatre in Northridge, California. 

    It was my kind of part! I never wanted to play the romantic leads, I liked the second-lead girls – pert and funny, who weren’t onstage all the time but showed up with some comic relief and dancing. You kind of smile when they come on because you know it’s going to be an interlude with lots of fun going on!

    One rehearsal night, about three days before opening night, occurred on April 1st, so I concocted an April Fool’s joke for our director Elaine. 

    She was talking with a group of actors with her back to me. With a mournful face, I tapped on her shoulder.

    “Elaine, I’m so sorry. I don’t know how to tell you this,” I gulped.

    Everyone hushed, and a worried frown creased her brow. “What is it?” she asked?

    “I just got a paid gig in New Orleans for a commercial. It shoots on Saturday and I have to leave tomorrow. I’m not going to be able to do the show opening weekend.”

    She stopped breathing. In distress, I saw her wheels turning as she tried to figure out how to handle this dilemma.

    I felt so badly, I couldn’t leave her hanging for very long. “April Fool!” I shouted.

    Her eyes got big as saucers, her face turned red, and screaming a wordless, “Arrrrghhh!!” she reached out to grab me.

    I turned and ran. She chased me around the entire theatre twice before both of us and all the other actors, musicians, and production personnel collapsed in gales of laughter. It was too funny!

    But then the same situation happened two weeks later and it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. 

    We were getting ready for the Friday night show when our lead actor playing Syd told Elaine he got a part in a movie that was shooting in Washington State and he had to leave Saturday morning. 

    By some twist of fate his understudy was sick and wasn’t going to be able to fill in for him. We were sold out for all the weekend performances! Would we have to cancel the show?

    Elaine and her partner, producer Sydney Morrison, mulled over their choices. They decided to go for broke. They called Sam, a member of the chorus who was understudying a different part, into their office.

    “Guess what?” Elaine announced happily. “You’re going to get to go on as an understudy!”

    “Oh, that’s wonderful!” Sam exclaimed. “When?”

    “Tomorrow night!”

    As he started to say, “Great!” Elaine went on, “But you’re not going on as Hymie. You’re going on as Syd.”

    “What?! I don’t know that part,” he said. “How am I going to be ready?”

    “We’re all going to help you,” she answered. “The whole cast is going to rehearse it with you all day Saturday. Syd’s main prop is a clipboard, so we’ll put the script on it so you’ll have your lines. It will be an exciting day in the theatre and we’re going to pull it off!”

    He sat there looking totally stunned, then he said a weak and tremulous, “Okay . . .”

    The next morning, we all showed up at the theatre at 9:00 am and went through every scene with him, figuring out ways to help. We grabbed sandwiches and fruit for dinner and suddenly, it was curtain time.

    Elaine decided to inform the audience of what had happened. She described the events, apologized that our star couldn’t perform that night, but said we had a wonderful understudy and we had been rehearsing all day to give them a great performance. She graciously offered a refund to anyone who didn’t want to stay and said she would give them tickets to another performance.

    Not one person took her up on her offer. They all smiled and clapped in the spirit of “The show must go on!” You could feel the delighted anticipation of everyone in the room. This was real theatre and real life where unplanned accidents and unforeseen miracles could happen!

    The overture started playing and all the actors whispered the traditional, “Break a leg!” to Sam and each other. Then we began.

    It all went brilliantly, until late in the play. After an hour and a half of stress and adrenaline, Sam’s mind was blown.

    I had a scene with him then, walked on stage and delivered my line. I looked in his eyes and he just shook his head with a hopeless look. So I just said, “Well, I’ll bet you’re thinking” and then said his line myself. 

    He looked relieved, so I tried my next line. He shrugged, so I said, “Now, I know what you’re going to say . . .” and gave his next line, too.

    I did the whole scene like that! It was too funny really, and all the cast was hanging from the rafters screaming hysterically. The audience loved it, too, because they were in on the joke.

    Oh, the cheers they gave us when we did our curtain call. They were yelling and stamping their feet, and when Sam came out to take his bow as the star, they all stood as one person for a rousing standing ovation! What a win for us all, audience, actors, musicians, and crew.

    That night is one of my most cherished memories in the theatre. I’m sitting here grinning to myself over it as I write this. 

    To you I say – this is the magical stuff of life, where you make it up on the fly with a cast of characters you love and cherish.

    Gather some dolphins and go create some memories!

    And if things go awry, and you have to jump in the game without knowing your lines, get ready for some fun and excitement!

    Chellie Campbell, Financial Stress Reduction Expertis the author of bestselling books The Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire, and From Worry to Wealthy: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Success Without the Stress. She has been treating Money Disorders like Spending Bulimia and Income Anorexia in her Financial Stress Reduction® Workshops for over 25 years and is still speaking, writing, and teaching workshops—now as Zoom classes and The Wealthy Spirit Group on Facebookwith participants from all over the world. Website: www.chellie.com.

  • 01/31/2024 6:30 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee

    White Therapist Fighting Racism

    Sunday, February 18, 2024

    Third Sunday of Every Month

    3:00 pm-5:00 pm

    Via Zoom

    White Therapists Fighting Racism

    The goal of White Therapists Fighting Racism (WTFR) is for white-identified therapists to become effective allies in support of decolonization and racial justice in our clinical practice, therapy association, and community. Recognizing that racism is maintained when whiteness is invisible to white people, White Therapists Fighting Racism provides a forum for white-identified therapists to explore what it means to be white. While this process includes learning about structural racism and deconstructing the false narrative about race, a primary focus in the group is on doing inner work. To learn more, click on the Diversity Committee page.

    Open to LA-CAMFT Members and Non-Members

    Licensed Therapists, Associates, and Students

    Event Details: 
    Sunday, February 18, 2024, 3:00 pm-5:00 pm (PT)

    To join this group, go to  https://lacamft.formstack.com/forms/wtfr_member_questionnaire

    For more information contact Randi Gottlieb at rgottliebmft@gmail.com.

    Register Here

  • 01/31/2024 5:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Fran Wickner,
    Ph.D., MFT

    Strategies to Market Your Practice:
    Focus on Networking

    When therapists attend one of my workshops or call me for an individual private practice building consultation, I often hear comments like:

    “I don’t see clients in the morning.”
    “I never see insurance clients in my evening slots.”
    “I only work with private pay clients.” 

    In the past, I would help therapists get a full practice based on their “rules”, such as the examples above. But since the pandemic, all rules are off.

    Teletherapy has also impacted our profession, and unfortunately, the rules of how you want to run your practice right now have to change or you won’t be able to keep a full practice. 

    I am not suggesting that you need to change your practice rules forever, however now is the time to look at new possibilities. Things might be different in a few years. But for now, changes in how you view and run your practice must be different. 

    There are many ways to promote your practice without spending a lot of money. One of the most effective and economical strategies to build and expand your practice is to focus on networking. 

    But before we can discuss how to succeed at networking, it is important to do away with four of the myths that stop many clinicians from considering this as an excellent private practice building strategy. 

    Myth #1: Networking is a lot of work.

    When you read the suggestions below, you will see that most of networking involves things you are already doing. It is just maximizing what you already do as part of your professional growth and the contacts you already have. 

    Myth #2: Only extroverts can network.

    Networking does not have to involve extrovert skills. The suggestions below show how even introverts can successfully network as a way to build and expand their practice. 

    Myth #3: Networking is only for business people, not for “us.”

    If you are in private practice, you already are a business owner. For your practice to grow, you must embrace that you are running a business. 

    Myth #4: For networking to succeed, you have to sell yourself in a way that isn’t ethical.

    Networking is basically just sharing what you do and offering a way for people to find you and/or contact you so they can benefit from your expertise. It’s about being clear at what you do and who you are qualified to help. You are being ethical when you are honest in what you can offer. 

    Below are some ways to network and get new clients.

    As with most practice building ideas, start with the suggestions you feel most comfortable with and then stretch yourself and try the others. And remember, due to being in lockdown for so many years, many therapists are also rusty in regards to their networking skills. Things are opening up! Take advantage of this to build your practice! 

    1. Go to clinical workshops and network with other therapists.

    I've found that by going to smaller trainings there are more opportunities to connect with therapists than going to the large convention-like workshops. You might even run into an old colleague or someone you went to graduate school with. 

    Arrive at the training early and talk to the other participants. It’s as easy as asking where they work, what made them interested in the topic, if they heard the presenter before, etc.  

    Stay afterwards and have informal discussions about the presentation, trade business cards and/or make a coffee date. 

    Then, after you leave, do the important work of following up. Check out the websites of the colleagues you met. Write a quick e-mail to them. You can comment on their website, the presentation or something you talked about before or after the workshop. If you have an email list (where you announce trainings, groups, etc.) ask if it is OK to put them on your list.

    Also do Zoom networking events but try to also do in-person for maximum benefit.  

    2. Join professional associations.

    Professional associations offer so many opportunities for networking. Go to the meetings and better still, get on the board, it will get your name out. Attend social functions in person and on Zoom, go to association sponsored community events or meetings. Most professional associations have networking lunches; go to these too. And whomever you meet in person or virtually, make sure you follow-up with an email or an offer to get together. 

    3. Always carry business cards

    Having business cards are useless unless you use them. Give them out whenever you can. You never know who might be a good referral source. It could be the other carpool mom, or the friend you run into at the grocery store or the person in line for the baseball game. I've found that people are really interested in our work and happy to take a business card.

    If you pass a business that might be able to refer clients, stop in and ask if you can leave a few cards. Doctor’s offices are obvious places, but I have also left business cards at the hair salon and in the café near my office.  

    4. Do "coffee" once a week.  

    Invite another therapist, health practitioner, teacher or business person with whom you might be able to cross refer. I have found this not only has led to referrals, but to new friendships. 

    If you are uncomfortable meeting with a new therapist alone, this is a good time to have a “marketing buddy”. You can take your buddy with you to these coffee dates and they can take you to the ones they set up. 

    The above suggestions can be implemented immediately into your practice. Remember that follow-up is as important as the initial contact so make sure it is an integral part of your marketing plan. 

    I know that many of us find the prospect of networking to be intimidating but if you network and market in a way that fits your values and personality you will get results. Having a steady stream of referrals will motivate you to keep working on the business side of your practice. 

    Fran Wickner, Ph.D., MFT has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1983. In addition to her clinical practice in Berkeley, Dr. Wickner is a practice building consultant and offers individual consultations and workshops as well as availability to speak to your consult group or professional association on all aspects of building and expanding your private practice. Website: FranWickner.com/ForTherapists

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