Los Angeles Chapter — California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Los Angeles Chapter — CAMFT
Jonathan Flier, LMFT
SIG Chair, LA-CAMFT
From the Archives: LA-CAMFT HistoryJonathan Flier’s President’s MessageMarch 2013
This article originally appeared in the LA-CAMFT newsletter, the LA Therapist Update, in the March/April 2013 edition.
Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,
As I write this message, we are about to begin our fourth year of programming since the rebirth of the chapter. Three years ago, we had just put together a new leadership team to guide LA‐CAMFT, and we quickly put together a program for February 2009 to show our community we were back in action. We had procured a new location, the Beverly Hills Country Club, arranged for a delicious breakfast buffet, free valet parking, and a beautiful room. We created an all networking program based on "Way of the Council" style sharing that also asked participants what their vision of a "village" LA‐CAMFT community would look and feel like.
We had 60 seats available and I recalled that the last couple of chapter meetings had 15‐20 participants. I was terrified! We guaranteed 30 participants to the club's caterer and began a new plan for marketing the chapter. I contacted CAMFT and asked them for the email addresses for all their members in the greater West Los Angeles area. We sent out emails promising a wonderful new LA‐CAMFT experience, one that would be warm and welcoming, informative, and fun. We modeled the meeting after the successful programming created by Lynne Azpeitia and Karen Wulfson and honed by a relatively new Santa Monica-West LA AAMFT Networking District leadership team that I had been a part of for several months. I sent out invitations via Evite and after three emails, we sold over 65 seats. We posted the meeting as a sell out and closed registration. The Networking Presentation was a great success.
In April of this year, 2013, the chapter will be celebrating another anniversary. In 2009, the SM-WLA Networking district had an April meeting scheduled and I didn't want to create a competitive event so I went to the SM-WLA leadership team and posited the idea that we create the first ever, collaborative CAMFT-AAMFT event. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and CAMFT seemed at the height of their competitive squabbling but I knew that there was room for "rapprochement" between the AAMFT California Executive Director, Olivia Loewy, Ph.D., and CAMFT Executive Director Mary Riemersma.
We proposed the idea to our respective directors, won over their skepticism, and went for it. We brought SM-WLA to our new location, found a larger area to hold the meeting (75 chairs) and proceeded to sell out that meeting as well. A while after that April 2009 meeting Mary and Olivia got together and agreed that that cooperative event was a potential model for a new level of cooperation between the National and the California organization representing Marriage and Family Therapists.
So, from these humble beginnings we rebuilt our chapter and have become among the largest and most active chapters in California. Our chapter has been a model for growth and has inspired chapters throughout the state to emulate and implement the processes that brought our success. We have had over 1000 MFT members and non‐members actively attending meetings, reading our newsletters, and participating in our Special Interest Groups.
We are engaged in the process of expanding our programs and involvement opportunities and look ahead to another fantastic year. Our motto and vision, borrowed from Hilary Clinton's book It Takes A Village, has served us well and will continue our success through collaboration, empathy, and connection among all of us dedicated to the mental health and emotional growth of the communities we serve.
Jonathan Flier, LMFTLA-CAMFT President
Jonathan Flier, MFT, has served on the Board of Directors of statewide CAMFT. In 2008 he became President and restarted the Los Angeles Chapter of CAMFT. He has supervised interns for over 20 years at the Southern California Counseling Center and has a thriving practice that specializes in working with men treating trauma and anxiety with somatic based therapies including EMDR, high conflict couples and passionless couples and consultations with licensed MFTs and LCSWs.
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