Los Angeles Chapter  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Voices — June 2023

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  • 05/31/2023 11:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Christina “Tina” Cacho Sakai, LMFT
    President, LA-CAMFT

    Dynamic Duo

    Get to know LA-CAMFT Board of Director Leadership with the Dynamic Duo of Speaker Chair, Elizabeth Sterbenz, LMFT and Networking Chair, Di Wilson, LMFT who work collaboratively to produce the monthly Online CE Presentations formerly known as the Networking Events! Elizabeth and Di have been working together since 2020 putting on informative and engaging presentations for LA-CAMFT.

    Elizabeth Sterbenz, LMFT joined LA-CAMFT in 2012 and volunteered at the Registration Table and then the Literature Table where she highly enjoyed meeting and greeting new attendees. In 2017, Elizabeth volunteered preparing the monthly event documents; such as the CE certificates, agenda and handouts. She attended meetings regularly and during the end of 2020 began her role as Speaker Chair. Elizabeth comes to LA-CAMFT Leadership having worked in television since 1991 where she interned at MTV in New York in the marketing dept and got employed as Head of Programming as an Assistant, moved into Production, worked in the Music & Special Events Dept and then freelance. In 2012, Elizabeth returned to school to pursue a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and got licensed in 2018.

    Elizabeth’s “why” to being an LA-CAMFT Leader:

    • Fellowship & Community.
    • Being in full-time private practice remotely, it fills a community atmosphere and is my new office of people.
    • Speaks to the Producer part of me that I don’t get to do anymore since transitioning over from working in television.
    • Fun to produce something for my MFT colleagues, “It’s like booking a show.”
    • Fun working with experienced and newer presenters.

    Elizabeth’s “hopes and dreams” for LA-CAMFT:

    • More interaction with other Chapters in the area.
    • One spring, summer or winter collaborative event with San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley and Long Beach Chapters.
    • Community continues to enjoy and appreciate the CE Presentations.

    Di began volunteering with LA-CAMFT in 2018 at the Registration Table to the Networking Events and then did the background work for the Networking Chair in 2019 and became the Networking Chair in 2020. Due to Di’s technology background, working with HR systems and willingness to lead, she assisted LA-CAMFT with transitioning to online Networking Events and online CE Certificates during the start of the pandemic. Thanks to Di, LA-CAMFT didn’t miss a beat and continues to run the Networking events online. Di’s goals this year are to train the incoming Networking Chair and be trained for her incoming role as CFO.  

    Di’s “why” to being an LA-CAMFT Leader:

    • Networking
    • Community & feeling like I have colleagues
    • Enjoying the social events.
    • All the learning through the CE Events.
    • Contribution and benefits of being of service.

    Di’s “hopes and dreams” for LA-CAMFT is to increase:

    • Diversity on the leadership team.
    • Younger people in leadership.
    • Openness to thoughts, ideas, and people.
    • Training/teaching of roles.
    • Encouragement for people to get involved.

    This year LA-CAMFT has produced the following CE Presentations:

    1. Meaningful Collaboration Between Psychiatrists and Therapists with Brittany Booth, M.D. & Leigh Good (January 2023)
    2. What Every Therapist needs to Know about Black Folks and other People of Color (BIPOC) with Shawn LaRe’ Brinkley, LMFT (February 2023)
    3. A Day in the Life of an LA Therapist: Legal and Ethical Issues (Law & Ethics Workshop) with Curt Widhalm, LMFT (March 2023)
    4. Identifying and Treating Imposter Syndrome with Stevon Lewis, LMFT (April 2023)

    On Friday, June 23rd from 9 am - 12:15 pm, we are proud to present LA-CAMFT 2023 Teletherapy Workshop: Basic Competencies in Telehealth with Linda Hoffman, PsyD (3 CE Credits) which meets the new BBS requirement. To find out more information about the event and the new BBS requirement click on the link: https://lacamft.org/event-5132023

    Special thank you to Elizabeth and Di for allowing me to interview you and share your greatness with the broader LA-CAMFT Community! If you would like to get in contact with either of them, you could find them here: https://lacamft.org/Board-of-Directors-2023. If you are interested in leadership opportunities, please email me directly at President@lacamft.org

     Hope to connect soon! 

    Christina “Tina” Cacho Sakai, LMFT

    Christina "Tina" Cacho Sakai, LMFT (she/her) is a Latinx (Mexican-American) psychotherapist in private practice and a former community based therapist, clinical supervisor, associate director, and adjunct faculty at CSULA. She provides psychotherapy in a culturally responsive, LGBTQIA+ affirming and social justice-oriented atmosphere. Treatment specializations include healing from trauma, processing grief and loss, exploring creativity, and honoring full intersectional identities. She is currently in the BIPOC Somatic Experiencing Training Certificate Program.
  • 05/31/2023 10:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT 2023 Teletherapy Workshop:
    Basic Competencies in Telehealth

    Friday, June 23, 2023
    9:00 am-12:15 pm

    3 CE Credits

    Online Via Zoom

    Basic Competencies in Telehealth

    Linda J. Hoffman, PsyD

    New Law AB 1759 goes into effect on July 1, 2023. It requires all licensed therapists applying for license renewal and associates who are applying to take the licensing exam to have 3 hours of training in the delivery of mental health services via telehealth, including law and ethics. Read more about the new law here:  https://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/ab_1759_faq_telehealth.pdf.

    This presentation meets the BBS requirement and covers basic competencies in the provision of mental health services via telehealth. Competencies being addressed include, but are not limited to: legal and ethical standards (including jurisdictional issues and HIPAA requirements), risks and benefits, informed consent, communication and safety issues, research on effectiveness, assessing clients for appropriateness, and common video presentation issues. 

    Event Details: 
    Friday, June 23, 2023, 9:00 am-12:15 pm (PT)

    Where: Online Via Zoom

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

    Register Here

  • 05/31/2023 9:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT
    Voices Editor

    Getting Paid: 5 Key Tools for Private Practice Success That Work for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, Associates, Trainees, and Students

    Therapists want to know the secret to private practice success—filling one with enough clients to pay for the business, support ourselves, take a vacation, fund our retirement, and save some money. Private practice success is doable with planning, skill, and the right kind of ongoing effort.

    Five Key Tools for Private Practice Success

    1. Your Introduction
    2. Your Business Card/Email Signature/Social Media Profile
    3. Your Contacts & Referral Sources
    4. Your Website or Other Online Presence
    5. Listings in Online Web Directories 

    1.  Your Introduction
    What you say or write when introducing yourself online or in person is a very useful tool for letting people know who you are, where you work, who you work with—vital info for those looking to employ you, refer clients or have you as a therapist. 

    You may be surprised to learn how many therapists introduce themselves by just saying their first name—not where they work or who they work with as clients. How can people find you or know who they can refer without this info?

    Say your full name, license or professional status, type of work, office location or work place, and who you work with—or would like to. This gives people the right information to connect and refer. 

    Introductions don’t have to be fancy, just key information delivered in a calm, friendly, professional manner: 

    Eric Hernandez, Registered Associate MFT, at the West Hollywood Counseling Center where I counsel gay men and their partners under the supervision of Dr. Aaron Cohen. 

    Lisa Chan, MFT Trainee, with School Counseling Services. I counsel middle school students and their parents in Silverlake. Tina Martinez, LCSW is my supervisor. 

    Matt Samson, student at Pepperdine’s Encino Campus. I’m interested in working with men and anger management in the Culver City area. 

    Jen Harvey, Licensed MFT. I work at Harbor House in Van Nuys treating adults with addictions and have a Telehealth/private practice in Sherman Oaks working with teens and their parents. 

    If you’re typing the intro online, list your website last, so people can click on it. 

    Getting the word out about your services is a community service. Make sure your community knows how you can be of service to them—and how to find you when they need your services.

    2.  Your Business Card, Email Signature or Online Profile
    For in person interactions, your business card, including your email address, is a good marketing and connecting tool for clients, colleagues, referral sources, other business people, and professionals. Online, your email signature or social media profile info is your business card. 

    Licensed therapist’s business info:

    • Full name
    • License status
    • Address or List Telehealth
    • Phone Number
    • Email Address
    • Type of Services Offered or Clients Served
    • Your Pronouns

    Your email address is a must. Clients, colleagues, and others want to be able to connect via e-mail, text, phone. Use a business, not personal, email on your card. Save time, make a good impression, by not having to write it on the card. Make sure the printing on the card is large so it can be read quickly and easily.

    Associates and Trainees wanting a business card including this information should check with their supervisor and the organization they work for about their requirements. 

    Your Pronouns. If it fits for you or your community, the pronouns you use can be included—in English and or any other language you or clients, colleagues, community, others speak. Where you place your pronouns is up to you—after your full name, professional status, address, or anywhere else it fits best for you in this list.

    For an Associate, Trainee or Student card for networking, I recommend using a personal calling card instead of a business card. Here’s the calling card format:

    • Full Name
    • Phone Number
    • Email Address

    You can pass the calling card out to colleagues and others so they can contact you about jobs, organizations or other information. I don’t recommend you give it to potential clients, just use it for networking purposes—it makes a better impression than writing your info on a piece of paper. 

    3.  Your Contacts, Referral Sources & Resources
    Who you know, those who know you, and those who refer to you are a valuable resource in filling a practice. 

    Building your contact list, email list, referral sources, followers, and resource list is a long-term project. Start today! Students who start this will have a good head start—don’t wait until you’re licensed to build the list of people who you know, who know about you, and the work you do. 

    Who’s on your contacts list? Colleagues, licensed and pre-licensed therapists you know, counseling centers, current and former supervisors, graduate program instructors, business people you do business with, medical and dental professionals you do business with or refer to, friends, family members, neighbors, members of your church/temple/mosque, members of organizations you or your family belong to, social contacts, community contacts, etc. Online these are your social media contacts—followers, friends, members of the groups you have or belong to. 

    Each is a potential referral source for your practice. Find a way to keep contact and keep them current on you and your practice. Whenever they send you a referral, thank them with a handwritten note or an e-mail or even a call—no client name necessary so confidentiality isn’t an issue. 

    4.  Your Website or Other Online Presence
    You’ll most likely need some online presence to maintain your practice since most clients who are willing to pay or use their insurance find therapists online. Think of your website or webpage, blog, podcast, TikTok, YouTube Channel, FB Page, Instagram, etc., as your online office.

    Ask any therapist with a thriving practice—most will report a high percentage of clients come from sources online. Think about it, people save time by searching online. Give prospective clients a website or other page to become informed about services. Even if they find you in a directory, prospective clients will look at your website or other web presence before they contact you. 

    Many therapists think a website is expensive. This is not the case. You don’t need to spend a lot for a website to attract clients. However, you do need at least a page or a few pages/videos/audios for clients to find or check you out when they’re referred. Clients like to see a picture or video, read something about you, your services—and e-mail you from your website. If you are going to have enough paying clients, having a website or page is a necessity. 

    There are many free or very low-cost services for creating a professional looking website. It’s fairly easy, no coding necessary. Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, and others provide these. Check them out—ask colleagues or friends about their experiences. 

    If you decide to pay for a website, contact therapists you know who have websites you like—ask who designed it, what they paid—or search online and see who designed the websites you like, then contact them. 

    If you are pre-licensed—especially if you’re a student—I suggest you have at least a page with your name, license status, contact information—with your own domain name. If your page says that mentions or counseling you’ll have to include a supervisor’s name and information. 

    If you don’t want a webpage or think that you can’t afford to spend any money, consider a blog. Blogs are free at Blogger.com—you can direct people to that to check out your practice information. TikTok, FB, Insta, YouTube are free, too. 

    5. Your Online Listing in a Paid or Free Directory
    Having a listing in a few online directories helps. Do consider that paying for a directory listing can be a good investment in reaching potential clients. Clients find you when you’re listed in a therapist directory since they advertise and promote aggressively so they’re first in online searches. 

    If you don’t want to pay for an online listing like Psychology Today, there are many free directory listings. CAMFT and AAMFT Clinical members have a listing as a membership benefit as do local chapters of CAMFT when you are a chapter member. Listings are also not limited to licensed therapists. Many sites have pre-licensed listings, but you must include supervisor information. 

    I hope you’ve found this information helpful and encouraging as you create, maintain, or upgrade your practice. I wish you much success in your private practice endeavors. 

    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.

  • 05/31/2023 8:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT 2023
    ONLINE Business Presentation

    Friday, June 2, 2023
    10:00 am-11:00 am

    Online Via Zoom

    Why is Branding Essential for Therapists?
    Understanding the Basics and Unlocking
    the Benefits for Your Private Practice

    Mishka Clavijo Kimball LMFT,
    Coach, and Brand Strategist & Designer for Therapists

    Branding goes beyond just a logo or a tagline. It encompasses how you present yourself to the world, your professional identity, and the values you uphold in your practice. By establishing a clear and compelling brand, you can differentiate yourself from other therapists, build trust with potential clients, and create a memorable impression in their minds. In this workshop, we will delve into the fundamental aspects of branding and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to identify and create your own unique brand as a therapist. 

    Event Details: 
    Friday, June 2, 2023, 10:00 am-11:00 am (PT)

    Where: Online Via Zoom

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

    Register Here

  • 05/31/2023 7:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Chellie Campbell,
    Financial Stress
    Reduction Expert

    What’s the Story of Your Life?

    Don't ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

                               Howard Thurman  

    Carrie sobbed as her grandmother Bea shook her.

    “How disgusting and evil of you,” Bea raged. “Taking advantage of your friends like that. You stole their money!”

    “I didn’t steal it!” Carrie wailed. “They wanted the candy. I just sold it to them.”

    “You know that candy was only one cent at the store. You charged them two cents—that’s twice as much. You robbed them blind!”

    “No, Grandma Bea, I didn’t rob them! The candy store closed at 6:00. I just bought a bunch of candy early so I could sell it to the kids when they wanted it later. I thought I was smart. I thought I could make a little money from it. Isn’t that okay?”

    “No, no, no! It’s not okay to sell one cent candy for two cents and take advantage of your friends. You are going to give every penny of that ill-gotten money back. I am so ashamed of you!”

    Carrie hung her head weeping as Grandma Bea called all the neighbors and told them to come over to the house with their youngsters. Carrie was made to apologize and give back every cent to each child who had bought candy from her. She cried herself to sleep for weeks.

    She learned her lesson well: It’s a sin to make a profit.

    Carrie was still shaken by the memory of that day when she related this story in my workshop. Everyone in the class shook their heads at the power of that bitter lesson. Now a savvy young businesswoman, Carrie had owned her own business for a couple of years. 

    But the most powerful authority figure in her life had impressed upon her in that wrenching emotional scene making a profit was evil. Especially from her friends.

    Every time she had to ask someone for payment, she choked. Every time she felt friendly feelings towards someone (which was pretty much all the time towards everyone), she lowered her prices. She was embarrassed to charge them any money, let alone good money, for her services. Is it any wonder?

    What is the story about life, success, and money that you were told as a child? Did your parents tell you it was easy to get or difficult? What did they value more than money? 

    Suze Orman, in 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, recounts how she watched her father run back into the burning conflagration that had been his restaurant. He ran through the flames—not to save a life, but to rescue his cash register. It was blazing hot and burned him badly, but he saved the money. Suze learned that money was more important than life.

    When I speak to groups or teach workshops, I always ask, “Who took a class in school about how to make or manage money?” 

    Very few people raise their hands—most people never took a personal finance class in school when they were growing up. 

    When we’re not taught it, we make it up from what is around us. We make it up from what our parents say to us when we’re young. We make it up from what our teachers tell us in school. We make it up from the television shows we watch, the newspapers and magazines we read, the stories our friends tell us. We make it up from our milieu. 

    We’re all graduates of MSU—Make Stuff Up.

    So what have you made up about money? Take some time to reflect about money and the role it has played in your life. 

    Pay attention to your first memory of money. Was it received as a gift or did you earn it? Note your first job—what it was, how much you were paid, whether or not you liked it. 

    Did you ever think of going into business for yourself? If you did, what made you willing to take the risk? If you didn’t, what stopped you from taking the risk? 

    Who said, “That’s a great idea. Go for it!” 

    And who said, “That’ll never work. You’ll lose everything if you do that.”

    Do you want to change your story?

    My life’s work is to help people create a life and a living they love, surround themselves with dolphin friends who have their back and have fun doing it!

    Chellie Campbell, Financial Stress Reduction Expert, is 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.

  • 05/31/2023 5:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT 3000 Club


    Therapists of Color:
    Navigating the Path
    of Career Mentorship 

    Monday, June 19, 2023
    6:30 pm-7:30 pm

    FREE Registration

    Via Zoom

    Therapists of Color:
    Navigating the Path of Career Mentorship

    Perla Hollow, LMFT and Stara Shakti, LMFT

    This event is an opportunity for trainees, associates, and newly licensed clinicians to learn about the basics of clinical mentoring. During this panel discussion, attendees can expect to gain valuable insight into the benefits of having a licensed clinical mentor, how to establish a strong mentor-mentee relationship, and an overview of the LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color (TOC) Mentorship Program. Joining us on the panel will be a previous TOC mentee and two LMFT clinicians who will share their experiences of being a part of the program and host a Q & A discussion. Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of what it means to have a mentor who supports their cultural identity and how that support can nurture their professional development as a mental health clinician.

    Event Details: Monday, June 19, 2023, 6:30 pm-7:30 pm (PT)
    Where: Online Via Zoom

    After you register you will be emailed a Zoom link the Thursday before the presentation.

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

    Register Here

  • 05/31/2023 5:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Marvin Whistler

    LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color Grant Award: June Grant Award Registration Closes June 24

    On February 26, 2023, the most recent awardees of the LA-CAMFT TOC GRANT AWARD were randomly selected. They are Cindy Hernandez and Mercedes Williams-Brown.

    Each will receive a check for $500, a free year of LA-CAMFT membership and free admission to 3 LA-CAMFT workshops or networking events.

    The next cycle for the grant award began on May 1, 2023. Registration for the next award cycle opened on May 1, 2023 and will close on June 24, 2023. The drawing will take place on June 25, 2023.

    It is limited to members of LA-CAMFT, and the award is limited to once per calendar year.

    To apply for the award if you are not an LA-CAMFT member, you must first join LA-CAMFT.

    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

    • $500 to be spent at the winner’s discretion
    • Free year of LA-CAMFT membership
    • Free admission to 3 LA-CAMFT workshops or networking events of the winner’s choosing with the exception of the Law & Ethics Workshop.

    The $500 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, whom will also be contacted via email directly.

    Registration for the next award cycle will open on May 1, 2023 and will close on June 24, 2023. The drawing will take place on June 25, 2023.

    Best regards,

    The LA-CAMFT TOC Grant Committee
  • 05/31/2023 4:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    David Silverman,

    Dreaming Big vs. Dreaming Small

    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. 
                           Henry David Thoreau

    If you’ve decided to become a screenwriter, a filmmaker, or to write for television you’re already dreaming about as big as it gets. You’ve decided to take on the insanely long odds of making it in one of the toughest, most competitive fields there is. Clearly you know what it means to dream big.

    When you see yourself going after a big dream, you tap into the greatest source of motivation there is. Dreaming is different than planning, or creating a to-do list. It taps into something very primal. There is tremendous power in dreaming big.

    When you dream about becoming a screenwriter, you’re throwing in with a group of select souls. You’re saying to the universe, I want to follow in the footsteps of great men and women. You can watch their movies, study their screenplays—you can listen to their Academy Award acceptance speeches.

    You have put yourself in the company of men and women like Francis Coppola, Nora Ephron, Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino, Diablo Cody, Alfred Hitchcock, and Woody Allen. And that’s inspiring. Those are the people who come the closest to actually making magic on this planet.

    When you dream about doing something, you’re deciding what to do with your life. And in keeping your dream alive, you’re constantly renewing your commitment, and willing yourself closer to the goal.

    As you continue to dream, you start working smarter. You’re driven to manage your time better. You tend to gravitate toward the work. Something inside tells you to sit down at the keyboard and write.

    You’ll also tend to gravitate toward people who inspire you to do the work. You’ll look for teachers, and mentors. You’ll spend more time with other people who share your dream. You’ll have friends you can talk to about your film ideas. You’ll build a network of people who are involved in film. It all builds to you reaching your goal.

    Sometimes, however, the really big dream will feel overwhelming. The other people in your life may discourage you just because your dreams are so big. Your dream, your lofty goal may make others uncomfortable.

    There will always be well-meaning people in your life, who’ll tell you, “The odds are against you. You’re going to be working day jobs and writing every night. How can you have a family if you chase a crazy dream?”

    Like all writers, you’re eventually going to find yourself in a slump. A long series of rejections may wear away at your resolve. You might have to take on an extra day job. You might feel bad about not being able to spend time with friends and family.

    At times like that, when your motivation starts to wane, I recommend looking for more attainable goals. In the early phases of my own career, for example, I decided to get a job as a reader, covering screenplays for a studio. When I got that job, I was thrilled. It kept me going.

    At other times in my career, I dreamt about smaller goals—like getting a job rewriting an independent feature script. I dreamt about getting a five hundred dollar option on a screenplay. I dreamt about getting a job writing for a kid’s cartoon show. Those dreams didn’t seem so out of reach but they were paying jobs.

    I believe you have to completely buy into your dreams for them to resonate with you. They have to feel plausible, and somewhat realistic. With a set of less overwhelming, more realistic goals, you might find yourself more motivated to go after them.

    What would you consider a more attainable goal in your career? Getting a meeting with an agent, or a manager? Pitching movie ideas to producer? Creating or writing for a web TV series?

    Sometimes, even a few good networking experiences can raise your confidence. Placing in the top ten screenplays in The Page Competition do wonders for your outlook. Make one phone call a day to an individual you want to network with. The more contacts who agree to meet you, the farther out you’ll feel like reaching.

    There are times during your career when achieving the small goals can get you through. Writing is so much about having confidence, and confidence comes from success. Small successes build into larger ones. It’s like a “snowball effect.”

    You can get through a difficult period in your writing career by dreaming small. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking about getting from where you are to where you want to be. Create goals you can attain in a few weeks, or months. Keep dreaming small, until you can dream big again.

    David Silverman, LMFT, treats creative and highly sensitive individuals in private practice in LA. Having experienced the rejection, stress, creative blocks, and career reversals over a long career as a writer in Film and TV, he’s uniquely suited to work with gifted, creative and sensitive clients experiencing anxiety, addiction or depression. For more information, visit www.DavidSilvermanMFT.com.

  • 05/31/2023 3:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee

    Asian American Pacific Islander+
    Therapists Circle

    Friday, June 16, 2023

    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, June 16, 2023, 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

  • 05/31/2023 2:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Joanna Poppink, LMFT

    Self-Worth: 15 Questions to Build
    Your Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

    Self-worth can get bogged down by your self-criticisms, binge eating, negative body image and destructive behaviors. Unhappiness about your weight and shape adds to your low self-esteem. You may be confusing your authentic identity with your compulsive behaviors and merciless attacks on yourself. The result is you don’t believe you have much self-worth.

    Instead of sinking into depression because your self-worth and self-esteem are low, explore these 15 questions. Find out if what you are telling yourself is true.

    Personal Detective Work
    Do you believe the genuine you fuels your problematic behaviors?
    Or do you have an inner knowing that what fuels these behaviors is not the real you?

    Have you considered looking at the difference between the genuine you and your negative self-talk? Perhaps your low self-worth is a symptom of your inability to be secure in your own identity.

    It’s time to be your own detective. You might begin by looking at your unwanted behaviors, like bingeing or criticizing your body or moving into any topic that sets you on a self-demeaning tangent. Your challenge is to learn how to look at your behaviors without the negative self-talk that lowers your sense of self-worth.

    As a detective your task is to separate your behavior from your identity. How can you discover the difference between a false sense of self-worth and the self-worth you have when you live as the real you? Detectives do research and look for clues.

    Symptoms versus Authenticity
    If you suffer from continual negative thinking about yourself you most likely do not know the difference between your symptoms and who you authentically are. Yet knowing the difference is vital as well as delightful for your healthy emergence from your self-criticism pattern trap.

    A powerful and profound aspect of recovery occurs when a person catches a glimpse of herself as a valuable human being. Perhaps she receives acknowledgement from someone she respects that surprises her, yet she knows what they are saying is true.

    Perhaps only for a moment, her self-worth rises. She discovers she has untapped riches that are blocked, not by her character or basic nature, but by symptoms of an illness or distorted thought pattern.

    Our self-worth is based on how we see our value as a person. A treasure underground is worth the same as that treasure when it’s brought to light. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s valueless. We need to uncover our hidden treasures before we can appreciate their and our value.

    When you get even a hint of knowing you have untapped riches, you feel a glimmer and then a surge of hope. Your self-worth increases with that hope. You develop a renewed dedication to living a healthy life, free and whole. You are aiming for a life that includes eating, drinking, sleeping, talking, laughing communicating, and creating without irresistible cravings and without pulling yourself back into the morass of low self-worth..

    Can you imagine your relief and freedom if your negative self-talk vanished and you alone, in your authentic state, remained? Your self-worth continues to increase. Negative self-talk stops. You’ve been carrying a burden whose power you only really appreciate when it’s gone.

    Discovering your genuine self-worth
    In countless situations with patients over the course of my career as a psychotherapist I see that a focus on the strengths and values of the authentic person undermines the power of low self-worth and a kind of emotional paralysis. The more self-worth you have the more freedom of thought, feeling and positive action you have for your life.

    This is not wishful thinking, nor is it easy. Your self-worth is based on your strengths and authentic values. When you fall into a pattern of putting yourself down your strengths and true values and abilities are buried under compulsive behaviors. Your internal negativity and sense of helplessness undermines your identity. That identity and your self-worth gets weaker over the years. Your negative beliefs about yourself gain more power and influence in your life. But you can turn the tables on this system and have your authentic identity and self-worth undermine become the dominant feature of your inner dialogue.

    Beginning the hunt for the authentic you.
    As a detective you have suspicions and an open mind. Your suspicions can be incorrect or correct, but they may be clues. You use them as a beginning place to start your investigation. Often a person with low self-worth believes her low self-esteem and feelings of low self-worth are a practical and honest appraisal of herself.

    Still, an investigation might show her a different truth. You begin with questions.

    With courage and trust you ask yourself the following 15 questions. They can open closed doors within you and give you more clues about your genuine nature. If you keep an open mind and answer honestly eventually your authentic self will answer.

    15 Questions that lead to the real you

    1. Who am I really?­­­­
    2. What do I care about?
    3. Who do I care about?
    4. What do I want?
    5. What is my life’s work?
    6. What do I need to learn to be effective in a world I want to live in?
    7. Who are the people I want in my life? How can I meet them? How do I equip myself to be qualified to enter new circles of people I want to know?
    8. What might be consequences if I take action based on who I am and what I want and believe in?
    9. How do I cope with those consequences? Do I need to prepare? If so, how?
    10. What risks are involved in taking authentic action?
    11. Are these risks proportionate to my gains or am I frightening myself into non action?
    12. What would I do if I were just a little tiny bit braver than I am?
    13. What do I want out of my life?
    14. What do I want in my life?
    15. During a normal day or week or month or year, how do I want to use my time and energy?

    The Hunt for Your Real Value: Challenge and Reward
    With determination and courage, you can ask yourself these questions despite your symptoms.

    How close can you get to responding to these questions without your pattern of self-criticism getting in the way?

    As you ask yourself these questions, pay attention to your answers and nourish your authentic response. As you honor the questions and the directions they give you, your authentic self will grow stronger. That growth diminishes power of your negative behaviors and demeaning self-talk. Your self-worth rises.

    Giving yourself the attention you need to get through your negativity and into your genuine interests and values will give you many hints about what could be next for you if you step into what you care about. Your true person-hood will emerge, perhaps to your surprise, because your genuine personhood is a grand presence.

    Joanna Poppink, LMFT
    , psychotherapist, speaker, and author of
    Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder, is in private practice and specializes in Eating Disorder Recovery for adult women and with an emphasis on building a fulfilling life beyond recovery. She is licensed in California, Florida, Oregon, and Utah. All appointments are virtual. Website: EatingDisorderRecovery.net
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