Los Angeles Chapter  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Los Angeles Chapter — CAMFT

Member Spotlight

10/31/2019 8:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)
Billie Klayman

Valerie "Billie"
Klayman, LMFT
Chief Financial Officer

November’s Featured Member:
Lauren Hooten, AMFT

(Originally printed in 2017)

Each month I write about our members and their connection to our chapter. This month's Spotlight is from 2017 and features Lauren Hooten, LMFT, a member of our LA-CAMFT chapter.

In Lauren's words:

It’s 2012, and I am in a large office building at a software company in Santa Monica after several rounds of interviews. I scan the faces to assess if the PowerPoint was well received. After questioning references, the VP says they will put together a job offer package.

Sitting in my car afterwards, thoughts and emotions are out of sync. “This is a fantastic opportunity . . . My last interview was with a Director relocating to the office in France. I could live in Paris again! Wasn’t this my goal with an International Business degree? Shouldn’t I be elated and fulfilled?”

With therapy and soul-searching, I discover that alignment with values and making a personal impact are missing as an IT Consultant.

The next career step is applying to graduate programs in psychology. As a Myers-Briggs INFP, creating unity is the color of my parachute. Indeed, my first college course was Intro to Psychology at Stanford University at a summer term before senior year in high school.

Being a therapist is an opportunity to integrate mind, body, and soul to empower others. What a privilege to heal the human spirit!

As an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, I have been fortunate for the opportunity to serve as LA-CAMFT’s Chair of Registration since February 2017. The generosity of established clinicians who reach out, encourage participation and advocate for pre-licensed members fosters a culture of trust.

This is a safe space to be involved! Celebrating the accomplishment of newly licensed therapists is inspiring, and they are role models. I acknowledge the pre-licensed members who share their successes and struggles authentically. With all the uncertainties during a career transition, being part of this community provides connection and momentum.

Since graduating from Antioch University in 2015, my enthusiastic idealism is constantly challenged by reality. I under-estimated the resources required for licensure. As a career-changer with financial obligations, grit and creative economic finesse are insufficient. Without a paying internship, it’s time for some tough choices!

As therapists, we expect clients to tolerate discomfort and grow. Likewise, there are areas to expand my comfort zone. Defining a mission statement, updating LinkedIn and launching a web site would convey serious intention and skills. As a professional, I am called to a higher level of integrity. I often complain about pre-licensed circumstances without taking action.

Bemoaning the lack of supervisors and paying internships does not encourage a meaningful discourse. Requesting meetings with respected professionals, being curious and asking questions opens doors. There are so many opportunities to reach out!

I am clear that securing my own oxygen mask first allows me to be a contribution to others. With a commitment to health and relationships, I look forward to continuing the journey of discovery.

Update: After submitting this article, I accepted a full-time salaried position at a treatment center from a referral at a networking meeting. After training, I began seeing clients the second week in February.

Valerie "Billie" Klayman, M.A., LMFT, an integrative Meaning Centered Therapist, became a supervisor at Antioch University Counseling Center in 2014. Billie initiated a partnership between AUCC and the Culver City Senior Center offering pro-bono therapy and group therapy to members of CCSC. December 2016, Culver City hired Billie to help residents of the community at the Culver City Senior Center. She’s presented on Substance Abuse and Addiction. Billie can be reached at cfo@lacamft.org.

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