Altruism As a Licensed MFT
I have been doing pro-bono work as a therapist for a long time. As we all know, this begins in a traineeship and then continues as a MFT Intern. But, what about as an LMFT, can I continue to feel the joy and gratitude of the consciousness of altruism?
I was given an incredible opportunity seven years ago to initiate and help create a partnership with the Culver City Senior Center. The Director, Dr. Eric J. Day and assistant Director, Jill Howe-Vercos, LMFT, of the Antioch University Counseling Center supported and encouraged me to explore with Darren Uhl, Disability Services Specialist how AUCC could help CCSC.
What we formed seven years ago continues to flourish and grow. I led a process group with other co-facilitators for over six years pro-bono and our AUCC trainees and interns continue to provide pro-bono therapy to the members of the CCSC, whether individual, couples or family therapy at the CCSC facility. Hiroko Saeki has been running the process group I started for about a year. Her dedication and therapy style has provided this group of seniors with rich and transformational insights and awareness into their lives.
My volunteer position as CFO for the Los Angeles Chapter of CAMFT and Executive Board Member requires my time and attention. I continue to provide supervision to Hiroko and continue to facilitate and create programs for our Seniors Division at AUCC.
The Antioch University Counseling Center was my training site and now I am providing group supervision as a paid staff member, in addition to offering group and individual supervision pro-bono to interns.
AUCC is one of the very few training sites that does not charge interns for supervision. In exchange, all of us who are involved at AUCC participate in our annul fundraiser. From the Director to staff who practices the art of therapy, all of us must raise the needed funds to continue the incredible work.
AUCC has many divisions that provide pro-bono and low-cost fees for those who are seeking to improve their relationships and emotional well-being. Our School-based Counseling Services continues to grow at a rapid pace; we currently serve 190 at-risk students per week at elementary, middle and high schools at no cost to their families or the schools. We also have our Colors program, in which our therapists address the unique concerns of the LGBTQ youth, their families, and allies at no cost.
The compassionate work we do at AUCC is remarkable. All of us at AUCC have a foundational consciousness of social justice. The meaning we attach to our experience allows us to create this consciousness of altruism. Our consciousness then guides us in our perspective of the art of therapy and how we can be there to help our clients/patients improve their relationships.
I invite you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are inspired to support our annual fundraiser. Besides making a monetary donation, you are also invited to attend the conclusion of our fundraiser by purchasing tickets to our Comedy Night at The Improv, June 11, 2017. Again contact me for the specifics.
Thanks to all of you who support our community of Marriage and Family Therapists.
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 email@example.com.