Jonathan Flier, LMFT
Hi all. I’ve been asked to write something about myself for the LA-CAMFT newsletter Voices. In the June issue, I submitted an article on how I put together a team to restart the chapter and the great success of that endeavor that has sustained and grew our community to being a thriving “village” for therapist in the greater Los Angeles area.
In this short piece, I can let you know a little about me outside of our Chapter.
I am currently about to serve a second term as Director at Large with statewide CAMFT. The work on that board is very different than being on the board of the Los Angeles Chapter. The Chapter is all about community and programs/workshops. CAMFT is all about the allocation of financial and personnel resources to serve the needs of over 31,000 members. The staff prepares material for us to read for our quarterly weekend meeting. There are legislative efforts to review, approvals of budget items and other business like decisions on what the priorities should be for MFTs throughout California. These are brief samples of the areas we have to discuss and vote on.
When I was first licensed in 1991, I ran into a friend who had become a Rabbi. He told me he was running a Conversion to Judaism program for the University of Judaism. I asked what he was offering for emotional support to the individuals and couples who were taking the year-long course. It was minimal and I offered to create four 3-hour sessions to discuss the trials and tribulation of making such a major shift in one’s life. I ran those on Sundays for 8 years.
I have been a Supervisor at the Southern California Counseling Center for over 20 years. I first went there to become an AAMFT Certified Supervisor, and when I completed my training, I was asked to join the staff of volunteer supervisors. Being with the Center brought me many opportunities. I overheard someone at the Center saying that she needed someone to substitute for her teaching Family Systems Therapy in the Master’s program at Antioch. I told her I could do it even though I had never taught at a University. A couple of years later I also met another woman who was running puberty classes for 5th and 6th graders at several private schools around L.A. She needed a male counterpart and I told her I could do it. All I had to do was figure out how.
My daughter was attending a Jewish Day School, and her 3rd grade teacher was an intern at the Center who was in one of my first Group Supervisions. She was creating a program using “Way of the Council” and had trained for it at the Ojai Center. I offered to take the Ojai course, and we co-created emotional development classes for their 6-8th Middle School students that are still an integral part of their programming.
About 5 years ago, the Counseling Center created a year-long program of Somatic based Trauma Treatment including EMDR and the Trauma Resiliency Model. I signed up to take the course which met every week for 3-4 hours. It completely shifted how I was doing therapy and has revolutionized and energized my practice.
So my professional journey has been exciting, diverse and growthful. All because I was willing to say “yes,” take a chance and have faith that I could be successful. I always knew the key for me was being a part of a community and tapping in the expertise that existed within that community.
I hope my journey will inspire you.
Jonathan Flier, LMFT is currently serving on the Board of Director 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.