Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is a joy to be writing to you to greet the new year together, ripping off the last page or scrolling past the last screen of 2015 to begin a new calendar. I love the new year metaphor; the construct of turning a new leaf, of releasing and letting go aspects of yesteryear that I consciously chose to leave behind, of probing for lessons learned so I can carry them forward into the new year, and mindfully setting intention for the future.
For LA-CAMFT I would describe this past year as one of creative development and expansion of our chapter’s infrastructure and programming, including the following: a new logo and brand, a redesigned dynamic website, an ever-increasing presence on Social Media, the launching of Voices, our new eBulletin, healthy chapter increase of membership, steady deepening of camaraderie among board members and our leadership team, continued development of our chapter’s special interest groups (3000 Club, Expressive Arts, Somatic Therapies, Supervisors), and launching of a new SIG on Constructive Uncoupling: Therapy, Mediation, and Law. We sponsored eight Networking Events with high quality presenters covering a broad a range of topics. We made great progress toward our goal of having the year’s calendar of speakers set in advance, and we acquired sponsorships for every event. All this plus we had great attendance and rave reviews from those who came to our chapter’s three annual social events: the Summer Picnic, Appreciation Dinner, and Holiday Potluck.
So what of the new year ahead? Please join me in mindfully setting intention for LA-CAMFT 2016.
First, I set the intention to stay the course; to sustain, nurture, and grow our chapter’s vibrant camaraderie and quality programming. To act on this intention, we will be launching a series of Leadership skills-building workshops for LA-CAMFT members interested in learning or honing their leadership skills. I also call on all who are reading this message to consider stepping up your personal involvement in LA-CAMFT. We need YOU if we are to truly sustain, nurture and grow our therapy association. If you are not sure where or how to get involved, I welcome you to contact me so we can personally discuss your interest and find the opportunity that is a best match for you.
Second, given the current state of the world in which we live, I believe it is incumbent upon LA-CAMFT to articulate a broader vision for our association. My intention is not to change our chapter’s primary focus of providing support and networking opportunities to therapists in private practice.
Rather, it is to expand that focus to address how terrorism, urban violence, racial and gender discrimination, immigration policies, and economic insecurity contribute to the myriad of mental health issues people bring into the office. Further it is to offer opportunities for therapists to be change agents and healers within the communities in which they practice.
To this end, one of the things I am working on is a collaborative effort between therapists in our chapter and SFV-CAMFT to implement a multi-chapter Crisis Response Network (CRN). The mission of the CRN will be twofold: to facilitate timely, well trained, pro-bono, crisis response and recovery services to individuals and communities in the aftermath of local disasters, and to provide quality post-action debrief and support to area therapist responders.
I will actively seek new co-chairs so we can reboot two very needed Special Interest Groups (SIG) that were forced to go inactive because their founding co-chairs could not continue. One is the Sexuality and Gender Awareness (SAGA) SIG and the other is the Latino Alliance and Support SIG.
I also intend to seek ways to continue and strengthen our support to organizations such as The Soldiers Project (thesoldiersproject.org), providing pro bono psychotherapy to veterans; and, Something to Say (somethingtosayla.com), a healing arts retreat connecting young Black men with Black artists in various fields.
There are so many things our chapter could do to bring this broader-context vision to life. Please contact me if you have interest in being part of the leadership teams for the Crisis Response Network, SAGA, Latino Support and Alliance, or if you have additional ideas to propose. I’d love to hear from you!