Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Unlike previous leadership transitions, the changing of the guard happened this year at the June retreat, and I would like to thank the board of directors for their supportive and heartfelt welcome as the new chapter president. Beginning last year when I first attended an LA-CAMFT meeting, to accepting this new responsibility, I have experienced a level of community, inspiration, and friendship that has deeply touched me at times. I’m grateful to be working with such extraordinary professionals, especially our past president, Randi Gottlieb. Her brilliance and commitment to excellence are matched only by her heart, and her service has benefited LA-CAMFT in unparalleled ways.
As for me, psychotherapy is a career I have taken on later in life, so I approach the field with a diverse background. Among other professional and charitable work, I spent my early years in the corporate world as a financial advisor and business owner, then in higher education directing a school for the visual and performing arts. It’s been a multidimensional path, but some aspect of counseling has been a continuous stream throughout my professional life. As I reflect on the similarities and differences between fields, I’ve appreciated something quite striking about our profession that is often unspoken. It is an inherent dedication to compassion. While industries are focusing on competition and profit motive, LMFTs spend their time listening, empathizing, collaborating, teaching and doing their best to guide people through their suffering. It’s an extraordinary path really, and since first attending LA-CAMFT events I’ve felt a warmth, curiosity, and sincerity from the people I’ve met that I have not observed to be consistently present in other fields. I believe these qualities are what we as therapists and our clients are truly what the world needs now.
In co-facilitating our annual retreat in my new role, I was delighted to work with board directors and chairs as they joined with community members interested in assuming leadership responsibilities. It was an exciting day filled with camaraderie, ideas, and commitments. Special thanks to this diverse group of people who are passionate about making a difference. We spent the day charting a course for the future; infrastructure, development, diversity, and especially expanding community. Our brainstorming resulted in new visions for LA-CAMFT that I feel excited to champion. Our initiatives will require effort of course, so there are opportunities for more individuals to be part of our leadership. I look forward to serving LA-CAMFT and am eager to begin collaborating with all of you to strengthen and expand our community of compassionate professionals.
Shelley Pearce, LMFT is currently serving as President of the CAMFT Los Angeles Chapter Board of Directors. She has a private counseling office in Santa Monica, and regularly consults by video conference with colleagues and clients. She serves on the board of The Global Bridge humanitarian foundation and helped create www.humanisticspirituality.org, an extensive, free online resource for counselors. She synthesizes a breadth of career diversity, education, experience, and a sincere desire to help in her service and practice with individuals and couples.