Los Angeles Chapter — California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Voices — July 2022
Leanne Nettles, LMFT
Help for the Helpers
Another school shooting.Another church shooting.
Another hatred-fueled race-based massacre.
I am writing this shortly after Memorial Day, and the news has been filled with tragedy after tragedy the past couple of weeks. I opened my browser to see a headline flash “U.S. marks Memorial Day weekend with at least 12 mass shootings.” I turned on YouTube to listen to some relaxing music while I write this and I see “Breaking News: 4 Dead in Hospital Shooting.”
More violence.More terror.
More empty words from our elected leaders.
When I first heard the news of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, I was in a school attendance review board meeting working with the district on helping parents get their kids to go to school. Then at the end of the day, I was processing with parents about their guilt and fear about making their kids attend school and thinking, *Yep. I don’t blame you!*
I initially wanted to bury my head in the sand and pretend I was unaware because I didn’t want to have to handle it…again. The thoughts of fear raced through my head as I remembered when my mom was just blocks away from the Regional Center mass shooting in San Bernardino, and I couldn’t get ahold of her. My thoughts went to when my little cousin recounted seeing the color red around her classroom after her teacher and a peer were shot and killed in front of her a few years back. I don’t want to think of this. I don’t want to talk about this. I don’t need more stress. And yet, this trauma is often the core of our work as therapists.
“Look for the helpers.”
A famous word of wisdom shared from Mr. Fred Rogers brings comfort to the hearts and minds of terrified generations. But if you’re a mental health professional reading this, I don’t need to tell you that we, the helpers, are TIRED. We, the helpers, are burned out. We, the helpers, are overwhelmed. We, the helpers, are worried for the safety of our communities, our children, ourselves. And yet, we move through our own grief and terror to continue to help those who vulnerably come to us, and we hold their worries and fears and pain with them. And then we do it again. And then we do it again. And maybe we get the honor of seeing a victory. And then we hold more pain.
If you, lovely helper, are feeling tired and overwhelmed, just know that
I. SEE. YOU.
You are not alone in this.
When people in distress look for the helpers, who helps the helpers? I know I’ve shared in previous messages about this, but I think now is as important a time as ever to share a reminder that LA-CAMFT remains committed to providing accessible supports for each of you. We currently offer free monthly support groups online for Therapists of Color, for Black Therapists, and for White Therapists who want to be intentional about the work of anti-racism.
At the request of the Los Angeles therapeutic community, the LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee and Special Interest Group volunteers are also actively in the process of developing specific support groups for Latinx Therapists, Middle Eastern Therapists, Asian Therapists, and LGBTQ+ Therapists. But we can’t make these happen without amazing volunteers willing to work with us to help the helpers. I know as I have volunteered to plan and facilitate some of these groups, I leave the support time so refreshed and fulfilled, so I know you will, too.
If you’d like to volunteer, email me at email@example.com, the Diversity Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Special Interest Groups Chair at email@example.com.
I don’t have all the answers, and may not be able to muster the most comforting of words today. But please know, YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and we will remain committed to helping you, gracious helper. If you need a break, honor your needs and take one. And even if all you can muster these days is your presence with those you serve, please know that that is enough. By your presence alone, you are truly changing the world for the better, one client at a time.
Until next time, blessings.
Leanne Nettles, LMFT is a School-based Clinical Program Manager in a community-mental health agency and an Adjunct Professor at Pacific Oaks College. She specializes in child and adolescent therapy, while practicing and supervising from a systemic and structural therapy approach. Leanne works to advocate for cultural diversity and equity within the field, and is passionate about training quality mental health professionals to serve low income, historically disenfranchised communities using a team-based, collaborative approach.
Dr. Edil Torres Rivera, Ph.D.
There is a growing body of literature that addresses colonialism and its impact in different disciplines such as psychology and education (Goodman & Gorski, 2015; McLaren et al., 2000). The literature posits that WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) concepts not only dominates the discourse regarding what research and knowledge should be, but also what is known about people. These conceptions about research and knowledge are problematic since they continue to perpetuate Western societies ideas that undermine diversity, inclusion, and development of critical thinking within academic spaces (Macleoud et al., 2020). Furthermore, it does not allow mental health professionals to approach clients from a culturally appropriate stance. Therefore, this workshop will provide the audience with applicable approaches that are based in liberation and decolonial processes.
Event Details: Sunday, August 7, 2022, 12:00 pm-4:00 9m (PT)
Where: Online Via Zoom
After you register you will be emailed a Zoom link the Thursday before the presentation.
More information and register today by clicking the Register Here button below.
Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT
Getting Paid: The ListServ—Quick, Easy & Free Networking & Marketing for Licensed & Pre-Licensed Therapists in Private Practice or Job Hunting
The use of a ListServ is one of the most overlooked resources available to licensed and pre-licensed therapists whether you’re in private practice or working for an agency, community mental health, or other mental health services organization. Good for introverts and extroverts alike, a ListServ is a great way for members of an organizational community to network and interact with each other online.
Using a ListServ allows you to communicate with a large group of users with a single message—and extends your reach in the organization as well as the professional community. It’s a quick and cost-effective solution to networking or delivering a message or request and sharing the value of your services and expertise whether you are looking for clients, a job, a referral, hours for licensure or certification, training, exam prep, an office to sublet, to share a resource or presentation, and much more.
ListServ, e-tree, e–list, email forum, member-to-member email service or communication—whatever you want to call it—is an easy way for a group of people—members of the organization’s community—to get to know each other, communicate, connect, network, and interact with each other online through the organization’s specialized email channel.
On a ListServ, users post messages that other group members can see, which further encourages the development of a professional community and increases the engagement of people over time. Subscribers can either respond to the individual or the whole list. While the amount of traffic for each ListServ varies, if you find the number of messages overwhelming, you can easily unsubscribe.
Since the purpose of an organization’s Listserv is to facilitate collegial interaction and the exchange of professional and clinical information within the organization’s community, ListServs are available to members of associations or chapters of an association at no cost! They’re a benefit of membership. Yes, that’s right, this useful and popular resource is free!
How a ListServ Works
Messages delivered through a ListServ are received by individuals through their email accounts. You must be a member to participate—access, see, read, and receive messages, post a message, or reply to a ListServ posting.
When you post to a ListServ, you send your email to the ListServ’s central email address and then your email is automatically sent out to all members who have subscribed or opted in to receive the emails sent to the ListServ community.
With one email, your message—request, announcement, question, comment or reply, etc.—is sent out to everyone on the ListServ. All ListServ members can view the original e-mail and read it and respond or read it or delete it without reading.
Listserv messages include announcements for office space, groups, workshops, jobs, internship opportunities, specialized services, and resources; case consultation and sharing techniques; announcement of chapter events; updates on topics relevant to our profession; dialogue and discussion regarding clinical, professional, and ethical questions or topics; as well as announcements about professional development and continuing education presentations, conferences, and events—and more!
When someone responds to a message, unless they reply directly just to the person who sent the message, the responses are also received and viewed by all members of the community. This creates an open communication network among the ListServ members, and de facto, a virtual group discussion.
Should you feel you’re receiving too many emails from the ListServ community, it’s easy to opt out. When you do, the emails stop immediately. ListServs are easy to join and to opt out.
Here are some ListServs available locally, check them out:
CAMFT Chapter ListServs
San Gabriel Valley CAMFT E-Tree
Long Beach-South Bay CAMFT Member-to-Member Email Service
LA-CAMFT Private Facebook Group open to members of LA-CAMFT and non-members who are in or affiliated with Mental Health. With 1200 plus in the group, it’s a great place to get the word out about things, make requests, and have discussions.
Glendale Area Mental Health Professionals ListServ
Los Angeles County Psychological Association
American Counseling Association
Joining ListServs in professional organizations and making and responding to posts is a wonderful way to network and to market yourself, your expertise, your practice, or your services. Try it out and see for yourself!
Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, is in private practice in Santa Monica where she works with Couples and Gifted, Talented, and Creative Adults across the lifespan. Lynne’s been doing business and clinical coaching with mental health professionals for more than 15 years, helping professionals develop even more successful careers and practices. To learn more about her in-person and online services, workshops or monthly no-cost Online Networking & Practice Development Lunch visit www.Gifted-Adults.com or www.LAPracticeDevelopment.com.
Friday, July 15, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Tired of just connecting online for business reasons?
Ready to connect, have some fun, and get to know other therapists?
Come join LA-CAMFT's FREE Mid-Month Meetups
on the 15th of every month from 7:00-8:15pm!
The Meetup for July will be Pop Life: A Music & Movie Guess It Game!
All are welcome!
Learning to Speak French
People who grow up in difficult families miss learning some of life’s most basic skills. In homes where physical abuse is present, for example, children often don’t grow up with the understanding that their bodies deserve respect. If the parents were emotionally cold, the child misses learning what it’s like to live in a world where affection is easy and can be taken for granted. Kids grow into adults who don’t believe they can fend for themselves when their parents are controlling and over-protective.
A common thread running through these challenging environments is an inability to speak the language of feelings. These kinds of families often have unspoken rules about not feeling, not speaking about feelings, or not feeling feelings they believe are incorrect to feel. Not learning the language of feelings can lead to alienation from oneself and others.
It’s as if your parents didn’t teach you how to speak French, and you suddenly realize you’re living in a world where everyone speaks French but you. Yes, it’s a handicap, but you can learn, even at the advanced age you are now. You will have to work on it diligently, but it can be done.
The first step is learning that feeling feelings is okay and to welcome their presence in your life. Next is to learn the names of the various feeling states and their many gradations. Sometimes I’ll give my patients a simple chart with faces mimicking the various emotions such as anger, happiness, or fear, and we’ll go through them methodically noticing the attendant physical response. The patient begins a process of checking in with their body to identify what they are feeling. They learn to bypass the mind, that purveyor of false information.
Patients practice “speaking French” during the week between sessions and report back what it is like to identify their feelings and live with their responses. The next stage is to practice expressing these feelings in words, both in the therapy session and with trusted people in the patient’s life. Expressing feelings to a loved one can lead to closeness and intimacy, often of a type which the patient has never experienced before.
© 2021 Catherine Auman
Catherine Auman, LMFT is a licensed therapist with advanced training in both traditional and spiritual psychology with over thirty years of successful professional experience helping thousands of clients. She has headed nationally based psychiatric programs as well as worked through alternative methodologies based on ancient traditions and wisdom teachings. Visit her online at catherineauman.com.
LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee
Therapists of Color Support Group
Second Sunday of Every Month
A safe place to receive peer support and process experiences of racism (systemic, social, and internalized), discrimination, implicit bias, racist injury, aggression, and micro-aggressions, along with additional experiences that therapists of color encounter in the field of mental health.
Open to LA-CAMFT Members and Non-Members
Second Sunday of Each Month
Location: Zoom Meeting
For more information, contact the LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee at DiversityCommittee@lacamft.org.
Licensed Therapists, Associates, and Students
Event Details: Sunday, July 10, 2022, 11:00 am-1:00 pm (PT)
Time of Check-In: 10:50 am
Where: Online Via Zoom
Once you have registered for the presentation, we will email you a link to Zoom a few days before the presentation.
Online Registration CLOSES on the day of the event.
Questions about Registration? Contact Diversity Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In diversity there is beauty
and there is strength.
Blocked? Remember Why You Started Writing
Citizen Kane . . . is routinely named as the best movie, almost by default in list after list. Maybe it is. It's some movie. It tells of all the seasons of a man's life, shows his weaknesses and hurts, surrounds him with witnesses who remember him but do not know how to explain him. It ends with a search for "Rosebud," his dying word, with a final image that explains everything and nothing." Roger Ebert
At some point in your screenwriting career, you're going to face a long period when you just don't feel excited about writing. You might be just starting out and it’s taking longer than you imagined to get that first break. You might be a working writer who hasn’t been able to sell a screenplay or land a TV staff job in a while.
Those long stretches trying to finish a screenplay can test your resolve. You might find yourself questioning your skills as a writer. You might find yourself setting the work aside for a while—hoping to somehow regain your excitement for writing.
How do you recapture the initial excitement you felt about writing screenplays? If you’re like most writers you were inspired by watching great films or in some cases by a single film. At the time you no doubt had a favorite filmmaker, too. If you’re anything like me, you rushed out to see every film he or she made.
And no doubt your favorite filmmakers had their favorites. And they also rushed out the see all of their favorites' films. And more than likely, there was one amazing film that stood out for them—that inspired them just the way it did you.
We’ve all heard stories about how Quentin Tarantino poured over classic films working at a video rental store in Manhattan Beach. As those stories go, he was especially inspired by spaghetti Westerns and Howard Hawks Film Noir classics—and it shows in his films like Django Unchained and Reservoir Dogs.
An earlier generation of filmmakers was inspired by films like Citizen Kane—which critic Pauline Kael once called the best film ever made. Filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick cite that as a film that inspired them. Both directors also include Fellini’s 8 ½ in their list of film influences.
Known for comedies primarily, Woody Allen also lists those two films as inspirations. Allen has also clearly been influenced by two foreign directors, Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman. Of course, he was inspired by comedies, too. He’s mentioned specifically that his favorite comedy was Duck Soup with the Marx Brothers
Among independent filmmakers, Richard Linklater, writer of A Boy’s Life and Dazed and Confused says he was influenced by Robert Altman’s Nashville and Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. Steven Soderberg, writer of Sex, Lies and Videotape lists among his influences, Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and Coppola’s The Godfather.
When you’re feeling stuck think about all the films that inspired you to start writing. What was it you loved about them? Did they have a strong social message? Did they feature especially moving performances? Did they create a suspenseful or horrifying atmosphere? Think about how many times you watched them? What did that feel like?
When times get tough and you’re not at your best it’s easy to forget. Don’t forget how they made you feel. I recommend you find copies of your favorite films—online, on a DVD, or whatever and watch them. Try to recall the excitement you felt when you first saw them.
Of course, there was more to your decision to write than just loving one film. You had to feel your skill sets would make you a great writer. Maybe you wrote short stories, plays or poems as a kid. Maybe you were (like I was), the high school cartoonist. Maybe you were the funny guy in your group of friends. Maybe you were an actor in your high school drama department. Maybe you liked to paint or draw.
Make a list of all the great movies and the gifted filmmakers that have inspired you over the years and include the skills you’ve brought to the table and all the other experiences you’ve had that made you a better screenwriter. You might have forgotten somewhere along the way.
David Silverman, LMFT, treats anxiety and depression, especially in highly sensitive individuals in his LA practice. Having experienced the rejection, stress, creative blocks, paralyzing perfectionism, and career reversals over a 25 year career as a Film/TV writer, he’s uniquely suited to work with gifted, creative, and sensitive clients experiencing anxiety, depression, and addiction. David received training at Stanford and Antioch, is fully EMDR certified, and works with programs treating Victims of Crime and Problem Gamblers. Visit www.DavidSilvermanLMFT.com.
Black Therapist Support Group
Second Saturday of this Month
Saturday, July 9, 2022
12:00 pm-1:30 pm (PT)
Online Via Zoom
A safe place for healing, connection, support and building community. In this group, licensed clinicians, associates and students can come together and process experiences of racism (systemic, social, and internalized), discrimination, implicit bias, and micro-aggressions, along with additional experiences that therapists of African descent encounter in the field of mental health. As the late great Maya Angelou once said, “As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal someone else.” May this space, be the support needed to facilitate that journey.
Open to LA-CAMFT Members and Non-Members
Second Saturday of this Month
Location: Zoom Meeting
For more information contact Akiah Robinson Selwa, LMFT at email@example.com.
Event Details: Saturday, July 9, 2022, 12:00 pm-1:30 pm (PT)
Time of Check-In: 11:50 am
Online Registration CLOSES on the date of the event.
(Registration is open and available until the group ends.)
Questions about Registration? Contact Diversity Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The First Law Of a Thousand Times
Life is like a taxi. The meter keeps a-ticking, whether you are getting somewhere or standing still.
We have to hear the truth a thousand times before we understand it. This is “The First Law of a Thousand Times.” At the thousandth repetition, we hear the truth again but this time with a difference. Finally, we get it; we undergo the “Aha!” experience and we see clearly some truth about how we have been operating our lives.
“Aha!” my mind clicks open and a shiver runs through my body. Voices ring in my head and I hear my mother telling me that truth when I was twelve, a teacher saying something similar when I was fourteen, a boyfriend whispering it when I was twenty, a client saying it when I was defending my position, a colleague repeating it when I “Yeah, butted” him, and my best friend murmuring it when I cried on her shoulder.
It happened one night in class. We were recalling past wins and I had instructed everyone to think about the truly meaningful triumphs of their lives. This group had no trouble with remembering failures, but successes were harder. They just didn’t spend enough time relishing their wins.
Nancy started to cry, explaining that she just had an “Aha!” experience. She said she could remember ten wins but would allow herself only five seconds to enjoy the experience. After that would come a voice that took it all away from her: “Well, you still didn’t do ____ right.” She saw how many people around her always said something to squelch the joy, to rain on her parade. She had recorded all their voices so that, in case the Nay Sayers were unavailable in the flesh, she could do it herself. Nancy remembered many times this had happened in her life, but now that she recognized it, she could change it. We celebrated her discovery with her and offered our help: when she had her next win, we would help her celebrate it so that she could fully experience her happiness and joy.
One of the most wonderful parts of being a teacher—or a friend—is seeing the “Aha!” experience happen. When people hit the thousandth time, they change right in front of you—you can see it on their face. It is thrilling to watch, and you must appreciate it, knowing that you will not see this happen often.
But it doesn’t matter whether or not you see the change. What matters is that it takes one thousand times, so every one of those repetitions is just as important as the thousandth. You can’t have the thousandth time until you’ve had the first time, the fiftieth, the nine hundredth. If you tell someone a truth and their lack of understanding is clearly visible, just know they haven’t hit the thousandth time yet. They will one day. Maybe ten years from now. Maybe tomorrow. You don’t know what number they’re on.
Chellie Campbell, Financial Stress Reduction Expert, is the author of bestselling books The Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire, and most recently From Worry to Wealthy: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Success Without the Stress. She is widely quoted in major media including Redbook, Good Housekeeping and more than 50 popular books. She has been treating Money Disorders like Spending Bulimia and Income Anorexia in her Financial Stress Reduction® Workshops for over 25 years. Her website is www.chellie.com.
Tina Cacho Sakai,
LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color Mentorship Program: Call for Therapist of Color (TOC) Mentors (July 1 Start Date)
During our “Anti-Racism as a Movement, Not a Moment” Roundtable in August 2020, we came together as a therapeutic community to discuss and address racism and discrimination. We collaborated on what LA-CAMFT can do to be an actively and overtly anti-racist community. We specifically identified needed supports that we as therapists of color and as a therapeutic community wanted to see provided. One of the many needed supports identified was a Therapists of Color (TOC) Mentorship Program.
In January 2021 a group of students, associates and licensed therapists of color formed the Therapists of Color (TOC) Mentorship Program Committee and met on a monthly basis to discuss and begin the creation of this program. The committee spent quality time on the purpose statement, guidelines, interest form, marketing, launch date, and more. The development of the program are the contributions of the following committee participants: Akiah Selwa, Destiny Campron, Jenni Villegas Wilson, Leanne Nettles, Lucy Sladek, Maisha Gainer, Matthew Fernandez, Nehemiah Campbell, Perla Hollow, Rachell Alger, Raven Barrow, Stara Shakti, and Tina Cacho Sakai.
The LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color (TOC) Mentorship Program exists to help address inequities experienced by professional mental health therapists of color and intersections with other historically marginalized groups. The first of its kind amongst CAMFT chapters, LA-CAMFT is committed to ensuring quality mentorship for therapists of color by therapists of color. The mentorship program is intended to help bridge the gap of identifying and creating opportunities for growth and advancement in the field, guide clinicians across various stages of professional development, increase accessibility and sustainability in the field, and assist therapists of color to confidently provide services from their culturally authentic self.
At this time, we are Calling for Therapists of Color (TOC) Mentors who are committed to this mission and more:
Here are some of the many rewards for being a Therapist of Color (TOC) Mentor:
If you are interested in becoming a Therapist of Color (TOC) Mentor, would like to receive more information and/or receive the Interest Form, reach out to us at email@example.com.
Interest Form Due Dates and Mentorship Start Dates:
With Gratitude and Solidarity,
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Los Angeles Chapter