Los Angeles Chapter  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Voices — November 2022

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  • 12/31/2022 8:00 AM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Tina Cacho Sakai,

    LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color Mentorship ProgramCall for Therapist of Color (TOC) Mentors

    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:

    • Qualifications: Licensed in the State of CA (LMFT, LCSW, LPCC, PSYD, etc) 
    • Commitment: 6 to 12 months with the option to continue independently.
    • Frequency: 1x per month or mutually agreed-upon schedule of meetings, which may occur via phone, virtual platform, email exchanges, or face-to-face meetings.
    • Types of Mentorship Relationships: 1-on-1 and/or group mentorship (your choice) .
    • Mentors do not need to be LA-CAMFT Members. 

    Here are some of the many rewards for being a Therapist of Color (TOC) Mentor:

    • Guide, teach, and inspire the next generation of TOC mental health professionals.
    • Establish and promote a culture of support within our profession.
    • Build intergenerational relationships.
    • Contribute to new developments in the field.
    • Receive LA-CAMFT benefits for volunteering your time, knowledge and wisdom. 

    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 tocmentorshipprogram@lacamft.org

    With Gratitude and Solidarity, 

    LA-CAMFT Therapists of Color (TOC) Mentorship Program Committee
  • 10/31/2022 11:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Leanne Nettles, LMFT
    President, LA-CAMFT

    Election 2022

    Hello everyone! I wanted to drop a quick reminder about voting for the LA-CAMFT Annual Ballot! Each year the LA-CAMFT Board nominates leaders for our open Board positions. As a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of CAMFT, you are entitled to vote to elect fellow members to the chapter’s Board of Directors for 2023. The election will end on Friday, November 18, 2022 at 11:59 PM. Please keep an eye out in your email for the ballot and more information. We encourage you to vote as soon as possible!

    Happy voting!

    Leanne Nettles

    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.

  • 10/31/2022 10:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee

    Asian American Pacific Islander+
    Therapists Circle

    Friday, November 18, 2022

    Third Friday of Every Month

    1:30 pm-3:00 pm

    Via Zoom

    Asian American Pacific Islander+ Therapists Circle

    A safe and empowering place for therapists of the Asian diaspora to experience healing, renewal, and belonging. We will collectively process experiences of racism and internalized oppression. We will also explore the coexistence of privilege and marginalization along with invisibility and hypervigilance. This space will help us appreciate and reclaim what we have in common while honoring our differences. Grace Lee Boggs notes, “The only way to survive is by taking care of one another.” May this circle embody her words.

    Open to LA-CAMFT Members and Non-Members

    Third Friday of this Month
    Location: Zoom Meeting

    For more information contact Rachell Alger,  rachellalgermft@gmail.com.

    Event Details: 

    Licensed Therapists, Associates, and Students

    Event Details: 
    Friday, November 18, 2022, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm (PT)
    Time of Check-In: 12:50 pm

    Online Via Zoom
    Once you have registered for the presentation, we will email you a link to Zoom a few days before the presentation.

    No Charge

    Online Registration CLOSES on the date of the event.
    (Registration closes 1.5 hours prior to the meeting.)

    Questions about Registration? Contact Akiah Robinson Selwa at diversitycommitee@lacamft.org.

    Register Here

  • 10/31/2022 9:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT
    Voices Editor

    Getting Paid: Private Practice Success Secrets

    Therapists in private practice are always asking what they can do to have a full practice with clients they love working with. They want to know what the secrets are to making that happen without too much effort or expense. Now that we’re getting towards the end of the year it’s a good time to reveal some of those secrets, those best practices, that lead to a full, profitable, and rewarding practice. 

    Here are a few to keep in mind . . .

    1. Make it convenient for prospective clients to 

    • Find you 
    • Find out about who you work with and the type of services and help you provide
    • Contact you 
    • Hear back from you
    • Get to your office or access your teletherapy portal
    • Pay for your services
    • We live in an age of convenience so if prospective clients hit too many bumps or barriers when they’re ready to contact you to make an appointment, they may abandon that effort and seek help from another therapist who’s easier to contact, set up an appointment with, pay, or use their insurance or worker’s comp coverage. 

    2. Let people know you are accepting new clients—and that you welcome referrals.

    • Always let clients, friends, colleagues, referral sources, and other professionals know that you are accepting referrals 
    • Why should you do this? So, they know they can specifically recommend you to their friends, families, patients, and business associates, based on their own experience with you—as a client or colleague. 

    If you don’t routinely let people know you are accepting new clients and referrals, those who want to refer people to you may mistakenly assume that, because you are so good at what you do, you are too busy to take on new clients. When this happens, it’s a great loss, not only of clients but of a referral source, too.

    3. Set aside some time for networking and marketing in your community—online or in-person.

    • Doing this allows you get to know the people in your community 
    • It also allows the people in your community to get to know you, too, as well as the type of practice you have, the professional services you provide and the type of clients and issues you work with, and, of course, how to refer clients to you. 

    Being known in your community does take a little time and effort but it results in genuinely feeling a part of the people and place you belong to—and, over time, it does bring you referrals.

    4. Only market in ways that feel authentic to you.

    • The best private practice marketing is about building trust through information, familiarity and experience with you as a professional, the clients you work best with, and the therapeutic services you provide.
    • Make the act of sharing information about the type of clients you work best with and the therapy services you provide energy producing instead of energy draining. Enjoy having people get to know you, your personality, and your work.

    Once you realize that promoting your therapy services is about honest and sincere communication about the professional help, skills, and solutions you provide, it gets easier. I always say that getting the word out about your practice is a community service because it helps people know how to contact you when they have need of your services. 

    5. When times are tough the best way to keep your practice going is not to cut back on costs but to spend and invest in the right areas of your practice..

    Yes, this is a rather counterintuitive approach, however, it does pay big dividends. While it can feel very scary or difficult to do, it’s one of the best ways to keep your practice full as well as make new connections.

    • Invest in areas that keep your practice visible, bring more clients or referral sources to you, make things easier for you, or free up your time for more client work, networking, or time off.
    • Areas to consider: 

    Website Creation or Update
    Therapy Directories
    Professional Headshots
    Google Adwords
    Upgrade your smartphone, tablet, computer, headphones, computer desk chair
    Get Higher Internet speed
    Upgrade your Teletherapy portal
    Upgrade your Electronic Health Record (EHR)
    Hire a Virtual Assistant, Accountant/Bookkeeper, Insurance Biller
    Pay for Business, Marketing or Financial Training
    Have a Professional Video made for your Website
    Logo Creation
    Sponsor an event

    What will you invest in instead of cutting back?

    That’s enough secret spilling for today.

    Pick one or two of these and try them out. See what happens. 

    Our practices can always benefit from thoughtful attention and doing a little something new. Have some fun experimenting with these and check out what happens when you do. Private practice is always an adventure so enjoy yours!

    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.

  • 10/31/2022 8:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT TOC Grant
    Award Committee

    LA-CAMFT Grant Award for Pre-Licensed Members Who Are Therapists of Color

    The LA-CAMFT Grant Committee is pleased to announce that LA-CAMFT will be awarding two grant awards In for LA-CAMFT Pre-Licensed Member Associates, Trainees, and Students who are Therapists of Color.

    If you are not an LA-CAMFT member, in order to apply for the award, you must first join LA-CAMFT.

    Registration for the LA-CAMFT 2022 Grant Award for Pre-Licensed Members who are Therapist of Color closes on November 5, 2022. The drawing will take place on November 6, 2022.

    Please read the information below regarding the description of the grant award, criteria for applying, application process, and selection process.

    Description of the LA-CAMFT Grant Award
    Every 4 months (3x per year), a grant award will be offered to two applicants who meet the following three criteria:

    1. Must be a current LA-CAMFT and CAMFT member
    2. Identify as a Therapist of Color
    3. Must be either an Associate, Trainee, or Student still in graduate school.

    Grant winners will receive:

    • $500 to be spent at the winner’s discretion
    • Free year of LA-CAMFT membership
    • Free admission to 3 LA-CAMFT workshops or networking events of the winner’s choosing. 

    The $500 award can be used at the recipient’s discretion based on their own individual needs (whether it be for BBS fees, testing materials, memberships, living expenses, etc.). 

    Confirmation for what the Grant Award money is used for will not be required. 

    Application and Selection Process
    Interested Pre-Licensed LA-CAMFT members who are Therapists of Color can complete the 2022 Grant Award Application on the LA-CAMFT website. 

    The selection process entails using a Randomized Generator of the applicants who met the full criteria and complete the application online in order to take out human bias and decrease activation of one's trauma history. 

    The drawing will be recorded via Zoom and posted onto social media along with an announcement naming the grant winners, who will also be contacted via email directly. 

    Registration for the 2022 LA-CAMFT Grant Awards for Pre-Licensed Members who are Therapists of Color opens closes on November 5, 2022.

    The drawing will take place on November 6, 2022. 

    Best regards,

    The LA-CAMFT TOC Grant Committee

  • 10/31/2022 7:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Catherine Auman,

    You Don't Have to Kill Your Parents

    Philip Larkin, one of the stellar poets of the twentieth
    century, famously wrote:

    Your mum and dad, they fuck you up,
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the fears they had,
    And add some extra just for you.

    Everyone could benefit from identifying where their parents “f*cked” them up and working through it. In fact, being clear of non-useful parental programming is an essential milestone on the psychological and spiritual path. If you’re stuck with pain, upset, or wishing anything were different about your childhood, you can’t progress to a space of having more interesting problems to solve.

    In one of the Castaneda books, Don Juan instructed his apprentice, Carlos, “You have to kill your parents.” People are willing to move across the country, if not the world, to create distance between themselves and their parents and ‘kill’ their presence in their lives, but it’s really internal distance they are seeking: separation from expectations, a separate identity, and freedom from parental do’s and don’ts.

    Helping people get unstuck from their parents is one of the things we do in psychotherapy. In some cases, it can be completed relatively quickly; in others, it takes lengthy excavation work, depending on the severity of the trauma suffered, and how deeply it is lodged in the cells and tissues of the body. It’s more complicated, of course, if there’s been abuse, but everyone must separate themselves from the parts of the parent’s message that is not them. When the work is successful, a new person emerges who is uniquely one’s self, taking the best that the parents gave them, and released from what doesn’t fit. It can be hard work, but freedom is worth every iota of effort and commitment.

     It’s possible to come to a place where there’s no pain left, no more anger or resentment, no heat, no charge. Once you ‘kill’ your parents and your unhealthy attachment to them, you become free to love them for the first time, to meet them as one adult to another rather than as a child to parent. To progress along life’s path, you must come to a place where you’re not afraid of anything that’s inside anymore. And that is possible for you.

    Leonard Orr, the inventor of Rebirthing, said, “If you don’t hate your parents, you haven’t even started.” Is it time for you to complete this stage of your development once and for all?

    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.

  • 10/31/2022 6:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee

    Therapists of Color Support Group

    Sunday, November 13, 2022

    Second Sunday of Every Month

    11:00 am-1:00 pm

    Via Zoom

    Therapists of Color Support Group

    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.

    Event Details: 

    Licensed Therapists, Associates, and Students

    Event Details: 
    Sunday, November 13, 2022, 11:00 am-1:00 pm (PT)
    Time of Check-In: 10:50 am

    Online Via Zoom
    Once you have registered for the presentation, we will email you a link to Zoom a few days before the presentation.

    No Charge

    Online Registration CLOSES on the day of the event.

    Questions about Registration? Contact Diversity Committee, diversitycommittee@lacamft.org.

    Register Here

    In diversity there is beauty
    and there is strength.

    Maya Angelou

  • 10/31/2022 5:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    Chellie Campbell,
    Financial Stress
    Reduction Expert

    See You at the Top of the Hill!

    You can’t make money if you don’t think you deserve it. How you think about your life motivates your actions. If you think you’re a loser and not good enough, that other people are better, smarter, more good-looking than you, you will defer to others and let them have the winner’s spot instead of you. Automatically, without thinking about it.

    Donna called me the day after class. Intelligent and warm, she sold advertising for a small publication and wanted to increase her sales and income. I wondered why she seemed a bit anxious that first night of the workshop as each participant introduced themselves. Now on the phone, she explained.

    “Last night, listening to the other people talk about their goals, I didn’t feel I belonged in the group. I felt their goals were so much higher than mine; that they were smarter, better, more experienced—more whatever—than me.

    “But I had a realization as I walked down the hill to my car. When I arrived for your class, I had parked at the bottom of the hill, thinking that others would have gotten there first and taken all the convenient parking spaces. But I was the first to arrive! Why did I assume that others would be there before me? Why did I park at the bottom and walk up that steep hill without even trying to see if I could park at the top?

    “I saw that this was a metaphor of how I have been living my life. I have assumed that others will take the top spots, so I automatically settle for the inconvenient place, the lesser place—and lesser income, too. But now that I’ve seen it, I’m going to stop it. I will find my space at the top of the hill from now on.”

    Do you park at the bottom of hills? Do you take a back seat, let others do the talking, let others get the clients, the sales, the promotions, and the cash? Who told you to do that? Who told you that you had to go last?

    The little child inside us needs nurturing and support as much as the little child in our arms. We don’t encourage others to shine when we hide our own light. Let us strive to be the best we can be, and empower others to do the same.

    Let us all look for the top of the hill. And if today, you don’t get the premium space, oh well—there’s another day tomorrow. We can fail sometimes and be last sometimes. But we don’t have to settle for last as our default position. At least drive up the hill and look around. You may find you’re the first one up there after all.

    You have to focus on positive thoughts in order to have positive outcomes. The first positive is you.

    You are the only you on the planet and there are people out there just praying for you to show up.

    They want what you have to give and will pay you richly for it. But you have to reach out and ask. To do that, you need confidence in your self-worth, which is what produces your net-worth. You are worthy, worthwhile, and worth it! You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t.

    You can do anything you want. Fill your mind with positive statements, repeat them out loud, listen to encouraging audio tapes, read enlightening books. Stop watching violence on the news and serial killer movies. Do whatever it takes to change your thinking and believe in yourself. You deserve the best!

    Zillionaires don’t live at the bottom of the hill. They live at the top. They drive automatically to the top. The top is all they see, all they are conscious of, all that they focus on. To be a Zillionaire, start looking for the top.

    See you at the top of the hill!

    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.

  • 10/31/2022 4:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

    LA-CAMFT Diversity Committee

    Black Therapist Support Group

    First Saturday of this Month

    Next Meeting:
    Saturday, November 5, 2022
    12:00 pm-1:30 pm (PT)

    Online Via Zoom

    Black Therapist Support Group

    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 aselwa@sunrisetherapycenter.org.

    Event Details: 

    Licensed Therapists, Associates, and Students

    Event Details: 
    Saturday, November 5, 2022, 12:00 pm-1:30 pm (PT)
    Time of Check-In: 11:50 am

    Online Via Zoom
    Once you have registered for the presentation, we will email you a link to Zoom a few days before the presentation.

    No Charge

    Online Registration CLOSES on the date of the event.
    (Registration is open and available until the group ends.)

    Questions about Registration? Contact  Diversity Committee, diversitycommittee@lacamft.org.

    Register Here

  • 10/31/2022 3:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)
    Amy McManus

    Amy McManus, LMFT

    Help Your Clients Find Their “Why” —
    A Values-Based Approach to Treating Anxiety

    An interesting thing happened in one of my therapy sessions this week. A young woman in the creative arts—let’s call her Carla—was talking about a part-time job she was taking in order to supplement her income. She had researched the company carefully, and she liked their commitment to being carbon neutral. She found the people who worked there to be friendly and engaging. She liked the clothes and accessories she would be selling and looked forward to shopping there with her employee discount.

    Like many young people in Los Angeles, she has been struggling to meet people, and she was looking forward to meeting more young women with values and interests similar to her own.

    And yet she was quite anxious about accepting the job.

    “Are you feeling confident you can manage the extra work?” I asked. She responded quickly in the affirmative. “Have you had a similar job in the past that was difficult in some way?” I inquired further. “Yes! The last time I did this, I was so exhausted all the time. I didn’t have the energy to pursue my craft.” She paused, then added, “I’m so afraid that if I take this job I am getting farther and farther away from my real goals.”

    I have heard this before. Many of the young people I work with are stretched thin, working several jobs, or working like crazy to get ahead at just one. They are exhausted and dispirited at the end of their workday. Come Friday, they either stay home, order takeout, and watch Netflix, or they go out drinking with friends and spend the rest of their time recovering. Rinse, repeat.

    They all suffer from high levels of anxiety.

    Their anxiety is not always what it seems. Most of my clients are good at juggling their busy schedules. They know how to manage calendars and deadlines. They have healthy hobbies like yoga and playing the piano. So, where’s the disconnect?

    Let’s go back to my original story. Carla knew exactly how to manage her schedule and her budget. She always made her rent, though sometimes it was close. And unlike many of her peers, she is paid to perform in her chosen field—a fact that she both appreciates and enjoys. Overall, Carla’s life is full and happy, and she enjoys being busy.

    But in the past, when Carla was asked to take on an extra shift at the shop, she always said yes. She quickly went from being happily busy to being overwhelmed and miserable.

    Carla didn’t really suffer from anxiety, she suffered from fear. Fear that if she said no, people wouldn’t like her. Fear that if she said no, she would be fired and wouldn’t be able to cover her expenses. Fear that if she said no, she would end up alone.

    Once we were able to distinguish the difference between the anxiety and the fear, I gave Carla the good news — “Carla, this is actually something you have some power to control. We just have to make sure you are clear on what your boundaries are at work.”

    I continued, “First we will identify the values you are expressing by taking this job. Then we can clarify your goals and your boundaries. You can learn to be comfortable sticking to those boundaries because they accurately reflect your values and your goals. Then, you will change this dynamic where you are accepting too much work and are exhausted all the time. Better yet, you can conquer the anxiety that tells you to be worried that you will become overwhelmed and have no time or energy for your art.”

    “Now let’s talk about the fear.”

    Of course, working with the fear of being fired, or of not being liked, is not easy. We all know this. But it will make a difference, because it is the real problem.

    There is a lot of buzz these days about #JONO: the Joy Of saying NO. But truly, the joy is not in simply saying no; it’s more complicated than that.

    We must help our clients clearly identify their values and goals so that they can be comfortable holding their boundaries.

    Once they are clear about their Why, they will feel comfortable saying no because it is aligned with their values. They will be basing their behavior on their core beliefs, and not on the whim of a co-worker, boss, or client.

    Carla left our session with a big smile on her face. She had taken back the power to decide her fate. Two extra shifts per month—that’s all she would accept. Just deciding this for herself, and being clear on her goals and her boundaries, was what made all the difference.

    Previously published in April 2020

    Amy McManus, LMFT, helps anxious young adults build healthy new relationships with themselves and others after a breakup. Amy’s blog, “Life Hacks,” offers practical tips for thriving in today’s crazy plugged-in world. Learn more about Amy from her website www.thrivetherapyla.com.

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