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The Redwood Empire Therapist

RECAMFT's Online Newsletter

April 2023

Keep scrolling to find out which RECAMFT member won CAMFT's highest award! 

Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) and Psychosis: A Biopsychosocial Perspective

Presented by: 

Anish Shah, MD, Psychiatrist

Siyan Clinical

Fri., April 7th, 9 am to 12:15 pm

Zoom, 3 CEs

Register here

Red show ticket: Admit One



Click any section to jump to the article.

Featured member

RECAMFT's Mission Statement

The purpose of RECAMFT is to promote and maintain professional competence and integrity with knowledge, innovation, compassion, humor and respect for human dignity and diversity.

We do this by providing opportunities for networking, education and community outreach.

RECAMFT LogoParticipate in the Justice Project :  Antiracism by 12/31/23 and receive a lovely Certificate of Achievement for your wall! Click here to find out more. 

Did you get your sticker in the mail (see below)? If not, please let us know: 

President's Message: Spring (Cleaning) Inspiration

By Gina Culver, LMFT

Daisy heart on a stump.

Happy Spring! While we are still experiencing a lot of rain, it is a time to revel in and enjoy the rejuvenation of the Earth as it blooms in all of its spring glory. Many people do a “Spring cleaning” to refresh their spaces as the world around them blossoms, renews, and refreshes itself. This is a good reminder to “clean” our mental and personal spaces. A time to reset, practice self-care, try mindfulness, become inspired.

With the newness of Spring, maybe it is time to refresh our internal and external environments. Are you pondering writing an article, a book, a course? Start! Have you been avoiding filing notes, papers, taxes? Set a time and do it! Find an accountability partner. Try co-working with others. There is a sense of accomplishment and having a clean slate when the to-do list items get checked off.

As I finish packing to move to my new home, these are some of the thoughts that float through my mind. Since the start of Spring coincides with my move, I plan to set up my new home (clean slate/blank canvas) and go through my things to toss what I no longer need (clean/purge). At times, it feels a little overwhelming as I have a lot of things stored: heirlooms, stuff from my mom, paperwork I have saved over the years, memories. However, I also love the feeling of having the clean slate or blank canvas a new space provides.

Deciding my color schemes, filing the ten thousand things I need to find a home for, choosing what goes where, I feel purposeful and intentional. When my space is organized, I also feel organized, both internally and externally (it rarely lasts but I strive to keep everything in its place). My move is one big Spring cleaning event. It allows me to reset, to be inspired, definitely practice my self care, and remind myself to live mindfully. As the chaos and dust settles, having an external organized environment helps me to retain calmness and peace internally as well. Then I feel productive, as if I am able to check off some of those to-do list items. Maybe not all, but quite a few. 

Hopefully this message speaks to you and helps you with your never-ending to-do list. Let’s team up and get one thing off your lists in April. Please email me at to let me know 1) what you intend to work on, 2) what you were able to get done, and 3) a photo if you want to share. I look forward to hearing about intentions, co-working groups created, and getting things checked off.

With compassion and the renewal of Spring,

Gina L. Culver, MS, LMFT


Gina Culver, LMFT is a Program Director at LifeWorks and has a private practice in Santa Rosa. She is the 2023 President of RECAMFT.

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DISCOUNT CODE for ALL chapter members to CAMFT's Annual Conference, May 5-6, 2023, Santa Clara, CA

Use code CHAPTERAC upon registration for $20 off your registration fee. More here

We Need You! Jobs for Awesome Volunteers

We STILL need help with

  • Tech 2 - Social Media Manager
  • Newsletter Editor
  • Programs Committee

Please send an email to if you can help.       Return to top

Prelicensed Support - Walk & Talks in Ragle Ranch Park

Prelicensed 3000 Hour Club Meeting is the first Friday monthly, 3-5 pm.  Walk and Talk events in April, May, June planned to first meet at Debbie Melmon's barn, and then walk to Ragle Park in Sebastopol. More here.

Meet RECAMFT's Prelicensed Chair and Director at Large, Jessica Heaney, AMFT. She is a recent graduate of Touro University Worldwide, and is now working for Seneca's Wraparound Program. Jessica is hosting our newly named 3000 Hour Club for Prelicensed Members monthly events on the first Friday monthly. 3-5 PM. Learn more here. Contact Jessica at   

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RECAMFT's Listserv For All! Check it out! 

Our listserv has over 400 members on it, and is active daily with great conversations, resources, offerings, in search of, books, movies, office rentals, jobs, internships, etc. You can view the home page of our listserv at

If you are not currently enrolled in the listserv, please email and ask to be added. You have the option of setting up your account to be 

      • Read individual emails
      • Read a digest of 12 emails
      • Or read online only

After you have been added to the listserv, you can change the way you receive the emails to any of the above choices. In Gmail the emails will appear under your Forums tab. To send an email to the listserv, simply address your email to

If you do not want to be on our listserv, you can delete your account or write to and ask to not be a part of the listserv. But we urge you to give it a try. You are missing out on a ton of meaningful collaboration with your colleagues. We hope you will enjoy being part of our online community! 

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Woman on a video conference call.IMPORTANT: Register NOW! 

RECAMFT is offering a 3 CE course to satisfy the NEW 2023 BBS requirement - AB 1759 which goes into effect

July 1, 2023.

If you are licensed with the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), you are REQUIRED to take a 3-hour course in Telehealth to satisfy the new law which goes into effect for all renewals and new license applications on or after July 1, 2023. If you did not have specific telehealth training in your Master's program then a course like this is necessary before your next renewal.

This includes ALL licensed and prelicensed folks. 

RECAMFT is pleased to present the course you need just in the nick of time!

  • Where:  Wonderful Zoom!
  • When: Saturday, May 13, 2023
  • Time: 9 am to 12:15 pm (break midway is 15 minutes), 3 CEs
  • Presenter: Lisa Wenninger, MBA, MA, APCC 

Register here.

Coming soon... RECAMFT's first post-pandemic LIVE IN-PERSON EVENT! 

Coming May 5th on Zoom...

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy - Update on a Transformative Treatment Option

10 am to 12 pm

Presented by:

  • German Ascani, MD, Psychiatrist
  • Shanna Butler, PhD
  • Moksha Donohue, LMFT
  • Celeste Monnette, LCSW
  • Suegee Tamar-Mattis, DO

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is at the forefront of the psychedelic psychotherapy movement. When used under proper medical and therapeutic supervision, ketamine can provide near-immediate relief from emotional pain, while helping individuals look deeply into themselves. It has been shown to quickly help with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) as well as chronic suicidal ideation. KAP has been used to successfully treat PTSD, anxiety disorders, developmental trauma, phase of life issues, as well as helping clients navigate end of life and spiritual exploration.

Get the latest from the team at Sebastopol's Evolve Mind Wellness! Register HERE

Shawn Lare Brinkley, LMFTLive and in-person - come spend the day learning with your colleagues!

  • "What Therapists Need to Know about Black Folks and Other People of Color (BIPOC)", 6 CEs
  • Presenter: Shawn LaRé Brinkley, LMFT
  • Date: Fri., June 2nd
  • Time: 9 am to 4 pm (check in starts at 8:30 am)
  • Where: Furth Center, 8700 Old Redwood Hwy., Windsor

Lunch included. Catering by Swedish Chef Helena with Baked on the River, Guerneville. Registration announcement coming soon! Or go here to register online now. 

Picture from one of our last in-person events at Furth Center, Law & Ethics with Dave Jensen, 2019.

Thoughts from the Racial & Social Justice Committee (RSJC)

Sexual Assault Awareness Month:

An Interview with Verity's Executive Director, Christina Castillo

By Maria (Meztli) Aviña, LMFT

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), when we have the opportunity to educate communities on how to prevent sexual violence and to see it as a public health, human rights and social justice issue. The theme for SAAM 2023 is Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity. SAAM 2023 calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect.

Maria (Meztli) Aviña, LMFT from RECAMFT’s Racial and Social Justice Committee interviewed Christina Castillo, Executive Director of Verity. Santa Rosa’s Verity facilitates healing and promotes the prevention of violence by providing counseling, advocacy, intervention, and education.

Tell us about Verity and how it supports the community?

Verity has a 24/7 rape crisis hotline, offers intervention, trauma counseling, advocacy, support groups, prevention education, support for survivors of human trafficking, and wellness and health alternative healing methods.

When we have our child sexual assault interviews, many children are from non English speaking families. Oftentimes the children speak English but the parents don't. It is really important for us to mirror our community as best that we can in terms of services, in terms of language, and in terms of culture. We work with all communities in Sonoma County and are working with our indigenous communities to see how we can provide support that is requested. Oftentimes there is a language that is one that we do not have immediate access to from a team member so we use the language line which has been a big asset in meeting client needs. We work with everybody and work to support them. We serve all residents of Sonoma County and when other counties make referrals to us, we do not turn them away.

Please let us know what kind of services and resources you offer?

Our prevention education programs provide awareness of and education to children and what resources are available to them dependent on need. Our Prevention Educators work to build rapport with the schools and youth through our work in the schools. Oftentimes a child may report an incident that has occurred and as mandated reporters we must report. We do this in a manner where the child feels heard and supported and included in the process of the report. We have found there are a multitude of reasons why a parent may not report and by providing our services we are able to work with the entire family. Our advocates work with respect and dignity with our clients in order for them to understand their rights and that we are available to support in whatever manner is necessary for the overall healing process. Our three main departments are Prevention/Education; Intervention (Advocacy); and Counseling.

If the therapist community wants to learn more about your agency, where would they go for more information?

If there were a collective of folks, they could meet with our therapists and we could schedule a zoom with them. And then if they were interested, we can always use help providing an evening survivor support group or another support group via zoom. (All Verity services are completely free of charge).

What can RECAMFT do to ally and support the important work you do?

We currently have open positions. Here are the jobs + links which we are looking to fill.

I just want to make sure that whatever you write, you talk about my team. They are the most amazing group of people that one can ever want to work with. Truly, they're just so passionate and so committed, they are the best!

Thank you very much for the important work that you and your team at Verity do!

Maria (Meztli) Aviña, LMFT is a member of our Racial and Social Justice Committee (RSJC).  She has a bilingual bicultural private practice and offers consultation to organizations. 

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ADVERTISEMENT: From Gina Culver, LMFT and Cynthia Halliday, LMFT

Dear RECAMFT Community:

We are excitedly restructuring our private practice and looking for one full-time or 1-2 part-time partners to join us by subletting our 820 sq ft office with us. It's a great location near Kaiser. Some highlights:

¨ A large waiting room which can be used after hours for groups.

¨ An art therapy room appropriate for families or small groups.

¨ The most amazing play therapy and sandplay room you’ve ever seen!

¨ A bathroom and small kitchen.

¨ An inner office which can be used for therapy with 1-2 people. 

¨ Lots of free parking, and a bus stop across the street.

Please click this PDF link for lots of pictures and details.  We're excited to meet you! 

Can't wait? Email 

RECAMFT's Racial and Social Justice Pledge

RECAMFT is committed to equity including addressing structural racism and systemic injustice. We endeavor to be inclusive and value individuals from all ethnicities, ages, races, sexual orientations, genders, languages, abilities, religions, citizenship statuses, and socioeconomic backgrounds into our chapter and into treatment.

We strive to advocate, educate, collaborate, and strategize for positive racial and social justice change within our membership and our community.

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Got a sticky problem?

Come discuss it confidentially with your colleagues at our next Ethics Roundtable

Lightbulb with flowers inside.

Not consultation, just a great way to get some ideas about how to handle your sticky case. Friendly and open group.  Learn more here.

  • Fri., June 23rd, 2023
  • 12 to 1:30 pm
  • Zoom
  • Register here.
  • Next event: Oct. 27th, 2023
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    Have you written a book? 

    Be sure to let us know so we can include it on our Library page. Email

    More RECAMFT Events! 

    Prelicensed, Crafts, Ethics, Board

    Check out all the following events!

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    Advertise Jobshere!

    Contact to advertise a job. 

    Call for Submissions for the May  2023 Issue of The RECAMFT Therapist! 

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month and National Walking Month. May is also Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Military Appreciation Month. We especially welcome submissions where these themes intersect with mental health. Please send your submission (500 word max) to by the 15th. Questions?

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    RECAMFT Members making a BIG splash at CAMFT!

    Heartiest congratulations to Barbara Young, LMFT who was elected Secretary on the CAMFT Board of Directors! Way to go, Barbara, and thank you so much for your service on behalf of all of us! 

    We're thrilled Diane Gleim, LMFT, CST-S was a chosen presenter for the CAMFT Annual Conference, May 5-6, Santa Clara. She's presenting a 1.5 hour course called Porn Literacy 101 on Friday, 5/5/23 from 1:30 to 3 pm. We proud to have her expertise shown off at the CAMFT AC! 

    Drum and drumsticks

    Drumroll, please!

    The Winner of CAMFT's Highest Honor

    "The Mary Riemersma Distinguished Clinical Member Award"

    Goes to

    (drums rolling....)

    Our own

    Dr. Bob Casanova, PsyD, LMFT!!!

    Click here to read Bob's Award letter. Here is an excerpt. 

    Dr. Bob Casanova, PsyD, LMFT"In the last decade no one has provided more years of voluntary service to CAMFT's leadership than Dr. Bob Casanova, PsyD, LMFT. Bob’s long history to both his local Chapter and the State organizations and serving as President and President-Elect to both have left a positive impact on the profession. Dr. Casanova has a private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and is an Educational Consultant in Sonoma County. As a first-generation son of immigrant parents, he has always felt conscious of the need to provide mental health services not only to those who can afford them, but to all people who need our care. He believes CAMFT has an obligation to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive Board and membership. To better serve our members and California’s communities, Bob has worked to help facilitate this lofty goal. His services to the MFT profession and CAMFT are deeply intertwined as a result of his many years on the CAMFT Board of Directors which includes lobbying at both the state and national level for legislation to benefit LMFTs, supporting and guiding CAMFT’s programming to benefit its members, with a special emphasis on serving the pre-licensed membership." 

    Congratulations, Bob!! We couldn't be more proud of you, our 2024 RECAMFT President. Way to go!!! 

    Send us a picture of your sticker!

    We want to see all the creative places our members placed the stickers we sent you. Please send pictures to 

    Ilene Frommer's sticker is on her water bottle. 

    Check out what we've got in store for you! Upcoming fun events!!

    Warning signMembers! Your SHORT DESCRIPTION is the most important thing on your profile. Why? Because that shows in our online directory. It matters! Please log in and complete yours today! 

    Pre & Newly Licensed Members - Apply by April 30th! RECAMFT's Scholarships, Honors and Awards! 

    Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to our Joe and Pamela Ward Scholarship Program to continue our program of financial support for our emerging clinicians who face high expenses and low pay.

    Joe and Pamela WardIn 2021 RECAMFT launched the Joe and Pamela Ward Scholarship Program, which awards three scholarships of $1000 each and a free year-long membership to Pre-Licensed and Newly-Licensed chapter members. Our first awards were granted in 2022 to Bree Watson, AMFT and Claudia Hernandez, AMFT. Congrats to both Bree and Claudia!! 

    The funds that make these awards possible have been generously donated by members of our chapter and are doubled by matching funds authorized by our Board of Directors. Your donations will go twice as far! We have raised $2270 towards our goal of $5250 which funds the scholarship program for 2022, 2023, and 2024. We are $2980 away from our goal!

    Please visit to give a tax-free donation today! Applications for scholarships are due by April 30, 2023.  Please let interested parties know.

    Announcing the all-new Spirit of RECAMFT Award!

    The all-new Spirit of RECAMFT Award is intended to highlight or showcase our members who are working in the community to support the mental health profession and the well-being of our community at large. It is for those members who may not necessarily be seen but have contributed to unmet needs and or advancements in the mental health profession.

    At the heart of this award is acknowledging someone who embodies all of the aspects of RECAMFT’s mission, values, vision, and commitment to the profession and mental well-being within the community.

    Find out more here.       Return to top

    Are you creative? Join us for our Crafting Group

    Bring any craft you like, get on Zoom with us and visit with your colleagues while

    we knit, sew, paint, draw, cook, create, etc. 

    Watercolor rabbit painting

    Find out more about advertising with RECAMFT here

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    Programs Committee positions are available. Is it you? 

    The Programs Committee needs some folks to help choose upcoming  speakers for the coming year. Is it you? 

    We also need a couple of people to help us review presentation applications. Can you help? Send your interest to

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    What you missed: "Heartfulness with Brad Kammer, LMFT, LPCC and the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM)"

    By Gina Culver, LMFT

    I immensely enjoyed learning a new way to work with clients healing from trauma. The idea which stuck out to me like a mantra from Brad Kammer, LMFT, LPCC’s NARM (NeuroAffective Relational Model) training was “heartfulness.” There are so many ideas and pieces I want to delve into and bring into my therapy room. Not just for treatment, but also the way I approach therapy with my clients in general: connection, attachment, healing. NARM assists in reconnecting with ourselves and others.

    With complex traumatization, we can lose connection to others and the world around us. Our internal systems feel as if the world around us is unsafe or even dangerous. Heartfulness comes in and acts as a salve to foster healing. Mr. Kammer brought in some exercises throughout his training. One which resonated for me asked, “what are the ways I experience connection with myself and others”? For me, laughter and time spent together (connecting with others) or alone (connecting to myself). The second part of the reflection was asking myself, “what gets in the way”? I was able to identify my fear and anxiety as barriers to allowing me to connect with others.

    Mr. Kammer shared a quote by Carl Jung which, for me, highlighted NARM’s core work. Brad summed up Jung's meaning this way. 

    “At the end of the day, it’s about a soul connecting to another soul.”

    Again, this resonated for me. Reframing trauma through NARM as working with the adaptations rather than the story was enlightening, “childhood is about heartbreak” and NARM represents “heartfulness.”

    Rounding out his presentation, Mr. Kammer shared about the NARM Institute’s upcoming trainings and certification levels as well as talked about the book he co-authored with Laurence Heller, PhD titled The Practical Guide for Healing Developmental Trauma: Using the NeuroAffective Relational Model to Address Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resolve Complex Trauma. The book can be purchased here, or is on Audible. Congratulations to our two book raffle winners this month!

    Don’t forget to join us on Friday April 7th, 2023 for Anish Shah, MD’s presentation on Treatment Resistant Depression and Psychosis : A Biopsychosocial Perspective a 3 CE course.

    How close to attesting for one of our Justice Project tracks? You can earn a free admission to our 6-hour Law and Ethics this year when you have attested by the deadline. or

    Gina Culver, LMFT is a Program Director at LifeWorks and has a private practice in Santa Rosa. She is the 2023 President of RECAMFT.

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    Board Highlights - March 2023 

    Minutes from the Board meetings are always available on the Members Only page.

    The RECAMFT Board struggled a little through its first valiant attempt to use formal Roberts Rules after our training on Feb. 10th. More or less we stuck to it. Some highlights: We voted to raise our Administrative Consultant's hourly rate, because she is doing such an amazing job. We commended Tara D'Orazio for working with Cyndia Cole to have our first therapist walk/hike. We ran out of time so we held a special meeting on 3/14/23 to vote 25 free Law & Ethics will be awarded to the first people to complete either 2023 Justice Projects: 1) LGBTQ+ Affirming Care, or 2) Antiracism, so a total of 50 slots of free 6-hr Law & Ethics will be available to our members. 

    Members Messages 

    Members can submit an article of up to 500 words for publication. Please submit before the 15th monthly to  

    Introducing Our New Outdoors Group: Join Us for Exciting Adventures!

    By Tara D'Orazio, LMFT

    CFO & Membership Chair

    On March 10th RECAMFT held its first meeting of the outdoors group at Foothill Regional Park. Cyndia Cole, LMFT was the Lead for this event, and despite the weeks of rain it turned into a beautiful sunny morning for her and Deborah Haarstad, LMFT to enjoy some company and some exercise.  Walking or hikes, ranging from gentle to moderate (maybe strenuous?) will be offered in future events. 

    Our next event is being scheduled for March 31st, and we are excited to announce more adventures as the weather cooperates.  The aim of these events is to enjoy connecting with nature and foster new professional relationships.  Our goal is to provide a safe, fun, and inclusive environment for our members to enjoy the outdoors.

    To join our activities, members must register in advance since there is an activity waiver, and our Leads need to know how many people to expect, or may need to be in contact in the event of a cancellation.  At this time the events are open to members only. Earlier this year we collected park suggestions via the listserv, so that we can offer a range of options and locations across the county.  We believe that everyone can benefit from the outdoors, and we aim to make our events accessible to as many members as possible. 

    We are thrilled to be launching this new group, and we can't wait to explore the great outdoors with you.  Our next event promises to be a fun-filled adventure, and we hope you'll join us.  Stay tuned for more announcements about our upcoming events. Don't miss out on this opportunity to connect with nature and make new friends within our organization! If you would like to suggest a park or have questions, please write to

    Register for our next outdoor events:

    • March 31st, 10 am, Foothill Regional Park - register HERE
    • April 15th, 1 pm, Springlake Park - register HERE

    Photo Caption: Cyndia Cole and Deborah Haarstad at Foothill Regional Park.

    Past President Honor Roll

    Meet RECAMFT's 1983, 1984, 1985 President - Thomas Hedlund, LMFT

    Thomas Hedlund is tied for the record of the longest running consecutive RECAMFT presidency with the man who preceded him, Rick Mawson. Thank you, Thomas for sticking with us until we could take the next step in getting a bigger, more active Board of Directors!    

    Want to see all our Past Presidents? Click here.   

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    Get the latest Therapy Groups Listings here!

    Download the latest RECAMFT Therapy Groups PDF document.

    RECAMFT Therapy Groups March-April-May 2023



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    Thank you for reading this month's newsletter! RECAMFT is great because of involved members like you!!

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