RECAMFT presents IN-PERSON Law & Ethics on Friday, October 27th! Please join us
RECAMFT is offering a deeper dive into the Justice Project's Antiracism Training with a 3 CE course on the movie, "13th" and book, How to be an Antiracist. This will include new material, and counts towards the 2023 Justice Project: Antiracism, so we hope all of you can join us!
The Justice Project: Antiracism through the works of Ibram Kendi (author) and Ava DuVernay (film director)
Friday, October 6th, 2023
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
ZOOM, 3.0 CEs
Dr. Shawan Worsley, PhD, LMFT
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.
Got a sticky problem?
Not consultation, just a great way to get some ideas about how to handle your sticky case. Friendly and open group. Learn more here.
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Honoring Those Who Have Passed
By Gina Culver, LMFT
Every culture has a way it honors or remembers its dead. In the US, we have Memorial Day. In Mexico, there is el Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Many cultures have home shrines or altars. Each country, religion, and group of people have their stories and beliefs of what happens in the afterlife. We have funerals, which tend to be sad and somber, and we have celebrations of life, which tend to share the joy of the one who has passed. With autumn being a season of dying in preparation for the sleep/death of winter, I believe this is why September and October are two months where honoring those who have passed in my life are in the forefront of my consciousness.
In last month’s President’s Message, I shared how the deaths of my sister and mom were hitting me hard, how the grief was really big and raw (it still is). This month, I want to shift this to remembering and honoring them in a more joyful way and I encourage each of you to do the same for your own loved ones. All of our feelings can coexist and co-mingle. During these months leading up to Halloween, I have an ancestor altar or offrenda. Reminders of those I love: pictures, items, special mementos. I do this at work as well so my clients can also honor their loved ones while working through their grief.
Last year, my agency had a public offrenda where not only staff, but also our clients, could bring in pictures, draw a picture, or do a note or leaf sharing a favorite memory. Our staff and clients found this fulfilling and I am hoping we will do one again this year. I am sharing this because this time of year is one of grief as we near the 6-year anniversary of the Tubbs wildfire and its devastation in addition to the holidays which become a stark reminder of those missing from our table and celebrations. What is coming out in sand trays for your clients? What is coming up for you? Or your clients?
In this time of communal grief and remembrance, I am reminded of the phoenix. Every thousand years, it dies and becomes ash. Then a beautiful new phoenix is born out of those ashes. We can remember the Santa Rosa and Sonoma County before the wildfires and floods of 2017 to 2020. While things are gone or different, let us also honor what we love(d) and what we still have. Let us shift from grief to celebration for ourselves and our clients, as well as honor all of the feelings present. You may also want to revisit Francis Weller’s stone ritual for yourself and/or with clients.
May each of you find comfort and peace through the autumn.
In community and with love,
Gina L. Culver, MS, LMFT
Welcome back, RECAMFT community! We are so excited to share some of the upcoming monthly CE events coming this fall:
CAMFT events to consider attending:
We are still reviewing applications for presentations to be scheduled for Spring 2024. Please submit an application if you have a presentation idea.
Are you interested in seeing what we have coming up? Consider microvolunteering with the Programs & Conferences Committee! Microvolunteering opportunities: screening speaker applications; providing support at in person CE events; monitoring Q&A for speakers during monthly Zoom presentations. We are especially looking for a Programs Committee Chairperson.
Meet RECAMFT's Prelicensed Chair and Director at Large, Jessica Heaney, AMFT. She is a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Submissions for the Nov. 2023 Issue of The RECAMFT Therapist!
November is Native American Heritage Month, and Awareness for COPD, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Lung and Pancreatic Cancer. We especially welcome submissions where these themes intersect with mental health. Please send your submission (500 word max) to email@example.com by the 15th. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members! 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!
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.
Participate 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.
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If you do not want to be on our listserv, you can delete your account or write to firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
Thoughts from the Racial & Social Justice Committee (RSJC)
Honoring Día de los Muertos
By JoAnn Consiglieri, LMFT
As the days get shorter, a new school year begins, leaves begin to Fall and the retail world spotlights Halloween: my thoughts turn to October-Hispanic Heritage Month and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Our Lady of Guadalupe school in La Habra, CA was the first school in which I taught in 1964. I was there for 7 years. It was there that I was introduced in a very wonderful way to celebrate Día de los Muertos, where death is honored and the person celebrated.
Growing up as a second-generation Italian American in San Francisco my family taught me to respect and love the elders in our family and when those elders died, we celebrated them with a funeral Liturgy and a celebratory gathering meal following the Church Service. Death and dying was a natural phenomenon in our family rather than something hidden or scary. When my mother died, my dad went to her grave weekly bringing flowers from their garden. I joined my dad sometimes, as did my other siblings, and we would visit the graves of all our relatives.
In the 21st century death has become more apparent in its frequency (maybe because of the widespread media of our age) with climate change, violence and conflict, catastrophes happening all over the world from natural disasters; and in our own country, school shootings, death from racism, misogyny, and hatred and death of 2SLGBTQIA+, a plethora of death. If there ever was a time when death was not spoken about in families or the very subject of death closeted, it certainly cannot be happening now.
One way to help ease the pain of the death of a loved one is to talk about the person that we have loved and has gone before us. In our speaking, share memories of that person. What did they love to do, what made them laugh, what made them cry? Did they make us laugh? How do we apply salve to the broken heart from the experience of so much death in our country, in our world, to us individually? I believe that observing Día de los Muertos may be one way to begin to apply healing salve.
Mexico City’s museums and public spaces have played an important part in developing and promoting urban Day of the Dead traditions. This has spread all over the world and from various traditions. California and Mexico are literally adjacent to each other and more importantly some of us live right next door or across the street from our Latine siblings. I do! So, during the coming celebration of the Fall/Autumn of the year, October and November, this holiday tradition will be celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, though other days, such as October 31 or November 6 may be included depending on the locality. Halloween, All Hallows Eve, on October 31st is celebrated today more than ever, even by adults.
In the spring when I plant my vegetables, I also plant numerous marigold flowers known as cempazuchitl. I primarily plant them so I can harvest them in October and November for my Day of the Dead Altar. Their orange and yellow blossoms lend so much beauty and color to my ofrendas (altars). Admittedly a secondary reason, for planting marigolds is they keep bugs away from the vegetables I plant. On my altar are displayed framed pictures of my family members and friends who have died. In October and November, I celebrate these loved ones. I think of them, I hold them close.
The calavera (a word that means skull in Spanish, but has come to mean the entire skeleton) has become one of the most recognizable, cultural and artistic elements of the Day of the Dead festivities. They are made from wood, paper mache, sugar paste or carved bone and are colorful, happy, joyful, playful celebratory figures. They are given to children especially those made from sugar. It is tasty candy for them on these special days.
A tradition that is new to me to honor the deceased is calaveras literarias which are light-hearted and often irreverent verses in the form of mock epitaphs dedicated to living friends and acquaintances (like limericks entertain in Irish culture). They can allow people to poke fun at the fears many of us have about death, and to take the idea of death in stride.
Pan de Muertos (Wikipedia)
It is also traditional for many families, before laying out the candles, food, flowers and calaveras, to clean the grave and area around the grave as the year-long weather, elements, and birds can cause dirt to accumulate. Candles are also part of traditional altars of Día de los Muertos. When I go to a cemetery on any of these days I will see many flowers, (marigolds included), with families sitting around their loved one’s grave sharing the foods that were most favored by their loved ones, and are still family favorites. Another tradition connected with the holiday is to share traditional Pan de Muerto with family and friends. ¡Que delicioso!
The Press Democrat and other newspapers share the Día de los Muertos celebrations happening around our County. A good book that will offer you more than I have shared is Day of the Dead in the USA: The Migration and Transformation of a Cultural Phenomenon, Second Edition by Regina Marchi. As this celebration centers around family and those who have departed our lives, celebrating this triune of days can be a magnificent way to normalize death and take some of the fear out of death and dying for both adults and children.
Here are your latest colleagues who completed a Justice Project and earned FREE Law & Ethics on Oct. 27th! There's still time for you to attest and be one of the first 25 people on either project to get free Law & Ethics, too. Click the Justice Projects to find out more.
Congrats to Maggie Arbino and Wowlvenn Seward-Katzmiller for completing Justice Project: Antiracism! And congratulations to Rex Burington and Annette Seibel for finishing Justice Project: LGBTQ+ Affirming Care!
Members - you can access recordings of our zoom events from 2023, 2022, and 2021 in our Free CE Library. Watch the video, pass the test, fill out the evaluation, and download your certificate. It's that easy! You can earn CEs for any recorded event if you didn't already earn CEs from the live event. You must be logged in to see the library here: https://www.recamft.org/CE-Video-LibraryHere are just a few of the engaging titles currently available:
Introducing our On-Demand Store! Now, even non-members can benefit from RECAMFT's extensive CE video library by purchasing select individual video programs in our On-Demand Store. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to our friendly support team at email@example.com. We are here to help!
You can also visit our On-Demand Store to purchase CE presentations that were not offered free with membership, and it is not required to be a RECAMFT member for purchase: https://www.recamft.org/on-demand-training We have plans to release more programs to the On-Demand Store in the coming months.
SAVE THE DATE!
In-person catered training at Furth Center
Below: Picture from one of our last in-person events at Furth Center, Law & Ethics with Dave Jensen, 2019.
Do you have a colleague who has done something amazing in our community? Nominate them for a Spirit of RECAMFT Award!
The 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.
About the Joe and Pamela Ward Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship program was established in 2021 to honor the legacy of our late Administrative Consultants, who were known for their exceptional generosity, kindness, and special affinity for supporting early career clinicians. RECAMFT awards three scholarships of $1000 each and a free year-long membership. All Pre-Licensed and Newly-Licensed chapter members are eligible to apply.
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! Please visit www.recamft.org/scholarship to give a tax-free donation today!
For more information on the Sonoma County Behavioral Health Job Fair, click the flyer above,
or visit https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/jobfair.
For more information on Be the Change in Mental Health, click the flyer above,
or visit https://btcmentalhealth.org/events/group-experiential-training-september
Al-Anon is a mutual support group of peers who share their experience in applying the Al-Anon principles to problems related to the effects of a problem drinker in their lives. It is not group therapy and is not led by a counselor or therapist. This support network complements and supports professional treatment.
Alateen is a peer support group for teens who are struggling with the effects of someone else’s problem drinking. Many Alateen groups meet at the same time and location as an Al-Anon group. Alateen meetings are open only to teenagers. Alateen is not a program for young people seeking sobriety.
No advance notification or written referral is necessary to attend an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting. Anyone affected by someone else’s drinking is welcome to attend.
There are no dues or fees. Groups are self-supporting, and usually pass a basket around for a voluntary contribution to pay for rent or Al-Anon literature.
Encourage your clients to try Al-Anon, even if they minimize the problem with alcohol. Find out more....
What you Affirmative Therapy with Trans and/or Nonbinary Clients with Dr. Sand Chang"missed: "
Dr. Sand Chang, PhD, Licensed Psychologist kicked off RECAMFT's new speaker season. Dr. Chang is the author of A Clinician’s Guide to Gender-Affirming Care: Working With Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Clients which is required reading for this year's Justice Project: LGBTQ+ Affirming Care. Unfortunately, Dr. Chang's presentation was not recorded, because Dr. Chang had experienced misuse of video online in the past, and was not comfortable with a recording being made.
Dr. Chang's talk was entitled "Affirmative Therapy with Trans and/or Nonbinary Clients", and lasted 2 hours. Dr. Chang prefers the pronouns they/them. They are a specialist in DEI providing both training and education on the issues faced by transgender and gender non-conforming people. Dr. Chang stressed eating disorders are intertwined with this population, and one must have these skills to work with this population. Please visit Dr. Chang's website here.
Minutes from RECAMFT Board meetings are always available on the Members Only page.
Catching up on our board meeting highlights....
June 2023 - The Board held an in-person breakfast meeting at the home of Pat Hromalik (thank you, Pat!). Bob Casanova, President Elect, chaired the meeting. $1000 was appropriated to the Racial and Social Justice Committee (RSJC) to hire experts as needed to review our website, and other writing, along with possible training for the committee. Bob proposed a new award, mirroring one he proposed while on the CAMFT Board. It is to honor an outstanding Board member each year. The CAMFT Award is entitled the Danah Davis Williams Award for Distinguished Board Member Service to CAMFT. The proposed title for the RECAMFT award is the Laura C. Strom Award for Distinguished Board Member Service to RECAMFT. He cited Laura Strom's long history with both RECAMFT and CAMFT (serving as the 2015-16 President) as rationale for naming the award in her honor. The award will be chosen in December annually, and presented at the January Annual Members Meeting, and was approved by the Board.
August 2023 Board Day-Long Retreat - The retreat was held at The Z Room, and lunch was at the Americana Restaurant below. The Board moved to invest some of the savings account funds in CDs which would have a better return on interest upon the recommendation of the ad-hoc committee which was investigating this. The RSJC hired Positive Images to review a curated media page. Some changes need to be made based on their report. The Board reviewed how to handle changes needed due to the unexpected resignation of the Programs Chair (due to personal reasons). Various Board members offered help. Lisa Wenninger, RECAMFT's Admin Consultant, and member made a report around tech issues, and recommended we try a new software for videos which was adopted by the Board. During the afternoon President Gina led the Board in some activities based on the theme of getting wild (there are pictures of zebras throughout the meeting space) and team survival which all said they enjoyed. Pictures from the events are below.
September 2023 - Member and scholarship winner Erin Prieskorn attended the September meeting to thank the Board for the scholarship she recently won, and observe the meeting. The Board congratulated her, and welcomed her to the meeting. All were sad to find out Katharina Kienbõck will be moving to Portugal soon, and unable to continue her work with the RSJC. Linda Block also will not continue with the RSJC as she has been chosen to work on CAMFT's DEI committee. New leadership is needed for the RSJC, and members are being considered for this important position (Chair or Co-chair). Jessica Heaney reported on the collaboration between RECAMFT and the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) to have trained clinicians, who are also fingerprinted by SCOE, and have taken SCOE's brief training about logistics of working within their system. A small group of RECAMFT members including Jessica have been trained and fingerprinted and will be able to respond at schools should a crisis occur. Bob Casanova asked Danah Williams, LMFT, to provide a training on DBT for our January meeting. The Chapter Leadership Conference is the first weekend in February, and will interfere with our normal speaker event, so it was decided to have the speaker on the second weekend of February. A new logo celebrating RECAMFT's 50th Anniversary has been designed, but will not be revealed until 1/1/2024. A 50th anniversary party has been planned for early November2024.
The Board gathered for lunch during the day-long retreat.
L-R Gina Culver, Randy Cheek, Jessica Heaney, Reyna Seminara, Emily Larkin, Jean Hayes.
Linda Block attended the retreat by Zoom on the screen at the back of the room.
L-R Bob Casanova, Jean Hayes, Jessica Heaney, Emily Larkin, Randy Cheek, Pat Hromalik, Reyna Seminara and Linda Block on the screen.
L-R Bob Casanova, Emily Larkin, Linda Block (on screen), Gina Culver, Reyna Seminara, Pat Hromalik, Randy Cheek, Jean Hayes.
"Bringing the Outside in"
By Emily Morrison, LMFT
Autumn is coming. What do you notice inside of yourself as the season shifts? Is there a quieting? A rush to take advantage of the last days of summer? Do you feel nesting desire within? That longing for warm beverages and cozy blankets?
As humans we are deeply influenced by the shift of the seasons, the change in the light and weather. The rhythms of the natural world are part of the fabric of our being. Even amongst concrete and electric lights, the shortening of the days impacts the way we move through our lives and often the way we feel in our bodies.
The cosmic forces influence us as well. The lunar cycle tugs at the tides and most people who work with the public in some capacity can speak to the way a full moon might shift behaviors, emotional intensity or increase in accidents. To quote my 8th grade science teacher who was also an ER nurse, “If you work in the emergency room on a full moon you will begin to see that it makes everyone a little more wild.”
My personal spiritual path is tied to the natural rhythms of the earth and sky and as a result (and my beliefs about our connection to these) I often bring the natural world into my work. Using the seasons as an example, I invite clients to explore their relationship to beginnings, growth and the endings that follow. If the plants don’t rest in the winter they cannot grow again in the spring. As some plants die away, they become nutrients for the plants that follow. So, too, do our life experiences. We need endings to have space for beginnings. Those endings provide compost for what we do next. The moon starts in darkness, grows to fullness, wanes and becomes new once more. We are mirroring these patterns in our lives, through not only our lifespan but all the chapters that lie in between our births and deaths.
The earth offers us other tools as well. Grounding is top of the list for me. Sometimes this looks like helping someone connect to their breath and their body. Sometimes it’s taking them outside to sit at the base of a tree or rest their head upon its trunk. And sometimes it is inviting them to go belly down on the floor and let the earth support them fully, finding surrender in the strength found there.
The natural world is full of wonder and awe. There is beauty everywhere. When we ask clients to see this, through the flight of a hummingbird or the lush color of a flower, the softness of an animal’s fur or the smell of bay trees in the summer sun, we call them to come back to their senses, to find pleasure in the simplicity of seeing, feeling, smelling and being inside of their skin. This is not always an easy task, nor does it always go as hoped or planned, yet when obstacles arise in our attempts to help clients connect, it is our turn to shift, to grow, to let old plans or attachments to outcome fall away and become compost for our work as well. The natural world holds endless wisdom when we allow ourselves to listen.
Emily Morrison, LMFT has a private practice in Santa Rosa, and is licensed in both Oregon and California.
In many ways 1990 represented a year of hope, which Richard Alongi brought to the RECAMFT Board of Directors in his own special way. Germany was reunited. Russia elected its first President Mikhail Gorbachev (who won the Nobel Peace Prize that year), and the Baltic states were freed from the former Soviet Union (which became the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. George HW Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Hubble space telescope launched, along with the Human Genome Project. Thank you, Richard, for your service to RECAMFT!
Thank you for reading this month's newsletter! RECAMFT is great because of involved members like you!!