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  • Thursday, March 02, 2023 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulation to Brandon Hoshiko, Director of Technology and Communications, for Winning Outstanding Chapter Leader Award at the CAMFT Leadership Conference.

    As the director of Technology and Communications, Brandon has gone above and beyond to facilitate hybrid programs that allowed our members and non-members to attend presentations in-person while livestreaming to others who preferred the online option. Brandon has spent many hours of his free time to educate himself in various recording technologies, invested in new equipment to make the process as smooth as possible, and enthusiastically engaged others in dialogue to create recordings that would be as good as the live option for others to watch. The board is grateful for Brandon’s engagement and active participation in making our chapter a successful educational organization.

  • Thursday, March 02, 2023 3:38 PM | Anonymous

    BEST CULTURAL AWARENESS PROGRAM - This category will demonstrate how successful the chapters were in developing cultural consciousness within their membership, educational programs, and Board. See all the awards

    Santa Clara Valley Chapter (251+ members)

    Position statement/DEI Action plan

    • Early in January, the chapter posted for the first time, and with the guidance of our Director of DEI, Moitreyee Chowdhury, our statement and position in terms of DEI.
    • The action plan for 2022 was to increase diversity oriented programs and start to think about how to refine such programs (as events and articles for our newsletter) for 2023.
    • Throughout 2021 and early 2022, the goal was to increase diversity within the board of directors, which resulted in bringing on members from various backgrounds, personally and professionally.

    Education Programs and Speakers

    Diverse topics were addressed throughout 2022 in our events programs:

    • The athlete population, its associated mental health issues, and ways to address them therapeutically, a luncheon offered by Megan Hankins-Maldonado, LMFT, an athlete herself
    • A luncheon program about how to heal the Latino population of intergenerational trauma through community involvement, a presentation given by Ana Morante, LMFT
    • Partnered with Sacramento Chapter to offer a luncheon online presentation by Shawan Worsley, LMFT, about strategies for effective discussions around race and racism
    • In an effort to address issues pertaining to the transgender community, we offered a hybrid program led by Maureen Johnston, LMFT, that covered how to understand and assist families of gender expansive children.
    • Linda Johnson, LMFT, LAADC, presented a very well received workshop on the mental health trends and needs in juvenile justice, emphasizing the need for unwavering governmental and community support for mental health programming in this population.
    • We have addressed an important issue within the Indian community by providing a luncheon on the topic of the immigrant child within a South Asian perspective. Kalpana Asok, an Indian LMFT and writer was our choice to address this topic.
    • We created a Social Justice column in our newsletter and reached out to individuals from the BIPOC community to speak about their involvement in various areas:
      • Ellie Vargas, LCSW, founder of BACIE (Bay Area Center for Immigration Evaluations) was interviewed by Liliana Ramos, LMFT, our Director-at-Large, to speak about the relevance of therapeutic skills in doing immigration evaluations, her own work doing these evaluations and her continued quest for therapists to get involved.
      • Dr. Sherry Wang, professor at Santa Clara University, was also interviewed by Liliana Ramos, about cultural humility and social justice in the therapeutic encounter.
      • One of our community focuses was Perry Clark, LMFT, interviewed by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT, our president and discussed his role and experiences as a self-identified neurodiverse, LGBTQ, black male therapist.

    Networking events

    • Coffee talks in the summer time that reached out to our diverse membership community and the prior registrants to our various programs who are non-members.
    • In an effort to connect various groups through the understanding of and exposure to diverse celebrations, Moitreyee Chowdhury, our Director of DEI, has been offering multiple email blasts on a monthly basis recognizing the contributions and celebrations of the various communities our chapter is made of. Some examples are: religious and spiritual holidays, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, Elders months, with supporting educational offerings such as linked articles and videos.

    Special interests groups/committees

    • We are proud to offer a Black Therapist support group, led by Erica Jenkins, LMFT; the participants are members and non-members, some finding support from far regions such as Washington, DC and Mexico (providing therapy in the Bay Area).
    • We continue to brainstorm to integrate other special interests groups and to look for volunteers interested in leading special interest committees.

    Membership and volunteer outreach

    • The outreach was done through our Facebook and Instagram presence as well as by using the CAMFT list, and posting in various therapy listings with the intent to bring on students, trainees, and associates as a priority.

    Donations/Scholarships/Grant programs

    • Our chapter is in the process of devising a scholarship program to encourage the new generation of therapists to join the chapter: it would aim at mental health students, trainees, associates in various universities/graduate schools around the bay area.

  • Wednesday, February 09, 2022 7:17 PM | Anonymous

    Junko Yamauchi, LMFT, Director of Support Groups

    Santa Clara Valley Chapter
    The Board of the Santa Clara Valley chapter would like to nominate Junko Yamauchi for her ongoing service to the board: Junko began volunteering for the SCV-CAMFT community by leading groups for Pre-Licensed therapists. Eventually, she joined the board to oversee the support groups for therapists and Pre-Licensed therapists. As a board member, she made time in her busy practice schedule dedicated to the Asian community and as a registered provider for clients under the California Victims of Crime Compensation Board, to learn the ropes of her position. She is dedicated, always in attendance, follows through with her commitments and continues to advocate for her support group leaders and the communities they serve in our wider SCV-CAMFT community. Junko has been very supportive of and active in our new board initiatives.

  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:04 PM | Anonymous

      back to winter 2021 newsletter

    Kalpana Asok, MA, LMFT

    Kalpana Asok is a licensed psychotherapist currently in private practice in Saratoga. She is also a poet and the author of Who's baby is it, anyway? Inside the Indian Heart, which is a collection of essays on South Asian culture and aspects that impact the family's psychosocial space within and outside India. She moved to the United States from Bangalore, India over 30 years ago and has been practicing for over 23 years. You can learn more about Kalpana here. Below is a poem from her book Everyday Flowers.


    A flannel shirt
    still hot from the dryer

    Immersive heat
    in a baked car
    on a windy day

    A steaming bath

    A coarse sun-dried towel

    Snapping fire
    cinders flying

    Nothing matches
    no equal to
    A flung-body hug

    Arms locked
    around neck

    Faces mashed
    Grinding teeth

    I love you
    I love you
    Face Squeezed
    Fish lips

    Piercing eyes
    Noses smushed
    Locking eyes

    Are you listening?

    I love you.

  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022 2:51 PM | Anonymous

    Back to Winter 2021 Newsletter

    Debra Rojas, MA, LMFT and

    Elizabeth Basile, MA, LMFT

    A big farewell to two long-standing board directors who invested much of their time and passion in our chapter. Debra Rojas joined the chapter in 2010 and served in various positions: from secretary, to president, CFO, and more recently, historian. Elizabeth followed soon after and joined in 2011 as the director of luncheons. The length of their tenure reflects how much they enjoyed being part of their team of directors and providing the best service to the membership. It was a pleasure to learn from both of them before they move on to other adventures as we hope to continue their legacy.

  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    Back to Winter 2021 Newsletter

    This year, four other directors stepped off the board. We thank them for all the work they have contributed to the chapter during their tenure and are looking forward to seeing them in the community. Rowena Dodson remains active as a contributor to the newsletter.

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    Back to Fall 2021 Newsletter

    "Jerry Seinfeld's 'Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee,' scootch over! This is  'Clinicians in Chairs Getting Chai.' Now a new Netflix series......"
     - Audrey, who attended the August Coffee Talk

    We have been offering a new event called 'Coffee Talk' which started in June. We have had three events so far and members seem to really enjoy them. We will spread them out around our large region and hopefully provide a place where you can all get to know each other better, in person! Of course we are following all the covid regulations.

    If you come to one of these events, we will buy you a drink of your choice. It's our gift to you for making the effort to make our chapter a place that is valued by our members. Below are some pics of the past events.

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:35 PM | Anonymous

    Back to Fall 2021 Newsletter

    Welcome Genevieve!

    Genevieve Altwer, LMFT
    Director of Membership/Outreach

    Genevieve is taking on the role of Director of Membership/Outreach with great excitement and enthusiasm! Genevieve graduated with an MA in Counseling Psychology from John F Kennedy University in 2017 and also holds an MA in Criminal Justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Prior to her work as an LMFT, Genevieve was a police officer for the city of San Mateo for 14 years. She worked as a sexual assault detective, served on the crisis intervention team, and was a field-training officer. She deeply understands the importance of human connection, care, and collaboration.  Her therapeutic modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR and Experiential Therapy. She is client-centered and enjoys inviting clients to bring their most authentic self into the therapy room. Genevieve has advanced training in trauma, PTSD, and working with first responders. A native to San Jose, she cares very much about the individuals and families who work and thrive here.  Genevieve enjoys live music, trying new cuisine, and spending time with family. She is committed to the wellness of the members of SCV-CAMFT and introducing our membership benefits to the next generation of therapists! 

    Back to Fall 2021 Newsletter

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:04 PM | Anonymous

     Back to Fall 2021 Newsletter

    Junko Yamauchi, LMFT, Director of Support Groups

    Our chapter currently runs four support groups. Pre-Covid time, we had two groups in the north locations and another two groups in the south locations. Since the pandemic, we have been offering all-online support groups, which allows us to serve more people, some even outside Santa Clara County.

I am the Director of the Newly and Pre-Licensed Member Support Groups. I was also one of the facilitators of the support groups, until recently. I really enjoyed meeting with pre-licensed therapists and was inspired by them in person and online for the last 2.5 years. I am excited that we now have two new leaders starting in June.

    In the June issue, I introduced our two long-standing Support Group leaders, Jim Arjani and Della Fernandes. In this issue, you will meet our new Support Group leaders: Natasha Kazmi, LMFT and Saru Sivanesan, LMFT. I am very excited that they have come onboard. In order to get to know them better, I came up with fun questions for them hoping you would get a sense of who they are. I wrote the questions and the leaders answered via email.

    Natasha Kazmi, LMFT leads our Pre-Licensed Support Groups on the first Friday of the month from 11:00 am -1:00 pm.

    Who are your clients and are you accepting new clients at this point?
    I work with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. I have a group practice, www.trustmentalhealth.com. We are accepting new clients.
    What books/movies/podcasts do you recommend for fellow therapists?
    I enjoyed reading Relationship Rx by Stan Tatkin for couples therapy. I love how he brings in neurobiology and attachment as his foundation. This book has helpful tips and I sometimes recommend it to clients.

    Which non-therapy related books/movies/podcasts do you enjoy?
    Forty Rules of love by Elif Shafak. The Forty Rules of Love unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives—one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encounters his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz—that together explore the enduring power of Rumi's work.

    What are quotes, phrases, or sayings that you often use in session?
    “Courage comes from support.” I encourage my clients to develop a support system, if they don’t already have one.

    What do you do to take care of yourself?
    I love spending time with family and friends, personal physical training and taking vacation.

    If you were not a therapist, what would you like to do for a living?
    I would have liked to be an OB-GYN—delivering babies, as I feel it brings joy to the world.

    What would you do if you won 1 million dollars?
    Open a non-profit in a developing area close to us or in a developing country.

    Describe your dream vacation.
    A house on the beach or travel around the world.

    Which theoretical orientation do you use the most?

    Why did you become a therapist?
    My passion for helping people and instilling hope in their lives.

    How has the pandemic changed your professional life?
    The pandemic has redefined the mental health delivery model through Telehealth, where both therapists and clients have benefitted from its convenience.

    Anything else to share about yourself with the readers?
    I value diversity, varied cultures and languages; therefore, my group practice is comprised of BIPOC therapists who collectively offer services in 8 different languages.  

    Sarangan "Saru" Sivanesan, MA, LMFT leads the Newly Licensed Support Group on the second Friday of the month, from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. 

    Who are your clients and are you accepting new clients at this point?
    Most of my clients are from tech and as a former software engineer, I understand their mindset very well. Yes, I am accepting new clients.

    Which theoretical orientation do you use the most?
    I am trauma trained (EMDR certified and Hakomi trained) and use this training to inform my treatment planning. I find EMDR is a very efficient way to help clients heal from trauma. But that does not mean it's a quick fix. It requires good assessment and treatment planning. Hakomi is an efficient way to bypass the conscious mind and get into the subconscious beliefs, memories, etc. I use that to help clients realize that there is more to what's happening than what they are able to see. Usually it works well with my tech clients.

    What books/movies/podcasts do you recommend for fellow therapists?
    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho
    Groundhog Day

    Which non-therapy related books/movies/podcasts do you enjoy?
    I like comedies and light-hearted movies. I also enjoy self-help and spiritual books.

    What are the quotes, phrases, or sayings that you often use in session?
    I don't have one or two particular quotes, but I do use a lot of metaphors to help clients, bypassing their thinking mind and helping them gain clarity.

    What do you do to take care of yourself?
    Meditation, exercising, cooking, spending time with my wife, gardening and being by the ocean or in nature.

    If you were not a therapist, what would you like to do for a living?
    I’m not sure! I love my job. I was a software engineer for 20+ years and changed my career to become a  therapist.

    Describe your dream vacation.
    Ocean walks, meditation and healthy food.

    How did you become a therapist?
    I was a software engineer for 20+ years. My bachelors is in Mathematics & Computer Science. But the job was not fulfilling and I wanted something more meaningful. So I took a break from work and went on a soul searching trip traveling through parts of New Mexico and South America (Santiago, Rio, Machu Picchu & other parts of Peru). On my return, I started exploring psychology schools as I was called to it. When I walked into my alma mater, Sofia University (formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology), I knew it was the right place and joined there soon after.

    How has the pandemic changed your professional life?
    Learning the importance of self care and connections.

    Back to Fall 2021 Newsletter

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SCV-CAMFT                 P.O. Box 60814, Palo Alto, CA. 94306                  mail@scv-camft.org              408-721-2010

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