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President's Message

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  • Sunday, November 15, 2020 9:18 AM | Anonymous

    back to Fall 2020 Newsletter

    by Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT

    Jacqui has been licensed since 2007. She joined the SCV-CAMFT board in 2015, initially as the Communication and Technology Director. She has a private practice in Palo Alto and San Mateo and is certified in TEAM-CBT level 2. She works with teens and adults and uses both a family systems model as well as a supportive, humanistic approach.

    Greetings, this time from my unbearably hot garage. As I write this, it is almost the end of August and we continue to be in a pandemic. The Bay Area is under an extreme heat advisory (causing my unbearably hot garage), which also caused a weird lightning storm, which then started fires all over the place and now we have smoke. We are all adjusting to what could be our new “normal” for quite some time. Here at SCV-CAMFT, we are working to adjust to this new world of doing everything remotely and online.  We are discovering that, while we miss seeing each other in person, there are some upsides to gathering online. In May, we had our 2-day Marty Klein training. Being able to attend the webinar from the comfort of our own homes, and doing it over 2 days in 3-hour blocks, worked well. Breaking longer events up like this has really helped with my Zoom fatigue.  And we were thrilled with the response from the SCV-CAMFT members who attended.

    In July we began offering an Online Social for members. That first social, we met for an hour and a half on a Saturday via Zoom. Participants were able to introduce themselves in the larger group, then broke out into smaller groups so they could get to know each other a little better. I met

    people whose names I know, but whose faces I had never seen before. It was nice to match the faces to the names! So far we have had 2 online social gatherings, with the next one scheduled for September 26, from 4:00-5:30 pm. See the website for details and registration.

    We currently have two CEU opportunities scheduled for September. On September 11 and 12, we will offer a 6-hour CEU training called The New Science of Suicide Prevention, with Ben Caldwell, PsyD. Please see the website on the new requirement from the BBS and who needs to take this training. On September 25, we have a free 1.5 hour CEU presentation on doing Play Therapy via Telehealth presented by Paula Shuer, LMFT, RPT-S and Cecilia Long, LMFT, RPT-S. Also, please save the date for our Annual Membership Celebration (online) on Saturday morning November 7, from 10:00-11:30. This will be a chance to gather, connect and to recognize volunteers. And we have something fun planned as well! Details will be posted on our website as they become available. 

    I hope you are all finding ways to take care of yourselves in this difficult time. Those in the evacuation zones, please stay safe. And to end things with a chuckle, according to a meme a friend sent “Relationships are just a scam by big psychology to sell more therapy.”  Happy Fall.

    Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT
    President SCV-CAMFT

    back to Fall 2020 Newsletter


  • Thursday, November 12, 2020 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    by Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT

    Jacqui has been licensed since 2007. She joined the SCV-CAMFT board in 2015, initially as the Communication and Technology Director. She has a private practice in Palo Alto and San Mateo and is certified in TEAM-CBT level 2. She works with teens and adults and uses both a family systems model as well as a supportive, humanistic approach.

    Dear SCV-CAMFT community, by the time you are reading this we will almost be in spring. It is a time in California when we see such beautiful growth and blooming of flowers and trees, in this gorgeous place we call home. And yet now as we are about to send out the latest newsletter, I am having to revise what I wrote a few weeks ago for my message to you. At that time, the coronavirus was still not so serious here, or at least we were less aware of the growing crisis coming our way.

    Now, however, it is top of mind. Just today as I write this we have been informed that Santa Clara County and surrounding counties are implementing highly restrictive rules governing people’s ability to gather, to move about, and to live their normal lives. This is hitting everyone hard and some much more so than others, with economic, health, and child care challenges. We as therapists will provide important emotional support to many during this time of change and uncertainty. We need to remember to nourish and care well for ourselves even as we also provide emotional support and ballast to our communities and clients.

    The board has had to make some changes to our upcoming programming because of the crisis, including having to cancel our CEU luncheons and day long that were scheduled between now and May 31. On March 27, we would have had Tom Tarshis, MD, MPH, speaking about “Evidence Based Psychotherapies” for our luncheon and CEUs. For the April 24th luncheon, Maureen Johnston, LMFT, was scheduled to present “Gender & Identity: Providing Gender Affirmative Therapy to All our Clients.”  And on May 16, Marty Klein, LMFT was to have done a day-long training on “Couples Therapy 2020: When Old Problems Require New Solutions.” We know this is disappointing and SCV-CAMFT will keep you updated.  

    On a positive note, we hope that our fall law and ethics day-long workshop will still be able to go forward. Please SAVE THE DATE for September 12th, a Saturday, to gather with Ben Caldwell, PhD.

    Additionally, the board has decided to offer only online meetings for our newly licensed and pre-licensed support group meetings for that time period as well. We hope this will make it possible for therapists to get the support they need, even while we are restricted from traveling. If this works well, we hope to continue to make online participation available even in groups that also have in-person participants in the future. Please check our website scv-camft.org to find out how to participate.

    In our more normal news that I want to cover, we have the honor of welcoming another new board member to our SCV-CAMFT Board. Jyoti Nadhani is an associate who works with families and couples (you’ll meet her on page 2). Jyoti is already bringing her creativity and ideas to the board.  She will be in charge of the law and ethics training that we will have in the fall. Her technological expertise is already helping the board think about connecting our members in new ways. Stay tuned for that.  

    In February, five board members attended the leadership conference put on by state-wide CAMFT in Burlingame. It was exciting and stimulating to hear ideas from other chapters and to network with each other. We who attended are bringing these ideas back and discussing them as a board. We were especially taken with discussions about how to engage members and how to create a sense of community. We are in the early stages of rolling out capabilities on our website that will connect members who share special interests. We will keep you informed and let you know when this is up and running.

    We hope you enjoy this latest newsletter. Our editorial committee, comprised of Chair Dominique Yarritu and board member Rowena Dodson, is working hard to bring you relevant and interesting articles and information on a more regular basis. You will meet Dominique in this Newsletter (see page 5), where she tells you a little about herself. The theme for the articles is Teens. We have three articles about working with Teens: one on working with transgender teens, one on working with families and teens, and the other about accessing acute care for suicidal teens.

    It was great to see many of you at the training by Dr. Elaine Brady on Sexting and Pornography on February 28th, “From Teen Sexting to Revenge Porn - We’re Mandated!” We had a packed room and lots to think about from Dr. Brady’s presentation.

    I hope to connect with each of you in the coming months and look forward to hearing from you with your ideas and hopes for our chapter.  And I wish for you, your families, and all our communities, health and safekeeping as we navigate this unprecedented health crisis.

    Stay Well,
    Jacqui

  • Thursday, November 12, 2020 11:56 AM | Anonymous

    by Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT

    Jacqui has been licensed since 2007. She joined the SCV-CAMFT board in 2015, initially as the Communication and Technology Director. She has a private practice in Palo Alto and San Mateo and is certified in TEAM-CBT level 2. She works with teens and adults and uses both a family systems model as well as a supportive, humanistic approach.

    Happy Holidays to you all!

    As we come to the end of the year, it’s traditional to look back and see what we accomplished both personally and professionally. So, I’d like to review our chapter accomplishments. But first I’m sorry to say we are losing one of our board members at the end of this month. Elle Scott, LMFT is leaving us to start a new adventure. She is opening a group practice in Morgan Hill January of 2020. It will be called South Bay Therapy Center. It’s an exciting project helping an underserved area. We will miss her and wish her much success in her endeavor.

    Next I’d like to welcome our two new board members, Rowena Dodson, LMFT as a director at large, and Mary Van Riper, LMFT as president elect. We are thrilled to have them on the board as they bring their ideas, energy and enthusiasm to our chapter.

    This year we were able to offer something a little different for our law and ethics workshop. Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD presented on Tough Calls, Moral Dilemmas and Technology. I’m pleased to say it was our highest attendance to date for this type of workshop. We’ve had positive feedback from our members regarding Ben’s presentation style, so we have plans to bring him back in 2020.

    Fortunately, we were also able to provide a day-long workshop in June by Roy Huggins, LPC, NCC, the founder of www.personcenteredtech.com, who spoke about our obligation to protect client health information. He provided concrete advice on staying HIPAA compliant in our increasingly tech driven world (#1 encrypt your computer!). He is also a practicing therapist whose mission is to help anxious therapists feel less anxious about technology.

    For our 2019 speaker series we had five presentations. In January, Suma Singh, MD presented Update on Opioid Use Disorder, Overdose, and Treatment. Brandy Vanderheiden, LMFT, SEP, talked to us about Somatic Experiencing®: A Body-Mind Approach to Healing Trauma and Increasing Resiliency in February. In April we learned about Conjoint Therapy with High Conflict Couples from Steve Darrow, LCSW and Mary Crocker Cook, LMFT, LAADC, LPCC, CADCII. Treating Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety: A Compassionate and Effective Approach was presented by Edna Wallace, LMFT, LPCC, CGP in May. And in October, Marty Klein gave a presentation on How to Talk to Patients and Couples About Sex and Why They'll Thank You if You Do. In September we offered a North Region Networking Event: In Practice Together, sponsored by reflect. This took place in San Mateo, and the founder of reflect, Jonathan TranPham, gave a brief presentation on Insights on the Business of Private Practice. Free drinks and hors d'oeuvre were available.

    We were thrilled to have our annual membership celebration last month. For the past two years, instead of the usual Friday night cocktail party and 1 CEU presentation we tried something different. The rationale being we can avoid Google traffic, avoid traffic in general, and change the time of day. We experimented and did a Saturday brunch. The result was wonderful! We had different people attend and overall a completely different energy. If we do a brunch again next year, I invite you all to attend and meet some new people.

    For 2020

    In May we have Marty Klein presenting Couples Therapy: When Old Problems Require New Solutions. Marty is a long time member and supporter of SCV-CAMFT. His workshops are always well attended and feedback from attendees state that Marty is a thought provoking, practical and entertaining presenter. His workshop will be May 16, 2020. Location TBD.

    Currently we don’t have confirmed dates for our other 2020 events. Those will be announced when they are confirmed. I want to thank all of you who have helped make our events and our chapter so successful this year! We can’t do it without our wonderful members! The board’s goal is always to make our chapter better and serve all our members to the best of our ability. We hope to offer a robust 2020 and to engage more of you, as we work to make our chapter even better. 

    If you have ideas about how to invigorate ourselves as an organization, we’d love to hear from you. We, all of us together, are what make SCV-CAMFT a vibrant, living organization that meets the needs of its members and facilitates our ability to do our best work for our clients. I invite you to become more involved in SCV-CAMFT this coming year.  And we welcome your feedback and action to help us improve and grow together.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    Jacqui

  • Thursday, November 12, 2020 11:49 AM | Anonymous

    by Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT

    Jacqui has been licensed since 2007. She joined the SCV-CAMFT board in 2015, initially as the Communication and Technology Director. She has a private practice in Palo Alto and San Mateo and is certified in TEAM-CBT level 2. She works with teens and adults and uses both a family systems model as well as a supportive, humanistic approach.

    I bet you've heard this before, but it's worth saying it again. Our chapter wouldn't exist without lots of willing volunteers! This issue of our newsletter seemed to fall into the theme of volunteerism. Volunteering, as most of us know from experience, is something that connects us to oth- ers, counteracting stress, anger, and anxiety. As therapists, we often work alone, and getting out with a purpose by volunteering can help connect us to the larger world, make new friends, and work on our social skills and relationship building. It can help our careers, by connecting us to professional people who we might not have met otherwise. And if you find the right volunteer position, it will bring fun and fulfillment to your life. So if you've been thinking about ways to help our chapter, maybe now is the time to put those thoughts into actions. The more connections we make with each other, the more this chapter benefits us all.

    Speaking of connecting to each other, I'm happy to report that the new chapter exchange seems to be a success. The board wanted to find a better forum, and I think we did. I hope you all agree. We launched the new chapter exchange in November, and so far so good. This membership feature is a great resource and benefit to everyone who joins. If you still have not joined, please send an email to our chapter coordinator at mail@ scv-camft.org and we'll send you an invitation. A great feature of the new forum is a member calendar, where we can
    add our own workshops, events, and groups, and easily see what's coming
    in the weeks and months ahead, for ourselves, and for our clients.

    As most of our members know, chapter members must be members of CAMFT in good standing. All chapters are affiliated with the state organization, and it is in our chapter agreement that all members of chapters must be members
    of CAMFT. If you get a notice from us asking you to renew your CAMFT membership, please take this notice seriously. We have to be in compliance with this policy. Of course, sometimes mistakes are made, or there is a miscommunication, but we will resolve any issues that arise.
    If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me at president@scv-camft.org. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming chapter event!

    Jacqui

  • Thursday, November 12, 2020 11:46 AM | Anonymous

    by Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT

    Jacqui has been licensed since 2007. She joined the SCV-CAMFT board in 2015, initially as the Communication and Technology Director. She has a private practice in Palo Alto and San Mateo and is certified in TEAM-CBT level 2. She works with teens and adults and uses both a family systems model as well as a supportive, humanistic approach.

    Happy Summer! I hope you are all taking time for yourselves and doing some self care before things pick back up in the fall. Personally, I took some time and went to Alaska, which I highly recommend. It is very quiet and tranquil there. The glaciers, mountains, and wildlife are majestic and awe-inspiring. Alaska really is the last wild, untamed part of this country. Because it is untamed, risks from the environment are very different than here. The tour guides have good advice like “if you don’t want to get eaten by a bear, don’t go where there are bears.” Which made me chuckle, but got me thinking about my personal safety in other areas, like my office.

    I have been in this field since 2001 and have had to call 911 for an issue in the office twice in my career, both within the last 4 months. The first was an insurance referral, where the client neglected to tell me during the intake phone interview she was bringing an adult child in the middle of a psychotic break. Within 15 seconds of walking in, he attempted to get physical, started to rage and began swearing and screaming. He ultimately vandalized the office by violently breaking the window in the door. I was quite shaken by this but kept it together until the landlord, having seen the man acting erratically, came to check and make sure we were all ok.

    The second was an aggressive process server attempting to serve a subpoena to an office mate who wasn’t in the office at the time. He refused to leave after being asked multiple times, and began opening the doors of treatment rooms with other therapists already in session. The officers showed up and escorted him out of the building.

    After the first incident we, as an office, reviewed safety procedures with the Palo Alto Police and made changes they recommended. The first is a fingerprint/code lock which was installed on the office door that automatically locks every time someone goes thru. The second, we have air horns and pepper spray in each room. We also have our cell phones in session so we have a way to call for help if needed. Third, we will be installing a closed circuit camera so we can see directly from the office into the waiting room.

    Have you thought about how safe you are in your office? What safety procedures do you have in place? Do you have an exit strategy for the unlikely event that a psychotic person shows up at your office? I don’t mean to frighten you with my stories. Just like insurance, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. And I know we all have insurance.

    Be Well,
    Jacqui


  • Thursday, November 12, 2020 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    by Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT

    Jacqui has been licensed since 2007. She joined the SCV-CAMFT board in 2015, initially as the Communication and Technology Director. She has a private practice in Palo Alto and San Mateo and is certified in TEAM-CBT level 2. She works with teens and adults and uses both a family systems model as well as a supportive, humanistic approach.

    As I write this message to you I’ve just left the annual CAMFT Chapter Leadership Conference. Each year CAMFT hosts this conference for all chapter boards. It is a great opportunity to meet with our counterparts in other chapters throughout the state, and exchange information and ideas. There were so many take-aways, but most important this year is CAMFT’s participation in a review of statutes and regulations relating to the practices of marriage and family therapy. CAMFT is reviewing the language in the current MFT Scope of Practice as defined in California Business and Professions Code Section 4980.02.

    Participants broke into groups where there were lively discussions throughout the room. We were asked to focus on the following questions:
    • What are the breadth of job titles?
    • What practices or activities need to be reflected in the definition?
    • What aspects of the current scope must be retained and what should be removed?
    • What needs to be incorporated?

    We were guided to the various definitions for MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs from other states. CAMFT asked that we provide our input as they begin their review. Below is the current MFT Scope of Practice for your review. I’m sure you will agree that the language is very general and vague and does not really define our work as Marriage and Family Therapists.

    §4980.02. MFT Scope of Practice Defined
    "For the purposes of this chapter, the practice of marriage and family therapy shall mean that service performed with individuals, couples, or groups wherein interpersonal relationships are examined for the purpose of achieving more adequate, satisfying, and productive marriage and family adjustments. This practice includes relationship and pre-marriage counseling.

    The application of marriage and family therapy principles and methods includes, but is not limited to, the use of applied psychotherapeutic techniques, to enable individuals to mature and grow within marriage and the family, the provision of explanations and interpretations of the psychosexual and psychosocial aspects of relationships, and the use, application, and integration of the coursework and training required by Sections 4980.36, 4980.37, and 4980.41, as applicable."

    "The MFT Scope of Practice in the 21st Century...Language for the
    Future” is available for your review and comparison through this link: https://scv-camft.org:443/resources/ Documents/articles/MFT_Scope_of_ Practice.pdf. As compared with the definition for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, it is clear the that the MFT Scope of Practice must be redefined. If you have any new ideas please email me and I can share them with CAMFT. Legislative changes take time, and CAMFT is just beginning this process. We will continue to monitor their progress.

    Be Well,
    Jacqui


  • Monday, June 15, 2020 12:04 PM | Anonymous

    by Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT

    Jacqui has been licensed since 2007. She joined the SCV-CAMFT board in 2015, initially as the Communication and Technology Director. She has a private practice in Palo Alto and San Mateo and is certified in TEAM-CBT level 2. She works with teens and adults and uses both a family systems model as well as a supportive, humanistic approach.

    Greetings from my new home office in the corner of my garage.  Here we are, almost three months into a radically transformed world.  This is a world comprised of staying at home as much as possible, wearing masks in public, and limiting our contact with anyone outside our immediate household.  While we may appreciate some parts of this change (less driving, less pollution, more time to enjoy family), others within our communities and throughout the world are struggling.  And now, on top of the pandemic, the nation is convulsing in response to civil unrest.  Uncertainty and fear about the future has created increased anxiety in all of us and those we care for.

    To get a better sense of what our members are struggling with, the board recently sent a survey to members about the impacts of COVID-19.  We wanted to know what you are experiencing, what challenges you are facing, and get your ideas on how the chapter can come together to support each other.  We were happy to receive 117 responses from members.  Your responses are helping us to think of ways we can be stronger together.  Thank you so much to all who participated.
    In summary, we learned that many of you have successfully transitioned to using telehealth and the various platforms you are using, while others are struggling with the technology.  Another big issue for therapists is loss of clients and wanting to find sources of new clients.  Based on these survey results, the board is working to create support for members in these areas.  Nancy Orr, our chapter coordinator, will discuss what is happening in more detail in this newsletter.  She has been incredibly involved in putting out the survey, in taking advantage of our website capabilities, and in figuring out how to offer more programs online.  Thank you, Nancy, for your hard work!

    We have a lot to cover in this issue of the newsletter.  Several of our articles are longer than is typical.  Where that is true, we have included the first page of the article and added a link to allow access to the full article.  We wanted to bring you news of how members are coping with these extraordinary times.  In this issue you will read an article on how associates are dealing with shelter-in-place while finishing up their licensing process and an article by our colleague Kent Campbell, LMFT on converting his group practice to teletherapy.  You will also find Dr. Elaine Brady’s summary of her February talk on pornography addiction and an article about internet addiction in the time of COVID-19 by Alex Basche, LMFT.  We have revived the Community Focus column, giving you a snapshot of a member of our therapist community.  And we have created a new feature, “Noteworthy,” with links to articles or videos that we think you will find of interest.  Finally, for fun, we feature a few pictures of your colleagues doing teletherapy or remote work! Most recently, Dr. Marty Klein presented our first virtual webinar on Couples Therapy 2020: When Old Problems Require New Solutions on May 29 and 30 for 6 CEU hours.  He addressed the challenges of doing couples therapy via telehealth, which he said he added just for our seminar.  The webinar went off without a hitch, and we are hoping to offer more online support groups, trainings and gatherings as the year moves on.  We are working hard to meet your needs given the new realities.  Please check the SCV-CAMFT website for updates.

    Our Pre-Licensed and Newly Licensed Support Groups have been meeting successfully online now for the past 3 months.  Thank you to our group leaders Junko Yamauchi, Jim Arjani, Barbara Pannoni, and Della Fernandes for doing a terrific job with transitioning over to online support groups.  We hope you will take advantage of these groups—it is easier than ever to participate right now.
    Please continue to reach out to us with your concerns and ideas.  We hope to connect with each of you in the coming days.

    Continue to stay safe and healthy,
    Jacqui

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