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September-October 2017

From the Editor by Shawn LaRé Brinkley, M.A., LMFT

So the summer has come and is on its way out yet, the plight of the editor continues. So here is the update since our last newsletter. The mailperson arrived with the golden letter and my hours were accepted by the esteemed Board of Behavioral Sciences, and I am eligible to sit for the torture that is otherwise known as the "LMFT Clinical Examination (LMCE). However, a few weeks ago, I was faced with a challenge at work. I was "supposed" to be licensed by June 1, 2017 as my "offer letter" stated since they hired me for the position of Outpatient Services Program Manager, which usually requires two years experience and two years as a licensed MFT, of which I had neither. Well there were some complications with me getting the paperwork and signatures needed to submit my hours (can anyone relate) and I did not make the deadline. So I asked for an extension until August 31st. Well, I was given until July 31st or I would be terminated.

Now, I did receive the nod to take the test on July 26th but I chose not to test at that time because, I realized is I did not want to work there anymore, so why would I take the test, under duress, for a place that obviously no longer valued my services and a place I dreaded going to every day in the first place?? So, on July 31st, I was given my pretty pink slip and excitedly, hopped in car, drove the five minutes to my house, (that part of the job was awesome) and transferred into my husband's car and off we went to Las Vegas to begin the celebration of my newfound freedom and joy!

The valued lesson for me here, is I must be true to my shape and I am not built for the structure nor the nonsense that comes with working for non-profits that do not have the space or freedom to focus on the client. I realize that is why I became an MFT, the clients. I have sadly grown to see that some agencies are not free to focus on the needs of the clients because they have to bow to so many masters who are focused on the bottom line; and not the means for how to get to that bottom line without compromising the experience of the client. Oh well, I am free to do me now and I could not be more grateful.

I hope you all will delve into this issue with vigor as there are some tasty nuggets relevant to us as clinicians that will be helpful as we do what we do. You will read about our June membership meeting where our delightful presenter, Dr. Diane Gehart brought us some tips for working with Mindfulness with Children and Families. Our president, Barbara Calvi 's message in this issue covers a topic, not often spoken about but one, I have learned through studying for my exam, is an essential part of our practice, and a huge ethical "must have" for us as helping professionals, the professional will. Check in to be sure you are "handling your business!" Always thought provoking and informative, our "Best Practices" columnist, Natalie Jambazian, continues the discussion on telehealth, specifically the controversial, "Talkspace." You may want to chime in on the conversation in her article, "To Talkspace or Not to Talkspace; Is That the Question?" A longtime favorite, Dr.Charlyne Gelt's, "Cinema Therapy" delivers once again as she reviews and provides the Psycholgical implications of the "sweet" French flim,, "Chocolat." You won't want to miss the opportunity to peek inside the minds of these townsfolk as they try to figure out the new chocolatier. Another treat to look forward to in this edition, is an outline of the "Medicine Wheel" which I knew little about and was intrigued so I asked Judith Morton Fraser to share about this ancient healing tool. Be sure to read about this tradition and contact Judith directly for more insight into the mystery behind the medicine wheel.

So I will now get back to studying which has consumed my life but I'm okay with that as the fruits of my labor will pay off on Wednesday, August 30th when I take my exam. Hopefully, I will come out of that room in Burbank, an LMFT. The best thing about that is my intern number expires on August 31st and I do not want to renew it! Whew, I need to pass this thing!

Shawn LaRé Brinkley, MS, MFTI, (Intern, for the last issue hopefully) specializes in trauma, complicated grief and loss, and continues to explore mindfulness as she prepares for licensure. Shawn LaRe' is excited to join the ranks of the self-employed as she recently launched her website for private practice and is (again hopefully, for a few more days only) is being supervised by Beth Jakubanis, LMFT, as she aspires to pass her clinical exam. Shawn LaRe' aspires to continue her work with survivors of human sex trafficking as well as champion the fight against this horrific epidemic that plagues or societies youth and young adults. She can be reached through her new website: www.livinglovedhealing.org and at 818.798.3201 or sfvcamftedt@gmail.com for CAMFT-related business.

San Fernando Valley Chapter – California Marriage and Family Therapists