Barbara Calvi

Barbara Calvi, LMFT


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September-October 2017

President's Message by Barbara Calvi, LMFT, President

Can We Chat?

The end of summer is almost here.

Summer is about at an end and we will be sliding into fall soon. The air will be getting crisper soon . . . Wait . . . what am I saying, we live in the Valley! The air will definitely not be getting crisper soon). For those whose practices slow down over the summer months, clients are returning from family vacations and irregular summer schedules and will be picking back up with therapy or settling into more regular sessions. Just as the chapter has been in a slowdown in the last few weeks as we historically do not have either a general meeting or a board meeting in the month of August, it is time to gear back up both in our businesses and in the chapter.

The last few days of summer, before things begin to really speed up, is a good time to evaluate where your business stands and if there are any loose ends to tie up. You know, those administrative tasks that you always mean to get to, but somehow don't. For some people, it might be writing some new fresh content for their website, for some it might be launching a blog or newsletter, and for others it might be finally researching platforms and making that switch to a paperless practice. I want to encourage all of us to finally take the time to get to some of these important extra steps that may grow our businesses or make them run more smoothly.

I want to mention one administrative piece that often gets ignored but is perhaps one of the most basic and important pieces of your business to have in place. What about your professional will? Have you identified, in writing, the person who will be the one to wrap up your practice if something unexpected and untimely should happen to you? Have you spelled out the details of any transition you have planned for your clients in written form? Does the "executor" of your professional will have a copy of the will with instructions? Do they have the keys, or have a way to access the keys, to your office and files should they need to?

There is a sample of a professional will on the CAMFT website. Go to >Resources >Private Practice Corner >Will Writing and Office Preparedness >Taking Care of Business: Writing a Professional Will. It is a good place to start and is a helpful guideline. It doesn't cover every single situation that could arise but it is a good sample of what to cover in case something untimely happens to you. I checked with CAMFT attorneys who said it is not necessary to have a lawyer draw up a will like this. It doesn't have to be complicated but it is still important. It helps you think about what is the best care you can ensure to your clients should such a situation.

If you have specific questions or concerns, as always, the legal team at CAMFT can be of help. Don't run the risk that your clients will experience any more uncertainty, chaos, and distress should something happen to you, than the expected difficulty they will have to endure.

It's an uncomfortable topic, isn't it? But, in the way that many families do not discuss and prepare for these eventualities in their private lives; because it is uncomfortable, therapists don't always prepare for these eventualities in their professional lives. Of course, usually therapists retire long before something happens to them or in some situations; they receive a diagnosis and have time to prepare at that point. But what about, in the unlikely event that something unexpected and sudden happens? Just as we would likely counsel the adults with whom we work to prepare to protect and take care of their families, it is important that we do the same for our clients, just in case.

To a great and abundant Fall for all of you! Barbara

Barbara specializes in couple's therapy and has a particular interest in working with couples struggling with recovery from infidelity, couples who are parenting a child with special needs, and couples who get stuck in hostile and destructive cycles. She has been trained in both Imago Relationship Therapy and the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy with Ellyn Bader at the Couple's Institute and also does attachment work based on Diane Poole Heller's Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning Experience Program. She is currently in training in Peter Levine's model of Somatic Experiencing and is looking forward to helping hostile and aggressive couples recover more quickly and stop the cycle of trauma they inflict on each other. Barbara can be reached at 818.917.9184 or email to

San Fernando Valley Chapter – California Marriage and Family Therapists