Letters to the Editor

  • Monday, November 09, 2009 9:19 AM | Deleted user
    The Newsletter Editorial Committee is very pleased to have the opportunity to again present the “Letters to the Editor” section. We encourage all of you to let us know when you have a response to some feature of this newsletter. We will happily do what we can to share it with the readership.

    We believe the function of the committee is to edit submissions for grammatical errors and readability while maintaining the integrity of the author’s intent. We do not believe the function of this committee is to censor submissions and exclude or include them based on our values and beliefs. Please let us know your thoughts.

    Kim Ives Bailey
    Editor, SCV-CAMFT News

    Dear Editor,

    In April 2009, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to present my work on the psychological and systemic processes encoded in sacred religious texts, the Bible and the Koran, at MIT’s International Media Conference. In preparation for my talk, it was necessary to reflect upon the problem of shadow projection and resultant world violence. Close to that time, the Spring SCV-CAMFT newsletter arrived. The Well Being committee was featured with writings on how each committee member kept herself healthy and balanced. Each piece was skillfully written, and offered worthy models for well being in general, but the more pertinent question for me was unanswered. That is, “How does each member track her own unconscious processes that otherwise left unscrutinized, might enable her to project her own dark side and subsequently view it in another — rather than emanating from herself”? Given that this committee is in a position to judge others as competent — or not — the issue is essential.

    History has shown time and again that a check with “consensus reality” is insufficient. Across aeons, Christian persecutions, Salem Witch trials, the holocaust and countless other tragic events were carried out by usually upstanding citizens.

    As a result of decades interest in Jungian psychology, my own six year analysis, five years supervision with the late Jungian analyst, June Singer, assisting in the Dream Work and Depth Psychology course at Santa Clara University for six years — thus spending long days examining a dream with each graduate student — as well as examination of my own and my client’s dreams, I believe that constant study of one’s own inner life is essential. Given that the unconscious, according to Jung, is constantly emergent and produces new imagery, the way to track one’s own shadow sides, is to continually monitor the darker figures and situations in one’s dreams and imagination. Further, when one finds another individual problematic and disturbing, it may be that person threatens to evoke and expose his or her own shadow sides. Of course, these processes, like “scapegoating”, are mutually causal. Nevertheless, whenever one experiences intense reactions to another, self-reflection is in order.

    Given that therapists are trained to accept counter-transference as a normal part of the psychotherapeutic process, this fact may blind us to the need for self-examination of our own unconscious dynamics — not just inside of our professional work, but outside of psychotherapeutic sessions as well.

    I hope for a follow up article from the Well Being Committee that answers my question.

    In case of interest in my work, it is on the MIT Media in Transition Website under abstracts and papers section under my name: web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit6.

    Bette Kiernan, MFT

    To clarify the purpose of the Well-Being Committee, the following is taken from SCV-CAMFT’s website: “The Well-Being Committee aims to promote and expand awareness of personal and professional well-being among members and colleagues of SCV-CAMFT. The committee designs and creates supportive and educational programs and services which encourage, enhance, and maintain wellness and effective functioning of SCV-CAMFT members.”

    — Kim Ives Bailey, Editor, SCV-CAMFT News

    The Well-Being Committee welcomes all submissions to the Reflections on Wellness column. Anyone inspired to address Bettie’s ideas is encouraged to contact us.

    — Cathy Hauer, for SCV-CAMFT’s Well-Being Committee.

    Dear Editor,

    I appreciate our chapter board for the work it does and the many services that it provides. I was however disappointed by the last newsletter. I had hoped to read how the board planned to deal with the same-sex marriage issues raised in the May/June issue of The Therapist magazine. The absence of a response was conspicuous.

    The June/July issue of The Therapist made it clear that the CAMFT board would not take a stand on same sex marriage. Instead they restated CAMFT’s ethical standards regarding discrimination in general. Although I agree completely with their restatement I do not think that this action was sufficient. The membership was asking CAMFT to represent its views regarding a particular civil rights issue; not to restate its ethics policy.

    Unlike most political issues, marriage is an issue on which MFTs are in a unique position to comment. We are the only profession specifically licensed to treat marriages and families! The Psychiatric, Psychological, and Social Work professional organizations have all taken pro-same sex marriage positions and we alone have remained silent.

    I hope that the SCV board does not think that remaining silent on issues of this import is seen as neutral. It is actually supportive of the status quo. And sadly, that consists of depriving a minority group, same sex couples, of the same rights and privileges that heterosexual citizens enjoy.

    What are chapter members to do? We have expressed our will in a chapter poll. Now we need our elected leaders to represent us and (1) issue a pro-same-sex-marriage statement as the East Bay Chapter has done, (2) provide a chapter forum at which the membership can discuss how to influence CAMFT to take a stand, and (3) continue to attempt to influence CAMFT to take a pro-same-sex-marriage position as the Marin, East Bay, and San Francisco chapters have done.

    I know that our board works hard. I feel sure that other members, including myself, will assist you if you provide the much needed leadership in this important matter.

    I hope to read soon that the board is taking positive steps.

    Alice Sklar, MFT, CGP

    Dear Alice,

    Thank you for your letter and we appreciate hearing your thoughts and opinions regarding marriage equality. Your letter was forwarded to the SCV-CAMFT Board of Directors.

    We can certainly understand your position that the SCV board’s silence may have seemed supportive of the status quo, and we should have informed the chapter membership of our work and discussions on marriage equality sooner.

    Earlier this year, the board created the Marriage Equality Committee to address this topic, discuss how to proceed with the survey results, and work on the proper language before releasing our statement.

    Since the conversation you had with one of our committee members, Matt Larkin, the committee presented a recommendation to our board of directors at the August board meeting. The SCV-CAMFT board voted to support marriage equality and has formally sent a letter to CAMFT urging them to vote in support of marriage equality.

    We appreciate the e-mails and letters from our chapter membership.

    Warm regards,
    Chandrama Anderson, Matt Larkin, LaDonna Silva
    SCV-CAMFT’s Marriage Equality Committee

    All of the articles in this newsletter are the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of SCV-CAMFT. SCV-CAMFT encourages readers to submit letters or articles agreeing or disagreeing with anything printed herein. We value the diversity of the chapter’s membership and welcome a lively professional exchange. Please send your submissions to SCV-CAMFT News Editor, P.O. Box 60814, Palo Alto, CA 94306, or e-mail to mail@scv-camft.org. SCV-CAMFT reserves the right to edit submissions for clarity and length and accepts no responsibility for their return.

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

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