President's Message

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  • Thursday, December 21, 2023 9:09 AM | Anonymous

    Back to Winter 2023 Newsletter
    by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT

    Dear Colleagues,

    Today I am writing my last message to you as president of the chapter. It has been quite an adventure, starting with collaborating on the newsletter in 2020 at the heart of covid, moving to chair of the editorial committee, and to the board as president-elect in 2021. My impetus to participate in the newsletter was to write about various topics through the lens of depth psychology and to get published as I was working on my doctoral dissertation. However, I quickly discovered that the juice was to be found in meeting you and share with the membership what I found so inspiring about you, your work/craft, and your approach to therapy. I have thoroughly enjoyed the various positions I have held on the board: it was very exciting to connect with some of you, entice a few members to join me on the board, find new speakers, revamp many areas of our chapter, and finally move it through covid and its aftermath. I have tried my hardest to lead with soul in mind, followed Psyche's vagaries, and hope to have succeeded.

    I would not have been able to implement all the new features of our chapter without the members of the board over the past three years (here) and want to thank them wholeheartedly for all their contributions. It would take too long to list all of their accomplishments, but as we transition into 2024, I leave you all with yet another great team. Liliana Ramos, LMFT will be interim president while Ursula Jorgensen will be the president elect. We are welcoming Marté Matthews, LMFT as the director of programs, Kusum Punjabi, AMFT as the director of DEI, and Amanda Cortez, LMFT as the treasurer. Three other board members are completing their terms at the end of the year: Moitreyee Chowdhury, LMFT, Evelyn Lomio, LMFT and Mikella Polito, AMFT.

    The board is still looking for a secretary, a director of support groups, a director of membership, and a director of technology and communications.

    There will be many new programs and features coming your way in 2024; stay tuned to our website or through our social media feed on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This is another big transition for the chapter and a new beginning. So, as I turn the page and move to a new chapter of my own, I would like to say goodbye to you all by sharing a few verses of my favorite poet, poetic writer, and philosopher John O’ Donohue from his piece titled
    For a new beginning:

    Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
    And out you stepped onto new ground,
    Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
    A path of plenitude opening before you.

    Though your destination is not yet clear
    You can trust the promise of this opening;
    Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
    That is at one with your life’s desire.

    Awaken your spirit to adventure;
    Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
    Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
    For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

    Have a wonderful holiday and a restful break.


    Back to Winter 2023 Newsletter




  • Saturday, September 23, 2023 8:13 AM | Anonymous
    Back to Fall 2023 Newsletter
    by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT


    Dear Colleagues,

    I hope you had a nice, relaxing, safe, and cool summer. Depending on where you were, it might not have been so cool (it was exceptionally sizzling in Europe where I spent a few weeks in June-July), not too safe either (riots in Paris, and other weather-related disasters around the world). However, in these challenging and extreme situations, it is heartwarming to see how so many people step up and offer support to those with various needs. In particular, I want to recognize those of you who reached out to us to find legal ways to provide psychological support to individuals terribly affected by the fires in Maui.

    For those of you who may not have read our summer newsletter, we are looking for members or non-members to join our chapter and be willing to take on board positions. We, myself and our board members, held a townhall meeting in mid-June: I highlighted
    HERE the positions to be filled now and starting at the beginning of 2024. I hope you will consider offering some of your free time to this Chapter and decide to be part of a dynamic team of dedicated board members.

    You may notice that we are becoming more present on our social media. We have hired a social media campaign/marketing specialist to help us create a greater presence on two main platforms: Instagram and Facebook. We will continue to increase our presence to LinkedIn and provide you, members, and also potential new members, with more dynamic and current information about what we are up to. We hope that you will find it all interesting and stimulating. Stay tuned to see the changes!

    I wish you a beautiful autumn. Stay safe.

    Dominique

    Back to Fall 2023 Newsletter
  • Saturday, July 01, 2023 4:13 PM | Anonymous

    Back to Summer 2023 Newsletter 
    by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT

    Dear Colleagues,

    On Monday 12 June at 7pm, your chapter board members and myself held a virtual town hall meeting. In the two weeks prior to this event, we sent email blasts calling your attention to the fact that we are looking for you, members and non-members, to participate in this ongoing conversation regarding our need for volunteers and to urge you to pass on the message to those who may be interested in volunteering their time and expertise. Not only for events and other punctual missions, but also to replace board members whose term is ending in the last quarter of this year. Here are some bullet points of what I shared during that meeting.

    • We have three open positions at the moment, president-elect, director of programs and director of technology and communications,
    • Between October and December 2023, five more board members will step down from their position (see the list here),
    • In April 2024, the director-at-large position will be open as well,
    • Remaining on the board will be the treasurer and the director of support groups.
    • For those of you who have been following us in the last 2.5 years, you may know that when I joined the board, first as president-elect and then as a president, part of my vision for the chapter was to build a board that would do its best to energize the chapter, organize and strengthen various processes to leave a place that would be easy to take over. I was very lucky to meet some fantastic colleagues who shared that vision and joined me in this adventure. During that time we have done quite a lot of work. (If you are interested in knowing what we did, you can access a PowerPoint HERE).
    • The fundamental piece of our vision was to ensure that board members (and committee volunteers) would not stay longer than their one term: 2 years. It seems only fair to volunteer our free time to this and any other organization for the time one has contracted for and not stay for the simple reason that nobody else is coming forward to take the baton. A new board could decide to shorten the terms if necessary by updating the by-laws and making sure that their position would be filled at the end of their term.
    • Although we have made many efforts to find volunteers over the years through coffee talks and other events and yet, we are still in dire need of some of you to take the lead.

    Our chapter is in a good financial position, our program schedule is on its way to be confirmed for 2024, we have great speakers willing to talk for us, and the new board will have much of the processes already set up in place to come in and start work with few glitches. There will be punctual support from past members when necessary and very possibly from State CAMFT.

    As a board director, you do not need to do the work on your own: enroll your friends, colleagues, and maybe even students/supervisees, who can support you and have them be part of a committee. This is a teamwork endeavor: the more the merrier and the more people to share the work, the less is left on the shoulders of one volunteer.

    We are doing well and yet, the life of the chapter is at risk if we cannot find new board members. I have myself loved this adventure, getting to know many of you, seeing a different aspect of the field of mental health, and working with my boardmates over the last couple of years, but I will step down from my position of president at the end of 2023. I hope one of you will be willing to take up my or any other role at the board.

    Wherever you are when you read this newsletter, I wish you a very happy summer. I hope you will find time to rejuvenate, build memories with family and friends, and enjoy some free time.

    Best wishes from a sweltering Paris .

    Dominique

    Back to Summer 2023 Newsletter


  • Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:10 PM | Anonymous

    by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT
    Back to Spring 2023 Newsletter

    Greetings!

    I start this message to you by making amends: throughout the past year, our board has welcomed a new members and it was brought to my attention that I did not welcome them officially in any of the 2022 newsletters. It is high time to change this and I want to apologize for such an oversight. Early in 2022, Moitreyee Chowdhury, LMFT, joined as the director of DEI and as you may see on our home page, she was instrumental in our chapter being recognized as a second best cultural awareness program. Liliana Ramos, LMFT, became our director-at-large; Liliana took on many volunteering opportunities, has been very active with our newsletter articles, and of great help at in-person events. Ursula Jorgensen, LMFT, mentor-at-heart, came aboard as our director of support groups in late spring 2022, and has also taken on various volunteering activities, one being the revamping of our mentoring program. You may remember that we had been looking for a treasurer for a while and we were grateful to have Mikella Polito, AMFT, accept to join us to fill this open position in the fall. Mikella brings to our chapter her past experience in real estate and her dealings with that business financial requirements. Finally, I am delighted to introduce our new president-elect: Janice Hoscan, AMFT, who joined early this year, has since been shadowing me and taking on various tasks as she is learning the intricacies of her position. We are now looking for someone to join us to fill the position of director of programs, which has opened up early this year. You can see everyone’s bios here. Last thing about volunteering: I want to personally thank all of you who have responded to our call for help. We are all grateful to have a growing list of members willing to participate in our events and be of service. However, we still continue to need help for various aspects of this business of running an association. You can reach out to any of us at the board if you are interested in volunteering in a particular area or you can reach Nancy Orr, our chapter coordinator, if you are open to helping where the urgent need is.

    As you may see at the end of this newsletter, we have a busy schedule of events, starting with an outdoor workshop today, Nature as Co-Therapist: An introduction to ecotherapy, just two days before the Spring Equinox with Rev. Connie L. Habash, LMFT, at Hidden Villa in the beautiful hills of Los Altos. We have not offered outdoors events for quite some time and I am delighted that Connie accepted to lead this eco-psychotherapy event. In April, we have a new type of event coming to you: a mini day retreat! No CEs, no lecturing, just a few hours of self-care and reconnecting with self through Somatic IFS and authentic movement, with Jaclyn Long, LMFT and LaDonna Silva, LMFT. This particular event will be capped at 40 participants, so I recommend you register soon. Another aspect of somatics therapy will be touched upon by Jyoti Nadhani, LMFT, in April as she gives us an overview of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, in-person at Michael’s in Mountain View.

    I want to bring your attention to the new BBS requirement that mental health providers servicing patients via telehealth complete a telehealth/law and ethics training. We are working on confirming a 3-CE webinar/workshop presentation on 20 May that will meet this requirement. It will soon be advertised and I hope that many of you will find it helpful to have it offered right here. Finally, we will have a host booth at the CAMFT conference on 5-6 May in Santa Clara. We are looking forward to seeing and connecting with you there.

    I wish you all a beautiful and fulfilling spring!

    Dominique

    Back to Spring 2023 Newsletter

  • Saturday, January 14, 2023 2:55 AM | Anonymous

    by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT
    Back to Winter 2022 Newsletter

    Dear colleagues,

    As the year draws to an end, I am grateful for all that has happened here at SCV-CAMFT in these last few months. Although we were not able to meet as often in person as we would have liked to, it was very nice to have the opportunity to be in the same physical space as many of you and enjoy a long list of interesting presentations. We have worked very hard to fulfill many of our intentions for 2022 and have a few other projects in the works for 2023. If you are interested in getting a clearer picture of what we accomplished and what we are working towards, you can access the slides of my presentation at our annual membership celebration in November, here.

    I hope that in these last few weeks of the year, you will have many occasions to slow down and enjoy the holiday season. It may also be, like it is for me, a time to reflect on what has been some of the most important themes of the year. What has come to the forefront for me is the concept of home: not only the geographical place or the structure that houses the home, but also that which provides a feeling of deep and unwavering belonging. It is a "haven of memory, history, and grounding, an oasis of individual taste and culture" (Hill, 2022, p. 9). As I write this message to you from my French hometown, I wish you all to experience this time as an oasis of joy and peaceful moments making new memories with your loved ones.

    Be well,
    Dominique

    Back to Winter 2022 Newsletter

  • Saturday, October 15, 2022 5:11 PM | Anonymous

    by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT
    Fall 2022 Newsletter

    Dear Colleagues,

    Yesterday (22 September) was Fall equinox, that second time in the year when day and night are of equal length and in perfect balance, very temporarily. I was inspired by Rev. Connie Habash's newsletter speaking of the impermanence of that balancing act we expect to create and sustain in our lives. It reminded me, after a very busy and work-oriented summer, that "we are not intended to be in perfect balance all the time." After a couple of months of unusual heat it feels good to be on the other side of summer and feel the sun at a lower angle. I hope you had a more relaxing summertime and you will have plenty of quality time to enjoy the cooler weather.

    Last month, Jacqui Gerritsen, our Past President elected to step off the board and I would like, here, to thank her for five years of unwavering commitment to our chapter. We are still looking for volunteers and board members so we hope that you will consider joining our team! When I finally got my MFT license, I thought I would never volunteer: the practicum and internships had felt like I had given my time and energy away. However, there is something very nourishing and rewarding to be of service and part of a group of like-minded individuals who are offering the most precious commodity they have: time. 


    The overall theme of this issue is diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as well as social justice. Our community focus is Perry Clark, LMFT who tells us about his experience working with men, the LGBTQ+ community, as a black male therapist. We have a new (DEI) column featuring Ellie Vargas, LCSW who speaks about her work doing immigration evaluations. On the topic of social justice, we are featuring Dr. Sherry Wang sharing her views on how clinicians can include social justice and advocacy into their clinical work.


    We hope that you will enjoy these offerings! Please check our next presentations here. 
    As usual, we look forward to hearing from you and getting any feedback.


    Be well,

    Dominique


    Fall 2022 Newsletter


  • Wednesday, June 15, 2022 1:39 PM | Anonymous

    by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT
    Back to Summer 2022 Newsletter

    Dear Colleagues!

    We are coming up on summer, a time for adventures, opportunities for play and greater lightness, the apex of the year when soon we will reach the longest day of the year. It is also a period of growth when many flowers are coming to full bloom and the baby animals born in the spring are in exploration mode. Some of our plans for this year are coming to fruition: we held our first in-person hybrid luncheon on May 20th! Maureen Johnston, LMFT presented Supporting the Supporters: Understanding and Assisting the Families and Friends of Gender Expansive Kids, Teens, & Adults at Michael's at Shoreline in Mountain View. People were in person at Michael's eating lunch, and people also joined online. All our luncheons and workshops are organized as hybrid offerings this year and we hope to continue using this modality.  This way, people who feel comfortable can attend in person while those who cannot be there in person or prefer to listen from the comfort of their home or office can join online.

    It was such a pleasure to be back at Michael’s after a long hiatus. Most of all, it was a treat to get to meet some of you in person… you know, place a face on a name, and get together with colleagues and friends. After a couple of years doing only online presentations, getting this first in-person meeting was a feat and for this I would like to specifically recognize the work of our board members Vanessa Ventura, Brandon Hoshiko, and Liliana Ramos. We were also aided by chapter member Justin Gillespie and our chapter coordinator, Nancy Orr. You can see pictures of this event HERE. All in all it was a success and we are looking forward to the next in-person hybrid luncheons and workshops scheduled for the rest of the year. See the list HERE.

    We continue to seek various ways to support the community. We have added a Black Therapist support group that will be held every fourth Saturday of the month, starting on 25 June at 10:00am, led by Erica Jenkins, LMFT. As some of you have noticed, we have been sending e-blasts to celebrate various occasions, either national/global recognitions of communities (LGBTQ+, Asian, Veterans Day) or spiritual (Eid, Passover) to name a few. I would like to thank those of you who have reached out with feedback and particularly those who have caught our mishaps. We are exploring, and learning as we go, to be more inclusive and we may very well not use the right words. We appreciate your efforts to support our willingness to create change and expand our reach.


    Have a beautiful, sunny, and breezy summer!


    Back to Summer 2022 Newsletter

  • Sunday, May 01, 2022 2:44 PM | Anonymous
    by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT

    Back to Spring 2022 Newsletter

    Greetings!


    I had imagined writing my first president’s message announcing that life had returned to some sort of normal, not the pre-Covid life we were so used to, probably took for granted, and which seems now to be a figment of our memory, but one filled with in-person meetings, networking events, and live presentations at our favorite venues. Unfortunately, we are still in the midst of a turbulent time, a definitely more hybrid life where some of us are still hesitant to drop the mask where others are taking a leap of faith. I do hope we will see a clearing that will allow us to get together with as little worry as possible as soon as the month of May. We have a few programs lined up that we have worked hard to bring to you.

    This quarter, the newsletter mirrors our spring luncheon and workshop programming as we cover the themes of motherhood, pregnancy, and parenting. In February, we hosted Dr. Ruchi Puri, MSc FACOG, who spoke to us about Be·ology, a new approach to pregnancy, a time in a woman’s life that she describes as “a sacred phase that is an initiation and rite of passage into parenthood”. You can read more about Embodied Pregnancy HERE and if you would like, you can also access the recording of her February luncheon HERE. Ana Morante, LMFT, CFLE will speak on Friday 25th about the “Safe, Secure and Loved Program built on important scientific research and theories (e.g., attachment, interpersonal neurobiology and polyvagal) and promotes a vision for community healing community”. I was particularly moved to hear that mothers who had attended the program take on the work of educating and supporting other women with children in the 0-3 age range. I hope you will enjoy reading the community focus featuring Kalpana Asok who speaks of her work with the South Indian community. She shares how she “wanted to publicize to the South Asian community ‘please, don’t send your children off to be raised by your parents for one year or two years’ because I was seeing firsthand how important that disruption of the attachment process was; they just viewed it as children, babies can easily be reared there by their own parents, not as a disruption”. Last but not least, if you are interested in getting a few tips about parenting, Geetha Narayanan’s piece will offer a reflection on how to best help teenagers through the lens of interpersonal neurobiology. 


    
 We have a new feature, along what we have been offering as of late: every quarter, Mark Mouro will write a column about his training at the Palo Alto Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program (PAPPTP). It is interesting to see how psychoanalysis has changed and has become more adaptable to the type of psychotherapy that many patients are looking for. Albeit longer than solution-focused, many of its tenets may be used beneficially to understand the patient and thus, the therapeutic relationship in a deeper manner.

    I am leaving you with a view of the Louvre in Paris, where I am writing this from. I wish you all a happy Spring; may you all be safe and may you all be at ease. Please keep in touch, we love to hear from you.


    Back to Spring 2022 Newsletter


  • Thursday, December 16, 2021 11:20 AM | Anonymous

    Back to winter 2021 newsletter
    Dominique Yarritu, PhD, MFT, 2022 Board President

    Before I reveal to you our vision for the chapter in 2022, I would like to do a quick review of what we have accomplished this year. 

    There were two priorities: fill out the open seats on the board and getting to know you, the membership.  In the last 8 months, we have confirmed five directors and we are still looking to fill out a few more positions, the most pressing ones being treasurer and director-at-large.  We have created opportunities to meet with you in person while following CDC and county Covid  requirements: we met 4 Saturdays in summer and fall for Coffee Talks, which were quite lovely as we created friendly professional connections.  We found out we have poets and writers in our community; some of you have published books, we learned about the diversity of your practices, your ideas, your involvement in various therapeutic activities, and your interests.  Many of you offered suggestions for our chapter.  These meetings were rich and allowed us to take the pulse of our community.  We kept up with the Saturday online socials for those of you eager to network remotely; to these we added art-related activities, which were graciously provided by two of our members.  We added one support group for experienced therapists and explored the idea of providing support for owners of group practices.  In the background, we started to streamline our processes and brainstormed about what we intend to provide next year in terms of events, support.  We continue to look for ways to to enhance our presence in the community, and develop our message and the position of our chapter in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We have reached out outside of our membership to provide you with relevant and engaging online events and articles in the newsletter.

    For 2022, we have five main objectives: continue to fill the open positions on the board, incentivize members to take on positions in various committees, increase our membership, offer a wide variety of luncheons, 3hr- and daylong workshops, and expand our outreach in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  To increase our membership, we envision creating connections with local universities, agencies, supervisors, and clinical directors.  We will reach out to current CAMFT members who are not chapter members through various marketing events.  Our aim is to connect with the new generation of therapists and provide them with a place where, outside of school or work environment, they can mix with peers and potentially mentors, create durable connections, and find various types of support.  We intend to reach out to the community of therapists at large, currently non-members, and advertise our offerings and the state of our chapter.  With time, we plan on providing more support in business development for budding and experienced therapists, for those who decide to make the move to solo or group practice for example.

    In terms of programs, we are working on filling out the calendar with luncheons and workshops of various lengths.  We aim at promoting the talents of our members: some of you have written books, have various artistic skills, and fascinating therapeutic approaches that others in our group would benefit from hearing about.  One goal is for our chapter to become a resourceful place for our membership and offer those learning and growth opportunities right here: your membership dues at work!  Any new Covid-restrictions aside, we are planning on resuming in-person programs while following CDC and county recommendations, starting at Michael’s in Mountain View for the first part of the year, and then at Los Gatos Lodge and other venues around the bay starting in the second half of the year.  The majority of our programs will be hybrid (in-person and livestream) and recorded for those of you unable to make it the day of the presentation.  We are working on adding longer programs on weekends, mostly Saturdays, for those of you wanting to meet in person but working on Fridays.  We are brainstorming ideas about other ways to providing means to connect in various settings and other formats. We are looking at ways to incentivize active volunteer participation from the membership. We also welcome your suggestions and will continue to probe you via short surveys throughout the year.

    In a nutshell, we are committed to creating more visibility for our diverse community, doing more outreach to various groups, and providing support to those whose voice remains unheard.  As an already diverse board in terms of ethnicity, professional, socio-economic, and citizenship backgrounds, we aim at embracing and welcoming members regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, disabilities, religion, regional background, citizenship, status, nationality, or any other diverse identities.  In doing so, we hope to create a chapter that reflects the beautiful diversity of our region.

    Overall, our vision is a dynamic, energetic, and strong chapter in our community offering meaningful ways to connect with colleagues from various horizons.

    back to winter 2021 newsletter

  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021 11:21 AM | Anonymous

    Back to Winter 2021 Newsletter

    by Jacqui Gerritsen, LMFT

    Greetings and Happy Holidays to you all.

    This is my final column as chapter President. I want to thank you for your support over the past 4 years. I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know a lot of you, and for those I have not met, I look forward to meeting you in the future. I am also looking forward to an exciting year in 2022 with Dominique Yarritu as President and a new board. I know she will work hard and will bring her many skills and talents to the job! As I have worked with her over the past year, I am confident she will take the Santa Clara Valley chapter of CAMFT to new heights.

    We have many exciting things planned for 2022. First off, we will be offering hybrid events next year starting with the January luncheon: there will be live-streaming options for those of you not able to come in-person and we will continue to offer recordings of all our events. We are returning to Michaels at Shoreline, where I understand they have done some remodeling during the pandemic. I am excited to see what changes they have made. The first luncheon will be held on Friday January 28th, titled The Athlete’s Mindset: How to help normalize mental health in the athletic community, presented by Megan Hankins-Maldonado.

    Wishing you warm and relaxing holidays.

    Jacqui

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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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