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November 2016
 Newsletter Editor:  Heather Blessing, MA, LMFT 
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 Newsletter Highlights & Important Information

We are now at at Rancho Cordova City Hall - Click Here for Directions
     Special Feature -Being Pagan\Wiccan

Letter from the Board

November 1, 2016

Dear {Contact_First_Name} {Contact_Last_Name},

I am pleased to announce the new bylaws have passed.  This brings us into compliance with CAMFT and puts the membership benefits clearly in the hands of our members.  Also, there has been a change in the the “Affiliate Member” and “Associate Member.”  To get more information go to our web page for more details.

The 2017 Board election starts November 1, 2016 and closes December 15, 2016.  There are three positions on the ballet:  president-elect, secretary, and treasurer.  The 2016 president-elect, David Clark, becomes President January 1, 2017..  Many of you have met him at our Friday morning trainings. Talal Alsaleem will be running for President-Elect.  He has a great deal of experience in a variety of settings.  Adrianna Joyner will be running for secretary.  She has the energy and commitment to do a great job.  William “Billy” Schult was our 2016 Treasurer.  He wishes to continue in this position.  Please see our web page for a picture and bio of each candidate.

There are several president appointed board positions.  Jessica Wolff will become our new Membership Chair.  Karla Romero and Dianna Welsh who were each Hospitality Co-Chair this year are moving to members on the Membership Committee.  The three of them have fantastic ideas to expand our organization.   Suzy Lee will become the 3000 Club Chair.  Nate Hooper and Susan Martin will remain Program Co-chairs as they have been hard at work setting up 2017 to be a great year of presenters and topics.

There are two remaining board positions that need to be filled: Volunteer Chair and Sponsorship Chair.  The Volunteer Chair oversees the hospitality function for the monthly trainings and six hour trainings, as well as, any other needs for volunteers.  The Sponsorship Chair arranges sponsorship for our events, scholarships and running of the organization.  Please contact me if you are interested in either of these positions at

Sacramento Valley Chapter is celebrating our 45th year.  The event will be held at Sierra Health Foundation on November 18, 2016 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  We will be honoring past presidents and board members.  There will be plenty of finger food.  Attendance is free.  Please come to celebrate those who have done so much for our organization.  To RSVP to this event please click here.

This is the last letter for the newsletter I will write.  I have enjoyed being your SVC-CAMFT President this year and look forward seeing you at future events. 

Thank you for being a part of SVC-CAMFT,
Patrica Saint James, LMFT
SVC-CAMFT President

  This issue:
· Letter From the Board
· Legal Beagle

·  Presentation Summary
· Upcoming Meeting
· Upcoming Board Meetings

· Special Feature
· Letters to the Editor

· Psyched about Books and Movies

· Paid MFT Internships
· Advertising and Announcements

· Advertising Policy for the Newsletter


Patricia St. James, LMFT

David Clark, MFT Intern

Past President:
Ann Leber, LMFT

Alexis Clemons, MFT Intern

Billy Schult, MFT Trainee


Brian Braid, MFT Intern

Program Co-Chairs:

Nate Hooper, LMFT
Susan Martin, MFT Trainee

Hospitality Co-Chairs:

Karla Romero, MFT Trainee
Dianna Welsh, MFT Trainee

3000 Club Co-Chairs:
Angelina Moxey, MFT Intern

Volunteer Co-Chairs:
Amita Khare, MFT Intern

Membership Co-Chairs:

Courtney Hedges, MFT Intern
Melinda Keeler, MFT Intern

Sponsorship Co-Chairs:
Sara Coffill, MFT Intern

Legislative Chair:

Marketing Communications Chair:
Karen Ulep, Intern


Legal Beagle

dectective.pngWelcome to the section of the SVC-CAMFT newsletter, Legal Beagle written by Darlene Davis, LMFT. The chapter thought it would be helpful to keep you updated on new laws, legislative pursuits or actions, as well as ongoing legaland ethical dilemmas we all face in our career as Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Interns, and Trainees. Please feel free to ask questions that you have and I will do my best to investigate and post your answer in the newsletter. Please note that articles are based on information from CAMFT and/or the BBS and have been researched to the best of my ability. This is not meant to be legal advice.  Please contact CAMFT or Board of Behavioral Sciences for any legal matters you need assistance for. 


Our Legal Beagle is a quarterly column for our newsletter with the latest information.  In the meantime if you are an intern and need the new Law and Ethics training - go to


Darlene Davis, LMFT Executive Director HOPE; Healthy Outcomes for Personal Enrichment MFT Stipend Coordinator for Greater Sacramento Instructor of University of Phoenix

if you are an intern and need the new Law and Ethics training - go to


  October Presentation Summary

Wisdom Path Parenting (2 CEs)
Presenter: Kate Messina, PhD, LCSW 

Last Friday Sacramento CAMFT’s monthly training was a wonderful, informative, and worthwhile training no one wanted to miss! There were not enough minutes in the two-hour training to take in all the great information and fully absorb the usefulness and energy of Dr. Messina’s message. She was not only a great presenter with a strong engaging presence,but also extremely knowledgeable and giving in her perspective and its applicable uses. Thankfully there are longer trainings Dr. Messina does and she is local!

 Dr. Messina shared her innovative approach to working with parents and children in high conflict families, predominately foster and adoptive, using her own developed approach called Wisdom PathWay Reparative Parenting. She uses her integrated passion and wisdom of neurodevelopment, the effects of trauma on the brain, and a very creative down to earth idea that humans connect like all mammals to teach their young “what we do, how we do it, and why we do it”. The idea is to redefine family as the contextual and needed space for healing early childhood trauma, or wiring of the brain that was and is effected by trauma.Life Space is the concept of creating a relational space where difficulties can be better understood and approached more effectively taking into account how the brain was programed, and also integrates innate temperament. Dr. Messina uses the approach of using the elements to define given temperament (fire,water, air, and ground) which ultimately helps to create an approach more focused for that individual child. It also helps the child understand the process as well, which is very much part of what makes the approach effective.It is creative and innovative, and although rooted deep in theory and evidenced based concepts, being accessible and applicable in language to those it is meant to serve makes it unique. Parenting is presented as a reparative place,where a child has the LifeRight to re-learn or build new neuropathways via the guidance and coaching of their parent figure, who has been guided and coached by the WisdomPath Way Reparative therapist/coach. I am not sure I give credence to the concepts presented at the training, but I very much enjoyed the training and enjoyed getting an overview of Wisdom Path Parenting.

Summary by Nina Thi Strom, LMFT


November 45th Anniversary Celebration

You are cordially invited to join  The Sacramento Valley Chapter of CAMFT        for light hors D’oeuvres and desserts      in honor of our Forty-fifth Anniversaryon Friday, November 18, 2016                     from 2:00pm to 4:00pm                   at Sierra Health Foundation       1321 Garden Hwy, Sacramento, CA 95833
RSVP by Registering to save your spot - It's Free!

Click here for map

2017 Upcoming Events Information - Tentative Schedule

 Date CEs Topic Speaker Location         
 January 13
 2 Annual Membership Meeting \ Workshop Topic TBA
 TBA Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 February 3
 6 Addiction
 Jon Daily
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 March 3
 Lisa Larson
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 April 7
 2 Brain Imaging, The Amen Clinic
 Dr. Daniel Emina
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 May 5
 2 TBA TBA Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 June 2
 2 LGBTQ+ David Nylund
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 July - Date TBA
 12 2 Day Law and Ethics
 TBA Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 September 1
 2 TBA TBA Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
 October 6
 6 Sex Addiction
 Robert Weiss
 Rancho Cordova City Hall (map)
November 18
 2 TBA
 TBARancho Cordova City Hall (map)

Upcoming Board Meetings

Board Meetings are FREE for anyone to attend BUT you MUST register so we have an accurate headcount.
To Register click on the board meeting(s) you wish to attend.

Sunday, December 4, 2016 - 11:00am to 1:00pm - Register Here


Special Feature

Being Pagan\Wiccan

By Heather Blessing, LMFT

If someone says "Merry Christmas" to me I say it back.  If someone says "Happy
Chanukah" I will say that back.  I know they are just wishing me a good holiday season.  I personally do not celebrate either.  I personally celebrate Yule. I have studied Christianity, Judaism, Wicca, and many forms of Paganism.  I am somewhere between Wicca\Celtic Paganism and Native American Spirituality.  If someone asks I am say I am Pagan.  I do believe in a higher power, almost like the Force in Star Wars.  I have explained it this way - the way I see a higher power is that it manifests differently for different people.  Like everyone on different sides of the mountain looking up at the summit.  We all see the summit but we would all describe it and the path to it differently.  There are some commonalities though; obstacles, an upward movement, challenges, rocks, trees and such.  It makes it easy for me to work with most cultural\spiritual\religious beliefs.

It is hard though in a Christian dominated area to be comfortable discussing your beliefs.  I cannot believe how many people automatically think Wicca - Witch - Devil Worship.  I have been called Godless, Evil, even the fall of humanity.  Friends have set out to "save" me many times.  Others think I dance naked in the light of the moon in the woods or howl like a wolf.  Very few even want to learn of my beliefs, like it would infect them or to even consider someone else's beliefs different than theirs could be ok would be a sin.

Like Christianity, there are many ways to be Wiccan\Pagan.  So I thought this holiday season I would share a little about my beliefs, because I rarely share them.  Many therapists I have had, I never tell my beliefs because they say things like "God Bless" or make small comments that let me know they may not handle it well and I don't want to be judged or causes issues if I am working well with them in other areas.

My Holidays (Sabbats):
  Samhain - October 31\November 1, Yule December 21\22 (Winter Solstice), Imbolc - February 1/2, Ostara - March 21\22 (Spring Equinox), Beltane - May 1, Litha - June 21/22 (Summer Solstice), Lughnasadh\Lammas - August 1, Mabon - September 21/22 (Autumn Equinox)

My New Year starts with Samhain.  So what the the themes of each Sabbat mean. 

Samhain is harvest time - time - we use what worked and what we harvested.  Things that didn't work out or are left from the harvest are used as mulch for next year's crops - ie the lessons we learned help form plans for new ideas and ways to avoid the same pitfalls.  Seeds from what did work also help populate future plans.

Yule is the longest night of the year - a time we use what we harvested and canned to exist and plan for the next year.  It is cold outside so we come together as families and celebrate the previous year and look forward to a new year when the days become longer.

Imbolc is when spring is trying to start.  Getting the fields ready for planting.  We are becoming more active and starting to create and get things ready to start again.

Ostara is a time of birth and new life.  We plant some thing, others that we planted a little bit ago are just starting.  This is when we work hard and really put energy into our new ideas and creations.

Beltane is a time of determining what is working and what is not.  Celebrate the longer days and being able to see those outside of your family more.  This is a good time if a plan is really hitting a roadblock, maybe focus on another one for a bit.

Litha is summer solstice, the longest day of the year.  A chance to think outwardly instead of inwardly.  Community, travel, starting the harvest and see what we have accomplished - help others with their harvests.

Lughnasadh is really time to buckle down and start reaping what you have worked so hard to sow.  Focus and living in the moment - enjoying the small things.

Mabon is the Autumn Equinox and moving toward the end of the harvest.  Time to start getting things together for the winter and start moving inward.

I believe in Masculine and Feminine energy (each person embodies both, just in different amounts and ways) and therefore often think in terms of Gods and Goddesses.  Really, for me they are just the faces of the energy and the higher power that I use to really "see" it.

I believe what you put out causes a ripple effect - so if I practice being good to others that positive energy will ripple throughout the world and make it a little better. 

I do not believe in hell or heaven for that matter.  I believe in reincarnation (not all Pagan's or Wiccan's believe this way).  I believe we are a soul and we are meant to learn through experiences and each life we lead is to make us learn new lessons.  I believe for a period of time we are not in a body and are part of the "higher power" that helps the world.

I respect other beliefs, religions, spiritualites and cultures as I believe we are each on our own path to learn what our soul needs to learn. 

I believe in the miracle of life and the miracle of death - what we have given to this world is more important that what we have gained personally.  I believe the higher power works through me so I must try to do good.  I believe in signs.  When I am not doing what I am meant to do, obstacles keep jumping in my path and causing me to have to keep changing until suddenly I seem to be going the direction I need to be and then things get easier (not easy just easier or more fulfilling).

My "magic" is when I pray.  Christian's often pray to God or Jesus to help them do something, I do rituals (I do not hurt or kill animals or humans) which I feel allows the higher power to direct me along the right path - so really pretty similar.

Oh and it shocks people but I do believe in the teachings of Jesus.  I think he was on the right path of helping others and leading by example.  We should all strive to be like that.

All I ask is that people do not judge me for my beliefs or tell me I cannot be spiritual or good because I don't believe in what they do.  Don't assume stereotypes.  And ask about someone's beliefs with an open mind.

I studied for more than 4 years to become a priestess.  I take it seriously and try to truly live my life as a priestess should.  As a priestess I dedicated myself to helping families like mine - families with special needs.  As I walked that path, I became a Marriage and Family Therapist so I could achieve those goals.   I would not be here if it were not for my beliefs.

So this year if someone says "Happy Holiday" or "Blessed Yule" consider saying it back to them and not being disgusted about taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas" because not everyone shares the same belief system.




The views expressed in the Special Feature Articles do not necessarily reflect the Sacramento Valley Chapter of CAMFT or CAMFT. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author. No information in this article will be understood as official.  Other views and commentary are welcome and will be published as long as they are respectful and stick to the topic.

Letters to the Editor
Welcome to the Letters to the editor Section.  We want to hear what you want to say about SVC-CAMFT, CAMFT, current events and issues.  Please see below guidelines on submitting a letter.

 We Have No Letters to the Editor!  Let your voice be heard!  Write a letter to the editor!

 Letters to the Editor Guidelines
  • You must be a current SVC-CAMFT member.
  • You cannot be a SVC-CAMFT board member or employee.
  • It must be no more than 250 words.
  • You must send in your full name so I can verify that you are a member.
  • If you wish your name not to be published please indicate.
  • Any letter published without a name will be listed as Anonymous MFT or Anonymous pre-license or Anonymous Associate
  • All letters must be respectful and without inappropriate words or phrases including name calling.
  • Please send your letters to
  • If you do not get a response back within 2 days that it has been received please email back.
  • If there is a problem with the letter (language, misspellings, length or appropriateness) you will receive an email back with the reason for the rejection and a chance to fix the problem and send it back in. 


Psyched about Books and Movies

Welcome to "Psyched about Books and Movies!"  Each month we include a book or movie review by one of our readers.  Please see below guidelines on submitting a review. 

Title: Grace and Frankie
Started: May 2015 on Netflix - 2 seasons so far
Reviewer: Heather Blessing, LMFT

Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda star in this comedy series.  I was impressed that they really do show the struggle people go through when going through divorce, issues with children, age, dating, death, heartbreak and other of life's challenges.  I expected it just to be good for a laugh, but there were many times the real emotions brought me to tears.  Every character is well rounded.  Both Grace and Frankie are being divorced by their husbands and since each of them had very different types of marriages and personalities, their grief shows up differently and so do the things that they miss.  Their husbands are not evil characters and show both the happiness of them finding themselves and yet the sadness of loss of very long marriages.  I highly recommend seeing this series for a good laugh and at the same time a pretty honest look at how it would unfold if this actually happened.


Book/Movie Review Submission Policy

All reviews are not to exceed 1000 key strokes.
Your review should include the title, a short synopsis about why you like or dislike it, and the author’s name & publication date.You can also include a picture of the book and/or movie. After review, we will publish your review in our next newsletter. Reviews submitted that are longer than 1000 characters will be returned for editing. It is best to type your review in a Microsoft Word document to note how many key strokes (characters with spaces), how big your review is, and for your own record keeping. You can then copy and paste it into the online submission form located here ( To learn more about checking your review for key strokes, spelling grammar and size click below: (

It is your responsibility to check for spelling and grammar errors.  Reviews must be received by the 20th of the month in order to appear in the next newsletter.

You can submit your review by: Visiting our webpage:

Mailing it in: P.O. Box 163385, Sacramento, CA 95816



BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CLINICANII - Sacramento, CA - Dignity Health

Case Manager / Therapist - Sacramento, CA- Saint John's Program for Real Change

FT/PT Licensed Therapists & ASW/MFTi Interns -Sacramento, CA - Terkensha Associates

Advertising and Announcements


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Licensed Psychologist (PSY 7480)
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Free consultation.
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Stucki Law Firm
Dustin Stucki, Attorney and LMFT, provides compassionate and committed family law representation.
We provide free phone consultations.
We also provide free consultations to therapists regarding family law questions that often come up during counseling.
We offer a path of hope in the chaos of family conflict.
Phone: 916-243-0916


Advertising Policy for the Newsletter

All ads and reviews are not to exceed1000 key strokes. Chapter members advertise at no cost. Non-members can advertise about employment opportunities at no cost. Non-members, non employment-related ads follow these rates:


$10 for 200 key strokes

$20 for 201-600 key strokes

$30 for 601-1000 key strokes

Full page and ½ page ads are not accepted.


All ads contain text only; no graphics will be included.

Ads submitted that are longer than 1000characters will be returned for editing. It is best to type your ad in a Microsoft Word document to note how many characters, how big your ad is, and for your own record keeping. Please visit our site to find more information on how to use Microsoft word for editing. You can then copy and paste it on our online submission form located here (

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Ads must be received by the 25thof the month in order to appear in the next newsletter. Ads are placed in theorder that they are received.


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