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The March 2013 SVC-CAMFT Newsletter.

  March 2013  

Sacramento Valley Chapter

California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists

Newsletter Editor:  Heather Blessing, MFT Registered Intern

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Letter from the Board

Hello my Fellow SVC CAMFT Members,

I am writing to you after our Board Retreat which was held on Sunday February 24, 2013. Your Board met for several hours to look at how we can improve services to not only you, but to those newly involved in the profession. Here’s a summary of our meeting:

One of our members was nominated for and awarded the outstanding Member of the Year for our Chapter, I will not disclose who received the award but you will hear from Eva at our next meeting with the formal presentation to that individual.


We also discussed some legislative issues, particularly how we can contribute to CAMFT’s push to include LMFTs and LPCCs into the Medicare, MediCal systems. We concluded that the best way to support CAMFT is through the Chapter’s Annual donation to CAMFTPAC. This has been on the Board’s radar for quite awhile and we will continue to advocate for our inclusion.


We looked at developing a Nominating Committee to formally seek candidates for Board positions and an opportunity to inform prospective Members of their proposed duties. If you are interested in participating in the Nominating Committee, please contact Jill Lawler for more information.


We also reviewed the possibility of engaging the local Graduate Schools to inform them of our existence and to invite their students to participate in the SVC CAMFT Chapter. Furthermore on the school/intern side we reviewed the possibility of providing a data collection point for Interns and Trainees of prospective internships that are available. We hope to discuss this further with the Licensed folks and perhaps provide an opportunity for more internships with more Licensed members thus becoming even more self-supporting. More on that to come.


We set the balance of the Board meetings for the rest of the year. Here are the dates so write them down if you want to come (all Members are invited to attend) April 19, 2013 immediately following the Training Meeting; June 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm at Ettores on Fair Oaks Boulevard across the street from Loehman’s Plaza; August 16, 2013 from 9:00am-11:00am at 3550 Watt Avenue in Sacramento CA 95821 (Watt and Whitney) and October 18, 2013 immediately following the Training Session.


There were quite a few more things reviewed and discussed during the meeting but the above list provides some of the highlights.


Look forward to seeing you all soon

Regards Chad


  This issue:

· Letter From the Board
· Legal Beagle
· February Presentation Summary
March Meeting Information
· Upcoming Board Meetings
· NAMI Walk
· CAMFT Leadership Conference
· Special Feature
· Psyched about Books and Movies
· Advertising and Announcements
· Advertising Polcy for the Newsletter


Chad Thompson, MFT


Jill P. Lawler, MFT

Past President:
Eva Tak, MFT

Brad Gilbert, MFT Intern

Beverly Baldwin, MFT Intern

Dr. Linda Sessions, MFT

Althea Lee, MFT Intern

Program Chair:

Tracy Thomas

Assistant Program Chair:

Karla Amanda Brown
, MFT Intern
Hospitality Co-Chairs:

Carol Mahr, MFT

Kimberlie Flowers, MFT

Pre-License Chair:

Luis Gonzalez, MFT Intern

Volunteer Chair:

Catherine Zanzi, MFT Intern

Membership Co-Chairs:
Cheryl Cleveland, MFT Intern
Miriam Hernandez, MFT Intern

Newsletter Editor:

Heather Blessing, MFT 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 legal and 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.

This month is a summary of the recent BBS meeting held in Sacramento on Thursday, February 28, 2013. The information is meant as a summary of most items discussed. You can find more information on the BBS website 

Concerns were raised on the time it takes to process licensing applications among other administrative duties. The BBS is doing the best they can with budget constraints and training on the new database BreEZe.

The new BreEZe database system training has taken time that is equal to 2.5 staff. Phase I will hopefully be rolled out in May 2013. Phase I will include online address change options and license renewals. Licensing applications are hoping to go live Sept 2013. Exam applications are expected to go live January 2014.

The question of when the DSM-V would be included in LMFT test material. Questions pertaining to the  DSM-V  will evolve over time during 2014 test development workshops.

BBS is working on processing applications postmarked 12/31/11. Reminder they received 1500 applications on that day. There are 254 LPCC’s licensed so far. The LPCC Gap exam has been suspended and is not expected to be reinstated before June 2013. No specific date was given. BBS was not able to give any information on why the test was suspended at this time. The test is being redeveloped.

Beginning January 2014 the testing for LMFT’s, LCSW’s, and LPCC’s will change.

A new registrant with the Board would be required to take the law and ethics exam. This exam must be taken within the first year of registration with the Board. If the law and ethics exam is not passed within the first renewal period, the registrant must complete a 12 hour law and ethics course in order to be eligible to take the exam in the next renewal cycle. The exam must be re-taken in each renewal cycle until passed. In addition, in each year the exam is not passed, the 12 hour law and ethics course must be taken to establish examination eligibility. A registration cannot be renewed after six years. If a registrant’s registration expires, he or she must pass the law and ethics exam in order to obtain a subsequent registration number. Intern registrations that expire in the first several months of 2014 will take the law and ethics exam in their next renewal cycle. The Board voted on including language to accept the National exam for LMFT’s and LCSW’s licensure, if the examinations are determined to be appropriate by the board. ASWB Association of Social Work has already been approved and the BBS is working on securing a contract.

Beginning July 2014 the BBS will no longer be in charge of regulating approval of CE providers. The below approved agencies, organizations, or accredited or approved educational providers will approve CE providers or oversee others approving CE providers:

NASW                  ASWB                  NBCC  NASP  APA  AAMFT   AAMFT-CA                  CALPCC                      CAMFT    CSCSW   CASP   CCA   ACA

The stipulation for gaining CE units online vs in-person was removed.

Not clear when the BBS will stop renewing current CE providers.

CE credits will be available for those participating on an approved Ethics Committee, participating in a Board Exam Development Workshop, Board Enforcement Case Review Training, or Subject Matter Expert.

Controversial topic. The BBS would like to access child custody evaluation reports in order to investigate allegations against an LMFT while serving as a child custody evaluator. CAMFT and AAMFT oppose this legislation. The board voted in favor.

Beginning April 2013 LCSW’s must be licensed 2 years in order to supervise pre-licensees.

Applied Measurement Services, LLC presented an assessment of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards’ (AMFTRB)  Marital and Family national examination to see if it meets prevailing standards for examination for licensure. Public information was limited because of confidentiality rulings. Issues assessed included: Practice Analysis, Examination Development, Passing Scores, Test Administration, Test Security, and Transparency of Examination Program. 

Current law (the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act or CANRA) specifies types of sexual contact that must be reported as child abuse to law enforcement by mandated reporters. There are specific guidelines in law outlining circumstances when consensual, heterosexual intercourse is not reportable. However, the law does not treat other types of sexual activity, including oral copulation and anal sex, in the same manner. For example, if a therapist learned that a 14 year old patient was engaging in oral or anal sex consensually with another 14 year old, then by law they must make a mandated report of child sexual abuse. This forces therapists, as mandated reporters, to treat heterosexual activity as consensual, while treating homosexual or other sexual activities as child abuse.

Ben Caldwell, PsyD, LMFT, professor at Alliant University, and member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy – California Division (AAMFT-CA), presented information on this topic, and discussed his desire to sponsor legislation to correct this inequity in the law. The Board will discuss at the next meeting whether to form a committee to look into this matter.

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


  February Presentation Summary
Mindfulness Skills for Enhancing Professional Fulfillment by Reducing Career Stress and Burnout by Dr. Marty Cottier, PhD, LMFT

Marty Cottier, PhD, LMFT presented a workshop titled, “Mindfulness Skills for Enhancing Professional Fulfillment by Reducing Career Stress and Burnout" at the February SVC-CAMFT meeting.  This was a great presentation that came at a great time for a very busy therapist with some difficult cases on her current caseload!

Dr. Cottier emphasized that stress is not a direct response to a stressor, but rather, our own resources and abilities to cope and change our stress reaction.  We learned the early warning signs of therapist burnout and how our work itself contributes to burnout.  My own perception began to change as I heard that my difficult caseload was not the issue, but my perception of it.  With that said, I focused on how to use compassionate mindfulness to be more aware what is going on with me, to have self-compassion and what I can do with this awareness.  Most importantly I learned that in just 3 minutes I can do a mindfulness exercise and studies have shown that just 5 minutes of mindfulness practice prior to session made a significant difference for the client in the session.  Mindfulness and self-care let us lift the needle out of the default mode and put it on new neuropathways of mindfulness according to Dr Cottier. 

So choose a quiet place, focus on your breath, recognize your wandering attention and gently return to focus on your breathing.  Learn to be happy, healthy and at ease.

Submitted by
Lyla Tyler, LMFT


March Meeting Information
Pre-license Meeting

Date: Friday, March 15, 2013 from 8:30AM to 9:15AM

Location: University of Phoenix, 2860 Gateway Oaks Drive, Sacramento 95833 (Map)

Speaker: Dr. Hamilton

Topic: Dr. Hamilton will discuss Ego State Therapy, and the benefits of working in a Private Practice. He will also accept resumes for a position as an Intern at a Private Practice.

Come out and enjoy the vast rewards of networking with your colleagues and staying in touch with the current issues facing us as interns.
(Those who attend will receive one additional workshop hour)

General Meeting

Date: Friday, March 15, 2013 from 9:30 to Noon

Location: University of Phoenix, 2860 Gateway Oaks Drive, Sacramento 95833 (Map)

Speaker: Joyce Mikal-Flynn, EdD, MSN, RN, FNP

Topic: Turning Tragedy into Triumph, Metahabilitation; A Contemporary Model of Rehabilitation

Mark your calendars and be sure to attend this SVC-CAMFT workshop presented by Joyce Mikal-Flynn, EdD, MSN, RN,.
Individuals experience tragedy and trauma. How do they successfully manage a crisis and how do families and loved ones help and cope? The current model of rehabilitation ignores the potential for growth and fails to incorporate the survivor's experience of trauma in planning their recovery. During this workshop, the presenter will provide examples of ways ordinary people have recovered in extraordinary ways and reveal the insights and provide the basis of a new system of recovery.

We encourage early registration as space is limited.

  Click here to register.

Cost: Pre-register: $15 stu/interns, $20 SVC-CAMFT memb, $30 non-memb., +$5 "at-door" registration. Inclu. Cont brkfst. & 2 CEUs. No cc's at door. Reserv req'd by March 12-Laura (916) 350-1577, or reg,pay, directions at pre-license mtg. 8:30-9:15 for 1 addl workshop hour. 

Reservations required: You can register and pre-pay online at, or contact Laura Frederick at (916) 350-1577 or email to register and pay at the door. Please help us contain the cost of presentations by making reservations in a timely manner (by Tuesday before the meeting). This is much appreciated.

*Disclaimer: University of Phoenix is a trade name and registered trademark of the Apollo Group, Inc. Its use herein by SVC- CAMFT to identify the event location is not intended to imply affiliation with, sponsorship or endorsement of the event by University of Phoenix or Apollo Group, Inc.

Upcoming Board Meetings

All members are invited to attend.

April 19, 2013 immediately following the Training Meeting

June 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm at Ettores on Fair Oaks Boulevard across the street from Loehman’s Plaza

August 16, 2013 from 9:00am-11:00am at 3550 Watt Avenue in Sacramento CA 95821 (Watt and Whitney)

October 18, 2013 immediately following the Training Session.




Join the Team!  Help make a difference in our community!

Sacramento Valley CAMFT is walking with 2013 NAMIWalk Northern California on Apr 27, 2013 10:00 AM.

The walk is a 5K in William Land Park, here in Sacramento.  All proceeds go directly to NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness.

NAMI is a wonderful organization that provides resources and support to families who are struggling with mental health issues.

Our team name is SVC CAMFT.

Come join in the fun by going to:

From our Team Page, click on the `Join My Team' button to register and help us fund-raise. If you can't join us, you can also support our team by making a donation online.


If you have any questions, please contact our Team Captain, Catherine Zanzi, 916-214-1479,

Hope to see you there!


CAMFT Leadership Conference Highlights

SVC-CAMFT members traveled to Orange County last month to attend the 2013 Chapter Leadership Conference to receive valuable training on how to best serve our membership.  The meeting provided an opportunity for leaders to network with and learn best practices from chapter members throughout California. Jill Epstein, JD, CAMFT Executive Director kicked off the meeting with updates on numerous CAMFT Board activities, new member programs, information about chapter promotional programs, political action, and legislation.  Jonathan Epstein, Esq. – Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, provided information on anti-trust laws as it relates to how organizations can minimize risk in this area.  A Networking Lunch was provided in which top leaders from each chapter were recognized with an Outstanding Chapter Leader Award.  SVC-CAMFT was extremely proud to present this prestigious award one of our board members, for their outstanding contribution to the chapter, particularly through their technical support with the website and publishing expertise.  In the afternoon, chapter leaders attended information-packed breakout sessions to learn more about Financial Management, Marketing Outreach, as well as Websites and Blogging and how to apply this knowledge to improve efficiency and to promote the objectives of the chapter.   Your SVC-CAMFT leadership team appreciated the opportunity to attend this important conference and look forward to applying the knowledge gained to our local chapter.

 Please join us at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 19, 2013 at the University of Phoenix. Jill Epstein, JD, CAMFT Executive Director will make a special trip to Sacramento to visit our SVC-CAMFT CEU breakfast meeting and give a brief presentation on the latest information on CAMFT member resources and critical legislation effecting MFTs.  You won't want to miss this exciting opportunity!


Special Feature
Part 1 of 3

The Quest for Peace….and happiness~
Juli Alvarado, MA, LPC, NCC

I want to be HAPPY!
I want PEACE!

And I want to be Happy and in Peace much more than I am now. I know that in this, I am not alone~

I have been a therapist and consultant in the field of trauma and abuse for more than two decades. In part I came into this field out of a need for my own healing, although I had no idea about that way back when…and I know that I am not alone in this either…

And, I want desperately for my clients to find healing, and more happiness and peace within themselves.

Mostly I want to have for myself that which I want to give others; I know that I cannot give away that which is not mine to give. If I have happiness and peace, I can share happiness and peace. If I do not have happiness and peace I cannot offer happiness and peace to anyone else; client, child, partner, others~

In my search for a deeper understanding of Peace, Happiness and Joy in life, I have found myself in the volumes of research in Neuroscience, the mind can bring happinessand in the bounds of ancient writings, and newer offerings too, of the mystery of healing… the spirit can bring peace.

The integration of science and healing have brought new meaning to my life, to the teachings I offer and the healing work of which I have been blessed to be a part.

Through my search, even into today, I have discovered volumes of information by many authors, masters, healers and teachers, that when explored even over the surface, in the end sounds the same. It may be written in different ways, in different languages, via different religions or spiritual groups; and presented by many through their own journeys, much as mine, but ends with the same message;

Peace and Happiness are a state of mind, available to any of us at any time, if only we believed Peace and Happiness to be possible.

I have searched through the teachings of Buddha, Moses, and Jesus; and more recent teachings of Neal Donald Walsch, Norman Vincent Peale, Thomas Moore, M. Scott Peck, Daniel Goleman and Dan Siegel, Bruce Perry, Karyn Purvis, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabbat Zinn, Eckhart Tolle, the Dali Lama and so many more. (I encourage you to pick up books by any of these great teachers and begin your research as well.) When you break it down, they are all providing the same message of healing, in their own words, and now backing it up with science for those who need more than faith.

I believe that many messengers of healing have been afraid to speak their truth, as I have been at times. Perhaps our fear has been that as therapists we have to keep up the façade that all is well at home and in the office, that our relationships are flourishing and our children are all successful, that our practice is full because we are so darn good at what we do and we have it all together! Perhaps we fear that we will not be accepted, that we will be called crazy, Pollyanna, out of touch with reality or even blasphemous in the name of God.

Everything happens for a reason, good or bad. You are reading this now, because you attracted this writing to you, you landed on this article in this journal at this time for a reason right now; and that reason you may or may not be aware of. Either way is ok, keep reading.

Happiness is your natural state of being; you were born to be happy!

However, many in our universe still believe that life is meant to have a lot of pain; suffering should be offered up, struggles endured in silence and all of this may earn you points toward heaven.

We are taught that if you have been hurt in the past, you will continue to hurt today and even hurt others; and I know that to be true, UNLESS you decide……consciously, intentionally and purposefully…… decide, not to!


In no way do I believe that God intended for us to have to go through Hell to get to Heaven, and in no way do I believe that Heaven is a place you can go to after your physical life comes to an end, and only if you have earned the right~

You were given life for a reason; to bring Peace and Happiness to everyone you touch, and then to yourself; in that order. In that you find Heaven, right here on earth~

Jesus said; 'as you believe, so it will be done unto you', and 'do unto your brothers as you would have done unto you', 'ask and you shall receive'. Buddhists believe in Karma; what you give you receive. Really, it is all the same message taught by great teachers.

Read those scriptures again, slowly, each one. Contemplate whether you actually believe them.

No matter how bad life has been, no matter how bad life is now, no matter what has happened to you or may be happening to you still, it is only your response to life that determines your state of Peace and Happiness.

Juli Alvarado, MA, LPC, NCC is the Founder/Director of Coaching for LIFE!, LLC
For more on our mindfully based and trauma informed paradigm for healing visit her at
Coaching for Life provides monthly teleconferences in Integrative Healing of Trauma for no charge. You can register at the website.

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 articles 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.

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.  Happy reading!

Title:  Temple Grandin

Date Released: 2010

Reviewer:  Heather Blessing, MFT Intern

Review:  This movie is about a high functioning autistic woman who found interesting ways of being able to live and succeed in a world that does not understand her and her struggles to find her place in society.  It is based off her real story and the movie is presented in a way that allows you to see the world through her eyes.  This is a great movie to watch to get more of an understanding of autism.  This is a must see if you work with those with autism or Aspergers.


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 grammer 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


Advertising and Announcements


This 3-hour workshop includes:

  • ·       Laying the foundation for effective EMDR with kids
  • ·       Training parents on assisting their children with EMDR techniques
  • ·       Implementing EMDR protocols, techniques & tools with kids

Time:            9 am-noon; 3 CEUs-LMFT & LCSW’s
Date:             April 12
Location:     Weave, 1900 K Street
Cost:             $50
RSVP: to reserve your spot today!
Sponsor:  Psychological Resource Associates
Presenter:  Kim Johnson, LCSW, EMDRIA-Certified Therapist, EMDRIA-CIT Consultant, PPS Credential & Co-Founder of MOMS 


Heather Blessing has more than 12 years of experience with families raising children who have special needs or experienced early childhood trauma.  She has worked with families of adoption and fostercare-adoption.  Because she has personal experience in many of these areas, she understands that every family is unique and requires support that works within their family structure.  

She is a professional member of ATTACh and Attachment and Trauma Network.
She will attend IEPs and other staffings to advocate for the family.

Heather Blessing, M.A., MFTI
Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern, IMF 67330
Sacramento Psychotherapy Services, Inc.
3550 Watt Avenue, Suite 140
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 979-7693
Supervised by D. Chadwick Thompson
License No. MFC 48044


Advertising Policy for the Newsletter

All ads and reviews are not to exceed 1000 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 1000 characters 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 (

It is your responsibility to check for spelling and grammar errors.


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


You can submit and pay for your ad by:


Visiting our webpage:

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

Emailing the Newsletter Editor:

Thank you for contributing to the newsletter!

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