Hot Off the Press

  • 09/21/2019 10:09 AM | Michael Crile (Administrator)

    Tracking your hours can be a tedious task. In today’s modern world, tracking has become simplified with Hour Tracking companies. The question is, which one should I use. Here is a simple run down of the programs, pricing and any known benefits that are found that surpass the other trackers.

    TrackYourHours.com

              $90 for one year to $200 for three years.

    MFTHours.com

              FREE

              The program sorts your hours under each supervisor.

              Has both old and new experience format.

    Time2Track.com

              Two options for pricing: $10 per month pay as you go (great if you just need it for a few months

              Option two: $60 for one year ($4.95 per month paid at one time.)

              Two years    $107

              Three years  $160

              Four years    $214   This is the only program I found that had more than three year plan.

             

    PsyKey.com

              $30 for one year to $68 for three years.

              This site has a few interesting options to help in tracking that I wish I would have found before now.

              It is fully customizable.

              You can track hours and tasks.

              You can schedule recurring tasks.

              You will have summaries and graphs available for your hours.

              You can track supervision hours.

              YOU CAN EVEN TRACK ASSESSMENTS that you conduct.

              iPad integration.

              You are also able to save client information to see the tasks you have completed with them and demographic information.

              THEY EVEN HAVE A DOCTORAL HOURS TRACKER!

    There are always organizations, such as specific universities that will even give you a file to help you track hours, such as an Xcel Spreadsheet. This may be a bit more time consuming, however.

    I attempted to find additional resources; however, these were the only ones that presented as relevant to our needs.

    Best of luck on your hours, and never hesitate to seek guidance from your supervisor or a colleague you trust.

    Michael Crile, MA, MA, is a registered associate marriage & family therapist and organizational leader. He currently is works as a Student Counselor with Comprehensive Youth Services, under the supervision of Lisa Brott. He takes the challenges and experiences from life to assist the clients he has worked with, to provide the best therapy for each client. He has worked in forensic environments working with individuals who had been in the state mental hospitals and with sex offenders on parole and probation. He enjoys a variety of therapeutic techniques, being extremely eclectic in the therapy room. He is scheduled to take his Clinical MFT Exam in September. In his off-time, he serves on the CAMFT-CSJV Chapter board as Secretary and on the Visalia Toastmasters board as Sergeant-at-Arms. He enjoys a plethora of music, cooking, writing speeches, creating power points, is a Disneymaniac, and loves nature, walking and jogging. 

  • 08/20/2019 9:24 AM | Michael Crile (Administrator)

    Wednesday afternoon, 1:12 pm. Your phone rings.

    Good afternoon, ABC Counseling.

    [Counselor] I need to see you right away.

    What's going on Miss Jones?

    I received this letter today and my anxiety is extremely high now. They are talking about discontinuing my insurance due to some new bill in the state. I am so stressed out that I do not know what to do.

    I am sorry to hear about this experience Miss Jones. I do not have an availability today, however, I could see you tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. Can you come in then and we can talk through your situation?

    Yes. I will see you then.

    Thursday morning 7:45. Frantic knock on your front door.

    [Counselor] this is the letter I was telling you about on the phone!

    Dear Mr. Patient,

    The [company] is proud to provide you with financial assistance for your health insurance through our Health Insurance Premium Program (HIPP). We are writing today to give you an important update that may effect our ability to provide you assistance in the near future.

    The California Assembly recently passed a bill, AB [xxx], that would force [company] to discontinue its HIPP program in the state. This bill will be voted on in the Senate within the next several weeks. If the bill passes and is then signed into law by Governor Newsom, [company] will no longer be able to pay your health insurance premiums.

    I don't know what to do! My husband's health insurance could be cancelled cause we cannot afford his insurance premiums. His premium is over $500 a month, and he barely receives $700 from his Social Security. We can't afford this. My anxiety is so high I am about to lose my mind!

    This scenario is a real scenario. What would you do to set your client's mind at ease? 

    In today's society where insurance premiums can be high for some people, especially if they are living with a life threatening illness, as therapist's we need to consider how we can comfort our client's and their families. 

    We all know we cannot help them write their letters if they choose to send a letter to their state Senator, however, would you have them write that letter as a homework assignment? As a therapist, I would probably encourage the client to participate in the writing to their Senator to express how this can affect them. I also would encourage them to talk with their family to help them understand how this increases their anxiety. Each of us could use a variety of techniques to assist Miss Jones in this situation. The difficult part for many of us is, we are in a caring profession and those therapists that I have met in the community and through CAMFT, would find it hard not to be empathetic and want to help. This is one of those fine lines we need to walk. This begs the question, what else could we do?

    In this scenario, Miss Jones brought in her letter. You were willing to help her understand all that needed to be done to write her letter as her homework assignment. This included showing her where to go on the internet to write this letter. Since you now know where this website is, you could also write a letter to your state Senator through the link that you found in Miss Jones letter; however, this now begs the question, how do you identify yourself? If you put in there that you know someone, even if you do not include your patient's identity, you have now opened yourself up to that being a potential issue of breaking confidentiality, all be it, it is highly unlikely. How could this break confidentiality you might ask?

    Miss Jones husband has a terminal illness. His insurance premium is being paid for by a specific company that only cares for people with that specific illness. Let us look at the numbers and how it COULD open up that breach of confidentiality.

    People with this illness in California: 140,000

    California Counties: 58

    Number of patients per county average: 2400

    How many of those patient in that county have the same name: 5

    You identified yourself as knowing someone with this illness. Process of elimination, someone could potentially find out that Miss Jones is your client.

    Should we risk this by stating that we know someone with this illness then? Unless we actually have a friend or family member with this illness, we should sign these online letters as a concerned citizen. 

    I know that the chances of us getting a scenario like this is slim. Yet, it is possible. Just remember, sometimes, that process of elimination can come into play and it could become a potential Law & Ethics issue. 

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Michael Crile, MA, MA, is a registered associate marriage & family therapist and organizational leader. He currently is on a break from working as a Student Counselor with Comprehensive Youth Services, under the supervision of Lisa Brott. He takes the challenges and experiences from life to assist the clients he has worked with, to provide the best therapy for each client. He has worked in forensic environments working with individuals who had been in the state mental hospitals and with sex offenders on parole and probation. He enjoys a variety of therapeutic techniques, being extremely eclectic in the therapy room. He is scheduled to take his Clinical MFT Exam in August to become fully licensed. In his off-time, he serves on the CAMFT-CSJV Chapter board as Secretary and on the Visalia Toastmasters board as Sergeant-at-Arms. He enjoys a plethora of music, cooking, writing speeches, is a Disneymaniac, and loves nature, walking and jogging.

  • 07/24/2019 5:04 PM | Michael Crile (Administrator)

    DID YOU KNOW?

    In the original Roman Calendar, August, originally called Sextilis (Latin), was the sixth month of the year.

    For more about the history of the calendar, keep reading on.

    CAMFT Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter

    AUGUST NEWSLETTER 2019

    Law & Ethics: Tough Calls, Moral Dilemmas, Technology, and More with Ben Caldwell

    Workshop description:

    Our morals and values inevitably influence our work. When we have clear legal and ethical standards to guide us, we defer to those standards. But often, when faced with difficult decisions, our standards offer conflicting guidance, or none at all. This can confuse clients, who wonder whether their therapist will truly understand or support their choices.  Through the use of case examples, this workshop will show how our individual morals and values influence therapy work even when we seek to appear neutral; how to identify your own morals and values relevant to your practice; and why owning those values matters.

    Workshop goals:

    Goals for this workshop include (1) Assisting therapists in understanding the role that their own morals and values play in clinical and ethical decision-making; (2) Encouraging therapists to think critically about that role and its implications for therapy; (3) Informing therapists about recent developments in court cases and ethical standards related to the personal values of the therapist; and (4) Encouraging therapists toward transparency with clients about the therapist’s values, in accordance with ethical standards and the therapist’s theoretical orientation.

    Workshop objectives:

    At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Identify at least two personal morals and values most relevant to their psychotherapy practice
    • Differentiate between a personal opinion, a clinical opinion, advice-giving, and imposing personal values
    • Construct a framework for clinical and ethical decision-making that integrates personal morals and values in a manner that is within professional ethical boundaries and appropriate to their clientele
    • Identify three common frameworks for making value-based decisions
    • Identify at least two implications from court cases involving mental health students’ moral decision making.
    For more information, click on the title of this event here in the newsletter.

    THIS MONTHS EVENTS

    Licensed Peer Consultation Group

    Are you feeling isolated in private practice? Are you scratching your head, wondering what another therapist might do with your client?

    Would you like to join with other clinicians to share your knowledge, glean wisdom and honest feedback, and reflect on your practice in a safe, confidential space?

    Are you looking to relax? Do you need more balance in your life?

    Then, we are excited to have you join us! We meet the first Friday of each month...register once and you'll get a reminder before each session. 

    August 2, 2019

    10:00 am to Noon

    6276 N. First St.

    Suite 105

    Fresno, CA 93710

    3000 Club Clinical Dynamic Group

    Have you ever have felt alone as an Associate? Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed on this sometimes arduous journey towards MFT licensure. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    Now you can join with your peers and share any and every aspect of collecting your 3000 hours of experience and preparation.

    On the last Sunday of each month, pre-licensed members of CAMFT - Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter, Inc. are welcome to network with your peers. You can find out more about: Internships, Supervision and Supervisors, Case Consultations, Theoretical Orientations, and Diagnostics.  Please feel welcome to attend this month’s group. Come with questions, concerns, ideas, and needs, so that collectively we may explore the treasure of knowledge through Clinical and Life experience within each of us. 


    August 25, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    1495 W. Shaw Ave

    Fresno, CA 93705

    Scott Polenz, LMFT, guides the 3000 club on a monthly basis.

    ________________________________

    Have you thought of making a difference in our field? Do you feel that you have something to give to help your peers that provide mental health services to our communities? 

    This is a time that you can step up and make some change.

    Our annual Board of Director elections are coming up soon and in order to be elected, we need you to visit the website and complete the 2020 Board of Directors application.

    For more information, please visit the link below, and drop down below our current Board of Directors:

    Board of Directors

    ________________________________

    Are there topics that you want the Chapter to present for 2020 CEUs? A Survey was sent out on July 21 requesting your input. Our Board of Directors and CE Committee definitely want to hear from you. If you forgot to participate, or you accidentally delete the email, click the picture below to be taken to the survey:

    ________________________________

    Last year's Open Couch was such a huge success that the Board of Directors has chosen to do it again. We are currently speaking with a couple venues for the location and date. 

    If you have potential "vendors", please contact, or have them contact, President Vanessa Miller soon. We want this to be a success and to fill up the spaces that we can so we can help our colleagues, new colleagues in the field, students and liaisons that we work with in the community to come and obtain information they need to build their careers and help those in our communities.

    Please email Vanessa Miller, or pass along the her address to those that would benefit from having a table at our event.

    VanessaMillerLMFT@gmail.com



    Monthly Technique

    This month's technique was recommended by our chapter member, Annita Regehr, LMFT.

    Annita recommended the use of glitter jars in therapy. This is a wonderful mindfulness exercise for all ages. The best thing about these jars is, they can be made by you and the client in their therapy session (the younger the client, the more you will want to do the mixing). This gives them the ability to choose the color of their glitter glue, the colors of the added glitter and depending on the age, can help mix it together. There are numerous recipes online for the glitter jars. I have found that if you want a variety for display in your office, you find the bottles that suit your room. If working with kids and adults, you a variety of bottle sizes. For this recipe, find a plastic bottle that will hold approximately 32 ounces. (I prefer the Core brand. The label is easy to cut off with scissors, the shape is similar to an hour glass, the plastic is clear, the lid is not tapered and the surface is smooth.) One recipe recommends using distilled water, which is a better sounding idea than tap water as bacteria could build up in your bottle over time. Use 1/2 cup room temperature distilled water in your bottle, add 1/2 cup of glitter glue, 1-2 teaspoons extra glitter, (my personal recommendation is using 1 teaspoon of fine glitter that is similar in color to your glitter glue, and 1 teaspoon of glitter that is more course.) Fill the remainder of the bottle up with distilled water. If you choose to heat the water on the stove before hand, to help the glue mix better, DO NOT POUR IT IN THE BOTTLE WHILE HOT! You can mix the heated water and glitter glue in a glass mixing bowl with a tapered pour spout. Also, at room temperature, you can close your lid with the bottle filled to the brim and the bottle will not shrink in from the heat or the change in temperature after it has been sealed.

    To seal the lid, you can use hot glue (which I personally have found will come off because it does not adhere to plastic very well); gorilla glue (again this one can come off is using a bottle like Dasani, or one where there is not protective top over the plastic bottle cap; or go with the standard, Super Glue. For added protection, use a colorful duct tape to seal the outside of the lid. (I always tell my students, the lids are not allowed to come off. Yes, they do ask all the time.)

    Annita shared this to enhance the technique:

    [The glitter jar] becomes our Mindfulness exercise that can be sent home with the client at some point.  For younger children, it’s nice to have the jar there available in session when they come in.  “Their jar” is waiting for them.  When they terminate, the jar goes home with them to remind them of the tools they’ve learned and can still use on their own. There are some plastic jars available online that makes it less likely a broken glass jar may cause harm.   In the glitter jar I make with younger clients, I  begin with purple glitter glue.  Together we talk about basic emotions… the times we might feel them, or notice them in others.   Then I ask the child to decide what color he or she might use for each of those emotions/feelings…and what other things remind the child of that color.   I provide separate color glitter for each emotion and allow the child to add that to the Mindfulness jar… “there goes some anger, this is some happiness, this is some sadness, this might be loneliness, hope..”….whatever feelings stand out of the child. The young person can pick out those colors clearly in the jar.   Now we shake the jar, and  have all those emotions stirring up in our minds.  We practice just ‘sitting with’ the emotions that have been stirred up by some event… just breathing with them…acknowledge their presence as normal for all of us…and let the emotions all settle down to the bottom of the jar.  

    I also use a “Loving Kindness” meditation that can be practiced as the glitter takes its time to settle to the bottom of the shaken jar.    I have recently had an adult client (with whom we practiced the Loving Kindness at end of session) tell me the guided relaxation exercise we have also done in session  was used with younger grandchildren prior to bedtime.  The client reported the children were focused, calm and went right to sleep. Another time, the grandparent used the Loving Kindness meditation with the children (ages 5 and 6), after which both children (previously arguing and in physical pushing problem) were calm, and relieved of anxiety. The grandparent also felt at peace.    It’s so encouraging when clients actually take a tool from session and use it—even more so when it is used to form helpful connections with young children in their care.  

    Thank you Annita for your contribution.

    Things to know!

    OUR CALENDAR'S HISTORY

    The original Roman calendar is believed to have been a lunar calendar, which may have been based on one of the Greek lunar calendars. As the time between new moons averages 29.5 days, its months were constructed to be either hollow (29 days) or full (30 days).

    KING ROMULUS -

    The original Roman calendar was said to have been invented by Romulus, the first king of Rome, around 753 BCE. The calendar started the year in March (Martius) and consisted of 10 months, with 6 months of 30 days and 4 months of 31 days. The winter season was not assigned to any month, so the calendar year only lasted 304 days with 61 days unaccounted for in the winter.

    Calendar of King Romulus:

    1. Martius - 31 Days
    2. Aprilis - 30 Days
    3. Maius - 31 Days
    4. Iunius - 30 Days
    5. Quintilis - 31 Days
    6. Sextilis - 30 Days
    7. September - 30 Days
    8. October - 31 Days
    9. November - 30 Days
    10. December - 30 Days

    The 304-day Roman calendar didn’t work for long because it didn’t align with the seasons. King Numa Pompilius reformed the calendar around 700 BCE by adding the months of January (Ianuarius) and February (Februarius) to the original 10 months, which increased the year's length to 354 or 355 days.

    The addition of January and February meant that some of the months' names no longer agreed with their position in the calendar (September - December). The month Quintilis was renamed July in honor of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE and Sextilis was renamed August in honor of Augustus in 8 BCE.

    Calendar of king Numa

    1. Ianuarius - 29 days
    2. Februarius - 28 days
    3. Martius - 31 days
    4. Aprilis - 29 days
    5. Maius - 31 days
    6. Iunius - 29 days
    7. Quintilis - 31 days
    8. Sextilis - 29 days
    9. September - 29 days
    10. October - 31 days
    11. November - 29 days
    12. December - 29 days

    The Roman calendar was still flawed after adding January and February, as well as the days and months needed to keep the calendar in line with the seasons. Many attempts were made to align the calendar with the seasons but all failed. An extra month was added to the calendar in some years to make up for the lack of days in a year.

    The insertion of the intercalary month was made by the pontifex maximus, the high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient Rome. However, this system was flawed because the Roman calendar year defined the term of office of elected officials, thus a pontifex maximus could control the length of the year depending on their political agenda.

    When Julius Caesar became pontifex maximus, he reformed the calendar by getting rid of the intercalary months. The Julian calendar was created, then completed during his successor Augustus' reign.

    Common Year -

    1. Ianuarius - 29 days
    2. Februarius - 28 days
    3. Martius - 31 days
    4. Aprilis - 29 days
    5. Maius - 31 days
    6. Iunius - 29 days
    7. Quintilis - 31 days
    8. Sextilis - 29 days
    9. September - 29 days
    10. October - 31 days
    11. November - 29 days
    12. December - 29 days

    Leap Year -

    1. Ianuarius - 29 days
    2. Februarius - 23/24 days
    3. Intercalaris - 27/28 days
    4. Martius - 31 days
    5. Aprilis - 29 days
    6. Maius - 31 days
    7. Iunius - 29 days
    8. Quintilis - 31 days
    9. Sextilis - 29 days
    10. September - 29 days
    11. October - 31 days
    12. November - 29 days
    13. December - 29 days

    This history moment was found at:

    https://history.stackexchange.com/questions/35735/which-months-were-added-during-the-roman-empire

    SELF-CARE

    Here is a crossword puzzle to complete for a new self-care technique. 

    If you would like, you can send your responses to michael.crile.amft@gmail.com, with the subject "Crossword results". We will acknowledge the first three Licensed and first three Associates who sent in their answers. You can either print off the puzzle, fill it out, copy and send, or just write down your answers and email the list back with the number.



    ACROSS

    4        These are factors that are inherent to an individual base on their DNA

    8        Family Systems Theory, treatment of Human Problems, Theory about relationships

    12      Therapy that helps clients build a bridge between their realizations in “reel” life and their experiences in real life utilizing film

    13      San Salvador, opened pediatrics practice, served in Israeli Army, codirected programs for refugee children, Structural Family Therapy, helped develop treatment protocols for anorexia nervosa

    14      These maintain a distinction between one individual and another

    15      This is used to outline the family relationships

    16      Integrative form of psychotherapy that adapts to the unique needs of each specific client, depending on the problem, the treatment goals, and the person’s expectations and motivation

    17      Client-centered approach to psychotherapy that helps clients focus on the present and understand what is really happening in their lives right now, rather than what they may perceive to be happening based on past experience

    18      John & Julie, this married couple were both marital therapists, couples-based therapy and education that draws on the pioneering studies of relationships

    19      Regarded as the mother of Family therapy

    20      Where more than one person is participating in therapy

    DOWN

    1        A more holistic approach, addressing mental, physical, social, emotional, creative, and intellectual needs, with an emphasis on the role of a healthy spirit in healing

    2        A subject that is losing its worth in family life due to the constant bombardment of electronic devices

    3        Therapy where toys are placed in a blue container

    5        Well known therapeutic modality that is evidence based with seven core principles

    6        This type of therapy is usually focused on one specific focus with people that typically do not initially know each other

    7        The way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected

    9        Trauma-Focused therapy

    10      Six elements on which families are evaluated to be either functional or dysfunctional

    11      The action or process of separating feelings and thoughts

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Do you know what the pictures in this months newsletter represent? If so, email Michael Crile at michael.crile.amft@gmail.com


  • 07/17/2019 11:44 AM | Michael Crile (Administrator)

    It is 8:00 am on Monday morning. You have had a wonderful three-day weekend with your family. You are scouring around your office pulling together your pen, notepad, and the things that make your office your office. Your 8:15 client is already at your office waiting, which makes you feel a bit more hurried. You over booked today so that you could see three of your clients that you would have seen on Friday. You invite your client in. You take your place and get yourself into your therapist mode.

    Today, however, is a little different. You get into your client’s session about 15 minutes, when something catches your eye. You see a bug. Not a little tiny bug, but a big bug. This bug is so big that you want to run out of the room as you absolutely hate bugs. You continue listening to your client, processing what they are sharing, all the while, there is that bug. You think to yourself, “I sure hope that bug is not seen by my client.”

    Five minutes go by, you are still focused on your client, yet every few moments, “that Bug!”

    Finally, your session is complete. You notify your next client that you will be a few moments, returning to your office. You now can freak out in your own way over that ugly, scary, monster bug. You take a few minutes to muster up your courage to go find that hideous beast to get it out of your office. After all, that bug is not paying you for therapy time, nor is it paying you rent for the space it is taking up.

    All of a sudden “EEEK!”  You run out to your waiting room and Miss Jones is hysterical! “Bu-bu-bu-bu,” she just cannot get the word out of her mouth. She points across the room where you look and there is the bug. It is much bigger than you initially thought. It’s two feet long and 12 inches tall! (I exaggerate when I see a bug too. Don’t worry.) Now you have to really pull it together in front of your client go over and pick up the cockroach, and discard of it the best way you know how. (One may squish it, while another may set it free due to their beliefs.)

    You return to the waiting room to find Miss Jones hyperventilating. You remember that Miss Jones has a phobia about bugs from her childhood. This has not come up in several sessions. You calm Miss Jones down, offer her a water, tea, or coffee. Politely apologize for this embarrassment. Recall suddenly that you forgot to take out your trash on Thursday. (The temperature has been over 100 for the past four days. You have been away from your office and there has been no air conditioning for the past 72 hours.) You excuse yourself for a moment and run to your office. You go to grab your trash can and realize that it very well may have been what attracted the monster bug.

    Many times, we as therapists have our own behaviors that we constantly are working through, just like our clients. There is not one of us who is perfect. (If you are, please, tell me the trick on how it is done so I can master it too.) Some people are raised in strict environments in which their parents required daily cleaning. Others did not have that strict of a home life growing up.

    We have all heard of Spring cleaning. That ONE time of year we freshen up our environment. As a therapist, I believe we need to do this much more often. I am not suggesting every month, just once per season. This is a time to freshen up your office. Unless you have a cleaning service that is thoroughly cleaning everything, then there are going to be things you may not think of doing every week or two when you do your regular cleaning. Did you dust everything, or just the tables around your seating for the client? Did you dust off your lamp shades? Did you vacuum under the throw rug? How about vacuuming inside the furniture to make sure that the clients have not spilled anything in there that more bugs could find? These are all regular cleanings we all should be doing if we must clean our own offices.

    The wonderful thing about season cleanings is, you can find the things that are not aesthetically pleasing and remove them. You can change out that painting of the winter farm and replace it with a springtime scene in Holland. You can add or reduce colors to your room. These are some of the simple things to change. Have you ever thought of the following inside your therapy room though?

              Your lighting – When you are thinking about a variety of changes, lighting should be on the top of the list. If you are using incandescent bulbs, some of the lighting can be harsh. If you are using halogen, it can increase the heat in the room. Then there are CFL bulbs. Some people have adverse reactions to CFLs. Think about your client when placing lighting. Is it too bright? Too dim? Try to also utilize daylight bulbs. This helps those who suffer from seasonal affect disorder.

              Colors – When choosing colors, we all have our different tastes. I personally love the color orange. It is vibrant, adds a great splash of color and is fun. Yet, I know that if I were to decorate a room in orange, many people would not be able to handle that much brightness. A simple picture or trinket with your favorite color, that is not in your therapy room color scheme will brighten up the room not only for you, but your client as well.

              Throw rugs – When utilizing throw rugs, recognize that people actually look at them for a reason. There is a mental attraction to patterns and colors. If your therapy room is not full of geometric patterns, yet your rug is covered in blocks of different shapes and sizes, this is going to negatively grab everyone’s eye, even your own. You may love the pattern, just remember, if it does not fit with your room scheme, it probably will detract from the therapy session.

              Throw blankets – Just like our offices and homes, our personal thermostats are all different. I may enjoy my office at 75 during the summer and 72 in the winter, but Miss Jones gets cold in the summer if the air is below 80, and hot in the winter if the room is above 68. Should you consider and provide throw blankets in your office, recognize that some people may not ever realize that they are bringing other visitors in with them. If one works with a lower income population, there could be a higher chance of a bed bug or even lice being brought into your office. Make sure to regularly wash your throw blankets, and even any stuffed animals you have, on a hot setting, or better yet, sanitizing setting if your washing machine has one.

              Finally, staying bug free – This is a challenge for all businesses. When Gottschalks was still open, Visalia’s store was on Mooney Blvd. Mooney is for some reason a mecca for water bugs. It was not uncommon for employees at Gottschalks to find dozens of water bugs closer to Mooney than the mall entrance. Consider either hiring a professional bug service or treat your office yourself if your owner does not provide a bug service. If you are more environmentally friendly, find out the things you can do to keep bugs away without doing harm to the environment. Then treat your office space to it’s weekly or monthly spray always on a Friday afternoon after your last client, or after your last client of the week.

    Now that we have looked at a variety of ways to enhance your therapeutic space, let’s return to Miss Jones. She is slightly calm, but still a bit shaken. We obviously want to process this with her since it triggered some trauma. We can apologize, yet we know that will not get rid of that memory. Just remind Miss Jones that bugs are something that everyone deals with. We can do our best to keep our offices clean, however, once in a while a stranger may come for a visit. “Miss Jones, I can promise you this. I recently read a blog post that encouraged me of ways to help keep the critters away. I will be implementing those in my office to have a healthier and bug free office.”

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Crile, MA, MA, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, OL 

    Michael Crile, MA, AMFT, is a registered associate marriage & family therapist and organizational leader. He currently is on a break from working as a Student Counselor with Comprehensive Youth Services, under the supervision of Lisa Brott. He takes the challenges and experiences from life to assist the clients he has worked with, to provide the best therapy for each client. He has worked in forensic environments working with individuals who had been in the state mental hospitals and with sex offenders on parole and probation. He enjoys a variety of therapeutic techniques, being extremely eclectic in the therapy room. He is scheduled to take his Clinical MFT Exam in August to become fully licensed. In his off-time, he serves on the CAMFT-CSJV Chapter board as Secretary and on the Visalia Toastmasters board as Sergeant-at-Arms. He enjoys a plethora of music, cooking, writing speeches, is a Disneymaniac, and loves nature, walking and jogging.


  • 06/05/2016 12:29 PM | Kelly Winter (Administrator)

    5 Facebook Groups for the Proactive Therapist


    WRITTEN BY: Kelly Winter, MFTI, CLC

    Whether you work in private practice or in an agency or hospital setting, it helps to diversify your toolkit. There are several helpful groups on Facebook that you should look into joining.

    Below are only five of the many Facebook groups to go when you are feeling stuck, need a network of your peers, or want to stay abreast of the latest in our field. And the great thing about Facebook - its available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year!

    1. Selling the Couch Community- Started by Melvin Varghese for his podcast followers, this group has grown to just under 2ooo members. This is a go-to group for those working in ANY setting within the mental health community. You can ask questions, share resources, brainstorm, build relationships, celebrate wins, and encourage each other.  Here is the Facebook link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1529269850672775/
    2. The Blogging Therapists – Created by Jessica Fricker in early 2015, this group helps you flex those writing muscles. Here you can share your latest blog post and read what others in our profession are writing. There are some talented people who are always willing to help someone new to blogging.   Here is the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/802050576527542/
    3. Building a Private Psychotherapy Practice –   This is a robust group of almost 2ooo private practitioners across the globe – though most are US-based. Created by Candace Langdon in 2014, this is a great place to find peers brainstorming, sharing ideas, offering feedback, and providing accountability through the process of building a private therapy practice.  Check out their “Files” section for some great ideas, paperwork templates, and helpful resources. Here is the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/620084744767664/
    4. MFT Guide – Created by Miranda Palmer in 2013, this is the go-to site for all things PRE-licensed. From help studying for licensing exams to help with your supervisor. Here is the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mftguide/
    5. Authentic Marketing for Therapists – Started by Gina Senarighi in 2015, this group provides resources for traditional and out-of-the-box approaches to marketing without feeling salesy. There are several resources in the “Files” section and you can even link to your podcast if you have one. Here is the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/authenticprivatepractice/

    Most of these groups are closed so you need to request to join. Here are some helpful tips to staying in good standing within the group:


    • Read the group rules and make sure you follow them.
    • Be mindful of when you can self-promote, and take advantage of them.
    • Give as much as you get. For example, if you want someone to like your professional page or read your blog, do the same for at least one other person in the group.
    • NEVER give out any client information that could be perceived as PHI. Most of these groups will let you vent a bit as long as you don’t reveal too much about your client. Keep it focused on yourself and what you are going through.   
    • ALWAYS introduce yourself when first joining. This isn’t self-promotion, it’s being cordial.

    Attending local professional gatherings (like CAMFT events) is the best way for you to stay in touch with your peers and continue your education. For some, though, it might be easier to do virtually. Social Media can have its drawbacks, for sure, but it can also be very helpful if used properly. Enjoy!

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kelly Winter, MFTI, CLC

    Kelly Winter MS, MFTI is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern and Certified Life Coach. She works in private practice, employed and supervised by Scott Polenz, LMFT. She uses her life experiences and education to help people optimize transitional phases of life, specifically divorce and remarriage, thereby improving their future.  In her off-time, she serves on the CAMFT-CSJV Chapter Board of Directors as Secretary. She is a pop culture geek, fempreneur, epic TV-fandom junkie, and a raving 12 - Go Seahawks! You can read more HERE


  • 03/28/2016 6:51 PM | Kelly Winter (Administrator)


    WRITTEN BY: KELLY WINTER MFTI, CLC

    Once the weather starts to warm up it’s time to open our windows again and breathe fresh air into our homes, offices, and lives. Packed away are the heavy, dark fabrics and colors of Autumn and Winter. We clean our homes from top to bottom and plant bulbs in the garden to bloom and bask in the summer sun.  This is a perfect time for us to channel the renewed energy of Spring and apply it to our professional lives; namely, our online presence.

    In a previous career, I owned a retail clothing shop and one of the cardinal rules in retail is: change it up! Ever notice that when it’s been a few months since you’ve visited a store, everything has changed? Maybe the layout of the aisles is the same but the merchandise is different and so is the set dressing.

    We can morph the retail cardinal rule and apply it to our professional presence online. We change things seasonally in our offices (or as much as we can control if working in an agency setting) so why not our online “offices?” When was the last time you updated your website or various online profiles? The idea is to keep your site (or page, profile, etc.) fresh and involved. The more engaged you are, the more active your page appears.

    In the spirit of Spring revival, here are some tips to update your online presence and keep things fresh.

    1)    Change Visuals

    • a.    Update headshots: Very few of us like to take professional photos, but take a look at yours. Are you wearing a sweater? A jacket? Dark colors? Inside a closed up room? Take some new photos to freshen your look and match the season we’re in.  Try to wear lighter colors and take a nature shot. You can make an indoor picture seem outdoorsy by posing in front of a backdrop with an outdoor scene or pastel colors.
    • b.    Brighten your page colors: Switch any background colors that you can control to lighter shades of your current color. You don’t have to go drastic here, just a bit lighter or brighter will breathe new life to your site. UxMovement has a great article about using color psychology on websites. You can read it here
    2)    Update Profiles
    • a.    Keep it relevant: When we first create our website or any profiles, it is not uncommon to be in a different place professionally than we are presently. How long ago was that? Have you developed a bit of a niche since then? Have you lessened your focus on something your old content is highlighting?
    • b.    Add any new certifications: We are constantly updating our skills, so make sure your audience knows it. You can list these on your About page too.
    • c.     Add/Delete any insurances: This one is easy to overlook because contracting with an insurance company gets us listed on their site and our phone starts ringing. Don’t forget to let your own pool of potential clients know.  
    • d.    Check ALL of your profiles: Copy/paste the same updated info to all the sites you are listed on. Including:

    •                                           i.    Psychology Today
    •                                         ii.    Counseling California
    •                                        iii.    Good Therapy
    •                                        iv.    CAMFT
    •                                         v.    CAMFT-CSJV Chapter
    •                                        vi.    LinkedIn
    •                                       vii.    Any others
    3)    Streamline Social Media
    • a.    Check for consistency:  Make sure your message is the same no matter where someone finds you. Copy/paste the same verbiage in your About sections.
    • b.    Create a uniformed look: Use the same profile picture and banner for each account. This should complement the look of your website.
    4)    Use a Social Media Manager
    • a.    How many of us have gone to post something on our Facebook business page and checked our personal notifications while there, ‘just real quick’?  Thirty minutes and two quizzes later, we realize that we forgot to post in the first place?
    • b.    Check out apps like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, or Buffer. These apps post the same post to all of your Social Media sites at once.
    • c.     Lessen time spent posting, keeping you from falling into the time suck that is the Internet. Since it’s a separate app, you don’t even see your pages when posting.
    • d.    Hit ALL our followers: The same post will show up on all of the tied Social Media accounts. That way our Instagrammers are seeing the same thing as our Facebook followers (often a different demographics).
    • e.    Scheduling future posts. In just a few hours you can schedule your posts for the entire month. Major productivity increase!

    It is best to allow yourself a definite start and end time for all of this – say, one weekend. You can take some new headshots during the week and figure out the changes to your online accounts. Take the weekend to divide and conquer your online presence. Use the energy of this Springtime to really spruce up your online persona – attracting more clients and great colleagues.    

     ABOUT THE AUHOR: Kelly Winter, MFTI, CLC

    Kelly Winter MS, MFTI is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern and Certified Life Coach. She works in private practice, employed and supervised by Scott Polenz, LMFT. She uses her life experiences and education to help people optimize transitional phases of life, specifically divorce and remarriage, thereby improving their future.  In her off-time, she serves on the CAMFT-CSJV Chapter Board of Directors as Secretary. She is a pop culture geek, fempreneur, epic TV-fandom junkie, and a raving 12 - Go Seahawks! You can read more HERE


  • 02/14/2016 5:50 PM | Kelly Winter (Administrator)

     AUTHOR: RUSSELL JENSEN, LMFT


    Every relationship requires a specific set of boundaries and connections necessary for that relationship to function in a healing and supportive way. The parameters necessary for a healthy parent/child relationship are going to be different than the parameters necessary for a healthy romantic couple. These are two relationship types we readily acknowledge as a place for love to exist. Though less talked about, love does show up in the therapist/client relationship. And with parameters appropriate to that relationship, it can be healing for the client and therapist alike. Now let’s talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of it.

    The Good

    Scientists, mystics, poets, scholars, songwriters, and even pscyhologists site evidence and instinct to suggest that love is a powerful healer.  Many times, our client’s come to us with such shame and fear, they cannot tolerate opening themselves up to be loved in a less-structured relationship. When a therapist lays out a relationship contract that provides a client with a level of security that previous relationships did not provide, then offers them a (clinically-informed) open heart, that client begins to develop new relationship styles that let love in. We are often the first in a person’s life to offer them loving-kindness, and if we are successful, we will not be the last.

    The Bad

    We all agree that therapists need to be dedicated to meeting our clients with unconditional positive regard, commitment to dialogue, trust maintenance, and compassion. All of these qualities dance around the word ‘love’. In a clinical discussion, ‘love’ can be too hard to define, making these other words safer to use. Because love is such a loaded and undefined word, it’s typically clinically problematic to tell a client, “I love you.”

    Unless you have the most ideal relationship-development history, boundaries can be much harder to set when you love your client. When an energy/emotion as big as love is present, the stakes often feel higher and our old ‘stuff’ is more likely to rear its ugly head and fetter our abilities to stay centered in the relationship.

    If a therapist doesn’t have self-love, concrete ethical standards, commitment to ongoing education, sufficient therapy and supervision, it will likely be a disaster to open their hearts too widely in their therapist/client relationships. Love can go from campfire to forest fire without the right care and respect. But in those forest fire cases, it’s not the love that is the problem, but the containment. Our contract and ethical standards are not created to snuff out the fire, but to hold it for our clients like a candle in a storm.

    The Ugly

    We don’t have to love our clients. The intention of this article is not to add another “should” to your plate, but to give therapists license to talk about this in supervision, and to give ourselves credit for the heartfelt work we do. If we don’t love our clients there is probably a very important reason on one or both sides of the fence that deserves respect and careful exploration.

    Sometimes we can’t find love for a client, other times our heart breaks so much for a client that our clinical lens becomes fogged and internal supports can collapse. In many cases we often come home from work filled with love, heartbreak, joy, sadness, and all those emotions in between.

    The road to professional development is not always pretty and not always easy. It is often much easier to approach the therapist/client relationship acting as the distant professor, the judge, the problem solver, the expert. To sit with a client with an open heart through their pain and suffering, is an act of love that some people will only experience from their therapist. Long gone are the days we consider ourselves blank slates. We dive into deep emotional experiences with an ethical commitment to maintain a grasp on solid ground. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we can’t go deep enough, and sometimes we lose ground

    The Moral of the Story 

    The history of psychotherapy is checkered with the best and worst of humanity. Measurable outcome studies continue to have trouble collecting data to evidence positive behavior change as a result of therapy. All over the world, therapists are doing sometimes great and sometimes terrible jobs supporting their clients through some of the most difficult circumstances known to man.

    And amidst all the successes and failures, there are a large group of people offering their love in the form of a highly outlined relationship, so that others may feel safe enough to expose the moments in their lives and parts of themselves that need love the most. I hope we continue to evolve the profession so that our love may become our legacy.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: RUSSELL JENSEN, LMFT

    Russell Jensen, LMFT operates a private practice and also works with students at CUSD. He has a deep passion for improving Fresno and local communities through a clinically-informed movement: bringing a greater level of mindfulness, social justice, love, and respect to the client/therapist relationship. Read more about Russell Jensen, LMFT HERE and HERE.

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Your article can be in listicle, infogram, meme, or straight paragraph form. Please keep in mind that the more white space the easier to read. Notice how I have used short paragraphs, a bullet list, and numbered list in this posting. Our audience is our professional peers so gear posts that way. Write in a tone that is casual, positive, and informative; but no slang or overly technical jargon. Imagine you are speaking to a peer at a business event. When you pitch us your idea, think about what you think we want to hear or learn more about. Keep in mind things that are currently in the news, seasonal issues, or things that are relevant to our profession. We are looking to post something every Friday but will post more as supplu and demand dictate. You can submit more than one idea, just submit! 

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