Hot Off the Press

  • 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:
    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:
    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:
    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:
    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:

    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!


    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)


    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)


    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.


    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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