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The Redwood Empire Therapist

RECAMFT's Online Newsletter

December 2023

Working with Dissociative Disorders and Plural Communities

Friday, December 1st, 2023

9:00 am - 1:30 pm


4.0 CEs

Presented by

Serenity Serseción, PhD

    Register here.

    Justice Project Book Discussion Group: Gender Queer: A Memoir written by Maia Kobabe

    The RECAMFT Racial and Social Justice Committee invites all RECAMFT members to participate in this Zoom discussion group on:

    Wednesday, December 13, 2023
    12 pm to 1:15 pm

    Open to all RECAMFT members - FREE! Register here.

    This discussion group will be hosted by Linda Block, Drew Crawford, and Bobbi Rose. This book is the most banned book in America. Come see what all the fuss is about! 


    Click any section to jump to the article.

    Featured member

    Did you miss the BBS-MANDATED  3 CE Telehealth course? 

    Woman on computer

    Telehealth: Law & Ethics, Technology, and Best Practices for Connecting with Your Clients with Lisa Wenninger, BC-TMH

    Catch it on video here, and get your mandated 3 Telehealth CEs.           Return to top

    RECAMFT's Mission Statement

    The purpose of RECAMFT is to promote and maintain professional competence and integrity with knowledge, innovation, compassion, humor and respect for human dignity and diversity.

    We do this by providing opportunities for networking, education and community outreach.

    Ethics Roundtable

    Got a sticky problem?

    Come discuss it confidentially with your colleagues at our next Ethics Roundtable

    Lightbulb with hearts

    Not consultation, just a great way to get some ideas about how to handle your sticky case. Friendly and open group.  Learn more here.

    • Fri., February 23,  2024
    • 12 to 1:30 pm
    • Zoom
    • Register here.
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      Did you get your Pride sticker shown below in the mail? If not, please let us know: 

      Warning signMembers! Your SHORT DESCRIPTION is the most important thing on your profile. Why? Because that shows in our online directory. It matters! Please log in and complete yours today! 

      President's Message:

      A Holiday Reflection with Peace and Love . . . . and Maybe Joy, Too

      By Gina Culver, LMFT


      ‘Tis the season of change as 2023 winds down and the new year is sparkling on the horizon – just out of reach. This year has had much to reflect on: my mom’s 10th death anniversary, my sister’s 1st death anniversary, personal life changes, work changes, my private practice growing, signing my first professional lease, RECAMFT presidency, applying for my doctorate program, completing a TF-CBT certification program, big life changes for friends, taking on my first supervisee as a clinical supervisor. There has been a lot going on, both positive and negative.

      As the holidays loom (not my favorite time of year), I find myself thinking about the growth and challenges I have experienced as president. I have learned a lot and have been grateful for the support and cheers I have received from you, our RECAMFT membership. This role is an important one. I saw the inner workings, changes I would like to see, exciting new happenings, as well as hearing from and supporting the members. We had our first in-person CE event at the end of October. This was the first one since COVID started in March 2020. It is hard to wrap my mind around how much has been achieved and how far we have come in 3.5 years.

      As 2023 comes to a close, I am starting to prepare for the transition to my role in 2024 as Past President while welcoming our new President, Dr. Robert Casanova. I am finding myself a little tearful as I write this as I have worked hard to support all of you and to help keep RECAMFT running with our fabulous Board of Directors and Executive Committee weighing in and offering guidance throughout this year. Feelings of gratitude, but also grief with the upcoming change.

      What I am experiencing is a micro version of what many feel this time of year. I want to also ask each of us to take a moment of silence and reflection this holiday season, especially in light of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. My heart goes out to all affected, both abroad and families here in the US - people we know and love. Please pat yourselves on the back for the work you do. Take a moment (or two or twelve) to rest and practice self-care. Take a deep breath as needed. My deepest gratitude to all of you for making our RECAMFT community welcoming, warm, and enjoyable.

      With peace, love, and joy,

      Gina L. Culver, MS, LMFT


      Gina Culver, LMFT is a Program Director at LifeWorks and has a private practice in Santa Rosa. She is the 2023 President of RECAMFT.

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      We Need You! Jobs for Awesome Volunteers

      We STILL need help with

      • Programs Director
      • Programs Committee Assistant
      • Newsletter Editor Assistant (ideally comfortable with web publishing, blogs, social media, etc.)
      • Tech 2 - Social Media Manager

      Please send an email to if you can help.       Return to top

      Programs Committee Update

      Welcome back, RECAMFT community! We are so excited to share some of the upcoming monthly CE events coming this fall:

      CAMFT events to consider attending:

      • May 2024, CAMFT Annual Conference in Southern California

      We are still reviewing applications for presentations to be scheduled for Spring 2024. Please submit an application if you have a presentation idea.

      Are you interested in seeing what we have coming up? Consider microvolunteering with the Programs & Conferences Committee! Microvolunteering opportunities: screening speaker applications; providing support at in person CE events; monitoring Q&A for speakers during monthly Zoom presentations. We are especially looking for a Programs Committee Chairperson.

      We look forward to another year of bringing you quality, enriching presentations which support your professional growth and development.

      With gratitude,
      The Programs & Conferences Committee

      Prelicensed Support - 3000 Hour Club

      Meet RECAMFT's Prelicensed Chair and Director at Large, Jessica Heaney, AMFT. She is a graduate of Touro University Worldwide, and is now working for Seneca's Wraparound Program. Jessica is hosting our newly named 3000 Hour Club for Prelicensed Members monthly events on the first Friday monthly. 3-5 PM. Learn more here. Contact Jessica at   

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      Megaphone Black Lives MatterCall for Submissions for the Jan. 2024 Issue of The RECAMFT Therapist! 

      January is Mental Wellness Month, Poverty Awareness Month, and Veganuary. We also celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day - 3rd Monday in January, and International Holocaust Remembrance Day - January 27.  We especially welcome submissions where these themes intersect with mental health. Please send your submission (500 word max) to by the 15th. Questions?               Return to top

      KnittingAre you creative? Join us for our Crafting Group

      Bring any craft you like, get on Zoom with us and visit with your colleagues while

      we knit, sew, paint, draw, cook, create, etc. 

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      December Compassion Fatigue Peer Support Group Meeting

      Open umbrellas

      • Fri., Dec. 15th
      • 10:30 - 12:00pm
      • Register here.

      RECAMFT's Racial and Social Justice Pledge

      RECAMFT is committed to equity including addressing structural racism and systemic injustice. We endeavor to be inclusive and value individuals from all ethnicities, ages, races, sexual orientations, genders, languages, abilities, religions, citizenship statuses, and socioeconomic backgrounds into our chapter and into treatment.

      We strive to advocate, educate, collaborate, and strategize for positive racial and social justice change within our membership and our community.

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      Have you written a book? 

      Be sure to let us know so we can include it on our Library page. Email

      RECAMFT LogoParticipate in the Justice Project :  Antiracism by 12/31/23 and receive a lovely Certificate of Achievement for your wall! Click here to find out more. 

      Your online Election Ballot will be coming soon in early December. You will need to be logged in to your RECAMFT account to vote.  Read about the candidates on our Elections page

      More RECAMFT Events! 

      Prelicensed, Crafts, Ethics, Board

      Check out all the following events!

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      Advertise Jobs here!

      Contact to advertise a job. 

      Programs Committee positions are available. Is it you? 

      NMCS logoJoin a dynamic team providing trauma-informed care in Novato! North Marin Community Services seeks a bilingual (English/Spanish) mental health clinician who is passionate about community mental health, focusing on Spanish-speaking participants (both uninsured and with Medi-Cal). Applicants can be at the associate or licensed level.

      Thoughts from the Racial & Social Justice Committee (RSJC)

      Changes coming to RSJC

      The Racial and Social Justice Committee is re-evaluating itself and how to best fulfill its mission. Co-Chairs Linda Block and Katharina Kienböck are stepping down, and we thank them profusely for their service. In the interim Randy Cheek has volunteered to serve as Interim Co-Chair through April 2024. The Board has authorized RSJC to do some consultation with Dr. Shawan Worsley, PhD, LMFT once they have honed exactly what Dr. Worsley can do to assist with furthering its mission. Look for a call for new committee members early in 2024. 

      RECAMFT's Listserv For All! Check it out! 

      Our listserv has over 400 members on it, and is active daily with great conversations, resources, offerings, in search of, books, movies, office rentals, jobs, internships, etc. You can view the home page of our listserv at

      If you are not currently enrolled in the listserv, please email and ask to be added. You have the option of setting up your account to be 

          • Read individual emails
          • Read a digest of 12 emails
          • Or read online only

      After you have been added to the listserv, you can change the way you receive the emails to any of the above choices. In Gmail the emails will appear under your Forums tab. To send an email to the listserv, simply address your email to

      If you do not want to be on our listserv, you can delete your account or write to and ask to not be a part of the listserv. But we urge you to give it a try. You are missing out on a ton of meaningful collaboration with your colleagues. We hope you will enjoy being part of our online community! 

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      Members - Check out our Free CE Library!

      Peeking out a window shadeMembers - you can access recordings of our zoom events from 2023, 2022, and 2021  in our Free CE Library. Watch the video, pass the test, fill out the evaluation, and download your certificate. It's that easy! You can earn CEs for any recorded event if you didn't already earn CEs from the live event. You must be logged in to see the library here:

      Here are just a few of the engaging titles currently available: 
      • Transforming Trauma: The NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) for Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resolving Complex Trauma, with Brad Kammer, LMFT
      • Affirmative Therapy with Trans/Gender Expansive Clients, with Melle Browning, LMFT 
      • Therapy with South Asian American Women, with Shipra Maurya, PsyD 
      • Found at Sea: Depth Psychotherapy for Unfathomed Times, with Molly Merson, LMFT 
      • Cultural Competency: Working with First Responders, with Dr. Joel Fay, Psy.D. 
      • Brainspotting: Trauma Therapy that Works! with Lisa Larson, LMFT 
      • And many more!
      Accessing the video library is easy. Simply log in to your member account on our website, navigate to the "CE Video Library" section, and start exploring. Each video is a live recording of our monthly programs and includes any handouts that were made available. Earn those much-needed CEs at your own pace. We update the CE library after every live event, so if you miss one, you can check back here to recover those CEs.         Return to top

      On-Demand Store!

      Introducing our On-Demand StoreNow, even non-members can benefit from RECAMFT's extensive CE video library by purchasing select individual video programs in our On-Demand Store. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to our friendly support team at We are here to help!  

      You can also visit our On-Demand Store to purchase CE presentations that were not offered free with membership, and it is not required to be a RECAMFT member for purchase:  We have plans to release more programs to the On-Demand Store in the coming months.

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      RECAMFT leaf logo

      Notes from RECAMFT's Law & Ethics Training - Part 1

      By Randy Cheek, LMFT

      RECAMFT recently held its first “live” continuing education workshop since the onset of the pandemic.  We had the opportunity to have a program on Law and Ethics by CAMFT’s Luke M. Martin, JD, MBA.  The program was held at the Agatha Furth Center in Windsor.  We had 57 participants attend.  The last time I attended a program at the Furth Center we were packed in very closely (ah, the good old days).  This event made the center look very spacious; some participants had a table to themselves.  It felt like a very safe space.  Some participants wore masks, and some didn’t.  We kept the doors open to allow plenty of fresh air to circulate.  I was glad to see many colleagues for the first time in a few years. 

      Luke Martin had some rather big shoes to fill by stepping into offering a Law and Ethics class  that was offered for many years by Dave Jensen, JD.  Plus his boss attended! It was great having Joy Alafia, MBA, CAMFT Executive Director there, too. Luke experienced some minor technical difficulties with the slides and sound yet he found a way to both overcome the technical issues.  He kept participants engaged by having many useful Q and A  opportunities.  Prior to attending the program I downloaded his slides and quickly became overwhelmed by the number of slides (105) and their density. 

       The foci of Luke’s program was how “ How to Avoid Lawsuits and Complaints”.  This daylong event was divided into three sections:

      1. How to avoid being sued by a client.
      2. How to avoid being sued by an employee
      3. How to avoid being sued by a third party

      After looking at his outline I came up with three quick and easy solutions to avoid the mess of lawsuits or complaints.

      1. Don’t have any clients - after all they can become problematic.
      2. Don’t have any employees - the required paperwork can be daunting. So, no associates, billing staff, bookkeepers or accountants as they may become disgruntled and sue us or file a complaint.  Wait!  This could add to underemployment in Sonoma County.
      3. Don’t deal with any third parties including insurance companies, managed care companies, custodians or landscapers.  Oh wait, then we might not be compensated for our services or have a clean and welcoming office environment. 

      Hmmm, I guess I’ll find a cave to go meditate in and just avoid having a career.  Well, those aren’t good solutions though I would become a very mellow hermit (Stephen Pastis refers to his character as “the Wise Ass on this hill” in the cartoon “Pearls before Swine”).  Since my initial solutions weren’t useful I decided to read Luke’s slides prior to attending, to listen carefully and have some brief meaningful sidebars with my good friend Michael Krikorian who also attended.

      Luke’s presentation was effective at raising the tension level about Law and Ethics while simultaneously addressing ways to reduce this professional angst.  He offered clear guidelines for having a successful practice and remaining safe.  His global solutions included maintaining clear and safe professional boundaries with our clients, utilizing evidenced based treatment strategies, keeping clear and concise clinical records, document every session, phone call, text or email with our clients, and document consultations with colleagues or consultants.  Luke suggested if we keep an anecdotal file on our clients, thesis notes should be kept separate from the clinical record.  I was relieved to hear this since that has been my practice for many years.  I kept my anecdotal files in a locked cabinet in my home office. He also made an interesting point for therapists who provide therapy for teens and children. We must keep their records for seven years after their 18th birthday.

      To be continued in the January 2024 Newsletter….

      Randy Cheek, LMFTRandy Cheek, LMFT has a private practice in Santa Rosa, CA. Randy is currently serving as a Director at Large on RECAMFT's Board of Directors, and is part of our Racial and Social Justice Committee. 

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      SAVE THE DATE! Fri., Jan. 5th

      Attachment Infused Addiction Treatment

      The Attachment Infused Addiction Treatment model, developed by Mary Crocker Cook, is based on a simple proposal: individuals develop a secure attachment to substances to self-soothe in the absence of adults who cannot see and hear us accurately. While the use of substances is a reliable strategy that makes sense to the user, addiction hijacks the individual’s ability to form effective self-regulation skills and utilize support to achieve long-term sobriety.

      Participants take a deep-dive into the Attachment Infused Addiction Treatment (AIAT) Model via a clinical case review illustrating the strengths and challenges of this innovative approach. The model targets relapsing clients unsuccessful in treatment due to disrupted early attachment. Return to top

      Supporters - we appreciate you! 

      Scholarships, Honors and Awards

      About the Joe and Pamela Ward Memorial Scholarship

      Joe and Pamela WardThis scholarship program was established in 2021 to honor the legacy of our late Administrative Consultants, who were known for their exceptional generosity, kindness, and special affinity for supporting early career clinicians.  RECAMFT awards three scholarships of $1000 each and a free year-long membership. All Pre-Licensed and Newly-Licensed chapter members are eligible to apply. 

      The funds that make these awards possible have been generously donated by members of our chapter and are doubled by matching funds authorized by our Board of Directors. Your donations will go twice as far! Please visit to give a tax-free donation today!           

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      Find out more about advertising with RECAMFT here

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      Members Messages 

      Your Members Message can go here next time!

      Members can submit an article of up to 500 words for publication. Please submit before the 15th monthly to 

      "Shape the Future with RECAMFT – Join Our Board Today!"

      By Dr. Laura Strom, PsyD, LMFT

      2022 RECAMFT President

      RECAMFT logoAs someone deeply committed to the growth and well-being of our community, I have a special invitation for you. Consider this your personal call to action: join us in steering the future of RECAMFT as part of our Board of Directors!

      We're looking for passionate leaders like you and we have important positions open for Directors-At-Large (DAL):

      As a DAL, you will
      1) Attend monthly Board meetings (second Fridays, 9-11 AM on Zoom, no meeting in July).
      2) Participate in our day-long Annual Board Retreat in August (in-person).
      3) Read all written materials and be familiar with them before each Board meeting, including the agenda and minutes.
      4) Keep confidential all business which requires confidentiality. This continues after Board service has ended
      5) Support RECAMFT initiatives with participation whenever possible.

      The Board of Directors job descriptions are listed on our Publications page under the About Us tab.

      We are seeking individuals who are
      • Passionate about marriage and family therapy.
      • Eager to contribute their skills and expertise.
      • Committed to ethical, transparent, and inclusive leadership.
      • Want to grow professionally and personally.
      • Ready to commit their time and energy to our cause.
      How to Apply?
      Simple! Send an email expressing your interest along with your resume to by December 1, 2023. Your application will be reviewed, and someone will call you. We appreciate you submitting an application to be considered for potential board service. 


      Our Election cycle will begin in early December, concluding by 12/31/23 at 5 pm. View the Elections - December 2023 page here. Will your picture appear on our ballot, too? We hope so! Curious to find out more? Please send your interest or questions to and a Board Member will arrange a phone call with you to tell you about the experience of being on the Board of a top CAMFT chapter. It's a great job to add to your resume!

      Curious about the Board Experience? Send me your questions, or better yet, let's have a chat! I would love to talk with you about what it means to be part of my favorite Board in the whole Universe! Just call me at 707-889-9168

      Your voice, your skills, and your passion are exactly what RECAMFT needs. Are you ready to join us on this fulfilling journey?

      WIth gratitude and appreciation for this dynamic community,

      Warm regards,
      Laura Strom
      Past President,

      Dr. Laura Strom, PsyD, LMFTDr. Laura C. Strom, PsyD, LMFT has a private practice in Santa Rosa, CA. Dr. Strom served as CAMFT's state 2015-16 President. She recently served as RECAMFT's President in 2021-22. 

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      Paula DuVanderPast President Honor Roll

      Meet RECAMFT's 1996 President 

      Paula DuVander, PsyD, LMFT 

      Paula DuVander, PsyD, LMFT is passionate about Soul Collage and thinks everybody could benefit from making at least one card. You can see her talking about it in this 2 minute video. 1996 stood out as the year President Clinton blocked a ban on late-term abortions, and Benjamin Netanyahu was elected Israel's prime minister planting seeds which have become very significant today. 

      Thank you, Paula, for planting seeds for us with your service to RECAMFT!   

      Want to see all our Past Presidents? Click here.    Return to top

      Thank you for reading this month's newsletter! RECAMFT is great because of involved members like you!!

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