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The Redwood Empire Therapist

RECAMFT's Online Newsletter

March 2024

In-person Petaluma Law & Ethics

Gourmet snacks and lunch, walking trails, visit with colleagues - don't miss it! 


Calendar, woman and dog.

This month's event... New Great Location!

Petaluma Community CenterPetaluma Community Center - Assembly Hall, 320 N McDowell Blvd, Petaluma CA 94954. This is a lovely site. You can sit on the grass by the lake during lunch and feed the ducks. The Lynch Creek Trail is a hiking trail available behind the building and game fields. Photo found here. MAP HERE

We've heard your requests for an event in Petaluma, so we're pleased to announce this year's Law & Ethics will be held at the Petaluma Community Center, 320 North McDowell Blvd. 

Law & Ethics: SCU (Special Compliance Unit):

"How to Face Malpractice Lawsuits, BBS Complaints, and Ethics Complaints with Clarity and Confidence Updated with Considerations for Medicare"

  • Sat., March 30thBrad Muldrow, Esq, CAMFT Staff Attorney
  • 8:30 to 4:15 PM 
  • 6 CEs
  • Presented by CAMFT Staff Attorney
  • Bradley Muldrow, Esq.
  • Petaluma Community Center, 320 North McDowell Blvd. MAP
  • Catered lunch included
  • Bring a blanket if you want to sit outside at lunch, or walking shoes for the trails there. 

Map to Lynch Creek Trail

Thank you to Newport Academy for sponsoring this year's Annual Law & Ethics! 

Ketamine and Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy - New Options for Treating Suicidal Ideation

Presented by

Liminal Medicine

Suegee Tamar-Mattis, DO

Celeste Monnette, LCSW

Moksha Donohue, LMFT

Friday, April 5th, 2024

10:00 am - 12:15 pm

Zoom, 2.0 CEs


Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is at the forefront of the psychedelic psychotherapy movement. When used under proper medical and therapeutic supervision, ketamine can provide near-immediate relief from emotional pain, while helping individuals look deeply into themselves. It has been shown to quickly help with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) as well as chronic suicidal ideation.



Author and CBT Expert Jennifer Shannon, LMFT will present a 2 hour CE program covering her latest work. 

Jennifer's book, Don't Feed the Monkey Mind combines CBT, ACT and mindfulness exercises to help the reader get control of anxiety, fear and worry. More...


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

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., June 21st,  2024
  • 12 to 1:30 pm
  • Zoom
  • Register here.
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    March Compassion Fatigue Peer Support Group Meeting

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

    Artist paints with brush

    Are 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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    Have you written a book? 

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

    President Elect's Message:

    Lead with Impact: Join RECAMFT's Board and Committees

    By Emily Larkin, LMFT

    Dear RECAMFT Colleagues:

    Emily LarkinI am excited to be RECAMFT's President Elect this year, with the opportunity to learn the role from Dr. Bob Casanova, PsyD, LMFT. This year will also be a time of great change and excitement for me as I become a new mother this June.

    I'm writing today about something that speaks to my heart. My first active role in RECAMFT was when I volunteered in 2020 to join the newly established Racial and Social Justice Committee (RSJC). I was immediately struck by the passion of our members, and the energy invigorated me. I found myself leaning into the work even deeper than before. I felt that I could be of service and support causes that are important to me in ways I hadn’t previously considered.

    Dr. Laura Strom, PsyD, LMFT attended one of our RSJC meetings in her role as our President in 2021. Afterwards she called me and asked if I would be willing to accept a Board appointment as a Director at Large to replace a vacancy. I attended a Board meeting, and when I experienced the cohesiveness, warmth, and respect of the Board, I decided to accept. After a year as Director at Large, I was voted to serve as RECAMFT’s Board Secretary last year and made the big decision to run for our President Elect position. I am excited to be here during our 50th anniversary year, and to be thinking about the next 50 years to come!

    My life changed when I decided to become more involved with RECAMFT and has led to a tremendous amount of growth for me, both personally and professionally. Serving on a committee, and ultimately the Board, has provided me with wonderful opportunities to be at the forefront of change for RECAMFT, fostered new connections, and brought me a greater sense of purpose. For those seeking ways to make a difference for yourself and others within the mental health community, I encourage you to consider joining a RECAMFT committee.

    RECAMFT has wonderful, dedicated, and innovative members on our committees, but we are in need of more volunteers. The Prelicensed Committee needs student, prelicensed, and newly licensed leadership to help grow our program. The Programs Committee needs support to continue brainstorming and inviting stellar speakers and planning engaging events. The Racial and Social Justice Committee needs new members to identify areas where continuing education and growth are needed both within our organization and our community.

    Please read about these committees with the links above. If your heart is calling you to help shape RECAMFT's future please send an email to for us to find a time to chat. I would be happy to share more about these committees and all of the opportunities to serve.

    What is your vision for the next 50 years of RECAMFT? How will you create a legacy for our future LMFTs? I can't wait to find out!

    With warmth and gratitude,

    Emily Larkin, LMFT

    President Elect,

    P.S. We've heard your requests for HYBRID meetings. A group of members will be getting training in how to run a hybrid meeting in early April. We do want to offer them, and do it right. They are coming... 

    Emily Larkin, LMFTEmily Larkin, LMFT is the 2025 President of RECAMFT. She has a private practice in Sebastopol, CA.  

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    Prelicensed Support - 3000 Hour Club

    The Board assigned a Task Force to examine the best ways to engage and serve our prelicensed members. Now we are ready for new Students, Prelicensed and Newly Licensed Members to join our Prelicensed Committee. If you are interested in helping with the Prelicensed Committee, please let us know by emailing your interest to  Come on, you know you want to! Just do it!!  

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    Programs Committee Update

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

    RECAMFT Zoom presentations

    • Fri., April 5th - Liminal Medicine will discuss Ketamine use for depression and suicidality
    • May 3rd - Teresa Bertoncin will offer insight on working with Gen-Zers 
    • June 7th - our own Jennifer Shannon, LMFT and author of Don't Feed the Monkey Mind will present!
    • Sept. 6th - Dr. Jenn Kennedy, PhD, LMFT, CSAT, Sex Therapist "How Sexuality Influences The Clinical Picture For Female Clients"
    • Nov. 1st - Dr. Shawn Giammattei, PhD, "Affirmative Family Therapy with Gender Diverse People and Their Loved Ones"  

    CAMFT events to consider attending:

    • Friday, May 3rd and Sat. May 4th, 2024, CAMFT Annual Conference at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott. More...

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

    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

    Save the date! Coming May 3rd...

    No Shortcuts: Gen-Z and the Hero's Journey

    Presented by

    Teresa Bertoncin, LMFT, LPCC

    Friday, May 3rd, 2024

    10:00 am - 12:15 pm

    Zoom, 2.0 CEs

    Join us for Teresa Bertoncin's fascinating look at the Gen-Z population (those born between 1995-2012) seen through the eyes of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. Initiatory life and death imagery are explored through the lens of developmental significance and trauma, as well as the concept of metaphorical suicide as a transformational urge. Also considered is the impact and influence of parenting, community, environment, and social media on the success and failure of the initiatory juncture. This presentation will look at various research that underscores relevant struggles and interruptions, as well as examples of cause and presentation of those struggles. Integrative approaches will be addressed that provide trauma resolution while building and establishing an internal locus of control and resiliency.

    Register here.

    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! 

    We Need You! Jobs for Awesome Volunteers

    We need help with

    • Prelicensed Committee!
    • Programs Committee
    • Racial & Social Justice Committee
    • 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

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

    April is Stress Awareness Month, Earth Month, Alcohol Awareness Month, Arab American Heritage Month, and Autism Acceptance Month. There are numerous days and weeks of significance throughout the month including Earth Day on April 22nd. See more hereWe especially welcome submissions where awareness themes intersect with mental health. Please send your submission (500 word max) to by the 15th. Questions?               Return to top

    Scholarships, Honors and Awards

    2024 Scholarship period now open until April 30th! 

    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 annual 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 apply or give a tax-free donation today!           

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    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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    Advertise Jobs here!

    Contact to advertise a job. 

    Featured member

    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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    What you missed - Danah Davis Williams, LMFT

    Feb. 2, 2024 - "Beyond BPD: Integrating DBT Skills into Comprehensive Psychotherapy Across Ages and Settings"

    Danah Davis Williams, LMFT

    The reviews were clear - everyone agreed Danah Davis Williams, LMFT is an expert at DBT. While they  loved the presenter, there was a general consensus, two hours was not enough time to cover the breadth and width of DBT. Attendees wished there had been time for more hands-on interventions. Next time, we'll have her back for a longer  presentation. Thanks, Danah for a great show! 

    RECAMFT 50th logo

    Praise about the Racial & Social Justice Committee (RSJC)


    RECAMFT Racial and Social Justice Committee! 

    Thanks to our RSJC, RECAMFT took the top award for DEI at the CAMFT Chapter Leadership Conference!!

    Here is a listing of all the CAMFT Chapter Nominees and Winners (bold type) at this year's Chapter Leadership Conference in February 2024. 

     Chapter Awards 2024

    Chapter Excellence Award 2024This is an excerpt from the text about what our chapter did to merit this award. 

    "RSJC working with our Board developed the Justice Projects (

    Members are encouraged to participate in each program, and upon attesting when they have completed the readings, videos, and books outlined for each, they receive a beautiful certificate worthy of displaying in their office. Thus far 17 certificates have been awarded.

    Various CE events were held which can also be credited towards each of the Justice Projects. These have included CE and non-CE discussion groups led by Dr. Shawan Worsley, PhD, LMFT (2 discussion groups, 1 antiracism consultation demonstration), and a panel of RSJC members (2 groups). Six CE speakers offered a total of 23 CEs related to both Justice Projects.

    We decided to introduce each Justice Project with a mailing to all members. The antiracism project included a letter and bookmark with the new Racial and Social Justice Pledge, and description of the self-education program. For LGBTQ+ Affirming Care, we developed new adapted logos with rainbow rings to highlight RECAMFT’s newest Justice Project and mailed all members a sticker. Photos of placed stickers were featured in our newsletters.

    RECAMFT developed a scholarship program for Prelicensed/newly licensed members ( The eligibility criteria states, “Priority will be given to those who are underrepresented in the mental health field (BIPOC, disabilities, LGBTQ+, elders, etc.).”

    Our RSJC ( also provided updated content for two resource pages.

    By touching our membership with mailings of the bookmark and the sticker, over the last 12 months, our chapter obtained 72 new members, roughly 11% growth.

    We developed a new outreach brochure for the local colleges who offer programs for masters-level students in LMFT training programs featuring clinicians of color.

    Our Joe and Pamela Ward Memorial Scholarship has given out $5000 in scholarships for five Prelicensed/newly licensed members over the last two years. Three of the five identify with an underrepresented group (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, etc.)."

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    Statement of Acknowledgement from the RSJC

    While RECAMFT is proud of winning this CAMFT Chapter Excellence Award for DEI, we acknowledge that as an organization there is still work to be done. We are committed to carrying out this work as a community of healers, and humbly dedicate ourselves to leaning in towards the deeper work within the communities we serve, our membership, and ourselves. 

    Every voice is essential and valuable in building RECAMFT into what we all hope it can and should be. We welcome feedback regarding our ongoing efforts to create inclusive, equitable safe spaces. Please help us as we continue to learn and grow together.

    RECAMFT Racial and Social Justice Committee

    March 15, 2024

    People around a large starWould you like to be a part of RECAMFT's award-winning Racial and Social Justice Committee (RSJC)? We need your input for upcoming projects we hope to accomplish. If you are interested, please send an email stating your interest to

    Members - Check out our Free CE Library!

    Members - you can access recordings of our zoom events from 2023, 2022, and 2021  in our new on-demand library which has been migrated over to Thinkific (

    NEW! RECAMFT On-Demand Programs:

    NEW! RECAMFT discount codes are posted for members only here: (requires sign-in using your RECAMFT member email/password)

    NEW! Dissociative Identity Disorder training (DID). 4 CEs:

    NEW! Ketamine training (May 2023), 2 CEs:

    Members can get 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. 

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    Highlights from RECAMFT's Board of Directors

    The February and March Board meeting highlights... Some of the key issues addressed: 

    • The Board was delighted to find out RECAMFT won the Chapter Excellence Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion! 
    • Tara D'Orazio won the CAMFT 2024 Chapter Leadership Award! 
    • Pat Hromalik presented the Finance Committee's recommendation for how to cut expenses so we do not have to cover with reserves. CAMFT advises chapters to have 3 years operating expenses in reserve funds as a minimum standard. 
    • The Board appointed Jessica Heaney, AMFT and Cynthia Psaila, LMFT to open Director at Large positions through 12/31/2025.
    • The Board is making an outreach in this newsletter for new volunteers for Programs, Prelicensed, Racial and Social Justice Committee (RSJC) members. RSJC has lost people due to attrition, and is in need of quite a few new volunteers. 
    • Board President Casanova asked all Board members to personally call six members and invite them to the March 30th Law & Ethics. 

    Below: Picture from the Board Zoom meeting on March 8th, 2024. 

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    Congratulations to Tara D'Orazio, LMFT, CFO on winning the 2024 CAMFT Chapter Leadership Award!

    Here's the write up from the Awards Booklet.

    Below: Gina Culver and Dr. Bob Casanova accepting the awards for RECAMFT at the Feb. 2024 Chapter Leadership Conference.  CAMFT Executive Director Joy Alafia (left) presented the awards. 

    Supporters & Sponsors - we appreciate you! 

    Find out more about advertising with RECAMFT here

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    Members Messages

    Members please submit your messages by the 15th monthly to have them appear in the Newsletter

    (500 word maximum)

    Book review: Diagnosis Made Easier: Principles and Techniques for Mental Health Clinicians, Third Edition 

    by James Morrison, Author

    Reviewed by Tara D'Orazio, LMFT

    Diagnosis Made Easier: Principles and Techniques for Mental Health Clinicians Third Edition by James Morrison (Author)James Morrison, MD, in his book Diagnosis Made Easier: Principles and Techniques For Mental Health Clinicians, offers an invaluable resource for licensed marriage and family therapists seeking to refine their diagnostic skills. Morrison's work, part of a series dedicated to demystifying the often-intimidating diagnostic process, serves as a practical guide to navigating the complexities of mental health diagnosis with confidence and precision.

    The first part of the book focuses on the foundational principles that underpin his approach to diagnosing, while the second part delves into specific diagnostic categories, such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, and more. One of the cornerstone principles Morrison emphasizes is the importance of observation—how the observable signs of a patient's condition often provide a more reliable basis for diagnosis than the symptoms they report. This approach empowers therapists to rely on their own professional judgment and observational skills, and challenges them to look beyond the patient's words to the subtler nuances of their behavior, enhancing the accuracy of their diagnoses.

    Particularly enlightening is Morrison's caution against hastily diagnosing personality disorders in the presence of comorbid conditions. He observes that symptoms of personality disorders may recede once other mental health conditions are effectively treated. This insight encourages therapists to approach diagnosis with both caution and optimism, recognizing the potential for change in their clients' mental health status.

    The inclusion of case vignettes in each chapter offers a practical application of theoretical knowledge, challenging readers to engage actively with the material.  Each vignette introduces a client scenario, inviting you to refine your diagnostic skills through practice, followed by a detailed analysis of the vignette and insightful commentary on the specific diagnosis being explored.  

    Another standout feature of the book is its inclusion of charts and decision trees, which aid in the differential diagnosis process. These tools help therapists navigate through the maze of symptoms to arrive at precise, step-by-step diagnoses, whether distinguishing between types of anxiety disorders or identifying potential medical causes of mental symptoms.

    Morrison's writing shines with congeniality, humor, and humanity, making complex topics accessible and engaging. His confidence as a teacher and clinician is evident throughout the text through his approachable style. I also purchased two other books in this series by James Morrison: The Mental Health Clinician's Workbook: Locking In Your Professional Skills, a workbook designed to enhance your clinical evaluation and differential diagnosis skills, and DSM-5-TR® Made Easy: The Clinician's Guide to Diagnosis, which offers a breakdown and explanation of the clinical criteria for DSM-5-TR diagnoses. All of James Morrison's works are available through Guilford Press.

    Read a good book lately? Send your review to


    Tara D'Orazio, LMFT has a private practice in Santa Rosa, CA. She is serving as RECAMFT's Chief Financial Officer. Her website is

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    Past President's Notepad

    RECAMFT Shines at the CAMFT Chapter Leadership Conference! 

    By Gina Culver, MS, LMFT

    Gina Culver, LMFT

    This year, I attended CAMFT’s annual Chapter Leadership Conference (CLC), February 2-3, 2024 in person for the first time since the pandemic started. I have attended the last few virtually and have enjoyed the connections I made. Being in person for 2024 was a richer, infinitely better experience.

    Friday started out a little bumpy, waking up early, and the flight was delayed due to stormy weather. Yet we still landed and got to the hotel with plenty of time to spare. Our afternoon was spent in the “Welcome Session” followed by dinner and networking. I met some great people from other chapters. We shared ideas, learned from one another, and enjoyed ourselves. We wrote “what keeps you up at night” on post-its to share with CAMFT staff and each other. At dinner, partaking in the continued conversations and camaraderie were a joy after four long years of not attending live conferences due to the pandemic.

    Saturday we spent all day in lively workshops. CAMFT is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Executive Director Joy Alafia, CAE, shared the current Strategic Plan; areas they are planning to focus on: advocacy/DEI, membership/marketing, and technology; health of the chapters; and CAMFT’s new offices.

    Then came the big event! The Chapter Awards were announced. RECAMFT’s CFO, Tara D’Orazio was awarded the 2024 Outstanding Chapter Leader Award. Tara has worked so hard in our chapter as our President in 2020, and after two years as Past President, she became our CFO. She was a great choice for this award, and I was really pleased to accept it on her behalf, since she was not able to attend.

    I was so proud RECAMFT won the Chapter Excellence Award for Achievement in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) 251+ members. Akiah Selwa (LA CAMFT), Omar Gonzalez-Valentino (IE CAMFT) and I were invited to give a presentation about DEI activities in our respective chapters. I shared about our Justice Projects in Antiracism and LGBTQ+ Affirming Care. RECAMFT has 808 members year-to-date, and we are now CAMFT’s largest chapter!

    Each year’s CLC keynote introduces CAMFT’s theme of the year. The keynote speaker was DJ Johnson, CAE, the Chief Membership and Engagement Officer for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in Washington, DC. He introduced us to “positionality talk”. This concept comes from research, and means looking at one’s own biases, and position within society to note how this might affect the research, including the types of questions the researcher does or doesn’t ask. He challenged us to think about the positionality from which our chapters operate. Do we inspire our members? Are we in alignment with our core values?  

    “The Four Horsemen of disengagement” are confusion/misalignment, burn out, unaccountability, and isolation/detachment according to Mr. Johnson. Breaking into small groups, we analyzed one of the “Horseman” with respect to our chapter. We brainstormed ways to increase volunteer recruitment and engagement.

    “Lightning Labs” gave us the opportunity to share tips to increase recruitment, resources for chapter leaders, member/leader engagement, empowerment, all with speed sharing. Ideas to recruit new members, revenue opportunities, and interesting events/venues rounded this out. We closed with “What three things can I implement right away?”

    As in previous years, I returned home with ideas aplenty, percolating, to share with the RECAMFT Board and committees. CAMFT’s Chapter Leadership Conference is a golden opportunity for us to develop and hone leadership skills. Attending is a priority for our Board members, and all are encouraged to attend. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and encourage our chapter leaders, Board and committee members to make it a goal to attend the CLC on the first weekend of February annually.

    Gina Culver has a private practice in Santa Rosa, CA. She is RECAMFT's current Past President. Gina's website.

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

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