Welcoming 2022 A letter from The FMHCA Office
We are excited for all that we have planned this year, let's do a rundown! Our first in-person event since 2020 is taking place this February- The 2022 Annual FMHCA Conference in Lake Mary Florida. Our 2nd Annual Virtual Summit is taking place from February 25th- March 11th. Our Live Webinar Series Lineup is being released in bathes. Registration will be available all the way through December of 2022. Our On-Demand Series will be growing throughout the year as our live series takes place. Our Registered Mental Health Intern Licensure Exam Scholarship lives on due to your generosity. Winners will be chosen twice this year (6/1 & 12/1). Our member-only discussion room, Alliance, will be held quarterly, remember to make your voice heard by attending each one! To keep our organization's professional development resources accessible to professionals in all stages of their career, the cost of our virtual CE events have remained the same for this year.
We pride ourselves here at FMHCA to deliver the best value we can provide with the budget we are given. Membership dues create this budget and allow for FMHCA to have a legislative presence in our states government, cover fair wages for our part and full time staff, deliver resources (such as this very magazine), have a strong social media presence and more. Our latest Strategic Planning Survey has given us some insight on the needs of our community. It is clear that our membership base is looking for more. This has brought us to the necessary decision of raising our membership rates by $5. Members who cannot afford the increase in membership may apply for assistance through our donation based Hardship Fund. This price increase, alongside an increasing membership base, will allow for FMHCA to take on projects that weren't in our budget in the past. This opportunity to continue to grow does not and will not change our reputation of being the organization that hears you. Thank you for being here with us as we ring in the new year. We stand hopeful that 2022 will bring healing, peace, and prosperity to all. January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
INSESSION January 2022
6 FMHCA's 2022 Board of Directors 8 Overview Effect 10 A Therapist's Wish 11 Mind Games
13 Decreasing Aggression in Children Using Therapeutic Martial Arts
19 18 FMHCA's Favorites 20 How Therapeutic Bloopers Can Lead to Client Change
22 Prevention is Postvention
27 DIY Coconut Oil Lotion Bars 28 Reflect, Relax, Reset
30 FMHCA's New President, Laura Peddie-Bravo 33 Mind Games Answer Key 34 Do's & Don'ts - Social Media & Strategic Marketing Tips to Consider 37 Inadequate Support System: Survival of The Fittest 40 Top Five Characteristics of An Ideal Counselor Supervisor
MAGAZINE 42 Expanding the Mental Health Discourse Beyond the Therapy Room
47 What's Next? Available 2022 Webinar Series & Virtual Summit CE Workshops
44 The Impact of Emotional Abuse 50 Quarterly Legislative Update with 45 Ask AMHCA- Frequently Asked Questions FMHCA's Lobbyist- Corinne Mixon from The American Mental Health Counselors Association's Code of Ethics 52 Bylaws Created and published by The Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA), InSession Magazine is The Magazine Dedicated to Mental Health Providers. Each issue is crafted with our members in mind.
CONTRIBUTE: If you would like to write for InSession magazine or purchase Ad space in the next publication, please email: Naomi Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org
There shall be no discrimination against any individual on the basis of ethic group, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. FMHCA is a chapter of the American Mental Health Counselors Association and is the only organization working exclusively for LMHC's in Florida
DISCLAIMER: Information in InSession Magazine does not represent an official FMHCA policy or position and the acceptance of advertising does not constitute endorsement or approval by FMHCA of any advertised service or product. InSession is crafted based on article submissions received. Articles are categorized between Professional Experience Articles & Professional Resource Articles. Professional Experience Articles are writer's first-person pieces about a topic related to their experience as a mental health professional, or an opinion about a trend in the mental health counseling field. Professional Resource Articles are in-depth pieces intended to provide insights for the author's clinical colleagues on how to be more effective with a particular type of client or a client with a particular disorder, or tips for running their practice more efficiently. Each article is labeled with their article type.
FMHCA's 2022 Board of Directors Deirdra Sanders-Burnett Past-President
Laura Peddie- Bravo President
Kathie Erwin President-Elect
Grace Marin Treasurer
Amanda Landry Secretary
Michael Holler Parliamentarian
Maria Giuliana Northeast Regional Director
Martin Cortez- Wesley Southwest Regional Director
Joe Skelly Northwest Regional Director
We are grateful to the exceptional group of leaders that served in 2021 and to those who are bringing us into 2022.
verview Effect Professional Experience Article
Every living creature strives to survive. For insects, it’s the hope to not be eaten by something bigger. For humans it’s the desire to matter and explore. Whether it’s mattering to someone or something, humans yearn to find purpose. And one way to find ones’ purpose is through the Overview Effect. Originally coined by space philosopher and author, Frank White, the term “Overview Effect” is the shifting of one’s perspective to see the bigger picture. Described by astronauts as they look in on our Blue Planet from space, the Overview Effect has the potential to affect us even if we haven’t been to space. This concept is yet another way we can use the science we learn from space to improve life here on Earth. This time in a clinical therapeutic setting, available to those with an open and curious mind. One of my main goals as a therapist is to guide clients to find their own Overview Effect within their individual lives. Bringing the wisdom of spaceflight to Earth so we can all grow. While we’re still unsure about the psychological processes at play in the Overview Effect, we know it is characterized by a strong emotional response. The Overview Effect has been described as a sense of awe and wonder. This cognitive shift brings about a sense of clarity as the mind considers the big picture of feeling connected to our Earth. The fragility and unity become apparent, as the perspective shift happens. We know as therapists that environmental connectedness (along with social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, financial, and occupational satisfaction) is a dimension of wellness. By focusing on an “on Earth” version of the Overview Effect”, we can start to introduce this cognitive shift in our clients/patients within their own lives. The consideration and exploration of new perspectives can add options for clients if they feel trapped by their stuck points. It creates a connection on an existential level, that can have measurable outcomes. By connecting a client to explore their purpose, values, and beliefs, they can create goals that we as clinicians can help them achieve. Simply put, the Overview Effect helps 8
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clients get out of their head by empowering them to find their meaning. This might translate into sessions by exploring skills that help a client focus on something other than their anxiety. Acknowledgement, holding space for their experience and then showing how to redirect their mind when panic starts. Breaking the feedback loop of panic, by introducing a perspective that breaks the cycle of anxiety. We can encourage our clients to find their place in space if you will. Setting up healthy distractions that can channel their moments of stress/anxiety into eustress. Reminding them to connect with their “why” to help sift through junk anxiety versus real anxiety. Encouraging a client to setup reminders in their daily life as to what their own bigger picture is, and working towards it with small, measurable, and attainable goals. The idea being that investing their emotional energy to something bigger than any one of us, helps to minimize the snowball that anxiety tends to become if left to its own devices. Purpose is a lifelong need. It never goes away, but often changes. We look forward and many times expect linear growth. However, when we look back, we see a meandering path that led us to our present. Life transitions are inevitable as are the feelings that comes along with them. By furthering our awareness of the Overview Effect, we can begin to consider how we contribute to the greater good in our own way. By seeing the bigger picture through a cognitive shift, we’re able to continue adapting to change, build resilience, grit, and ideally live our authentic lives by seeing our place on our beautiful spaceship Earth. Written By: Sharife Gacel, MS, LMHC, LPC Sharife has 10 years of clinical experience. She specializes primarily in anxiety and life transitions. She received an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a BS in Psychology, and a BS in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. She is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and serves on the Board for the Central Florida Astronomical Society. She enjoys scuba diving, playing with her adopted greyhound Anubis, and connecting with others about space.
A Therapist's Wish
Professional Experience Article
The peculiarities of this profession extend outside the office walls, as does any job. Yet, sometimes I think others dismiss the professionalism we mental health therapists uphold, which means it’s vital to take off our therapeutic hats once we lock up our therapy rooms. As the world becomes more chaotic, I am noticing that more people are busting at the seams, desperate to be heard. Like a hiccup that cannot help but erupt from our chests, hopping over boundaries and expelling their stories in rushed and impulsive monologues. That happened today. Someone caught a case of the vulnerability hiccups once they caught wind that I was a therapist. I was at a place where I readily seek asylum from the mayhem of work and the outside world, where I collided paths with a stranger. The interaction hopped from “Hi I’m Yada Yada. I hear you’re a therapist. Good, I need to talk to you,” to a sudden plop into a chair. Next thing I know I am learning about deeply carried wounds and emotional turmoil, the hiccups suddenly turning into word vomit escaping this person’s lips like a waterfall, rushing to find a landing place. You can imagine my discomfort as the word vomit splashed around me. I had hardly had time to cough out my own name. The confirmational nod to my profession seemed to be enough of a trust-fall for this person to plunge into the nitty-gritty about their internal demons. I think it’s about time to create my back-up plan ‘job’ business cards to start handing out to those whom I first meet. On difficult therapy days, I daydream about becoming a janitor. Yep, ladies and gents. A full-blown, navy-blue jumpsuit covered janitor. These are the days where sitting with tangible ‘crap’ seems more enticing than sitting with the ‘crap’ that haunts people in their every waking moments. It’s disheartening when people are aching so deeply for a safe space for their internal distress that they pop at the mention of a therapist. Like the very word is the straw that 10
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broke the camel’s back. I wonder if it’s uncomfortable for others to read about this side of the therapist’s chair. If it is, please know I won’t be offended if you cease reading. Because I get it. Sitting with someone else’s vulnerability is tough. When someone sheds light into their own exposed ‘stuff’, it begs for the listener to resonate with something inside themselves. This requires empathy, and empathy requires a certain level of attendance and energy. We have to be ready to receive someone’s ‘stuff’ in order to foster helpful spaces for vulnerability. Just because I work as a mental health clinician does not mean I am a mental health clinician 24/7. Yikes, I would be a walking shell of a person if that were the case. When I throw on my therapist hat, I prime myself to cultivate safe and empathetic spaces. I fixate on the person or persons sitting in front of me, shoving my ‘stuff’ to the side. I cast away my human reflex of judgement, and I replace this with unconditional positive regard. I feel with you. I hold the space for you, so you can catch your breath, explore, process, cry, scream, whatever it is that is necessary for you and your pursuit of healing. This is heavy, heavy work for a person. That’s why it’s pounded into our schooling to set hard boundaries around our work, so we don’t lose ourselves in the process. It’s way too easy to lose sight of yourself when you’re surrounded by tragedies, obstacles, traumas, and open emotional wounds for a living. It’s fulfilling and beautiful, but it’s heavy. So, here is some friendly advice to those who encounter a therapist or two along the way. Recognize that the therapist in front of them is also a feeling, thinking, and breathing human being just like yourself. Unless I am meeting you in the office, I would like to make small talk before any deep, dark secrets are revealed. Asking for
support on an issue is absolutely welcomed after we get to know one another, and I will happily send some referrals your way for outpatient therapy locations. Friendships are still as vital to my well-being as yours. Being seen for more than just my job is revitalizing, refreshing, and so deeply cherished. Although I am a counselor, I am also horrified of the dentist and cockroaches. I live with mostly managed anxiety. I am wholeheartedly human and flawed. Riding horses and chocolate cake bring me joy. You catch my drift. I wish I could shed light on the gravity of the weight I am carrying silently on my back as my clients proceed on their healing journeys. Sometimes I wish I could get one of those magnets you see for dishwashers that signal when the dishes are clean or dirty. My magnet would read “Open for deep conversations” or “empathy burnout proceed with compassion”.
I patiently bared witness to the menagerie of difficult stories this stranger poured out, knowing this expulsion was not about me at all. I sat with them, tears and all. I expressed how I admired their strength and encouraged them to lean on their resiliency. I silently wished them well on their journey as we parted ways, willing the universe to be kind to them. I will continue to do so for every soul that I have the honor of meeting. Just next time, I’ll hand out my janitor cards first. Written By: Katherine Scott, M.Ed/ Ed.S, LMFT Katherine is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working at a private practice lovingly known as Puzzle Peace Counseling in NE Florida. While working with those in most walks of life, she has her niche working with neurodiverse children and their families. She embraces an experiential approach with her clients in their pursuit of healing.
MINDgames Spot the differences in the images below! Tip: there are 5 Answer Key on Page 33
Decreasing Aggression in Children Using Therapeutic Martial Arts Professional Resource Article
The Therapeutic Martial Arts is a unique and innovative approach as an alternative therapy modality. It combines Eastern perspectives, philosophy and tradition of Martial Arts with the most effective psychotherapeutic techniques that have been tested over a span of the entire century. The Therapeutic Martial Arts program helps children and adolescents to experience therapeutic change through structure of the ancient art, group dynamics, and other therapeutic interventions such as dynamic, cognitive, behavioral, gestalt and meditation. Participating in this program, students not only will be able to improve their physical conditioning, but also social skills, anger management, and awareness of their own actions, and effects towards other people. Students will also be able to improve their self-esteem, communication skills, performance in school, and reaction towards stressful stimuli. Martial Arts originated approximately 4000 years ago. Over its history the Art developed into many different systems and styles. Shaolin monks practiced Martial Arts as meditation and for self-enlightenment and later developed techniques of self defense (Zarnett & Seaby, 1997). In addition to a combat system, Japanese people practiced Martial Arts for self-respect and self-control (Zarnett & Seaby, 1997). Historically, Martial Arts were taught and practiced as a combat system; partially as a self-defense, but mostly to defeat opponents during military engagements (James & Jones, 1982; Reznik, 2020).
In the late 1800's and throughout the 20th Century, Martial Arts began making its way towards the West. When the Martial Art reached Europe the Americas, only physical aspects were appealing, and therefore, it began taking more aggressive form; however with eastern mysticism. Western philosophical view is different from Eastern philosophical view. Western approach is more competitive in nature (James & Jones, 1882). As a result, Martial Arts were viewed either as self-defense or a sport; however, retaining its basic principles and eastern mysticism. Therapeutic Aspects Since the late 1960's, practitioners of Martial Arts began seeing certain exercises as beneficial to their sense of self, community and mental and physical health in general. Health professionals began collecting data on different aspects of Martial Arts. Some collected on physical aspects, such as improvement of flexibility, reflexes, and general physical ability (Collins, Powell, & Davies, 1990; Layton, Higoanna, and Arnell, 1993). Others collected on data on neuropsychological aspects, such as improvement of concentration and Electroencephalograph waive activity (Collins et al., 1990). Yet others collected data on mental health aspects, such as changes in mood, aggression, and self-esteem (McGowan & Pierce, 1991; Konzak & Bodreau, 1984, Madden, 1990; Nosanchuk, 1981; Richman & Rehberg, 1986). These researchers found that practicing Martial Arts improves different abilities and January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
general mental health in participants. Several health practitioners began using Martial Arts in conjunction with different therapeutic programs. Tredeau (1993), used Martial Arts techniques with Occupational Therapy with children who are suffering from cerebral palsy to improve balance, coordination, the use of the extremities, as well as self-esteem and confidence. She reported that participants improved their abilities by a significant margin (Tredeau. 1993). Other professionals used Martial Arts with individuals dealing primarily with psychological issues (Christie & McGrath, 1989; Weiser, Kuts, Kuts, & Weiser, 1995). Christie and McGrath (1989), used the film "The Karate Kid' to help an eleven-year old boy to deal with his aggression, and learn about issues of discipline, change, control and balance. In this case Martial Arts was used as a metaphor. Researchers reported significantly positive results. Weiser et al., (1995) used Martial Arts in conjunction with therapy to help a patient with some of his aggressive tendencies. In this application, the patient practiced Martial Arts and attended therapy simultaneously. The researchers also report positive results. Martial Arts Culture Martial Arts has been depicted in the movies as an aggressively physical force that once learned, he or she can “destroy anything” from a person to a concrete block. From the layman perspective and a popular view, this may be viewed as just that (Konzak & Boudreau, 1989). However, once in a Martial Arts class, or a Dojo (hall of practice), the picture begins to change after one or two months. There are several components that comprise the whole system of Martial Arts and its training that are not so obvious to the general public. The Dojo environment that a student must attend to when practicing is a special place with its own set of rules, traditions, and behaviors (Richman & Rehberg, 1986; Konzak & Boudreau, 1989; James & Jones, 1982). For example, Richman and Rehberg (1986) describe a belt system, which acts as token economy. They report that accomplishment of a rank improves self-esteem. James and Jones (1982), report that wearing a uniform, bowing, kiyaing (screaming loudly), attending to specific rules
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and regimes, all play a part in the environment of Martial Arts. Meditation is also a significant part of the practice. There have been numerous studies describing positive effects of meditation and the use of imagery as part of Martial Arts training and improvement of psychological abilities (Seitz, Olson, Locke, and Quam, 1990; Halbrook, 1995; Linden, 1973; Harris and Robinson, 1986). Martial Arts physical conditioning has been shown to help individuals to improve self-esteem (McGrath, Pierce, and Jordan, 1991). The relationship between the student and the instructor was also found to have a significant contribution to the culture of the Martial Arts (Richman & Rehberg, 1986; Konzak & Boudreau, 1989; James & Jones, 1982). This research indicates how student perceives his or her instructor and the effectiveness of this perception. Because of the popular Western perception, learning Martial Arts "will make you invincible" a student may feel "special" being in a Martial Arts school, or even the whole Martial Arts system (Konzak & Boudreau, 1989; James & Jones, 1882). Aggression Different societies define aggression in variety of means, ranging from internal to expressive (Konzak & Boudreau, 1989). Based on our research, we can define aggression as an external physical verbal expression of anger, a natural internal emotional state (Bjorkvist, Osterman, & Koukiainen, 1992; Graham, 1997). Nosanchuk (1981) and Graham (1997) also postulated that there is a cognitive apparatus that can modulate aggression. Therefore, for the purposes of this program aggression may be defined as displacement of internal energy that is built up as a result of tension, anger, and frustration onto objects or people through overt or covert behavior and causes physical or psychological harm. Martial Arts and Aggression When a lay-person hears the term Karate, Kung-Fu, Judo, or names of related arts, he or she might make a reference to film stars such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jean Claud Van Daum or a recent competition that a friend or a relative attended. This reference might suggest some form of physical aggression (Konzak & Boudreau, 1989; James & Jones, 1982; Weiser et al., 1995). The characters in the
movies are depicted as defeating their opponent in some devastating fashion. Competing in a tournament may also suggest physical aggression to a spectator. However, the research has shown that when a student practices Martial Arts, the Aggression level is decreased; in fact, it is better controlled and displaced in an appropriate assertion (Konzak & Boudreau, 1989). Other studies indicate that being a part of the Martial Arts culture, practicing meditation and physical conditioning also decreases levels of aggression (McGowan, Pierce, & Jordan, 1991; Seitz, Olson, Locke, & Quam, 1990; Linden, 1973; Richman & Rehberg, 1989, Madden, 1990; Nosanchuk, 1981, Weiser et al., 1995). Therefore, results of these studies suggest the opposite to what is perceived by the general public. Those who practice Martial Arts, in fact decrease aggression both internally and externally. Research Need Although Martial Arts has been utilized in conjunction with different therapies, it has never implemented in a specific therapeutic program where the Martial Arts is used as a structure and the environment and specific therapeutic techniques are applied within this structure. It is necessary to investigate how different aspects of behavior and mental health would improve through Therapeutic Martial Arts program. The focus of this program would be on decreasing aggression and displacing it through assertion or other socially accepted means. In addition, by applying therapeutic techniques, a student will be able to enhance coping skills to deal with some of the more complex psychological issues. Although children and adolescents with emotional difficulties may be able to attend to the structure of a regular Martial Arts class, they may not be able to deal with psychological difficulties they experience. On the other hand, traditional therapy without the Martial will be beneficial; however, many of traditional modalities are less effective However, being in a Therapeutic Martial Art program would be more effective for the children where the conventional therapy by itself may be less effective. In fact, the group receiving Therapeutic Martial Arts would demonstrate the lowest level of
aggressiveness, whereas the control group shall demonstrate the higher level of aggressiveness. Therapeutic Martial Arts Program Therapeutic Martial Arts program is designed for children and adolescents (adults in the future) with mental health issues. Psychological difficulties range from social issues, peer pressure, being bullied, selfesteem, dealing with aggression, psychological and physical abuse, to more severe mental health ailment, such as bipolar, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, posttraumatic disorder and schizophrenia. Each group is designed around acuity and ages (two ages from the mean age). The program runs for approximately 9 months. Participants meet once per week for approximately an hour and a half. A treatment plan is designed to set goals and monitor progress. Components of each session would consist of meditation, exercises, Martial Arts techniques, and group therapy. The program would be implemented in a dojo (hall of practice) with all the appropriate attire and Martial Arts rituals. In addition, caregivers of participants will partake in a separate group to process issues that are related to each participant. Therapeutic Techniques A variety of psychological strategies will be used during group therapy. Each technique is evidence based and thoroughly researched for its effectiveness with the population in the group and aggression in general. Following clinical approaches are selected for the program are: (a)meditation, (b)token economy (distribution of the certificates, belts, and special events), psychodynamic group therapy, social and cognitive techniques, and Gestalt techniques. Relaxation/Meditation Meditation is one of the most traditional exercises in Martial Arts. It has many therapeutic qualities and can be used to enhance concentration and awareness of internal and external perception (Deikman, 1963; Maupin, 1965; Weinberg et al., 1987; Yakobi, Smilek & Danckert, 2021). In the study of 26 third grade school children, completed by Linden (1973), attentiveness and concentration were significantly increased. Recent study supports previous results regarding improvement in concentration and January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
focus (Naves-Bittencourt, W., at. al., (2015); Yakobi, Smilek & Danckert, 2021). Students begin and end each practice with another meditation. Token Economy A chart is designed to maintain students’ progress, providing feedback by awarding pluses (tokens) for psychological and physical successes. Throughout the program students are rewarded with certificates, which are earned each class, monthly, and every three months, as well as at the end of the program. Attaining success will qualify to earn special rewards, which include a special video, an additional certificate, going to observe a competition, competing, and attaining a higher belt. Social and Cognitive Techniques Throughout the treatment a variety of social and cognitive techniques would be applied. Some of these techniques are Assertiveness Skills Training (Wolpe, 1958), where students will be able to learn how to express their anger and frustration through more socially accepted achievement of their needs. Also, Problem Solving Training will emphasizes using a set of cognitive skills when dealing with problematic situations (Forman, 1993). Additionally, Systematic Rational Restructuring (SRR) focuses on creating a rational in analyzing irrational assumptions (Goldfried, DeCanteceo, Weinberg, 1974). Gestalt In order to create awareness of self and others the program focuses on three aspects of Gestalt therapy. Nonverbal awareness and communication of senses, gestures, and body language that is used to connect our physical senses to our emotional and cognitive expressions (Passons, 1975; Perls, 1973). The use of fantasy helps to project thoughts onto tangible objects. Through roleplaying students are able to practice learned interpersonal skills in more realistic situations (Corey & Corey, 1992; Vinogradov & Yalom, 1989). Group Therapy At the end of the class, a group discussion will engage students where they are able to share issues, give each other feedback, experience and play out roles, and create a greater awareness in interpersonal relations. An instructor then becomes a group facilitator. According to 16
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Yalom (1985), group therapy is a unique modality to create interpersonal awareness and clarify roles that we portray in a healthier environment. Psychodynamic issues are discussed, such as parental and peer relations, anxiety, identity, conscious and unconscious motivation, and many others. At the end of each practice/therapy, students are able to choose who deserves a certificate for the day. This will help to increase cohesiveness and promote cooperation. References 1. Christie, M., & McGrath, M. (1989). Man Who Catch Fly with Chopsticks Accomplish Anything: Film in therapy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 10(3), 145-150 2. Bjorkqvist, K., Osterman, K., & Kaukiainen, A. J. (1992). Development of direct and indirect aggressive strategies in males and females. In K. Bjorkqvist & P. Niemela (Eds.), In of mice and women: Aspect of female aggression (pp.51-64). San Diego: Academic Press. 3. Bjorkqvist, K., Osterman, K., & Lagerspetz, K. M. J.(1994). Patterns of aggression among adolescents of three age groups: A cross-cultural comparison. Poster presented at the 13th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, June 28 - July 2, 1994, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 4. Collins, D., Powell, G., & Davies, I. (1990). An electroencephalograph study of hemispheric processing patterns during karate performance. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 12, 223-234 5. Corey, S. C., & Corey, G. (1992). Groups: Process and practice (4th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing 6. Deikman, A. J. (1963). Experimental meditation. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders, 136, - 373 7. Forman, S. G. (1993). Coping skills interventions for children and adolescents. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 8. Halbrook, B. (1995). Iterating contemplative and counseling: Combining east and west. TCA Journal, 23(1), 21 – 27 9. Naves-Bittencourt, Wesley., Mendonça-de-Sousa, A., StultsKolehmainen, M., Fontes, E., Córdova, C., Demarzo, M., Boullosa, D. (2015). Martial arts: mindful exercise to combat stress. European Journal of Human Movement. (34), 34-51 10. Reznik, E. (2020). Therapeutic Martial Arts – Program. Book Babby, New Jersey 11. Yakobi, O., Smilek, D., & Danckert, J. (2021). Cognitive Therapy and Research (45), pp. 543–560
Written By: Eric Y. Reznik, Psy.D. Dr. Eric Yuri Reznik holds a Psy.D. in clinical and forensic psychology and has experience of 35 years in the field. He is a clinical director of BeWell Rehabilitation and Counseling Group and holds a rank of a Master in Saminchilu Martial Arts. He has published three books including Therapeutic Martial Arts. Dr. Reznik has taught in multiple colleges and universities and currently he is an adjunct faculty at Barry University. Currently, he is a president of International Therapeutic Martial Arts Association.
FMHCA's Favorites Baked Feta Pasta
The viral baked feta pasta that took the internet by storm. You will need: Tomatoes: Opt for cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe. Their small size means optimal flavor. Feta Cheese: Use a block of feta cheese for best results. That’s because the block is less processed and will give a more melty consistency when baked. Pasta: You can use any pasta you’d like or even make this with gluten-free pasta. Seasoning & Herbs: You’ll need olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and basil. Play around with the seasoning and herbs if you’d like. You can try using some fresh oregano, fresh thyme or switching the fresh garlic for roasted garlic. Instructions: Using a baking dish that’s safe for the oven like this one, add the tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Add the block of feta cheese to the center of the baking dish, and either flip it around a couple times to coat it with the olive oil and seasoning, or just add a touch more olive oil and a couple cracks of fresh black pepper. Bake it in the oven until the tomatoes burst and the feta looks melted Recipe From: Feel Good Foodie
Feed your creative side by starting a bullet journal! Bullet Journals are a great way to stay organized and focused on your personal goals and objectives. Need some inspo? Check out Pinterest!
Picture from: Ptibsjournals 18
January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
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FMHCA's Facebook Group Stay updated and connected to other mental health professionals by joining FMHCA's Networking Group on Facebook! With over 1000 members joined, you will have access to a wealth of relevant information at your fingertips with no FMHCA membership required. Join by clicking here.
Beverage Mug + Warmer Never re-heat your coffee or tea again! The 'Smug' keeps your beverage hot between 131°F (without lid) - 150°F (with lid).
Dr. Teal's Soothe & Sleep Mindful Coloring Dr Teal’s Foaming Bath transforms an ordinary bath in a relaxing spa by combining Pure Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate USP) and luxurious essential oils to soothe the senses, revitalize tired, achy muscles and help provide relief from stress.
Mindfulness coloring allows us to switch off extraneous thoughts and focus on the moment. It has long been recognized within both Jungian and transpersonal psychology that selfexpression through artistic, visual means can be potentially therapeutic (Mellick, 2001).
Five Minute Journal App
Practicing gratitude with the 5 Minute Journal app brings you a more positive outlook on life and ability to notice wonderful things and capture the lifechanging experiences, now available completely for free, with optional premium features.
Making soap is costeffective and fun! Ingredients and scents can be chosen based on your preferences. Make your first bar of soap by following this guide we found. January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
How Therapeutic Bloopers Can Lead to Client Change Professional Experience Article
I have no clue how I became a person who could laugh at herself. Though my father loved to kid around and my mother got a kick out of jokes, neither had the knack of laughing at their own foibles. I’ve found this gift enormously useful, especially as a psychotherapist treating serious people with serious problems. The rat incident One of my initial experiences with self-deprecating humor was during my first job after social work school as a therapist at a Boston methadone clinic. My client, Stan, was 62, out of work and homeless and, though he never missed his morning dose of methadone or a mandatory therapy session, his resentment of me, a newly minted graduate, was evident. His shrugged responses to most of my questions implied that I couldn’t possibly fathom what he’d gone through in life or care enough to listen to his answers. One chilly morning I arrived at the clinic just as Stan did and we silently trudged up the stairs to my office. I unlocked the door and was hit by a noxious odor as I spotted the tail of a large (what turned out to be) dead rat poking out from under my desk. My freak out caused such a ruckus that my colleagues dashed down the hallway to check on me. But Stan had the situation in hand in an instant. He sat me down in my chair and told me he’d deal with the rat. I don’t know exactly what he did because my eyes were clenched shut, but in no time flat, he assured me that the rat was gone and we could begin our session. I started by apologizing for being such a ninny and a wimp and thanked him for stepping up so heroically. Somehow, that broke the ice between us and for the rest of our therapy relationship, whenever there was a nip in the air between us, we’d have a chuckle over what we dubbed “the rat incident.” My fall from grace Fast forward 30 years and I’m in private practice in 20
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Sarasota, Florida treating a senior couple, Lil and James, for what seemed to be intractable marital problems. They could never seem to be, let alone stay, on the same page. If she loved a movie, he trashed it. If he raved about a glorious sun-shiny day, she complained about the hairfrizzing humidity. It was hard to believe that these two were ever in sync—or in love. Then during a session, I must have shifted my weight weirdly in my expensive, but old Ekornes recliner because the seat slipped out of its side grooves and deposited me on the floor mid-sentence. Unhurt and unfazed, I quipped, “Momma said there’d be days like this,” referring to the title of an early Sixties song by the Shirelles, which got a laugh out of the two of them. I even half-joked about the collapsed chair symbolizing our having hit rock bottom in therapy. I then watched in amazement as the two of them came together—without even a hint of friction—to reassemble the chair, a tricky bit of business. It was as if they’d been working in synchronicity all their lives. The rest of the session was spent talking about what was different in their relationship while fixing my chair that made them able to work as a team and how they could harness that synergy for the future. What we came to call “my fall from grace” became a positive turning point in their relationship. In both cases, having a sense of humor made the situation less shameful for me and less uncomfortable for my clients. Perhaps most importantly, I got to model what to do when fallibility strikes. If I’d gotten defensive about my initial rat hysteria or unduly embarrassed about my chair dropping out from under me, what would I have been teaching my clients? Laughing at myself gave them an opportunity to see me differently and to see themselves differently as well. When we can learn to laugh at our therapeutic bloopers, it’s win-win all around. Written by: Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. Karen is an eating psychology expert, 8-book awardwinning, international author and blogger. Her books focus on improving our relationship with food and our bodies via enhancing self-talk, learning life skills, resolving internal conflicts, revamping personality traits, developing rational beliefs, and managing our feelings. In practice for 30-plus years, she’s based in Sarasota, FL. Her latest book, "Words to Eat By," is about speaking constructively and compassionately to ourselves to eat “normally.”
Prevention is Abstract Postvention is major part of prevention. The plan that organizations and practitioners have in place after a crisis is critical. For mental health clinicians in private practice, a comprehensive crisis management plan to reduce risks of suicide for students and families in postvention crisis of a school shooting requires many levels of systemic support and change. This includes increasing the awareness of suicide prevention, joining with communities in times of a school shooting to provide therapeutic support. Overall, with the flexibility of private practice, therapists can readily partner and provide access to resources in the aftermath of a school related shooting or suicide pact crisis. Suicide prevention in crisis management is the topic area that ignited this researcher’s interest, a passion for postvention, and concrete answers. For the purpose of this article, the researcher focuses on the positive ripple effects of crisis management on the private practice mental health care system in the area of suicide prevention. Keywords: Postvention, Crisis Management, Suicide Postvention Columbine. Sandy Hook. Majorie Stoneman Douglas. The three names listed above are schools that endured lifeshattering crisis. The Columbine massacre was a school shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado where fifteen youth were killed (including both perpetrators). The Sandy Hook shooting occurred on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut leaving 26 lives lost (20 children and 6 adult staff members). On February 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (17 students and staff members were murdered while many others were injured and survived). It has been 3 years since the Parkland community made national news, sharing an outcry of pain from the lives lost, and 22
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sparking a movement on gun violence prevention with the “March for Our Lives”. Recently, the Parkland Survivors returned to the headlines as the families of the 52 people killed, injured or traumatized in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School reached a $25 million settlement with the Broward County school district (Allen, 2021). Still, the chaos that endured at each school and the constant media reports thereafter disgorges remnants of trauma and emotional instability for students, staff, and parents. Moreover, secondary and vicarious trauma was evident as millions across the nation watched on social media, news outlets, or volunteered on site and entered the narrative of “Parkland Strong”. The narratives overtime, revealed severe pre and post crisis miscommunication seemed to play a catastrophic role in recovery and postvention services. There were also gaps in bureaucratic responsiveness at the level of school security and communication. Additionally, social service systems were overwhelmed with referrals and requests for mental health care and support. Determining the path forward for prevention brings to light an opportunity for mental health providers to explore adaptive approaches to lead crisis management consultation in postvention. Survivors Remorse Considering the traumatic aftereffects of a school shooting, schools and communities need a space where trained and licensed therapists are integral to the journey ahead. The path forward must include a systemic outlook that focuses on mental health services at an organizational, communal, individual, and family level. The messaging and care shown in the postvention period is critical for repair and resiliency. Therapists helped thousands of students, educators, and community residents process post-traumatic stress disorder, feeling of survivor’s remorse, vicarious trauma,
s Postvention Professional Resource Article
and thoughts of death by suicide. Unfortunately, three survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting massacre chose death by suicide. For a community that was trying to heal from the paralyzing pain of the initial occurrence, more unexpected loss and grief continued to reopen the wound for those left behind. Postvention begins here, assessing survivors, sharing common mental health concerns or signs for parents and community to be aware of, consulting on systemic crisis management steps, and putting policies in place for suicide prevention. Mental health professionals may be able to be influential in the trajectory of choices post crisis, especially regarding suicide prevention. The survivors of suicide are unique to each death narrative, but they can include the parent, siblings, extended family, teachers, friends, and clinicians who have worked with the deceased. All of these people may be affected by the person who died by suicide (and their level of closeness may not be a factor). While it is a volatile subjective matter, those who consider themselves survivors of the deceased are dealing with great wounds and bereavement almost simultaneously due to the stigma of a student who dies by suicide. Many see students as having so much possibility and potential, yet they may not know what immense mental or physical pain they are concealing within. Additionally, a common assumption about survivors of suicide is that they are somehow explicitly or implicitly to blame for the death. The survivor is often perceived to have either directly caused the person to kill him- or herself or alternatively as having done nothing to prevent the death (Jobes, D. A., Luoma, J. B., Hustead, L. A., & Mann, R. E., 2000). Moreover, traditional support groups for parents who have lost a child are not as empathetic to a family who has lost a child to suicide in comparison to a child who has died from cancer or another terminally ill
disease. Socially, suicide is viewed as a choice that one made instead of a complex and personal matter that leaves many unknowns. This is quite a social burden to bare especially if the family of the deceased remains in the same community or has other children within that particular school or educational system. The family continues to grieve while being shamed or seen as guilty. Survivors experience a great deal of pain in the recovery process from anger to disbelief (Jobes, D. A., Luoma, J. B., Hustead, L. A., & Mann, R. E., 2000). Recognizing this, our field needs to be aware that survivors of a shared trauma like a school shooting may consider suicide as a means to cope with the anger, confusion, and unbearable pain. As providers of clinical care, we can provide a positive, sacred, and confidential space to help survivors grieve and gain support in their journey. Wraparound services that include clinical counseling services, suicide-specific family support groups, education to communities, and consultation to schools regarding survivor’s remorse are unique parts of our practice. Concerning suicide prevention, attention to these areas can help mental health care practitioners in private practice or community agencies create effective crisis management plans for postvention. By having holistic wraparound services to consider survivors remorse, clinicians are preparing a plan to prevent future personal or physical crisis. Mental Health Crisis Management Plan: Suicide Postvention Recommendation Postvention is major part of prevention. As clinicians, we need to be aware of clients who may have been experiencing immense pain and feelings of burdensomeness, and what is our plan of support if the client dies by suicide? How do we support survivors? What recommendations can we make to support parents, schools, students and the community? How do we care for January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
ourselves as survivors? These important questions can serve as reflective practice and cyclical support by contributing to an adaptive crisis management plan. For mental health providers in private practice, a comprehensive crisis management plan to reduce risks of suicide for students and families in postvention crisis is necessary. Action plan efforts include increasing the awareness of suicide prevention pre-crisis, joining with communities in times of a school shooting to reflect on what has occurred and providing supports to empower away from a suicide crisis, and most importantly, providing access to resources for care such an individual or family therapy. Overall, following the crisis of a suicide of a student, the following lists encompass relational and reflective recommendations to help build a mental health crisis management plan: School Systems Level Consultation Crisis Detection Listen to students. Have school personnel monitor what’s going on in social media and outside of school- Did anyone back out of a suicide pact? Anyone feeling guilty? Don't be afraid to ask if someone is going to commit suicide. If you ask- you will not plant the idea in their head. You may save their life. Prevention Evaluate what process or supports the school presently has in place. Secure an internal and external team of stakeholders. Suicide should not be dramatized or glamourized. It’s an intentional and authentic balance, doing nothing can be just as dangerous as doing too much. Containment Identify the role, scope, and responsibilities of each person during the crisis to maintain damage control. Involve parents, community leaders, mental health professionals, medical professionals, clergy, and police officials. Strive to treat all deaths the same- whether cancer or suicide. Always tell the truth and share developmentally correct information. Use a single spokesperson to speak to media to provide a written, factual, nonsensational statement 24
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pertaining to the death and the schools response to the crisis. Recovery Have a multidisciplinary team in place for consultation or ongoing support is also advantageous when planning to prevent or resourcing after a crisis. Identify a list of students who were close to the deceased so that they can meet with a mental health professional at a selected time. Meet with student body in small groups, not an assembly. Allow students to leave class as needed or regularly regarding the suicide. Consider a living memorial- give credit and space for survivors to cope. Learning Process Utilize the National Center for Suicide or American Suicide Foundation “After a Suicide: Toolkit for Schools”. Students cannot be adequately supported until faculty are empowered, must train teachers and staff in suicide prevention and postvention. Offer training & support on Survivors Remorse. Parental Systems Level Consultation Listen to your children and friends of the deceased. Inform nuclear and extended family members of facts. Start or join a suicide survivors group. See a mental health professional as needed. Monitor what’s going on in social media and outside of school. Take time to grieve. Seek spiritual support or guidance according to their faith. Reflect on being prepared to answer the why (even if there is a suicide note), “We’re never truly going to know why, but we want to support each other” – Dr. Scott Poland (2016) Read “Suicide Myths” by T. Joiner (2011) When ready, complete an onsite or online course on suicide prevention and survivors remorse Participate in a “Out of the Darkness” Walk for Suicide Prevention and Survivors Don't be afraid to ask if someone is going to commit
suicide. If you ask- you will not plant the idea in their head. You may save their life. Community Systems Level Consultation Listen to the citizens. Ensure media does not sensationalize suicides at schools. Involve mental health, public health, and education in a community suicide prevention plan. Create a community committee focused on suicide prevention. and postvention with a local community agency serving as a host agency to facilitate and organize. Provide and fund ongoing, “What is suicide, prevention, myths, & resources” course specific to that city available online and/or through local libraries Host out of the darkness walk for families affect by suicide Provide and fund ongoing training & support on Survivors Remorse Master/Doctoral Students, Marriage & Family Therapists, Mental Health Professionals Workplace Level Consultation Complete training or educational course on Crisis Management in Private Practice Screen potential clients Remove potential weapons Lock doors Avoid working late at night alone Set & practice office wide evacuation drill Designate a panic room for safe retreat Have client safety lockers for personal items Call for help (colleges, first responders, police) Have code words for emergencies to alert coworkers Learn CPR Learn self-defense techniques Complete training or educational course on Suicide Prevention, Suicide Myths, & Survivors Remorse. Create opportunities for experiential or relevant practice, not just a training video or didactic lecture. Review current research on best practices or crisis prevention. Have a team in place whose responsibility it is to conduct continuous quality improvement concerning crisis management.
Read Flemons, D. & Gralnik, L. (2013). Relational suicide assessment. New York: W. W. Norton Read “Suicide Myths” by T. Joiner (2011) Conclusion It is an inside job. Start with the students, then the staff members, families, and community. All members of the school system and community need proper information and training in crisis and suicide prevention. This includes sharing warning signs to establishing an adaptive process of what to do in a crisis. Postvention should be very transparent and practiced frequently. Additionally, building relationships is critical. Having students feel safe to confide in adults and gain the tools of compassion and empathy to treat each other with respect is putting relational scaffolds in place for students to be able to be autonomous within school boundaries. Ultimately, prevention saves lives as it is better to be prepared than reactionary to something that could have been averted with strategic plans in place. Trauma, like that of a disastrous school shooting, leaves many open wounds. Survivor’s guilt and remorse may bring up immeasurable grief, disbelief, and suicidal ideations. Moreover, thoughts of survivor’s remorse may arise and feelings of being a burden or no self-worth can be isolating. Both are not a healthy lens through which to view the present moment or experience bereavement. This is where therapists serve best. In understanding suicide myths, risk factors, preventative measures, and having a crisis management plan with a relational suicide assessment approach, we create and provide consultation on systemic supports that can help students, families, schools, and communities. In response to community trauma or school crisis like student suicide, private practice clinicians and mental health providers cannot work in silos- it is essential to be prepared, connect, and collaborate. This preparation and postvention is about saving lives and scaffolding survivor’s journey forward. Written By: Debbie Manigat, DMFT, LMFT Debbie is a mental health advocate and suicide prevention educator. She helps students, families, churches and communities heal from a state of crisis, especially those who may be struggling with the impact of suicide. She wrote “THRIVE: Body, Mind, & Soul”, an inspirational guide on suicide and substance abuse prevention which can be found for free download here: www.dmempowers.com/media January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
References Allen, G. (2021, October 19). A florida school district will pay $25 million to the families of parkland victims. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2021/10/18/1047153012/parkland-families-lawsuit-25-million-settlement-broward-county Dr. Pei-Fen Li. Lecture on Crisis Management (2019). Dr. Poland and Dr. Flemons talk about postvention. 54:30 (2016). Flemons, D. & Gralnik, L. (2013). Relational suicide assessment. New York: W. W. Norton. Hellwig-Olsen, B., Jacobsen, M., & Mian, A. (2007). Contemporary issues in campus crisis management. In E. L. Zdziarksi, N. W. Dunkel, & J. M. Rollo (Eds.), Campus crisis management (pp. 285-328). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Jobes, D. A., Luoma, J. B., Hustead, L. A., & Mann, R. E. (2000). In the wake of suicide: Survivorship and postvention. In R. W. Maris, A. L. Berman, & M. M. Silverman (Eds.), Comprehensive textbook of suicidology (pp. 536-561). New York: The GuilfordPress. Joiner, T. (2011). Myths about suicide. Boston: Harvard University Press. Jordan, T.A., Upright, P., Tice-Owens, K. (2016). Crisis management in nonprofit organizations. Journal of Nonprofit Educational and Leadership, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 159-177 Klebold, S. (2009, Nov.). I will never know why. O, The Oprah Magazine: http://www.oprah.com/world/Susan-Klebolds-OMagazine-Essay-I-Will-Never-Know-Why/1 Poland, S. (2008, Winter). Sarpy County Nebraska knows it takes the community to stop a youth suicidecluster. AAS Newslink, 25-27. Access here: AASSarpyCountyfinal.doc Poland, S. (2013). Answering students’ questions after a suicide. Unpublished manuscript. Access here: After aSuicide Answering Questions From Students2013(1).doc Poland, S. (2009): Congressional Testimony on School Safety and Bullying, Prevention Joint Committee, Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittees, United States House of Representatives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRGhGbMA2F4 Sapriel, C. (2003). Effective crisis management: tools and best practice for the new millennium. Journal of Communication Management, 7, 4, pg.348
DIY Coconut Oil Lotion Bars
Both coconut oil and shea butter are amazing moisturizers! Coconut oil can prevent wrinkles, age spots, and loose skin. It’s also been shown to reduce the effects of skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Shea butter can treat acne and other skin blemishes like burns, stretch marks, insect bites and scars.
Ingredients 1 cup coconut oil 1 cup beeswax 1/2 cup shea butter 1/2 cup almond oil Essential oils of choice (lemon, Joy and lavender are all great choices)
Instructions Place all ingredients except essential oils in a quart mason jar. Bring a stockpot full of water to a boil with the uncapped jar sitting inside. Stir regularly until all ingredients melt completely. Let cool slightly. Add oils and stir. Pour coconut oil lotion bars mix into silicone molds like these I found: daisies silicone mold and snowflakes silicone mold. Let set completely (overnight is best). Pop out of the molds and place in mason jars, decorate and tag.
Yield: 24 Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 10 Minutes Additional Time: 3 Hours January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
Reflect, Relax, Reset As we embark on a new year; we take time to reflect on our past, relax as we practice self-care, and reset by establish goals for new the year. We pause to glance at the rear-view mirror to reflect on a year filled with unprecedented events. As a nation we experienced social inequity, the global Coronavirus pandemic, roll out of vaccines, riots, social distancing, isolation, devastating natural disasters, loss of lives, and economic fallout because of the global pandemic. These extraordinary challenges contributed to an increased need for mental health services. However, The Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA) remained strategically focused on meeting the needs of their members and Clinical Mental Health Counselors continued to meet the needs of those we serve. FMHCA and its members used collective efficacy to establish and achieve goals. Together we coordinated our actions, overcame obstacles, penetrated barriers, and as the result of our resilience we- were able to thrive. Moreover, let us take time to celebrate The Florida Mental Health Counselors’ Associations successes and our accomplishments as Clinical Mental Health Counselors. Although we were physically separated, we remained socially and emotionally connected, solidifying our ongoing commitment to FMHCA, our clients, our members, and each other. We have increased our membership by more than 20%. During the 2021-year FMHCA provided 26 On Demand Webinars. We have increased our social media presence and can be seen on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tiktok, and LinkedIn. FMHCA has facilitated virtual discussions to address the interests of its members. FMHCA launched its Registered Mental Health Licensure Exam Scholarship to provide scholarships to 7 emerging Mental Health Counselors. FMHCA Regional Directors continue to support the local chapters by serving on committees, delivering professional development trainings, supporting chapter initiatives, and sharing information about FMHCA at Colleges and Universities throughout Florida. FMHCA’s Board 28
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Members have improved relations with the Florida 491 Board by attending every board meeting either virtually or meeting held in-person throughout the state of Florida. As we strive strengthen our connection the American Mental Health Counselors Association, FMHCA’s current and past Board members serve on AMHCA’s committees. FMHCA’s executive staff presented at AMHCA’s Leadership Conference and continue to share information with AMHCA and other state leaders. Furthermore, FMHCA has increased its membership benefits with monthly member Giveaways and numerous perks and discounts offered through “Abenity”. FMHCA continues to publish its InSession magazine dedicated to Mental Health Providers where members can share their wisdom, knowledge, and expertise with their colleagues. Additionally, as Clinical Mental Health Counselors we continued to meet the needs of our clients as we worked longer hours to meet the increase demand for services and transitioned back and forth from brick-and-mortar office to virtual platforms conducting telehealth counseling services. Anyone who has flown in an airplane has heard the saying. “Secure your own mask first before assisting others." The statement reminds us of the vitalness of ensuring our own wellbeing and practicing selfcare. As we travel on the busy highway, we often stop at rest areas or check into hotels to refresh prior to continuing to our next destination. Similarly, as Clinical Mental Health Counselors we are ethically bound to practice self-care. According to the 2020 American Mental Health Counselors Association Code of Ethics, Clinical Mental Health Counselors “Recognize that their effectiveness is dependent on their own mental and physical health.” The 2014 American Counselors Association’s Code of Ethics recommends “Counselors engage in self-care activities to maintain and promote their own emotional physical, mental, and spiritual well-being to best meet their professional responsibilities.” As we celebrate the holiday season, we schedule time to attend festive events, time for
shopping, sharing holiday meals with family, and celebrating the special season, let us remember to intentionally schedule time to rest, relax, and practice self-care.
capacity to meet the needs of our fellow citizens who need our services. We are essential works who bring hope and healing to the citizens of or communities, state, and nation.
As we prepare to reset and enter the new year, we look forward to welcoming Mrs. Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC as Florida Mental Health Counselors Associations’ 2022 president. Join us as we collaboratively identify and achieve new goals that will advance the vision and mission of FMHCA. Let your voices be heard as we advocate for legislation that will expand clinical mental health counselors’ scope of practice and build
I look forward to reuniting with you at the 2022 Annual Conference in Lake Mary, Florida on February 4-5, 2022.
With Sincere Gratitude,
Deirdra Sanders-Burnett, Ph.D., LMHC FMHCA President 2021
FEB 4-5TH | LAKE MARY, FL
We are proud to announce FMHCA's 2021 Award Winners!
Come say hi to these outstanding individuals in February at The 2022 Annual FMHCA Conference in Lake Mary, Florida.
JULIE GALASSINI ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
DEMETRIUS KUJIAMINI JIFUNZA GRADUATE STUDENT OF THE YEAR
NICOLE KRATIMENOS MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR
MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS OF CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER OF THE YEAR
HARUNA NAIL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
ANNE WEDGE-MCMILLEN OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE
FMHCA's New President,
Laura Peddie- Bravo Get to know FMHCA's new president in this exclusive FMHCA interview!
Laura Peddie-Bravo is a second-generation Floridian; she loves living here and plans to stay for the rest of her life! As such, it is not uncommon for her to mention with excitement how she wishes to help make Florida the BEST state for Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Laura began her career in 1991 after graduating with a BA in Psychology with a Clinical Psychology specialization from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Her original plan was to apply to Clinical Ph.D. programs. She collaborated in post-baccalaureate research after graduation, then worked as Psychiatric Technician at a local hospital, and worked in a variety of community settings ranging from crisis intervention to working with adults with severe forms of Autism. While Laura was working with her own counselor, he informed her that she didn’t need a PhD in Clinical Psychology to be a counselor. He introduced her to the Masters in Mental Health Counseling program at UCF. She researched the program, and it looked like everything she wanted. She applied and was accepted into UCF’s Counselor Education program, the Mental Health Counseling track. When asked about her program and time at UCF she replied, "I greatly enjoyed the program! I also worked as a Graduate Assistant during my three years in the program and had the privilege of working on the program’s CACREP accreditation, which we received before I graduated. I also ran the Practicum Clinic which was a terrific experience." With over 20 years experience and involvement in the profession, Laura Peddie-Bravo is a trueasset to FMHCA and its organization-wide goals for 2022. Take a look at what she has to say! 30
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Tell us a little about who Laura Peddie-Bravo is today: My husband, Chris, and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary this August. We have three wonderful college aged children. One of our sons happens to be on the Autism Spectrum. I have a parrot named Paullie, a fouryear-old rescue dog named Daisy, and backyard chickens. My private practice is in Winter Park, FL, and I am an Approved Supervisor. I work with a variety of issues; but if I had to choose one issue that I have worked with the most over the past 20 years, it would be Trauma/PTSD. I also work with Depression, Anxiety, Bi-Polar, OCD, ASD, Personality Disorders, Post-Partum issues, and chronic medical conditions. I have an overall Wellness orientation combined with CBT. I like to practice what I preach about Wellness, and take long walks, cycle, swim, kayak, and enjoy photography. What led you to join an organization like FMHCA? My professors in Graduate school greatly encouraged their students to join professional associations and attend those associations’ conferences. My first exposure to FMHCA was as a Graduate Student, and I also participated in FMHCA’s legislative days in Tallahassee alongside my fellow students. I also love learning, and I attended every professional association’s conference and/or meetings that existed at that time, even though I couldn’t earn any CEUs for attending. I had the privilege of attending FMHCA’s first conference, held in Tampa, in 1999. I met and networked with colleagues and learned even more material outside what my program could offer. Regarding leadership, I became involved with my local FMHCA chapter, and first served on its board as a
Jessa Farley Photography Registered Intern Representative. I remained very involved with the chapter for many years, and refrained from serving on the state the state level until just last year. What has made you stay with FMHCA all these years? I really liked how FMHCA events were 100% focused on Clinical Mental Health Counseling as opposed to other organizations, which seemed to be more focused on other forms of counseling, i.e., School Counseling. As I’ve already said, I love learning, and I am a voracious learner. I wanted an association where I could learn about every aspect of counseling, including the latest trends, and FMHCA has provided that for me. If different than the answer above, what makes you stay with FMHCA now? I appreciate how FMHCA has always stayed on top of legislative issues, which impact all LMHCs. in Florida. I do not think very many realize how many bill shave come before the Florida Legislature that could have negatively impacted our profession. FMHCA tackled these and “spared” us all. I also enjoy the annual conference and
enjoy re-connecting with colleagues and meeting new ones. Every biennium I am always way (WAY) over the CEUs needed (sometimes 50+ over the required 32) because I enjoy all of the offerings at FMHCA’s annual conferences and webinars throughout the year. I also enjoy learning what other counselors are experiencing the challenges as well as the good things - in other parts of our state. How do your passions shape your current leadership roles? As I said, while a graduate student, my professors instilled the importance of joining and participating in our professional associations, and they also instilled the importance of keeping aware of legislation in order to advocate for our profession. That has stuck with me since Graduate school, and I’m very thankful they instilled that passion in me. That led me to serve our profession on the local and now the state level, and I greatly enjoy it. What made you run for FMHCA President? I had never thought of being President of FMHCA until I was recruited by a FMHCA Board member. I was January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
president of my local FMHCA chapter for two terms, and I thought with that experience, perhaps I might be able to serve at a higher level. I learned quite a bit last year as President Elect, and I’m excited to take on the new challenge of leading this incredible organization.
expense too. I believe the incorporation of online meetings and education is here to stay; and, it’s an opportunity to reach more people and to expand the organization.
Is the role what you expected when you took position as president-elect?
I would like to see a significant increase in membership, more chapters throughout the state, greater participation in our Government Relations Committee, and increase in participation in our annual Legislative Days. I realize we’re all busy; however, communicating with our elected officials has never been easier! It just takes a couple of minutes to fill out their contact form and express our opinion on matters that can greatly impact our profession, i.e. the Counseling Compact. I would like to see every member reach out to their elected officials and advocate on behalf of our profession. If you want to support financially, FMHCA has a t-shirt campaign named "Let Your Voice Be Heard", which all proceeds go to the FMHCA Political Action Committee (PAC) fund.
Yes, for the most part. Having been a chapter president, I already had some experience in a similar role. I truly appreciated having had a full 12 months to learn how FMHCA runs, and also learn what FMHCA’s president does. While learning, I was able to volunteer for different roles, i.e. Chairing the Graduate Student and Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern Committee; lead a couple of Alliance meetings; and participate in the Government Relations Committee, along with other tasks. Covid-19 has paused and delayed a lot of activity in the world, what has it done for your new presidency role at FMHCA? Since we are still in the pandemic, I’d say it has forced me to expand beyond my comfort zone. For example, I used to be a 100% face to face kind of person. But with the pandemic, I was forced into online ways of connecting and learning. I discovered that an online platform provides quite a lot of convenience and flexibility. Meeting online for educational purposes can save a lot of
Where will you like to see FMHCA in 5 years?
What are you looking forward to in your time as president? I am looking forward to helping our profession obtain parity, empower our colleagues, and meet the needs of our members whether they are students, interns, or licensed.
2022 Presidency Goals Empower LMHC’s! Continue to educate and encourage LMHC’s to advocate for themselves, i.e. regarding salaries/hourly rates/reimbursement. Also, our strategic planning survey requested more education on the business side of being an LMHC. Perhaps offer workshops on the business side, i.e. EHRs, marketing, and some asked for help with coding. Better equipping LMHCs helps them know their value, helps build confidence, and they can go into business with clear expectations and goals for themselves. Increase Diversity and Representation within FMHCA with creating a Diversity Committee with multiple subcommittees, i.e. Indigenous peoples subcommittee. Encourage FMHCA members to begin more subcommittees for various groups about which they feel passionate. Educate more LMHCs about what FMHCA is and the importance of joining via a strategic email campaign to entire state of Florida database of LMHCs and RMHCIs. Increase membership: We can do more things like increased legislative efforts and offer more benefits to our members as we grow. I would like to see at least 20% of all LMHCs in the state of Florida become members of FMHCA, and ideally, continue to increase that percentage in the years to come.. 32
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Reach out to all Florida MHC graduate programs and educate them on who we are and why it is important to join as FMHCA is the ONLY organization devoted solely to Mental Health Counselors. (I joined as student and have stayed involved my entire career.) Legislative goals: Counseling Compact Name change for RMHCI to Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) Add LMHCs to Forensic evaluation provider list Eliminate rule restricting RMHCIs in private practice requiring on-site supervisor. A Supervisor reachable by phone/other HIPAA compliant platform is good enough. National legislative goal: S. 828/H.R. 432 the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (this is about inclusion of LMHCs in Medicare.) Work to become the go-to resource for our local, state, and national Government officials (FL has two Senators and 27 Representatives) on Mental Health issues so that they turn to FMHCA when they’d like information on MH issues as they arise. I have offered to write a letter to all my own local, and state and national elected officials, including the Florida Governor, introducing FMHCA and educating them as to how we can be an asset to them on MH issues. Continue our outstanding working relationship with the 491 Board by having board members and local chapter members attend each 491 Board meeting
MINDgames Spot the differences in the images below! Tip: there are 5 Answer Key
Do's & Don'ts Social Media & Strategic Marketing Tips to Consider How you digitally market your private practice services is your company's own fingerprint in the digital world. It has become increasingly important to develop a strategic marketing plan via the digital world and we are here to give you our best tips! Strategic Marketing Do's & Don'ts with Naomi Do's Build a Brand Kit This includes a mood board, color palette , font combinations, and alternative logos. Having a Brand Kit allows for you to be recognizable (think of Reece's Orange or Coca-Cola font). Pick 2-3 avenues to to master I recommend a blog (Live Lyte Counseling does this well) and a Strong Instagram Presence (Dr. Vassilia from Juno Counseling does this well). Courses, e-books, YouTube Channels, and TikTok are all additional ideas to consider. Have 1 clear message (and make it make sense!) If you are a therapist that specializes in anxiety this could mean you provide branded stress balls at events, have calming tips across your social media, hand out tea with your business cards, and have a neutral color palette. All details make it clear that you are a therapist that specializes in anxiety. What would not make sense is if you posted very loud and fast TikToks. 34
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Show up for your business consistently the same way you show up for your clients consistently A potential client could be deciding between you and someone else and end up choosing your alternative just because they haven't seen you in any of your avenues of mastery for 2-3 weeks. Provide value to the marketplace Everyone has a problem that they want to be solved. Providing value in your marketing strategy (email campaign, course, social media) will help you build a memorable brand. Don'ts Don't purchase programs you aren't familiar with Adobe Illustrator is great for design but if you do not know where to start, it can be a waste of money and time. I recommend Canva Pro for those with no background in design. It has templates and user friendly features that do not require a design background (there is also a free version if you cannot purchase Pro). Don't rush past the Brand Kit process It is easier to establish a strong brand from scratch than it is to re-brand. Paying a professional now can save you from paying for new business cards, flyers, signs, and more later! Don't engage in online banter Digital footprints last FOREVER. Any comment or response to a review can be more detrimental then the actual topic or review. Don't copy another brand When copying another brand, you'll always be one step behind! If you like what another practice is doing, take inspiration and customize before implementing. Don't forget to be grateful! Do you see someone who is consistently engaging in your emails and/ or social media platforms? Express your gratitude by sending a personal message thanking them for their support. Social Media Do's & Don'ts with Madison Do’s Create a Social Media Policy
Counselors and counseling-related organizations must develop a social media policy. Information about this policy must be included in informed consent documents for clients and should be posted on professional social media pages and websites (A.2.b.). Cover Risks & Benefits Social media policies should cover the risks, especially to confidentiality, and the benefits of interacting with counselors on social media, as well as the expectations clients should have when interacting with a counselor’s professional social media account (H.6.b.) Become familiar with—and follow—all of the social media guidelines listed in the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. Batch your social content in advance By setting aside time to batch your social media content it will save you time and a headache in the long run. I recommend batching content two weeks out and using a scheduling tool like Later or Hootsuite to schedule out your content in advance to get away from manually posting. Create content pillars Content pillars are guidelines you can use to help you keep your content on brand and keep your audience engaged. I recommend creating 9 different content pillars to base your content around. If you need help coming up with your 9pillars click here to download a worksheet. Use code FMHCASM to download for free! Don'ts Don’t check out a client’s social media profile without permission. Even if it is public (H.6.c.). Keep in mind that personal virtual relationships with current clients are prohibited (A.5.e.) Don’t Buy Followers or Likes These are called ‘Vanity Metrics’. They don’t establish real meaningful relationships with your target audience and will do more harm if you buy them. Instagram can tell when an account gets an influx of followers and will flag your account for
spam if you receive a large number of followers in a short time period. Don’t just post to post It is important to be sharing valuable content that is educational, entertaining and authentic. This will incentivise your audience to engage with your content (like, comment, save, or share). Don’t share personal information While it is okay to share your experiences and it is encouraged to be authentic on social media, you don’t want to post anything that you wouldn’t want a client to see. Don’t copy and paste captions I know it is tough to come up with new captions for each post, but your account will get flagged if you copy and paste the same caption and hashtags to multiple posts in a row. Always switch up your hashtags for each post and be creative with your captions! Not comfortable with social media? I am launching a course that will take you through the basics and touch on some more advanced information. Click Here to sign up for the waitlist and be the first to know when the course goes live!
Written By: Naomi Rodriguez & Madison Borgel Naomi graduated from Johnson & Wales University with her bachelor's degree in Marketing. She specializes in brand strategy, development, design, and forecasting for non for profit organizations. She is in charge of email communications, InSession Magazine, digital asset designs, monthly t-shirt designs, and member relations in The FMHCA Office. Madison graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in communications and a minor in graphic design/photography. Madison is currently pursuing a master’s in strategic communications with a concentration in digital strategies and analytics from American University. She is the CEO of Timeless Social Club and the Social Media Coordinator for FMHCA. January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
Inadequate Support System: Survival of The Fittest
Professional Experience Article
The epitome of today’s society can be summarized with this phrase coined by Herbert Spencer: “The survival of the fittest.” The current climate, culture, and environment we currently reside in is a breeding ground conducive for disconnection and emotional detachment, in our families, schools, and communities ultimately impacting our youth. This disconnection and emotional detachment is brought on by an inadequate support system. Imagine being disconnected from the very thing that provides life to you, the thing that nurtures you and gives you the resources and the nutrients needed for healthy development, and the thing that ensures your safety and protection: much like a mother’s womb to a fetus. Yes, this is a callous environment. living in an extreme environment like this is hard to fathom. In fact, it wouldn’t be living at all. It would be surviving! Just imagine the long term negative impact this place would have on an individual. Who would choose to live here? To be honest I don’t believe anyone would choose to live here; however, in most cases they have no choice but to live…well, survive here.
Let the truth be known that this place exist. This place is not a fantasy or figment of my imagination. I wish it was. Many individuals reside here. In fact, many of our youth reside here. They have been forced to reside here because they have no other place to go. “Here,” is a place of heightened maladaptive behaviors. It is a place of defiance. It’s a place of increased anxiety, depression, and dissociation. It’s a place of self-harm and suicidal ideation. It’s a place of brokenness and dejection. It’s a place of hopelessness. It’s a place of malnourishment where they are fed rejection, fear, and pain and are left with a bitter taste called abandonment. Abandonment is like a book without the shelf. It becomes alone, forgotten, and miserable. It is not displayed properly. It becomes dejected and walked all over, broken and purposeless. It loses its value because it has not been maintained properly. Because of not being properly maintained or it being disconnected from its proper place, it becomes ripped and torn apart. The treacherous marks and scars on the fragmented book cover only tell a brief excerpt of what it has been through. Pages are easily ripped out and January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
trampled over as if it never existed. It often gets thrown away never to be opened or explored to discover all the fascinating and beautiful intricacies that it possesses. It will not get an opportunity to tell its story because of its brokenness. It is lost longing to be found! Their effort to counter their lack of nourishment and abandonment is to become disruptive, defiant, and oppositional. They become resistant and more detached and seek what Dr. Karl Menninger coin as “artificial belongings.” (Brendrto, & Long, 2005). Artificial belongings is a false sense of belonging. It is essentially attaching to unhealthy habits and relationships to counter the emptiness of failed relationships or connections. Also attaching to unhealthy habits is simply a means of survival in a futile word of detachment especially in our society today. Our youth begin to conform to gangs, violence, alcohol, and drugs because of their inability to adapt to the current environment of detachment. They try to find equilibrium in a world where the odds are slanted against them for survival. They become repressed and remove and begin to isolate themselves from meaningful relationships. This is a means to control the chaos within them. Being in this environment long enough teaches them that attachment is abnormal. Dr. Edward Hallowell marks this as an emotional disorder, coining it as the “diagnosis of disconnection” and conclude this as being the result of an inadequate support system called the “dangerous gap.” The ‘dangerous gap” is the disconnection that exists between today’s youth, their families, their schools, and their communities (Brendrto, & Long, 2005). In order to re-establish connection, we must recognize these particular behaviors and try to cultivate a climate that is conducive to restoring connection and relationship building. The way to do this is to first not take their behaviors personally; just like Monica’s song “It’s just one of them days, don’t take it personal.” So, In many cases, these behaviors are not geared towards us or against us; these behaviors are defensive behaviors to prevent further damage and in this case further detachment. This is how today’s youth ultimately survive. Yes these behaviors are disruptive and it causes frustrations and other ill emotions. However, 38
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understanding the precept of these behaviors helps us to maintain control and focus on the solution and not only just the behaviors. So when we see anger, we need not to focus on what is portrayed in front of us, but focus on what is not portrayed to the youth. The best way to subside water boiling over a pot is to turn off the heat source or remove it from the heat. The heat is like unto our attitude and demeanor. If we respond angrily this escalates the behavior, the same as if we turn up the heat of boiling water it will increase. Oppositional behaviors or having oppositions is not always a negative thing. Many of our great leaders were oppositional in some form or another i.e. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks...Many of our freedoms and rights hinged on opposition. We simply have to teach and be patient with our youth that are oppositional. It is important to understand that today’s youth are raised in callous environments that causes detachment in their lives and their behaviors are a defense mechanism to attempt to disrupt the detachment they have encountered. Their behaviors are not necessarily personal vendettas against adults or authoritative figures but rather a symptom and sign of disconnection. We should not take it personally as this will help us to focus on solutions as opposed to only focusing on the problem. By focusing on the solution helps us to reunite and connect with our youth that has been troubled. It will give them hope that their disruptive behaviors are not faint signals, but a mouth of brass that penetrates into the hearts of trusted individuals. Reference Brendrto, L. K., & Long, N. J. (2005) The danger of Disconnection. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 14(2), 66-68.
Written By: Taurean Wilson, LMHC Taurean Wilson is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). He is the founder of Enlightened Pathways Counseling, Taurean Wilson One of the District Mental Health Counselor for Flagler County Schools, located in Palm Coast, FL. He is responsible for conducting threat assessments, harm to selfassessments, interpretation of assessments and diagnosis, implementation of individual and group counseling, as well as linking individuals to outside resources.
Top Five Characteristics of An Ideal Counselor Supervisor The role of the counselor supervisor is multi-faceted. As with any leader, it is essential for the supervisor to have the ability to navigate between the functions of counselor, consultant and teacher dependent on the supervisees need at any given time. (Borders, 1994) To be considered an ideal supervisor, one would have to possess at least some basic traits and characteristics as a foundation to build upon. The top five for this writer include the following: My top 5
Top 5 Behavioral Characteristics
Top 5 Professional Knowledge and Approach to Supervision Integrates ethics in daily practice Current with research Effective treatment/ intervention skills Flexible supervision approach based on supervisee's level Encourages the supervisee's problemsolving
One of the most important behavioral characteristics, which include having a good knowledge base and executing a purposeful approach to supervision, relates to ethics. Ethics is the umbrella that protects the supervisor, supervisee, counselor, and client from undue harm. Supervisors are responsible for educating and role 40
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Professional Experience Article
modeling appropriate ethical behaviors to supervisees, which also ties into upholding appropriate boundaries in each role served. Without a solid knowledge base or sense of awareness of what constitutes ethical behavior, a supervisor risks creating a slippery scenario that could result in disfavor to all persons involved. An ideal supervisor is also approachable which would serve to make the supervisee feel comfortable and open to the process. Psychologist Judith Beck recognized counseling professionals held the belief that supervisees would be more likely to ask for direction when they came across a problem if supervisors were “warm, empathetic and helpful” from inception. (Tracey, 2006) Additionally, the level of enthusiasm that a supervisor brings to the role also plays a significant function to the supervisory relationship.“Even more, good supervisors really enjoy supervision, are committed to helping the counselor grow, and evidence commitment to the supervision enterprise by their preparation for and involvement in supervision sessions.” (“The Good Supervisor. ERIC Digest.”) A genuine love for what one does should seep through the supervision process and demonstrate the level of investment one has in preparing supervisors for their roles as counselors. These traits organically cross over into the degree of support a supervisee would experience from the supervisor. The ideal supervisor also possesses a flexible approach to supervision and can meet the supervisee at their own experience level. There is no one-size-fits-all formula, and it is imperative to consider a supervisees individual characteristic as well as learning style to thoughtfully and effectually apply a variety of supervision methods based
on need. (Jewell, 2019) Additionally, working collaboratively with a supervisee and encouraging critical thinking skills are key supervisor traits that shows the supervisee is valued, respected, and supported in their professional growth process. Finally, but not least, the ideal supervisor possesses effective treatment and intervention skills. To achieve a comprehensive viewpoint of counseling, a supervisors training should be extensive coupled with varied experiences in the field. This shows that the supervisor is growth-oriented and seeks to improve upon and supplement skills via professional educational resources, introspection, and feedback from those with whom they work. Remaining up to date and current with research, especially areas of specialty, is also a key factor that ties into a supervisor’s commitment to professional growth.
The good supervisor. ERIC Digest. (n.d.). ERICDigests.Org - Providing full-text access to ERIC Digests. https://www.ericdigests.org/1995-1/good.htm Jewell, C. (2019, March 7). 12 characteristics of an effective clinical supervisor. Mind ReMake Project. https://mindremakeproject.org/2019/03/07/characteristi cs-of-an-effective-clinical-supervisor/ Tracey, M. D. (2006, March). More effective supervision. https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/monitor/mar06/supervision.aspx
Written By: Maria Giuliana, LMHC Maria Giuliana, LMHC, is founder of Beyond The Matter Counseling and Consulting Services in Jacksonville, Florida. She is Qualified Supervisor for both Mental Health and Marriage and Family Registered Interns. Her Leadership and Advocacy experience includes presenting at professional conferences on a variety of clinical topics. She currently holds the position as the Regional Director Northeast of the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association and is a CES doctoral candidate at National Louis University.
Expanding the Mental Health Discourse Beyond the Therapy Room Professional Experience Article
Familiar with the cliché, “Life has a way of coming full circle?” It all started when a friend of mine, who is an Environmental Health and Safety Consultant, reached out to me during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in July 2020. She asked me to pen an article on the mental health impact from Covid-19, what it meant for leaders of organizations as they planned for work resumption, and steps organizations could actively take to cultivate a work culture that gives credence to the mental well-being of their employees. Following that article submission, I was invited to collaborate on a webinar presentation to members of the American Society of Safety Professionals; entitled, “Promoting Mental Well-being for People of Color Within the Realms of Environmental Health and Safety.” I was then privileged to once again collaborate with my friend this year to be a session speaker at two national safety conferences, hosted by the American Society of Safety Professionals and the National Council on Safety. The events took place in Texas and Florida, respectively. We shared on the prospects of integrating mental health into existing Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. The feedback from participants was astounding! Since 2020, my influence as a mental health professional has been expanding beyond the traditional ‘therapy room’. It is in sync with my desires. Not only do I pride myself in being a passionate psycho-therapist, I embrace my role and the responsibility of being an educator and an advocate for mental health literacy; especially in the workplace setting. 42
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Do you want to know what is most intriguing about all of this? This new career pivot is literally taking me back to my roots. This friend of mine, my new partner, is actually a former client with whom I worked during my time as an Environmental Engineer. Absolutely no one could have convinced me that I would somehow find myself revisiting familiar pathways and interfacing with an industry that was once my stomping ground. Much has changed in our world since the onset of the pandemic. I believe the discourse centering mental health has taken on a level of urgency that has never been seen before in our society, at least not for quite some time. A cultural shift of epic proportion is underway. Mental health professionals everywhere are being called to the forefront to lead the charge during this time of incredible change. I personally believe that we have been trained and prepped for such a time as this. I want to invite my colleagues to be part of this revolution. The hunger for what we have to offer as educators and advocates for raising mental health awareness, is palpable. I dare you as I continue to dare myself, to say yes to opportunities when they present themselves. I dare you to go beyond your ‘therapy room’. Written By: Georgia Bryce-Hutchinson, LMFT, M.S, MSEE, CPLC Georgia Bryce-Hutchinson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Professional Life Coach, who boasts 7 years combined professional and practicum experience in the psycho-therapy arena. She works with couples and whole families to resolve dysfunctional patterns of interaction and communication that lend to interpersonal conflict. Bryce-Hutchinson also serves as a Mental Health Consultant in the business arena. She focuses on mental health literacy, organizational wellness and promoting psychological resilience to enhance work productivity
The Impact of Emotional Abuse Professional Experience Article
Understanding the unseen
experiencing it for so long can be difficult. When we take a look at these When we think of trauma, the first examples, it is important to be aware thing that often comes to mind is of how these things can impact a physical abuse, car accidents, the Safe Place, an organization based out person throughout their lifetime and death of people close to us, or lifeof Austin, Texas, delves deeper by in different domains of their life. An threatening situations that leave us adapting the Power and Control individual who is constantly made to with a persistent fear of not being Wheel to target forms of abuse faced question their own judgement, made safe. However, how much do we by people with disabilities. Taking a to feel that they are “crazy”, and made understand about the lasting effects look at the emotional abuse section of to feel guilty about things that are not of traumatic experiences that cannot this wheel, we see that the examples their fault will likely question their always be seen? given include: insulting and shaming judgment in their career, parenting, an individual due to their disability, The Power and Control Wheel other relationships, as well as developed by Domestic Abuse lead them to question their ability Intervention Programs (DAIP) to make decisions for themselves. provides great insight into other The impact of this can be crippling forms of trauma that one may and the difficult to navigate. experience. For the purpose of this With that being said, with greater article, we will be taking a deeper look understanding and support, it is into the impact of emotional possible to regain your sense of abuse and the pervasiveness of it. being, your sense of self, and The Power and Control Wheel lists your sense of control over your examples of emotional abuse as: life. Here are a few ways to begin putting someone down, making one your journey toward healing: feel bad about themselves, name giving conflicting messages that both Support System: Having a support calling, making one feel as if they are help and hurt the individual, abusing system is an important part of the crazy, playing mind games, the partner more as they become healing journey. This can include a humiliating them, and making them more independent, disrespecting trusted family or friend, a spiritual feel guilty. DAIP’s Executive Director, their partners boundaries, and leader that you trust, community Scott Miller, begins to explain the talking down to them (2011). Both organizations, support groups, or an intricacies of emotional abuse by versions of the Power and Control advocate. explaining that the foundation of Wheel include a section that talks Psychotherapy: Therapy is a great emotional abuse is to cause the about Minimizing, Denying, and way to not only feel supported but to individual to feel that they are less Blaming. Within both are the also learn and develop the skills than (2017). Miller further explains examples of blaming the victim for needed to feel like yourself again. that the abuser believes that he is the abuse and saying the abuse did Therapy will address negative superior and has the right to not happen. cognitions that may have developed dominate his partner and carries this Surviving the Unseen after experiencing a trauma and help belief out with constant criticism and you work toward developing more constantly putting her down. This Making sense of the abuse after 44
leads the victim to feel that they cannot survive without their abuser and that they are unworthy.
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adaptive and positive ways of viewing yourself and your abilities while improving your overall mood and sense of being. Grounding and Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques can help you center yourself in the present and shift your focus from things of the past or future that cause discomfort
or anxiety to current feelings, thoughts, and/or body sensations. Examples include breathing exercises, meditation, and walks in nature. Recognizing and being able to put a name to your experiences is often the first step to seeking help. Remember that you are not alone and you are deserving of love, support, and respect.
References: SafePlace. (2011). People with Disabilities in Partner Relationships. Retrieved from http://www.ncdsv.org/images/SafePlace_Pow erControlWheelDisabilities_2011.pdf Understanding the Power and Control Wheel. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wheels/und erstanding-power-control-wheel/#emotionalabuse
Written By: Joshualin Dean, MS, NCC, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern Joshualin “Jay” Dean is a Staff Clinician at the Corbett Trauma Center division of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. Joshualin specializes in trauma with a population focus of victims of crime. Joshualin is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Accelerated Resolution Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to reduce symptoms of trauma. Joshualin has experience working in inpatient psychiatric units, residential programs, and outpatient settings.
Frequently Asked Questions from The American Mental Health Counselors Association's Code of Ethics
When do I have the duty to warn of a threat by my client or a duty to protect against violence that may be committed by a client? The Tarasoff duty to warn and protect against serious threats of imminent violence by a client has been adopted in various
forms in state laws and licensing board Rules. CMHCs need to comply with their state law or licensing board Rules regarding the duty to hospitalize a client who is dangerous to others, in order to prevent threatened violence and to protect the potential victim. By doing this, you comply with Code Principle I.A.2.c which contains an exception to confidentiality “for the protection of life” and provides: “CMHCs are required to comply with state… statutes regarding mandated reporting.”
I am a devoutly religious person, and I do not believe in divorce. When working with couples who have marital problems, I make every effort to preserve the marriage, and counsel my clients not to seek a divorce because of the guilt and emotional problems that this will cause the couple and their children. Is this permissible?
How do I handle confidentiality in conducting group therapy, and what do I tell group members will be the consequences if confidentiality is breached?
The Code provides that “in working with… groups, the right to confidentiality of each member should be safeguarded” according to section I.A.2.l. Inform each group member in the treatment contract or disclosure statement that group counseling is confidential, disclose the
CMHCs cannot impose their values on others. The Code, section I.A.4.d, cautions CMHCs to be “aware of their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, as well as how these apply in a society with clients from diverse ethnic, social, cultural, religious and economic backgrounds.” Then, of course, you must respect the client and be mindful that you are not imposing your attitudes, beliefs, or values on them.
exceptions that apply, and also disclose that what is said in group stays in group, because the information is personal, private and confidential. Then, at the beginning of each group session, remind the members again that all information shared in sessions is confidential, and stays in group. If a member talks outside of group about what someone else had said in a session, then often the consequences are left up to the group to decide what should be done. However, the CMHC should reserve the right to determine if group counseling should be terminated for the member who violated another’s confidentiality, in order to prevent a repetition of the breach of confidentiality. January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
What's Next? Upcoming Virtual Workshops
COUNSELING DURING AND AFTER THE PANDEMIC: 7 TIPS FOR FOSTERING POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH
WORKING HOLISTICALLY WITH THE CODEPENDENT CLIENT
Aaron Norton, PhD, LMHC, LMFT Friday, Jan 28th from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-867187
Mary Joye LMHC Tuesday, March 1st from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-883192
THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN CLINICAL PROCESS AND BILLABLE ACTIVITY
PASSING THE NEW NCMHCE EXAM THE FIRST TIME!
Ryan Fontaine, LMHC & Melissa Norris Friday, Feb 18th from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-867193
Linton Hutchinson, Ph.D. LMHC, NCC & Stacey Frost Wed, March 2nd from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-883190
4 HOUR QUALIFIED SUPERVISOR UPDATE
QUALIFIED SUPERVISION TRAINING (QST)
Julie Buckey, Phd, ACSW & George Jacinto, PhD, LCSW, MEd, BS, PLLC Friday, Feb 25th from 9am-1pm EST 4 Supervisor CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-867193
Julie Buckey, Phd, ACSW & George Jacinto, PhD, LCSW, MEd, BS, PLLC Th-F, March 3rd-5th from 9am-4pm EST 12 Supervisor CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-872362
ABUSE IS NOT JUST PHYSICAL: LEARN THE OTHER 11 TYPES
MEDITATION FOR COUNSELORS
Christine Hammond, LMHC, NCC Friday, Feb 25th from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-883194
Stacey Brown, MA, LMHC, NCC Monday, March 7th from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-883188
TRAUMA INFORMED CARE WITH FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTIVE CHILDREN
Paula Lupton, LCSW & Miranda Johnson, LCSW Monday, Feb 28th from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-883184
Sandra B Stanford LMHC Tuesday, March 8th from 9am-11am EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-883198 January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS: A FOUNDATIONAL APPROACH TO INDIVIDUAL AND RELATIONAL THERAPY
RACIAL AND CULTURAL TRAUMA
Michael G. Holler, MA, NCC, CFMHE, CCCE, CCMHC, LMHC Wed, March 9th from 12pm-3pm EST 3 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-883200
Aisha T. McDonald, LMHC Friday, April 8th from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-867199
COMPLICATED GRIEF FOLLOWING CORONAVIRUS
WORKING WITH CLIENTS WHO HAVE CHRONIC HEALTH ISSUES AND CHRONIC PAIN
Dwight Bain, LMHC, NCC Th-F, March 10th-11th from 8am-5pm EST 16 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-875786
Gabrielle Juliano-Villani LCSW Friday, April 22nd from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-875201
ONLINE ADJUNCTING: SUPPLEMENTING YOUR PRACTICE WHILE TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF COUNSELORS
USING VIDEO GAME EXPERIENCES TO ENCOURAGE EXISTENTIAL GROWTH & NARRATIVE DEVELOPMENT DURING TREATMENT
Dr. Andrew Graham, LMHC, NCC Friday, March 25th from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-867197
Daniel Kaufmann Ph.D., LMHC, IGDC, BACC Friday, May 6th from 2pm-4pm EST 2 General CE Credits CE Broker Tracking #: 20-873979
Legislative Update Legislative Redistricting – What is it? What does it mean for FMHA? The 2022 Florida Legislative Session runs from January 11 to March 11th. An abundance of hot-button topics will be proposed in the coming legislative season which will pose abnormal challenges for lawmakers. Still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature will attempt to make final decisions regarding pandemic-related policies, but the biggest question mark surrounds how Florida will redraw state House, Senate and congressional districts. The redrawing of districts occurs only once a decade. Each time reapportionment occurs, it’s one of the most contentious issues the legislature will see for years. The redrawing of legislative districts is important to FMHCA’s members because it will determine which incumbent legislators will sail to an easy victory. Other sitting legislators will have to navigate difficult waters in the form of choosing whether to challenge likeminded legislators who are currently serving as colleagues in the House and Senate. FMHCA’s members do not have to look far to see the reality of redistricting on the horizon. One (of two) proposed Senate maps could pit Republican Ocala Senator, Dennis Baxley, against Republican Senator Keith Perry from Gainesville. Regardless of political affiliation, both men are well respected in the legislative process. Sen. Baxley has filed and passed legislation on behalf of FMHCA in the past. Likewise, Sen. Perry has passed non-opioid alternative language that FMHCA supported. Under the current map, these two can serve without fear of running against one another due to a clear line between Alachua and Marion counties; however, that is likely to change based on redistricting. Redistricting is the redrawing of congressional and state legislative districts to adapt to the imbalanced growth rates in different parts of the state and takes place after each decennial Census. Using the data that 50
January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
Provided By FMHCA's Lobbyist, Corinne Mixon was acquired from the Census, the Legislature redraws the districts from which Florida voters elect their state representatives, state senators, and members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The districts that are drawn determine which voters participate in which elections. It is important work because it can influence who gets elected, how well various communities are represented in the political process, and how federal funds are allocated. Florida is different than many other states in that Florida voters approved the Fair Districts amendments in 2010 which prohibit legislators from drawing maps to benefit incumbents or political parties. The amendments also require districts to adhere to geographic and political boundaries and be reasonably compact in design. The amendments led to a legal challenge over the maps drawn a decade ago, ultimately leading to the Congressional map being invalidated and the State Senate voluntarily redrawing their original map. The Florida Constitution mandates the Legislature to redraw district boundaries at its Regular Session in the second year following each Census, which will begin on January 11, 2022. Prior to the start of the 2022 Regular Session the Legislature will held interim committee meetings, to develop the initial draft redistricting maps. This process is highly scrutinized by the public, other lawmakers and the media for not allowing enough public input. The Senate Reapportionment Committee is led by Sen. Ray Rodrigues (Lee) and the House Committee will be chaired by Rep. Leek (Volusia). Both chairmen have followed the existing rules so far; although, much of the work is done behind the scenes. FMHCA will keep you up to date regarding the upcoming legislative session and redistricting.
BYLAWS, 2020 (11-12) of the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association A Florida Not-For Profit Corporation Adopted: July 18, 1998 Revised January 29th, 2004; January 1, 2009; February 10, 2012; January 8, 2014; May 17, 2014; September 10, 2014; June 8, 2015 2) The Educational, Training Standards and Continuing Education Committee will have co-chairs, one of whom is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and one who is a counselor educator. This committee will monitor the professional development needs of the Association's members. It will develop and implement a comprehensive plan of continuing education directed towards clinical and practical issues. The committee will be responsible for providing workshops, publications, and in-service opportunities related to identified needs. The committee will communicate with other FMHCA committees concerning professional development activities for the membership. The committee co-chair who is a counselor educator will be responsible for promoting the purposes and goals of FMHCA in counselor education programs in colleges and universities throughout the state. 3) The Membership Committee will actively promote FMHCA membership among Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Mental Health Counselor Interns, graduate students, counselor educators, and others with professional or job-related interests in mental health counseling. Members of the Membership Committee will include the co-chairs of the Registered Intern and Graduate Student Committee, the co-chair of the Educational, Training Standards and Continuing Education Committee who is a counselor educator, local Chapter Presidents and such other members as may be appointed by the President. 4) The Registered Intern and Graduate Student Committee will have co-chairs, one of whom is a Registered Intern and one of whom is a graduate student. The committee co-chair who is a registered intern will be responsible for promoting the purposes and goals of FMHCA as well as membership in the association among registered interns throughout the state. The committee co-chair who is a graduate student will be responsible for promoting the purposes and goals of FMHCA as well as membership in the association in college and university programs statewide that are educating and training future Mental Health Counselors. 5) The Regional Chapter Relations Committee will promote the formation of new local chapters; develop, maintain and implement a list of services provided by FMHCA to local chapters; prepare, maintain and distribute a “Guide to Local Chapter Formation and Operations Manual”; establish and maintain a working relationship with each chapter President; assure that local chapter bylaws are consistent with FMHCA bylaws; encourage local chapters to acknowledge their relationship with FMHCA on their website and printed material and report the status of local chapters annually to the Board after receiving and reviewing the local chapter annual report. 6) The Research Committee will promote scientific research and inquiry into mental health concerns. 52
January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
7) The Military Service Committee will direct the attention of FMHCA members to the needs of veterans, their families and other military personnel, especially those whose active duty included service in combat zones. The committee will also provide members with information on governmental programs that provide opportunities for service to this population. 8) The Public Relations Committee will support FMHCA programs within the state that promote the values of our organization. Additionally, this committee of three members will review requests for Partnership Agreements from external organizations whose missions benefit FMHCA membership. ARTICLE IX: ADOPTION & RATIFICATION, AMENDMENT and PUBLICATION Section 1. Adoption and Ratification These Bylaws are adopted by the Board of Directors effective July 1, 1998 and are subject to ratification by the membership at the first Annual Meeting of the Membership subsequent to that date. These Bylaws, revised and approved by the Board of Directors, are effective June 10, 2015 subject to ratification by the membership. Section 2. Amendment These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3)·majority vote of the Board of Directors subject to ratification by the members at the first Annual Meeting of the Membership subsequent to such revision, or by a method to be determined by the Board of Directors. Section 3. Publication The Bylaws of the Association will be published in their entirety every four years, beginning with their promulgation (July 1, 1998). All amendments adopted by the Association will be printed and distributed to the membership upon adoption. Section 4. Continuity The Secretary of the Association will be responsible for maintaining an official copy of these Bylaws and amendments thereto and for passing same to his/her successor. ARTICLE X: ETHICS Section 1. Applicable Standards The Ethical Standards published by the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) as they may from time to time be revised, are adopted as the ethical standards of FMHCA. In any instance where Florida State and/or federal law and the referenced ethical standards of AMHCA conflict, the higher or more stringent standard will apply. AMHCA's Standards of Ethics are the minimum standards of professional conduct and behavior for practicing counselors and therapists. All members are expected to familiarize themselves with these standards. The FMHCA Ethics Policy is strongly tied to these ethical standards and the ethics consults policies and procedures are designed to integrate with and reinforce the application of the AMHCA Code of Ethics.
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January 2022 InSession | FMHCA.org
Are you a Mental Health Professional? The Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA) is a non-profit organization and chapter of the American Mental Health Counselors Association that is dedicated to meeting your needs as a Clinical Mental Health Counselors in each season of your profession through intentional and strength-based advocacy, networking, accessible professional development, and legislative efforts. Join FMHCA today by visiting www.FMHCA.org
Why join FMHCA? Gain access to member only discounts on NBCC approved CE events, Abenity retailers, and The FMHCA Store Gain access to member exclusive networking events such as "Alliance" Help shape legislature through our Government Relations Committee Get on FMHCA's public directory for individuals seeking services across Florida & more!