I wanted to let everybody know who might be interested that, after a lot of discussion, we're finally pulling together an Orange County Postmodern Salon. It will take place at my house and is open to all. So if you are a counselor/therapist who might be interested in learning more about postmodern therapies (narrative therapy, solution focused, collaborative language, etc.) or someone interested in postmodern theory, or most importantly, how these ideas can be applied to your work/life in a meaningful way, please come join us. We hope, with your help, to make this a regular occurrence.
We are very excited about our first event. Info follows:
us for our first Orange County Postmodern Salon Featuring Dove Presnall, MA,
LMFT & Executive Director of Survivors' Truths
On August 1st we will be meeting at Chris Hoff's home. Schedule follows:
2pm: Presentation by Dove
3pm til ??: Socializing/BBQ/Poolside
For our first event we are excited to feature Dove Presnall, MA, LMFT. Dove
currently provides counseling services in Los Angeles (www.talkwithdove.com)
and serves as Executive Director of Survivors' Truths (www.survivorstruths.org)
a not for profit organization born out of Dove's experience as a trainer and
field supervisor of Liberian counselors and social workers, where she worked
directly with war survivors including women survivors of targeted sexual
violence, male and female torture survivors of all ages, and conscripted child
soldiers. Survivors Truths works with survivors of all sorts, to document their
voices, give faces to their stories, and celebrates the spirit of survival and
hope. Survivors' Truths seeks to draw out and emphasize the part of each
person's story where they were able to find a way through difficult
Dove will share with us how postmodern ideas have informed her journey and how
others might benefit from these ideas in their counseling work or in their
Contact me for directions info. Following is a video made by Survivors' Truths
These last several days I was in Boulder CO for the American Family Therapy Academy conference. I was there because I am a student member of AFTA, but I was also asked by a couple of colleagues to help present on examining power relations in supervision. My friends Jane Chiu and Laurie Markham had come together several months ago to begin to put language to their experiences of power and how it operated between men-women, whites-minorities, and between supervisor-supervised, in the training of new therapists. Somewhere in the process they asked if I would be willing to participate. I had, over several months shared with Laurie, my experiences of the navigating the power relationship with our supervisors and how some of the positions they held ran counter to various things I valued. She felt I had experience and ideas to offer in regards to negotiating power relations. I was hesitant at first because both Jane and Laurie had come together in a great way, had put in a lot of work around their writing, so I felt like I would be a sort of "carpetbagger" on the great work they had already done. After much discussion we decided that we would center Jane and Laurie's experience, and that I would come in half way through when we began to discuss negotiating power relations. In other words, I would accommodate and wing it, which is really my strength and my preference in these kind of things.
Well after it was all said and done, the presentation was a great success and I was so happy to be able to participate with such wonderfully talented and intelligent people. An added bonus was that a few of my hero's were in the crowd including, Gene Combs, Bill Madsen, and Kaethe Weingarten. The feedback both Laurie and Jane received was tremendous, and a highlight for me was to have Bill Madsen stop me in the hall to mention that I did a great job. It was a great experience and I was really happy for all involved.
It should also be said that we have two great supervisors, Duncan Wigg and David Marsten, who gave us the space and freedom to have this discussion and who have been instrumental in my development as a therapist. It was great to spend the week with them and have this opportunity to talk about their influence on us.
It was an amazing experience to participate in my first presentation. Thank you Jane and Laurie for the opportunity.
People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands - literally thousands - of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss. - Nick Hornby
I've been speaking with him regularly this week. I call Jerome when I need love.
It's not really love I need, but rather a new way of looking at the world. Jerome has a way of helping me sort out what's important in life. He grounds me. I met Jerome over 15 years ago in Phoenix. He was suicidal at the time. We became fast friends.
Several years ago Jerome stepped out of the corporate world to follow his spiritual path full-time. It's taken him from Boise to Taos, through Seattle, and now he currently resides in Sedona. I live vicariously through him because I fantasize regularly about stepping out of the world. I'm not sure how much that fantasy is motivated by the spiritual quest, or my consistent desire to crawl into a hole and hide.
Anyway, Jerome is the guy I call where, we talk about the struggle, big ideas, and how we are both falling short of our ideals. There's never any judgment from Jerome, just understanding, and when I hang up the phone with him it never fails, I always feel better, and inspired. My wish is that everybody has a friend like Jerome. You only need one.
I will be seeing him in about a month. I'm looking forward to the face to face time, taking hikes in Sedona and just talking. I need it now, but It'll have to wait a month.
In the spirit of this post I thought I'd Attach a trailer for one of my favorite documentary's. It features some of my hero's. If you have not seen it, take the time.
So I have another month and a half until my summer break which happens during the month of August. I really need to recharge the batteries, and when I really need to recharge the batteries, there's nothing better than hitting the road and seeing good friends.
So as soon as classes are done at the end of July I will be hitting the road and paying a visit to my best friend Jerome and his wife Kim in Sedona and then I will be heading to my own little personal slice of heaven, northern New Mexico. While there I will also be dropping in on the world famous McGough sisters, who amazingly enough, have not been chased out of New Mexico. Yet.
I started planning my route today, and I am already feeling better. I'm not sure how long I will be on the road. All I know is I have to be back by mid August so I can take my wife to Montreal/Quebec/New Hampshire/coast of Maine. More on that later.
I've attached a couple of videos that I took the while visiting Jerome when he was living in Taos and the last time I was with the sisters. They're a little long and not the best quality (Flip) but I liked reminiscing:
Today was Hanna's last day at the counseling center I work at and I will miss her greatly. When I first started at the center and was tasked to start seeing clients, but needed to find someone who would be willing to do co-therapy with me, Hanaa stepped up right away, when many of the other trainees/interns didn't want to, and offered to do co-therapy with me so I could get my start. Not only that, but the co-therapy we did together went smashingly well in our opinion, and we discovered we worked really well together, we really did.
If you haven't noticed, Hanna is also a devout Muslim and a "scarfy" (her words) and I am a bald Buddhist. She has taught me many things around her culture and religion, and through her friendship, example and wisdom, I gained a deep respect and appreciation for both. I also recently learned of the many burdens she carries into the room because of those things. Her courage is profound.
I will always hold a deep appreciation for Hanaa, and will very much miss seeing her around the clinic. But I also rest assured, that our story is not yet finished.