As we work to build the connection between the Metro MFT Board and our wonderful clinical and student members, we thought it might be helpful for you to know a bit about the individuals you have elected.
This month’s spotlight features our Metro MFT Secretary Eric Slaughter.
Quick Facts About Eric:
If you need to reach Eric, you can reach him here:
Please join us for our summer networking event! Registrants will be provided with the exact address closer to the event. We hope to see you there!
This month’s spotlight features our Metro MFT Treasurer Jordan Madison.
Jordan is from Brooklyn, New York.
She graduated from the University of Maryland College Park's Couple and Family therapy program in 2018.
She has been working as a therapist since graduation but currently Jordan is working to start up her own private practice!
When asked, “Why are you an MFT/what do you like about being an MFT?”, Jordan responded: “I chose to be an MFT because I have a passion for reducing the stigma around mental health, especially in the Black community. I feel as though the family is the foundation, so if I can help families and couples to heal and have healthier relationships, I believe they will in turn create healthy and healed individuals.”
Jordan’s responsibility as treasurer is to provide transparency around how members' money is being used in the organization.
Her personal goals in her term as treasurer are to make sure financial and tax regulations are followed and aim to help with fundraisers so that Metro MFT can have more resources to provide members with networking and CEU events.
Fun Facts About Jordan:
She has colors for numbers and days of the week- It's actually called synesthesia.
If you need to reach Jordan you can find her here:
Social Media: @therapyismyJAM
Did you know that, just as MetroMFT is a professional organization for DMV MFTs, there are similar organizations for various states that also started as divisions of AAMFT?
Since our beginning, MetroMFT has kept in close contact with the other branched off divisions. We even developed a professional organization support group as we collectively navigated the waters of creating our own separate structures and systems. Informally, we call this group COAST (Coalition of Associations for Systemic Therapy).
COAST holds virtual and in person meetings to provide assistance and advice to each other. Last week, our President, Kirsten Sidell, visited Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the most recent in-person COAST meeting.
Among the items for discussion was how to support AAMFT divisions that have more recently become independent. It was decided that current COAST members would reach out to representatives from those additional states to include them in the next virtual meeting this summer. As COAST continues to evolve, inviting other states to join in and offering support seemed important.
What will happen as COAST grows? Is it just a support group for the growing state associations? Will it become a formal national organization? Something else? We do not know for sure, but it has been so helpful for MetroMFT to have the support of other MFTs from across the country.
Call for Board Nominations!
It's time to nominate yourself or a fellow MFT to the MetroMFT Board!!
The following positions will be voted on for terms beginning January 1, 2022:
minutes and record keeping
events and system management
link board to members
Nominations are open until June 30th 2021. An official election by membership vote will follow.
All qualified members of MetroMFT are welcome to be nominated and encouraged to run for any open office. If nominated by someone else, you will be notified and given the opportunity to accept or decline the nomination.
Once nomination is confirmed, you will be sent a packet of information about the expectations of Board participation and the specific duties of the position for which you have been nominated.
For questions about the Board of Directors or the nomination/election process, please contact the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Nomination Form Click Here
This month’s spotlight features our Metro MFT Vice President Jennifer Fang Brehm.
Jennifer was born in Yunnan, China! She grew up in State College, Pennsylvania but is now actively practicing as an MFT in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Like our president Kirsten Sidell, Jennifer graduated from the University of Maryland Couple and Family Therapy program in 2010.
Currently, Jennifer is the owner and principal psychotherapist at J. Fang Brehm and Associates where she works primarily with couples and individuals from multiple frameworks. She incorporates CBT and DBT for individuals with anxiety and/or depression and utilized CBCT and EFT for couples.
When asked, “Why are you an MFT/what do you like about being an MFT?”, Jennifer responded: “We, as MFTs, view problems and solutions through a contextual, pragmatic, multisystems lens at the intersection of personal development, biology, interpersonal relationships, community, social structures/norms, and spirituality. We help to empower clients to grow and become higher functioning; not making them dependent on substances or on us. We normalize and validate.”
Jennifer’s position as Vice President is to carry out the vision of the president, be responsible for the PR committee, and to facilitate conference planning.
Jennifer’s personal goal in her term as Vice President is to connect MFTs to others in ways that make a practical difference to being supported in our profession and let the community know really how good we are at what we do.
Fun Facts About Jennifer:
1) Her goal is to travel to all 7 continents! She has traveled to 5 continents so far for tourism, studying abroad, visiting family, and short term humanitarian work.
2.) She would like to incorporate her love of ballroom dancing with couple’s therapy!
3.) She was wowed by Dick Schwartz demonstrating IFS at Psychotherapy Networker Symposium and since has dreamed of mastering the art of combining cognitive and experiential therapies to help clients access all parts of themselves.
If you need to reach Jennifer, you can find her here:
LinkedIn: Jennifer Fang Brehm
We all remember the pivotal years surrounding graduate school. It was exciting, yet stressful, and we had A LOT of questions!
Now that time has passed, and knowledge has been gained, there is no better way to give back than directly to the up-and-coming MFTs.
That’s where the Metro MFT Mentorship Program comes in!
Each interested clinical mentor will be matched with a graduate student, recent graduate, or newly licensed clinician. Mentors will answer questions, give advice, and offer support as needed.
It will be up to the mentor, and their match, to determine the frequency of contact as well as how interactions take place (email, phone, virtually, or in-person).
Mentors, and their match, will determine if interactions occur as questions arise or on a schedule.
Possible topics to explore may include life after graduate school, how to start a private practice, networking as a professional, or ways to explore CEU opportunities.
We ask that mentors commit to one year with their match but want to emphasize that this commitment is meant to be flexible and can easily fit into anyone’s schedule.
If you are interested in this opportunity to directly give back, please email email@example.com
While there are many benefits to being a member of Metro MFT, one of the most important is that each individual is an integral part of our local professional community.
Though the pandemic has limited opportunities for our CEU and networking events, the Metro MFT Board has been working hard to ensure that member needs and opportunities continue to be developed. We are currently working on two exciting opportunities for members; a Metro MFT Therapist Directory and a Mentorship and Peer Support Program. More information coming soon!
With networking and CEU opportunities being limited at this time, many current and prospective members have been asking (rightfully so!) where their dues actually go.
The answer: it mostly goes to our legislative advocate Willie Harris.
You have likely heard about the Counseling Compact Bill that will allow for professional counselors, licensed and residing in a compact member state, to practice in other compact member states without the need for multiple licenses.
Unfortunately, this does not include us.
Marriage and Family Therapists will need to have their own bill to gain the same benefits that the counselors are working on. It is for initiatives like this that we need the funds to pay a legislative representative.
Transparently, we get the majority of these funds from your Metro MFT member dues and without representation we face uncertainty in gaining the same benefits that other mental health professionals may have.
It is important to our field, community, and license that we continue to work together to have the same necessary and important benefits as the other helping professionals. Hopefully, we can have some fun along the way as well.
Metro MFT is a place where we hope local MFTs feel a sense of community and want to be involved in the goals and growth. We know this is a work in progress and would love to hear any feedback you have to help us reach this goal.
Did you know that Kirsten is a local? She is originally from Maryland! While she lived in a few other places, including VA, DC, and Ecuador, Maryland has been home for most of her life.
Kirsten graduated from the University of Maryland Couple and Family Therapy program in 2010.
She currently works as a program supervisor at JSSA, where she oversees a team of clinicians who worked in various locations in the community - before COVID. She also has a private practice, where she primarily works with couples. Kirsten is an Emotionally Focused Therapy enthusiast!
When asked, “Why are you an MFT/what do you like about being an MFT?”, Kirsten responded: “We have a difficult time in our culture allowing space for feelings. With couples, I do just that - I help partners to be witness to each other's feelings and experiences to move them to a place of deep connection and intimacy. While I am grateful for my emotional acumen that I gained from my FOO experiences, I did not generally receive the message that my feelings were okay to share with others - and that there was even an advantage to doing so! I am glad to know it now and be able to help others to feel the benefit of this valuable lesson.”
Kirsten’s position as President is to guide Metro MFT, forge connections with other MFT organizations, advocate for our profession, and work with the Board members to implement programming that supports the health of MFTs. Our organization is still in its infancy, and like a parent, she is trying her best to create a space of secure attachment where our organization can begin to develop an independent and thriving culture. To do so, she wants to ensure that there is a clear path for the voices of our local MFTs to guide our decisions and programming as we grow.
Kirsten’s personal goal in her term as President is to support local MFT leadership in ways big and small. She believes that the more we all participate, the less any few people feel charged to take it on by themselves.
Fun Facts About Kirsten:
1) She had her first child about one year ago at the start of COVID!
2) She is passionate about nutrition! She has taken advanced courses in the impact of nutrition on mental health and implements what she has learned in her practice with individuals.
If you need to reach Kirsten, you can find her here:
Willie Harris is the official lobbyist for MetroMFT and has been advocating for Marriage and Family Therapists for more than a decade. Willie works directly with elected officials to protect Maryland consumers of mental health services and our ability to serve them. He informs us of changes in the political landscape in Annapolis, advocates on our behalf during session, and uses his professional expertise and connections in the community to advance the MFT profession and the interests of our clients. Thank you to everyone who has become a part of our new organization as a significant portion of your dues directly finances our ability to keep Willie and in turn our place among the other mental health professionals of Maryland.
Willie was born in Washington, NC, but was raised in Brooklyn, NY. After leaving the Air Force, he went to work for Willie Brown as a political consultant but was soon asked to move to the East Coast to lobby for the Service Employees National Union. In 2003, Willie began working for the Marriage and Family Therapists of Maryland (MAD-AAMFT) and has been dedicated to supporting our profession since. Fellow MFTs describe Willie as friendly, reliable, effective, and a strong advocate for us and our clients in Annapolis!
Silver Spring, MD 20910