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  • Monday, September 13, 2021 1:19 PM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    Did you know that Viviana Azar is from Buenos Aires, Argentina? Or that she graduated from the University of Maryland in 1991? Or how about that outside of her work with MetroMFT, Viviana works as a Manager for Adults, Children and Adolescents at Behavioral Health Services at Montgomery County Department of Health of Human Services - Behavioral Health and Crisis Services?

    As a family therapist, Viviana believes in the healing power of strong and healthy family relationships. Therefore, she hopes to help individuals, couples and families move to a place of mutual understanding and respect so that they can overcome the challenges of life together in a healthy and productive way. Her passion continues to be working with families of all ages as they transition through their different stages in their lives.

    Viviana’s position as Advocacy Officer is to keep the membership informed of the legislative agendas in the Metro area and the national trends for license portability or compact bills that are being promoted in other professions.  She will work closely with our Maryland lobbyist to ensure we have representation during the legislative session.

    When asked, “What are your personal Metro MFT goals within your position?”, Viviana responded: “I hope to create a committee of members from the different jurisdictions to share information and, if possible, come up with a reciprocity bill for the Metro area that will make it easier for MFTs to be licensed in Virginia, DC and Maryland. My dream goal also is to see if we can work at a national level to reach out to our representatives and see whether other professions are working towards a national license or something similar to allow for Telehealth regardless of where the client resides.” 

    Fun Facts About Viviana: She loves hiking and baking!

    If you need to reach Viviana, you can find her here: viviana.azar.cft@gmail.com 

    Please contact Viviana with your interests! Also, if you have a Delaware, DC or Virginia license, she would love your input to inform the rest of the membership about what is happening in your state.

  • Monday, September 13, 2021 12:59 PM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    September 2021

    1. Followup debrief to evaluate what went well and possible improvements to networking meeting at Carol’s in July.

    • Physical distance may not be accommodating to more membership participation; 

    •  suggestions for next in person networking- Brewery in Silver Spring (ie: Denizen’s - outside)

    • Curious about 10+ people who signed up and did not attend- was location a limiting factor? Will followup.

    • Volunteers gathered:

      • 2 people for Lunch and Learns in Fall 2021

      • 4 people for membership drive phone calls

    1. Lobbyist fundraising follow up

    • Treasurer resubmitted online banking application 

    • Current balance enough for rest of 2021

      •  MD Lobbyist at $10,000/year

      • Wild Apricot online website host payments $4,200/year

    1. Coordinate meeting with UMD for student membership - 

    • President to reach out to UMD faculty

    • Schedule another date for February for member  to introduce MetroMFT to UMD students

    1. Licensure portability next steps

    • Looking for a Rep for helping with DC concerns 

      • Advocate for DC concerns 

      • Committee participant 

    • Advocacy Officer to contact committee chair applicant to accept her help

      • Draft an email to members asking for members who want to attend DC board meetings, being a voice for DC MFT concerns 

    1. Mentor program - not enough interest in being a mentor; 2 volunteers 

    • Have application with specific requirements 

      • Current member at large to transfer info to next member at large

    1. Lunch and learns / CEU events 

    • BOPCAT approval for CEU sponsorship - $750 - VP to complete application

    • Goal for Monthly events

    • Virtual for forseeable future

    • Possible recordings 

    1. Articles of Revival 

    • Treasurer completed paperwork and needs signatures (to be in good standing)

    • Once in good standing, update address 

    1. Membership drive for Fall/ Winter 2021-22

    • Calls, mailers

    • Need script

    1. Check in from action items from last meeting 

    • Affiliate membership online visibility 

      • update website to specify Affiliate membership includes unlicensed and retired MFTs as well 

    • Founding member dues website changes 

    • Meeting minutes to be posted to website 

    1. Election/ New Officer timeline 

      1. Nominee packets due Monday August 16th

      2. Electronic ballots sent to membership Monday, August 23rd

      3. Voting open until Sunday September 12th

      4. Election results published Monday, September 19th

      5. Decide on retreat/transition meeting date in December - Dec 3

    • Member at Large; one nominee, Laura Golojuch: lgolojuch@gmail.com

    • Officer of Operations, Rachel Chazen 

    • Secretary: Eric Slaughter until move in Spring 2022

    1. COAST follow up

    • Summary from each participating state on conferences 

    • AAMFT updates

    • What kind of organization will it become in the future

    • Comparison of benefits offered to membership in each state

    • New states’ participation criteria

    1. Scheduled a time to meet in person to complete tasks - 

    Oct 1: 1-2pm board meeting ; 2-5pm group work on tasks 

    • Comb through wild apricot to ensure membership in correct category and renewing on proper date; and send notification to those members to renew 

    • Call Advocacy committee potential participants 

    • Look at other website host platforms for pricing options 

    • Mentor application responsibilities and requirements 

    • Script for membership drive 

    • New member - auto renew date generated 

    • BOPCAT sponsorship for CEUs

    • Meeting Minutes  posted to website 

    NEXT MEETING: October 1st

    What to post to FB (non-member access) vs benefits for members

    Payments are not recurring on website - discuss switch next meeting

  • Wednesday, August 18, 2021 7:50 AM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    8/31/21 Update: Goal Accomplished! (See Original Posting Below)

    Great news MetroMFT community

    We asked whether advocating for our profession is important to you and you answered.

    Because of all of you who responded, we made it to goal before the deadline!!! As of this morning, August 30th, we’re at $5155 of our $5000 minimum needed to renew our lobbyist, Willie Harris’ contract for the rest of 2021. Thank you SO much for your support and continued contributions in membership and donations!!!  

    If you did not pitch in yet and would, your donation and membership is certainly still needed and valued!! It is good to have some cushion so we can plan further out beyond December 2021. Please take anyof the following actions:

    1. Would you consider donating the equivalent of a single session of your therapy fee? https://metromft.wildapricot.org/Donate

    2. Would you talk to one other MFT you know about what we are trying to do (see goals below) and becoming a member? Here's the link to join: https://metromft.wildapricot.org/join-us

    3. If you’d like to contribute to MetroMFT through your ideas, your skills/ talents, your contacts, and/or your time, please help us accomplish goals by signing up to help: https://metromft.wildapricot.org/Sys/Poll/27714

    Goals we are working on that need your support are currently:

    A. Applying for CEU sponsorship to Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists costs $750 (Public Relations Committee)

    B. Regional licensure reciprocity between MD, VA, DC. (Advocacy Committee)

    C. Lining up local speakers for monthly lunch and learns, hopefully for CEU credits (Events Committee)

    D. Setting up a local Therapist Directory for colleague and client referrals (Membership committee)

    E. Mentorship between LCMFTs and MFT students or LGMFTs (Membership Committee)

    F. Building MFT community resources by scripting and contacting members and potential members to inform them about what we do and value of membership (Fundraising and PR Committees)

    G. Identifying and developing Racial and Social Justice initiatives for educating and equipping clinicians for informed, competent and compassionate practice with clients of all identities (Social Justice Committee)

    H. Planning Fall 2022? Conference Topics and Presenters (PR and Events Committee)

    I. Developing our relationship with a dozen other states that also have regional MFT professional organizations. (Become a Metro MFT Board member!)

    We know everyone is busy and aim not to overburden anyone.  Most committee meetings would be once a month for up to an hour with another 1-2 hours of individual work so that would be 2-4 hours per month.  

    We look forward to your ongoing involvement to grow our MFT professional community!

    8/18/21 Urgent Metro MFT Update

    We are writing to inform you that we are unable to fulfill our lobbyist contract; funds that come directly from Metro MFT membership dues. With overall membership being low, and the inability to hold our in person annual conference due the pandemic, we do not have sufficient funds.

    While the organization as a whole is not in jeopardy, we will need to suspend our contract with our lobbyist, Willie Harris, unless we can fund the next two payments. Transparently, we will need to raise $5,000, as outlined in our lobbyist contract. We need to raise these funds by the end of August. If we are unable to come up with the funds needed, we will be pausing our work with Willie.

    In addition to having Willie’s eyes and ears alerting us to important local advocacy initiatives, and making sure MFTs have a voice in Maryland, we have begun a project to explore making licensing easier for MFTs in the DMV (as discussed in our June forum). This involves ease of licensure beyond one's home State. Without our lobbyist, we will need to pause this pursuit.

    Over 65% of membership funds go towards funding our lobbyist. Largely, Metro MFT was founded based on the belief in the essential nature of local advocacy efforts. Being in this position is a reminder for us. It is an opportunity to make a choice. As a group, do we still have the desire to maintain local MFT advocacy efforts in the same way? Are we committing again to having the support of a lobbyist? These are questions we must answer together.

    So how can you help? If your Metro MFT membership has lapsed, and you need to renew, please do so. If you can donate, please visit the donation page at https://metromft.wildapricot.org/Donate. These funds will go directly to fulfilling our lobbyist contract.

    The goal is to raise $5,000 by the end of this month to cover our contract obligations. It is up to you, our members, to demonstrate what is important.

    In the upcoming year, MetroMFT will continue to develop our membership benefits. As a reminder, initiatives include a membership directory, mentorship program, CEU opportunities, and networking events. We are striving to add value to your membership. As always, we would like to keep communication open and are hopeful for ongoing mutual support within our professional community.

  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 12:32 PM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    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:

    • Eric was born in North Carolina.
    • He graduated from Capella University in 2014.
    • Outside of his work with Metro MFT, Eric has a private practice.
    • Eric loves being an MFT because he helps to keep families together!
    • His role as Metro MFT Secretary is to keep members informed.
    • Eric previously ran a riverboat charter business for 20 years!

    If you need to reach Eric, you can reach him here:

  • Friday, June 18, 2021 9:27 AM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    Let’s reconnect!

    Register 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!

  • Monday, June 07, 2021 12:18 PM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    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 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:

    1. She has colors for numbers and days of the week- It's actually called synesthesia.

    2. Jordan knows how to knit!

    If you need to reach Jordan you can find her here: 

    E-mail: jamthemft@gmail.com 

    Social Media: @therapyismyJAM 

  • Saturday, June 05, 2021 9:06 AM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    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.

  • Tuesday, June 01, 2021 1:55 PM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    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:

    • Secretary (2 year term):

    minutes and record keeping

    • Officer of Operations (1 year term):

    events and system management

    • Member-at-Large (1 year term):

    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 metromft@gmail.com

    For Nomination Form Click Here

  • Thursday, May 06, 2021 7:24 AM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    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 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: 
    Website: www.jfbtherapy.com
    LinkedIn: Jennifer Fang Brehm
    E-mail: Jennifer@jfbtherapy.com

  • Wednesday, April 21, 2021 8:10 PM | Rachel Chazen (Administrator)

    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 metromft@gmail.com

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