Inland Empire Chapter of CAMFT


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  • 08 Oct 2021 8:54 AM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)

    "All that's you is now.  There is no past".  

    A client was trying to explain her inner experience to me, but I was just not getting it!  She was so patient as she explained that there was no past, just the present.  
    My adult clients tell me about disturbing memories of past events when it is the current disturbance in current working memory that is troubling them. When past events remain disturbing as we remember them now it's because we did not have the information needed to make sense of the event when it was happening. Remembering a past disturbance is another opportunity to relive that event, except with a new and improved 2021 model brain, the latest model.
    Every time we learn something new we are upgrading our brains. 2007 was a too-challenging year for me. I can remember the events of that year as a single collage, or tease them apart, remembering them one at a time with my now brain, a brain filled with new thoughts, ideas, schemas, to help me make sense of troubling memories from that awful year.
    It's good to be able to make the past the present; and expose difficult memories to the scrutiny of one's new and improved brain. My brain is renewed, reconfigured and filled with new learning, facilitated by the monthly offerings at IE-CAMFT training/CEU opportunities.  
    I love being part of IE-CAMFT. It means I'm part of a bigger picture, and that keeps me hopeful.
    Paul Velen, MS, LMFT

  • 08 Sep 2021 1:55 PM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)

    From the time I was born, and likely before that, I have been taking in information from available senses — it's just the human thing to do. But how did we as a species arrive at an adaptive information processing system, one that serves to keep us safer, more likely to survive? The answer to this question is a matter of much opinion. Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget and others have always served me well, and they suggest that as we take in new information we integrate it with older observations; voilá! an adaptive information processing system.

    Humans without the ability to integrate information in this way are left with points of trauma. And, integration takes time. A client shared this thought with me and I was left with a sense of just how important "time to be" was for the integration process. As a child he knew instinctively that the time he required for "being" was necessary, despite important people in his life steering him toward spending time accomplishing other goals. Whether we call this "time to be" mindfulness, meditation, or even just enjoying the view, it is a kind of catalyst that allows us to let in the new.

    Once again, the monthly IE-CAMFT trainings/CEU opportunities are a catalyst that enhances the process. They build on the old, adding the new to the adaptive information system, each of us at our own rates of speed. I hope that all of you will take in the new, allowing yourself the gift of time to create a new you. I love being part of IE-CAMFT. I'm so glad to be a part of a bigger picture. It keeps me hopeful.
    Paul Velen, MS, LMFT
  • 09 Aug 2021 11:00 AM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)
    Clients often come for help when their sense of self is compromised by an observing ego, or by significant others in their lives. The dysphoria is often palpable, and the attendant emotional pain is disorienting. They feel like an outlier — a person differing from all others in their peer group.

    Who has not experienced the perceived need for caution that outliers feel when interacting with those who are among the mean of a distribution? The energy expended in hiding one's outlier status — and the fear of that status being discovered — can suck the life out of enterprise.

    As humans we need to feel connected, and being an outlier feels antithetical to that feeling of connection. To have someone from the majority respect the perspective of the outlier is soothing for an outlier. As a culture we seem to be moving increasingly toward awareness of those outliers who occupy a smaller percent of the general population; this I think of as human growth.

    Once again, the monthly IE-CAMFT training/CEU opportunities makes learning the perspectives of those in outlier groups of all sorts easier.  This can only serve to make our culture more inclusive. Featured speakers may give context to the perspectives of outliers; allowing them to become resources from whom to learn more in the future.  Check for more info and to RSVP for our future events:

    The effort, if successful, increases the chance we can hear the pain of more and more diverse populations, responding to them with genuine respect. The look of relief on a client's face when he/she, them/they feels heard is the best treat ever!

    I love being part of IE-CAMFT. I'm so glad to be a part of a bigger picture. It keeps me hopeful.

    Paul Velen, MS, LMFT
    Nothing done for another is wasted

  • 15 Jul 2021 10:03 AM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)
    The Freedom of Ignorance

    I often have the opportunity to learn from my clients and recently I had another such moment. She came to me feeling very disturbed by what she termed "freedom of ignorance", or the tendency in others to assume they understand her situation; so much so that they dared to offer her solutions to her problems. As she went on I couldn't help but think that the phrase would make a great title for a book or article.

    As easy as it is to understand my client's complaint, it's just as easy to understand the motive of the person offering their unsolicited opinion. How freeing to offer up one's "off the top of my head" solution to their predicament.  Ah, but later – having listened more, researched more, thought more – I can better understand that client's "dance through life" and I'm embarrassed . Exercising one's right to free speech needn't be an embarrassment though, as long we remember to give two gifts, one to my client and one to myself.

    The gift to another is giving them the sense that you've listened, that they've been heard, and that they're worthy of being heard. Bestowing that feeling of having been heard upon another is among the greatest of gifts we, as therapists, give. As no two humans are exactly alike, we are all outliers. To understand is not always easy, but speakers like those offered by IE-CAMFT can make it easier.

    Now, the gift to myself is education.  Once again, the monthly IE-CAMFT training/CEU opportunities make that easy. The speakers provide context on a variety of subjects, and presenters become resources from whom to learn more in the future. The effect, if successful, means the difference between feeling embarrassed by my own ignorance or knowing that I got it, or at least I'm getting it. What prevents me from getting it is not what I don't know, rather it is being cavalier about my own ignorance.

    I love being part of IE-CAMFT. I'm glad to be a part of the bigger picture. It keeps me hopeful.

    Paul Velen, MS, LMFT
    IE-CAMFT President-Elect
  • 16 Jun 2021 9:43 PM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)

    I wish us all luck in expanding our consciousnesses to include the socio-political context of others and I see each IE-CAMFT, its membership, and the offered trainings as the means to this end.

    The increase in vaccination rates in the past few weeks have brought hope for an end to, if not the Coronavirus itself, at least the restrictions that were imposed for dealing with the pandemic. This is important because the external stresses brought on by the pandemic have in some cases overwhelmed our capacity to maintain emotional balance. A "safe port in the storm" has always been important and during this difficult time even more so; we, as therapists, can be for our clients that precious harbor.

    I was reading an article by Sharon Ramsey about Third-order Change. She defines such change as knowledge about cultures, power dynamics, and societal structures that influence the experience of others. It makes possible the integration of systems that govern the relationship between society, families, and individuals.

    My awareness of the inequities that people may experience is an important part of being present to another person — to be a therapist who truly cares when seeing a client or clients. When clients understand and sense this connection, we, as therapists, may change their vista from one looking out to a roiling, lonely sea and instead toward a safe harbor.

    This is not to say that this kind of therapist-client consciousness and knowledge is an easy goal, it is not. However, it is attainable at least in part. The biggest barrier to Third-order Change, is not knowing what we don’t know.

    I’m so thankful for the monthly trainings available though IE-CAMFT, not to mention my many interactions with members. These trainings, and interactions help me, and all of us, learn new ways of looking at things we know, but most importantly help us to learn things we did not know existed.  To help me learn what I didn’t know ...
    I’m so glad to be a part of a bigger picture. It keeps me hopeful.

    This month's virtual training is:  Ferrari Brain with Bicycle Brakes: How ADHD Shows Up in Young Adults & Teens, and When to Get Tested by Dr. Monica Blied, PhD.
    Intro presentation video:

    Paul Velen, MS, LMFT
    IE-CAMFT President-Elect
  • 11 May 2021 9:30 PM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)

    As we move from spring to summer, we at IE-CAMFT hope you will have an opportunity to sign up for some of our wonderful upcoming events.  If you are not a member of IE-CAMFT, our guest fee of $20.00 will allow you and your friends across the country to join us.  Feel free to share our video with groups that may benefit from our trainings.

    As Covid appears to be changing its trajectory, how the world will settle into a “new normal” is still up in the air.  I personally see our world changing to more of a hybrid; both virtual and in person depending on your position and even your health. This is just my personal opinion, we will find out soon enough.  

    I wonder if we could take a poll. Are you ready to fully go back to in-person with clients while wearing masks?  Many of us are getting calls requesting us to return to our offices.  What about therapists who let go of their overhead i.e. rent in this last year?  We would love to dialogue about your desire or even need to move back to the office and to hear your comments and feedback in regard to this.  

    At IE-CAMFT, we need to consider moving our meetings to a larger location.  We will consider a hybrid, where some members attend and others come in person. We all crave connection and networking with our peers. The board will discuss our options.  Our plan is to continue to meet online until at least the summer.

    We want to share an email we received this month from The Red Cross:

    Hello Carol!

    My name is Juana Zapata and I am the Senior Volunteer Recruiter for the American Red Cross in San Bernardino County.  I hope you and your organization are doing well.  I wanted to reach out to you with a unique volunteer opportunity for you and your colleagues.  

    The American Red Cross needs Mental Health Professionals to assist in the recovery process for those in our community who are impacted by disaster.  By partnering with our cause, you can ensure that our community members have both the short-term and long-term support to make it through such challenging times.  

    I went ahead and attached a flyer to this email to provide a bit more information on the role of mental health professionals.  I would love to set up a meeting so that we can discuss this in more detail.  If you could send me your availability for a quick phone call, I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Stay safe and have a wonderful day!

    Yours in Service,
    Juana Zapata
    Senior Volunteer Recruitment Specialist - San Bernardino County

    I don’t know about you, but I have always wanted to be a first responder and getting involved with the American Red Cross is definitely working towards that goal.  

    Our next training is Acceptance And Commitment Therapy: An Evidence Based Practice Which Tends To The Soul – May 28th, 2021. 9-11 Am.  Online
    Intro Presentation Video

    We are always looking for members for our various committees and board positions. There are many advantages to being on a board. I always say that the New Tribe you create can support you. We lean on each other!

    Giving back to our community by volunteering on a board is a great personal benefit. That feeling of helping is something we as clinicians are all too familiar with.

    The board runs very seamlessly. We email throughout the month, have our (virtual) board meetings on the same day as the monthly trainings. This eliminates logistical concerns, such as driving to a location and getting back home.

    I believe I have been involved with the board six years, but don’t quote me on that. I have networked and hired people from the meetings, made great friends and learned information on so many topics. And in case you didn’t know, members are welcome to attend our board meetings. Just email if you would like the link for the meeting. We would love your input and feedback, and introduce you to how the board works.

    As we continue our virtual presentations, please remember to check the guidelines on our website.

    Thank you for continuing to support IE-CAMFT, and please share our trainings. Keep in mind we are always looking for new board members and committee members. We can’t do this without your support. We look forward to seeing you soon!

    Carol Rose Adkisson. LMFT
    IE-CAMFT President

  • 14 Apr 2021 10:05 AM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)

    Hi, This is Carol Rose Adkisson your IE-CAMFT President. Hope all is going well! I am curious how your practices are shifting with the advent of the vaccines and more and more businesses opening. My business remains a hybrid. Do you have concerns about liability? Are your businesses covid compliant? There are so many questions to consider during this Global Pandemic. We hope you are all well!

    I would like to announce that our elections for this year have been completed.

    The elected board members are:
    President – Carol Rose Adkisson
    President Elect – Paul Velen
    Financial Officer – Steve Gray
    Secretary – Sherry Shockey-Pope
    Membership Chair – Ilse Aerts
    Program Chair – Lynn Flewelling

    Members at Large – Garry Raley, Cecelia Fabris andOmar Gonzalez - Valentino

    If you are interested in becoming a member of the board, these are the official duties of each position. We are happy to assist you if you have any questions.

    We are in the process of restructuring our bylaws, and there will be more news to follow in the upcoming President’s Message.

    Our Law and Ethics Training was a great success. Partnering with State CAMFT was a new endeavor. See details of the presentation HERE. It was very relevant subject matter and we thank CAMFT for this excellent training.

    We are always looking for new members for our various committees and board positions. There are many advantages to being on a board. I always say that the New Tribe that you create can support you…we lean on each other.

    Giving back to your community by volunteering on a board is a great benefit, the feeling of helping is something we as clinicians are all too familiar with.

    The board runs very seamlessly. We email throughout the month and have our (virtual) board meetings on the same day as the monthly trainings, which eliminates logistical concerns, such as driving to a location and getting back home, before and after the meetings.

    I believe I have been involved with the board approximately six years (don’t quote me on that). I have networked and hired people from the meetings, made great friends and learned information on so many topics as our trainings are on varied subject matter. And in case you didn’t know, all members are welcome to attend our board meetings. Just email if you would like the link for the meeting. We would love your input and feedback and introduce you to how the board works.

    Our upcoming training is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Evidence Based Practice Which Tends to the Soul by Annabelle Parr,MA, MFT - more info check our website:

    As we continue our virtual presentations, please remember to check the guidelines on our website.

    Thank you for continuing to support IE-CAMFT and please share our trainings. We can’t do this without your support. We look forward to seeing you soon.

    Carol Rose Adkisson, IE-CAMFT President

  • 05 Mar 2021 8:55 AM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)

    We are well into this year now.  How are you doing?  Are you beginning to go back to your in person office, or maintaining a telehealth presence?  I am telehealth all of the way, however my team that works for me have adopted a hybrid approach, some telehealth and some in person.  With the vaccines becoming more available and the third one on its way, are you getting more comfortable, getting out more and discovering what this new normal is and wondering how long this will continue?

    The Spanish Flu lasted several years, I found a picture that reminded me so much of today and how we are living.  When I first saw this, it was a bit eerie, other than their old fashioned attire, I could swear I am looking at us today in our Covid-19 World. 

    Elections This Month!

    Hopefully by now you have received the upcoming elections information. The voting goes through March 31st, 2021, and we will announce the results in the upcoming President’s Message in April. Yes I said April...this year is moving fast!

    The advantages of being a board member are numerous.  For one thing, the connections you make become a new Tribe in your life that you can support and also lean on. Giving back to our community by volunteering on a board is also a great benefit, that feeling of helping is something we as clinicians are familiar with.

    The board runs seamlessly. We email throughout the month, have our trainings and board meetings on the same day, virtually, which eliminates logistical concerns, such as driving to a location and getting back home.  

    I can only speak for myself, but over the years I have networked and hired people from our meetings, made great friends, and learned a ton from the many topics our trainings cover.

    Please check your email and cast your vote! 
    Nominees this year are as follows:

    • President: Carol Rose Adkisson
    • President Elect: Paul Velen
    • Past President- N/A
    • Financial Officer: Steve Gray
    • Secretary: Sherry Shockey-Pope
    • Membership Chair: Ilse Aerts
    • Program Chair:  Lynn Flewelling
    • Members at large:
    • Garry Raley, Cecilia Fabris, Omar Gonzalez

    Read the duties of each position HERE.

    This brings me to our last meeting. Thank you Georgia King for your presentation on Immigration. Such a timely subject matter and so needed by the immigrants in our country.  

    Our upcoming training is Working with Dogs in Practice: Clinical, Ethical, and Personal Consideration, presented by Hannah Herkert, M.A. Watch the interview with Hannah Herkert by Carol Rose Adkisson, IE-Camft board President.

    Finally, our Law and Ethics Training will be April 9. Sign up as soon as possible. As a chapter member you receive a discount. Remember, the last three days you can no longer register.

    We will have four great presenters that will teach on various law and ethics subject that are relevant and helpful to any clinician.  This course provides 6 CEUs for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEP’s.  Cancellation must be 14 days in advance for 100% refund, 72 hours for a 50% refund.  Less than 72 hours of notice of cancellation will result in forfeiture of payment.

    Thank you for continuing to support IE-CAMFT, and please share our trainings with others.  We are always looking for new board members and committee members.  We can’t do this without your support. We look forward to seeing you soon. :-)

    Carol Rose Adkisson
    IE-CAMFT President

  • 15 Feb 2021 11:54 AM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)

    Am I crazy? Yes, that was a joke, or is this year speeding by?  One minute we are having a quite unusual New Year’s Eve and the next, clients are making appointments in March.  How is your year going so far?  Are you taking steps toward the goals you would like to reach this year?  I have heard so many people saying they are feeling hopeful, and I feel that too.  Yes, the vaccines have been rolling out, and depending on where you stand on that controversial issue, that may be the tipping point to a more hopeful year.  Or maybe your hope could be attached to something else.  I see lots of new babies being born; how can that not bring joy to the family members that bring a new life into this world?

    I, myself, stay clear of politics and with this country divided, this may also be affecting how you are feeling.  The point is that therapists feel.  As a clinical supervisor, many of my staff question if that is ok. I always say you are a human, then please feel free to express your emotions in the way you need to, and of course, at an appropriate time.  None of us know how Covid will continue to play out with these newly added strains.  It seems so many people have their own Covid story, and they are very interesting to hear.  As we are unique humans, we all have had our unique story. Was your case mild, are you a long hauler, were you somewhere in the middle?  For me, I was a long hauler, about two months, with a few lingering symptoms; however, since having Covid, it really put me into high gear, appreciating my health.  How are you feeling?  I wish I could talk to each and every one of you and hear your stories.

    I want to thank Dr. Ryan Witherspoon for his unique presentation last month, Censensual Non-Monogamy. I have heard many positive comments about his presentation.  I found he was well informed and helped us, as clinicians, navigate the world we live in today; understanding relationships are complicated. He gave us a peek into this world he understands so well.  If you are interested, you can see his pre-interview talk with me at

    We are looking forward to this month's speaker, Georgia King, LCSW. She is presenting Immigration Evaluation Masterclass for Therapists on February 26.

    Not many therapists know about the amazing opportunities available in the field of immigration law. Therapists can help immigrant families stay together and get asylum. Lawyers have a huge need for expert clinical assessments, and the field is wide open for therapists to get started. Read GEORGIA'S ARTICLE about how she got involved with immigration evaluation work. 

    Watch our pre-presentation chat:

    I am especially excited about this topic, as I have written hundreds of immigration evaluations. It is quite a privilege to sit in the pain and trauma of possibly being separated by your loved ones.  Please sign up as soon as you can, remember we close registrations two days before the actual presentation.  

    Mark your calendars!
    6 hour Law and Ethics Training, April 9th

    There will be more information in the coming months. We are partnering with State CAMFT to make this experience educational and virtual friendly.

    IE-CAMFT is here to offer us educational programs and also to allow us to network with each other.  Please come early to our events and get to know who is joining you at the training. 

    For suggestions to make your virtual event experience optimal, check out our website:   

    Board Elections in April! 

    Here is the slate for the board for 2021-2022.

    • President: Carol Adkisson
    • President-Elect: Open Duties: Succeed to the presidency after one year. Perform the duties of the President in his or her absence or incapacity.
    • Past President: N/A
    • Treasurer/Financial Officer: Steve Gray
    • Secretary: Sherry Shockey-Pope
    • Membership Chair: Ilse Alerts
    • Program Chair: Lynn Flewelling
    • Members at Large: Garry Raley, Omar Gonzalez-Valentino, Cecilla Fabris, (Zanetta Van Putten?)

    We are looking for volunteers and potential community and future board members.  If you are interested, please feel free to contact us at  As a member of this board for a number of years, I have found this to be an invaluable experience, and we hope that you too would consider this as a positive season in your life.

    Thank you for continuing to support IE-CAMFT. Please share about our trainings. We look forward to seeing you soon.

    Carol Rose Adkisson


  • 02 Feb 2021 3:14 PM | Nancy Orr (Administrator)

    When I became a therapist, I never imagined that simply by providing assessments for immigration cases, I could be instrumental in refugees getting asylum and families remaining together. I had never heard of therapists doing such a thing. I stumbled into this work by accident and it has led to some of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

    One of the first cases I worked on was with a transgender man seeking asylum. He described the horror of being a transgender person in El Salvador and shared that in just a few years, more than 20 people in his community had been killed for being transgender, gay or lesbian. It no longer surprised him to see dead bodies in the street. He himself had been assaulted and tortured by a police officer, and this trauma was the basis of his petition for asylum. By conducting a mental health evaluation, I was able to document his PTSD symptoms, assess his credibility, and provide evidence to support his claim that he needed asylum. I’ll never forget his lawyer telling me that the case was successful and that my evaluation was crucial to winning the case. The joy that I felt being part of this life-saving process was so profound that I was immediately hooked.

    Previously, my interest was solely in providing therapy. I graduated from the Smith College School for Social Work in 2008 and worked for several years as a therapist in community mental health and then at Walter Reed Military Base. I started building a private practice and thoroughly enjoyed my specialty, which was providing therapy for adolescents. But my career took a different turn when I moved into an office across the hall from several immigration lawyers.

    One day, a lawyer asked me to provide a “psychological evaluation” for one of his cases. I’d never heard of such a thing and immediately refused, thinking (erroneously) that a therapist would need a doctorate for this kind of work. In fact, this field is wide open to master’s level clinicians and there’s no need to be bilingual or have any specialized experience. With the right training, it’s easy to effectively apply our clinical skills to the unique needs of immigration cases.

    I found training that provided some basic information about immigration evaluations, and I jumped in. Because my office was across the hall from these lawyers, I was able to work closely with them and create highly effective templates tailored to each type of case. In time, we began hearing that our cases were winning at an incredibly high success rate. Lawyers started telling me that my assessments were helping them win cases they would have lost in the past. I came to realize that when a therapist understands how each case is structured, an evaluation can be extraordinarily effective. It can be the dealbreaker, determining whether a family will stay together, or an individual will escape life-threatening circumstances in their home country.

    Over the past 10 years, I’ve provided evaluations for hundreds of immigrants from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds. My recent clients have been from Iran, India, Thailand, and China. I have pro bono clients who arrived in the U.S. with just the clothes on their backs, and I have wealthier full-fee clients who are engineers and computer scientists. I’ve found that incorporating these assessments has brought substantial growth and stability to my private practice.

    As I began to realize the huge need for evaluations and the benefits to a private practice, I was shocked that so few therapists even knew about these opportunities, much less how to get the training to get started. So, I made it part of my mission to spread the word as widely as possible and support therapists who wanted to do this work. In 2017, I founded The Immigration Evaluation Training Center, and I have had the opportunity to train hundreds of therapists around the country. Therapists already have the skills necessary to conduct mental health assessments, and I show them how to use those skills most effectively for each type of immigration case. In my trainings, I provide the key to my success, so therapists can get started with ease and confidence. I supply a simple roadmap to guide therapists each step along the way. This includes knowledge about relevant legal concepts, detailed templates, and interviewing questions, as well as expert marketing strategies and ongoing support through consultation and online social media groups. Over and over, I see how my proven formula helps therapists provide highly effective evaluations and launch thriving practices.

    I feel such gratitude that I discovered this obscure niche in the mental health field. This is some of the most meaningful work I’ve ever done, and it’s deeply in line with my own values. As someone with the unearned privilege of being a white, educated U.S. citizen, I’m grateful for the chance to use my privilege and skills to contribute to social justice, and I’m passionate about spreading the word because I know that so many therapists from all walks of life would love this same opportunity. We have the chance to be on the front lines of advocacy for immigrants and to make an impact that’s life-changing. The field is wide open for you to get started.

    Georgia King, LCSW is one of the leading therapists providing clinical evaluations for immigration cases. Over the past decade, she has provided assessments for hundreds of immigrants from around the world with an exceptionally high success rate. She regularly appears in court as an expert witness and has been a guest speaker at Georgetown Law School and the Smith College School for Social Work. Ms. King is also at the forefront of training therapists, and since founding The Immigration Evaluation Training Center in 2017, she has had the opportunity to teach hundreds of therapists around the country how to provide expert evaluations and how to launch thriving businesses. She can be reached through her website

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