Up in Smoke: Facing the Fire Threat on Top of the Rest

By Emily Phifer, M.S. MFT   Approaching Burnout How are we to manage the fatigue of yet another threat (that of fires), on top of the Covid-19 specter which has been looming large for the past 6 months, and the racial upheaval and political unrest fueling division in our country? If you’re approaching burnout right about now, wondering how to keep putting one foot in front of another, you’re not alone. With the recent added trauma of the devastating West Coast fires, this year has just served up yet another whopping stressor to...

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The Buy Nothing Project: Grace Given and Received

By Emily Phifer, M.S. MFT No Strings Attached During the quarantine and pandemic over these past 5 + months, I have found a new joy in giving and receiving.  In the course of joining a local “Buy Nothing” group, I found myself participating in the communal shared (virtual) space of stating needs or wants, offering up gifts for the taking, and expressing desire for certain items that would otherwise go to waste or simply take up space.  There is tangible excitement in finding items that I might need or want for my...

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We learn a lot from mistakes. But what about successes?

 Wendy Edwards, AMFT [perfectpullquote align="full" bordertop="false" cite="" link="" color="" class="" size=""]I reached a fairly ripe age without ever being called a risk-taker.[/perfectpullquote] And yet, 12 years ago, I decided to take a big one.  Many years beyond higher education, I joined a cohort of 20- and early 30-somethings in a Master’s Degree program at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. I was warned the licensure process was a long one, full of much hoop-jumping.  But, ultimately, if I persevered,  I could become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California.   Seeds of...

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Resiliency: Transformation Through Life’s Challenges

by Christian Bonilla, MA, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist   What is resilience? I think we can all agree that life is amazing when everything is running smoothly.  However, life does not always work that way.  It is simply too unpredictable.  I became quite familiar with this fact thirteen years ago, at the age of fifteen.  The result of a diving accident at a lake left me paralyzed from the chest down.  Life as I knew it would never be the same.  Gone was my ability to play instruments and run for my...

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PLAY: Promoting Lifetime Achievement for Youth

By Rubina Haroutonian, M.A., LMFT, RPT What is Play? It's easy for adults to underestimate play as merely an insignificant or juvenile way for children to pass the time.  In actuality, play is a core foundation for the long-term developmental stages of healthy childhood to adulthood. According to the Association for Play Therapy, play is a way of “being with the child that honors their unique developmental level and looks for ways of helping in the ‘language’ of the child, play.” Play is how children express themselves, with the toys used in play...

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