|Survey Participants Needed|
| Drew Walther, a graduate student at the University of California at Santa Barbara, is conducting research aimed at improving counseling services for LGB people.
His survey is available at www.survey.ucsb.edu/Counseling and involves watching a seven minute video and answering questions about what you saw. It's 100% confidential. He would greatly appreciate your participation!
If you have any questions, you can contact Drew via email.
| Legislative News|
|Democracy Now interviewed a 12-year old girl who testified before the Vermont State Legislature about her support of her mom's right to marry and how the denial of marriage equality affects her family and her sense of self.
Check out the inspiring YouTube video.
The U.S.House passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act by
a vote of 249-175 on Wednesday, April 29 2009. The legislation would permit greater
federal involvement in investigating hate crimes and expand the federal
definition of such crimes to include those motivated by gender, sexual
orientation, gender identity and disability.
time for the 4th Annual QFilm Festival Fundraiser, a 3-day event to benefit The Center in Long Beach.
Date: May 8-10, 2009
Tickets available online.
For more info:
The Center Long Beach
Long Beach kicks off the 26th Annual Gay Pride celebration on May 16, 2009. Over the past several years, the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Celebration has become one of the premiere Pride events nationwide now attracting over 80,000 participants over two days.
For more info: www.longbeachpride.com
and in the OC...
Odyssey Adventures is sponsoring the Gay Pride festival at Knotts Berry Farm
Date: May 15, 2009 7pm-1am.
8,000 participants are expected. For more info: www.ocpride.org
I hope that you find the MAY 2009 edition of the newsletter to be both informational and inspiring. Warmly,Lisa Maurel, MFT Lic. 32416
I will be speaking May 2nd at a Teach In to bring awareness to LGBT issues among Marriage and Family Therapists. As you may recall from the October issue of Reflections, the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (CAMFT) was silent in response to request by LGBT MFTs to oppose Prop 8.
A collective group of MFTs has formed to speak out on the need for attention to LGBT issues and cultural competency among MFTs in California. We are bringing attention to the need for CAMFT to understand that marriage equality is a mental health issue. To learn more about the efforts of California Therapists for Marriage Equality go to www.ctme.org.
much that was beautiful and so much that was hard to bear. Yet whenever I
showed myself ready to bear it, the hard was directly transformed into the
- Etty Hillesum
|The Grand Canyon|
On a cross country trip, my first, I made my way across the
Arizona desert. Taking a small side road out to the Grand Canyon, I pulled
up to the South rim and had a look around. The expansive and colorful canyon
was beautiful-but the sun was setting and I had to get on the road. |
I thought I had seen the Grand Canyon.
The next decade of my life took a fairly predictable course.
Marriage, children-but cataclysmic change was on the horizon. My own coming out
process was a long period of searching, discovery, and growth. I left the edges
of what I thought I had known about myself, and descended into the deep abyss
of my own psyche to discover my essence. I did not do this alone. I had a wise
guide, my therapist, and many soul guides along the way. Years later, I knew
with greater confidence, who I was and what I wanted to do and to become. It
was at that point, that I returned to the Grand Canyon.
I wanted to hike to the bottom where the Colorado River carves its
way through the canyon walls. I was not
confident that doing this trek alone was wise. I found an experienced guide who
was leading a group of women and together-we made our way through this
Both the journey inward, and the physical journey of the Canyon,
taught me important lessons about embarking on a period of discovery, challenge
Leave behind the familiar,
the comfortable and embrace the mystery and the unknown.
When entering a
season of change whether it is one that we choose, or one that is thrust upon
us, we become disoriented and uncomfortable. The new, the unfamiliar, and the
unpredictable, elicit feelings of fear. Struggling against these feelings makes
the journey harder.
or accepting a new circumstance can make the work easier. We can do this by
dropping expectations and accepting what is. Sometimes we need a guide who
knows the territory: a teacher, a therapist can serve us in this way.
To explore the depths, be
prepared for a difficult journey that will reward you in ways you cannot yet
The terrain of
the canyon changes as you descend. The colors, the texture, the light, are altered along the way. While there is beauty to behold standing at the edge,
you appreciate the beauty in new ways as you immerse yourself in the
Facing change in
our lives can be like standing on that edge. One event, one experience, can
alter our lives and we are thrust into a new reality. We may be forced to ask
questions or wrestle with circumstances we never imagined. This can be
frightening and overwhelming, but it can also be life changing. We can meet
these experiences with a kind of
willingness to learn what they have to teach us.
Understand that you will
never fully comprehend the infinite abyss, its depths or its wonders. But you
will be richer for having tried.
The journey of growth and self discovery does not
have an end point. We do not arrive. We simply continue to grow or we stagnate.
We will never achieve our highest potential-but we are better for the process
of openness to change and growth.
As I work with
my clients, we often muse that as they reach the goals they began the work to
accomplish, new goals emerge. Therapy can be a useful tool for reaching a goal
such as reducing conflict or increasing intimacy. Often, my clients use therapy
as a kind of reflecting space in which to cultivate their growth. This
takes them in new directions of discovery and growth that they had not imagined
Emerge from the journey
with an appreciation for strength you didn't know you had. Allow yourself to be
stretched and tested. And take with you the satisfaction that you went to the
bottom and emerged stronger for it.
The first time I visited the Grand Canyon, I believed I had seen
it. Today, after numerous trips back (and many more I hope), I know that I have
experienced the Grand Canyon, but I will never have seen it all.
I feel the same about my work as a therapist.
I am honored to do deep work with my clients. It has given me an
appreciation for the infinity of the human spirit. We can know each other and
ourselves, a little or deeply. We can stand on the edge and look in, or we can
delve into our lives and explore. Life has a way of nudging us to that edge and
beckoning us to live deeply. When we receive that invitation, it is an
opportunity for growth. It may be uncertain or challenging, but it is certain
to be rewarding. And through this journey, we can turn the unbearable into the
Until next month...
Peace to you on your journey,
Lisa Maurel, MFT
"Growth is in your hands"
© 2009 Lisa Maurel, MFT, Lic. # 32416 - All Rights Reserved.