An affirming newsletter for the  LGBTQ Community  

 and Allies  dedicated to  

LGBTQ Mental Health, Social Justice and Equality


from the office of

Lisa Maurel, MFT

Affirming and Empowering Therapy for the LGBTQ community.
Love makes a family.

Issue: # 1
Spring 2011  
In This Issue
Community News
Speaking Out
Training Opportunities
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Community News
Celebrate Harvey Milk Day 
Celebrate Harvey Milk Day



Friday May 20th 5:30-9:30

French Plaza 4th and French

Santa Ana, CA

Jennifer Courday, Men Alive, OCEC Story Tellers and Much More



SUNDAY MAY 22, 2011

LA Gay and Lesbian Center SponsoringAffirming Education for LGBT Youth Sat May 7


Come to a free LGBT educational conference for parents, educators and youth.

Take part in shaping your school's environment and join us for workshops featuring LGBT elementary & secondary curriculum, Legal Issues in School, Parenting for LGBT parents, youth trainings for self advocacy, adult & youth panel discussions, a resource fair, LGBT documentary film screening, and a special youth dance troupe performance.


Gender Spectrum Conference 

The 5th Annual Gender Spectrum Family Conference

July 29 - August 1, 2011 in Berkeley, California, USA

The Gender Spectrum Family Conference is the only event of its kind, a celebration of gender inclusiveness for all children and teens. A

unique gathering dedicated solely to the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming children and teens, their families and loved ones, and the community of professionals and allies who surround them

, the weekend is a transformative experience for all involved.

Speaking OUT 

   Cultural Competency with LGBT Clients and Family Systems.
May 13, 2011 
Newport Beach

5 CE's available for MFT's and LCSW's.

For information and registration visit:

Healing from Heterosexism and Sexual Discrimination:
James Guay, MFT

Offered through John F. Kennedy University


This class begins April 29th. James is a wonderful teacher and colleague and I'm hopeful his course will be offered again!


For more LGBT resources visit my websites or the community links below.

For LGBT resources and therapists in your area:

Los Angeles Area
Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Associatiion

LA Gay and Lesbian Center
Bay Area

Long Beach & Orange County
The Center - LB
The Center OC

Training Calender & Professional Updates

2011 Lisa Maurel, MFT, Lic. 32416
- All rights reserved

The greatest gift we can give to the world is our own true self. In my work as a therapist and an educator  I receive the gift of hearing your stories and supporting your journey. Whether you are my client, my colleague, or someone whom I have never met, I thank you for reading and for caring about this work.

Journey's exists as a way of sharing encouragement, hope and resources for all of us engaged in the work of creating a better world for LGBTQ people through mental health, education and community. Therefore you will always find upcoming community events in the Community News section; as well as resources in the Oasis section. In addition, I will keep you informed about upcoming speaking events or training offered by myself and other colleagues.

In order to succeed, each of us brings our own voice and all voices are needed. Thank you for reading and for sharing in the evolution of Journeys.

Just by being your own true self,  you are changing the world.  

A journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single step.

I think it was the Japanese Tsunami that sent me over the edge. I'd been having a lot of personal stress and being the political news junkie that I am, I had dutifully signed petitions and engaged on all the issues I care about, all the  while teaching about LGBTQ issues in the mental health community.


Then came the news footage of a giant wave washing away entire towns.  The devastation was incomprehensible. Japan was a stark reminder of my own vulnerability. I felt a wave of my own despair come over me. I had a list of my own personal tsunamis: an upcoming move, the stress of running a business in a recession, raising teenage daugthers, and of course, JAPAN. I had to fix Japan!


One of the quickest ways to insure our own misery is to tie our state of happiness to situations, circumstances and people. Why? because these are out of our control.  All of us, especially those in the "helping profession", struggle with defining what is and is not in our control. The Serenity Prayer is a helpful beginning:


Grant me the grace to accept the things I cannot change

the courage to change the things I can


the wisdom to know the difference.



My power is in my beliefs and perceptions of the person, situation or my circumstance in which I feel discomfort or pain. I can't control the economy. I can't fix Japan. However,  I do have the ability to change  thoughts and responses to them. 


Change My Mind Change The World


I took a look at my worries and stressors and what I realized was that the situations in themselves were not the problem. My beliefs, my fears, my catastrophic worries were the problem. I was feeling vulnerable and I did not like it. I wanted these circumstances to change so that I could feel better.


I remembered a question that another teacher, Debbie Ford, had asked me:


 "Given this reality what is it I need to do to cultivate my own well being and happiness?"


I made three important changes in my beliefs and responses which enabled me to deal with
the stressors outside my control, while staying more connected to  joy and happiness.

  • I changed the way I viewed the economic slowdown from a negative to a positive. I focused on the flexibility it gave me to focus spend more time with my daughters.
  • I made a small donation to the Red Cross for Japan then turned off the news for a while.
  • I let the experience of vulnerability be a stretching exercise in cultivating empathy and compassion for my own heart and the hearts of others. It has helped me be more open and more grateful.

It has been said that we may not have a choice about what happens but we we have a choice about how to respond to what happens. Whether we face the loss of a job, a partner or illness; we have the power to choose to take a position of dis-empowerment and blame, or to feel our pain and choose a new path. 


When you ask yourself the question...
Given this situation, what can I do to cultivate my happiness and well-being?

The answer that comes may not be easy. You may be tempted to go into reasons about why you can't do this or that...and return to fear or blame. But the important work is happening.  With practice and patience, you can cultivate the change that can support your happiness and growth.


"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."- M.Scott Peck 

Therapy can help you in your search for "different ways and truer answers". I hope you will give yourself the gift of searching, discovering and becoming more of who YOU are. Contact me to schedule a consultation.
Or visit my websites to learn more about my services.  

lisa - headshot To the journey! 


2011 Lisa Maurel, MFT, Lic. 32416
- All rights reserved