March’s SCA presentation came from Judy Burr-Chelin, director of Parent/Child Services at Wellspring Family Services. With over 28 years working in the mental health field, Judy used her specialized training in analytic psychotherapy to explain how aspects of attachment manifest in client issues and within the therapist/client relationship. Her presentation included an overview of the basic concept of Attachment Theory and how this theory can come into play when working with adult clients. Judy also described characteristics of attachment styles, how they come to be developed, and how they manifest throughout the lifespan. Members gained insight into some of the relationship difficulties their clients experience and how to utilize knowledge of a client’s attachment style in treatment.

Thank you for this informative presentation, Judy!

Director of Parent/Child Services at Wellspring Family Services in Seattle

Dr. Jane Tornatore, an expert in the field of Alzheimer’s Dementia and healthy aging, delivered SCA’s February presentation on brain health last week, providing simple tools that therapists and their clients can use in daily life to help maintain a healthy brain. Well versed in the latest research methods, Dr. Tornatore illustrated how brain function changes as a result of aging, why exercise is the most important thing you can do for your brain health (and why stress is so bad!), the best foods to eat for brain health, and tools for stress reduction.

Attendees left the meeting with information and hand-outs they can pass on to their clients to help keep their brains as healthy as possible. Member feedback at this month’s meeting was overwhelmingly positive, with most participants feeling they learned a great deal about practical, proven ways to maintain lifelong brain health both for themselves and for the people they serve.

So thank you, Dr. Tornatore!

Our January presentation featured Dr. Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza discussing the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, to effectively treat clients with Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD. Though geared toward the treatment of BPD, Dr. Dexter-Mazza’s presentation also addressed treating clients who may not meet criteria for BPD but who experience intense, out of control emotions, usually anger, shame, guilt, sadness, anxiety and depression. Participants were  introduced to several principles and strategies of DBT that increased their ability to work collaboratively with clients with BPD, but also with a wide range of clients who struggle with only certain aspects of that disorder. Feedback from SCA members in attendance was one of feeling much better equipped to work with Borderline Personality Disorder, while also having gleaned a number of takeaway skills and approaches for treating a variety of client problems.

Thank you, Dr. Dexter-Mazza!

SCA’s November meeting included a presentation by Dan Keusal, M.S., LMFT, a Jungian Psychotherapist and Astrologer in private practice in Seattle. Dan used his gifts of humor and storytelling to introduce to attendees how they might use astrology to assist clients. Many therapists are curious about astrology and how it can support their work with clients but also feel daunted by the esoteric jargon and wary of the ways they may have seen astrology used simplistically, or misused all together. SCA members learned that astrology’s underlying principles and methods have much in common with family systems, depth psychology, and other forms of therapy, and Dan’s talk helped introduce attendees to a deeper, more grounded and nuanced approach to integrating astrology with therapy.

So thank you, Dan!

In our October presentation, Dr. Jackie Leibsohn provided SCA members the necessary additional tools needed to treat clients suffering from eating disorders. Using her extensive experience and training, Dr. Leibsohn placed focus on effective ways of “getting the client to the table” and engaging the client in the therapeutic process. Attendees learned specific strategies for working with clients who suffer from an eating disorder, including cognitive-behavioral interventions specific to eating disorders, and all members left with useful psycho-educational materials that can quickly and easily be utilized with clients.

Thank you, Dr. Leibsohn!

The SCA 2010-2011 Program Series began September 24th with Peter Hannah MS, MA, LMHC helping members to better understand how to market their private practices on the Internet. Using metaphors, analogies, and plain English, Peter helped us understand how to drive potential clients to our website and make a website an effective marketing tool for those viewers. The presentation included the illumination of such nebulous (but essential!) topics as meta tags, keyword density, blogging, tweeting, link-building, and Google Adwords. Most importantly, attendees left the meeting with a number of tangible, do-it-yourself action items that will allow them to immediately begin to take advantage of, and control of, their online presence and the many benefits of Internet marketing.

So thank you, Peter!

Our 2009-2010 Program Series wrapped up on June 18th with “Ethics and You: A Relationship You Can Live With” presented by Dr. Yvonne Owen, Ph.D.  Yvonne presented a lively and informative workshop and provided participants with an experience of understanding ethical issues from the perspective of personal integrity.  The presentation included examining personal motives, exploring the intention behind the ethical codes, and helping us get in touch with our personal “compasses” in order to help us point the way to an ethical path.

Thanks Yvonne!

Dr. Travis Osborne, Ph.D. gave a thorough and thoughtful presentation on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at our May 21st Monthly Meeting.  Travis provided us with a comprehensive overview of OCD, including common presentations of OCD symptoms, the role of specific brain structures in OCD, and treatment approaches including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), medication, and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).  For more information about Travis and his work, visit the website for the Anxiety and Stress Reduction Center of Seattle (

Thanks Travis!

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