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  • 03/19/2018 10:13 AM | John Davis (Administrator)

    The Best Laid Plans

    Our last meeting was a barrel of laughs!  Thanks, Melissa Kornhaus our presenter for reminding us of the importance of presence and equanimity.  Much went “wrong” from the start.  After my 11:00 client walked out the door, I picked up my phone to notice a crazy bunch of messages, mostly trying to tell me that our regular venue, The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach in Boynton did not have a room for us.  OMG ! Someone’s mistake!  After a breathless few minutes, I got back on the phone and located a room nearby.  We were graciously hosted by The Holiday Inn Express off Congress in Boynton.  Everyone in attendance headed over the the new space, only to experience a long and hungry delay for lunch to be delivered.  Seems our caterer placed our order in the hands of a new guy…and you know the rest !

    Staying Present

    No one missed the irony of the day’s topic:  “Mindfulness” and it’s immediate relevance to all our experience that day.  Everyone stayed cool and kept their sense of humor.  ( I mostly did!) and we got to enjoy a great presentation by Melissa to a small group of die hard fans.  My favorite set of ideas from that morning remain with me:  point of view is everything!  How we look at and interpret events unfolding, especially adversity, will create our entire experience.  It’s not just sometimes that way.  It’s always that way !

    Come Back Soon! 

    We see a lot of presenters and they all do a great job.  This one was special for so many reasons, most important, the gracious and thoughtful way Melissa helped us through it!  See you again soon !

  • 12/08/2017 9:14 AM | John Davis (Administrator)

    Check out the latest news from Florida Mental Health Counselor's Association.  Get involved.

    Download the Full Newsletter

  • 10/05/2017 10:16 AM | John Davis (Administrator)

    President’s Message

    I wish to take a few sentences to give a shout out to all the sturdy and resilient FMHCA members who took to the front lines and made themselves available to all who were in need of comfort, connection, and care to evacuees, first responders, and other volunteers while Irma was making her way into Florida. And to the many who have friends and family in Puerto Rico, may comfort, peace, and resilience arrive in the greatest abundance.

    That Mental Health Counselors remain excluded from Medicare all the more reason to continue hammering the dire need for FMHCA members to get involved in all efforts to get Florida’s congressmen on board with HR 3032, the one bill that when passed will place MHC’s on the roles of Mental Health providers for Medicare. Let me emphasize a most cogent point:

    Among the 24 co-sponsors of HR 3032, not one of those is a Florida Congressman. You have to scratch your head and ask why. Why, when Florida has the 14th highest suicide rate among elders in the country. We are 49th in what is spent on Mental Health Services. And of the total number of mental health providers in this state, Medicare recipients have access to less than a third of that total. This is unacceptable.


    Spend half your time comforting the afflicted, and the other half afflicting the comfortable. A week ago, I posted a letter template with these numbers on the FMHCA Facebook page, requesting each constituent to contact your congressman to co-sponsor HR3032. The membership has been provided with contact information of each congressman. This is serious stuff, folks and if we expect to be included in Medicare, then we need to do more than just complain about it.

    Imprint HR3032 in your consciousness. Think Medicare. Think about the underserved. Get on the phone, talk to people.

    Get the word out there. Grass Roots Gets It Done!

    And speaking of Grass Roots, a big fat shout out to Regional Director Joe Skelly and the huge waves he is generating with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Read about his correspondence, and moreover, his strategy to deploy counter measures to their efforts to reduce reimbursement on the meat and potatoes services we provide.

    Also, a shout out to Dr. Tania Diaz who bagged a sponsor for the FMHCA Conference in February. Huahh!

    And while we’re at it, we would be highly remiss if we did not acknowledge with great pride Ellsworth “Tony” Williams, who is head of FMHCA Military Service Committee. While balancing his separate roles as committee chair and that of President and CEO of Veterans Counseling Veterans, Tony and his VCV volunteers continue to make inroads among key Veteran Organizations and the VA through providing expertise on suicide prevention and support for survivors of Warrior Suicide. We cannot thank you enough, Tony, for your inspiring work.

    Remember to get yourselves signed up for the February, 2018 Conference. We need sponsors. Surely each and every one of us is connected to a potential donor.

    Louise Sutherland-Hoyt, LMHC, CCMHC, NCC, MAC

    Download the Full Newsletter

  • 08/03/2017 5:11 PM | John Davis (Administrator)

    Welcome, FMHCA members to a brand-new year. While FMHCA remains a constant, FMHCA also exists in a state of flux as we identify new directions, the means of travel, and what we will look like a year from now. Our newly elected Board of Directors has sanctioned several key objectives for this year, all of which, when implemented, will see opportunities for cooperation, coordination, and most certainly, an overlapping of contributions from FMHCA’s special Committees, the meat and potatoes of this organization.

    About Special Committees
    Each of our FMHCA committees serves a very specific purpose. Each meets monthly, has a chairman, and members, all of whom contribute energy and insight to achieve the committees’ objectives. In mid-July, each committee outlined its goals, objectives, and tasks, all of which will serve to advance our organization, our profession, and our standing in the Mental Health Community. Here is a list of FMHCA’s Special Committees:

    • Government Relations Committee
    • Educational, Training Standards and Continuing Education Committee
    • Regional/Chapter Relations Committee
    • Membership Committee
    • Registered Intern and Graduate Student Committee
    • Research Committee
    • Military Service Committee

    If you are a student and enjoying the perks of FMHCA membership, no time better than this year to begin to get your feet wet in learning the ins and outs of maintaining and advancing your profession. We want your talent and energy to help prepare you for your roles as leaders in the future. Think about ways in which you can receive valuable guidance and mentorship that you might otherwise not get from the classroom.

    If you are enjoying the benefits of your clinical membership there are numerous ways to contribute to the growth of FMHCA and establishing ourselves in our communities. There are committee opportunities just waiting for your presence, ideas, and commitment. Ask yourself today, “what can I give to FMHCA for just one year that could increase its value to my profession, as a whole?”

    Download The Full Newsletter

  • 04/15/2017 5:13 PM | John Davis (Administrator)

    Roles and Goals

    The late author and philosopher Stephen Covey made a compelling case for clearly identifying the roles that are important in each person's life.  Developing a mission statement to keep close by as a "true North" for our lives is based on illuminating the unique relationships we want to have with ourselves and others and making commitments to  invest in them.  Dad, student, husband, sibling, professional, musician...were among the many possibilities.  How much time in our daily planner devoted to each says a lot about us.  How strongly we protect the boundaries around those roles and time commitments indicates the quality of our character.  Ever make a plan for a special date with your child only to have work come crashing into it?  What now?

    Sharpening Ourselves Daily

    Covey said we all have one role in common:  "sharpening the saw"  Each day on average we should devote some time to caring for ourselves whether physically, intellectually, social-emotionally or spiritually.  Reading the books that you'll need five years from now?  Working out?  Eating right?  With friends and loved ones often enough? Spending time contemplating the universe in prayer or meditation?  Are the time slots for these activities written down in your planner, or calendar?  Do you defend them well enough?

    A Full Cup

    The late Virginia Satir, genius psychotherapist and author of "Peoplemaking" and other great works spoke metaphorically of the leaking "pot" inside all of us that is always to some degree full or empty and serves as a barometer of our well-being.  Placing her hand on her heart, she explained that when we feel "low pot", or melancholy, it's likely that we've neglected ourselves in some important way.  Overworked, underloved...failing to ask for our needs to be met.  Saying yes to too many requests, getting overwhelmed.  Forgetting to shut down our brains and cell phones often enough.  Failing to take time to "sharpen the saw".

    We are much needed by those who seek our counsel.  it's important that we show up at our best and rise to the occasion of helping.  It's heavy lifting work to hear and absorb the complaint and discomfort of others.

    Be all you can be.


  • 04/03/2017 5:13 PM | John Davis (Administrator)

    What is the connection?  What are the differences between thought and feeling?  Is catharsis real?  How can our clinical skills grow stronger by weaving these possibilities in the therapeutic setting?

    All of us have had the experience of being fully present with a client who's going through an "arc" of thinking, feeling and catharsis and felt the resolve and the relief they experience when traveling this path with our help.  I've compared it to a gathering thunderstorm and the stages of anticipation, turbulence and resolution that come in the "afterglow" of such  liberating experiences.  The feeling in the air after a storm is palpable because of changes in the "ionic valence" of the atmosphere.  Likewise, changes in emotion bring changes to our brain chemistry.  Grief, especially, is a very beautiful and powerful "presence" that often comes to us and our clients.  It arrives unbidden and often misunderstood.  Though not always defined by a linear sequence of events, this arc of "thinking, feeling and catharsis" often plays out in moderately predictable fashion.  Knowing and sensing this with clients can make us more aware and more connected and more valuable as guides to their experience.  I know of no emotional experience more than grief that brings people seeking help.

    Thinking is our natural state.  Our minds are busy.  As our thoughts appear, then bounce and travel and land on memories and interpretations and observations and judgments of past/future, we have feelings from these thoughts, and judgments that are powerful.  For example, thinking of a lost loved in early stages of grief triggers profoundly tender memories.  Feelings, quite naturally, rise within our bodies.  Pulses quicken, breathing shifts to shallow, temperatures rise, tears appear and fall.  We can help our clients at moments like this by normalizing the experience and giving them permission to follow their feelings, honoring them and allowing them to come and go.  A mentor encouraged me to "let it come through", as if we were welcoming a sacred experience of healing.  Aristotle was the first to use the medical term "catharsis" from the Greek word "to cleanse" or "to purify" and apply it to emotion.  Whatever the scientific threads of explanation, if you've felt the relief that comes from a good cry, you'll be more able to offer guidance and support to those who seek help.

  • 03/31/2017 5:13 PM | John Davis (Administrator)

    "Sometimes, you're hard to talk to..." says my 14 year old daughter this week as we discuss some poor performance with grades.  Hard to hear, especially from a therapist's kid!  But we both got through the moment and she's doing better at school, at least for now.  And, we've talked through some of the barriers that had lain between us during tough conversations.  It brought to me some thoughts about what works for us, and I wanted to share with you:

    • Take time -  Seems simple.  Isn't.  We've made a regular routine of un-winding with each other on the driveway under the basketball net.  Some days are longer, better than others.  But it gives us a chance to laugh and breathe some, taking the tensions away.
    • Start where they are - Another deceptively simple idea.  Isn't.  At fourteen, my daughter's tackling a range of developmental hurdles including self-care, emotional awareness, growing spirituality and social name just a few.  (For more on this, see Lisa Damour's excellent book "Un-tangled".
    • Go the 20% in their direction on emotions - Most teens don't discuss emotions easily.  We can give permission by disclosing some of our own in gentle ways of storytelling.  "I'll never forget the embarrassment of the low test scores when I was entering high school.  Maybe you've felt this way..."   Then shut up.  Go where your kid takes you.  We can learn so much about the "veiled" world they live in.
    • Take extra care of yourself - Therapists experience a lot of burnout.  We care too much.  We work too long hours and "over-help" our clients.  Make sure you are managing the inevitable fatigue that comes with our profession, or you'll never be a good parent.

  • 02/01/2017 3:14 PM | John Davis (Administrator)

    Upcoming Workshop

    Join us April 21st for a special presentation:  "Treating the Un-treatable:  Borderlines"  Hanna McGoey, LMHC, seasoned professional in Boca Raton private practice will share with us strategies for helping this ultra-difficult population in ways that leave us strong and centered.  Personality disorders can be baffling and leave us discouraged and confused.  There are reasons why.  Come and sharpen your skills around this important topic.


    Website's now LIVE!

    Our new website, in development for a while, is up and running for everyone NOW.  It is a very robust, comprehensive site that is managing all activity for our organization, including professional listings with photos for our members, and a self-management portal that will take the guessing out of all aspects of participation.  You should have gotten an email by now with instructions for setting up your profile.  If not, let me know immediately.


    Facebook Page...Join Us There with a "Like"

    Like us on  Facebook!

    We now have an awesome page where you can see what's current and tell us what's on your mind.  Please go there and "like us".  It makes all of us and the Mental Health Counselor's Association of Palm Beach more visible on the web!

    Come.  Join us.  Grow.  Learn.  Build your business.  Get to know some powerful people like yourself!

    John Davis, LMHC
    Chapter President

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