Posts Tagged ‘AMFT’

Get Paid

January 5, 2019

It’s not going to be a lot.

But it’s going to be something.

Two things.

First I got a raise at the beginning of the year, 5%, which is lovely, and will go into effect my next paycheck.

The amount that will show up on my actual paycheck is pretty small.

Still, anything is helpful.

And.

I applied to become an employee with Grateful Heart last night.

Currently I am what is called a “volunteer.”

I don’t get paid anything.

My clients pay me and I deposit that money into a one way account.

Grateful Heart administration is the only entity that can withdraw anything from it.

I can’t touch it.

I recently turned in my hours, client hours, and how much I took in, to the administrative team, which keeps tabs on all the therapists in the community and double checks the accounts against the reporting that is being done.

I am scrupulous with the money coming in and I have documented everything correctly.

The fastest a new Associate Marriage Family Therapist can become an employee with Grateful Heart is three months.

January 1st marked three months for me with the agency.

I applied on January 3rd after reporting my client hours and income for the month of December.  I have to do it once a month and as I noted, it gets matched against the bank account.

Their policy is that once a $1,000 prudent reserve is met and three months of income have been established a volunteer can apply to become an employee.

I should get approved pretty quick.

Fingers crossed, we have had some administrative changes recently, new hires, etc, I can’t believe it would take a lot of effort to look over my accounts and verify that I have what it takes to become an employee.

I am not bringing in heaps of money.

But.

I am bringing it in.

In fact.

Applying for the position actually showed me how much I have been doing in regards to establishing myself as a new therapist in the community.

In my first month I brought in $700.

In my second month, $1700.

Last month, $2400.

My rent gets taken out and a hefty ($350) administrative fee, the rest is left in my account, which has begun to actually accrue some funds.

I have more than met the prudent reserve and I have money that I could actually be collecting.

For myself.

Like real income.

They have a formula to help you figure out what you can take out without dipping below the reserve and also that I have to be paid the minimum wage for the hours I claim.

Minimum wage in San Francisco is $15 an hour.

So basically I will get paid slightly less than half my nanny wage.

Ugh.

But.

I will be able to increase that fairly quickly, I believe, and I will, once I become an employee, be able to get compensated for office costs.

I will also get reimbursed for my own therapy.

And that money will not be taxed or charged the 12.5% fee that Grateful Heart will also start taking as soon as I become an employee.

So, rent, administrative costs, and 12.5% goes to them and I get the rest.

It is not enough to live on by any means.

However.

It is more coming in and since my rent is a $1,000 more a month than it used to be.

(ugh)

It really will help.

Especially getting the money back from my own personal therapy.

It made me sort of chuckle when I thought about it.

I’m doing therapy to get therapy.

Heh.

I was required by my Master’s program to work with a licensed MFT and I could have dropped her and the therapy once my program ended, I worked with her for a year.

But.

It’s been helpful and I sense that it’s better for me to stay with it for a while yet.

It’s been very supportive of my transition with school, the PhD program, moving, old childhood trauma, family of origin issues, etc.

So, I’ll keep doing it and getting some money back to pay for it will feel really nice.

I’m feeling a lot of relief knowing that some more income will be coming in and it’s also a nice way to see that all these years of work is actually beginning to pay off.

Not a lot of pay off.

Yet.

But it will happen.

I had set an intention on my birthday last month that this would be my last year as a nanny.

I will have 25 full fee, weekly, seriously committed, wonderful clients who I get to help and empower by the end of this upcoming year.

25 is the number of clients most therapists aim for.

One could do more, but you court burn out.

It’s a lot of work to show up and be present for people and listen and reflect and use theory and trainings and bear witness to trauma.

Horrible trauma.

And it’s a great gift too.

I am a good therapist.

I really am and I am proud of the work I have done to get where I am.

I’m excited to help more people.

I’m happy that I have a career.

Not that having been a nanny hasn’t been a beautiful career, it just has an end and I feel it coming close.

I’ve been doing it for 12 years.

Amongst some other things, but mostly nannying.

Which is its own kind of therapy, when it’s done well, I believe.

I have been out to the parks a lot lately and I’ve been finding myself really judgmental.

I draw kids to me like flies, I literally had my little girl charge today (alone most of the day, three parks, Souvla for lunch, two toy stores for stickers, balloons, ice cream from BiRite Creamery with rainbow sprinkles) up at Dolores Park and at one point found myself surrounded by five little monkeys demanding snacks.

Friends of hers from her private school.

It was adorable and also intense.

Good thing I had packed extra snacks.

Kids love me and I them, but sometimes it becomes quite obvious when  a child isn’t getting their needs filled–emotional, physical, intellectual–and like a heat seeking missile they will go to someone who does.

That was me a lot today.

I just wanted to shout out, put down your Iphones and pay attention to your children!

But.

I didn’t.

And I’m glad I didn’t, it would have looked rather untoward.

If I’m honest too, my current family hired me because the mom remembered seeing me at the playground with a former set of charges and something similar happened.

She told me later that she realized I was a treasure and that she had been ecstatic when she found out I was going to be available.

Anyway.

Here’s to drawing clients to me like I drew children to me today.

I also have to say, when I really let myself acknowledge it, children are honest and if they like you it says a lot and if they trust you it says a lot too.

I was trusted a lot today at the parks, I got to be surrounded by much happy love.

Which is beautiful and I hope that I will in turn pass that along to the clients I get to see tomorrow, and all my days thereafter.

 

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Offer Accepted!

August 7, 2018

It’s official.

I just now, literally just seconds ago, replied with my acceptance for the Grateful Heart Therapy internship.

I am now part of their 2018 Fall cohort.

I will begin October 1st!

I can hardly believe it.

I will get to see clients and get paid.

I will get to have one office, instead of four different offices.

And!

Oh the nicest thing!

I found out that the Thursday morning group supervision meets in San Francisco not Alameda!

This is huge.

Especially since the group also meets a little earlier than I thought, 8:15 a.m.

But it’s done by 10:30 a.m. and I’ll be at work by 11 a.m.

I won’t lose any hours at work, I won’t have to finagle more money from somewhere else, in fact, once I start accruing a few more clients I will actually make some money.

I won’t for the first few months, it will take some time to accrue the prudent reserve the non-profit needs me to have to make sure that I can pay rent and supervision fees.

But that’s fine.

I have time to do that.

I have time and I will get paid, I suspect that I will start getting paychecks from them in or around January of next year.

I think it will take about three months to accrue the prudent reserve.

I am over the moon.

This is happening.

I will have an office.

Yes, it’s an office I will be sharing with my former professor, so it’s not mine, I haven’t decorated it, the couch isn’t mine, but I will get to rent from her and I will get to be in the space and it’s much nicer than the majority of my offices that I have currently with Liberation Institute.

One office.

God that just sounds so damn nice.

One key instead of four.

I am a very happy lady.

I almost told my boss today, but it was a hectic day with my charges, summer camps, doctors appointments, etc, and there was never really a moment that felt right.

And I’m glad that I didn’t, because I would have jumped the gun regarding the Thursday supervision.

My god I am so grateful that it’s in San Francisco and not Alameda.

Sure, I’m still going to have to deal with commuter traffic on Thursdays, but not having to go over the bridge is huge.

Such a relief.

It feels really nice to move forward.

I told one client today that I had gotten the internship and gave a soft notice for October 1st.

Now I will have to tell the rest of my clients.

Some I know will come with me.

Some will not.

For the ones who will not I will need to do a little footwork with my current internship to make sure that they are transitioned well to their next therapists.

For the ones that will go with me I will just have to tell them what office to start meeting me in when October rolls around.

Which shouldn’t be any kind of big deal as my new office is going to be in the same building as my current internship.

That is the best part of this new internship, I get to decide where I want to rent an office, and Grateful Heart takes care of the lease.

At some point I will transition completely into my own office, and I want to stay in the same building.

There is nice community there and I like the location, Activ Space (sic) in the Mission at Treat and 18th.

There’s a Gus’s Market just a block away, Stable Cafe, the new park on Folsom street at 17th, there’s Rainbow Grocery just a few blocks away, there’s plenty of parking.

And if I should want the building also has parking if I want to rent a spot.

I probably won’t at this point, but in the future when I have a sustainable income and my bills are being met well I will.

I really like the idea of having covered parking, the street parking isn’t horrible, but there are homeless folks around and there’s a bit of drug trafficking that happens in the neighborhood.

Tonight I came out and some guy was smoking crack on the sidewalk.

No thanks.

I don’t get bothered, but I know at some point it would be nice to come out of my therapy office and just get into my car without interacting with that sort of scene.

Anyway, that’s in the future.

Right now I am just going to take a moment to bask in the glow of having accepted the offer.

I really am proud of myself and the work I have done to get here.

Not just the Master’s degree and the traineeship and the internship at Liberation Institute.

But also that when it looked like my former professor and I were going to work together and then I found out we couldn’t that I didn’t sit on my ass and mope.

I went out and discovered that there were things I could do.

I heard about Grateful Heart from my therapist and remembered I knew someone who was there and met with that person and got my shit together and did the big application and got it in to the organization before I left for Paris.

I turned it all around in three weeks.

Then I got a asked to interview, which I did this past Saturday and today I got the offer.

That’s basically a month from finding out that the original plan wasn’t going to work to finding and solidifying a totally new internship.

One that is actually better for me than the original.

One door shuts.

Another door opens.

Seriously!

Waiting For

August 6, 2018

The offer letter.

It was supposed to come today.

I didn’t get it.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get the position!

“I’m offering the position to you, it’s yours,” she said emphatically 3/4s of the way through the interview.

I was so thrilled.

Yesterday morning I got up super early and headed over to Alameda to interview for the Grateful Heart Therapy private practice internship.

And I was hired.

The director let me know that she would be writing up the offer and sending it to me to officially accept today.

But.

Well, she had some things come up and I will get the letter tomorrow.

I was going to hold off on writing about it until I had the official letter in my hot little hands, but I have been very excited about it.

I really am, eventually, going to get paid for the work I do as a psychotherapist!

This is very exciting.

There will be some big transitions, but I feel like they are going to all work out well.

I was also extremely pleased to find out that the group supervision which is required for the first six months of the internship, the supervision that only happens on Thursdays, might also actually work for me.

There are a number of groups that meet on Thursdays and the incoming fall cohort would typically all be together, forming a sort of support team for each other as we all learn the ropes about how to craft and create and sustain our own private practices.

However.

I was told, the director knew that I have a full-time nanny position, that there might be some flexibility there for me.

I was happily surprised.

I was getting ready to tell my employer I wasn’t going to be able to work on Thursdays anymore and I was already trying to figure out how I would manage with the loss of one day of work a week until I am established with enough clients to pay my bills.

Which may take a few months.

But.

No.

The director told me that she knew of my dilemma and that though it was typical to start a new hire with other new hires, there was an opening in the earliest group of the day, Thursdays at 8:30a.m.

Granted.

Sigh.

This means getting up really early on Thursdays so that I can drive over to Alameda for group supervision until 10:30a.m and then driving back over the bridge to Glen Park for my nanny job, but fuck, it means I won’t lose out on income while I am making the transition.

I was super surprised that she made that offer.

Then I realized.

They really wanted me.

The director had already come up with a way to facilitate for my needs!

This was just moments before the position was offered to me, I felt this warm shift in the room and then, boom, she told me they wanted me and that she thought I was the perfect fit for the organization.

I could also tell that she was moved by my honesty and vulnerability in my interview.

Interviewing for a therapist position would be the place to be vulnerable, you might guess, and it paid off handsomely.

I am very pleased.

So today I reached out to my former professor and updated her on my situation, I will be renting office space from her and eventually she will be my solo supervisor.

For the first six months of the internship I will be with the group and I can continue to do so if I want, and/or implement supervision with my professor.

What Grateful Heart does is provide all the administrative support, overhead, insurance, and tax infrastructure that an AMFT (Associate Marriage Family Therapist) needs to be able to practice and get paid.

Effectively helping me to establish my own private practice.

So that by the time I have licensure I will already have a private practice up and running.

They will deal with my lease, they will pay my rent, they will pay my supervisor.

I will pay them $350 a month for the administrative work and to pay out my supervisor.

The money my clients pay will be directed to them, they take out fees, rent, supervision costs and then they will cut me a check out of what is left and it will be direct deposited  to my bank.

I will learn about how to get referrals, how to network, how to build up my own website.

Holy shit.

My own website.

I have been doing this blog for a long time, but I have never had my own website.

I have been thinking that I want to write a blog for my website, something therapeutically oriented, a sort of gift to clients or would be clients, a tool that can be used for their own self-care and as a way to promote my business.

I have to think about what I will call my practice.

I am nervous, but in a good way.

This is very exciting stuff.

I will leave my current internship at the Liberation Institute, where I was told rather sweetly by members in my group yesterday how much I will be missed, sometime in October.

Some of my clients will go with me.

Not all of them, however, I will be charging $80-$100 a session.

When I get licensed I will be charging $150-$200 a session.

And some of my current clients won’t be able to afford that, Liberation Institute is community mental health with an extraordinary sliding scale where no one is turned away for lack of funds.

But a few of my clients will be able to afford it and I suspect that a few may decide to stay with me as well, despite the raise in rates.

I am hopeful that I will get referrals from people I know in community as well as from my professor.

Even my own therapist said she would refer clients to me.

So it feels good.

Hopeful.

New.

Exciting.

I will share the letter with you tomorrow.

And whatever else happens as I move forward into this next phase of my developement.

Oh!

Before I forget.

I bought my books for my PhD program today too!

Things are really happening.

REALLY!

One Hell of a Day

July 10, 2018

I’m still not sure how I got through it.

But.

I did.

And I just had breakfast for dinner to celebrate.

Sort of.

I just made oatmeal and had a hard-boiled egg because I did not have the opportunity to get out and do grocery shopping and by the time I was done seeing clients tonight.

Well.

I was done.

I didn’t want to go out to eat either.

Besides.

I did have a very nice lunch at a place in the Castro today that I have never been too with my person and he convinced me to have the grilled romaine salad.

It was really good!

I will be back.

So.

I did  have some nice food today and you know, I do like oatmeal, it wasn’t a hardship for me to eat it.

It’s not like I’m eating stale nuts and flat water.

It was more that it was a big day, I had a lot going on, I did a lot, I did the deal, I spoke, I had a lot of things to organize this morning, research that I needed to do, places I needed to call.

Stuff and things.

I’m being a bit vague as not all of it is sorted out and I don’t need to report on something that hasn’t happened it.

Suffice to say.

Things are moving.

And after some intense moments, hopefully in a direction that is beneficial to all involved.

Speaking of moving.

I am really looking.

I did get a response back from one place, but no follow through.

I feel like this may happen a bit, I figure the demands for housing are so high that people who are posting are probably inundated with requests.

I will soon be posting to social media that I am looking too, so that may be another avenue of possibilities.

I haven’t done so yet, being in a sort of limbo here.

Clarity is on the horizon, it feels and things moving enough to say that I am actively looking, hell I’ve been actively looking for a bit, but that I will be letting my friends, family, and social  networks in on it as well.

I haven’t yet done that.

I’m hoping that is where the juice is at.

That someone I know will have something or know of something.

Word of mouth always feels like the best way to find something.

And it’s not a resource I have availed myself of yet.

I have also done other work these last couple of days, lots of emails about the internship.

I have already gotten back one letter of recommendation!

Which was so good to read!

It made me really happy to read it.

Especially right after I saw my clients tonight.

I had some big sessions tonight.

Here’s the letter:

Dear ___________________
I am very pleased to write this letter of recommendation for _________ AMFT. I have
worked with ______ for over a year at The Liberation Institute of San Francisco, and as her clinical supervisor in weekly group supervision and periodic individual consultations, I have close knowledge of her work with clients.

_______ possesses the qualities of an excellent professional psychotherapist. She is self-aware, compassionate, mature and fully dedicated to her work. She provides a caring, consistent holding environment for her clients and has the ability to form a solid working alliance with clients from a range of backgrounds, experiences, diverse life styles, and cultures.
________’s personal qualities and life experiences have informed her capacity to be a healing force for her clients. She has established effective therapeutic relationships with clients dealing with very challenging issues and has sustained long-term work with many as they have stabilized and made important changes in their lives. Given an interview opportunity she may share some about this.
In group supervision _______ has been a very valued contributor. She listens well to others and offers astute insights in a supportive way. She is open to others input and comes prepared with questions and things to share about her own work. Carmen also knows how to establish boundaries in the clinical situation, has a good grasp of professional ethics, and has helped others in the group by sharing her own experiences.
I believe ______ would be a strong asset to your organization and have no reservations
whatsoever in recommending her for a clinician position.

Yay!

God that was nice.

I don’t know if I’ll see the letter from my other supervisor or not, but he was happy to write me up one and I feel very comfortable that he will portray me well.

Grateful for the kind words, it’s nice to see how others think of my skills and abilities and I am happy to have another little piece of the next part of the puzzle in place.

And I got a response back from the woman who was going to be my supervisor and she expressed excitement for me and also that she would like to talk further about it.

We’re going to establish some contact tomorrow and figure that out.

I also made another coffee date with a friend for this week.

Which is super nice.

I am going to be coffee’ed up!

But I’m glad for that.

I have a coffee date tomorrow, a hiking/hot tub date and meet the new baby in Berkeley date on Wednesday, a coffee date and possible walk around the Mission Farmer’s Market on Thursday, and not one but two coffee dates on Friday! Plus maybe dinner Friday night too?

Grateful to get some connecting in.

I need it.

As I have alluded to, it’s been some stressful times and making plans with friends has really helped.

Really helped.

And soon, I feel certain, everything is going to fall into place.

And!

Let me not forget.

Paris.

I leave on Sunday.

Paris always makes everything feel better.

I am a very lucky girl.

Very.

It’s Still Light Out!

June 20, 2018

Yes.

I know it’s Day Light Savings and we’re just a few days away from the longest day of the year, but that’s not it.

Both my clients cancelled tonight.

Both.

And then the boss let me go a half hour early.

Not only was I able to go hit up the spot and get my God on, I actually got home and have eaten dinner and it’s still light out!

I cannot remember the last time I have been home this early.

It’s nice.

It’s a little weird, but nice.

And since I do have to get up early tomorrow for another early start at work, I’m ok with it.

I briefly flirted with the idea of going to yoga class.

But it seemed better to have dinner earlier than to wait until 9p.m.

Which is what would have happened had I done the yoga.

And I knew who the teacher was today, I had checked the schedule and I noted the instructor, who isn’t bad, but also, well, isn’t good either.

Another instructor I might have decided to do it, but this guy, well, home and an early dinner and some relaxing sounded about right.

Grateful for a mellow week so far.

I’ve only had one client this week, when typically I would be in the middle of my fourth session of the week right now.

I have three clients left to see this week and no one tomorrow.

It feels like I got a little mini-break in the middle of my work week.

This makes me laugh.

Just working a full-time work week feels like an easy week.

I’ll also be putting in a little over time, but really, it does feel really quite relaxed.

Just thinking ahead to that mystical far off, well, maybe not so far off, but still a few years out, when I just get to be a therapist for work and don’t have to juggle full-time nannying along with my internship.

When that happens I will happily put some of the things in my life that I have not had much of back in.

More doing the deal.

More fellowshipping.

More yoga, or some sort of exercise.

But for right now, I am content.

I’m not upset that this is where my life’s at, I’ve been working really hard for the last three years to get to this point.

I still have two to three years before I’ll be fully licenced.

By which time I will have taken my boards, all the tests that I will have to take to get there, plus I will have finished my PhD program.

I haven’t any real clue how much work that is going to be, but I suspect it will be similar to what the load was when I was getting my Master’s degree.

There is a part of me that hopes that I can cut back on the nannying by June or July of next year.

There is a part of me that hopes I’ll be done with it completely, but I am not sure if that’s a for sure thing.

I would need to carry a lot of clients.

I will get there though.

And I do think that I could possibly get there before I am licensed.

I know  of people who have had full-time client loads as interns.

It’s doable.

I just have to make enough money.

I feel that what will happen is going to be gradual.

Come January, when my contract is up with the family I may say, hey, let me cut down to four days a week or three, then pick up clients full-time on those days.

I have discussed it a little with the mom, but not in detail.

Fact is.

I don’t know how it’s going to look, I can only speculate.

I do know that I have a date to meet with my new supervisor on July 11th and fingers crossed I will have my AMFT # by that point.

I have started to watch the mail.

I’ve been watching the mail for a minute now, actually.

I haven’t gotten my SF Tenant’s Union hand book yet and I’m wondering where it’s at.

I need to write my landlady that letter and it would be helpful to have the handbook.

I probably don’t need it to do the letter, but there’s a part of me that wants to have the extra support as I’m writing the letter to make sure that I have the pertinent details listed.

My therapist and I talked about it a bunch today.

It’s good to have that support.

I won’t see her for a couple of weeks what with my upcoming trip to New York about to happen.

That letter will be sent before I fly out.

I’m sure I will have  much to cover in our next session.

I reflected on that today.

Life keeps showing up.

Things keep happening.

My therapist and I had briefly discussed what it would be like for me moving forward and how she could support me and whether or not I go down to therapy every other week.

But fuck.

Things happen.

Graduation.

My mom’s visit.

Travel.

Relationships.

Work.

The 90 day move out bomb.

I don’t think that now is the time to cut back on the therapy.

It’s super helpful.

Super helpful.

And, well, I like having the resource too for other aspects of my life.

There are things that I don’t talk about with the majority of other people in my life that my therapist gets to hear and it’s such a gift to have that outlet.

It’s nice to, that I get to also give that gift to another.

Even if it’s a light week for me.

I am still showing up for my clients.

Partially just by living my life to its utmost fullest.

With love.

And boundless gratitude.

No matter how life shows up.

It’s life.

I’m alive.

It’s all good.

Dirty Dishes

June 13, 2018

For the first time since I have lived in this home I came back from a long day to dirty dishes in the sink.

I always wash my dishes.

Always.

But.

Fuck.

I totally screwed up this morning.

I was late and I had no idea.

I mean.

I had not one single clue.

I had gotten up with my alarm, took a nice hot shower, dried my hair, got dressed, made the bed, chatted with my best friend, did some morning reading, did some prayers, I had made breakfast, a lovely latte and I was slowly digging into some emails when I had this moment of.

Oh.

It looks like I need to go in about fifteen minutes.

I had just started eating my breakfast.

Does not compute.

I looked at my watch.

I looked at my computer clock.

What the hell was wrong?

I’m doing exactly what I would be doing on a normal morning and I’m not writing and I, oh shit, I realized right then and there.

I had set my alarm a half hour later than I should have.

If I have a shower before work I have to give myself an extra half hour, mostly for dealing with my hair.

But I hadn’t factored that in.

Oh.

I thought I had.

I mean I was right on schedule, except for being a half hour behind.

I shoveled in my oatmeal.

I mean.

It was not pretty.

I tried to drink some of my coffee down but it was too hot.

I like to leisurely sip my coffee, look over emails, check my schedule, peep my blog see if anyone’s read it, then do my morning writing.

Mornings that I shower before work I also don’t typically write, so my brain was all wired that I had this extra half hour.

In reality.

In that half hour I had to be at therapy in Noe Valley and I had not put on my face yet.

Oh no.

I mean.

I was dressed and I could have gone out without make up on, but you know, I like to put on a face.

I made the executive decision to not wash my breakfast dishes, dashed into the bathroom, did the fastest make up ever, grabbed my stuff and flew out the door.

I made it.

I found parking with three minutes to spare to dash down the block, let myself in the building, and have a cup of water from the fountain in my hand as my therapist open the door to her office.

I sort of sat and had to catch my breath.

It was a good session though, not a lot of tears, a little when I got into the feeling zone of what it was like when I heard the news that my landlady wanted me to move out, but for the most part I was able to make some serious connections, talked a lot about fear and moving forward and about self-advocacy and how it allows others to have strength and how I wanted to grow.

I talked about things I have to walk through, partially for myself, and also for my clients, as a therapist I always need to be doing some growing.  I need to always be integrating new experiences into my life and though I may never tell a client what is going on in my life, it will be in the therapy room.

My experiences are pure freaking gold.

I caught up with my old friend from high school today.

And although we did not get a chance to talk as long as I wanted, it was so good to hear his voice and to catch up.

I got to tell him a bit of what has been going on, but our conversation was cut short when the mom came back unexpectedly early.

One thing that stood out to me though, was his perception of me always being a therapist.

I had been telling him about the process and graduation and getting in my AMFT# application to the BBS and accruing hours and all the things and he laughed, because he didn’t understand half of what I said, but then when I said, “you know, all the stuff one needs to become a therapist,” he replied, “you mean what you’ve been doing all your life?”

I laughed out loud.

He was right.

I have been a therapist all my life, although I had no idea that was what I was doing.

Being kind, lending an ear, giving so many of the people I worked with a shoulder to cry on, I had an open door policy at one of the places I worked and managed and people would just come in and talk about things and tell me stuff that no one else was privy to.

I liked it.

I liked feeling needed and I liked listening.

I am a good listener and I remember a lot.

I also have a very good way of seeing something with perspective.

Oh.

Sure.

Not about myself, my vision there is skewed, but in others, I can see things fairly quickly and clearly make connections that they might not see.

Or might not want to see.

“If a client doesn’t want to take it in, or can’t accept it, they won’t,” my supervisor once told me.

It’s ultimately not up to me if the message lands or not, but it is up to me to show how I see it and to be an advocate for what the client wants to change in their life.

So being in my therapist’s office today I could see very clearly that the challenges ahead are an extraordinary opportunity for growth and for service.

I have to walk through this for my self and I have to do it for others to.

“It’s a political act,” she ended, my therapist, in regards to some actions I’ll soon be taking, “I’m in awe of how beautifully you just put it, thank you for letting me witness you.”

Anytime.

And hopefully next time I’ll remember to set the alarm another half hour early.

Fingers crossed.

Nobody likes to come home to dirty dishes.

At least not me.

Shaky Hands

June 10, 2018

I actually had some nerves today.

Oh.

I suppose, I have a touch of anxiety all the time, but I do manage it for the most part decently, but today, I noticed, shit, my hands are actually trembling.

Big.

Deep.

Breath.

Everything is ok

And of course it was.

Everything was fabulous, but I was still nervous.

I was putting together all the pieces for my BBS application for my AMFT#.

This number which will prove to the therapy world in general that I actually graduated from an accredited university with a program that fulfills all the BBS requirements for eventual licensure.

Graduated with a 4.0 to boot.

Not that I think any of my clients are every going to ask what my GPA is, none have so far.

I certainly didn’t think about asking my therapist that, didn’t cross my mind.

Didn’t really need to.

I know she’s licensed and she was transparent with me and let me know that she had gone to CIIS as well, which was so helpful, has continued to be helpful, and she has become such a resource for me.

She was an advocate for me going after a private practice internship and she told me point-blank that she would refer clients to me.

That’s probably a better recommendation for a client to know than my GPA.

Granted.

I am damn proud of it, I worked my ass off to get through his program and I got through.

And sitting at my table watching the YouTube instructional video on how to fill out my BBS application really brought it all together.

How much work to get to this point.

Filling out this huge application.

Getting LiveScan fingerprinting, which basically goes to the DOJ and the FBI and then to the BBS to find out if I have anything wonky on my record, which, of course I don’t.

I mean.

I have been background checked for two different nanny jobs, plus my school’s program requires it before I am allowed to go into practicum, as I would be seeing clients, so I knew nothing was going to come up.

But the DOJ and the FBI?

Wowzers.

Next to the stack of application were my two envelopes stamped “Do Not Open” in bright red block letters, from my school.

One envelope held my transcripts.

The other envelope held the program requirements and verified that my program met all BBS requirements, like that I took Child/Elder/Spousal Abuse, or Psychopharmacology, and of course the big guy, the class on the DSM V.

Attached to the application was also my passport photo that I got at the Walgreens in the Castro last Saturday.

“You’re really pretty,” the young woman said who took my photo.

Thanks sugar, I was busy scrutinizing the furrowed lines in my brow and wondering if they had come about from all the reading that I had done over the last three years.

Then.

Another check, this time made out to the Behavioral Sciences Fund.

I don’t have a clue what that funds, but hey, here’s some money.

Now please.

Process my application and get my number to be ASAP!

Please and thank you.

And when I was in group supervision today I found out that the turn around time on the AMFT# is far quicker than I had thought.

I was told I would probably get my number in a month!

Holy cats.

So.

I let said cat out of the bag and told my supervision group that I had obtained a private practice internship and I would be leaving them for her.

It was really nice to receive the congratulations and the acknowledgement of the work that I have done and also that I was super lucky, one of the members in my group has done work with my soon to be supervisor and we both gushed about her.

It was good timing to, for me, to find this out, because it started me in the mode of what I will do next to wrap up with my clients.

I will begin telling them soon, giving them all the opportunity to find closure with me and also that I will be available to them if they want to continue working with me.

It feels super great too that any clients that opt to come with me will be able to continue to go to the same facility.

I won’t be moving at all.

I will just be in a different office, instead of in a different office every night.

So.

Yes.

I noticed the shaky hands and I told myself it was ok, that I was doing great, that I had it all filled out correctly and if I had somehow fucked it up that would be ok too.

But I don’t think that I did.

I am pretty damn sure I crossed all my t’s and dotted all the i’s.

I headed to the mid Sunset and dropped it all into a fat envelope and spent the extra money, as the YouTube video insisted that I do, for tracking and I sent it certified mail so that it is signed for and I will now when they receive it.

I was told they would get it by Monday!

Holy crap.

So.

Sometime in July, fingers crossed, I shall get my AMFT# and I will be able to make the transition to the other internship.

An internship that I am very ready for.

I also called CAMFT and talked to a person there about what my supervisor and I need to do to set up the private practice internship.

I was given really good suggestions and directed to an article on the topic.

I will be reading that soon.

I have a “next steps” meeting with my new supervisor July 11.

I can’t wait.

I don’t know if I will have my number in hand.

But I know I will have it awfully soon.

And hopefully I will have a steady hand when I open the envelope from the BBS.

Fuck.

Who cares.

I certainly won’t.

But I might whoop with glee.

I have done that a few times today.

It feels so good to take positive actions.

So.

So.

So.

Good.

Summer

June 6, 2018

Or so it seems when I am on social media.

Not that San Francisco is exactly its normal summer beast of fog and cold wind, though, true, it’s been quite windy, it’s just not really warm.

Although I did catch a bit of sun this past weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about how it’s “summer vacation.”

It doesn’t quite feel like that.

I mean.

I got up, went to therapy, worked a full day at work, then saw clients at my internship.

It does not scream summer vacation.

I keep getting this cute, well-meaning messages about enjoy all the time you have now that you’re not in school!

Sure.

And I can’t complain, there is a feeling of easing into this moment of not having to write a paper or get something signed or run around to this supervisor or that, but I still have things to do.

Tomorrow I will get my fingerprints taken with LiveScan and then I am one step closer to turning in my application to the BBS.

I’m really happy to have the process moving along.

The faster I can get that number the faster I will start seeing clients at my paid internship.

 

That too, the paid internship, is going to have some working parts that I have to figure out.

My supervisor has not had a supervisee before, or an intern, I’ll be her first.

So I need to do some due diligence and find out the things that I need and the things that she needs to do.

I have a membership to CAMFT, the California Association of Marriage Family Therapist, so that means I get to call them and ask questions when I need help and this definitely falls under their bailiwick.

I get insurance with CAMFT as I’m still technically a student.

Which is really nice.

And I get to use their legal team too.

Not that I think I need their legal team for finding out what the necessities are for being a paid intern.

I just need to contact them and ask some questions.

Of course.

That has not so much been on my mind.

I’ve been trying to reconnect with the phone counselor who left me a message from the SF Tenant’s Union and not having any luck.

I may just end up going into the office for another quick drop in to ask a few follow-up questions.

Tomorrow I’m planning on getting my LiveScan fingerprints done at a place on Mission Street and if it goes quickly I am thinking I will pop over to the Tenant’s Union afterward, they are open until 7p.m.

I just want a little more direction on what next actions to take.

It feels better for me to be taking action rather than just sitting on my hands.

I am still looking at places, but I think that until I have a touch more clarity I am not going to move real fast on anything.

I know it’s important to keep doing actions though, as I don’t know which action will result in me finding a new place to live.

I, as I have said before, am casting a wide net.

I don’t feel as pressured to find a place as I did when I first got the news since I found out that the 90 day verbal notice is not legal, but then again, as I expressed to my therapist today, processed the shit out of this situation let me tell you, I also don’t like living somewhere I’m not wanted.

And I feel somehow small in this space now.

It’s gone from being a little cozy and sweet, to being cramped and cave like.

Maybe it’s that need for summer, for sun, for light, that makes me feel this way.

But I want something bigger, more expansive, something that will support me in this next phase of my life as I work on my PhD degree and accrue the rest of my MFT hours for licensure.

I want abundance.

I keep writing about what my next place will look like, I try to see it in my head, I don’t always, but I do have a really good sense of what I want.

Of course.

What I really want is my own place.

But that’s a pricey thing in the city unless I go with a studio or, as I just did, I continue to apply to the Below Market housing through DAHLIA, which requires that new buildings in the city rent a certain number of units below the market value of the apartment.

Tonight I applied for a lottery for 33 Tehama.

I’m not really interested in that neighborhood all that much, to tell the truth, but fuck,  a 1 bedroom in the brand new building at below market is renting for $1303-$1450.

I can fucking afford that.

I’m basically paying $1352 right now for my studio.

Few more bucks for a one bedroom in a brand new building with views of the Bay Bridge and a spa and bocce court, yes please, I’ll take it right now.

My dream is to have my own place, but yeah, unless I win the lottery, and I would love to win this one, or the Yerba Buena Dream House Raffle, which I did buy a ticket for when I got my tax return, living alone may be out of the question.

Unless I get a studio in the Tenderloin and that is just not appealing.

I would be in the thick of a notorious neighborhood with a lot of open drug use and dealing.

I can only imagine how long it would take for someone to break into my car after I parked to go home.

Two minutes.

So studio’s like that are out.

I’m open to studios out here and I have checked out a few, but nothing that compares to what I have.

I’m open though.

And I really do believe that things are going to work out for me and the new place I move into will be amazing.

I really do believe that.

So, yeah, summer.

It’s here but not here.

I’m sure it will feel like it soon though.

Three weeks from today I will be flying into New York City baby!

I cannot wait.

I am so very ready for my summer vacation.

So ready.

 

No More Tears

June 5, 2018

What a freaking relief.

Yesterday, last night I should say, because technically yesterday was a vale of tears from morning until about 6:30p.m. when I had to pull it together to take care of my Sunday night commitment, was the first night since my landlady gave me notice that I did not cry myself to sleep.

And!

Oh.

So good.

This morning too, no tears!

I did a lot of work yesterday, and throughout the week when I think about it, to get through the fear.

A lot of self talk, a lot of letting the tears happen when they did.

Granted.

I did holler a couple of times, “stop, just stop.”

But.

For the most part, they just kept on coming.

Yesterday was by far the worst day of it.

Of course, it was pointed out to me later that I had actually time to stop and have the feelings, I have been a busy lady and not being able to do much sitting still when I did have the chance to the emotions just ran away with the house.

I cried a lot.

But.

I think it moved things along and by the time I met with my person up at Firewood Cafe I was almost cried out.

Almost.

I still cried for the first half hour or so and then I slowly started to get relief.

And perspective.

And that it was more than just the threat of losing my place, it was also the past few weeks of busy and go, go, go, graduate, and hang out with my mom, and get all my paperwork turned in so I am really done with school, and have an endoscopy, and maybe I have cancer, but probably not, but maybe, and having to terminate with a client and all sorts of stuff, it was all the things.

All the things needed to have a word with me and then did so in a grand sweeping emotional way.

I seriously thought a few times that I was hormonal, I never cry like this for this long, unless really depressed, but then I’d still be crying and that crying is a different kind then what I was doing.

The crying I was doing was all fear based.

Not so much sadness based.

Fear based and anger based.

I have had some angry moments, let me tell you.

But it got worked out and the more I talked, cried, muddled through, the easier it seemed to be until by the time I walked into the basement of Most Holy Redeemer to take care of my Sunday night gig I was almost wholly myself.

And then!

Oh.

My old friend from my early days in recovery came prancing into the room with another dear friend and it was so good to connect and reconnect and catch up.

She’s been living in London for the last seven years, New York before that, and it was her first time back to SF in ten years.

I mean.

It was good to see her.

And hear her.

And then go out and hang out afterwards with all the friends and people and go to La Meditereanee and have some good food and laugh and get perspective.

I also heard so much advocacy for me getting to be taken care of and that there is abundance and that I do deserve it.

I sometimes forget that.

All the time.

That I am allowed to embrace abundance.

So.

My attitude changed and I began to see this whole thing as an enormous gift.

Oh.

Like many gifts I have received I did not like the wrapping paper it came in, and I have wanted to give it back, but there it is, in my lap, begging to be opened, to be revealed.

More will be revealed.

There’s always more to learn.

I get to take this situation as an opportunity to grow and to manifest what I want in a living situation.

I also get to take this as a chance to let my voice be heard, to not be run over by the circumstances, to advocate for my rights.

I listened again to the voicemail of the woman from the SF Tenant’s Union who reached out to me the day prior to my going in to the drop in session and was assuaged again to hear that what is happening is not legal and I have loads of rights.

She reiterated a bunch of them and I found comfort in that.

I know my rights and I get to speak up for myself.

Not something I have always done.

Not something that I am great at.

But fuck, what an opportunity to learn.

So.

I’m going to get to learn about something new and in the process I will find a new place to live and it will be done with grace and dignity.

At least on my part.

My part is all I’m responsible for anyway.

Speaking of my part.

And taking responsibility.

I have filled out my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) application for my AMFT#!

Yesterday I got passport photos taken so that I can turn in a recent photo to the BBS.

All I need to do now is get LiveScanned fingerprinting done.

I will be doing that on Wednesday.

The hope is to have it all taken care of and ready to send into the BBS by Saturday.

It was strongly suggested that I send it in registered mail and insure it and track it and make sure it gets signed for.

So a trip to the post office before my internship on Saturday.

It’s a really exciting thing.

Once the BBS gives me my AMFT# I will officially be able to take payment for my therapy sessions.

At which point I will be transitioning from my current internship to my private practice internship.

I am really excited.

It feels so nice to have positive, forward motion actions happening.

And though I do not know how long this hallway of uncertainty is in regards to where I live next.

I do believe.

With all my heart.

That is will be fucking fabulous.

Seriously.


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