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Letter from the President – Happy New Year!

Denise Parent, LMFT

CTAMFT President, Denise Parent, LMFT (president@ctamft.org)

As we enter the New Year, I have been thinking about the communities our collective MFT “family” is embedded in. Last month, I attended fellow member, Nelba Marquez-Greene’s, “Love Wins” conference and admired the Sandy Hook families’ many initiatives to “Choose Love” and carry on the lives of those lost by developing strategies to strengthen communities everywhere.

The Ana Grace Project

The Ana Grace Project

At the Love Wins Conference, Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Bruce Perry talked about the importance of relational connection to survival, saying that optimal human conditions include having about 40 people in our extended relationship circle. He commented that many of our modern day problems have grown out of setting up social structures that create isolation and ignore the fact that humans are not naturally sedentary beings.

This led to me wonder how we as MFTs can more actively connect our “systems” with non-therapy initiatives, as well as join our colleagues in social work, counseling and psychology, to create a stronger community with a coordinated vision to support families? This lofty idea immediately drove me to check Facebook and watch a few minutes of HGTV, because it seemed to imply an enormous amount of work!

MFTs have always believed, at least in theory, that we are already, and always will be, interdependent beings. Possibly the work of connection is merely to remember that we are already connected, and as a social constructionist might say, act “as if?”

This would involve remembering to invite others to our MFT “party,” as well as to attend other, different gatherings to absorb the value they might add to our ideas. It could involve building relationships by committing to providing strong collaborative case management. In keeping with this, we have planned to explore neuroscience as a foundation and extension of our relational perspective at our April conference.

CTAMFT’s Board of Directors has spent a great deal of time reviewing the impact of the MHPAEA final regulations and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (see Susan Boritz’s article). We have also been discussing what a public relations campaign for MFT in CT might look like, as well as explore what Connecticut organizations and people influence mental health care delivery systems. This year, we hope to move into using these experiences (off the couch now!) in a thoughtful and productive way. You are welcome to join our efforts in whatever way you find meaningful!

Thank you for the many ways you make CTAMFT a vibrant association – by supporting us through your membership, encouraging others to join our membership, participating in CTAMFT initiatives or committees, attending our fall workshop, our spring conference or by shooting us an email when you have a thought or question! As we enter 2014, I wish us all at least 40 connections with friends, family and warm community.

Wishing you health and happiness in the New Year!

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