What is your educational background?

I obtained a B.A. in Psychology at Chapman University in 2003. I then worked in non-profit and corporate America for about a decade before pursuing an M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy Chapman University 2014.

What do you do now?

I currently work full time in private practice. Typically, I work with young adults, professionals, couples and families seeking therapeutic support for mood disorders, life cycle transitions, substance misuse, relational concerns and family system issues. Generally, my clients are operating okay in their daily lives yet recognize a need and/or desire for expansion and growth. I consider my practice an Eclectic therapy, utilizing various evidence-based practice modalities to tailor treatment plans to each specific case. Currently I am working on advanced trainings in EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy).

How do you use what you learned in the Chapman MFT program in your work?

Chapman provided me an outstanding foundational base in terms of general education and knowledge. I was always encouraged to ask questions, seek consultation and explore integrative models to best support my clients. I believe the fact that Chapman encouraged and supported an eclectic approach was instrumental. Professors always encouraged advanced trainings (a large group of us attended the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference & a few of us attended and volunteered at AAMFT national conferences). To date, I still connect with professors and am incredibly grateful for that network.

What is OC CAMFT? And what is your role as the chapter president?            

The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) is an independent professional organization of over 32,222 members representing the interests of licensed marriage and family therapists in the state of California.

OC CAMFT is our local Orange County chapter of our statewide agency. We have approximately 400 members, about half of those being pre-licensed members.

My role as chapter President is to lead the board of directors in creating programming for the upcoming year and to ensure we are serving our membership needs. We are trying new things this year; our calendar will include the introduction of Clinical Focus Groups, quarterly luncheons, workshops, networking events and various other opportunities for connection, relationship building, and learning/growing within our profession. We also offer events specifically for our pre-licensed community which include networking opportunities and talks geared towards the road to licensure.

Do you have any advice for current students in the MFT program?

I encourage you to utilize various supervisors while you have the opportunity at Chapman. They are each so gifted in their own skill sets & can support a variety of learning styles & techniques. Each supervisor will stretch you to grow as a clinician in a different way; you will also be more prepared knowing what to except and accept in terms of excellent supervision off site for traineeships and associate positions. Get involved in your community, go to networking events (I know it can feel awkward, go anyway), meet colleagues who specialize in areas of interest for informational interviews, connect. Your relationships will support and create job opportunities, referral opportunities and much more in the future!

How do you stay in touch with MFT alumni?

I am still in touch with several members from my cohort and the cohorts close to mine. Some of us share office space. Many of us consult by phone on a regular basis and in person monthly. We are always referring to one another, trusting the educational foundation and ethical practice that have been instilled through Chapman.

One of the biggest things I’ve experienced over and over with this work is that the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. This field offers exponential opportunities for growth as a human, as a clinician, as a business owner, and as a family member. Our work is deeply important, humbling and changes us. Take good care of yourselves along your path. Please connect at an OC CAMFT event or touch base with any questions, you’re welcome to find me online at www.therapywithrachelle.com or email rachellemft@gmail.com.