Welcome to the Spring issue of Westside Notes. When I found this Toni Morrison quote, I realized that it applies to me and my latest writing project. Not that I did it intentionally, but I knew that the theme of my book had not been written yet, so I took it upon myself to give it life. As many of you already know, Itís Not About the Sex: Moving from Isolation to Intimacy is on track for a June release. At the end of this month Iíll be meeting the publishing team at Central Recovery Press in Vegas—the first time I get to share face-to-face time after a few years of a virtual relationship. Now that I have re-surfaced after my editing hibernation (September-February), I feel a renewed energy, optimism and momentum. Iíll be sure to keep you posted with the details of the release as well as the book launch here in L.A. By the way, itís now available for pre-order on www.amazon.com.
A Little Note on Gratitude,
One year ago I decided that I would give a gratitude practice a shot, and by accident I ended up in Sedona for a week with Chris Germer and Kristen Neff, submerging myself in the practice of Mindful Self-Compassion. I didnít have any big plans. I felt like I was drowning in the heartbreak and loss of both my parents, and so I just started swimming. These two practices saved my life, my heart, my sense of self; they anchored me back into myself.
Conferences in Review:
The American Group Psychotherapy Association hosted its annual meeting here in Los Angeles at the end of February. Once again, it did not disappoint. I participated in the two-day institute experience which I fondly refer to as the marathon group. This year I chose a nationally-recognized group leader named Jeff Hudson who came to us from Austin, and it was an exceptional experience. Not only did I stretch as a group member, but I watched and learned from one of the best in our field. AGPA has been my annual pilgrimage for many years, and once again, I plan to travel to New York City next year. For more information, please visit www.agpa.org.
The Evolution of Addiction Conference was also held in Los Angeles earlier this year, and I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop on Brainspotting and Addiction with my esteemed colleagues, Claudia Lewis, LMFT and Maria Gray, LMFT. The presentation was very well-received as we continue to spread the word about Brainspotting and its relevance for clients with a history of trauma and addictions.
Our beloved Brainspotting trainer, Dr. Pie Frey will be returning to Los Angeles in June to teach the Phase One weekend of Brainspotting at the Iris Healing Center in Woodland Hills. This will be an intimate training with a maximum of thirty participants along with several local brainspotters assisting (including myself). Pie comes to us from Boulder and has been a lead trainer for the Brainspotting Institute for many years—we are more than thrilled to see her return to Los Angeles.
Principles of Group Psychotherapy:
Once again, I was honored to be part of the faculty for this valuable course this past weekend. Sponsored by the Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles (GPALA), this course fulfills the academic component to become a Certified Group Psychotherapist which is a national designation. As I teach alongside this talented team of group therapists, I get to spread the enthusiasm about group therapy which I consider to be one of the best-kept secrets in the mental health field. I also want to share a shout-out to Clearview Treatment Programs which has been offering their beautiful space to us for many years. We have lots of gratitude for Michael Roy, executive director of Clearview for his generosity and hospitality.
Currently, I have one opening in my Monday night co-ed interpersonal process group, and one opening in my Wednesday night menís group. The groups are made up of members who have been in individual therapy and choose to learn about themselves in the context of a group. Please contact me if you know anyone who might benefit, and Iíd be happy to answer any questions.
Wishing you a very pleasant Springtime—
In This Issue:
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About Andrew Susskind
Andrew Susskind, LCSW, SEP, CGP is
a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Certified Group Psychotherapist
Jen Davis, M.A. is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in the following areas: addictions, depression and anxiety, the psychology of women, unblocking creativity, living with grief, and trauma.
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