Candidate for Secretary
Cathryn Leff, LMFT
After being appointed to the CAMFT Board of Directors in June of 2015, and elected
as Director-At-Large in 2016, it was an honor to be elected by the Board in June
2016 to fill the vacant Secretary position.
As founder and Past-President of Southwest Riverside County CAMFT, I was awarded
the Outstanding Chapter Leadership Award in 2010. I am currently working on
my PhD in psychology with an emphasis on mental health policy and practice,
to enhance my understanding of how policy is developed and how to effectively
get legislation passed.
As a member of CAMFT since 1987, I have seen at times our Association grow
and struggle to find its footing. I believe CAMFT has turned a corner and I
am dedicated towards moving our Association to one of even greater strength
through increased participation by our members, better advocacy for the issues
we care about, and more respect for LMFT’s through higher reimbursement
I believe I am qualified to accomplish these goals based on my education (B.A.
in Psychology, UCLA; M.A. in Counseling Psychology, Pepperdine University),
my experience as a LMFT in various capacities, and by my participation in ongoing
CAMFT activities. I have worked as an Emergency Response Social Worker for
Child Protected Services in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties; a Supervisor
for interns at a drug/alcohol rehabilitation center; a Children’s Mental
Health Clinician for San Diego County; a Psychiatric Liaison for the Emergency
Department at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside; and as an Emergency Department
Patient Liaison for Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Currently I operate
my own private practice in Temecula, and work as Director of Family Services
for the Soboba Band Luiseno Indians in San Jacinto. This has been a challenging
but rewarding experience in working with one of our Native American neighbors.
Moving forward, I hope to work towards increasing member participation at
events like CAMFT Connects, because with greater participation CAMFT can increase
its ability to create change and strengthen respect for our license. Holding
the MFT license is paramount for us earning a decent livelihood. We do not
want our license potentially weakened by withdrawing our ability to diagnose.
Presently, competing professionals in Texas are working with their legislative
bodies to this very end. This is why we need members involved and working on
insurance reform and other advocacy issues, towards a streamlining of the process
for therapists in submitting claims, and obtaining the compensation we deserve
from insurance companies through parity with other licenses.
Finally, with my election as Board Secretary, I propose that CAMFT develop
online interactive modules to help members develop their skills to become effective
public policy advocates at the federal, state, and local levels. Other associations
have these modules, including the American Psychological Association. These
modules would also provide continuing education units, and inform and instruct
members in advocacy for the issues that matter to us most. I respectfully ask
for your vote. Thank you.