Chapter Spotlight June 2022



Shauntis Bussey, LMFT“Came for Board Governance, Stayed for the Community”

Interview conducted by Robin Andersen, LMFT, CAMFT State Board CFO and Nanci Finley, East Bay Chapter Board member

Please introduce yourself to the membership! What would you like them to know about you professionally and personally?
I am Shanty’s Bussey, LMFT, 2021/2022 President of the San Diego North County Chapter.

I graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University with my second master’s degree in 2016. I am a solution-focused licensed marriage and family therapist who has dedicated 14 years to empowering and developing people, programs, and organizations to fulfill their vision for success and build a lasting legacy. I currently serve in two professional roles outside of the San Diego North County CAMFT Board of Directors: (a) as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Therapeutic Rebel, a concierge therapy practice, and (b) Overseeing multiple outpatient and residential Discovery Behavioral Health programs on the West Coast.

I am also an undercover National Park explorer and elevated camping enthusiast. I love karaoke, chai lattes, and Denzel Washington movies.

What led you to get involved with your local chapter as a member and leader?
I originally got involved in this chapter so that I could learn about board governance. Ha! Such a dry topic. What was I thinking?! I quickly realized that was not my true passion, and I stayed for the community. The friendships that I have made through my tenure with this board have been everything.

How has your chapter evolved in your time on the board?
The San Diego North County chapter is strong. Their strength is apparent in how many folks we have with us who have endured the onset of a global pandemic, multiple quarantine shutdowns, and unparalleled stressors ... and they still showed up! They showed up for virtual chapter events. They showed up for their clients. They showed up to support their fellow MFTs and associates. Now what we are looking to do as a board is to foster diversity -- both in demographic representation and in the type of work our members do.

What are some of the unique strengths and challenges of your chapter?
Our members are consistent. Many of them are seasoned clinicians, so they prefer a challenge beyond basic clinical principles, and we like our chapter events to reflect that. Our members are also collaborative, and they love sharing knowledge and stories; therefore, events that focus on networking and peer-led discussion are very popular. One unique challenge of our chapter is our region. We stretch across several different areas of north county San Diego which makes scheduling in-person events a little bit challenging. In an effort to offset that challenge, we are continuing to explore rotating chapter events between inland and coastal locations. This way everyone can be included without having to commute for each event.

CAMFT has focused heavily on DEI efforts over the past year. How do you see your chapter doing the same, now and in the future?
Well, I’m guessing that this is the first time our board has had a lesbian, black biracial President. So that’s fun! I’m proud to be a pioneer. At the same time, I struggle to answer this question without sounding like our efforts are performative. Right now, our biggest focus is on seeking out the voices, perspectives, and experiences that are different from ours and listening to them. Uplifting them. And ensuring that we are also looking inward at how we function as a board and as a chapter to be more aware of our own blind spots and privilege.


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