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Victoria Rohrer, LMFT, CAMFT Clinical Director-at-Large,
interviewed by Robin Andersen, LMFT, CAMFT
President-Elect and Nikki Gabriel, LMFT, CAC Vice-Chair
Please introduce yourself. What would you like everyone to know about you professionally and personally?
I am an empath, a highly sensitive person, a stepmom, a fur mama, a trauma survivor, an anxiety sufferer, a recovering codependent, an advocate, a person-centered therapist, and an educational consultant. If someone had told my high school self about all I’d achieve by my thirties, I would not have believed it. Back then, I was undeniably shy and uncertain. It used to be difficult for me to talk about myself. But thanks to the work I’ve done in my own therapy, I have found strength in my voice and in my story. I value the growth I’ve experienced from all the challenging times.
I love being a therapist. It’s amusing to look back at how I was too afraid to take a counseling class in my undergrad years, and yet, a couple of years later, there I was applying for a master’s degree in counseling. I remember how that first week of graduate school I realized I’d found my people; here were my fellow sensitive, thoughtful, overthinking, analytical humans. Becoming a therapist was that missing piece of my identity I’d been looking for. I am passionate about breaking the stigmas around mental health, and being part of CAMFT is an important opportunity to do that.
How did you become involved with the Redwood Empire chapter, and what growth have you experienced as a chapter leader?
I became more involved in the Redwood Empire chapter after deciding to take a leap of faith on myself and start a private practice. For my first therapist job I was part of a collaborative team, and I endeavored to create my own version of that as a business owner. What better way to build community than to start going to meetings with other local therapists? As a chapter leader, I became more connected to and invested in a thoughtful decision-making process. It allowed me to be a part of something greater than myself and to grow more confident and comfortable sharing my opinions and perspective.
What led you to apply for CAMFT’s Board of Directors?
Many of my family members were in service careers and modeled that, so being of service and helping others has always been a core tenet of who I am. I developed a strong passion for volunteering and advocacy work in high school, and I have always believed that our connection to one another is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. Joining CAMFT leadership had long been a goal, and the encouragement of colleagues finally brought it to the forefront. I was also intrigued by the opportunity to influence change on a more macro level. You decided to serve on your chapter board and the state board simultaneously. Please tell us about that experience and what similarities/ differences you noticed between serving at the local level and serving at the state level.
Upon being elected to the CAMFT Board, I felt it was important to continue to honor my chapter leadership commitment. On the Redwood Empire board I’m more in the trenches; I come up with ideas and assist with their implementation. With the CAMFT Board, our work happens at a higher level and is more idealistic. We set the vision and provide oversight while the staff implements the ideas. It has been such an invaluable experience being part of CAMFT’s effective way of making decisions and shaping policy. I have learned so much already. The pacing of the boards is also different, which forced me to adapt. Our Redwood Empire board has monthly meetings, and if we need more information on a topic we can postpone discussion until the following month. But because the CAMFT Board meets quarterly, ideas and decisions need to move at a faster pace, which makes it necessary for me to speak up on an issue from the beginning.
Is there anything else you would like our members to know about serving as a leader within CAMFT?
If you have even an inkling of interest in becoming a CAMFT leader, do not be afraid to pursue it—CAMFT is made up of therapists just like you. Before becoming a leader, I remember reading articles written by CAMFT Board members and feeling as if it were an unattainable world. How could I possibly be like them one day? And yet, here I am, grateful for the opportunity to be part of something significant and impactful.
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