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Urgent Need On-Site Counselors

David Martin

The Pro Bono Counseling Program at Mental Health America of Greater Houston (MHA) has an immediate and urgent need for bilingual, Spanish-speaking therapists to conduct individual and/or group counseling sessions at the Airline Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Clinic.

As a Pro Bono Program counselor, you will provide onsite counseling to mothers who are of low income and identified as either at high risk for or experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression. Mothers with low incomes often have the fewest resources for mental health care, placing them at the greatest risk of experiencing perinatal mental health complications. By volunteering your time and expertise, you will help to fill a critical need to care for a segment of Houston's mothers who might otherwise forego quality mental health care.


  • Bilingual, English/Spanish
  • Current Professional Counseling License
  • Provide 1-4 hour(s)/week of group and/or individual counseling
  • Commit to providing 6 weeks volunteer service
  • Note: Most counselors volunteer more!

While this request is for a very specific collaboration between Mental Health America of Greater Houston and the City of Houston WIC, we are also seeking Spanish- and English-speaking counseling professionals interested in volunteering their time with individuals and/or groups in their offices and/or at other locations throughout Greater Houston. Clients are pre-screened for eligibility and referred through the MHA Pro Bono Counseling Program.

We look forward to your participation and encourage you to forward this email to organizations and colleagues currently working in the field and to those retired. As part of the selection and placement process for the MHA Pro Bono Counseling Program, we will contact all interested professionals with more information and details.

For more information, please contact Debbie de la Riva, Program Manager at or 713-523-8963 x 235.  Thank you for your generosity and help.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston appreciates the recruitment assistance of the following professional organizations:

  • Houston Psychological Association
  • National Association of Social Workers/Texas Chapter - Houston Branch
  • Texas Mental Health Group

2012 Play Therapy Workshops in the Houston Area

David Martin

Cosponsored by Gay Caldwell Roper Center for Counselor Education

And LifeSpring Counseling Services


Friday, January 13, 2012 – Overview of Theraplay

Presenter: Mary Ring, Certified Theraplay Therapist and Trainer


Tuesday – Friday, January 24 – 27, 2012 – Level One Introductory Theraplay

Trainer: Mary Ring & additional trainer from Theraplay Institute


Friday, March 2, 2012 – Integrating Sandtray for Children and Families

Presenter: Linda Homeyer


Wednesday – Friday, March 7 – 9 Intermediate Theraplay & MIM Training

Trainer: Mary Ring & additional trainer if needed (must have completed

Introductory Theraplay training 3 months previous to this)


(Possible May Training to be posted later) 

Friday, June 8, 2012 – Family Play Therapy – Presenter: Mary Ring


More worshops are planned to help get the 150 hours training for RPT certification and

will be listed in the near future.  They will be scheduled in conjunction with

The Theraplay Institute in Chicago due to credentialing of CEUs.

Sign Up Here 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

David Martin


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

A few thoughts on one verse:

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you", your Father will give you everything you need (Matthew 6: 33).

Can I wish Merry Christmas to my recently divorced friend? Can I wish Happy New Year to another friend just diagnosed with cancer, to another who enters 2012 unemployed? Or is the meaning of those holiday greetings appropriate only for my "blessed" friends?

Three days before Christmas, Rachael and I enjoyed a sleigh ride through fields of Christmas lights with our three Cleveland granddaughters. Our Christmas is merry. And with our 45 years of strong marriage, two godly sons, two beautiful daughters-in-law, and five healthy grandkids, our new year promises to be happy.

BUT! Why does Jesus begin His call to live well with the word "but"? Look back at verse 32. He has just told us that hopes for a good life of blessings "dominate the thoughts of unbelievers". I like my good life of blessings. But does my desire for those blessings to continue dominate my thoughts? Is that my deepest wish, my highest hope for a merry Christmas and a happy new year? Is there a greater good?

Only one Person fully knew the kind of merry and happy life that comes from putting first things first, the kind of secure rest that depends on trusting our Father to give us everything we need to live a truly "good" life. To the degree Jesus is formed in me as I celebrate Christmas 2011 and enter 2012, my richest thoughts, my highest ambitions, my deepest desires will center on knowing God and making His nature known to others by the way I relate. I will die to self, live for God and in the process, discover who I really am. Is Jesus really formed in me?

In Bethlehem, God declared war on Satan and his ways. Self-centeredness appeared in the cross-hairs of divine love. Sweet baby Jesus (who probably did cry in the manger) became the Divine Warrior who, by incarnating God's kingdom for 33 years and securing its reign in our lives through His crucifixion and resurrection (Easter is coming), knew what it meant to wish us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Whether you're in a hospital bed or on a sleigh ride with grandkids, whether you're negotiating a divorce or kissing your spouse under mistletoe, whether you're praying for people you love as you celebrate Christmas alone or gathered at a family Christmas dinner, you can relate like Jesus - suffering without complaining, enjoying blessings without feeling entitled to them, revealing God by relating like God. Then, "you will have abundant joy", His kind of joy, and peace "which exceeds anything we can understand" (John 16: 24 and Philippians 4: 7), a divinely merry Christmas and an unconquerdsly happy new year.

On behalf of Rachael, Andi, and Kep, as I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, am I praying that you will enjoy the good things that dominate the thoughts of folks who don't know Jesus? Well, yes! Second things are good!

BUT: Knowing Christ is better. Entering the war against self-obsession, beginning with the battle raging in our own souls, is better. Loving like Jesus in our circle of friends is better. Knowing the joy of seeking first God's kingdom is better. Yielding to the Spirit's plan to form us more like Christ in 2012 is better.

So, until the best will be ours to fully enjoy forever (He is coming!), I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Warmly In Him,

From the "little team" at NewWay

Early Bird Registration for Infant Mental Health Advocacy and Award Conference ends December 2nd! Register today!

David Martin

Register today for the 2012 Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award & Conference at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre January 6-7, 2012 with special guest keynote speaker, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton.  Early Bird registration closes December 2nd--be sure to register now to receive the discount!


Besides a lecture from Dr. Brazelton and Dr. Sparrow, we will have the pleasure of hearing Tom and Jennifer Brazelton as well.  This year, we are bringing Dr. Gina Lebedeva from the University of Washington as our special featured speaker.  Dr. Lebedeva has experience as both a research scientist and a Speech-Language Pathologist and will be sharing some of her fascinating, groundbreaking findings with us!  

We are excited to report that Jason Sabo, Senior Vice President for Public Policy of United Ways Texas and Chief Operating Officer of Frontera Strategy, has agreed to speak at our Policy Luncheon on January 7th!    
We also have 26 exciting workshops for you to choose from and lots of opportunities for networking and resource sharing with other conference participants!  For discounted hotel information for the conference, visit our conference website.

Be sure to register before December 2nd to receive the Early Bird discount or, if you are a TAIMH member, get an even bigger registration discount!

Little Kids, Big Questions—ZERO TO THREE’s New Podcast Series

David Martin

As more and more parents “plug in” for information on how to raise their young children, ZERO TO THREE is meeting the need with our new parenting podcast series Little Kids, Big Questions, generously funded by MetLife Foundation. Little Kids, Big Questions  is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into practical parenting strategies that mothers, fathers, and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Topics include brain development, social-emotional development, sleep issues, feeding issues, and more. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. 

Click here to access the podcasts on iTunes. 

Have you already listened to the podcasts?  Let us know what you think.


Using Art in Family Play Therapy

David Martin

Friday, November 18. 9:00 am-4:00 pm

7401 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024- Suite 602

Led by Mary Ring, MARE, MAMFC, LPC-S, LMFT-S, RPT-S

Family play therapy serves as a great modality to help families as young children do not have the verbal skills to benefit from discussion of family interactions. Art is a modality in which all family members have the opportunity to give expression to emotions and perspective of family interactions while at the same time providing a playful and enjoyable way to interact. The art activities used and discussed in this workshop promote the process of family play therapy and give each family member the opportunity to be a part of the experience.

Objectives - Participants will:

1. View art activities that help facilitate family play therapy interactions

2. Have opportunity to experience and practice the family art activities

3. Understand how to facilitate family interaction to enhance relationship building through the process.

COST $100 - Professional Rate / $50 - Student Rate

REGISTER online.

or CONTACT 713.335.6466 for more information.

Hosted by Gay Caldwell-Roper Center for Counselor Education and LifeSpring Counseling Services


David Martin

This is a guest post by Karen Hull.  Karen is a wonderful therapist who counsels from a foundation of biblical truth.  She is also a published author whose book, The Mommy Book: Advice for New Mothers from Women Who've Been There, was featured in the Focus on the Family broadcast and magazine. Karen and her husband Jon have been married for thirty-two years.  This is what she recently wrote to our team of counselors at the Julianna Poor Memorial Counseling Center.  It's so good that I just had to share it with you:

"In view of our discussion in staff meeting about the importance of a theology of suffering, I thought I would pass along a resource I’m finding deeply meaningful.

I recently became acquainted with the work of Matt Chandler.  Matt is a 37-year-old pastor with a thriving ministry in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  A little less than two years ago he experienced a seizure and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.  The prognosis: he most likely had two or three years to live.

Matt is undeniably gifted.  Along with doctrinal integrity, he brings to his sermons a refreshing blend of passion and compassion, bluntness and “fellow-traveler” self-awareness.  I’ve gone back and listened to quite a few of his pre-diagnosis sermons, and they’re excellent.  But in his more recent sermons Matt’s cancer diagnosis/prognosis is an ongoing reminder of his (and our) mortality.  His commitment to walking out his faith in the midst of this trial lends his words a weight, immediacy and credibility they could not otherwise have.

The first sermon I downloaded, recommended by a client, was dated August 14, 2011 and titled “The Mission of God.”  Matt wrote it in response to the suicide of a church employee.  Soon after, I came across his series on Habakkuk, a remarkable three-chapter prophetic book that begins with a complaint against God and ends with a hymn of praise.  As I listened, I couldn’t help wondering if it may be necessary for most of us to travel through frustration and fear and protest to reach a place of dependent trust and spiritual maturity (“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines…yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation”).

Other notable sermons from the Village Church website include John Piper’s “Subjected in Hope,” a sermon on suffering he preached to Matt’s congregation less than two months after Matt’s diagnosis and surgery.

In case you’re interested in downloading these or other sermons, the web address is: 

With prayers for the Lord’s deepest blessings,"

Karen Hull

IN-BETWEEN -John Ortberg, Ph.D.

David Martin

This is a summary of some of what John Ortberg, Ph.D. talked about at the AACC 2011:

"This isn’t Sunday.  This isn’t Friday.  This is Saturday.  The day after this, but the day before that.  The day after a prayer gets prayed, but before it gets answered.  The day after a soul gets crushed way down, but before it gets lifted up at all.  It’s this kind of strange day, this Saturday.  It’s the in-between day.  Not Friday.  Not Sunday.  In-between despair and joy.  In-between utter confusion and blinding clarity.  In-between bad news and good news.  In-between darkness and light.  In-between hate and love. In-between death and life.  It’s the in-between day."

Ready, Set, GOALS...

David Martin

I am already thinking about my goals for 2012.

Goals are dreams.  But I don't want to stop at just dreaming. I need to turn my dreams into small steps that will gradually create big things in my life.  I understand that it's my responsibility to be diligent and become a good administrator of my time, money, and other resources. It's time to sit down, make some goals, and take control. 

Dan Miller has a good tool for going through the process of creating goals: 2012 The Power of Goals.

Successful people reassess their lives and then start living intentionally. Make your resolutions a reality this coming year!

What are your goals for next year? 

Attachment and Neurosequential Development

David Martin

As play therapists we are faced with challenging cases involving children who present difficult behavioral problems.
The latest neurological research and treatment approaches require that we
understand the developmental issues for these behaviors and have a solidly built play therapy plan to meet the needs of the children and families who come for services.
This workshop is focused on developing an understanding of the attachment and neurological development issues and providing information on play therapy techniques to use in treatment. [Learn More Here]


Thank you Patti!

David Martin

Big thanks go out to Patti Hatton for blogging about

Thank you Patti.  For being a part of the family.  For spreading the word about our mission.  For believing that our community can be a better place if we connect those in need with counseling services.

You can read her blog here.


David Martin

Deborah Lindeen is a psychotherapist in west Houston.  She is helping people who question their life’s purpose or feel that there is more to life than they are currently experiencing.
She blends Jungian psychology, Ignatian spirituality, and the work of Seena Frost to create SoulScaping™, a process for self-exploration in which you will make collaged cards representing the many aspects of your Self.  
A new SoulScaping™ group is forming now in the Memorial area. The 6-session group will meet the 2nd and 4th Saturdays in August, September and October from 9:30 till 11:30.  The cost of $300 covers all high-quality materials. No previous experience with art or collage is necessary. Group size is limited, so contact Deborah now to reserve your space.  Create the  powerful life changes you desire with SoulScaping™ 

May 3, 2011 - Awareness Day Panel with National Mental Health Researchers and Experts

David Martin

As part of Awareness Day 2011, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is sponsoring a videocast panel of children’s mental health researchers and experts to discuss the science of children’s mental health. The event is being held on May 3, 2011 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EDT at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, MD. Further information about securing a seat to the event and how to view the videocast will be provided closer to May 3. Click here to view the event invitation (PDF - 238kb) and click here to register for the videocast.

Asian American Family Services' Morning Tea Seminars: Thursday, April 28, 2011

David Martin

Come join the Asian American Family Services’ Stanley Sue Center for Cultural Competency for the on-going series of Morning Tea Seminars scheduled for the 4th Thursday of even number months.

The Morning Tea Seminar on Thursday, April 28th will bring a more in-depth look at human trafficking issues affecting the Houston community. Learn from an expert in the field what constitutes as human trafficking and what can be done.

Morning Tea Seminars are cross-cultural forums so that Houston-area community advocates and practitioners from different helping disciplines can take part in trainings and workshops that are developed to help individuals provide more effective and culturally sensitive mental health care. Mental Health Professionals from their respective fields will present on a topic currently affecting our community to bring forth a better understanding of our community’s needs. The Morning Tea seminars will be held once every fourth Thursday of the even numbered months.

Morning Tea Seminar

Date: Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time: 9:00 am to 10:00am

Registration/ Check-in: 8:30am

Please RSVP by April 21, 2011

713-600-9400 (ext. 127)

One (1) Hour CEU available for LMFT, LPC, LMSW

*Please inform us of your request at the time of your RSVP.

Texas Mental Health News 3/2011

David Martin

Mental health funding cuts in Texas a big mistake, critics warn
San Antonio Business Journal
The Texas Department of State Health Services says $961.5 million is budgeted for mental healthservices in fiscal year 2011. A spokeswoman for the department, Carrie Williams, says House Bill 1 proposes allocating $847.3 million in fiscal year 2012.

Mental health community needs resiliency to weather upcoming storm
Victoria Advocate
Gulf Bend Center, along with nine other community mental health centers and five state hospitals, has joined a collaborative effort with Mental Health America of Texas and the National Alliance of Mental Illness of Texas.

Menninger plans new Houston hospital
Topeka Capital Journal
“As a teaching and research hospital, and an affiliate of Baylor College of Medicine, the proximity of our new hospital to the Texas Medical Center will be ideal for delivering the best personalized mental health services and prevention programs. 

Shay Bilchik: The TT Interview
Texas Tribune
So when we think about cuts to education, cuts to mental health, cuts to substance abuse, cuts to job training, cuts to youth program development and opportunities. All of those cuts potentially have an impact on later delinquency for our young people.