Connected Family Fun LA
This blog will combine two things I love; working to help families stay connected in our modern social culture and the love of adventure. In each blog entry, I will feature one of my favorite outings in and around the city of Los Angeles. There is so much to love about this amazing city. I could venture out every day for the rest of my life and never get close to seeing all that there is to see or experience all that Los Angeles has to offer. Each time I return home, I get a little weepy flying over the LA basin with all its steaming life and glittering lights.
I love LA
My Connected Family Fun LA blog comes from my love of Los Angeles. This love affair started in my early 20’s when I came to southern California from Kalamazoo College to complete my senior thesis. I was matched as an activity therapy intern with a residential treatment center in the area. This agency provided treatment to severely, emotionally disturbed children who were placed in a therapeutic milieu. In a safe environment, they were helped to heal from traumatic abuse and neglect. Yes, I did fall in love with Los Angeles, but I also developed a deep passion for working with these amazing, brave children who had suffered so tremendously.
After my college graduation, I returned to California to work at this agency as a “childcare worker.” Today, they are called residential counselors. To this day, that was the most difficult job I ever had. At the same time, it was the most transformational. I was caught, hook, line and sinker into a lifetime career in child welfare. Never have I looked back and I kept coming back to Los Angeles.
I Love Children
So, here is where my love of Los Angeles and working with abused children merged together. Looking back, I see how these early years began to lay my foundation as a Clinical Social Worker and a Family Therapist. My Connected Family Fun LA blog is all about connecting children and families.
As a child care worker, I had numerous responsibilities caring for a group of 10 young girls, ages 4-12. They included daily tasks like serving meals, homework, chores, baths, hair care, bedtimes and dispensing of psychotropic medication, to name a few. This all took place while holding healing space for numerous emotional and behavioral eruptions in my little charges throughout my shift, which was sometimes 15-hours long. My favorite responsibility, however, was taking the cottage on outings. My friends will remember those outings. There were some shenanigans on occasion, but all in good, healing fun.
I did not realize it so much at the time, but now I see how valuable and mending those outings were for the little ones. It gave them an experience outside of the institution closer to what a family might share. We were able to leave most of the conflicts behind and head out in our huge Suburban into the world; the LA world.
I got to know the city on these adventures and the children became closer and more connected as we crisscrossed through greater Los Angeles. We shared the excitement of exploring warm, sandy beaches, hiking down winding mountain trails, running through cold, clear waterfalls, and many, many picnics. There were special trips to Disneyland and favorite local parks. Hands were held so as not to be lost, fears were faced in the expansive wilderness, friendships were deepened during bonfires on the beach and the group became a family.
Almost 35 years later, I want to create this healing, bonding experience for families in our modern day culture who are torn apart by technology, social media, and stress. Families are dragged in so many different directions these days. The family meal is disappearing. Parents are pulling their hair out trying to get kids to all of their lessons, rehearsals, and practices. Homework, projects, and grades are constantly looming.
In my Connected Family Fun LA blog, I will share some of my favorite, family-friendly outings and activities in the Los Angeles area. I will sprinkle in ways to make the experience more meaningful and connecting for families. I would love for families these days to create a positive family identity and healthy culture. This can happen through sharing fun and sometimes transforming experiences. Look for little tips and hints unique to the experience, most likely some photos I took on my own adventure and links to maps and websites for easy research on the location.
Share Your Connected Family Fun LA
I would love to hear from you after you try one of my outings. Adding your experience and ideas in the blog comments will make the trip even more powerful for others. I would love to hear your unique ideas about how you made your adventure special for your family. My hope is that families can use my blog to make spaces and create time for bonding, healing, family fun. I think of these outings as activity therapy, reminiscent of my first internship, so many years ago. I wish for every family to fill numerous scrapbooks and photo albums (yes, actual photo albums) with many moments and memories. The more connected we are, the less alone we will feel and feeling like we belong goes a long way to creating healthy families
Helping families feel connected is at the core of my Family Therapy practice. If you feel like your family could
benefit from Family Therapy with me, you can learn more about me, my Family Therapy practice, credentials, services, and rates on this website. I have a specialty in Post-Adoption Family Therapy and off an option for In-Home Family Therapy. Click here, to contact me via email, or feel free to give me a call at (626) 755-4059. I offer a FREE 20-minute, Initial Phone Consultation. I am ready to listen.