Jamie Moran, LCSW, CGP

Specializing in group therapy for diverse populations 

July/August 2012   

Summer greetings All!  


I hope everyone is enjoying those special moments that Summer often brings.  This month I am pleased to share a book review I wrote of Riding Fury Home: A Memoir, published recently by my colleague Chana Wilson.  It is a book I would highly recommend, particularly for those of you interested in LGBT life in the 50's/60's, Mother/Daughter relationships and mental health mistreatment of sexual orientation, among other prominent themes.


Below you will find an updated schedule for my free workshop series with a description of the upcoming seminar on August 4th: Common Participant Roles and their Impact on Group Functioning.  Please also note the updated listing of my group offerings, including a group that has just started in the San Francisco Financial District that I'm pleased to be co-leading with Dr. Greg Millard.   


Kind Regards,

Jamie Moran


Book Review

Riding Fury Home: A Memoir

Chana Wilson

Seal Press, Berkeley, 2012

It seems unusual to know someone professionally and then read about their life in great detail.  Thanks to Chana Wilson's memoir, Riding Fury Home, I know more about her life, resiliency and bravery.  Growing up in the 50's amidst trying circumstances, Chana becomes the parentified only child to an emotionally wrought, tortured mother, Gloria, who is frequently hospitalized and undergoes electro shock treatment for chronic depression.  We witness Chana's childhood milestones, mostly in the context of difficulties experienced by and with her mother.

As clinicians, Ms. Wilson's memoir serves as a vivid reminder and testament to how our clients (and ourselves) arrive at who we are today.  In fascinating detail, the reader is barraged with themes of codependency, rage, extensive homophobia, shame, dysfunction, compartmentalization and privilege, all narrated in a readable, folksy story line.  A mystery exists about Gloria; she is chronically depressed and suicidal, but why?  We find out halfway through the book that she is a closeted lesbian.  We witness first hand the professional atrocities implemented in light of conformity and rigid role expectations of that era.   

In addition to detailing the pains of a difficult childhood, the story moves through coming of age in the 60's and 70's with the author's sense of political and social justice, commitment and evolving community.  There is awkwardness in coming out, sexual experiences, and challenges in dating, as well as the joy of profound connection and sisterhood that underlies her growing experiences.  Chana and Gloria grow closer and bond around the Women's Movement, and later, with their mutual lesbian identity.  After coming out, Gloria has a full, exuberant and affirming life, in stark contrast to the closeted, anxiety and depression prone past.  At times funny and sad, painful and affirming, this is a story of survival and community, and what some women go through to be who they truly are. 

Kudos to Chana Wilson for her soul searching memoir. I applaud her for valuing the notion, "you are only as sick as your secrets."  We see the author proud and empowered by sharing so intimately who she is and her memorable journey.  Is there a greater compliment than for the reader to be moved, touched and educated about the profound struggles of life and love? 


*This review was originally written for an upcoming edition of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Newsletter.

(Almost) Everything You Want to Know About Groups but are Afraid to Ask!

SF Free Workshop Series for Clinicians

February 4 | How to Create a Viable Group Topic

April 7 | Screening and Intake Questions for Support and Therapy Groups

June 9 | Practical Matters: Group FAQ's for Facilitators  

August 4 | Common Participant Roles and their Impact on Group Functioning [Description below]   

October 6 | Group Members Leaving 

December 1 | Navigating Group Conflicts


August 4 | Common Participant Roles & their Impact on Group Functioning 


All groups have members who at times act in a "group role."  This workshop will examine four common roles and their functioning, as well as the challenges they present for both the group and leader. Case studies exemplifying these roles will be discussed. The workshop will conclude with input from participants about other group roles and general questions.  


The four group roles are: 


The Scapegoat.  The group member who expresses and may act out "unpopular" sentiments, feelings, behaviors and opinions.  The Scapegoat can evoke strong reactions in other group members, as well as the leader, and is at risk of premature termination, depending on the groups' response to them.  


The Emotional Leader.  This member has access to and expresses strong emotional feelings and vulnerabilities, often role modeling this ability for other group members.  Some group members can rely on the Emotional Leader as a way of avoiding their own vulnerabilities.  


The Defiant Leader.  This role acts in opposition to stated goals and group guidelines.  The Defiant Leader tends to challenge the status quo and thus may yield a helpful exploration, depending on the groups' reactions to them.


The Co Therapist.  The participant who asks questions and helps draw out other members, though often in a manner that hinders their experience.  Group members may both rely on and resent the Co Therapist.       


This seminar will take place at the San Francisco LGBT Center [1800 Market St., 94102] from 3:30pm to 5:00pm on Saturday, August 4th.  An RSVP is required as space is limited. No CEU's provided.   

 Gay & Bisexual Men's Psychotherapy Groups: SF | Menlo Park

Menlo Park | Gay & Bisexual Men's Group 

Monday 6:15-7:45pm CURRENT OPENINGS

San Francisco | Gay Men's Groups 

All Hayes Valley unless stated otherwise

Tuesday 5:50-7:20pm FULL
Tuesday 7:30-9:00pm CURRENT OPENINGS
Wednesday 5:45-7:15pm FULL
Wednesday 7:25-8:55pm FULL
*Thursday 6:30-8:00pm CURRENT OPENINGS
  Co-facilitated with Greg Millard, Ph.D., in the Financial District


Please contact me for more details.    





Jamie Moran, LCSW, CGP

Psychotherapy and Consultation

Licensed Clinical Social Worker #14447

Certified Group Psychotherapist #42559


425 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102  (415) 552-9408

661 Live Oak Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025  (650) 598-8877

www.jamiemoran.com | jammoran@aol.com



Join Our Mailing List