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Lee Conger, LMFT: Image
Lee Conger is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Certified Integral Qigong and Tai Chi Teacher, now offering services in-person (for clients who are fully vaccinated and boosted) and online—psychotherapy (individual and group) and Integral Qigong and Tai Chi sessions.
PSYCHOTHERAPY, MEDITATION, EMDR
"Beginning in 1999, I grew increasingly captivated by the idea that '[w]e become the stories we tell each other and ourselves, producing effects that range from the ridiculous to the sublime' (Jay S. Efrans, Michael D. Lukens, Robert J. Lukens; Language, Structure and Change: Frameworks of Meaning in Psychotherapy) and found myself enthralled during conversations and conjoint studies with a community of Narrative Therapy practitioners. Through the years, clients and I have benefitted from locating problems that we humans experience as entities apart from ourselves.
In subsequent years, Lee's work has been increasingly informed by various meditation practices he has explored.
Lee is an EMDRIA-trained provider of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and incorporates that modality in his work for the treatment of trauma, when doing so is indicated.
Over the course of his 18-1/2 years as a psychotherapist in Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center's Addiction Medicine Department, his responsibilities included supervising LMFT trainees and Associate LMFTs. From 2016 to 2020, he provided pro bono supervision for Southern California Counseling Center. Soon after leaving Kaiser in July, 2020, and opening a private practice, Lee employed and supervised two associates (both of whom are now licensed). His current supervisee is Soren Nilsson, aLMFT.
Since 2002, when he found his way to the Larchmont Salon, Lee has treasured the support of the Los Angeles Postmodern Psychotherapists community and is occasionally called upon to lead Definitional Ceremony reflecting teams of "outsider witnesses" for LA "PoMo" trainings.
MORE ON MEDITATION PRACTICES
Lee's earliest experiences in leading guided imagery meditations were the outcome of training in 1999 with the Southern California Society for Clinical Hypnosis (SCSCH). In 2004, he began facilitating weekly meditation workshops and relaxation techniques workshops for Kaiser members enrolled in the Los Angeles Medical Center Addiction Medicine Department’s Intensive Outpatient Program.
In 2011-2012, Lee completed training as a Certified Integral Qigong and Tai Chi Teacher with Roger Jahnke, O.M.D., through the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC). He immediately began offering instruction in IIQTC’s Tai Chi Easy™ to members of the Arroyo S.E.C.O Network of Time Banks. Based on material from his IIQTC training, he developed the curriculum “Mind-Body Recovery Techniques” and began offering those classes in 2011 at Kaiser. They continued until his departure. (Some participants in Lee's current online and in-person Integral Qigong and Tai Chi sessions date back to 2011!)
Lee expanded his repertoire via continued studies with Jahnke (The Nine Phases of Qi Cultivation, The Seven Precious Gestures, Chinese Medicine Wheel Meditation, Microcosmic Orbit Meditation), Meg Flynn (Wang Ji Wu Sixteen Longevity Exercises, Guigen Qigong, Baduanjin Qigong aka “Eight Pieces of Brocade”) and with Susan Quon and the late Marvin Smalheiser, founder in 1977 of Tai Chi Magazine (Yang 108-Move Long Form Tai Chi).
His 2014 “Intro to Tai Chi” workshop helped inaugurate Trade School Los Angeles (barter-based instruction). In 2015, Lee launched Mind-Body Los Angeles (Facebook page and Google calendar) to track and promote free, low-cost, or donation-based meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga, or other so-called "complementary" / "alternative" practices.
Venues for Lee's sessions have included: Kaiser LAMC, the Ortiz Taylor House (Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument 1144), the Anabolic Monument (Los Angeles State Historic Park), the Metabolic Studio, and the current location that Lee has dubbed The Silver Lake Wilderness Chinese Elm Qigong Dojo ("TSLWCEQD" for short).
It was in 2015 that Lee began regular attendance at a (now closed) secular Theravadan Buddhist meditation center in East Hollywood and took up the study of and personal practice of Vipassana (the cultivation of mindful awareness). The marriage of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi with Vipassana has been a happy one.
When that particular center closed in 2018, two teachers created Meditation Coalition. Lee now serves on the board of directors with a special interest in continuing to support the Black Indigenous People of Color and Allies Sangha, a group that gathers on the first Sunday of every month "for Black, Indigenous, AAPI, Latinx and all people of color and their allies interested in using the Buddhist principles of mindfulness and compassion to help work with and understand better the many painful issues that people of color encounter in America."
One Saturday in September, 2019, Lee convened a meeting at his home of a number of Kaiser clinicians of various licensures (LMFTs, LCSWs, RNs, MDs) who either personally valued or provided or readily referred patients to so-called "complementary" or "alternative" healing modalities — folks from various departments whom I had come to know by merit of my meditation offerings in Addiction Medicine. But none of them knew each other. It was a love fest. An MD from Infectious Diseases gifted us with what she called "a ghetto sound bath." We continued with monthly meetings for the next 5 months as the (unofficial) "Kaiser Integrative Medicine" team, until COVID diverted everyone's attentions and energies elsewhere.
Concurrently and with hopes of providing opportunities for stress reduction to Kaiser hospital workers, he volunteered via Human Resources' free Healthy Workforce Program to lead an early morning walking meditation practice in the Healing Garden at 4867 W. Sunset Blvd. on Thursday before his shift, with the proviso that visitors to the hospital be allowed to join in.
Also in the final weeks before the pandemic (we did know was coming), I was invited to join a remarkable (and official) team over the Kaiser's LAMC Hospital: the newly-formed LAMC Wellness Council. The initial focus was on employee health, while also considering how hospital patients and their family members might be more fully supported. My project was to institute a series of Death Over Dinner events. While scheduling a first one, COVID swept in. It took a while, but I was able to facilitate only one virtually (on June 19, 2020), just two weeks before terminating my employment with Kaiser.
"THE GREATER SANGHA"
Roger Jahnke is known to declare that "socialization is part of the medicine!" One aspect of the work of Narrative Therapy is often that of finding or creating an audience for the preferred stories of ourselves that we are in the process of re-authoring. In a sort of neo-animistic way, Lee extends community and sangha to encompass all living beings (and can we please include even trees and boulders?). An ardent promoter of the restoration of native habitat, Lee had a few pre-pandemic opportunities to fold that interest into Integral Qigong and Tai Chi sessions by organizing "Urban Wilderness Qigong + Native Habitat Restoration"! Select 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays, beginning 10:30AM, in a sycamore-and-yucca grotto on the "paper street" (which is to say, unpaved and undeveloped) stretch of Adelbert Ave. in Silver Lake. Attendees were encouraged to help with native habitat restoration along any one of three more or less contiguous "paper streets" and along the Corralitas Red Car Property, a startling 10-acre, 50 ft. wide by 1 mile long strip of undeveloped land where the Pacific Electric Red Car trolley ran, 1904-1955, connecting Burbank and Glendale with Downtown L.A. (At the time of this writing in fall, 2020, most of the area where we worked is no longer accessible, due to illegal fencing. Ask me!)
Please see Calendar / Schedule.
Fall-Winter: Negotiations are underway with the Los Angeles Ecovillage Institute (dba CRSP) for the start of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi sessions at the LAEVI Community Hub.
Watch for announcements about upcoming Integral Qigong and Tai Chi sessions, Tai Chi Easy™ classes, Mindfulness Meditation, and walking meditations. Possible sponsors / venues include Micheltorena Elementary School Community Garden, Silver Lake Library, Silver Lake Time Bank, Trade School Los Angeles, Ortiz Taylor House, and Corralitas Red Car Property.
November 10: Co-organized and facilitated the Definitional Ceremony "Outsider Witness Team" at the 5th Annual Los Angeles Postmodern Psychotherapists's Gathering, USC
October 10: Began offering Kaiser Healthy Workforce Walking Meditation at the Los Angeles Medical Center Hospital, 2nd Floor Healing Garden, 4867 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027. To continue on select Thursdays. See details and schedule here.
Sept. 14: Co-organized and hosted the inaugural gathering of Kaiser Complementary and Alternative Medicine (KCAM) providers: Kaiser physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and psychotherapists, who are interested in further development of integrative medicine at Los Angeles Medical Center. (The group continues to meet monthly on a volunteer basis.)
August 11: Represented Kaiser Permanente on panel / Q&A entitled “Tai Chi Program Development in Various Settings: Challenges and Strategies," at UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, 2nd Annual Symposium on the Potential of Chinese Medicine “Tai Chi for Health: From Scientific Value to Program Implementation in the US Healthcare System”
Organized an Integrative Medicine lecture series for Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center Family Medicine Resident MDs, including Candace Elliott, MN, FNP-BC, PMN-BC, SEP (Tai Chi and Qigong practitioner, presenter), Hannah Kapp (certified yoga therapist), Kristin Ebbert, L.Ac. (acupuncturist), James Adams, PhD (Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, Chumash Healer, co-author with Cecilia Garcia of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West)
November 20: Introduced Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IQTC) to Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center Family Medicine Resident MDs, Hospital Healing Garden
August 30: Co-organized and hosted the inaugural Los Angeles Postmodern Psychotherapists's Gathering at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (now an annual event hosted by USC).
May 26: Launched Mind-Body Los Angeles (Facebook page and Google calendar) to track and promote free, low-cost, or donation-based meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga, or other so-called "complementary" practices.
March 15: Led Qigong session as a component of a self-care workshop for Los Angeles Postmodern Psychotherapists
May 23: Helped inaugurate the newly-founded Trade School Los Angeles (barter-based instruction) with an “Intro to Tai Chi” workshop that moved between the Ortiz Taylor House (Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument 1144) and the Corralitas Red Car Property in Silver Lake
April 26: Coordinated World Tai Chi and Qigong Day Observation at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center and co-taught with Meg Flynn and Walter Rodriguez
August 14: Led Guigen Qigong (Earth Element and Fire Element only) for Series Studies #1 Yellow/Red
June 19: Led Tai Chi Easy™ session for Heal One World
June 18: Was profiled at "Urban Healers: A chronicle of the every day heroes that enhance the urban collective experience"
February 3: Led Integral Qigong and Tai Chi mini-sessions at Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; as part of a special “Repair Yourself Cafe” edition of Transition Pasadena's bi-monthly Repair Cafe events
November 8: Presented at Institute for Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC) Level 3 Training, La Casa de Maria Retreat Center, Montecito, CA
July 25: Began leading Integral Qigong and Tai Chi sessions, Anabolic Monument / Under Spring / Metabolic Studio, Downtown Los Angeles
March 28: Presented at Institute for Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC) Level 1 Training, Wimberly, TX
Lee Conger, LMFT: About
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