Our Mission

Margin to Center Mission


The mission of Margin to Center is to offer private practice internships to post-graduate, pre-licensed mental health associates (AMFTs, APCCs, and ACSWs) who want to develop their skills doing individual, couple, family, and sex therapy, particularly with LGBTQ+ populations and racial/ethnic minorities. We are committed to supporting the development of self-employed small business owners from equity-deserving groups, and offering the systemic, couple- and family-therapy-focused training with a focus on social justice that area MA programs do not have the resources to provide to students while they are in school. Our goal is to develop clinicians who are able to serve diverse populations historically harmed or ignored by the mental health fields from a position of both sensitivity and humility. 


We are guided by the principles that no one is free until all of us are free, and the belief that the space between people is the most powerful place to create change.


Margin to Center History


Margin to Center was originally the DBA name for Dr. Sheila Addison’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. She was trained to offer the Ally Skills Workshop by Valerie Aurora of Frame Shift Consulting, and became a specialist in offering the ASW to college and university clients in the US and Canada.


At the same time, demand was growing for Dr. Addison’s work as a supervisor. California law limited supervisors to two or three supervisees at a time, but she found that there was pent-up demand for high-quality, family-systems-focused supervision with an inclusive, social justice focus, particularly from LGBTQ+ associates who often found it difficult to locate a supervisor with experience in supervising work with clients from the queer, trans, kink/BDSM, and consensually non-monogamous (e.g. polyamorous) communties. Such supervisors with training and experience working with couples and families, and a comfort with social justice approaches, were particularly scarce.


In 2020, multiple forces collided. The COVID-19 pandemic forced mental health services online almost overnight. Dr. Addison was offered a full-time teaching position at Antioch University Seattle in their Couple and Family Therapy program. And the pandemic highlighted a little-known limitation on supervision provided to pre-licensed associates:  California law required it to be provided face-to-face, except in an “exempt setting” – a school, government office, or non-profit. Suddenly, interns across the state working in private practices were faced with a dilemma: break state rules regarding shelter-in-place and work-from-home, or break state laws about receiving their mandated supervision.


The attention to the “face-to-face rule” highlighted the limits of hiring California interns in private practice, and a problem: how to legally provide supervision to interns at a distance? The answer: develop the supervision business into a non-profit, explicitly devoted to the public service goals it already served. This would also allow more associates to be hired, and facilitate offering weekly group supervision. Thus, Margin to Center was born in its current incarnation.

411 30th St. Suite 412
Oakland, CA 94609

(510) 629-1448

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