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200 Series

October 6, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.


Building a Solid Base for Practicing in a Healthcare Setting

Jennifer Hodgson
Angela Lamson

Tai Mendenhall

Attendees looking to collaborate more with medical providers or seek employment in medical settings will want to attend this anchoring workshop. Foundational theories and frameworks will be presented that support successful integration with medical providers. Critical differences in medical and mental health cultures known to impact successful integration will be clarified. Attendees will learn about a continuum that helps track the ways they can expand their practices and skills.



Family Adaptations to Brain Injury: Thinking with Speedbumps

James Ungvarsky

Sharon Trivette

Working with families whose military member has experienced a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury (mTBI) presents unique challenges to the family therapist. Family members are concerned that “this isn’t the same person who left for deployment”. Therapists are often perplexed due to the intermittent and inconsistent behavioral and cognitive manifestations of an mTBI. This session explores the intersection of mTBI and PTSD and potential impacts on family interactions. It includes a fast-paced experiential activity allowing participants to gain insights from the brain injured perspective and offers proposed family interventions.



I Have Something to Tell You: Family Conversations of Sexual Abuse

Aaron Norton

Catherine Boynton

Dolores Gonzalez

Jasmine Moore

This workshop will help new and experienced therapists process childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in family therapy. It will review fundamental knowledge and techniques in working with child victims of sexual abuse using several art and drama therapy tools to increase their efficacy when working with families of children who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.



Gender Identity and Inclusivity in MFT Practice - SESSION FULL

Brittany Robinson

Ashley Landers

Noah Gagner

This workshop will be an in-depth exploration of ways that MFTs can provide culturally appropriate and inclusive services to individuals and family members who may be gender nonconforming or trans*. Gender identity inclusiveness in MFT practice will be at the core of this discussion, with specific terminology, marketing practice, and affirming language being suggested.



Stability and Change in Divorce Ideation in a National Sample

Steven Harris

Kelly Roberts

Sarah Crabtree

Natasha Bell

Little is known about divorce ideation; how individuals think about divorce and make the decision to stay married or get divorced. Unfortunately, that is exactly the time MFTs see couples on the brink of divorce. This workshop will present original research from a nationally representative sample of people who are thinking about getting a divorce and include clinical implications.



Accountability in MFT Education: Hackathon 2.0

William Northey

Diane Gehart

In this workshop participants will be challenged to brainstorm creative and effective ways (i.e., “hack”) to address critical issues facing MFTs related to training and education in accountability-driven environments. The session will focus on revised MFT core competencies and innovative approaches to effective training of MFTs. Participants will join groups lead by thought leaders to consider these contemporary educational challenges.



Interfaith Perspectives on Family Therapy Theory

Christie Eppler

Rebecca Cobb

Nicole Chilivis

A qualitative study asked faith leaders from various faith traditions to respond to three family therapy theories. Participants explicated how they saw connections and disconnections between their faith tradition and theories that guide clinical assessment, interventions, and treatment. Understanding different faith perspectives on family therapy theories may help clinicians better understand and apply the spiritual dimension to clinical treatment.



Removing the Mask of Masculinity in Therapy

Jakob Jensen

Andrew Brimhall

Daniel Blocker

Due to the need for men to demonstrate sensitivity and vulnerability, this workshop will enrich therapists’ understanding of the overwhelming gender stereotypes most men feel they must adopt. Instruction will be provided regarding how to help men feel comfortable expressing vulnerabilities and how to usefully process men’s fears and shame. Strategies will be discussed in traditional and medical therapy settings.



Enhancing Cultural Competencies with Attunement and Humility

Bobbi Miller

Lindsay Edwards

Jennifer Cates

Katie Heiden- Rootes

Annabelle Goodwin

Jennifer Knapp

In this workshop, presenters will provide space for participants and presenters to process their own intersectional identities, with a special focus on racially/culturally privileged identities. The purpose of processing will be to recognize and address white privilege. Participants will engage in an experiential activity focused on promoting cultural humility by fostering emotional openness, cognitive reflexiveness, and identity inclusion.



Demystifying Writing for Publication in MFT

Fred Piercy

Amy Morgan

This workshop is for those who wish to be successful in writing for publication in the field of marriage and family therapy. Presenters will demystify the publication and editorial process for scholarly MFT articles and other outlets. Participants will learn how to develop ideas into papers and the skills necessary to become successful, published authors.



Building Resilience for Youth and Families with Abuse

Andrea Meyer

Morgan Stinson

Bowden Templeton

Anna Hernandez

Dana Riger

Andrea Cooke

When child abuse occurs and is reported, families become involved with a variety of providers, including child advocacy centers. MFTs working in child advocacy centers have a unique opportunity to interact with children and families experiencing trauma. This presentation will explore the process of integrating MFTs into child advocacy centers and recent trauma based treatment strategies for abuse.



SBIRT: A Train the Trainer Model

Matthew Martin

Kaneesha Owens

With the recent rise in binge drinking and prescription drug misuse, MFTs need to increase their competence in substance use assessment and treatment. SBIRT (screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment) is an evidence-based model for addressing problematic substance use. In this presentation, attendees will learn about the importance of addressing substance use and practice each step of the SBIRT process.

700 Series

Saturday, October 7, 2:45 – 4:45 p.m.



Effective Strategies for Securing a Career in a Healthcare Setting

Tai Mendenhall

Cathy Hudgins

Randall Reitz

When gaining employment in a healthcare setting, it is important to know which positions to apply for, how to get past the human relations/search committee chairpersons who do not understand the scope of practice and reimbursement opportunities for MFTs, and have the self-confidence required to speak to one’s training and expertise. Experienced MFTs will share with attendees a series of tips and strategies for getting past the barriers that have historically challenged all behavioral health disciplines, but MFTs particularly.



Defining and Treating the Impact of Moral Injury Among Veterans

Sebastian Perumbilly

This presentation, based on an ethnographic research design with ten U.S. veterans, will focus on broadening the definition and treatment of moral injury among veterans. Going beyond mere symptom reduction and temporary relief; and drawing from clinical research and healing traditions from various cultures, the presenter will discuss ways to clinically define, conceptualize, assess and treat moral injury among veterans.



Family Therapy with Trans* Youth: Ethical and Sensitive Practice

Amanda Veldorale-Griffin

In this workshop, participants will learn about legal protections and what is known about the mental health needs of transgender youth, access to healthcare, and clinical training on transgender issues. Participants will learn about the WPATH standards of care, cultural competency issues, and best practices. Participants will have a chance to practice how to address sensitive topics with transgender youth.



Why Should Therapists Talk about Race, Gender, Class, and Politics?

Manijeh Daneshpour

Racism, sexism, classicism, cultural elitism, and oppressive political systems constrain the lives of diverse clients. Discussing these topics impact the power and relational dynamics with clients. The presentation reevaluates the ethics, value, and clinical implications for covering or not covering these topics. Some case examples, and specific recommendations for culturally relevant assessment, treatment, and clinical training will be provided.



Treating the Traumatized Child: A Family Systems Approach

Scott Sells

Articles have reflected a groundswell of interest in trauma. However, trauma treatment largely individual therapy with limited to no active family participation from a systems theory perspective. This presentation will present a structural-strategic framework using the FST (Family Systems Trauma) model that involves the entire family. Video and case examples are used to highlight and clarify major points.



Family Treatment of PTSD: Surviving an Active Shooter Incident

Michael J. Alicea

An examination into the culturally-relevant variables that predict trauma symptomatology and treatment outcomes, especially after surviving an active shooter incident and its associated variables necessitates further inquiry from a Latino Family Therapist perspective.



Becoming Better Therapists: Intervention Science Advances in MFT - SESSION FULL

Ryan Seedall

Adrian Blow

Karen Wampler

Andrea Wittenborn

Guy Diamond

Quintin Hunt

There is a substantial amount of high quality, clinically-relevant intervention science occurring within MFT. This workshop will highlight some of that great work that is being done and how it can enhance clinical effectiveness. Specifically, it will feature a panel of five MFT scholars who will summarize their intervention work while also identifying the many potential avenues for additional research.



Spirituality & Health Issues: Providing Clinical Excellence

Claudia Grauf-Grounds

This workshop explores the impact that spiritual meaning-making has on the illness experience. Focus will be given to defining spirituality in clinical care, eliciting internal as well as external resources that strengthen a culturally sensitive provider-client relationship. Empirical support for the relationship between health and spirituality will be addressed.



High Conflict Divorce and Parenting: Critical Issues for Supervision

Jeff Chang

Families experiencing high-conflict separation, divorce, and post-divorce parenting test the mettle of marriage and family therapists and their supervisors. In this workshop, the presenter will identify several distinct areas of emphasis for supervisors of MFTs working with therapists treating this population. Knowledge, skills, attitudes, self of the therapist, and ethical issues will be discussed.



Staying Current: The Importance of an Integrative, Systemic Approach

Douglas Breunlin

William Pinsof

William Russell

Using Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) as a template, this workshop will demonstrate the importance of a systemic and integrative approach for 21st Century practice of marriage and family therapy. Core concepts and strategies of IST will be presented, including a blueprint for planning and decision-making in systemic, integrative therapy. Video of a session will be used to illustrate the approach.



Educational Home Building:  MFT Roles in Collaborative School Teams

Kathleen Laundy

Erin Cushing, LMFT

This presentation will first trace the history of MFT school certification in Connecticut. It will then illustrate ways to engage with schools as MFT students, clinicians, teachers and supervisors. The presentation will include opportunities as well as constraints involved with school-based practice, and will advocate for the presence of systems-trained mental health clinicians in collaborative school teams.



Pack Your Passports: MFTs and Intercultural/Interracial Couples

Kyle Killian

Intercultural/interracial couples and multiracial families continue to add to the diversity of our society and clinical practices at a record pace. Increase your understanding of interracial couples’ and multiracial families’ life narratives and experiences, and learn best assessment and therapy practices with these populations.