Each Intensive is a two-day series:

June 22 - 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

June 23: - 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

At a Crossroads of Intersectionality: Working Systemically with Multicultural Couples and Refugees

Yulia Watters, PhD, LMFT

And they lived happily ever after… This is one of the most common visions of many newly married, engaged, or coupled individuals who are starting their lives together. However, things do not always go as planned, especially if you have to leave your country of origin either voluntarily, as you fall in love with a foreigner, or involuntarily, if your country is under attack. As family therapists continue to assist individuals, couples, and families facing displacement, acculturation, and adjustment to different cultural values, they are prompted to use the systemic lens to attend to multiple perspectives and account for various contexts. Being the central piece of the systemic intervention, therapists cannot ignore the importance of self-of-the-therapist work and are brought to consider issues that rise when examining our own positioning within family dynamics and political conflicts. 

In this very interactive intensive, you will be given an opportunity to examine the concept of Intersectionality applied to the context of multicultural work.  We will explore specific challenges and ethical dilemmas that are present while working with refugees and first-generation immigrants from different walks of life, examine best practices while assisting community-based programs that are involved in providing help to people who recently arrived in the new country of residence, and reflect on best practices of self-care.

In the past 10 years and presently, Dr. Yulia Watters serves as a Director of Curriculum Development first at Northcentral University and now at the JFK School of Psychology and Social and Behavioral Sciences at National University. Dr. Watters holds a master’s and a doctoral degree in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University with a specialization in Medical Family Therapy and master’s degree In Instructional Design from Northcentral University. Dr. Watters is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Delaware and Florida and has a private practice providing therapy in English, French, and Russian to first generation immigrants and multicultural couples. Dr. Watters volunteers at Jewish Family Services to assist families of Ukrainian refugees. 

Dr. Watters published extensively in the Journal of Family Psychotherapy, SAGE Research Methods Cases, Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education, and International Journal of Transgenderism. Her first book, Hypnobirth: Theories and practices for healthcare providers was published by Rowman and Littlefield. Her co-edited volume with Dr. Darren Adamson, Foundational concepts and models of Family Therapy: An Introduction for online learning, is coming in August 2023 and will be published by Routledge. Dr. Watters is also a renowned speaker, and presented at the AAMFT Systemic Conference, AAMFT Leadership Institute, as well International Family Therapy Congress in Portugal and Thailand.

Dr. Watters is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and actively engaged in training the new generation of MFTs by teaching clinical courses at National University in the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy. She is an AAMFT Clinical Member and served as a COAMFTE Commissionaire during the pandemic of COVID-19.

Dr. Watters is also actively engaged in research. Her last contribution was on the AAMFT awarded grant aimed to explore the impact of telehealth on family therapy. Dr. Watters also served as a Research Coordinator at the Duke Cancer Patient Support program at Duke Health Care Systems and investigated faculty efficiency in a one-to-one online teaching model applied to MFT training.

Relationships Matter: Building Models of Integrated Care with School, Healthcare, and Military Systems

Angela Lamson, PhD

In the face of health care, natural disaster, human-created, and historical traumas, communities around the globe are seeking systemic family therapists to help heal relational fractures and extend evidence-based biopsychosocial-spiritual practices. These practices are needed in partnership with school, military, and healthcare contexts to strengthen resilient and thriving communities.

This workshop will introduce models of integrated care and evidence-based treatments by punctuating the value, quality, and effectiveness of systemic family therapy across a variety of contexts and in collaboration with multi-disciplinary partners.

Attendees will be encouraged to explore their current strengths and challenges as systemic family therapists and assess their practice, training, research, and/or policy workload to identify desired collaborators and integrated care opportunities. Therapists will learn about clinical, operational, and financial sustainability.

Systemic family therapists will engage in a highly interactive series of sessions that includes compelling evidence regarding the value and effectiveness of family therapy with patients from or within school, healthcare, and military systems. Attendees will learn to apply clinical, operational, and financial skills that align with building integrated care models in partnership with school, healthcare, and military systems.

  • Medical Family Therapy
  • Integrated Care
  • Service Member, Veteran, and their Families
  • Diversity and Equity in Healthcare
  • Compassion Fatigue and Burnout-medical and mental health providers
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Protective Factors
  • Family Policy
  • Supervision in schools, military systems, and healthcare
  • MFT in healthcare and school systems
  • AAMFT Clinical Fellow and AAMFT Approved Supervisor

    Keys to Success: Working Systemically with Conflictual Families after Separation and Divorce

    William F. Northey, Jr., PhD, LMFT

    Does the idea of working with conflictual parent’s post-divorce send shivers down your spine? Worse, have you worked with parents who were so venomous and vindictive that you vowed never to work with a family going through divorce again—especially if there were lawyers involved? The parents who cannot co-parent effectively post-divorce often engage in interactions that are hostile, caustic, and potentially damaging to their children, yet they seem unable to get out of their own way. If any group of parents are in desperate need of the skills of an MFT it is these families, yet these are the ones that keep us up at night or worse report us to the licensure board. The key to helping these families are deeply rooted in systemic family therapy and when the appropriate interventions are used reducing conflict and improve collaboration are achievable goals. 

    In this very interactive intensive, you will be given the keys to unlock and disrupt the conflictual interaction patterns in which these cantankerous families engage. We will explore the challenges presented in intervening systemically with parents engaged in conflictual and harmful post-divorce interactions and provide successful systemic methods to assist high conflict couples and provide the keys to help them work collaboratively for the benefit of the children. An exploration of the models and theories that afford maximum leverage for conflictual parents and interventions that provide relief will include psychoeducation, family therapy, co-parent counseling, mediation, and parent coordination. 

    William F. Northey, Jr., PhD, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Delaware with 35 years of clinical experience working with children and families; an AAMFT Clinical Fellow, Approved Supervisor, member of the Judicial Committee, and former Chair of the Ethics Committee; and he was a member for 10 years and President (2007-2009) on Delaware’s Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals. Dr. Northey has been active in the development of effective ways to improve treatment for individuals and families in the use of family psychoeducation, motivational interviewing, effective suicide interventions, and other evidence-based family therapy practices.

    Dr. Northey has more than 3 decades of experience as a family therapist, educator, author, and supervisor worldwide. In addition to numerous faculty appointments, including Drexel, Wilmington, Northcentral, Bowling Green State, Amridge, and George Washington Universities, Dr. Northey has also provided family therapy training in Ireland, Scotland, the UK, Iceland, Argentina, Panama, Portugal, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, and throughout the United States. He also served as the Treasurer and Chair of Congresses for the International Family Therapy Association. 

    Dr. Northey trained masters’ and doctoral level Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) students in several COAMFTE programs and his scholarship focused on the development of clinical competence, MFT practice and regulations, substance use disorder treatment, program evaluation and improvement, and the intersection of culture, workforce development, and effective interventions. Dr. Northey served at the Director of Assessment and Director of Clinical Field Placements at Northcentral University, a COAMFTE-accredited program, which provided predominantly online education to hundreds of MFTs in the USA and abroad. Dr. Northey also served as the director of research for the AAMFT from 1999 to 2005. While on the AAMFT staff he was instrumental in creating professional development programs for the field, spearheaded the MFT Core Competencies development, co-authored the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s TIP 39: Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy, and authored articles in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy article on the effectiveness of family therapy for childhood emotional and behavioral disorders and the practice patterns on MFTs.

    Currently he is the co-Founder and Clinical Director of the Bellefonte Center for Children and Families where he provides services to couples and families focused primarily on assisting families with divorce and coparenting. Dr. Northey received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in MFT from the University of Maryland and Kansas State University, respectively.

    Grief Camp: Connecting with Children in Crisis

    Michelle Karume, PhD

    Have you ever wondered how to effectively help a child who was grieving through the death of a loved one? This is a question we often wish we don't have to deal with but the reality is that it happens and more so-we often do not know what to do. When a child is grieving it is fair to say that their entire system shift-be it at home, religious community or school, there is often a shift in how their system is responding to them which can either make it easier or worse. Marriage and Family Therapists are therefore well placed to facilitate this healing process in a healthy way that ensure care for both the child and their family. Using the systemic framework this session will give knowledge on the anatomy of grieving children. You will also learn how to work with the children and their families who are going through this challenging season.

    Dedicated to facilitating restoration through various mediums.

    When Dr. Michelle Karume started teaching at the United States International University-Africa, it became very clear that her expertise and passion would collide in very diverse ways. As an Assistant Professor, teaching, psychotherapy, training and research are ways in which she intrinsically imparts knowledge and restores relationships.

    With a belief that the family unit is the training ground for life and that healthy relationships; professional or otherwise are the cornerstone for success, she is passionate about; Marriage and Family Therapy, Medical Family Therapy, Collaborative care and Program Development.

    With extensive clinical experience, teaching and training experience Dr. Karume has worked with clients, students and individuals from exceptionally diverse backgrounds. It is this diversity that gives her the appreciation for culture, difference, education and awareness.

    Her current areas of clinical, research and development interest are:

    • In research- early childhood trauma and using systemic therapy to facilitate healthy grieving for children and adults.
    • In Program Development-developing accredited Marriage and Family Therapy programs in Kenya.
    • In teaching-how to improve the caliber of students so as to produce proficient and competent professionals.
    • Psychotherapy- using the Bio psychosocial-spiritual framework to heighten the importance of emotional care.