Keynotes and Breakouts

Denise Reibman: Career Capitol: Professional Network for Leadership

What do you need to foster even greater leadership potential? If you had a more expansive network who shared your vision, how could you further influence the field of marriage and family therapy? How would heightened career confidence advance your private practice and agency impact? Career Happiness Coach, Denise Riebman, will wake up us with a playful, powerful and pragmatic presentation where participants will re-envision the impact they can have by diversifying their Career Capital Portfolio. Integrating the latest positive psychology, leadership and professional development research and resources, this keynote will inspire you to rethink your own potential to build an influential professional network.

Anna_Liotta_Head_Shot_CTC1.jpg Denise Reibman insert bio here


Jeff Henderson: If You Can See It, You Can Be It

Inspirational speaker Chef Jeff knows what it feels like to be hungry, and he knows what it is to struggle. In this presentation he shares two decades of life lessons that he gained on his redemptive journey from drug dealer to TV celebrity chef to nationally acclaimed speaker. With his 12 inspiring and pragmatic street-smart recipes for success, audiences will discover their hidden business aptitudes, make life-changing decisions, and secure personal and professional success.

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Steve Haffner: From A-Ha to Ta-Da: Defeat Your Natural Negative Impulses to Reach Your Positive Potential

How can we overcome the fears, worries, and negative impulses that often overwhelm us and keep us from performing at our best? In this entertaining presentation Steve Haffner helps audiences create an "a-ha" as they discover subconscious biases and negativity that affect their thinking and decision making. They can then transform that awareness into better decision making that is more in line with their goals and values, improving their performance and creating their own "Ta-da!"

Steve Haffner insert bio here


Workshop: Forwarding Family Therapist Leadership in Global Mental Health

Laurie Charles
Saliha Bava

The seminar will focus on the skills required to work effectively and meaningfully as a systemic family therapy leader in global mental health. We will focus on advancing leadership skills required to analyze, design, and implement family systems programming in a global mental health setting, to promote interdisciplinary team coordination across projects and state borders, and to heighten critical reflections on the contributions such leadership can offer towards both fields in ways that are productive, ethical, and relationally forward-thinking. Drawing on our collective examples, scenarios, and quandaries specific to the intersection family therapy and global mental health service delivery, our spotlight will be on the leadership capacities required to work effectively and in a meaningful way in LMICs, in stable and unstable environments, complex situations and low resource settings, including situations of ongoing and historical armed conflict and forced migration due to an humanitarian emergency. Come share your experiences and co-design how to enhance your relational leadership skills by drawing on Lthe presenters collective experience of 45+ years of advancing systemic practice and innovation in GMH.

Friday Breakouts

Building Connections for Strategic Governance: A Collaborative Networking Approach

Rebecca Cobb and Tess Wiggins

Collaborative Networking is a learnable skill that can assist in governance and leadership within the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. Rebecca Cobb and Tess Wiggins, Past President and President of the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, will share their strategic approach to collaborative networking. In this interactive session, learn how to enhance your professional social network by identifying and utilizing 'connectors' – people who are particularly skilled at introducing others in support of professional endeavors. Then, identify ways in which to strategically activate your social network to support personally identified leadership goals.


Standing Out in Academia

Naveen Jonathan

Have you ever considered a career in academia Have you ever wanted to mentor and instruct future professionals in the field? This workshop will explore careers in academia, highlighting different positions (tenure/nontenure), full-time/adjunct possibilities, teaching venues (in- seat/online), the requirements of academic positions and ways that participants can develop a plan to maintain themselves and sustain a work/life balance.



The Accidental Leader

Christie Eppler

Although many MFTs have leadership ambitions, sometimes MFT become leaders out of happenstance. This presentation will help MFTs who are unsure if they want to be leaders identify and utilize their leadership potential. Participants will explore their own images and metaphors in order to create a sense of meaning and develop self-care routines that support their accidental (or purposeful) leadership.



Developing a Specialty Practice

Carol Podgorski

Many MFTs enter graduate school with some idea about the clinical population or specialty area they they would like to pursue; others remain open to exploring the range of possibilities. Most commonly, however, it is one’s clinical experiences that inform future career paths. Clinical work often triggers passion for work with a particular population; provides positive reinforcement for one’s strengths and skills; and can open a therapist’s eyes to a specialty area that is devoid of skilled clinicians. In this session the presenter will: 1) Share her personal experiences with developing a practice focus on working with older adult families and a specialty practice in dementia; 2) Provide participants with activities to assist them in: A) Exploring their motivations for considering specialization; B) Weighing the risks and benefits of pursuing specialization given their stage of career; and C) completing an inventory of their personal work preferences; and 3) Provide opportunities for questions and consultation.

Saturday Breakouts

Finding the Fit: Applying Multisystemic Therapy’s Fit to Creating a Leadership Development Plan

Heather Katafiasz and Rikki Patton

As therapists move beyond the therapeutic realm, stretching their skills into areas that many know little about before being thrust into it, many clinicians encounter obstacles to accomplishing their own leadership goals. The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate the isomorphic application of a therapeutic intervention, the fit circle, to help emerging leaders develop their own fit circle for their leadership goals. This workshop will help emerging leaders identify and prioritize the obstacles, as well as identifying ways to overcome those obstacles helping them, in the endeavor to move toward developing a leader self-development plan. The format of this workshop will be a combination of didactic component to elucidate the technique and experiential activities.


Preparing for Leadership Roles on Regulatory Boards

Richard Long and Steve Livingston
In most states, membership on a regulatory board is viewed by some to be commendable and by others to be a source of curiosity. This presentation will explore both perspectives by pointing out the roles and responsibilities of regulatory boards, the governance skills and models frequently considered, the current issues under consideration by regulatory boards and lessons learned about the use of self as a leader on a regulatory board.


Developing an Intentional Path to Leadership

Carol Podgorski

A minority of American professionals stay in the same position, at the same organization, or in the same city throughout their career. While the prospect of transience may sound unsettling particularly in the early stages of one's career, it is not uncommon especially for mid-career health and human service professionals to seek new opportunities that will enhance personal and professional satisfaction. Restless professionals are commonly motivated to find work, for example, that will allow them to achieve mastery, obtain financial security and flexibility, express creativity, and ultimately generate legacy. This session will provide participants with ways to conceptualize a professional career in terms of the professional life cycle. This interactive presentation will provide participants with opportunities to assess their current level of job satisfaction; factors that influence readiness to take the next step; and the important role and value of mentorship throughout this process.

The Culturally Conscious Leader

Christie Eppler and Jeanette Rodriguez 

Culturally conscious leaders understand critical consciousness, social location, and social justice (e.g., systemic effects of historical trauma, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, spirituality, and nationality). Participants will explore how these cultural frameworks can support leaders in increasing their cultural competence. This experiential workshop will utilize a strength-based approach to developing culturally attuned leaders. Participants will learn about and practice using social justice-oriented tools that develop culturally conscious leaders.

Approved Supervision Refresher Course

Thursday March 8 

Optional, additional fee applies. Can be taken alone or as part of the full Leadership Symposium.

8:00 – 3:30: Mike Fitzpatrick 

AAMFT Approved Supervisors must take a comprehensive refresher course prior to the renewal of their designation. This session is designed specifically to meet that requirement, and to keep practitioners up-to-date on clinical MFT supervision practice. This course will include case examples, didactic and interactional instruction methods. It will focus on current resources available to supervisors, management of ethical and legal issues likely to arise during supervision, utilization of supervision contracts, cultural competence in supervision and therapy, and discussion of the current AAMFT Approved Supervisor requirements.