*Times listed are in ET. The event times will be converted to CT on the AAMFT app.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Creating a Winning Portfolio

Charlece Bishop, LMFT

Creativity serves as a key component to becoming a successful speaker. You must consistently search for new and innovative ideas that will set you apart from others. Similarly, to a photographer’s picture portfolio or the menu at your favorite restaurant, speakers need a brief and concise prop to showcase their work to potential clients. What better way to present this than a speaker’s portfolio? Even if you are drafting your first workshop or have numerous workshops, it will be valuable content for your portfolio. During this presentation, participants will highlight the importance of tapping into innovative ideas while utilizing critical thinking skills. In addition, participants will utilize those key components to draft a winning portfolio.


Helping Other’s Shine: Trauma Informed Leadership Using Improvisation Skills

John Robbins, PhD, LMFT

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the six guiding principles to a trauma informed approach to leadership and how Improvisational tenets address these principles. The 4 main guidelines of Improvisation comedy are:

  1. Using “Yes/And” in a conversation and not denying someone’s statements. AND “Yes” isn't enough. It is suggested that therapist’s must “Yes, and…” add to the discussion, taking the discussion further on an effective path.
  2. You don’t have to be funny and you do have to listen. Listening is a key aspect of improvisation because you are building on to the last thing that was said in the scene.
  3. You can look good if you make your partner look good. In improv, you do not have to be the star of the conversation to be an important participant.
  4. Tell a story. And when another troupe member is telling a story, “yes/and” with curiosity and compassion. 

Participants will join in on improvisation games designed to highlight the trauma informed principles of collaboration and empowerment voice and choice, focusing on making other’s shine (#3) and giving them voice, along with the benefits of using “yes/and,” maintaining curiosity and building relationship as a critical aspect of leadership skill.

Gearing Up Grassroots Advocacy

Roger Smith
Patricia Barton

As AAMFT embarks on an increased focus in state grassroots advocacy, understanding the tools in the toolbox, and how to make the proverbial engine go has never been more important. Join us as we discuss successful advocacy leadership techniques and profile some of the efforts AAMFT will be focused on.

Mitigating our Risk for Burnout and Compassion Fatigue

Tai Mendenhall, PhD, LMFT

Healthcare providers – across both mental health and biomedical disciplines – represent some of the highest risk professionals in Western culture(s) for burnout and compassion fatigue. At the same time that they report being highly-committed to (and loving) what they do, they are oftentimes overwhelmed with the intensity and/or chronicity of their caseloads, workplace and/or interdisciplinary politics, administrative demands, and tendencies to under-report personal struggles or seek help. In this presentation, theoretically-conceptualized understandings of this problem, alongside empirically-proven strategies to prevent and/or mitigate it, will be shared. Attention to our whole selves (biopsychosocial/spiritual health) will be described as essential.

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Preparing for Leadership Roles on Regulatory Boards

Richard Long

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.


MFTs and Family Court: Finding Common Ground to Provide Relational Services for an Underserved Population

David Spruill, PhD

How can MFTs use our unique skills to lead impactful change? If we think of leadership as “Opportunity + Initiative = Leadership” or that leadership is winning the Battle for Structure, then the sky is the limit. In this program, participants will hear a nuts and bolts account of how one LMFT had the opportunity and took the initiative to approach the Family Court to provide MFT services for their clients in a helpful and measurable manner. Adapting a ‘both/and’ stance, we have created a structure that:

  • Addresses the adversarial nature of court systems versus the more collaborative nature of relational systems
  • Builds in legal and ethical safeguards for families, attorneys, judges, and counselors
  • Provides a time limited, ‘one session at a time’ approach that maximizes change opportunities in a minimum amount of time
  • Involves MFT students and practicing LMFTs working together
  • Incorporates structural goals to decrease conflict and increase collaboration
  • Gathers data to measure program success and/or program changes needed


MFTs and Natural Disasters: Healing through Community Engagement 

Kyle Horst, PhD, LMDT
Matthew Plotkin

The frequency and intensity of natural disasters are increasing across the globe. As communities are increasingly impacted by natural disasters, discussion about how MFTs can best support communities impacted by disasters is needed. The following presentation will consider the potential role MFTs can play before, during, and after natural disasters. Information will be presented about how communities prepare and respond to disasters by looking at specific examples of recent wildfires in Northern California. The presentation will consider how MFTs can serve beyond their typical capacity in order to better meet the needs of communities in distress. The presentation will present the up-to-date literature on the social/emotional impact of natural disasters

Be the Supervisor You Needed: The Role of Supervision in Providing a Healing Connection for Trainees in Practice

Jade Kobayashi, Ph.D.

While the primary goal of supervision is to provide clients with the best possible care, the didactic, supportive, and administrative functions of the supervision relationship often parallel processes in the therapeutic relationship. Supervision is a unique opportunity to teach and practice advocacy and to provide transformative spaces for individual growth and change in our professions. Supervision can often resemble a "pass-through" chain of support from supervisor, to training practitioner, to the client, and this network extends deeply into our institutions of teaching and healthcare. This presentation will discuss the role of good supervision in providing affirming and inclusive spaces for trainees to help clients grow and heal while they themselves grow and heal. Power structures and assumptions inherent in supervisory relationships will be discussed. Relational/attachment, psychodynamic, and trauma-informed approaches will also be addressed as important frameworks for supervision. As a clinical psychologist who has worked closely with MFTs and other allied mental health professionals, I also believe in the importance of collaborative and interprofessional supervision and will discuss creative opportunities for these partnerships. Attendants will have opportunities to reflect on their experiences of supervision in training or goals as future supervisors.

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Navigating the Rough Terrain of Female Leadership

Rosjke Hasseldine

Female leadership, even in our female dominated profession, is not a straight-forward path. It is rough terrain, strewn with countless systemic obstacles that make it harder for women to have their knowledge respected, experience recognized, and leadership sought after. And these sexist, patriarchal obstacles demand more from women. They require women to be steely strong and do the hard emotional work of not internalizing the sexism they face.

In this presentation, I will share how I learned to be steely strong against the systemic obstacles I encountered in my journey from setting up my practice about twenty-five years ago, to founding Mother-Daughter Coaching International. In 1997, when I set up my practice in the UK as a mother-daughter therapist, well-meaning colleagues warned me that I was doomed to fail. I am glad that I didn’t listen to them, because if I had, I would not have founded my training organization, created the Mother-Daughter Attachment® Model, written two books and numerous articles, had the honor of working with countless mothers and daughters, and enjoyed a life-time of researching what causes and heals mother-daughter conflict.

No one travels alone, and alongside the obstacles, I have had wonderful women and men who gave me a platform on which to speak and a place to publish my work. Without these permission-givers, these champions, I would not be sharing my experience with you. We all learn about ourselves through hearing other people’s stories, and in this presentation, I will share how I found the emotional strength to not deviate from my plan and passion to pioneer the mother-daughter relationship specialism, even when doors remained shut and friends and colleagues didn’t understand what I was doing. I will share what has helped me grow as a person, a woman, and a leader, how I have learned to navigate patriarchy’s expectation that as a “good” female I must be ever so “nice and available”. And I will tell the story of how I am now passing on the baton to my teaching faculty and empowering them to stand in their power, expertise, and leadership ability.

MFTs for Systemic Change: A Call to Action

Shacoya Graham

Shacoya Graham believes that trained Marriage & Family Therapists have the answers to healing our country and creating the Systemic Change that our country desires. We can no longer deny the multitude of social injustices that plague our country. A Call to Action was initiated to all systemic thinkers to hone into their craft and find ways to use their systems training to transform social injustice on a macro-level. Shacoya creates spaces where systemic thinkers from all over the country can connect, share ideas, resources, and collaborate in the areas of social-justice and Systemic Change. Shacoya challenges all Systemic Therapists to bring their skills outside of the therapy room and become the change-makers that our country needs.

Leadership through Interprofessional Collaboration

Eman Tadros, PhD, LMFT
Katherine Durante, PhD

This presentation will discuss leadership between family therapists and other professionals such as sociologists, criminologists, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, counselors, etc. in the context of interprofessional collaboration. In an effort to build and reflect on their own professional experiences, recognizing the need to address wellbeing from a multitude of perspectives, and with the goals of improving access to care by identifying potential partnership opportunities between the two professions specifically and other similar disciplines. This presentation will illuminate the precise roles of professionals in different fields, how they fit into the interdisciplinary healthcare team, how the professions can join together in enhancing patient care, and anticipated facilitators and barriers in this undertaking.

A Collaborative SWOT Analysis of Relational Therapies

Matt Morris, PhD, LMFT

Relationships matter.  Relationship therapies are hot and in high demand.  Our profession is growing.  So let’s do a SWOT analysis of our profession – our discipline – and discover together new opportunities for growth.  As my friend David Spruill puts it, Opportunity + Initiative = Leadership.  This interactive presentation will require all of us to discuss together the next iterations of our work as relational therapists.

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Creating Systemic Change Through a Social Justice Lens: Steps to Make Impactful Changes

M. Evan Thomas, PhD, LMFT 

This session will focus on how participants can create change in their organizations through a social justice lens. The presenter will share his experience as a COAMFTE Accredited Program Director and the steps he has taken to create impactful changes to move our field forward at the master’s training level. Participants will be able to share their experiences with creating impactful change and collaborate as a group to understand changes they can implement in their organizations. Additionally, the session will discuss how to implement the AAMFT LGBTQIA Guidelines into participants’ leadership styles and adapt the guidelines to other diverse populations.

AAMFT and Advocacy 

Patrice Moulton, PhD 

This brief presentation is designed to share the experience of utilizing advocacy efforts to change the lives of those who have difficulty using their own voice. It is the story of one MFT that never dreamed of serving in international advocacy efforts. The path is possible for all. The ingredients are your training, your desire to make a change in the world, and your willingness to take a risk.

Advocacy Leadership at Multiple Systemic Levels: From the Intrapersonal to the Cultural 

Sar Surmick, LMFT 

Too often we forgo advocating for oppressed groups, leaving it up to the members of those groups to advocate for themselves. And yet, systemic agency lies with those who have more power and manage less oppression. For those in leadership, or those who want to pursue leadership, it's important to be able to recognize the power and impact of advocacy at every level AAMFT and of systemic interaction: intrapersonal, relational, group, organizational, and cultural. We'll be looking at tools you can use to take on this powerful aspect of leadership and where to start. 

Internal Family Systems: Using a Parts Approach in SELF-Leadership

Rashunda Miller ReedLMFT 

Leaders are required to address a range of concerns and interact with diverse individuals. Even as trained therapists, leaders can have parts interfere with their true selves. Therefore, having an approach that can be used in the moment is valuable to continuing in leadership over time. This session will introduce participants to an Internal Family System (IFS), also known as parts, approach for promoting SELF-leadership. You might be interested in this session if you have an appreciation for Self-of-Therapist work. In the spirit of IFS, all parts are welcomed.

 *All times are in EST
** Updates will be made to this page up until the week of the event