Therapeutic Approaches for Working with Families with Chronic Illness

When:  Apr 3, 2020 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (ET)
6 CEU Workshop

This 6-hour workshop will provide participants with knowledge and skills to enhance their work with families dealing with chronic illness. This learning activity will include a combination of didactic presentations and experiential exercises focused on skill building and self-of-the-therapist considerations regarding health and illness. The intended audience is marriage and family therapists (MFTs) and other mental health professionals interested in learning more about how to work with clients and families adjusting to or living with chronic illness.

The day will be divided into the following sessions:

  1. Introduction to medical family therapy
    1. Relationship between medical family therapy and Integrated care and the biopsychosocial model
  2. Overview of medical family therapy competencies
  3. Illness matters: Clinical consideration for type of illness (i.e., acute, chronic, terminal)
  4. Evolving role of family caregivers in health care system
  5. Exercise: participants will be guided to reflect on their family of origin’s experience with health and illness (Can we ask them to bring a basic genogram to the workshop?)Family history of illness and meaning
  6. Working with families (Show video clip from film for case example)
    1. Biopsychosocial assessment of clients and families
    2. MedFT interventions
      1. Family history of illness and meaning
      2. Structural FT considerations: changing rules and roles
      3. Facilitating expression of emotion
      4. Facilitating communication
      5. Changing coping styles
      6. Psychoeducation and support
      7. Agency and comunion
  7. Exercise: Case presentation
    1. Family assessment
    2. Case conceptualization
    3. Treatment planning considerations
  8. Ethical and Legal Considerations

Carol Podgorski, Ph.D., LMFT

Dr. Carol Podgorski completed her doctoral degree in sociology and has master’s degrees in Public Health and Marriage and Family Therapy. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry where she also holds the following leadership positions Director of the Finger Lakes Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease; Clinic Director of the UR Memory Care Program; Associate Director of the URMC’s Office for Aging Research and Health Services; Director of Alzheimer’s Disease Programs for the UR Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program; and Co-Director of the URMC’s Family Therapy Training Program. Her academic interests include family therapy in dementia, medical family therapy approaches to caregiving, and development of family systems-oriented models of patient- and family-centered dementia care. She currently serves on the Medical/Scientific Advisory Committee of the Rochester/Finger Lakes Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Monroe County Council for Elders, the Monroe Community Hospital Foundation Board, and as the Legislative Chair of the New York Marriage and Family Therapy Network.

Carol is licensed in the state of New York and holds three graduate degrees from the University of Rochester:
  1. MPH in Public Health, 1985
  2. PhD in Sociology, 1990
  3. MS in Marriage & Family Therapy, 2005

Workshop Schedule:

8:30-9:00—Registration and Breakfast



1:00-4:30—Continuing Workshop

*Breakfast and lunch are included in price

Groups of five or more interested in a group discount should email prior to registering.

All those registered as students should provide proof of student status at the workshop. Students should be in a master’s or doctoral program in a mental health discipline.

Note: AAMFT New Hampshire Interest Network Board members attend free, and volunteers receive a significant discount: volunteers are those who are members of New Hampshire Interest Network committes (such as Education Committee, Membership Committee, etc.). Please contact if you are interested in being a committee member.

Registration Dates

Registration Ends Thursday, April 2, 2020


The Derryfield
625 Mammoth Rd.
Manchester, NH 03431

Pricing Information

Registration Early Bird Regular
New Hampshire Network Students $53.10 $59.00
New Hampshire Network Members $116.10 $129.00
AAMFT Students $71.10 $79.00
AAMFT Members $152.10 $169.00
Non-Members $161.10 $170.00
Volunteer $96.75 $96.75
Board Members Waived Waived
Event Image


Denzel Jones

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations to any paid event and any subsequent request for refund must be made in writing no later than 15 days prior to the start of the event. Upon cancellation you have the right to request that your fee (in full) be held (for up to one year) and used toward another event registration from this same AAMFT Network. If you prefer a refund, cancellations made more than 45 days before the event will receive a 75% refund. Cancellations made between 44 and 15 days before the event will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be offered within 14 days of the event.

To request a refund, please contact your program leadership directly.