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The AAMFT Institutes for Advanced Clinical Education

June 24 – 28, 2015          

Join us in Rome, Italy, and earn 15 or 30 hours of continuing education credit with the most advanced marriage and family therapy training available! 

Featured Presenters and Workshops

Treating Sex and Intimacy Problems in Highly Troubled Couples

Presented by David Schnarch, PhD

Many couples have sexual problems, and marriage and family therapists often find these hard to treat. Couples with severe relationship or personal problems are particularly prone to sexual difficulties, and often fare poorly in treatment. However, MFTs are uniquely positioned to provide much needed help. The skill sets and expertise in systemic intervention that MFTs possess make them prime candidates for delivering cutting edge sexual health care which is systemic to its core.

This Institute offers a paradigm-changing view of human sexual desire, and a multi-faceted clinical approach for resolving sexual difficulties in difficult cases. The positive psychology-based Crucible Approach integrates sexual and marital therapy, self-differentiation, brain science, and interpersonal neurobiology, to help highly troubled couples create desire, passion, personal growth, and better relationships simultaneously (Schnarch, 2009, 1991). Workshop format includes deconstructing case examples and intervention strategies, mind-mapping (Theory of Mind) applications, neuroplastic training activities, and spirited lectures and group discussions. Counter-indications and treatment risks will be considered.

What better place to learn about love, sex, and intimacy than in Rome, with one of the world’s foremost experts! 

Going Further with Solution-Focused Work:  Flexible Tools, New Paradigms, Refined Practice

Presented by Mark McKergow, PhD

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) has been around for 25 years since its inception by Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg and their collaborators at BFTC Milwaukee.  During that time the work has evolved and developed.  However, the writings on SFBT tend to stick close to the basic questions and practices, and have not reflected the latest ideas and developments.  As a result, many practitioners may find they are using old and sometimes superceded methods.  The course is open to all with some SFBT experience – particularly those who would like to update, refine and expand their practice. 

During this course we will be looking more closely at how Solution-Focused (SF) work is evolving.   These developments include both trends towards even more minimal intervention, as well as connections to wider philosophical paradigms from Wittgentstein to extended mind to enactivism.  How much more can we do with how much less?  What are the ethics implied in taking an SF stance?  How can we (and out clients) stay clear of muddles and find emerging routes to better lives?  And when might it be better to find another way to make progress?

The course will be a lively and participative event with stimulating inputs, collaborative discussions, and engaging activities.  We will be using some video and transcription from actual sessions, and participants are invited to bring their own recordings for discussion.  Participants can also look forward to making progress with their own lives, workplace issues and relationships as we explore SF ideas in theory and practice. 

Teen Voices in Family Therapy: A Multigenerational-Systemic Method of Intervention

Presented by Anna Mascellani, PhD and Maurizio Andolfi, MD

In this AAMFT Course in Rome in June 2015 the Authors want to present a multigenerational-systemic method of intervention: instead of controlling children mis-behavior through medications or with individual psychotherapy or counseling , they aim to create a therapeutic alliance with the adolescent and the family by working with them as a team and  exploring relevant family events to link them to the presenting problem.

Our method is inclusive, looking for relevant  resources: family of origin, siblings, friends, pets, community members and hospital staff are all included in different occasions in the session, expanding the social network of the family and searching for emotional support and solidarity.

The model of intervention that will be presented in this Course is experiential with therapist playing an active role, being direct, authentic and empathic with the family, able to stay close the clients’ pain and despair and on the other hand to respond positively to their hope and desire for change. The main tools used to create a therapeutic alliance : provocation, support, humor, metaphors, curiosity, playfulness, self-disclosure, sculpting will be illustrated  with video segments of family consultations .

MFT’s will be able to clarify their own ways of working with teen-agers and   describe at least two theoretical approach to adolescent’s psychopathology : one focused on symptoms and use of appropriate medications, another one more “humanistic” aimed to reframe mis-behaviours and create connections and bonds inside the family.

The Multigenerational Family Therapy ( MGFT) Method elaborated by Maurizio Andolfi and Anna Mascellani at the Accademia di Psicoterapia della Famiglia in Rome is described in their recent book Teen Voices. Tales from family therapy 2013, wisdom Moon. San Diego CA and some of their findings will be discussed with MFT participants.

The Science, Art, and Ethics of Transcultural Therapy

Presented by Mary Hotvedt, LMFT, PhD

In many places in the world we are experiencing large displacements of people from third-world nations who are seeking asylum and /or economic opportunity in first-world countries. In third world nations we see crises of massive unemployment, overcrowded refugee camps, children orphaned by war and AIDS, and institutionalized marginalization and violence against women. The needs and expectations of these individuals and families present a multitude of challenges to social service and mental health fields, the practitioners often left to deal with issues not addressed adequately by governments.

This course is designed to give MFTs systemic ways of thinking about multicultural social models and working with clients affected by these megatrends. Participants will be introduced to several examples of intervention on behalf of clients; the examples will be drawn from several countries. Through the participation of Dr. Lorena Cavallieri, MFTs will learn about the work and art of the therapists and cultural translators of Fondazione Silvio Andolfi in Rome.

The course will allow for a great deal of interaction in large and small groups. We will also use a casebook to discuss the ethics of transcultural work in both the first and third worlds. Participants will clarify their own ways of working with multicultural cases and situations.


Wednesday, June 24th, 6:00pm: Reception and orientation meeting- learn about the city and prepare for the week ahead.

Thursday, June 25th, 8:00am – 4:00pm: Course Instruction (Lunch from 12 – 1pm)

Friday, June 26th: Tour day.

Saturday, June 27th, 8:30am – 12:30pm: Course Instruction

Sunday, June 28th, 8:30am – 12:30pm: Course Instruction

Tour Beautiful, Historic Rome!

Explore Rome with these exciting tours scheduled for Friday, June 26.

Imperial Rome City Tour:

Walk through the most important archaeological sites of Ancient Rome! After a tour around the Capitol Square and Piazza Venezia, you will emerge in a real ancient atmosphere: down the Via dei Fori Imperiali to reach the imposing Coliseum, the Arch of Constantine, the Arch of Titus and the Pyramid of Caius Cestiust. From there, it's only a short walk around the Roman Forum to see stunning a panoramic view over the site. Cost of the tour is €54,20 per person and is scheduled to depart the hotel at 9:30am.

Day as a Gladiator:

Experience an interesting tour of the Historical Roman and Legionary Museum- discover perfect reproductions of ancient Roman weapons, armors, war machines. You'll then have the possibility to experience a real gladiator-training course on the ancient art of “Gladiatura” and be awarded a Gladiator school’s certificate of attendance! Cost of the tour is €53,00 per person and is scheduled to depart the hotel at 9:30am.

Underground Rome:

Discover the vast labyrinth of Roman Catacombs, the ancient cemeteries where many saints and popes where buried, during this tour with an expert guide. You'll see the Church of San Clemente, with its three levels of churches constructed atop one another where you will descend from the stunning 12th century basilica down to the  4th century church and then further below ground to the temple of the cult of Mithras, a mystical all-male religion imported from Persia. Many beautiful mosaics and frescoes are still able to be seen throughout the churches. Cost of the tour is €65,00 per person and is scheduled to depart the hotel at 2:00pm.

Due to the length of the tours, it is recommended to choose the Gladiator tour alone OR the Imperial City and Underground tours together.

Register using this form.

Fee Structure

Regular Institutes (15 hours CE)

  By January 30, 2015  By March 31, 2015 Regular
Member $445 $495 $595
Non-member $545 $595


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and any subsequent request for refund must be made in writing by May 15, 2015. Upon cancellation, you have the right to request that your fee (in full) be held (for up to one year) and used toward application to another AAMFT event registration. If you prefer a refund, cancellations made prior to May 15, 2015 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be offered after May 15, 2015.

By January 30, 2015RegularMember
$375 $424Non-Member$475$
By January 30, 2015By March 31, 2015RegularMember$445$495$595Non-Member$545$595$695
By January 30, 2015By March 31, 2015RegularMember$445$495$595Non-Member$545$595$695
By January 30, 2015By March 31, 2015RegularMember$445$495$595Non-Member$545$595$695
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Earn 15 hours of continuing education credit with the most advanced MFT training available!

Register Here

Hotel & Travel

Stay at the beautiful Atahotel Villa Pamphili while in Rome, situated in a park-like setting located minutes away from the Vatican and the city center for easy access to all local tourist attractions. 

Reserve your hotel accommodations using this form.

Be sure to have a valid passport - review the United States and Canadian requirements before traveling internationally. Both countries require your passport is valid for at least three months before your planned date of departure.