2017 Institutes for Advanced Clinical Education in Dublin, Ireland

June 28 – 30, 2017          

Join us in Dublin, Ireland, and earn up to 13.25 hours of continuing education credit with the most advanced marriage and family therapy training available!   

Featured Presenters and Workshops 

Medical Family Therapy: Innovations in Integrated Care  

Presented by Angela Lamson, PhD 

The field of Medical Family Therapy has grown considerably over the past three decades and has become a career path for family therapy clinicians, educators, researchers, leaders, and policy makers who are invested in integrating biopsychosocial-spiritual health into a variety of work contexts. While medical settings are an excellent environment for building and sustaining integrated behavioral health care, medical family therapists are also well suited for integration in schools, military bases, and community based agencies. This institute will focus on (a) the emergence of Medical Family Therapy, integrated behavioral health care, and sustainable models of collaborative care in diverse work contexts, (b) current knowledge and skills necessary for family therapists who are engaging in integrated behavioral health care in the workforce, (c) examples of medical family therapy in healthcare, community, military, and school contexts, (d) the construction of practice, policy, and business plans necessary for medical family therapy therapists to succeed.  

In Search of Middle Ground: Working Effectively with Conflictual Families after Separation and Divorce

Presented by Bill Northey, PhD, LMFT 

The clear majority of separating and divorcing couples are able to do it amicably and can parent effectively together. However, there is a very small--albeit challenging--minority of parents who cannot parent effectively together and in fact their interactions are hostile, caustic, and potentially damaging to their children. It is for this group of parents that a bevy of interventions have emerged recently that attempt to ameliorate the impact of these highly conflictual families. 

In the extremely interactive workshop, participants will explore the challenges presented in intervening systemically with parents engaged in harmful and cantankerous post-divorce interactions. In addition to reviewing the various methods for assisting high conflict couples, participants will consider the role that systemic therapists can play in delivering these interventions in a multitude of settings. More specifically, there will be a review of the similarities and differences between the process of separation and divorce in the U.S. and other countries with an emphasis on the opportunities that avail themselves to systemic therapists who can successfully assist families who exhibit extreme levels of conflict. 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. Finally, participants will examine a fictional family experiencing a conflictual and vindictive divorce to delve into effective strategies to engage and assist these types of couples after their separation and divorce.   

Intertwining Past and Present Adoption Practices in Ireland and the USA: The Influence of Past Legacies, Search and Reunion and how an Irish Family Therapy Model Provides a Perspective

Presented by Dr. Valerie O'Brien 

Adoption is a socially constructed phenomenon that is maintained by interactions and influenced by cultural, societal and political environments as well as individual and collective morals and beliefs. Although the process of adoption is globally defined, the practice of adoption is culturally specific and may differ from country to country depending on societal and political influences and values. In the past, the secrecy and stigma surrounding adoption closed the doors to open and positive communication about the topic in almost every social venue (Donaldson, 2006). As one Irish birth mother recalled: It was 1960’s in Ireland when attitudes towards pregnancy outside of marriage were, to say the least, unchristian...usually girls were required to resign from work because of the stigma of single pregnancy....secreted away some place so as not to shock the neighbours or society (Cúnamh, 2013:2).   

The legacy of the past in Ireland continues to evoke a level of societal unease and shame and  reactions to the film ‘Philomena’ is testament to this process.  In the workshop, the linkages between Irish and USA adoption trends are explored. The increasing acceptance of adoption as a valued and necessary way to build families is discussed.   

The workshop will focus in particular on the processes involved in search and reunion for the various parties involved adoption and references will be made to Ireland and the USA as both a receiving and a sending country for adoption. To what extent is it known that USA born children are been currently adopted into Ireland, albeit in small numbers.  Clinical work in the area of adoption presents the therapist with many challenges and the therapist can often be faced with finding a way to deal with multiple complexities and competing agendas. An Irish model entitled, ‘the fifth province’ will be introduced to show how therapists can  conceptualize and intervene in this area of work.      

Conceptualising, Applying, And Integrating Systemic Therapy in Childhood Sexual Abuse

Presented by Diane Hanly

Family therapy understands the benefits of therapeutically supported dialogue among family members when challenging issues and difficulties need to be discussed. Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) might be considered one of the most challenging, distressing and direction-changing issues that a family has to contend with. In the Irish context the majority of cases of alleged sexual abuse do not go to court, therefore there is significantly more pressure on social and therapeutic services to address the needs of the young people and their families. Different reactions and coping mechanisms mean that services privilege meeting with children, siblings, and parents separately in order to address their competing needs. CSA can also be an evocative and difficult area for therapists to work in, particularly when the abuse occurs within the family or in the context of custody and access. 

This workshop will provide a brief overview of CSA from the Irish perspective and how it is addressed at a micro and macro level by social services and the legal system and highlight the main differences between Ireland and the United States. It will then move on to explore the impact and coping mechanisms of CSA from the perspectives of the child/children who has/have experienced sexual abuse, the alleged perpetrator, siblings, parents, and psychotherapists(s). 

Using Karl Tomm's internalised other model of interviewing, participants will be invited to enter into the shoes of the various members of the system and consider what it might be like for each person to enter into a family session where sexual abuse has occurred. An interactive exploration of the models within family therapy which may best suit working systemically with whole families will include narrative, dialogical, and draw on Marsha Sheinberg's work, participants will take part in role plays to further their competence in this area. The second part of this workshop will focus on working with families where the abuse has occurred within the extended family and within a custody and access context. Using a reflecting team approach, participants will be asked to work with a fictitious family and reflect on the parallel process that occurs within families, societies, organizations and especially within the therapeutic process. 

Approved Supervisor Refresher Course

Presented by Angela Lamson, PhD

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 interactive 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 Supervision requirements. 


Date  Time CE Hours Course
Wednesday, June 28     8:00 am - 3:30 pm   6 Approved Supervision Refresher Course
Thursday, June 29 8:30 - 9:30 am 1 Keynote: The State of MFT in Ireland and US
  9:45 am - 4:45 pm 5.5 Medical Family Therapy
      High Conflict Divorce
      Childhood Sexual Abuse
  12:45 - 2:00 pm 1.25 Networking Luncheon
  5:00 - 6:00 pm 1 Research Reception
Friday, June 30 8:30 am - 1:00 pm 4.5 Medical Family Therapy
      High Conflict Divorce
      Childhood Sexual Abuse


Fee Structure

Regular Institutes (13.5 hours CE)

  By April 30, 2017 Regular
Member $525 $625
Non-member $625

 Approved Supervisor (add-on)  $260 $260

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and any subsequent request for refund must be made in writing by May 15, 2017. 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, 2017 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be offered after May 15, 2017. 

Earn 13.25 hours of continuing education credit with the most advanced MFT training available!

Register Here

Submit a Research Poster

For the first time ever, the Institutes will have a poster session featuring posters related to cultural competency and international therapy. A drawing will be held from the poster submissions for registration and hotel at the 2017 AAMFT Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA on October 5-8. Deadline for poster submission is Sunday, April 30 at 11:59 PM EST. 

Submit a Poster here

Hotel & Travel

Stay at the beautiful Talbot Hotel Stillorgan while in Dublin. 

Reserve your hotel accommodations here. Enter the dates June 27 - July 2 and the code AAMFT to see the availability for this event. These rates can be extended by up to three days on either side. Call the hotel at +353 1 2001800 to make changes to your reservation. If you experience any issues with making a reservation, please email Dawn Berry, Director of Events. 

Travel from the airport with Aircoach, which leaves the airport every 15 minutes and stops in front of the Talbot. Book here

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.