Conference Workshops
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200 Series Descriptions: Friday, October 17, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.


200 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Solution Focused Work in Management and Organizational Development: What’s Better?
Mark McKergow
Over the past 15 years, solution-focused work has established a worthwhile presence in the field of management and organizational development. Mark McKergow will review the way these ideas have spread, what they bring to the coaching and consulting world, and will share some cases, models and studies. He will also examine the challenges of presenting SF work in the organizational context and look forward to the next generation of developments.

201 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Signs of Safety Approach to Child Protection Casework
Andrew Turnell
The Signs of Safety model is the leading international approach to collaborative child protection practice and is being implemented in almost 200 statutory agencies across 13 countries. In this workshop, Andrew will present the essential elements of the Signs of Safety model linking the approach to its solution focused and brief therapy roots. The presentation will interweave the model, its application to high risk and complex cases and the organizational change and implementation strategies that enable the approach to be used consistently in practice.

202 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Is SFBT Really Different? BFTC Claims and Microanalysis Results
Sara A. Smock Jordan, Peter DeJong
Established in 1978, the goal of BFTC was to be a center of practice innovation as well as a clinic serving clients. De Shazer and Berg described SFBT as a process of co-constructing solutions with clients, which stands in contrast to problem-solving and expert-based therapies. Drawing on recently published microanalysis studies comparing therapy dialogues from SFBT, CBT, and MI, we address the extent to which BFTC innovations represent empirically observable differences from other therapy models.

203 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Solution-Focused Substance Misuse Treatment
Teri Pichot
Regardless of intent, most professionals eventually find themselves working with clients who struggle with substance related issues. This population frequently presents with family, employment, legal, and other significant life disruption that can challenge the best therapist. The traditional model of treatment for addiction has a fairly low success rate and comes with high staff burnout. Come learn how SFBT effectively addresses substance related concerns in a way that empowers the client, the family, and the professional.

204 - SFBT TRIBUTE: The Application of Solution Focus to Grief Counseling
Joel Simon
Since my introduction to solution focus over 20 years ago, my question has always been how do I adapt the solution focused model in whatever setting I had been working? This is true in my work with Hospice as I spoke with clients who had lost a significant other. This workshop explores not only how solution focus can be effectively adapted to bereavement counseling, but what useful lessons clients have taught me who are going through the grieving experience.

205 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Is SFBT Evidence-based? The Current State of Research on SFBT
Cynthia Franklin, Adam Froerer
Participants will be exposed to a comprehensive overview of process and outcome research that contributes to the evidence-base of solution focused brief therapy. Presenters will provide participants with information regarding the current SFBT treatment manual for working with individuals, available outcome measures related to SFBT, an overview of SFBT effectiveness research with various clinical populations, and information regarding national registries that include SFBT as an evidence-based practice.

206 - SFBT TRIBUTE: SFBT with Adult GLBTQ Populations
Marc Coulter, Thorana Nelson
This interactive workshop will focus on how to utilize SFBT with the adult GLBTQ community. Participants will learn about the basic tenets and techniques of Solution Focused Brief Therapy around issues such as sexual and gender orientation, coming out to self and others, HIV, conversion/reparative therapy, and relationships.

207 - SFBT TRIBUTE: A Solution Focused Approach to Working with Military Families
Calyn Crow
This workshop will address and discuss unique challenges that military families may experience. Calyn will share important aspects of therapy that members of the military indicated were important and helpful to them. This workshop will explore specific tenants of SFBT, potentially deriving the above-mentioned aspects. The audience will have an opportunity to share what experiences they have had utilizing SFBT when working with military members.

208 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Working Within Schools as a LMFT:  Creating Systemic Change that Leads to Success for School Clients
Linda Metcalf
This workshop will share successful vignettes of school client cases that benefited from LMFT presence in meetings and school interventions. This workshop will present the solution focused approach as an approach and strategy for working within the school “system” of school clients. From individual work with students to team meetings, RTI meetings, discipline ideas and behavioral plans, this workshop will present ideas on how to get entrance into school settings and doing therapy.

209 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Solution Building in Couples Therapy
Elliott Connie
Working with couples is challenging work. They come into therapy thinking we have to understand the problem to ascertain who is at fault and subsequently who needs to change to resolve the problem. In this workshop, the lecturer will demonstrate how by helping the couple to focus on the future and how they would like their relationship to be, the couple works together to build the relationship they desire rather than argue about the problems that have occurred.

210 - SFBT TRIBUTE: The Research and Practice of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with Asian and Asian American Clients
Johnny Kim
This workshop will provide an overview of multicultural practice within SFBT, especially with Asian and Asian American clients. Information will be presented on the research of SFBT with Asian and Asian American clients. Additionally, the workshop will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn and discuss cultural and ethnic values and ways SFBT can be modified to enhance therapeutic alliance and treatment effectiveness.


300 Series Descriptions: Friday, October 17, 2:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

300 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Stories from Behind the Mirror and How SFT Happened
Eve Lipchik, Wallace Gingerich, Gale Miller
This presentation will offer the audience a picture of the early days at the Brief Family Therapy Center from three perspectives: that of an original founder who was part of the daily clinical and theoretical discussions; that of an academician who sat behind the mirror for a year observing the process from an ethnographic perspective; and that of an academician who helped design and conduct the earliest research projects. Questions will be invited.

301 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Co-Creating Compelling Future Realities with High-Risk Adolescents
Matthew Selekman
Often adolescents defined as “high-risk” are given this label because of their provocative, extreme, and intimidating behaviors, such as: regular to heavy substance abuse, self-injury, eating-distressed, and explosive behaviors. What is often missed by involved helping professionals is their tremendous courage, compassion and caring for others, creativity, and talents with art, drama, music, and sports. Participants will learn effective engagement strategies, how to transform self-destructive and destructive behaviors into virtuous habits, and use therapeutic experiments that tap adolescents’ key talent areas and inventiveness to empower them to achieve compelling future realities.

302 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Don’t Think, but Observe:  SFBT and Buddhist Well-being
Eric McCollum, Diane Gehart
Mindfulness skills are used increasingly in therapy and can enhance wellbeing of clients and therapists. This presentation will explore integrating mindfulness and Buddhist psychology principles in solution-focused brief therapy and related postmodern approaches. This workshop will explore the points of connection and identify mindfulness-based applications for solution-oriented therapy. Participants will explore personal and clinical uses of mindfulness and review the evidence base.

303 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Moral Injury and PTSD: What Works
Mark Mitchell
This workshop will look at solution focued brief therapy and how it can help in dealing with moral injury and PTSD. A unique emphasis on the use of SFBT ritual, art, and community resources as a source for healing and resiliency and the clinician’s role as a host for conversations.

304 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Solution-focused Supervision: Taking SF Practice to Another Level
Stephen Langer
One of the least noticed but arguably most important expansions of SFBT practice for psychotherapy is using the approach in the supervision of therapists. Solution-focused supervision is congruent with the SFBT treatment model. This type of supervision can also be applied with any treatment modality the therapist/supervisee uses. SF supervision focuses on the goals and competence of the therapist as well as giving the therapist more of what therapists say they want from supervision including respect, flexibility and the setting aside of “expert knowledge” by the supervisor. At the same time, the practice of SF supervision also allows for accountability of the therapist while providing high quality service to psychotherapy clients.

305 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Using Solution-Focused Brief Practice in Agency Settings
Teri Pichot
The Use of Solution-Focused tools and the unique way of thinking can be useful far beyond the therapy room. This workshop will explore ways to use the solution-focused approach in a wide variety of workplace settings to shift staff focus from problems to miracles.

306 - SFBT TRIBUTE: SFBT with GLBTQ Children, Youth, and Families
Thorana Nelson, Marc Coulter
This interactive workshop will focus on how to utilize SFBT with GLBTQ children, youth, and families. Participants will increase their knowledge of such topics as transgender youth, coming out, same-sex parenting, adoption, and relationships and how to apply basic SFBT practices to their work with GLBTQ children, youth, and families.

307 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Organizational Consulting: Building Solutions within Organizations
Victor Nelson
This experiential workshop introduces principles of solution-focused organizational consulting. Organizations re-focus their mission and purpose whenever there is a change in leadership and experience growing pains as they mature. Applying solution focused principles assists organizations in identifying and moving toward their preferred futures as well as navigating the evolution and growth within their organization. Workshop participants will engage in a simulated consultation process in order to practice solution-focused strategies and interventions.

308 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Teaching What Works: SFBT Multicultural Competencies
Elliott Connie
The presenters of this dynamic workshop will provide a look at other parts of the world in which SFBT research has been collected. We will discuss and provide examples of how to address cultural norms/research in effective practices. Utilizing mock therapy clips, we will be exploring differences with the miracle question, scaling, coping questions, and exceptions.

309 - SFBT TRIBUTE: SFBT Research: Using Microanalysis to Observe Co-construction
Janet Bavelas, Peter DeJong
It is a fundamental premise of SFBT that meanings are co-constructed during therapy sessions. The broader literature on co-construction has remained at a theoretical level, but we propose that it is directly observable. We have used microanalysis to examine how co-construction happens, moment-by-moment, in video-recorded therapist-client interactions. Drawing on principles from basic research on language, we are capturing precisely how therapists’ choices, shaped by their model, contribute to the co-construction of meanings in a session.

310 - SFBT TRIBUTE: Accountability for Solutions: Solution-focused Treatment with Domestic Violence Offenders
Mo Yee Lee, Adriana Uken
In our work using solution-focused brief therapy with domestic violence offenders, we believe that people must be customers for change. What we can do is to create conditions that will facilitate natural change in people. This workshop will describe and demonstrate a program that utilizes goal to create such a context for participants to identify, notice, reconnect with, and amplify their strengths and resources as a way to assist their efforts in excluding violence from intimate relationships.

400 Series Descriptions: Saturday, October 18, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

400 - Joining the National Framework for Safe and Successful Schools
Kathleen Laundy, Barbara Bennett, Margaret Donohue
Following an escalation of violence in American schools, a national consortium of professionals from the mental health disciplines of school counseling, school nursing, psychology and social work and education developed a Framework for Safe and Successful Schools in 2013. Under the authorship of the National Association of School Psychologists, this multidisciplinary group issued a proposal that advocates for colletively raising the standards of mental health support in schools and outlines best practices for how to achieve it. This workshop will first summarize the recommendations of that proposal. The recommendations include building more collaborative mental health networks to identify and service all children in positive ways, improving access to mental health services through multitiered systemsof support, encouraging funding streams the promote school safety and healthy school climate, and developing evidence-based standards to safeguard and promote positive behavior. The presenters will then introduce initiatives that illustrate how collaborative, multidisciplinary mental health teams in Connecticut are working with educators to build safe and successful schools. They will explain the collaborative roles school-based MFTs, counselors, psychologists and social workers play to build mental health teams of support across elementary, middle and high schools in urban, suburban and rural schools in Connecticut. Multidisciplinary mental health teams have functioned in health care inpatient and outpatient settings across the US for many decades, but they have operated in schools only since 1975. MFTs are the newest mental health professionals to join school-certified mental health teams, and this workshop will highlight the complimentary skill set they bring to collaborative health care practice in education.

401 - Affirmative Therapy Practices with Parents of LGBT Youth
Christine McGeorge, Thomas Stone Carlson, Kristen Benson
This workshop will present specific clinical strategies for family therapists when working with both supportive parents and parents who are struggling to accept their LGBT child. Additionally, this workshop will educate therapists about common struggles experienced by parents when their child comes out as LGBT and the negative impact of family rejection on the well-being of LGBT youth.

402 - Brief Collaboration for Family Therapists and Physicians
Emilee Delbridge, Daniel Felix, Michael Busha, Emad Abou-Arab
Family Medicine physicians and Family Therapists will co-present this workshop, using cases from their collaborative practice that teach therapists skills to work jointly with physicians. We will share basic knowledge of medical terminology and treatment, skills for developing collaborative relationships, and effectively communicating about the needs and progress of treatment.

403 - Christians Doing Marriage and Family Therapy
Christopher Habben
Too often, "Christian" is used as an adjective modifying "therapy" rather than as a noun attending to the person of a therapist. This workshop will endeavor to offer a model of conducting therapy consistent with broad Christian assumptions, considerate of ethical obligations, consciously aware of religious injury experienced by others, and sensitive to the multiverse of spiritual experiences.

404 - Demystifying Writing for Publication in Marriage and Family Therapy
Fred Piercy, Renuka Aldrich
This workshop is intended for those who wish to be successful in writing for publication in the field of marriage and family therapy. We will demystify the publication process as well as the thinking and skills necessary for participants to be successful, published authors of scholarly MFT articles.

405 - Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment: Applications for Marriage and Family Therapists
Keeley Pratt, Jerica Berge
Given the high prevalence of childhood obesity, MFTs, will undoubtedly work with children who are overweight and their families. Training in family systems theory and family-based care models situate MFTs to intervene effectively with this population. This session will describe how MFTs are addressing the current childhood obesity epidemic through family-based prevention and treatment clinical and research efforts.

406 - Milton Erickson’s Influence on Marriage and Family Therapy
Dale Bertram, Michael Rankin, John Lentz
Milton Erickson’s influence on the development of the marriage and family therapy field cannot be underestimated. When one looks at Bruce Kuehl’s genogram of the MFT field or the Milton Erickson Foundation’s diagram of Erickson’s influence upon psychotherapy, it is obvious he’s had a pervasive influence. This workshop is focused upon how Erickson influenced the Bateson team, MRI, Haley, Solution Focused Therapy and other models of therapy.

407 - Applying Western-Developed Family Therapy Models in China
Norman Epstein, Jennifer Young, Le Zheng, HaeDong Kim
This workshop will describe cultural adaptations needed to apply Western-derived MFT models in Chinese society sensitively and effectively. Considerations of cultural values and traditions, family structure and roles, communication styles, expectations of therapy, and effects of the educational system and economic development on family functioning in China will be described. Adaptations of several MFT models will be covered.

408 - Effective Cognitive Based Interventions with Online Therapy
Kathleene Derrig-Palumbo, Liza Eversole
Online Therapy is an effective medium for using a variety of cognitive based psychotherapy approaches and interventions with a broad spectrum of clients, especially people unwilling or unable to receive traditional, face-to-face therapy. Through lecture, demonstrations and case presentations, attendees will learn effective Online Therapy interventions to legally and ethically better serve the growing population of clients using the Internet.

409 - Managing Compassion Fatigue Working with Long-Term Clients
Kristy Soloski, Sharon Luu
Brief family therapy is becoming a preferred means of treatment, yet there are still some clients who have an interest in longer-term therapy. Working with longer-term clients can be a challenge for many therapists both from a treatment planning and personal standpoint. This workshop will identify signs of compassion fatigue, and enact self of the therapist activities to manage risk.

410 - The Role of Expertise Among Early-Career Family Therapists
Benjamin Caldwell, Torri Efron
Family therapy educators have moved from encouraging new therapists to take an expert stance with clients. While helpful for working with marginalized groups, this places therapists in a difficult position when clients expect expert advice. This workshop will discuss expertise among early-career MFTs, offering specific guidance on when and how to demonstrate expertise without alienating clients or sacrificing cultural competency.

411 - Dementia-Focused Medical Family Therapy
Carol Podgorski
Five million Americans have dementia and each has 3-5 family members coping with life-altering manifestations. This workshop will provide an overview of dementia, case examples from a MFT practicing in a university-based memory clinic, medical family therapy interventions applicable to this population, an interactive exercise based on a pre-recorded interview with a caregiver, and a discussion of dementia-specific practice considerations.

412 - An Integrative Model of Assessment, Treatment, and Relapse Prevention for Sexual Desire Disorders
Barry McCarthy
Sexual desire problems are the major issue that brings couples to sex therapy. Desire is the core factor in relationship satisfaction and stability. Sexual desire is a complex, multi-causal, multi-dimensional issue involving psychological, biological, relational, cultural, and value issues.This presentation will address the core issues which promote and subvert sexual desire.

500 Series Descriptions: Saturday, October 18, 2:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

500 - Suicide Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Postvention
Douglas Flemons
The effects of suicidality and completed suicides reverberate through the survivors, from family members and friends, to professionals and organizations. It is thus essential for family therapists to develop expertise in all facets and phases of suicidality: prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention. We’ll explore the complexities and possibilities of working empathically and proactively with suicidal individuals and their significant others.

501 - Defining Sex-Positivity for Your Practice and Your Clients
Ruth Neustifter, Lisa Powell, Maria Tetro
What does sex-positive mean and how can it impact your practice as well as the intimacy of your clients?  Participants will review current approaches, then be guided through the creation of two types of definitions of sex-positivity. One for professional use and the other as a therapeutic activity for clients working on sexual concerns.

502 - To Refer or to Treat? Ethical Decisions with LGBT Clients
Erica Hartwell, Sheila Addison, Benjamin Caldwell
For many clinicians, personal or religious beliefs about same-sex relationships or gender variance pose an ethical dilemma: refer LGBT clients to a colleague or treat them? This panel discussion will feature experienced clinicians, supervisors, and scholars offering diverse viewpoints about best practices for resolving the conflicting guidelines in the AAMFT Code of Ethics regarding scope of competence versus discrimination.

503 - Military Couples: Motivations and Solutions for Health
Angela Lamson, Meghan Lacks, Amelia Muse, Lisa Buchner, Melissa Lewis
This presentation will cover information regarding physical, psychological, and relational health of military couples. Given the high reintegration rates, caring for the health of military personnel and their relationships is essential. Clinical skills and research will be shared from a military couples’ project, from baseline through intervention. This session will include biopsychosocial-spiritual assessments, interventions, and treatment outcomes for military couples.

504 - A Culturally Adapted Parenting Intervention for Latinos/as
Jose Ruben Parra-Cardona, Michael Whitehead, Ana Rocio Escobar-Chew, Gabriela Lopez-Zeron, Sara Lappan
Ethnic minorities are exposed to intense mental health disparities. This workshop will present findings from a 4-year NIMH-funded study focused on the cultural adaptation of an evidence-based parenting intervention for Latino Immigrants. Participants will also be exposed to the core components of the adapted intervention and will discuss how cultural adaptation can reduce health disparities in research and clinical practice.

505 - Epigenetics, Trauma, and Resilience: Trauma Informed MFT
Peggy Mayfield, Jenene Case Pease
This workshop will present emerging research about epigenetics, trauma, and resilience with an emphasis on the need for practitioners and educators to incorporate trauma informed marriage, family and community care into their practices. An expansive view of practice that approximates a public health model will be shared with participants. Clinical case studies will be examined in order to facilitate praxis.

506 - Re-Storying Communication: A New Approach to Couples Therapy
Thomas Stone Carlson, Amanda Haire
This workshop will present "relational accountability," a new approach to couples therapy based on recent advances in narrative therapy and relational ethics. Participants will learn how to help couples re-story common notions of communication and develop ways to be more relationally accountable for nurturing stories of love, compassion, and equality in one another.

507 - Alzheimer’s Review and Reconciliation: Coping with Losing a Loved One
Terry Hargrave, Kendra Arsenault
In this session, participants will be given an overview of Alzheimer’s in the United States as well as effective treatment strategies to help families cope with the diagnosis, loss, and grief. Therapeutic methods of life review and life validation as well as reconciliation will be discussed and demonstrated through discussion and role-plays.

508 - DSM-5: First Order Change in a New Millennium
Wayne Denton, Mathew Withers, Kayla Reed, Chance Bell
DSM-5 represents first order change over recent versions. This workshop will begin with a historical overview of psychiatric nomenclature through a family systems lens. Next, the role of the family in DSM-5 will be covered. Ethical and clinical implications for MFT’s will be reviewed. The audience will participate in a discussion of how to incorporate the DSM-5 in clinical practice.

509 - MFTs and Transgender Assessments: Challenges and Opportunities
Volker Thomas, Elizabeth Parker, Tracie Krum, Jacob Priest, Candice Maier, Taimyr Strachan
The workshop presents challenges and opportunities of an LGBTQ clinic in a doctoral CFT program to which transgender clients are referred by physicians for psychosocial assessments. The CFT clinic’s reports help physicians decide whether they will proceed with hormone replacement therapy or sex reassignment surgery. Based on digital recordings the tensions between gatekeeper functions and advocacy will be discussed.

510 - Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Target Childhood Obesity
Jerica Berge, Tai J Mendenhall
Given the high prevalence of childhood obesity, and the low to moderate success of interventions to-date to reduce childhood obesity, a new way to intervene is needed. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods are a promising approach to targeting childhood obesity because the people directly affected by the issue are involved with the solution. This workshop will present two specific research projects that have used CBPR approaches to target youth obesity.

511 - Distance-based Solutions that Enhance the Marriage and Family Therapy Field
James Billings, Branden Henline, Darren Adamson
This workshop will address key solutions and advances in the field and effective training in marriage and family therapy afforded by digital technologies. Those interested in furthering their knowledge and skills using distance-based tools will learn about specific strategies, research results, student and faculty experiences in distance-based MFT programs, and practical guidance on accessing and using available online tools.

512 - CET: Physical Therapy for the Brain
Ray Gonzalez
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) is an evidence-based treatment that improves cognitive skills and social cognition for persons in recovery from schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. During 48 once-a-week sessions of computer exercises, social cognition groups and individual coaching, clients learn how to be socially wise and vocationally effective. CET groups average attendance and graduation rates of 85 to 90%.

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