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Letter from the President – Spring News

Spring Leadership News

CTAMFT President
Dorothy Timmermann, LMFT, CTAMFT Board President

“It’s a Brand New Ballgame,” was this year’s theme for the 2012 Spring Leadership Conference (March 15-18) in Arlington, VA. Division leaders from Connecticut joined the other divisions to discuss the new AAMFT membership categories, Code of Ethics, division bylaws updates, new technology, National Health Career Network, legislative issues, media training, and more. The event was full of valuable ideas and we are excited to share them with all of you. Highlights from the discussions will be presented during the CTAMFT Annual Conference and Meeting, Friday, April 20th, and a summary will be posted on CTAMFT.org as part of our Annual Report late April.

Want more involvement in the discussion? Please consider joining your CTAMFT Board of Directors in welcoming AAMFT Representatives and other Regional Division Leaders at our local “Innovations that Work” networking event, Thursday, April 19th, from 6-8pm at the  Mystic Marriott. For more information, please email us at CTAMFT or call 203-254-1748.

Also save-the-date, AAMFT’s Annual Conference will be held on September 13-16th at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC. The theme is “Women: Evolving Roles in Society and Family.”

Annual Conference Update

Mystic MarriottThere is still time to join friends and colleagues at this year’s Annual Conference being held Friday, April 20th at the Mystic Marriott. Registration is open for another two weeks and the Conference Committee is aiming for 350 in attendance. For some added fun, drawings will be held for the next three days to award “Red Door Spa” prizes to new conference registrants. So don’t wait, register today and you may be a lucky winner! The Red Door Spa located at the conference hotel is also offering attendees 20% off all services and complimentary makeup refreshers for Thursday and Friday. Enjoy some self-care and call today to book your appointment: 860-446-2500.

Michele Weiner-Davis

Michele Weiner-Davis

This conference features a wonderful line-up of Speakers Presentations offering up to 7 Continuing Education Credits to Full-Day Attendees. We are also offering a Half-Day Ticket to those who wish to attend only an Afternoon Workshop, Poster Session and Career Fair. Speaker presentations for the day include: “It Takes One To Tango: Doing Couples Therapy with Individuals” by Michele Wiener-Davis who is our keynote presenter. Dr. Krista Wells will provide a “Therapist Self-Care” presentation following our Luncheon. Afternoon Workshop offerings include: Dr. Tammy Nelson presenting: “Sex & Intimacy; Treating Couples with Desire Discrepancy and Sexual Dysfunction,” Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo presenting: “From Work to Play: Reinforcing the Partner Bond by Re-Framing Pleasure,” and Michele Weiner-Davis presenting: “Affairs: A Step by Step Approach for Healing from Infidelity.” Further details and registration is available on CTAMFT.org.

Please join us!

Student Networking Event

A FREE Student Networking Event follows the Annual Conference on Friday, April 20th, from 5-7 in Conference Room 7 at the Mystic Marriott. Please email Steven Fabius for further details.

Regional Collaboration

The Rhode Island Division is offering an exciting spring seminar entitled “Let’s Talk About Sex!” to be held on Friday, May 11, 2012, at the North Beach Clubhouse in Narragansett, RI. Details and registration is available at RIAMFT.com.

Free DSM-5 Seminar

On Wednesday, April 18, 2012 from 11:30-1:00, Silver Hill Hospital is offering a free 1.5 CEU Grand Rounds presentation of an in-depth look at the new DSM-5: a Critical Overview. Presented by Michael B. First, M.D., Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, this presentation will cover some of the major changes, implications and controversies surrounding the DSM’s revisions. At the end of the program, participants will be able to:

1. Identify the major proposed changes to the DSM-5
2. Review the nature and specifics of the DSM-5 controversies
3. Evaluate the need to balance risks vs. benefits in making changes to the diagnostic system

Space is limited. To register visit Silver Hill Hospital’s website or call (203) 801-3443.

Loving Relationships

by Katherine Allen, MA, LMFT

connectednessThe New York Times has run some very hopeful pieces lately concerning the importance of loving relationships in our lives. As we already know, marriages are on the decline, but I do not believe that is an indication of the importance of love, connection and interconnectedness in our lives, quite the contrary in fact.

First, there is the article titled, “The Brain on Love” by Diane Ackerman. In this piece she very hopefully summarizes that even in the face of terribly troubling childhoods that may even have been bereft of safe attachments, that the brain is capable of being “rewired” to a more positive outlook through the development of a loving intimate relationship. She references research, also pioneered by Sue Johnson, of a spouse’s touch having the ability to reduce negative stimulus reactions when there is a safe, loving bond between partners.

Secondly, in “Forging Social Connections for Longer Life”, columnist Jane E. Brody shares a poignant reflection of her own journey, 2 years post having lost her husband of 44 years, in which she concludes that,  social connectedness had a greater influence on survival than heart drugs. She reflects from John Robbins book, “Healthy at 100”, in study after study, people in loving relationships with spouses or friends were healthier than those lacking this intimacy, even when the latter had healthier living habits.

So no matter what your marital status, the importance and impact of healthy, loving relationships, bonds, attachments, or whatever one may wish to call them, is far greater than we may yet know.

“Who I’m Following”

Social Media

To help CTAMFT members become more comfortable with social media and networking, we are going to start a monthly piece called “Who I’m Following” where either Katherine Allen or another Board member will share a piece of their online social world to help dispel some of the fear for others.

This month, Katherine shares some of her insights about LinkedIn, the popular professional networking service.

LinkedIn is a web site which acts as a online resume cum professional networking center. On it, individuals can post professional histories and accomplishments in a personal profile (see, for example, Katherine’s profile), as well as post opportunities for those looking for work, or look for new opportunities themselves. An accurate and complete profile can be used to let both clients (potential and current), as well as colleagues, know your background and skills. Because LinkedIn is so popular–over 58 million members in the U.S., and about 150 million worldwide–it can be a cornerstone in the promotion of an individual therapy practice, and an essential tool in personal career building.

LinkedIn also has Groups: like-minded individuals who share tips, ideas, resources, etc., in an online forum. As a rule, LinkedIn Groups are aimed at professionals who want to share thoughts, experiences, and questions with their peers. A LinkedIn Group is generally more formal than its comparative “free-for-all” equivalent on Facebook or Twitter, which mental health practitioners can find more appropriate and appealing. Even as a LinkedIn personal profile is viewable by the public, LinkedIn Groups are peer-to-peer oriented.

Katherine belongs to several LinkedIn Groups, including United States Mental Health Professionals-Members Only GroupNAMI, Mediators and PeacemakersAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) ProfessionalsAddiction, Abuse, Trauma Recovery Strategies and of course, Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Groups have either open or closed membership–often, closed groups can be preferable because membership is vetted by the group’s moderators, and the discussions are similarly scrutinized. You can usually browse some groups’ current topics to see if it is suited to your interests. When a group’s moderators require prospective members obtain their approval, they are basically trying to keep out people intent on misusing membership to sell products or otherwise “spam” other group members.

Groups all have a daily or weekly summary option; you can choose how often you’d like to receive e-mail, if at all, related to member activity (messages, discussions, etc.) in a group. Typically members pose a question they may have, and then look to colleagues for supporting advice and views. In therapy-oriented groups, the discussions often concern tough cases, with members offering support to one another in the use of emerging models and approaches. Help in practice growth and organization is another popular topic.

Joining both LinkedIn and some of its wonderful groups is a safe and simple way for a therapist to get more involved in social networking. Active participation in a group is optional, and a group member can “window shop” to get a sense of  a particular group’s tenor before jumping in more actively.

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