• Welcome to the CTAMFT Blog!

    A dynamic community for members of the Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and their constituents.
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 43 other followers

Elections Committee Update: New Executive Team and Directors Announced

Early this spring, we ran our annual elections.  We had a great deal of members running for open positions.  And while everyone was highly qualified, our membership has voted and made their selections.  Please join us in welcoming your newest Executive Team Members and Directors.  Their term begins in July.  If you would like to learn more about the new additions to our leadership team please link here.

Heather Ehinger

Heather Ehinger

Maryann LaBella

Maryann LaBella

Nicole O'Brien

Nicole O’Brien

Wendy Haggerty

Wendy Haggerty

Eve Hornstein

Eve Hornstein

 

 

 

 

Michelle Triompo

Michelle Triompo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Heather Ehinger was elected to serve as our incoming President-Elect. Heather will serve one year as President-Elect and move into the President position in July 2015.
  • Maryann LaBella has been elected to serve as our new Legislative Liaison.  In addition, Roxanne Pomeroy has graciously agreed to Chair the Legislative Committee for Maryann.
  • Nicole O’Brien has been elected to serve as a Director.
  • Wendy Haggerty has been elected to serve as a Director.
  • Eve Hornstein has been elected to serve as our Pre-Clinical Representative.
  • Michelle Triompo has been elected to serve as CTAMFT’s Student Representative.

For more information, please contact Paula Levy at elections@ctamft.org.

 

Conference News

Kelly McGonigalThank you to all who attended this year’s Annual Spring Conference: “The New Brain Science of Connection.”  We are thrilled to have shared this experience with over 300 practitioners.  Across the board, feedback to all of the keynotes and presentations was outstanding!  We do take all input into consideration when planning for future conferences; so thank you to those of you who gave us your input.

Business Update

In addition to what’s covered in relation to the conference theme, CTAMFT also takes the opportunity, while we have so many members in attendance, to bring members up to speed on the state of CTAMFT.  If you missed the conference, please link here for a copy of the 2013 Business Report (which includes financials).

2014 Poster Session ImagePoster Session Awards

This year CTAMFT’s Poster Committee received a record-breaking number of poster submissions.  We are also pleased to share we received submissions from all five MFT programs throughout the State.  There were 12 posters on display at this year’s conference, which were voted on by CTAMFT’s Board of Directors.  Congratulations to the following Poster Award Recipients, who each received $100.

 

Allison Collins:  Therapist Attachment and the Therapy Relationship (Collins, A. M. & Parker, M. L.)

The existing research supports the role of clients’ attachment style as an influence on the therapeutic relationship, which affects clinical outcomes. However, therapists’ attachment style has been relatively unexplored in the development of the therapeutic relationship. The goal of this study was to explore attachment style differences in the development of the therapy relationship. Findings have implication for clinical education and supervision.

Selena Gürman:  Partner/Parental Acceptance and Psychological Adjustment of Asian Adults (Gürmen, M.S., Ki, P., Rigazio-DiGilio, S. A., & Rohner, R. P.)

Parental acceptance-rejection theory predicts psychological adjustment tends to be affected by perceived partner acceptance and remembered parental acceptance. This study explored three questions with Asian adults in US: (1) Is partner acceptance correlated with psychological adjustment associated with parental acceptance? (2) Do remembrances of parental acceptance predict the association between partner acceptance and psychological adjustment? (3) Are there gender differences in these relationships? This study provides information to clinicians about Asian adult clients who deal with parental and partner acceptance and rejection.

Hyeseong Kang:  Clinical Use of the Story Stem Method in Marriage and Family Therapy: Theory, Research and Practice (Kang, H., Yoo, Y., & Robinson, J.)

Young children are known to have a limited capacity in describing their inner experience. The MacArthur Story Stem Battery (MSSB) is a standardized doll-play story-completion technique that can explore young children’s internal representations of family relationships. We provide the overview of theories and research of the method.Further, we discuss potential clinical usefulness of MSSB in marriage and family therapy, along with comparing story responses of a typical child with those of a child whose family is presented with specific problems.

Service Awards

Dorothy TimmermannService to the Organization: Dorothy Timmermann is this year’s recipient of CTAMFT’s “Service to the Organization” Award.  Dorothy has been a Clinical Member of AAMFT since 1992.  She has been an Executive team Officer on the CTAMFT Board since 2008, when she began as Secretary through her Presidency, from 2010-2013.

Dorothy applied the same grace to taking minutes as she did to running the annual conference.  During her tenure, she reorganized staffing structure, gently moved the CTAMFT Board to create and hold to a strategic plan, and she welcomed speakers and members to the organization in such a warm and characteristic way that any leader with the luck to learn from her could not help but be influenced for the better.  Link here to read more about this recognition.

Jeri HepworthRobert RyderService to Families Award:  This year, in honor of our conference theme of innovation, we are marking the way that love and relationship tends to break new ground.  The CTAMFT Board is delighted to present the Service to Families award to a couple who has terrifically impacted the fields of family studies, family therapy and family medicine. They have both blazed individual trails, while expanding their influence exponentially as a partnership.  Dr. Robert Ryder and Dr. Jeri Hepworth are this year’s honorees.  Link here to read more about this recognition.

2015 Conference

Save the date!  CTAMFT’s Annual Spring Conference is scheduled for Thursday, April 30-Friday, May 1, 2015.  Based on attendee’s recent feedback, we are planning some exciting changes for the 2015 conference.  Stay tuned for more information!

Professional Development Update: Spring Book Reviews

In the spirit of our recent conference, for our Spring book review, we invited members to review books written by our conference keynote presenters, Dr. Kelly McGonigal and Dr. Lou Cozolino.

Kelly McGonigalLou CozolinoThank you to Elaine Bentley Baughn, MS, LMFT, who reviewed “The Neuroscience of Change: A Compassion-Based Program for Personal Transformation” (Sounds True Audio, 2012) by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. and to Joan Calvert, Ed.D., LMFT, who reviewed “The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment And the Developing Social Brain” (2nd Edition) by Louis Cozolino, PhD.

 Link here to read the Spring Book Reviews:  http://www.ctamft.org/ohana/website/?p=63905640.

Letter from the President: Thank You To Outgoing Executive Team Members and Directors!

by Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT (president@ctamft.org)

Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT

Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT

I would like to recognize that this month, we are bidding a fond farewell to the Executive Team and Directors who have completed their terms.  On behalf of CTAMFT, I would like to thank the following for their dedication and service to our organization.

  • Susan Boritz – Director and Legislative Liaison, gave much time and energy to professional advocacy, coordinating the committee, traveling to Hartford when needed, working toward obtaining the LMFTA and implementing MFT in the schools, writing emails to legislators and mentoring people with insurance questions.
  • Katherine Allen – Director and Marketing Committee Chair, who has been our own personal go-to IT and marketing specialist.  She has helped us greatly with our electronic newsletter and social media efforts, creating cohesive outreach strategies and supporting our Association Manager with electronic communication.  We are pleased to share that Katherine has agreed to continue to Chair the Marketing Committee!
  • Mika Vinci – Our Student Consultant, who is a ball of energy and enthusiasm!  Mika has developed the student networking meeting with Student Rep Jessica Floyd, and added the idea of coordinating with mentoring professionals and supervisors. Mika and Jessica have designated and met with representatives from each of the five MFT programs and have represented student interests and concerns actively on the Board.
  • Jessica Floyd – Our Student Representative will complete her term this year, but we hope will carry on the tradition of moving into the role of Student Consultant.

Thank you!

Letter from the President: AAMFT Restructuring Update

by Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT (president@ctamft.org)

Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT

Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT

At our recent conference, we received several questions about AAMFT’s Division restructuring process.  Most recently, you received a survey from AAMFT about this subject. The CTAMFT Board is receiving information at the same time as you are, so we are processing this as well. Our understanding is that this restructuring would change the state “division” structure, possibly replacing it with “chapters,” “specialty” groups, or regionalizing etc.

The short version, after the Board’s thorough review of the AAMFT documents and discussion, is that AAMFT’s goal is to find the correct organizational structure for AAMFT to a.) Participate effectively in the greater mental health delivery system (i.e., remain “relevant”), and b.) Offer high-quality member benefits in a “transnational environment.”

aamft

 

 

Issues AAMFT raised are as follows:

  • Inconsistent member benefits across states based on the size of membership and local volunteer interest, create divisions that “have” and “have not.”
  • The possible retirement of many of the current Clinical Fellow population means potential for substantial loss of dues revenue in the next 10 years.
  • The new smaller cohort of “millennial” Clinical Fellows coming up are anticipated as being more diverse, nationally and globally mobile and tech savvy, with different needs –  possibly finding state division and council of division presidents structure bureaucratic.
  • The cost of AAMFT dues are approximately twice that of sister organizations.
  • Many states experience inconsistent interest and performance in division management issues like finance, conference event planning and legislative advocacy.

Connecticut has always had a reputation as a legislatively active, innovative and fiscally responsible division that can pull off a great conference. We strongly support student “millennials” through their travels to licensure and highly value our established clinical members of all ages. We believe that AAMFT has to have a strong national presence for important federal initiatives like Medicare, and items that cross over state lines, like interstate license portability. We also feel that there is an equally strong need to build local relationships for legislative and professional advocacy, as well as support members in strong networking/educational opportunities, new professionals mentoring, state-specific communications and “in person” contact.

AAMFT will convene a meeting with an Association Consultant and a task force with a mix of invited division leaders from larger and smaller divisions in August. I was told at the Division Leaders meeting in March that any decisions regarding this would depend on task force discussion and will take at least three years to implement. Victor Olsen, a Connecticut-based LMFT and a member of the AAMFT Board, has been invited to participate in the task force, while Nancy Knudsen, President of the Massachusetts Division, will represent the New England states and voice the needs of smaller divisions.

As a Board, we hope that we have struck a good balance in Connecticut and hope that there will be strong national and local presence in whatever new structure is chosen.  In spite of the lengthy material we have received from AAMFT, it is hard to speculate how this will roll out in Connecticut.  It seems that there is an inclination toward financial management and strategic planning taking place at the national, rather than local level, but we can’t be sure.

We will stay alert to the process and be vocal about promoting the field of MFT, which we see as the Association’s chief responsibility, both nationally and locally.  If you have further questions or comments, please feel free to email.  Our Board is preparing comments to submit to the task force at their August meeting and would be happy to hear your thoughts.

I look forward to hearing from any of you with questions or comments.  I can be reached at president@ctamft.org.

Letter from the President: 2014 Conference Review

Denise Parent, LMFT, President CTAMFT

Denise Parent, LMFT, President CTAMFT

by Denise Parent, LMFT, President of CTAMFT (president@ctamft.org)

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2014 CTAMFT Annual Spring Conference at the Trumbull Marriott April 24 and 25.  For those of you who couldn’t attend, we missed you!

This year’s conference was incredibly smooth, thanks to our wonderful new Association Manager, Shannon Eterginio, and her partners in crime – former Association Manager and incoming Board member, Wendy Haggerty and Professional Development Chair and Executive Team member, Ro Coratola.  They were joined by our Professional Development Committee volunteers who make all the hard work look easy.  Thanks again to this team and our friends at the Trumbull Marriott who made both days a pleasure.

On Thursday, keynote speaker Dr. Kelly McGonigal, led an experiential presentation about the neuroscience of compassion, with outlined far-reaching possibilities for helping clinicians, couples, families and caregivers to use mindful attention to enhance and sustain “compassion.”

She was able to define a distinction between compassion and empathy, explaining how compassion, characterized by caring, “approach-based” attention promotes co-regulation of emotion and stimulates mutual refreshment, while “empathic distress” can activate fight/flight responses for both the person who is cared for and the caregiver.

Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal

A pioneer in the new field of “science help,” Dr. McGonigal uses research and science to motivate and support positive health and connection throughout the lifespan.  Dr. McGonigal practices what she preaches, and created a few moments of “mindful” communication among conference attendees.

She has generously made her presentation slides, as well as some of her audio meditations and exercises available at http://kellymcgonigal.com/ctamft/.

On Friday, we spent a few moments on business.  Please note the CTAMFT 2013 Business Report, the CTAMFT Advocacy & Legislative Report and write-ups on our Service Award recipients.   Dorothy Timmermann received CTAMFT’s Service to the Organization Award, while Robert Ryder and Past-President Jeri Hepworth were chosen for the Service to Families Award.

Congratulations to student poster winners, Allison Collins, Selena Gürman and Hyeseong Kang (link here to read more about these poster session award recipients).

Lou Cozolino

Lou Cozolino

Dr. Lou Cozolino delivered engaging, funny and story-filled presentations about “Why Therapy Works” and “The Social Brain.” He explained that during trauma, the language center of the brain shuts down, and therapy – or the “talking cure” – serves to activate its function again.  This allows for integration of experience and opening opportunities for adaptation or re-learning with replacement experiences and narratives.

Dr. Cozolino shared in his opinion, that brain research supports Bowen theory, that moderating anxiety with a balance of connection and co-regulation increases brain plasticity and adaptability.

In Dr. Cozolino’s “Social Brain” presentation, he talked about the concept of “sociostasis” – the regulation of one person’s emotions by another and discussed the evolutionary importance of “group mind” or collective/tribal stories, serving as external neurocircuits for internal regulation.

He discussed the cultural process of transmitting knowledge from one generation to another and noting how the aging brain is “wired” to tell stories again and again, and the developing child’s brain is “wired” to hear stories again and again.

He spoke about the unconscious and behavioral “downloading” of experience from generation to generation and across communities, which supports multigenerational and contextual thinking in marriage and family therapy.

Dr. Cozolino’s newest book, “The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment and Learning in the Classroom,” explores techniques to create rich learning environments that are grounded in brain research.

Jeff Schutz

Jeff Schutz

Our local guest presenters, Ingeborg Haug, Jayne Deane, Jeff Schutz and Karl Speirs rounded out our program demonstrating the use of mindfulness, mind-body/yoga, neurofeedback and EMDR in innovative, family-focused and generous presentations.  Thank you Ingeborg, Jayne, Jeff and Karl for your thoughtfulness and willingness to share your discoveries.

Brain Master, our conference Presenting Sponsor, was available to demonstrate their cutting-edge equipment, which provides similar data to MRIs.  They explained that this equipment can be used in conjunction with neurofeedback training, providing symptom relief for a variety of issues, including ADHD, anxiety and depressive symptoms.  Thank you Brain Master, for supporting our conference.

Murtha Cullina, our lobbying firm, generously sponsored a portion of our conference this year, and has supported us with a host of legislative and advocacy efforts, including making important introductions to legislative committee chairs, supporting our efforts with Department of Public Health and monitoring some of the obstacles to the implementation of MFT in the schools legislation.

It was great to visit, share stories and be a part of the community of MFTs in Connecticut.

To Panel or Not to Panel

Health Insurance

Health Insurance

On Saturday March 2, Katherine Allen, current CTAMFT Board Member, was one of many graduates asked to participate on a panel for Ingeborg Haug’s Ethics class of current MFT students at Fairfield University regarding “Life After Graduation”. One of the topics that was discussed was the choice and process regarding accepting insurance and getting on insurance panels.

Luckily, for Fall/Winter 2011, Katherine had written an article for Connecticut Connection, the CTAMFT Newsletter, titled To Panel or Not to Panel. It is being re-posted here for the students and for anyone who wishes to look into accepting insurance in your private practices.

As always, Katherine is available to field questions at marketing@ctamft.org.