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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!

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.

Letter from the President – Happy Spring

Denise Parent, LMFT

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

I hope by the time this news gets to you we will have daffodils and tulips, as well as longer warmer and sunnier days!

Ethics Committee

CTAMFT has been working hard since we last talked. The Ethics Committee met for the first time in January, as a newly formed committee following our Fall Conference about Ethics. The committee set a goal to research and implement practical ways to connect and support supervisors, as well as clinical members with state level ethical practice information and legal consultation. Meetings will continue, and you will start to see information coming out of this committee within the coming months. If you are interested in joining this committee, you are encouraged to contact us at ethics@ctamft.org.

2014 CTAMFT Annual Conference

I’m looking forward to seeing you on April 24 and 25 at our 2014 Conference about neuroscience—to celebrate the evidence that our brains are shaped by relationships – not drugs! As a reminder, you can earn up to 11.5 CEUs if you attend the entirety of this year’s conference.

I encourage you to learn a little about our keynotes this year, as we are thrilled with the level of professionals we’ve recruited for this year’s conference. Dr. Kelly McGonigal, who will be speaking on Thursday recently spoke at TEDGlobal in Scotland. See this talk and get a taste of what’s to come at our conference.

On Friday, Dr. Lou Cozolino will present a keynote and run a workshop. Read here to learn a little more about Dr. Cozolino.

We have also carefully selected Connecticut-based speakers, who will cover topics from Neurofeedback to Mindfulness to EMDR and self care. In addition, we have a large poster session (12 posters!) planned with high-quality participation representing student research from all five of the State’s MFT programs. We’ve built in several opportunities to network, including a Thursday evening networking event, as well as a special event to connect students with potential employers, called “The Professional Showcase.” Time has been built in to Friday so you can meet and catch up with your peers, get a book signed by Dr. Cozolino and more.

Legislation & Advocacy

On the legislative and advocacy front, we continue to navigate the process of obtaining the LMFTA (Associate), a license for new graduates working under supervision. This year is a short legislative session, and we hope to press ahead even though our scope of practice request was not chosen for committee review by the Department of Public Health (in spite of a letter of support from NASW’s Connecticut Chapter).

We have also supported the Community Mental Health Centers Association regarding the ability for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to bill for services delivered by supervised students, as this could affect some of our student internship sites and post grad options.

Thank you to any of you who took the time to review and think about the new COAMFTE accreditation standards and post comments, or to those of you who asked the public health co-chairs to consider the LMFTA license. We depend greatly on the volunteer support of our members in any initiatives at the state level.

We have been conscious of the need to build relationships with other mental health system partners and understand the need to raise the profile of how MFT fits into the bigger interdisciplinary picture. I would like to talk with you about positive relationships you may have with specific legislators and members of the State Department of Education, School Social Workers, School Counselors, School Psychologists, DCF, DMHAS or DSS. Furthermore, I plan to invite a network of colleagues from these organizations to talk about how MFTs can partner and enhance the broad picture of the mental health delivery system in CT through collaboration.

And finally

In honor of Spring and you, from “What to Remember When Waking” by David Whyte:

“…What urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape awaits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
Against a future sky?”

 

It’s Almost Here!

Trumbull Marriott

Trumbull Marriott

The 2014 CTAMFT Annual Conference: The New Brain Science of Connection

As MFTs, we are taught to consider all aspects of our clients’ lives. Most of our time and abilities are spent looking at the big/macro picture to work with our clients. How much do we know on the micro level of our clients’ internal experience in terms of brain processes?

Over the past decade, with the improvement of technology and understanding of what that technology tells us, information has become accessible. The more we can become familiar with these discoveries, the better this information can be used and applied.

This year’s conference “The New Brain Science of Connection” was designed to bring technical research data and implementation specifically to our field of practice. We are presenting six speakers who will offer this information in a compelling and engaging manner, in which you can use in your own practice. We’ve designed a conference that presents you with a range of opportunity to learn more about this exciting field and how we can use this knowledge as clinicians to treat our clients.

Image_Kelly McGonigalThe Thursday April 24 afternoon keynote speaker is Dr. Kelly McGonigal, who has been named as one of Forbes.com’s “20 Inspiring Women.” Dr. McGonigal is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, and a leading expert in the new field of “science-help.” She is passionate about translating cutting-edge research from psychology, neuroscience, and medicine into practical strategies for health, happiness and personal success. Last June, Dr. McGonigal gave her “stress confession” at TEDGlobal in Edinburg, Scotland. At our conference, Dr. McGonigal will feature the latest scientific thinking on compassion, including the psychology, biology and neuroscience of empathy, compassion and altruism.

cozolino_lou2On Friday April 25, we are thrilled to share that Dr. Lou Cozolino, Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University, will be giving a keynote presentation in the morning titled, “Psychotherapy and Science,” as well as an afternoon workshop featuring “The Social Brain.” Recently Dr. Cozolino authored The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain. He will be bringing his expertise in this topic to this year’s conference attendees. Read a review about his latest published work. You will be able to purchase his books at this year’s conference, as well as attend a book signing on Friday.

Furthermore, we have lined up four clinicians in Connecticut who bring a unique perspective to this year’s conference, including Jeff Schutz, LMFT, who will introduce attendees to Neurofeedback (NFB), including a live demonstration. Karl Speirs, LMFT, will highlight the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) Model, on which EMDR therapy is based. Dr. Ingeborg Haug will explore the concept and aspects of mindfulness, aspects of its Buddhist roots and secular variations. Jayne Dean’s workshop guides attendees through a unique mind-body exercise with “Shake Your Soul: The Yoga of Dance.”

To learn more about each of the keynote presentations and workshops available at this year’s conference, please visit our Website.

You can register for Thursday only, Friday only or the entire conference online, or download a copy of the registration to mail in.

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Eterginio at manager@ctamft.org.

We can’t wait to see you there next month!

2014 Annual Conference Update

We are pleased to announce CTAMFT’s 2014 Annual Conference is scheduled for April 24-25, 2014 at the Trumbull, Connecticut Marriott.

Image_Kelly McGonigalWe have a really exciting and relevant theme this year titled, “The New Brain Science of Connection,” and have lined up two renowned keynote speakers.

On Thursday, April 24, Stanford University’s Dr. Kelly McGonigal will be featuring “The Neuroscience of Compassion.”

On Friday, April 25, Dr. Louis Cozolino of Pepperdine University will highlight “The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy,” as well as present an afternoon workshop.

cozolino_lou2

Furthermore, we have an exciting lineup of workshops designed to create an all-around growth experience for practitioners, comprised of Connecticut-based experts and educators, including:

  • Dr. Ingeborg Haug of Fairfield University – “Mindfulness in Therapy and Self Care”
  • Jeff Schutz, MA, MFT, BCA of Western CT Center for Neurofeedback and Counseling – “New Horizons in Mental Health Treatment”
  • Karl Speirs, LMFT and EMDR Specialist – “Integrating EMDR into Family Therapy”
  • Jayne Dean, LMFT – “Shake Your Soul Yoga”

2014 CTAMFT Conference save the date Flyer

Save the Date! 2014 CTAMFT Annual Conference

Trumbull Marriott

Trumbull Marriott

Mark your calendars for the 2014 CTAMFT Annual Conference titled The New Brain Science of Connection.

The upcoming conference is scheduled for April 24-25, 2014 at the Trumbull Marriott. lcozolinWe are thrilled to welcome our keynote speaker Dr. Louis John Cozolino of Pepperdine University.

More information to follow soon!