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Letter from the President – Happy New Year!

Denise Parent, LMFT

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

As we enter the New Year, I have been thinking about the communities our collective MFT “family” is embedded in. Last month, I attended fellow member, Nelba Marquez-Greene’s, “Love Wins” conference and admired the Sandy Hook families’ many initiatives to “Choose Love” and carry on the lives of those lost by developing strategies to strengthen communities everywhere.

The Ana Grace Project

The Ana Grace Project

At the Love Wins Conference, Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Bruce Perry talked about the importance of relational connection to survival, saying that optimal human conditions include having about 40 people in our extended relationship circle. He commented that many of our modern day problems have grown out of setting up social structures that create isolation and ignore the fact that humans are not naturally sedentary beings.

This led to me wonder how we as MFTs can more actively connect our “systems” with non-therapy initiatives, as well as join our colleagues in social work, counseling and psychology, to create a stronger community with a coordinated vision to support families? This lofty idea immediately drove me to check Facebook and watch a few minutes of HGTV, because it seemed to imply an enormous amount of work!

MFTs have always believed, at least in theory, that we are already, and always will be, interdependent beings. Possibly the work of connection is merely to remember that we are already connected, and as a social constructionist might say, act “as if?”

This would involve remembering to invite others to our MFT “party,” as well as to attend other, different gatherings to absorb the value they might add to our ideas. It could involve building relationships by committing to providing strong collaborative case management. In keeping with this, we have planned to explore neuroscience as a foundation and extension of our relational perspective at our April conference.

CTAMFT’s Board of Directors has spent a great deal of time reviewing the impact of the MHPAEA final regulations and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (see Susan Boritz’s article). We have also been discussing what a public relations campaign for MFT in CT might look like, as well as explore what Connecticut organizations and people influence mental health care delivery systems. This year, we hope to move into using these experiences (off the couch now!) in a thoughtful and productive way. You are welcome to join our efforts in whatever way you find meaningful!

Thank you for the many ways you make CTAMFT a vibrant association – by supporting us through your membership, encouraging others to join our membership, participating in CTAMFT initiatives or committees, attending our fall workshop, our spring conference or by shooting us an email when you have a thought or question! As we enter 2014, I wish us all at least 40 connections with friends, family and warm community.

Wishing you health and happiness in the New Year!

Elections Committee Update: Call for Nominations!

elections

elections

Paula Levy, MA, LMFT

CTAMFT Elections Committee Chair (elections@ctamft.org)

CTAMFT’s Elections Committee is seeking Nominees for the following Board of Directors positions opening in September 2014.

  • President-Elect (1-year term)
  • Director/Legislative Liaison (3-year term)
  • Director (3-year term)
  • Director/Pre-Clinical Representative (3-year term)
  • Student Representative (1-year term)

A detailed description of the responsibilities of each position is available here.

If you are interested in serving, or if you know someone who would be a great candidate, please:

  1. Notify the Elections Committee (elections@ctamft.org) by Friday, January 31, 2014.
  2. Complete and submit the 2014 Nomination Form by Saturday, February 15, 2014. The form can be downloaded here.

Election results will be announced at CTAMFT’s Annual Conference on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Please feel free to contact us at elections@ctamft.org, or contact Paula Levy, Chair of the Elections Committee at 203.803.9387 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Professional Development Fall Conference Recap

by Rosemarie Coratola, Psy.D., LMFT
CTAMFT Secretary & Professional Development Committee Chair (profdev@ctamft.org

“Wonderful and much-needed presentation.”
“Very informative and current.”
These are some of the comments from participants who attended CTAMFT’s Fall Specialty Conference last month.

The conference included two half-day workshops and was filled with lively and thought-provoking discussion. Ethics and Marriage and Family Therapy was presented by Sebastian Perumbilly, Ph.D., LMFT in the morning session. The afternoon workshop presenter, psychologist Danielle Moreggi, Ph.D., discussed the DSM-5 and changes made to the previous version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), DSM-IV-TR.

2013 Professional Development - EthicsEthics
Ethical guidelines for Marriage and Family Therapists are listed in the form of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) “Code of Ethics,” and are guidelines. However, they do not identify exact methods to carry out each of the guidelines. Ethical principals are developed through thoughtful consideration about the needs of the client(s) and not those of the therapist. Dr. Perumbilly led the workshop participants in lively discussion about case vignettes and ethical dilemmas, which led many in attendance to rethink their current practice procedures.

Specific legal and ethical issues in MFT were reviewed including 1) identifying the client or patient, 2) clinical documentation, 3) confidentiality, 4) communicating with other systems, 5) working with minors, 6) reporting of child abuse and neglect, 7) intimate partner violence, 8) use of technology and 9) therapist values.

The group also discussed managing possible risks and dealing with complaints. Record keeping was cited as an important component in this. The group was encouraged to review the AAMFT Code of Ethics that can be found at AAMFT Code of Ethics . This important topic sparked much discussion and led to many more questions, along with requests for additional information from legal and state administrative authorities.

Fall Specialty Conf_3DSM-5 Overview
Dr. Moreggi reviewed changes to the DSM that will take effect beginning October 2014 with use of the DSM-5. This revised manual is structured into three sections. The first describes how to use the manual. The second is a listing and description of all of the disorders. And the third section identifies assessment measures and conditions for further study. The chapter order better reflects the lifespan, in comparison to the DSM-IV-TR version, and age-related factors were added to the criteria when appropriate.

Some of the highlighted changes include the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) of the DSM-III, DSM-IV and IV-TR was eliminated and replaced with a Severity Specifier (e.g., No Impairment, Mild Impairment, Moderate Impairment and Severe Impairment). The Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) specifier was replaced by two options – Other Specified Disorder (OSD) and Unspecified Disorder (USD). The first allows the clinician to indicate the specific reason that the presentation does not meet full criteria, and the second is used when the symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment but do not meet the full criteria, or number of symptoms, for the diagnostic class.

Mental Retardation was changed to Intellectual Disability, and is expected to change further to Intellectual Developmental Disorder in the next DSM iteration. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) now includes Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.

A new category of Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders includes PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder and Adjustment Disorder. Many other changes were noted during this afternoon session.

Additional DSM-5 resources can be found at www.psych.org, www.DSM5.org, http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org and www.psychiatry.org/dsm5.

CTAMFT wishes to thank the presenters for their engaging discussions throughout the day, the Courtyard Marriott Shelton and the CTAMFT Professional Development Committee; Normajean Cefarelli, Kristen Cocchia, Erin Cushing, Jessica Floyd, Beth Golden, Roxanne Pomeroy and Alycia Toohey. Of course, this conference could not have flowed smoothly without the hard work of the CTAMFT staff – Wendy Haggerty and Shannon Eterginio, thank you both!

For additional information, or if you are interested in joining the CTAMFT Ethics or Professional Development Committees, contact – ethics@ctamft.org or profdev@ctamft.org. We would love to hear from you.

Ethics Committee Update

by Normajean Cefarelli, LMFT
Chair, Ethics Committee (ethics@ctamft.org

scaleCTAMFT’s Ethics Committee is a resource on ethical practice of MFT in Connecticut. The Ethics Committee is responsible for providing updated information to our members about the application of the AAMFT ethics code. We also assist with ethical best practice questions and CT law resources/information relevant to our practice as MFTs.

2014 Ethics Committee Charge
The Ethics Committee has a focused charge for the New Year, including researching and disseminating information about the ethics code updates. The 2014 focus includes providing resources for educating yourself/supervisees to:

  • Manage confidentiality with multiple family members.
  • Legalities related to special populations like children/adolescents, persons with disabilities, HIV+ and drug addiction.
  • Technology and therapy, best practices and confidentiality.

If you have resources to share, or a desire to participate on the ethics committee, please contact Normajean Cefarelli via email.