When: Friday, November 9, 2018, 9am-5pm
Where: Smith College Conference Center, 51 College Lane, Northampton, MA
Co-Moderators: Jack LaForte, PhD, LMFT and Janine Roberts, EdD
Presenters: Carolyn Broudy, MD; Annette Cycon, LCSW; Charles Daniels, Jr., LICSW; Nancy Knudsen, LMFT; and Mirza Lugardo, LMHC
CE’s: 6 CE’s approved for LMFT’s, LICSW’s, LMHC’s, and Lic. Psychologists
Mental health professionals of levels of experience are welcome.

The family is the basic unit of our communities and the natural home base for each individual within it. When any member of the family is in trouble, the system becomes more fragile, and an outside intervention might be in order. How, what, and with whom is the most impactful intervention? How do we as clinicians best assess what is needed and then provide the most effective service? When is it best to treat the couple, intervene with a parent-child dyad, connect a family member to a support group, provide individual therapy, or offer family therapy?

Keeping in mind that families come in all different configurations from two-parents with a newborn to step-families with a mix of related and unrelated children to single-parent families, foster families, and more, this symposium will offer a rich exploration of how to approach this multitude of challenges.

The morning program consists of a panel of five speakers who will each address a hypothetical case study, drawing upon their own theoretical perspective  and particular approach to family intervention. Discussion among the panelists as well as questions from the audience will follow.

In the afternoon session, participants will select two 90 minute workshops that go into greater depth about the themes discussed in the morning.

Nancy Knudsen

Afternoon Workshops
Slot 1: 1:30-3

Slot 2: 3:15-4:45

  • Families in Crisis: When Childbirth, Relationship Distress, and Mental Illness Collide with Mirza Lugardo, LMHC
  • Strengthening the Couple Bond with Nancy Knudsen, LMFT
  • Promoting Growth at the Intersection of Personal and Social Context: GPS Group Peer Support with Annette Cycon, LCSW

Workshop Descriptions

Perinatal Mental Health: A Family Affair with Carolyn Broudy, MD

While evidence supports the efficacy of individual psychotherapy to treat postnatal mood disorders (PMDs), it also suggests that this approach may not be sufficient to prevent the associated negative developmental outcomes for the child. One reason may be that the family relationships need to be specifically addressed, as suggested by studies demonstrating that infant-parent(s) psychotherapy with depressed mothers can prevent these negative child outcomes. In this seminar we will explore a powerful new video-feedback parenting consultation method specifically developed to address this need.

Read More

Engaging Fathers with a Legacy of Trauma and Addiction
With Charles Daniels, Jr., LICSW

Often the most difficult to engage member of the family is a father on the periphery. These men frequently suffer from trauma histories that they have learned to cope with by using substances and other maladaptive behaviors. This workshop will focus on how to engage fathers who have distanced themselves from their children and help them make meaningful contact in order to stay connected and involved. Time will be spent on how to assess the effects of trauma and addiction, as well as therapeutic approaches best suited to effective treatment.

Read More

Strengthening the Couple Bond
With Nancy Knudsen, LMFT

Giving priority to a primary relationship can be quite a challenge when it is competing with the task of parenting. This workshop explores the multiple hats couples wear while raising a family and the importance of attending to the often neglected couple bond. Participants will learn approaches to helping couples stay connected to one another and bridge the great divide when feeling disconnected. The particular challenges of step-families, fostering, and adoption will be discussed.

Read More

Promoting Growth at the Intersection of Personal and Social Context:
GPS Group Peer Support
With Annette Cycon, MSW

Social isolation breeds and exacerbates emotional complications, such as anxiety, depression and relationship conflict. This is especially common in the postpartum period, when demands are high, and resources low. The GPS support group model, breaks down isolation, educates about, and normalizes the challenges of becoming a parent, illuminating and validating explicit and implicit cultural messaging that plays a massive role in parental identity formation. In this workshop, participants will experience a GPS group. We will begin to deconstruct the trauma-informed elements that provide relief, perspective and safety, and how to integrate life-course issues of race, class, age and culture in a diverse group setting.

Read More

Families in Crisis: When Childbirth, Relationship Distress, and Mental Illness Collide with Mirza Lugardo, LMHC

Couples and families who are touched by a range of mental illnesses can be thrown into serious crisis by a normal life event such as the birth of a child. This workshop will examine the prevalence of chronic mental illness across various ethnic groups, social classes, and age categories in our communities. A variety of treatment interventions will be highlighted with an emphasis on creative solutions for working with couples and families in crisis who are at risk for serious conflicts, separation/divorce, and other traumatic experiences that impede their family structure and interfere in healthy meaningful relationships.

Read More