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Summer Seminar Series

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Weekend A:


Thursday, June 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

14-111a: Out of Control Kids: Intervening With Temper Tantrums, Meltdowns & Rage Attacks

Garry L. Earles, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W

Extreme displays of emotion are frightening enough for those caught up in such impulsive episodes, let alone for those in close proximity subjected to them. While it is one thing to try to control the disruptive behavior of children and adolescents, it is quite another to contend with severe emotional episodes that “come out of nowhere.” Questions such as "What the heck is your problem? and What was that all about? abound. Reactions like "Go to your room and calm down" or "You better start behaving" indicate the frustrations in trying to "manage" these situations. Unexpected, unpredictable, illogical and unreasonable outbursts leave us dazed, confused, frightened and wondering not only about what's going on but about what to do.

As an "insider," your presenter has had to contend with these sorts of episodes since early childhood. In sharing his experiences, participants acquire empathy. Through the use of metaphor, analogy and allegory, insight is gained into what really goes on “behind the scenes” regarding emotional and behavioral dysregulation. Accordingly, participants will be exposed to new paradigms regarding impulsive actions and their ramifications. Sometimes funny, sometimes irreverent, Garry’s sense of humor will provide you the much needed comic relief while discussing this most serious topic.

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Faculty: Garry L. Earles, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W. is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Black Belt Martial Artist and 19th C. American Historian, Garry earned his M.S.W. from the University of Connecticut SSW and his M.A. in History from Fitchburg State University. Challenged by his own co-morbid neuro-biological conditions, he specializes in child and adolescent mental health. As a seasoned and highly-rated national trainer, speaker and consultant, he brings a unique "inside-out" perspective and delightful sense of humor to his seminars.


14-112a: Translating theory into practice: Thinking and working within a contemporary psychoanalytic paradigm

Yvette Esprey, M.A.

The objective of this course is to introduce the practitioner to contemporary psychoanalytic practice, building on basic psychoanalytic premises and assumptions and introducing the therapeutic concepts which form the core of psychoanalytic practice.

Issues covered will include the therapeutic setting, boundaries, assessment for psychotherapy, case formulation, understanding the transference and countertransference, making interpretations, beginnings and endings, and ethical considerations. The course will locate psychoanalytic thinking within a contemporary context, considering short-term models of working, and looking too at the relevance of a relational psychoanalytic paradigm.

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Faculty: Yvette Esprey, M.A. is a Clinical Psychologist, working in private practice in Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously Head of Wellness at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, and Head of Psychology at a government psychiatric hospital, she currently teaches part time for various tertiary institutions in the areas of race, personality pathology and psychoanalytic practice. She has previously been on the adjunct faculty at Smith College School for Social Work where she has taught in trauma theory and biopsychosocial functioning.


14-113a: The Behavior Analytic Perspective on Challenging Child Behaviors: Practical Guidelines for Common Behavior Supports and Teaching Replacement Skills

Kelley St. Clair, M.A., B.C.B.A.

In this course we will review the potential risks and benefits of various “in the moment” clinician responses and ongoing behavior support strategies commonly used with children who exhibit challenging behaviors (outbursts, aggression, non-compliance, etc.).  From visual cues and incentive charts to redirection, planned ignoring, and more, we will discuss when, why and how any strategy may be successful or fail, and even exacerbate a behavior problem. We will cover simple steps to objectively evaluate your selection of supports and your outcomes. We will highlight behavior analytic research of children with “special needs” and those considered “typically developing” in order to draw out stories of successful child behavior change in real life clinic, home and school settings.  Emphasis will be placed on teaching replacement skills (e.g. social skills, communication skills, play skills, etc.) to help the child meet the needs and wants they are accessing via the problem behavior. Clinicians are encouraged to bring their own case “disguised” examples for discussion.

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Faculty: Kelley St., M.A., B.C.B.A. Clair is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who specializes in work with young children with significant behavior disorders, especially those with developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders. She earned her BA from Smith College and her MA in Applied Behavior Analysis at Westfield State University, where she was also an instructor teaching a graduate course in Autism and Developmental Disabilities for Behavior Analysts. Kelley is a certified Special Education Parent Consultant / Advocate through the Federation for Children with Special Needs and has worked with children with challenging behaviors (with and without developmental disabilities) in a variety of settings including Early Intervention, public elementary schools, and a residential school for adolescents with behavior disorders. She now works as a behavior therapist and consultant for The Child Guidance Clinic (BHN, Inc.) in Springfield, MA, where she provides Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation to local preschools and day cares and In Home Behavioral consultation to parents through the Massachusetts Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative.



Friday, June 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

14-121a: Understanding ADHD/ADD and Executive Functioning in Children and Adolescents

Sharon Saline, Psy.D.

Many clinicians today possess limited information and training in working with children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. They often do not understand the complexity of biology, behaviors and family environments which exacerbate the symptoms and complicate treatment. Clinicians seem to struggle to create effective interventions to help these young people and their families manage life with ADHD/ADD.

This course will provide its participants with the tools to work with these clients more successfully. It will review the literature about ADHD/ADD and provide a historical context in which to consider this disorder. It will delineate the neurological factors that characterize ADHD/ADD, discuss the types of medication and the political and biological issues involved in using them as well as introduce and clarify the executive functions of the brain and how they are affected by this disorder. In addition, treatment implications and modalities for working with this population will be evaluated and taught. Participants will also learn about how to address the common comorbid conditions of anxiety, depression and learning disorders which further complicate treatment. Methods of teaching include didactic seminar, case examples, and small and large group discussions.

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Faculty: Sharon Saline, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Northampton, MA. Dr. Saline has extensive experience consulting with the City of Northampton School District, the Montessori School of Northampton and the Williston-Northampton Middle School on mental health issues in the classroom as well as understanding psychological evaluations and improving teacher/parent communication. Her areas of expertise include diagnosis, treatment and intervention for children, adolescents and their families with ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities and various mental health issues. She has conducted numerous trainings around the Pioneer Valley for teachers, psychologists, adjustment counselors, ESP’s, parents and students on ADHD/ADD and Executive Functioning, Collaborative Problem Solving, Bullying Prevention, Promoting Success among Middle and High School Students, Effective Couples’ Therapy, Children’s Social Relationships and How Trauma Impacts Child Development.


14-122a: A Bilingual's Healing Journey: In Search of the Language of the Heart

Maria Elena Oliva, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

The goal of this presentation is to highlight the crucial role that language plays in the life of the bilingual client and the impact on the therapeutic process, specifically when therapy takes place in the client’s second language. I argue that the emotional life of the bilingual individual lives in their mother tongue and why linguistic competence in the clinical provider is important. The bilingual client is often at a disadvantage when the intimacy of their culture and ability to express their affective experience cannot be accessed in their second language. Case vignettes will be used to illustrate the important role of language in treatment, how language switching serves a defensive function and how the mother tongue holds affective ties that embrace the bilingual individual. Language is in the spotlight in therapeutic work we do.

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Faculty: Maria Elena Oliva, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. is a clinical supervisor in Bridgeport, CT in a program for young adults ages 18 -25. She is currently working toward a PhD at Smith college School for Social Work. Her areas of interest are bilingual's in therapy in their second language, cultural and linguistic competence in work with Latino/a children and their families, attachment and the impact of trauma across the lifespan.


14-123a: Attachment based treatment for borderline personaluty disorder

Yvette Esprey, M.A.

This course focuses on the understanding and treatment of borderline personality disorder from an attachment perspective. Drawing on current literature, and looking specifically at the core difficulties of affect dysregulation, identity disturbance and impulsivity which manifest in borderline presentation, the course will interrogate how an understanding of attachment can aid the practitioner in assessing and treating the borderline personality patient. In particular, the role of mentalization in the understanding and treatment of borderline patients will be introduced.

Click Here for Learning Objectives and References

Faculty: Yvette Esprey, M.A., is a Clinical Psychologist, working in private practice in Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously Head of Wellness at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, and Head of Psychology at a government psychiatric hospital, she currently teaches part time for various tertiary institutions in the areas of race, personality pathology and psychoanalytic practice. She has previously been on the adjunct faculty at Smith College School for Social Work where she has taught in trauma theory and biopsychosocial functioning


14-124a: Faith and Taboo: The Role of Religion in the Clinical Encounter

Matilda Rose Cantwell, M.S.W., M.Div.

Using a psychodynamic developmental framework this class will consider the role of religious beliefs and practices and examine how we understand and work with them in our clinical practice. While the mental health field is integrating many aspects of spiritual health, to good end, religious practice and belief are often relegated to the shadows of treatment in non-sectarian settings. Religion has historically been a marginalized and often maligned part of traditional psychodynamic theory. Despite this history, many mental health practitioners cite their own religious worldviews as informing their practice. At the same time, more and more psychotherapy now is done in diverse settings across religious difference.

In this class we will consider three main themes in an attempt to broaden our clinical understanding of religious orientation in the clinical encounter:

We will also consider the role of religion in clients’ lives for both good and for ill, and make connections between religious affiliation and psychological/developmental object use. Participants are encouraged to bring disguised case vignettes, and the seminar will include a participatory exercise designed to explore one’s own religious and spiritual inclinations and views.

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Faculty: Matilda Rose Cantwell, M.S.W., M.Div.: Matilda is currently the Interfaith Fellow at Smith College Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, where she conducts trainings and workshops on religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue and the interactions of faith and social justice. Her clinical area of focus has been adolescent group work and she worked with teens in many modalities and settings for over a decade. As an ordained minister she develops programs which aim to expand how religion and spirituality are perceived and utilized both within and outside of organized religion, and is currently working with the Smith School for Social Work to continue to develop resources for students’ spiritual care.



Saturday, June 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

14-131a: Working Skillfully Within the Relational Field: the Therapist’s Subjective Experience as a Clinical Resource

Jennifer Addas, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.

Embodied attention to the therapist’s subjective experience (at somatic, energetic, intuitive, & cognitive/intellectual levels) offers access to a rich aspect of our humanity with the potential for deepening our clinical experience. Whether we treasure it, are baffled by it, or we consciously or unconsciously choose to avoid it, transference and countertransferance are happening all the time; this workshop is an opportunity to explore these relational dynamics from multiple theoretical perspectives and expand our clinical skills.

The workshop will balance didactic presentation with interactive collaborative exploration, including: review of salient literature, findings from the instructor’s research interviews on this topic, clinical examples from the instructor’s practice, small group exercises to cultivate and expand awareness, and group consultation and discussion of participant’s clinical vignettes. It is hoped that the collective body of clinical experience we all bring to this workshop will enliven our discussions and enrich our learning experience.

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Faculty: Jennifer Addas, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W. works in private practice in Northampton, MA. The relational foundation for Ms Addas’s clinical work is grounded in psychodynamic theory and her special areas of interest include, Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, and Jungian Sandplay therapy.


14-132a: Promoting Empathy and Relational
Skills in Children through Poetry Writing and Music

Georgia Sassen, Ph.D.

Helping children gain relationship building skills helps them resist bullying and learn to build connection across racial and class lines. To engage children in these pursuits, we will learn about an engaging intervention that also requires them to cooperate and see each other’s beliefs and strengths in action. Adapting music therapy and poetry therapy for this purpose, we learn to engage them in drumming and writing poems as a group rather than individually helping them express both feelings and playfulness and to help each other if writing is a challenge for them. This interactive course teaches the techniques of Drums and Poems, which has been successful with children in multi-cultural groups for four years.

After exploring the basics of the Relational-cultural Theory of development which underlies the program, we see and discuss the techniques of Drums and Poems and its differences from most music/poetry therapy. We then move on to the hands-on portion of the class. We will use students’ experiences in the field to provide case examples of children who might benefit from the intervention. Role playing these young people, we will practice the techniques of Drums and Poems, using student-made drums. We will role play using these with children we have worked with. We will look at the intervention group as a relational web as we explore how drumming and writing brings the group together, and learn to include children of all verbal abilities in the writing. Students will brainstorm how they can use the techniques with their own clients.

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Faculty: Georgia Sassen, Ph.D. is a psychologist practicing in Harvard, Massachusetts, and the Executive Director of Building Resilience in Kids. Her interest in preventing the mental health problems of adolescents and adults led her to use the arts to work with young people. Her work is grounded in the Relational-Cultural Theory of psychotherapy, in which empathy is seen as an important part of teaching children to build mutually sustaining relationships, and good relationships are seen as a central goal of human development. She created Art from the Heart when working with girls in Lowell, MA. Recently she has added percussion and poetry to the modalities she uses to help children build relational skills in urban school settings. She has taught at Smith, Clark University and University of Massachusetts Medical School.


14-133a: Relational Psychodynamic Theory and Therapy

David Levit, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

This course will center upon relational perspectives on psychotherapy with emphasis on the evolution and expansion in our understanding of therapeutic process, therapeutic options, and therapeutic action. We will address relational revisions in basic concepts such as transference and countertransference. The foundations of relational perspectives will be presented, drawing upon the contributions of seminal theorists, such as Mitchell, Greenberg, Davies, Hoffman, Bromberg, Aron, Benjamin, etc. We will not only outline and discuss the central ideas about psychotherapy within the relational paradigm, but also examine them in light of more traditional psychodynamic perspectives. For example, the relational emphasis on the therapist’s expressive participation will be considered in light of a more traditional emphasis on analytic restraint.

While the emphasis of this seminar will be on the relational paradigm as a clinical theory, we will also consider it as a psychological theory. We will look at relational models of the mind, wherein conscious and unconscious inner processes and dynamics are conceptualized quite differently than in the Freudian view. This will include an emphasis on dissociation and its centrality in an understanding of the impact of trauma.

In addition to the clinical and psychological emphases in this program, we will also consider relational theory historically. We will contextualize its evolution in terms of the overall relational turn in the psychoanalytic world during the 20th century, and we will trace out the emergence of relational theory as a radical revolutionary movement beginning in the 1980’s.

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Faculty: David Levit, Ph.D., ABPP is a Diplomate in Psychoanalysis and Clinical Psychology. His faculty positions are: Adjunct Associate Professor, Smith College School for Social Work; Faculty, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis (MIP); Co-Founder, Chair, and Faculty, MIP Postgraduate Fellowship-West; Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Tufts Medical School. He is in private practice in Amherst where he provides individual therapy and psychoanalysis for adults and consultation for colleagues.


14-134a: Interpersonal Violence

Jean Clarke-Mitchell, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.

The course content will examine the problem of domestic violence in the USA from the perspective of intimate partners and other family members perpetuating abuse on each other. It will increase awareness of the what constitute abuse utilizing theories of domestic violence and explore the causes, dynamics, and effects of this type of abuse. You will be offered a model to assist in assessing safety, treatment planning and, or referral for clients struggling with interpersonal violence.

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Faculty: Jean Clarke-Mitchell, MSW, LICSW, is the Clinical Director of the Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC), In Pittsfield, MA., where she has been employed for 18 years. EFC is a domestic violence and sexual assault agency providing services throughout the Berkshires. Jean is also a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in the Out-patient Department of the Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in Pittsfield, MA. She is a current student in the PhD. Program at Smith College. Jean teaches Personality and Counseling Theories at Cambridge College in Springfield, MA.


14-135a: What We Talk About When We Talk About Psychoanalysis

Lyn Yonack, M.A., M.S.W.

By defining and examining such key psychoanalytic concepts as the unconscious and unconscious phantasies, the ego, the self and the object, dreams and memory, transference and countertransference, defense and character, trauma and symptoms, the couch and free association, sexuality and relationship, ego psychology and object relations and by reading such seminal figures in the field as Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Bion, and Kohut, we will trace psychoanalytic history, theory, and practice. We’ll consider what it means to be psychoanalytically inclined today and how relevant psychoanalytic thinking is at a time when medication and other treatment modalities appear favored by many. In the class, we'll look closely at case studies in which psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy are used. And finally we’ll reflect on ways that psychoanalytic thinking and technique can usefully inform other forms of practice, beyond the consulting room, from social service agencies to community organizing, from medical social work to school settings.

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Faculty: Lyn Yonack, MA, MSW, Lyn Yonack, MA, MSW, is a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist in private practice in Great Barrington, MA, where she works with adults, adolescents, couples and families and provides supervision to mental health practitioners and clinical consultation to organizations.

In addition to being a board and faculty member at Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute, she is currently president of WMAAPP, the local chapter of APA Division 39, and member-at-large on the board of the Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems, the Boston affiliate of the A.K. Rice Institute. Long intrigued by the study of irrational undercurrents in both individuals and groups, she has served on the staff of group relations conferences in the Tavistock tradition. Ms. Yonack is also a writer of fiction and non-fiction and has authored and contributed to books and articles, including The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's Your Child and Your Adolescent, Reader's Digest's Looking After Your Body: An Owner's Guide to Successful Aging, and The National Women’s Health Resource Center Book of Health. She has taught and lectured on a range of subjects, from the literary and linguistic to the sociological and psychodynamic.