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Summer Seminar Series

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Weekend B:


Thursday, June 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

14-211b: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Increase Acceptance and Willingness to Change

Anna L. Remen, Ph.D.

The so-called “third wave” of cognitive-behavioral therapies are a group of relatively new treatments that are rapidly gaining attention from clinicians and researchers. Whereas traditional CBT relies primarily on change-based technologies, such as cognitive restructuring, these more recent, innovative approaches add a major emphasis on acceptance strategies, such as mindfulness, validation, and dialectics. One such therapy is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan. DBT is an evidence-based treatment that has been found to be effective in the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and related disorders. In this workshop, we will explore the ways in which acceptance and change strategies are incorporated into the treatment philosophy, therapeutic style, and the DBT skills of Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Emotion Regulation. In addition to working with clients with BPD, applications to using the skills with Axis I disorders will be discussed. Teaching techniques include experiential exercises, case examples, group discussion, and didactics. The course is appropriate for all levels of clinicians who are interested in learning ways to incorporate empirically tested acceptance- and change-based interventions into their clinical work.

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Faculty: Anna L. Remen, Ph.D. coordinates the Adult DBT Programs at the Servicenet outpatient clinics. She is intensively trained in DBT and has made it her specialty for over 10 years. She is an award-winning instructor who provides a warm and engaging learning atmosphere.


14-212b: An Attachment-Informed Approach to Understanding and Treating Sexually Abusive Youth

Phil Rich, Ed.D., M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.

Attachment theory and its application to work with sexually abusive youth has become a source of great interest for many clinicians working with sexually abusive youth. This course is designed for those with already somewhat familiar with attachment theory, and focuses on understanding and recognizing an attachment mediated pathway to sexually abusive behavior. The course describes hypothesized links between attachment patterns and the relationship between attachment, social connection, and the development of sexually abusive behavior. The course will review the research and theories that examine and hypothesize links between attachment difficulties and patterns to adult and juvenile sexual offending, and discuss the possible connection between attachment difficulties and the later development of sexually abusive behavior in adolescents. We will consider the relationship between attachment, the development of intimacy and empathy, and the internalization of social mores and the development of morality, and consider implications for the treatment of sexually abusive behavior in children and adolescents and in a treatment environment that is both informed by attachment theory and developmentally sensitive.

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Faculty: Phil Rich, Ed.D., M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W. holds a doctorate in applied behavioral and organizational studies and a master’s degree in social work, and is a licensed independent clinical social worker. Phil presents, trains, and consults nationally and internationally, and is currently in private practice as a consultant and trainer, specializing in work with juvenile sexual offenders. He is the author of several books, as well as chapters and articles, that address the development, assessment, and treatment of sexually abusive behavior in children and adolescents.


14-213b: Emerging Drug Use Trends and Emerging Treatments for Addictive Disorders

Kurt White, M.S.W.

It’s rough out there! Drug overdose deaths seem to be everywhere in the news from people in small town Vermont communities to accomplished movie stars. To complicate matters, the landscape of drug use is changing: prescription drug abuse, referring to the use of prescription opioids such as Oxycontin, Percoset, etc. is being called an epidemic and its epicenter is Northern New England. More recently, illicit opioids have given way to a resurgence in heroin, including in unexpected places and populations fueled in part by incredibly potent supply and efficient supply chains. New designer drugs, such as the so-called “bath salts” have also emerged along with designer drugs such as synthetic cannabinoids. More familiar drugs, like cannabis, have become drastically more potent, and more young people are engaging in use, with often dangerous consequences. In this workshop, we will explore these and other troubling trends, along with effective approaches for addressing substance use disorders. Effective but often misunderstood pharmacological treatments such as Suboxone and methadone will be explored at length. Along the way, we will discuss the nature of addictive illness, new categories in DSM-5, and the new 3rd edition of the ASAM Placement Criteria.

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Faculty: Kurt White, M.S.W. is the Director of Ambulatory Services at the Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro, VT, and is a social worker and drug and alcohol counselor by trade and training. He presently currently serves as president of the Vermont Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals (VAATP), which represents addiction treatment agencies in Vermont. Kurt is adjunct assistant professor at Smith College School for Social Work, where he teaches Group Theory and Practice. He is also adjunct faculty at Antioch New England Graduate School, where teaches in the Applied Psychology program.


14-214b: Complex or Developmental Trauma:
Its Nature, Neurobiology, and Clinical Implications

Sally D. Popper, Ph.D.

The concept of complex or developmental trauma is a new one, but one which has become more and more central to our understanding of a number of intransigent clinical phenomena. We will discuss the nature of developmental trauma, its impact on the child’s psychological and neurobiological development, and its importance in clinical formulation of complex cases. Although we will focus on the relationship of developmental trauma in child development, we will also discuss its role in adult psychopathology.

The second half of the day will have a clinical focus. We will discuss the work of Bessel van der Kolk and colleagues, as well as that of John Briere and his Interpersonal Treatment for Complex Trauma. We will consider the usefulness of EMDR, DBT, and neurofeedback in ameliorating some of the more intractable symptom presentations of complex trauma. Participants will be encouraged to bring case material for class discussion.

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Faculty: Sally D. Popper, Ph.D. has worked as a researcher and clinician exploring the impact of attachment disruption and early trauma on the development of young children and working with their families to help them heal. As a board member of the national parent/professional organization. ATTACh, she worked to bring information from new research to the clinical practice and parenting of members. This work culminated in co-authorship of a book now in press entitled Attachment-Focused Therapy: A Professional Practice Guide. She is also author and co-author of a number of journal articles, and has presented locally and nationally on topics ranging from postpartum depression to the impact of early trauma and loss on the developing brain. She currently serves on the board of the Treehouse Foundation and is an active volunteer both at the Treehouse community and in the Treehouse inspired Reenvisioning Foster Care in America task force.



Friday, June 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m

14-221b: Relentless Hope: The Refusal to Grieve

Martha Stark, M.D.

Dr. Martha Stark’s particular interest has long been in the patient’s “relentless pursuit of the (bad) object.” The patient’s relentless hope (a masochistic defense) is the stance to which she desperately clings in order to avoid confronting and grieving certain intolerably painful realities about the love/hate object to which she is intensely attached; and her relentless outrage (a sadistic defense) is the stance to which she resorts in those moments of dawning recognition that the object might never be forthcoming after all. Finally, the patient’s relentless despair (a schizoid defense) is the stance to which she retreats when attachment itself has become intolerable. Martha will offer prototypical interventions designed to facilitate transformation of the patient’s need to possess and control the object (and, when thwarted, to retaliate by attempting to destroy it) into the mature capacity to relent, accept, grieve, forgive, internalize, separate, and move on.

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Faculty: Martha Stark, M.D., is Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Teaching/Supervising Analyst at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis. In addition, she serves on the Faculty of the Continuing Education Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard Medical School), is Adjunct Faculty at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School), and is Adjunct Faculty in the Continuing Education Program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. She is the author of three award-winning books on psychoanalytic theory and technique: Working with Resistance; A Primer on Working with Resistance; and Modes of Therapeutic Action.


14-222b: Practice Before the Bell Rings

Johanna Hammer, L.I.C.S.W..

Whether we like to admit it or not, schools have become the largest provider of mental health diagnosis and intervention to America’s children. School Social Workers are often the only clinically trained members of student support teams, and must serve as Crisis Counselor, Case Manager, Behavior Interventionist, Family/Group/Individual Counselor-sometimes in the same class period for multiple students and staff. Utilizing Dialectical Behavior Therapy as an intervention structure, participants will examine the unique nature of school-based social work and be oriented to structures and protocols to support School-based practice.

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Faculty: Johanna Hammer, L.I.C.S.W. specializes in Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Adolescents and has been working in school systems for the past decade. She loves talking about both.


14-223b: Raising the color bar: thinking about race in the dyad from a relational perspective

Yvette Esprey, M.A..

This course focuses on issues of race as they manifest within the clinical dyad. Adopting a relational approach, the course will consider how the racial identities and histories of both therapist and client impact on the mutually constructed analytic space. In particular, close attention will be paid to how thinking and basic analytic skills of empathy and mentalization may be impacted on when race enters the room. Drawing on current literature and clinical examples, the course will invite participants to consider how and when to engage with race in the room.

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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.


14-224b: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Children & Adolescents Diagnosed with Anxiety Disorders

Jennifer Jencks, M.S.W.

This course will begin with an overview of cognitive behavioral concepts that are most effective with anxiety disorders, including exposure and response prevention, thought stopping, habit reversal, and many others. Next, information about developmental stages and cognitive development will be discussed in terms of the impact they have on CBT treatment with various age groups. Finally, specific anxiety disorders will be discussed; including obsessive compulsive disorder, Trichotillomania, specific phobias and generalized anxiety disorder, and specialized CBT techniques will be described using case material. Participants will be encouraged to present questions or case material for discussion. This interactive course is designed for participants with some experience using CBT for anxiety, but all levels of experience are welcome.

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Faculty: Jennifer Jencks, M.S.W. is a licensed independent clinical social worker, specializing in the treatment of pediatric and adolescent anxiety disorders. She has been in private practice since 1997 and she utilizes both psychodynamic theories and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to assess and treat clients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Trichotillomania, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and specific phobias. She collaborates with many area agencies and professionals, including fellow therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, schools, and other educational organizations, such as Rhode Island Tutorial & Educational Services (RITES). She has also helped organize an Interactive Parent Workshop Series with RITES to provide the community with accessible, up-to-date information about such important topics as Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety, and how to support the development of organizational skills in children and adolescents.



Saturday, June 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

14-231b: Pink Elephants: Naming and Understanding Sex Therapy

Amy Basford Pequet, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., CGP

This course is designed to provide a beginning understanding of what sex therapy is, what it is not, and who accesses sex therapy. An overview of therapeutic models used in sex therapy will be presented as well as what kinds of sexual functioning issues often present in sex therapy. Participants will learn how to take a detailed sexual history that spans several sessions. Rich clinical material will be used to learn and practice the PLISSIT model for identifying what kind of sex therapy work to do with an individual or couple. Clinical vignettes will also be used to learn and identify sexual styles and how they impact a couple's ability to relate sexually and intimately to each other.

It is common for clients to be struggling with issues related to sex and sexuality and less common for these struggles to be named and subsequently made the focus of therapeutic work. Sex therapy provides a frame for specifically addressing issues related to sex, sexuality, sexual functioning, and their impact on self and self-in-relationships. Sex therapy, like most other forms of psychotherapy, is exclusively talk therapy. However, unlike many other forms of psychotherapy, is facilitated by a therapist who is extensively trained in human sexuality and sexual functioning. Sex therapists are trained to diagnose the psychological origins of sexual issues and work to find solutions.

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Faculty: Amy Basford-Pequet, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., CGP
Amy, a Clinical Sex Therapy Associate with Northampton Sex Therapy Associates in Florence, MA, provides individual, couples and group therapy addressing a wide range of issues related to sex, sexual functioning, relationship structures, sexual identity and gender identity. Amy received her Masters in Social Work from the Smith College School for Social Work. Following Smith, Amy's passion for group work led her to The Psychotherapy Institute's Group Therapy Training Program, an intensive two-year advanced training program based in Berkeley, CA. A Certified Group Psychotherapist, Amy is also Gottman Method Level I and II Couples Therapy trained and is currently working towards board certification as an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist.


14-232b: Who's in charge? Working With Distracted & Disorganized Children

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

Difficulties with Executive Functioning are inherent in those challenged by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and other cognitively based neuro-biological conditions. These cerebral cortex based functions allow for efficient planning, organizing and decision-making when all systems are go. Children and adolescents with Executive (Dys)Function encounter just the opposite, a lack of internal ability to engage in effective cognitive endeavors. They lack focus, are easily distracted and find it difficult to stay on task and complete projects, increasing their risk of underachieving academically. Their low frustration tolerance can lead to emotional inconsistency, which engenders additional social and behavioral difficulties that often lead to alienation, ridicule, bullying and depression. Unfortunately, these young people are not much understood or appreciated by others, including teachers, parents and therapists, as their chronic "mis-behaving" generates frequent and unproductive confrontations and classroom disruptions. It is easy to wonder about who's in charge, what tail is wagging what dog! Often, these individuals are asked, What's your problem" or told to "Shape up." Many involved in trying to help are often at a loss as to how to intervene and to assist those challenged by executive deficits. Through the use of “visual metaphors,” this seminar will provide you a unique picture of “cognitive inflexibility.”

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


14-233b: Messages from the Unconscious: The Function of Symbolic Expression

Peter Schlessinger, M.A., M.F.A.

Course participants will gain an increased familiarity with the landscape of the unconscious and the processes that operate there -- a familiarity that will benefit their efforts to understand their clients’ motivations and actions, and their own.
Through exercises and discussions of images drawn from advertising, art, architecture and dreams, we will explore the basis of symbolic thinking in general, and particularly, the nature of archetypal symbols, with their powerful ability to influence and guide behavior whether or not one is conscious of their existence.
The subject will be examined through the lenses of attachment theory, neuroscience, and Evolutionary, Archetypal, and Jungian psychology. Light will be shed on the way that energy-filled, meaning-laden images develop from deep biological imperatives and why they are the basis of some of the most deeply felt human beliefs and behaviors.

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Faculty: Peter Schlessinger, M.A., M.F.A. 
Peter is a psychotherapist with a specialization in Jungian dreamwork, and a creative photographer. He has also been a picture book editor, a visual theorist, and an exhibition designer and curator. The common thread uniting those activities is a lifelong interest in the affective power of images, especially images with symbolic content determined by the unconscious.


14-234b: Ethical Issues in the Use of Technology, Facebook and Other Social Media in Treatment

Catherine Clancy, Ph.D., L.C.S.W

If you received your education and training over 25 years ago, you may be having trouble embracing the fact that the professional tools of the 21st century now include such things as working with social networking, video counseling, email, and cybertherapy, and this is not an exhaustive list by any means. While these tools have revolutionized service provision, they come with their own set of ethical and risk management issues, and the laws governing practice in these areas are far behind the advent of the new technological approaches to practice.

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Faculty: Catherine Clancy, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. - Social Work Training Director, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX. Private clinical, educational, and consulting practice. Clinical Instructor, Dept. of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine; Past Chair, Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners; Field Instructor, Smith College School for Social Work.


14-235b: Attachment-Based Couple Therapy
with Redeployed Military and Veteran Couples

Kathryn Basham, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., Ph.D.

Dr. Basham will introduce a couple therapy practice approach grounded in a synthesis of attachment, trauma, neurobiological and cognitive-behavioral theories where one or both partners have experienced post-traumatic stress or post-traumatic stress disorder related to deployment. Co-occurring issues related to depression, moral injury, traumatic brain injury and intimate partner violence are addressed. The model is “relationship-based, culturally-responsive, theoretically grounded and research informed.” This trauma-informed phase oriented approach attends to issues of safety, self-care, affect regulation and re-engaging in Phase I; reflection on a trauma narrative, meaning-making and grieving in Phase II; and reconsolidating, re-connecting and negotiating complex social identities in Phase III. Effects of both caregiver satisfaction as well as secondary trauma are explored along with methods to address clinician responses.

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Faculty: Dr. Kathryn Basham, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., Ph.D. as Professor, Co-Director of the Doctoral Program and Editor of the Smith College Studies in Social Work, engages in research, writing, clinical social work practice and education related to the effects of deployment and combat stress on servicemembers, Veterans and their families. She has been appointed to three congressionally mandated committees with the Institute of Medicine, National Academies of Science, charged with the mandate to explore research endeavors relevant to the health and mental health treatment of military families, yielding four co-authored books on these topics. She served on the Steering committee to design military social work competencies for the Council in Social Work Education and participate on the expert panel for credentialing in military social work with the National Association of Social Workers. Dr. Basham has received the honor as distinguished clinical practitioner with the National Academies of Practice and has co-authored a text titled Couple Therapy with Survivors of Childhood Trauma that describes this model grounded in neurobiology as well as attachment and trauma theories . She has written and presented extensively on these topics and presented in both national and international forums, including consulting with the Canadian Forces.