- Thursday, June 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Friday, June 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, June 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Elaine Karas, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., S.E.P.,
Lois Bass L.I.C.S.W.
The Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) is a biologically-based interventions based upon current neuroscience. TRM explains the common responses after a traumatic experience from a biological perspective, which reframes the human experience from what is often one of shame and pathology to one of hope and biology. TRM offers concrete and practical skills to restore resiliency coupled with education about the biology of trauma. TRM includes wellness skills used for self-care. There is a rapidly growing body of neuroscience research showing that the part of the brain responsible for verbal processing and introspection are not functioning at their optimal level when under stress and after traumatic events. Thus, there is a need for interventions, which incorporate a focus on the biological basis of threat, fear, and resiliency. The Key Concepts of TRM will be presented along with the rationale and introduction of the 9 skills of TRM. Attendees will have an opportunity to practice TRM skills. This training is TRM Level 1.
Faculty: Elaine Miller-Karas, L.C.S.W., is the executive director and co-founder of the Trauma Resource Institute. She has co-created the Trauma and Community Resiliency Models. Elaine has presented at major conferences including the Trauma and Resilience Conference, the 64th Annual Conference on Global Affairs, ISTSS and the Psychotherapy Networker. Her book, Building Resilience to Trauma: The Trauma and Community Resiliency Models, was published by Routledge in 2015. She has taken her work to Thailand, Haiti, the Philippines, Nepal, Turkey, China, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and the United States. She has a private practice in Claremont, California.
Lois Bass, L.I.C.S.W., Somatic Experiencing Practitioner®, Amherst, MA. - Faculty Field Advisor and an Associate Adjunct Faculty member, Smith College School for Social Work. She has been a clinical social worker since 1979 and has worked in school settings, community mental health agencies and, for the past twenty years in private practice, specializing in issues of developmental and shock trauma. She completed her Somatic Experiencing® training in 2004 and has been assisting at trainings for the past three years. She has a part-time therapy practice in NYC and has been doing mental health relief work in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Jessica Gifford, L.I.C.S.W.
Positive psychology is a rapidly growing field that focuses on building strengths, positive emotions and flourishing. Participants will learn several evidence-based interventions taken from positive psychology, social psychology and related fields that have been shown to reduce symptoms of mental illness and improve resiliency and well-being. An overview of evidence-based practices in the broad categories of emotional well-being, physical well-being, social well-being and spiritual well-being will be presented. Participants will be led through one specific exercise from each category to gain an experiential understanding, as well as reviewing the research on their benefits.
We will explore strategies for incorporating these interventions into individual and group counseling, as well as methods for using them in larger populations, for example in settings such as colleges, hospitals or residential programs. The presenter will share specific examples of how she has applied these practices in group therapy and large scale interventions, resulting in significant decreases in depression and anxiety. Participants will leave with a detailed description of 4 evidence-based interventions, the demonstrated benefits of each, and a plan for how to integrate at least one in their work setting.
Faculty: Jessica Gifford has an MSW from Smith College School for Social Work and has worked in residential, inpatient and outpatient settings providing individual and group counseling. Jessica is interested in positive psychology, resiliency and promoting wellbeing in addition to alleviating the symptoms of mental illness. For the past 10 years Jessica has been in field of mental health promotion, serving as the Wellness Center Director at Hampshire College and Mental Health Educator at Amherst College.
Kurt L. White, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., L.A.D.C., C.G.P.
Addiction work is trauma work. Recent studies show that as much as 80% of co-occurring clients have histories of trauma (often multiple episodes of trauma). Rates of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders are endemic to addicted populations. Clinicians who see themselves as addiction specialists often feel uncomfortable with the trauma related presentations in substance use disorders; conversely, many skilled trauma therapists have had little training in addiction. This seminar aims to help both groups build the gap in both knowledge and the skills for working with this complex population using new knowledge on the neurobiology of attachment. We will examine the disruptions to healthy attachment patterns and how this predisposes individuals to develop addiction in mid-late teen years. Early experiences alter gene expression and brain development: exposure to an environment of disrupted attachment, persistent fear, trauma-related experiences, and exposure to substances all have significant effects on the developing brain. This new science of attachment and neurobiology can be a guide to effective treatment interventions with addicted individuals. Both theory and implications for technique will be explored.
Faculty: Kurt White, L.I.C.S.W., L.A.D.C., C.G.P. -- 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 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.
Lisa B. Zeitz, LMSW
This course will address theory and practice in work with children from four to eighteen as they grieve the death of a parent, sibling or primary caretaker. Some of the topics addressed will include: explanations of death and its aftermath, including burial and cremation, through a developmental lens; children's naturally egocentric understanding of causality and blame surrounding a death; secondary losses, including real, pragmatic concerns for children in grieving families; children's changing sense of self and their place in the world in the light of a death and how to address differences in attitudes towards death and grief across racial, cultural, religious and class divides.
We will look at successful models for work with children and how they are organized and executed. This will include an examination of treatment with individuals, within family contexts and a close examination of a successful group support based model of care. I will provide concrete models for the use of play and hands on activities for children through adolescence.
The flow of our day long seminar will move from theory to practice and be enriched by case studies from a thirty year long career " walking beside" grieving children and their families. Writings by grieving children and adolescents , our most valuable teachers, as well as vivid case studies, will enliven the exploration of this deeply profound and important work.
Faculty: Lisa Zeitz, L.M.S.W., has over 30 years of experience in the field. She began her career at NYU Medical Center, then moved to a variety of acute care settings and a home based hospice. Fifteen years ago, she landed at The Bereavement Center of Westchester . There she has been co- leading The Tree House, a comprehensive support program for grieving children and their families. Ms. Zeitz has developed expertise in responding to tragedies in the broader community and presents widely at conferences and trainings to clinical professionals and community groups.
Friday, June 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m
Elaine Karas, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., S.E.P.,
Lois Bass L.I.C.S.W.
This is part 2 of a three day course.
Patricia Gianotti, Psy.D.
Effective treatment of the spectrum of narcissistic injury must include an integrated understanding of narcissistically based thoughts and behaviors, ranging from expansive self-enhancement to crushing self criticism, from devaluation of others to over-idealization and hero-worship, from standards of perfectionism to an often defiant or flagrant disregard of rules and laws. This workshop will address how these often contradictory facets of distorted self-presentation form a tightly constructed defensive organization to keep feelings of shame and inadequacy at bay.
Through lecture, cogent video-taped case demonstrations, small group discussion, and shared case material we will examine how therapeutic listening and intervention techniques can be effectively used to penetrate narcissistic defenses of vertical splitting, grandiose expansiveness, cognitive distortions, self-destructive behaviors, and revenge enactments.
Participants will be introduced to an integrated Four Quadrant Model that explains how often contradictory parts of the psyche create a complex homeostatic balance. In order to see how these parts connect to the whole, participants will learn how to attend to what is being said as well as listening for what is being kept hidden from view and thus disconnected from the potential of emerging authenticity. Special techniques such moment-to-moment tracking, part-whole analysis, and the use of language as entry-points will help clinicians deepen their listening and intervention skills as the treatment unfolds.
Faculty: Patricia Gianotti, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist, clinical supervisor, and founding member of Woodland Professional Associates, a group private practice in North Hampton, NH. Dr. Gianotti, a seasoned lecturer and facilitator, has taught at Washington University and the University of New Hampshire and has presented at various professional conferences, including Division 39 and SEPI. She has recently co-authored a book with Jack Danielian entitled Listening with Purpose: Entry Points into Shame and Narcissistic Vulnerability.
Joel Kanter, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.-C.
This course will focus on psychoanalytically-informed social work interventions with diverse populations outside of the conventional psychotherapy parameters. These practice settings include, among others, child welfare, clinical case management, home visiting, hospices and medical facilities, forensic settings and school social work and the populations served include the homeless, persons with severe psychiatric disorders, abused and neglected children, troubled adolescents and the elderly. With such interventions, environmental and psychological interventions are interwoven and require a creative synthesis of psychodynamic and systems perspectives. Whether these interventions are therapeutic or palliative, understanding defenses, object relations, transference and countertransference are essential components of of effective intervention.
Faculty: Joel Kanter, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.-C. is in the private practice of psychotherapy and clinical case management in Silver Spring, Maryland. A graduate of Smith College School for Social Work, he has written extensively on many topics involving the community care of the mentally ill and is a Consulting Editor of the Clinical Social Work Journal. Recognized as a Distinguished Practitioner by the National Academy of Practice in Social Work, his publications include Clinical Studies in Case Management, and Face to Face with Children: The Life and Work of Clare Winnicott (Karnac, 2004).
16-224b: How understanding the teenage brain can improve your clinical work with adolescents and their families
Sharon Saline Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist
This course will examine the biology of the adolescent brain as it relates to teen behavior, emotion and socialization. There has been a recent explosion in neurological research about the changing teenage brain that directly affects clinical work with adolescents and their families. Starting with an examination of this information, we will then look at how biology interfaces with developmental psychology and social and emotional intelligence. We will then review the growth of executive functioning skills and look at how these skills can be taught to teens within the context of psychotherapy. We will examine how to work with individual adolescents more effectively in clinics, private practice or school settings using these findings. We will also review significant, relevant treatment modalities based on this information as well as how to apply these ideas to direct clinical work within a family context. In addition, we will explore how to assist parents of varying socioeconomic backgrounds to understand and guide their children with less stress and more success. Methods of teaching include didactic seminar, case examples and small and large group discussions. Participants are strongly encouraged to come to the seminar with a clinical dilemma related to their work.
Faculty: Sharon Saline, Psy.D. -- Sharon Saline, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Northampton, MA where she works primarily with children, adolescents and families. 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 and improving teacher/parent communication. She is the co-founder and co-director of the yearly "Got kids? Let's Talk" parenting series at Northampton Area Pediatrics. Dr. Saline's clinical expertise include the diagnosis, treatment and intervention of ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities and mental health issues for children, adolescents and their families. She has conducted numerous trainings around the country and internationally for teachers, psychologists, adjustment counselors, ESP's, parents and students on a variety of topics. Dr. Saline graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University, received her master's degree in psychology from New College of California and obtained her doctorate in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.
Elaine Karas, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., S.E.P.,
Lois Bass L.I.C.S.W.
This is part 3 of a three day course.
Amy Basford-Pequet, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., CGP
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.
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.
Faculty: Amy Basford-Pequet, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., C.G.P.
is 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.
Sharon K. Farber Ph.D., B.C.D.
The issue of self-disclosure is most relevant to our field. Carl Jung created the archetype of the wounded healer. He believed the wounded healer's suffering is both a burden and a compelling force in his need to heal the problems of others. In the ancient legend of the physician Asclepius, because he was able to identify his own wounds, he was able to create a sanctuary in order to treat others. Jung thought that an illness of the soul could be the best possible form of training for a healer and wrote that only a wounded healer who had healed his own wounds could heal effectively. When the wounded healer is deeply aware of his own wounds, this equips him with a special advantage in working with the wounded, making him aware of and activating his own healing power and empathy. Interestingly, although Jung and Freud were both wounded healers, they were wounding healers as well to some patients. Freud's history with patients and colleagues created a template of wounding healing for others to follow. Although the wounded healer never fully overcomes the major problems of his life, by struggling with and subduing them, we can continue developing our sensitivity toward and empathy for others. In doing psychoanalytic work, we cannot really hide our wounds or weaknesses. We must confront them and make them conscious. At a time when people are coming out about their own life struggles, we in the mental health field have been conspicuously silent for fear of being stigmatized. Several well-known wounded healers have disclosed how they became wounded healers. They include Oliver Sacks, Kay Redfield Jamison, Marsha LInehan, Bessel van der Kolk. Let us celebrate the wounded healers.
Faculty: Sharon K .Farber, is in private practice in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Teaching: medical schools, schools of social work, training institutes, and the Cape Cod Institute. Invited speaker in North America and abroad.
Author of several papers and tthre books. When the Body Is the Target: Self-Harm, Pain, and Traumatic Attachments and Hungry for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties, and Celebrating the Wounded Healer Psychotherapist: Pain, Post-Traumatic Growth, and Self-Disclosure (in press).
Her blog for Psychology Today, the Mind-Body Connection, can be found online at:
16-234b: Clinical competencies needed for therapists working with children in the foster care system
Sally Popper, Ph.D. Karen Zilberstein, L.I.C.S.W.
Despite a high level of documented mental health problems amongst children in foster care, research indicates that treatments are often ineffective. In order to improve outcomes, evidence-based treatments for attachment, trauma and behavioral difficulties are often promoted. However, little research exists on whether or not those interventions effectively address foster children's unique mental health difficulties. While a rather robust literature exists on foster children's multifaceted needs, most treatments do not fully represent that range and complexity in their interventions.
This workshop addresses that gap by reviewing commonly recommended evidence-based treatments, evaluating their benefits and limitations and discussing the range of research-based clinical skills and knowledge clinicians must learn. These include: attachment, trauma, normative and non-normative development, processing and cognitive difficulties, developing regulatory, social and executive functioning skills, understanding the impact of placement changes, visitation and systemic pressures on children and families, birth family issues, advocacy with various systems, cultural, racial and transracial understanding, LGBT youth and parents, and recognizing the complexity and interrelationships amongst those concerns. Treatment of foster children should be seen as a subspecialty within the field of child mental health and trainings that help clinicians gain expertise in treating foster children's unique needs should be more available. Treatments that address the multiple needs of foster children will be suggested.
Faculty: Sally Popper has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and has worked as a researcher and therapist exploring the impact of attachment disruption and early trauma on the development of 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 and helped to write the ATTACh publication, Attachment-Focused Therapy: A Professional Practice Guide. She is also author and co-author of a number of journal articles, most recently on clinical competencies needed to treat children in the foster care system. Recently, she has taught at local clinics and at the Smith College School of Social Work. She is an active volunteer both at the Treehouse community and in the their Reenvisioning Foster Care in America task force in Western Massachusetts. She is licensed as a Psychologist in Massachusetts, #9391.
Faculty: Karen Zilberstein, L.I.C.S.W., is a practicing psychotherapist and Clinical Director of the Northampton, MA chapter of A Home Within, a national nonprofit that provides pro bono psychotherapy for individuals who have experienced foster care. She serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Smith College School for Social Work and as a member of APSAC's (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children) Guidelines and Publications Committees. She has co-authored a children's book entitled Calming Stormy Feelings: A Child's Introduction to Psychotherapy and published numerous journal articles on child therapy, parenting interventions, the treatment of foster and adopted children, and the clinical implications of attachment and complex trauma in children.
Georgia Sassen, Ph.D.
This course presents Art from the Heart, an innovative group modality which changes the focus of art therapy from the individual and the unconscious to the relationship. Relationships between group members and improving relational skills become the focus. After exploring the basics of the Relational-cultural Theory of development which informs the program, we will move on to video and discussion of the techniques used in the actual programs, which have involved diverse groups and have addressed issues of racism and ethnic tension. Discussion explores how traditional art therapy focuses on the individual, which is culturally syntonic in the U.S. , and contrasts this with our focus: the centrality of relationships in development, and the ability to
- form new relationships
- "take care of the relationship" (Miller and Stiver, 1997 )
- choose positive relationships over exploitative ones. All of these are essential for young people to learn, especially in high stress lives lived in poverty.
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 and adolescents who might benefit from the intervention. Role playing these young people, we will practice the techniques of Art from the Heart: Students will make communal art using easily available materials, and discuss the experience of making art together while getting role playing the youth we work with. I will introduce the idea of Relational Mapping, which I developed to help group leaders understand their groups as a relational web. We will look at the intervention group as a relational web as we ask these questions:
- how does it feel to aggressively deface someone else's work? How does the child whose work is destroyed feel?
- How can the group leader work with this situation?
- How does it feel to be the child who barely speaks English, and how does Art from the Heart help us draw the child into the group?
In closing, students will brainstorm how they can use the techniques with their young clients. Discussion of students' differing client populations helps expand the diversity focus of the course.
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.