Friday, May 25, 2012

Diversity and Social Work Training Program 2012 Clinical Presentations

From left to right: Adviser Sippio Small, Miguel Torres,
Jasmine Butler, Paula McCoy, Candice Diaz, Reka Prasad,
Salvatore Giametti, Adviser Laurie Kaplan
On May 2, 2012, six students from Ackerman Institute’s Diversity and Social Work training program each presented a moving description of their clinical experience in the program to a large audience of Ackerman faculty, students, and friends. This annual presentation from students is not an only an opportunity for them to summarize the family therapy work done at Ackerman, but also a celebration of the completion of their year-long internship.

The goal of the Diversity and Social Work program is to increase the number of professionals of color in the family therapy profession who will be able to provide culturally relevant services to the increasingly diverse communities of New York. Despite the growing number of minority families in the United States, only 4% of family therapists are from minority backgrounds.

The interns in the program are second year graduate students from the social work schools at Hunter College, Columbia University, and New York University. During their one-year at Ackerman, students take part in live supervision and family treatment, foundational classes in family therapy, and community outreach, where they integrate their training into an outside organization.

The six students in this year’s class included: Candice Diaz, Paula McCoy, Salvatore Giametti, Reka Prasad, Miguel Torres, and Jasmine Butler. Each presented on their clinical work, while also expressing the life-altering nature of the program. Reka talked about her experience counseling a recently separated couple, Miguel and Jasmine spoke about therapy with a broken family of mixed heritage trying to mend their relationships, Paula discussed her involvement in group therapy with high school students, and Salvatore and Candice described therapy sessions with a family of Ecuadoran women.

Candice explains her growth as a therapist, saying, “My process with this family began with learning to accept myself and claiming who I am.  The more I did this, the more I was able to open myself up to develop my own therapeutic style, to find my voice as a clinician, to feel heard and integral to the helping process... Feeling accepted by the family and able to disclose this part of myself which was so relevant to the work, was very liberating for me.”

The Diversity and Social Work Program is made possible by private support from individuals and family foundations.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ackerman Institute Faculty at the American Family Therapy Association (AFTA) Conference

Every year, Ackerman Institute faculty and alumni are involved in the American Family Therapy Association Conference. This year was no exception, with a long list of presentations by faculty and special awards going to Jorge Colapinto and Peter Fraenkel. To see a full schedule of events, click here.

Wednesday, May 16
•    Welcome by Hinda Winawer

Thursday, May 17, 2012
•    Presentation by Dee Watts-Jones entitled Back to Back: Keep on Pushing Treading, and Loving
•    Interest group chaired by Peter Fraenkel on Community-Based Family Programs and Consultation, which included a presentation by Evan Imber-Black
•    Interest group chaired by Martha Edwards on Couples Therapy

Friday, May 18
•    Brief presentations on Conflict in Families, moderated by Lois Braverman, which included a presentation by Catherine Lewis and Andrea Blumenthal on Helping Parents Expand their Beliefs about their Children’s Problematic Behaviors
•    Meet the Authors with Evan Imber-Black
•    Brief presentation by Peter Fraenkel on Time and Technology in Family Life
•    Brief presentations from Judy Grossman and Martha Edwards on A Comprehensive Parenting Program to Promote Child and Family Resilience
•    Brief presentations moderated by Dee Watts-Jones on Healing Conversations

Saturday, May 19
•    Keynote discussion involving Evan Imber-Black and Hilda Winawer on Positive Deviance, Social Complexity, and Generative Relationships
•    Gender Dialogue chaired by Jean Malpas
•    Brief presentations moderated by Peter Fraenkel on Building Collaborative Teams and Programs
•    Brief presentations moderated by Andrea Blumenthal on Expanding Knowledge
•    Brief presentations moderated by Laurie Kaplan on Couples Therapy
•    Special presentation on Pearls of Wisdom that included Evan Imber-Black

Awards Ceremony
•    2012 Distinguished Contribution to Social Justice was presented to Jorge Colapinto
•    2012 Innovative Contribution to Family Therapy was presented to Peter Fraenkel

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Alumni Lecture on Sexual Issues

On May 11, 2012, Dr. Marty Klein was the guest speaker at the alumni quarterly meeting and his presentation was entitled “Ten Things Psychotherapists Need to Know About Sex.” Dr. Klein is a marriage and family therapist, sex therapist, and forensic expert. This lecture was part of the quarterly Alumni Association meetings, where Ackerman Alumni gather at the Institute to learn about the latest advances in family therapy and enjoy a presentation from therapists at the forefront of the field.

Dr. Marty Klein
Dr. Klein discussed a range of sexual issues such as affairs, infertility, pornography, sex addiction, discrepant desire, aging to cyber sex, and how therapists can address the complex narratives and beliefs associated with sex.

Dr. Marty Klein is the author of seven books about sexuality, including America’s War On Sex, honored as 2007 Book of the Year by AASECT. His new book is Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex, And How to Get It. Psychology Today says, “Read this book if you want to improve your sex life.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Annual Spring Open House

Richard Johnson at the Spring Open House
On Wednesday evening, April 25th, Ackerman Institute for the Family hosted its annual Open House for prospective students. A crowd of over fifty potential Ackerman students listened as faculty and students described the “Ackerman Experience.”

The Open House began with a few words from the Institute’s Director of Training, Marcia Sheinberg, who spoke about the variety of unique learning opportunities available through Ackerman. She was followed by faculty member Richard Johnson, who introduced the Foundation classes, a 30-week course which provides the foundation of family systems theory and technique through presentations, reading, and videotapes of sessions.

Connie Scharf, part of the faculty and Dean of Students, described the Live Clinical Supervision course, where students treat families from behind a one-way mirror under the supervision of a faculty member. Faculty Fiona True then rounded out the discussion with an explanation of the Clinical Externship, a two to three year program in which trainees receive a broad range of clinical and supervisory experience in family therapy. Fiona’s presentation included a short excerpt of a taped therapy session exemplifying the type of work done at Ackerman Institute.

Finally, Ackerman student Julia Chan spoke about her experience of training at the Institute. Her enthusiastic account of her years spent at Ackerman highlighted the life altering nature of training at the Institute.