Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Students from South America Visit Ackerman Institute

South American Students with President & CEO Lois Braverman
From May 6 - 17, 2013, 17 trainees from the Fundación AIGLÉ of Buenos Aires, visited New York to attend a two-week intensive training at Ackerman Institute. Fundación AIGLÉ is a non-profit mental health training facility located in Argentina, who have partnered with Ackerman Institute for many years. This year’s group of students came from several countries in South and Central America including Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, and Mexico.

The two-week program immersed trainees in the Ackerman Relational Approach to family therapy, and included 19 different workshops taught by Ackerman faculty. Peggy Papp presented on her world famous sculpting technique, Jean Malpas presented his cutting edge work on gender and sexuality, David Kezur talked about the value of meditation in therapy, Evan Imber-Black presented on illness and family, and Fiona True and Marcia Sheinberg presented their work on relational trauma. There were many more presentations from a range of Ackerman faculty.

The trainees spent each day participating in workshops, followed by an evening where they observed family therapy sessions with externship groups at Ackerman. Speaking of her experience, one student said, “This was a great experience for me. I’m glad to have had the opportunity of learning new ways of managing, dealing with, and looking at different situations, especially with families and couples. I will return to my country with lots of expectations and eager to improve my private practice.”

For more than fifteen years, Ackerman Institute and AIGLÉ have collaborated on training initiatives. AIGLÉ hosts Ackerman faculty in Argentina, where they present on their areas of expertise while expanding the global influence of the Ackerman Relational Approach. The partnership is part of Ackerman Institute’s Community and International Training Department, which provides expert training in family therapy theory and practice to a number of partners in various countries. Learn more about International Training on Ackerman's website.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Diversity and Social Work Training Program 2013 Clinical Presentations

This year’s Diversity and Social Work students described their clinical cases in an enlightening series of multimedia presentations on May 1, 2013, to an audience of Ackerman faculty, students, and alumni. 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. 

(Left to right): Tiyanna McFarlene, Ashley Larkin, Faculty
Laurie Kaplan, Luis Ramirez, Faculty Sippio Small,
Amber Belle, Rebekah Adens
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, foundation classes in family therapy, and community outreach, where they integrate their training into an outside organization. 

The five students in this year’s class included: Rebekah Adens, Amber Belle, Ashley Larken, Tiyanna McFarlane, and Luis Ramirez. Rebekah talked about her experience counseling dynamic African-American sisters, and Amber spoke about working with an alienated mother and her adolescent daughter. Amber described her time at Ackerman saying, “My experience at the DSW program this year has been one of academic, professional, and personal growth.”

Tiyanna talked about male role models with a mother and her sons, Luis described his experience of working with several families and determining what to share with each of them about himself, and Ashley discussed her therapy experience with an aggressive couple. At the end of her presentation, Ashley talked about her journey, saying, “I’m finding my voice, in hopes to help others find theirs.”

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Special Performance to Benefit Ackerman Institute

Q&A with producers Sarah Nedwek
Phillip Chavira, cast, and Ackerman
President/CEO Lois Braverman
On May 14, 2013, Ackerman Institute’s friends, alumni, faculty, and staff attended a special performance of Tigers Be Still, a play addressing the profound impact of depression and grief on a family. A conversation with the producers, Sarah Nedwek, Phillip Chavira, the cast, and Ackerman President & CEO, Lois Braverman followed the performance at the Drilling Company on the Upper West Side. 

Tigers Be Still is produced by Partly Cloudy People, a theatre company creating performances to raise awareness and support for non-profit organizations. We are delighted that the producers chose the Ackerman Institute as the first organization to benefit from this production. Learn more about Partly Cloudy People.

On the set of Tigers Be Still
The New York Times describes the subject matter of the play, "A big cat is actually on the prowl in Tigers Be Still, an endearing new play by Kim Rosenstock, but nobody's paying much attention to this alarming problem. A fiercer foe is the grief clawing at the hearts of all the characters, whose afflictions come in many stripes, from debilitating illness to a mother's death to a father's abandonment. The possibility of being eaten by a wild animal might be greeted with indifference, if not actually welcomed, by the benumbed, bewildered and bedridden characters in this quirk-addicted but heartfelt comedy."

In a review by Nicholas Linnehan on the website theaterthatmatters.wordpress.com, he says, “The production finds the perfect balance of humor, vulnerability, and honesty. The nuances found in this production are superb, making this off-off Broadway show feel like it should be deserving of the accolades given to Broadway and off Broadway productions. At its current ticket price of $18, it’s an absolute must-see.”

Visiting Ackerman Students from
South America at the performance
Tigers Be Still is playing at the Drilling Company through May 25th.

To learn more about the play or buy tickets, go to the website: www.partlycloudypeople.com.