Special Workshops: Relationship Enhancement® and Filial Therapy Conference

The 2016 Relationship Enhancement®
and Filial Therapy Conference

April 8-9, 2016 in Bethesda, MD

Co-Sponsored by

National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® (NIRE) and Association for Filial and Relationship Enhancement® Methods (AFREM)

CE Workshops

For the 2016 Relationship Enhancement® and Filial Therapy Conference, NIRE and AFREM are co-sponsoring two workshops on Friday April 8 and two workshops on Saturday April 9.

Friday will include two play related workshops: “Maintaining the Alliance: Using Parent Consults in Child-Centered Play Therapy to Teach Empathy to Parents” and “Not Limited to the Playroom:  Helping Parents Use Filial Limit Setting to Improve Discipline at Home.”

Saturday will include two RE Therapy related workshops: “Ethical Challenges in Working with Infidelity Issues in Marriage/Couple Therapy” and “The Experiential Format and the Use of Becoming in Relationship Enhancement® Therapy.”

Each workshop qualifies for 3 CE credits.

Organized Friday Night Dutch Treat Dinner

This year’s traditional “Dutch Treat” dinner will be held on Friday night April 8. This well attended event always proves to be a fun time to connect and relax with friends and colleagues around the dinner table. Please join us if you can! Details below. And please RSVP so we can properly plan with the restaurant.

Registration

Registration information may be found below.

AFREM Special Workshops Registration Form

Friday Workshops

Maintaining the Alliance: Using Parent Consults in Child-Centered Play Therapy to Teach Empathy to Parents

Presenter: Ian Masson, M.S.

Discussant: Louise Guerney, Ph.D.,

Friday, April 8, 9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 3 CE credits

Parents are a critically important part of their child’s life and as such can do much to support their progress in therapy. Supporting parents in developing new ways of interacting with their child as their child makes changes during the therapeutic process can maximize therapeutic gains. Within the context of Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) the parent consult session can provide a significant opportunity to build parent skills that will allow the child to capitalize on the progress they have made during play therapy sessions. As empathy is one of the core therapist skills in CCPT, teaching parents how to empathically respond to their children can create a therapeutic environment for children across settings. Teaching empathy as a foundational response of parents to children will also deepen a child’s sense of trust in the parent and serve to develop a warm relationship between parent and child. The workshop will focus on utilizing the parent consult session of CCPT as a means of teaching empathic responding to parents within the context of the therapist-parent alliance. Panel and participant discussion will be included.

Learning Objectives: Attendees completing this workshop will be able to:

  1. Effectively structure parent consult sessions within the context of CCPT.
  2. Apply the core skill of deep empathy to parent consults in order to address parental concerns and maintain the therapist-parent alliance.
  3. Explain the benefits and address challenges of empathic responding in a parent consultation session.
  4. Utilize “teachable moments” in parent discussions of home behavioral challenges to help them apply empathic responding at home.

Ian Masson, M.S., is a resident in counseling at Chrysalis Counseling Centers in Culpeper, VA. Ian received his certification in Child-Centered Play Therapy through NIRE and primarily works with children. Ian also oversees the Intensive Therapeutic Parenting Program at Chrysalis, a service that seeks to develop child-centered parenting skills through use of Dr. Louise Guerney’s Parenting: A Skills Training Manual.

Louise Guerney, Ph.D., is co-creator with Bernard Guerney, Ph.D. of Filial Family Therapy. She also is author of Parenting: A Skills Training Manual (published by IDEALS/NIRE), a nationally recognized and widely used parenting program and, together with Virginia Ryan, of Group Filial Therapy (Jessica Kingsley, 2013).

William Nordling, Ph.D., RPT-S, is Academic Dean and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the Institute for Psychological Sciences. He is former Executive Director of NIRE and continues as a senior member of NIRE’s training faculty. He is co-author (with Jeffrey and Nancy Cochran) of Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children (Wiley, 2010).

Not Limited to the Playroom: Helping Parents Use Filial Limit-Setting to Improve Discipline at Home

Mary Ortwein, M.S., LMFT

Discussants:  Louise Guerney, Ph.D., Julie Dodson, M.A., Arpita Eusebius, M.A.

Friday, April 8, 2:00 – 5:15 p.m. 3 CE credits

The life events, stresses, family patterns, and symptoms that bring children to therapy often complicate parent discipline at home. Parents often err toward too much or too little, until parent-child power struggles can dominate the relationship. Limits during Filial Play sessions function to create safety for children in the playroom, so they can do the therapeutic or developmental work they need to do. Helping parents extend the Filial standards of clear, consistent, necessary, and enforced limits to ordinary discipline at home can extend the safety of the playroom to real life and help families recover balance.

How do you help parents generalize play session limits to everyday situations at home? How do you integrate Filial limit-setting with empathy, structuring, parent messages, and imposition of consequences in real life? This workshop will explore these questions, using classic and contemporary Filial videos, panel and participant discussion, and role play practice to enable participants to move parents toward generalization of Filial limit-setting skills to their daily lives at home.

Learning Objectives: Attendees completing this workshop will be able to:

  1. Use parent experiences of limit-setting during Filial sessions to identify guidelines for limit-setting and enforcement at home
  2. Use “teachable moments” in parent discussions of home discipline situations to help them apply Filial successes at home
  3. Use relevant learning from Louise Guerney’s Parenting Skills with Filial clients to enable them to use structuring and parent messages as well as limit-setting and consequences to foster desirable behavior in children at home

Mary Ortwein, MS., LMFT is the founder of IDEALS for Families and Communities (IFC), a mental health non-profit in Frankfort, Kentucky, which specializes in providing quality mental health services for the working poor and for those in shelters. Co-author with Bernard Guerney, Jr. of the Mastering the Mysteries of Love series of Relationship Enhancement materials and author of the Filial parent workbook, Mastering the Magic of Play, Mary is an experienced Relationship Enhancement therapist, supervisor, and trainer. She recently completed a Master’s of Pastoral Theology at St. Meinrad Seminary.

Julie Dodson, M.A., is a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate and a Staff Therapist at IDEALS for Families and Communities where she provides therapy to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Julie is certified in both Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy. She also is a counselor at Avenues for Women, where she serves mainly women providing counseling for pregnancy options, relationships, resiliency, and trauma resolution. Julie earned a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2012.

Arpita Eusebius, M.A., is a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate in Frankfort, KY, and a Staff Therapist at IDEALS for Families and Communities where she works with individuals of all age groups, couples and families. Arpita is certified in both Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy. She also provides counseling services to two high schools and one middle school in Lexington, Kentucky. Arpita earned a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2013.

Dinner, Friday Night, April 8, 6:30 p.m. Dutch Treat.

Following the Friday afternoon workshop, those who are interested will go out together as a group for dinner for fun, relaxation and an opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues. If you are interested in joining the group for dinner: Please be certain to sign up on the Registration Form. Advance payment is not necessary, but we do need to be able to give an accurate count to the restaurant.

Saturday Workshops

Ethical Challenges in Working with Infidelity Issues in Marriage/Couple Therapy

Robert Scuka, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW-C

Saturday, April 9 , 9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 3 CE Credits

Some estimates indicate that infidelity may be involved in as many as 50% of cases presenting for marriage therapy or couple counseling. Infidelity also presents some of the most difficult clinical challenges in couple therapy, including a variety of ethical challenges. Those ethical challenges begin immediately at the initiation of joint therapy regarding issues of confidentiality, i.e., whether or not to grant confidentiality to each member of the couple. Additional challenges relate to how to balance individual sessions with the couple’s joint work; how to balance the need to address the infidelity issue with other potential issues in the relationship; and how to apply an existential-responsibility-for-choices-made framework without crossing into a moralistic stance of judgment. The workshop will also address steps to be taken by both the involved partner and the hurt partner to facilitate healing in the relationship. The Relationship Enhancement Therapy model will serve as the clinical framework for exploring these issues, but prior knowledge of RE Therapy is not required. Attendees will be sent a copy of the presenter’s recently published article “A Clinician’s Guide to Help Couples Heal from the Trauma of Infidelity,” which was published in 2015 in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy. Participant discussion is strongly encouraged and will be an important component of this workshop.

Learning Objectives: Attendees completing this workshop will be able to:

  1. Effectively apply their chosen stance on confidentiality within the context of couple therapy
  2. Balance the use of individual therapy sessions with joint couple sessions
  3. Balance the need to address the infidelity issue with other issues in the relationship
  4. Apply an existential-responsibility-for-choices-made framework without crossing the line into a moralistic stance of judgment
  5. Apply a balanced approach that addresses the tasks and responsibilities of both partners to facilitate a process of healing from infidelity

Rob Scuka, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® and author of Relationship Enhancement Therapy: Healing through Deep Empathy and Intimate Dialogue (Routledge, 2005), which contains three clinical vignettes on the use of RE therapy with cases of infidelity.

The Experiential Format and the Use of Becoming in Relationship Enhancement® Therapy

Moderator: Robert Scuka, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW-C

Discussants: Bernard Guerney, Jr., Ph.D., Maryhelen Snyder, Ph.D., Mary Ortwein, M.S., LMFT

Saturday, April 9, 2:00 – 5:15 p.m. 3 CE Credits.

The Experiential Format within Relationship Enhancement Therapy is a variation on the more structured Time-Designated Format. In the latter, the RE therapist typically takes several sessions to focus exclusively on skills-training with the couple (or family) in order to lay a foundation for the couple to enter into dialogue mode to begin to address their issues.

In the Experiential Format, the therapist briefly introduces, demonstrates and/or models the RE dialogue process in order to launch the couple into their first dialogue sooner in the therapy process. This may also involve the therapist making an extended use of the Becoming mode of empathy in the first session with a couple, with a view to the couple then being able to employ this special mode of empathy with one another as their own dialogue unfolds.

Becoming involves what also is referred to as the Identification Mode of empathy, in contrast to the more conventional “You” mode of empathy, where the former involves the therapist (or couple) using the first person pronoun “I” to represent and re-enact the experience of the Expresser. The rationale for using this more specialized form of empathy is that it tends to create a deeper empathic representation of the Expresser’s experience, which in turn tends to have a deeper impact on the person receiving the empathy, often prompting deepened self-understanding and further self-disclosure.

This workshop will present three different videos. All three will illustrate variations on the Experiential Format, one with Dr. Guerney, a second with Dr. Scuka, and a third with Dr. Snyder. The first two videos will illustrate two variations on introducing a family or couple to the RE skills and dialogue process. The third video will illustrate the therapist making an extended use of the Becoming mode of empathy with a couple in a first session.

Learning Objectives: Attendees completing this workshop will be able to:

  1. Identify the unique characteristics of the RE Experiential Format compared to the Time-Designated Format
  2. Identify the circumstances under which a therapist might choose to employ the Experiential Format in preference to the Time-Designated Format
  3. Apply the Experiential Format in their own clinical work with couples or families
  4. Utilize the Identification or Becoming Mode of Empathy more effectively in their own clinical work

Rob Scuka, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® and author of Relationship Enhancement Therapy: Healing through Deep Empathy and Intimate Dialogue (Routledge, 2005), along with a number of professional articles on RE Therapy and other therapy topics.

Bernard Guerney, Jr., Ph.D., is the creator of Relationship Enhancement® Therapy and the founder of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement®. His book Relationship Enhancement (Josey-Bass, 1977) was the first formal theoretical statement of the RE Therapy and psychoeducational model.

Maryhelen Snyder, Ph.D., has been a mental health professional for 40 years, specializing much of that time in Relationship Enhancement therapy. She has authored many professional articles and book chapters and served as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico Medical School. She is also a poet. Her recent book Sun in an Empty Room (Mercury HeartLink, 2012) has a similar focus to her therapy work, which is wildly celebrative of human beings and human possibilities. Her most recent book of poetry is Never the Loss of Wings (Passager Books, 2015).

Mary Ortwein, M.S., LMFT is the founder of IDEALS for Families and Communities (IFC), a mental health non-profit in Frankfort, Kentucky, which specializes in providing quality mental health services for the working poor and for those in shelters. Co-author with Bernard Guerney, Jr. of the Mastering the Mysteries of Love series of Relationship Enhancement materials and author of the Filial parent workbook, Mastering the Magic of Play, Mary is an experienced Relationship Enhancement therapist, supervisor, and trainer. She recently completed a Master’s of Pastoral Theology at St. Meinrad Seminary.

Registration Information

Location: The AFREM annual meeting and workshops will be held at the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® (NIRE) conference suite on the Roof level of the Topaz House at 4400 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD. The Topaz House is located six miles from the White House and Georgetown. NIRE is less than three blocks from the Bethesda metro stop.

Parking: Parking on Friday may be available at the Topaz House’s underground garage on a first come first served basis. There is a public parking lot at East-West Highway and Waverly Street, a block and a half from the Topaz House. Be certain to bring plenty of quarters for the public parking lot. The cost is $.75 per hour in long term parking; plan on 9 hours, i.e., $6.75. [To be safe, bring a roll of quarters, as parking rates may have gone up.] Parking is free on Saturday. On Saturday parking should be easier at Topaz House, and is free at the public parking lot.

Schedule: Each workshop will be 3 hours long. There will be one 15 minute break during each workshop.

Refreshments: Starting at 8:40 a.m., and available all day, each day, there will be a sidebar with fruit, coffee and tea, soda, and snacks.

CE Credits: IDEALS/NIRE is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IDEALS/NIRE maintains responsibility for each program and its content. NIRE has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5560. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NIRE is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. IDEALS/NIRE is approved by the Maryland State Board of Social Workers to offer Category 1 continuing education programs for social workers. NIRE also is approved by the Association for Play Therapy to offer continuing education specific to play therapy. APT Approved Provider 95-009. IDEALS/NIRE maintains responsibility for the program.

Each workshop will earn attendees 3 CE credits.

A Certificate will be issued to you attesting to your completion of each workshop attended and documenting the CE credits you have earned.

Cost: The fee for each 3-hour workshop is $60. The fee for currently enrolled, full-time graduate students is $10.00 for each workshop, or $30 for all four workshops.

Lunch: Lunch each day is the responsibility of each participant, though arrangements will be made to provide lunch on Saturday for those who wish. The cost will be $10.00 per person. Please see the registration form below for details.

Optional Friday Night Dinner (Dutch Treat): Many participants at past AFREM annual meeting workshops have enjoyed each other’s company over dinner at a restaurant in Bethesda. We will do the same this year, on Friday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. While prepayment is not necessary, it is necessary for planning purposes to know who plans to attend, so please indicate on the registration form that you would like to attend the dinner so that we can make appropriate arrangements and reserve table space for our group. Some participants may also choose to go out to dinner on Saturday evening, but that will not be a formally organized event.

Travel: For those coming by air: NIRE is 15 miles from Washington National, 22 miles from Baltimore-Washington, and 18 miles from Dulles Airports. For those coming by car: NIRE is two miles south of the Connecticut Avenue exit or the Wisconsin Avenue exit of the Beltway (I-495).

Municipal parking is very close and is free on Saturday (at Waverly and East-West Highway). Be certain to bring plenty of quarters to feed the meter for parking on Friday. The cost is $.75 per hour in long term parking; plan on 9 hours, i.e., $6.75. (To be safe, bring a roll of quarters!) Parking is free on Saturday. All registrants will be sent a map detailing how to reach NIRE.

Accommodations: Discounted hotel rooms are available at the Bethesda Court Hotel. To secure the discounted rate, please call 1-800-874-0050 and ask for the “NIRE” rate, which for 2016 is $129 per night Thursday through Sunday, plus a $15.00 per night fee for parking. This discounted rate is available until the hotel reaches a certain point of capacity for the respective dates, so you are advised to make reservations as early as possible. Information about alternative accommodations can be provided when you register.

For Further Information about arrangements, call Chriss Stanton at 301-680-8977.

Registration: To register, please

(1) call NIRE at 301-680-8977

(2) send your Registration Form by fax to 1-502-226-7088

or (3) mail your Registration Form and check to: NIRE, 4400 East-West Highway #24, Bethesda, MD 20814-4501.

Caution: Do not send credit card information via email.

Registration Form

AFREM Special Workshops Registration Form

We look forward to seeing you there!

Rob Scuka, Ph.D.
Executive Director
National Institute of Relationship Enhancement®