Conference Nuggets of Wisdom: Part 1 of 3

Part of my job is obtaining Continuing Education Credits to renew my license and keep a variety of certifications current. Many I earn locally but I try to choose one conference every year that is 1) in a different part of the country near friends or family, and 2) offers a new or different counseling perspective to expand my knowledge and network base. This past weekend I found myself in Indianapolis, Indiana at the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference attending workshops, talks and research presentations on topics as diverse as domestic violence assessment (now called Intimate Partner Violence or IPV), unique challenges of international counseling students, role of mentoring among therapists, suicidality in Cambodian woman, client feedback computer systems and cross-cultural competency. Although it will take me awhile to sift through and integrate all the information, I’ve pulled out some wisdom nuggets and provocative questions to share in a two-part article.

Traditionally Intimate Partner Violence eliminates the possibility of couples counseling. This practice grew out of the Feminist Movement which worked hard to assure therapists did not inadvertently collude with the perpetrator and put victims more at risk. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT’s) are asking the question, if neither partner is in immanent physical danger, does it make sense to deny couple’s treatment? If violence, power and control are recent past patterns, does growth occur faster if a couple is seen together?

“We just want to love, be loved, and feel safe.” Judy Shepard

When implementing a new system, remember to play the slow game. It takes time and lots of training to create long-lasting change.

“Change is always possible, and can occur rapidly.”

60% of completed suicides world-wide occur in Asian countries.

We don’t talk about racism because it’s personal and uncomfortable.

Tune in the next couple of weeks for more interesting thoughts!