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Smith College Studies in Social Work
Lectures & Conferences

Detailed Course Descriptions 2014-15

Connection and Hope: Psychosocial Capacity Building in Response to Disasters


Joshua L. Miller, M.S.W., Ph.D.

This lecture will present a model to guide work with individuals and communities after a disaster called psychosocial capacity building, which is strength's based and fosters resiliency. Psychosocial Capacity Building recognizes that individual and community well-being are intricately related and that local cultural practices are an essential foundation for recovering strengths and healing. This approach builds on a social ecology conceptualization of disasters and is multidimensional and multisystemic, often involving the use of groups and activities. Psychosocial capacity building will be compared with more traditional methods of offering mental health services after a disaster. Sources of individual, family and community resiliency will be discussed drawing on research and practice. Case examples from work in Haiti, China and the U.S. will be used to illustrate theoretical points.

Faculty: Joshua Miller's areas of interest are anti-racism work, the social ecology of disaster and integrating psychosocial capacity building and disaster mental health approaches in response to disasters. He is chair of the School for Social Work's social policy sequence. He has co-taught the school's foundation anti-racism course and a course on mental health responses to disasters. For more information on Dr. Miller's work, see our Resident Faculty Profiles.

A Clinically Meaningful Understanding of People with Disabilities and the Impact of Ableism


AndreAs Neumann-Mascis, Ph.D.

In this lecture we will review the evolution of disability as an identity, a community and a field of study. We will examine the impact of disability and ableism from a sociopolitical perspective and a psychodynamic perspective and we will identify the ways in which disability and the impact of ableism can shape clinical themes.  Finally, we will develop a dimensional framework for providing informed and meaningful care to this diverse community of people

Faculty: AndreAs Neumann-Mascis, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with areas of specialty that include gender variance, trauma and physical and psychiatric disability.  Dr. Neumann- Mascis has been working as a provider, educator and activist since 1992 and has had access to working with people in a wide range of setting including in-patient hospital units, community mental health settings and street level outreach and shelter programs.

Dr. Neumann-Mascis founded and developed The Meeting Point:  a Multidimensional Center for Healing and Growth in Jamaica Plain, MA. The Meeting Point serves the LGBTQ community, survivors and the disability community, and is growing to meet the unique strengths and needs of queer people and their allies through community activity and personalized approaches to wellness

DSM-5: Implications for Social Work Practice

David S. Byers, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.

This course provides a review of some of the major conceptual changes introduced with the fifth edition in May 2013, and situates these changes and controversies in the context of the history of DSM and contemporary clinical social work practice. The changes over time have had and will continue to have significant implications for how we use the DSM and think about diagnosis and case formulation, as well as how we teach our students and supervisees to engage with it. Topics to be discussed include models for supervision in the context of DSM-5, balancing descriptive and etiological nosology, and ongoing critical engagement concerning ethical reasoning, sociocultural biases in diagnosis, and the shifting theoretical basis for the DSM. This course is appropriate for clinicians and clinical supervisors at all levels.

Faculty: David Byers, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W. is a Ph.D. Candidate at Smith College School for Social Work, and a lecturer and research advisor in the MSW program. He is presently teaching courses on psychosocial development, assessment, and neurobiology. David is also the Coordinator of Clinical Training and Development at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, and continues to serve as a clinical supervisor and clinician. David is presently conducting research in the Palestinian West Bank about cultural and political factors in clinical case conceptualization. He is also writing and presenting at schools and agencies about the implications of DSM-5 for social work theory and practice. For his dissertation, David is examining the moral reasoning of adolescent bystanders when witnessing bullying.

Quiet, Blackness, and the Grace of Being Human

Kevin Quashie, M.A., Ph.D.

African American culture is often considered expressive, dramatic, and even defiant, characterizations which are linked to the idea of resistance. Indeed, these terms come to dominate how we think of blackness. This lecture will ask what a concept of quiet could mean to reimagining this thinking. It will explore quiet as a notion different from silence, as a metaphor for one's inner life--quiet as the desires, ambitions, hungers, vulnerabilities, and fears that signal one's humanity. Using this idea of quiet, the lecture will consider such iconic moments as Tommie Smith and John Carlos's protest at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and Elizabeth Alexander's reading at the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama. The lecture will suggest that the notion of quiet allows us to move beyond the emphasis on resistance, and enables a more nuanced understanding of black culture and consciousness.

Faculty: Kevin Quashie, M.A., Ph.D. is an associate professor at Smith College, where he teaches in the department of Afro-American Studies and the program for the Study of Women and Gender. His new book, The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture, was published in July 2012 by Rutgers University Press. He is coeditor of the anthology New Bones: Contemporary Black Writers in America, and is author of Black Women, Identity and Cultural Theory: (Un)Becoming the Subject.

Trans-affirmative Care: The Evolving Role of Clinical Social Workers with Transgender, Transsexual and Gender Nonconforming Individuals

Lisette Lahana, L.C.S.W

International standards of care and clinical guidelines are moving toward collaborative treatment planning that takes into account each client's unique gender identity and life circumstance. For over sixty years mental health clinicians have been placed in the role of a gatekeeper to needed medical interventions. Increasingly, therapists are shifting from a "one size fits all" approach to one that takes into account a variety of gender presentations and identities, as well as medical interventions outside of the established male/female gender binary. However, when existing systems are slow to change, trans-affirmative therapists are often presented with challenging clinical and ethical questions for which there are no clear answers. Clinical social workers are well suited for this complex work, which may include depth psychotherapy, assessment, case management, advocacy and activism.

Faculty: Lisette Lahana, L.C.S.W. is a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice in Oakland California. Since 1999 she has specialized in providing psychotherapy to transgender, transsexual, gender nonconforming people and their partners. She also serves as a consultant to therapists and organizations striving to provide culturally competent care to the transgender community. She holds a B.A. in Critical Gender Studies and another in Psychology from UC San Diego and her M.S.W. from Smith College School for Social Work. She is an active member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

The Transformative Nature of Grief and Bereavement


Joan Berzoff, M.S.W., Ed.D.

Death, loss and bereavement always change the mourner, for better or for worse. This lecture will examine some of the most valuable psychodynamic theories which best illuminate our understanding of how experiences of loss, dying and bereavement change the person who is grieving in often unexpected and positive ways. Looking at Freud, Loewald, and Klein, we will examine ways in which mourners may experience complicated grief. We will then examine more contemporary constructivist theorists as we learn about how grief can be transformative, changing the mourner's ego and ego ideals, sense of meaning, identity and purpose. We will use clinical examples, films, examples from everyday life and a narrative to consider the ways in which mourners come to initiate change: both intrapsychically and socially, leading to new outcomes. The clinical implications of this work will also be discussed.

Faculty: Joan Berzoff currently teaches in the doctoral, masters, and end-of-life care programs. She directs the End of Life certificate program. She formerly served as the co-director of the doctoral program and before that as the chair of the human behavior in the social environment sequence at Smith, which she now co-chairs. For more information on Dr. Berzoff's work, see our Resident Faculty Profiles.

Women in the Military: Rewards and Challenges


Kathryn Basham, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Fourteen percent of our current active duty armed forces are women. Although there is ongoing controversy related to the appropriate roles for servicewomen, it is generally agreed upon that they fully engage in a wide range of duties and responsibilities during deployment, comparable to their male counterparts. Yet, inequities in pay and recognition have prevailed. Recently, the 1994 ban restricting women’s jobs in the military was repealed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Research and clinical literature address aspects of resilience as well as unique issues facing servicewomen. They include: health and mental health outcomes; caregiving of children and elders; moral integrity/moral injury; military sexual trauma; and negotiating a masculinized culture. A synthesis of feminist, attachment and trauma theories, bolstered by neurobiology, informs a clinical social work practice approach with these servicewomen and their families. Clinical case material will be used to illustrate the rewards and challenges facing these women in the military.

Faculty: After participating in two congressionally-mandated committees in recent years, Dr. Basham co-authored three texts published by the Institute of Medicine, National Academies of Science: PTSD: Diagnosis and Treatment; Physiologic, Psychological and Psychosocial Effects of Deployment-Related Stress; and TRICARE (in press). Her co-authored text, Transforming the Legacy: Couple Therapy with Survivors of Childhood Trauma (2004), introduces a phase-oriented practice model grounded in a synthesis of social, biological and psychological theories. Recent publications and presentations have focused on interventions with post-deployment servicemembers and their families at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and several Veterans Administration Medical Centers, the Canadian Forces and several professional organizations. In 2007, Basham received the honor of induction into the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguished Clinical Practitioner. Dr. Basham maintains a clinical practice in Northampton, specializing in psychotherapy with couples, individuals, families and consultation and works collaboratively on a pilot research project exploring the role of trauma-informed couple therapy with post-deployment couples.

Raising the Color Bar: Thinking about Race in the Dyad from a Relational Perspective

Yvette Esprey, M.A.

This course focuses on issues of race as they manifest within the clinical dyad. Adopting a relational approach, the course will consider how the racial identities and histories of both therapist and client impact on the mutually constructed analytic space. In particular, close attention will be paid to how thinking and basic analytic skills of empathy and mentalization may be impacted on when race enters the room. Drawing on current literature and clinical examples, the course will invite participants to consider how and when to engage with race in the room.

Faculty: Yvette Esprey, M.A., is a Clinical Psychologist, working in private practice in Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously Head of Wellness at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, and Head of Psychology at a government psychiatric hospital, she currently teaches part time for various tertiary institutions in the areas of race, personality pathology and psychoanalytic practice. She has previously been on the adjunct faculty at Smith College School for Social Work where she has taught in trauma theory and biopsychosocial functioning.

Tools for Solving Ethical Dilemmas

Catherine Clancy, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.

Many clinicians enter a profession because the ethics of that profession reflect their own personal values. As practice complexity increases, the clinician's values and ethics are constantly being challenged. To deal with the ethical dilemmas facing us in today's practice environment, we need tools to help us reach solutions that are based on reasoning and not emotion. This seminar will discuss ethical principles and theories used to assist in ethical decision making and will examine the role codes of ethics play in this process. It will provide a practice model for solving ethical dilemmas and will give practitioners the opportunity to apply this model to practice situations.

Faculty: Catherine Clancy, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. - Social Work Training Director, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX. Private clinical, educational, and consulting practice. Clinical Instructor, Dept. of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine; Past Chair, Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners; Field Instructor, Smith College School for Social Work.

Attachment Based Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder

Yvette Esprey M.A.

This course focuses on the understanding and treatment of borderline personality disorder from an attachment perspective. Drawing on current literature, and looking specifically at the core difficulties of affect dysregulation, identity disturbance and impulsivity which manifest in borderline presentation, the course will interrogate how an understanding of attachment can aid the practitioner in assessing and treating the borderline personality patient. In particular, the role of mentalization in the understanding and treatment of borderline patients will be introduced.

Faculty: Yvette Esprey, M.A., is a Clinical Psychologist, working in private practice in Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously Head of Wellness at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, and Head of Psychology at a government psychiatric hospital, she currently teaches part time for various tertiary institutions in the areas of race, personality pathology and psychoanalytic practice. She has previously been on the adjunct faculty at Smith College School for Social Work where she has taught in trauma theory and biopsychosocial functioning

Assessing the Risk: Interviewing, Understanding and Managing Suicidal and Self Injurious Clients

Kirk Woodring, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., C.G.P.

Although suicide rates over the past decade have gradually declined, suicide attempts, and parasuicidal behavior, continue to increase in frequency across the country. Assessing for risk requires not only understanding the intensity of ideation, the plan, and the means, but also knowledge of cultural, racial and socio-economic pressures that may potentiate risk. This workshop will provide an analysis of the clinical and social factors influencing risk, as well as tools to use for interviewing and intervening with high risk individuals.

Faculty: Kirk Woodring, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., C.G.P. is the Senior Director of Access, Evaluation, Ambulatory and Security Services at the Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro, Vermont and is the author of “Assessing the Risk: Suicidal Behavior in the Hospital Environment of Care” (HCPro, 2011). Mr. Woodring is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Work at Smith College, where he teaches courses in group theory, group therapy and crisis intervention. His experience in risk assessment includes supervision of psychiatric crisis services in Massachusetts, and consultation for numerous state and national organizations providing following natural and human caused disasters.

Attachment Across the Life Span: Clinical Implications


Sally D. Popper, Ph.D.

Attachment has become perhaps the dominant paradigm for understanding development clinically, but few understand it in enough depth to be able to make use of the clinical richness it offers. This presentation will provide a brief historical background on the origins of attachment theory in John Bowlby’s work, Mary Ainsworth’s seminal contributions in operationalizing a measurement of attachment in the parent-infant relationship, and Mary Main’s extension of our understanding to comprehend the operation of the attachment system in adults, as well as the importance of disorganization in attachment for later development. We will discuss work on intergenerational transmission of attachment, the relationship of disorganized attachment to dissociation, and the impact of interpersonal trauma on the attachment system. We will see examples of Ainsworth’s “Strange Situation” to assess early childhood attachment styles, and will read from examples of Mary Main’s Adult Attachment Interview to understand the methods it uses to assess attachment styles.

The second half of the presentation will focus on clinical implications of attachment, with a focus on several approaches that have thoughtfully incorporated an understanding of attachment to enrich clinical focus. These will include work by David Wallin, Kristine Kinniburgh and Margaret Blaustein, Dan Hughes, Alicia Lieberman and Patricia Van Horn, and Mary Dozier. While the majority of the clinical approaches discussed will be child-focused, there will also be a focus on ways in which early attachment experiences affect adult clinical presentations.

Faculty: Sally D. Popper, Ph.D. has worked as a researcher and clinician exploring the impact of attachment disruption and early trauma on the development of young 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.T his work culminated in co-authorship of a book now in press entitled Attachment-Focused Therapy: A Professional Practice Guide. She is also author and co-author of a number of journal articles, and has presented locally and nationally on topics ranging from postpartum depression to the impact of early trauma and loss on the developing brain. She currently serves on the board of the Treehouse Foundation and is an active volunteer both at the Treehouse community and in the Treehouse inspired Reenvisioning Foster Care in America task force.

Narrative Therapy and Children/Adolescents and their Families

Beth Prullage, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.

This course will focus on a range of ways to apply Narrative Therapy concepts and tools with children and adolescents in a range of modalities and settings. It will begin with a brief didactic overview of Narrative therapy, but a range of small group activities, clinical examples, demonstration interviews, etc. will be utilized throughout the day. It is hoped that participants will leave the workshop with a range of new tools and activities to incorporate into their work with young people and their families.

Faculty: Beth Prullage, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W. is a therapist, educator and consultant on Narrative Therapy. She is on the adjunct faculty at Smith College School for Social Work and Simmons College School for Social Work, where she teaches courses in individual and family practice, family therapy, group therapy and Narrative Therapy. She additionally consults with non-profit organizations on ways to engage in collaborative and strengths-based clinical practice.

The Trauma Whisperers: What Works in Trauma Treatment


Daniel Buccino, L.C.S.W.-C., B.C.D.

With the heavy psychological toll on overextended Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, therapists are being faced
with a great demand to care for traumatized patients. While the clinical community certainly needs to ramp up its capacity to respond to the surge of veterans and their family members, there is also a need to step back and reflect soberly on the evidence about what works across different models of trauma treatment in order to provide the most effective services in the most efficient manner. In attending to the needs of our returning warriors, however, we must not forget the need to continue to provide trauma-informed therapy to a wide range of other clinical populations. This seminar will examine differential issues of trauma in those exposed to war, urban violence and incarceration, domestic violence, physical and sexual child abuse and neglect, terrorism, and natural disasters. In reviewing issues of PTSD, DID, medication management, psychic numbing and hypervigilance, vicarious traumatization, resilience, and competing models of therapy for trauma, we will identify the latest gentle, but steadfast and effective strategies for working with those suffering from psychological wounds.

Faculty: Daniel L. Buccino, L.C.S.W.-C., B.C.D. - Founder and Director of the Baltimore Psychotherapy
Institute and Clinical Supervisor and Student Coordinator in the Community Psychiatry Program at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. Serves on the clinical faculties at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, the Smith College School for Social Work, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Clinical Skills Working with Gender Nonconforming Children and Transgender Youth

Arlene Istar Lev, L.C.S.W.-R., C.A.S.A.C.

This workshop is an overview of gender identity development in children and youth, focusing on assessment of gender nonconformity in children, and transgender and transsexual identity in adolescence. We will example the available treatment options for pre-pubescent and adolescent children, including the use of hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones. Gender diversity and expression is viewed as a normative process of identity development, albeit a challenging one within rigid socio-cultural environment. The focus is systemic in examining the role of family members, service providers, and educational institutions. Attention will be paid to the newly released Standards of Care developed by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health will be reviewed.

Faculty: Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev, L.C.S.W.-R., C.A.S.A.C., is a social worker, family therapist, educator, and writer whose work addresses the unique therapeutic needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. She is the Founder and Clinical Director of Choices Counseling and Consulting and The Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity, and Sexuality (TIGRIS), a training program in Albany, New York. Arlene has been a part-time lecturer at the State University New York at Albany, School of Social Welfare for the past 23 years, and is also an adjunct at Empire College and Smith School of Social Work. Additionally, she is the Clinical Supervisor for Center Support: Counseling Services, a low-cost therapy program at the Pride Center of the Capital District. Arlene has authored numerous journal articles and essays including authoring two books: The Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide and Transgender Emergence: Therapeutic Guidelines for Working with Gender-Variant People and their Families, winner of the American Psychological Association (Division 44) Distinguished Book Award, 2006.

All the Rage: Helping Adolescent Girls in Crisis


Martha B. Straus, Ph.D.

Many adolescent girls today are in a crisis of rage and despair. Some try to disappear through starvation, others carve indecipherable symbols onto their arms or run away from home, still others bully and get bullied, hide weeping in their rooms, or attempt suicide. How can therapists become more effective with this volatile population? This highly practical workshop will explore concrete strategies and methods for helping girls in crisis and examine the limitations of old standards of care such as self-harm contracts and confidentiality rules. You'll learn what questions to ask and how to rally support for the girls from family and relationship network. You'll also find out about a variety of practical strategies that work, including harm reduction, inviting resistance, and developing a protective circle of adults. By the time you leave, you'll know what it takes to stay connected to these adolescents as you help them become competent and independent young women.

Faculty: Martha B. Straus, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire, and adjunct instructor in psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School. She maintains a small private practice in Brattleboro, VT and consults to schools, social service agencies and courts. Dr. Straus is the author of numerous articles and four books including No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents, and more recently, Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Intervention and Hope. Dr. Straus trains and conducts workshops internationally.

Understanding ADHD/ADD and Executive Functioning in Children and Adolescents

Sharon Saline, Psy.D.

Many clinicians today possess limited information and training in working with children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. They often do not understand the complexity of biology, behaviors and family environments which exacerbate the symptoms and complicate treatment. Clinicians seem to struggle to create effective interventions to help these young people and their families manage life with ADHD/ADD. This course will provide participants with the tools to work with these clients more successfully. It will review the literature about ADHD/ADD and provide a historical context in which to consider this disorder. It will delineate the neurological factors that characterize ADHD/ADD, discuss the types of medication and the political and biological issues involved in using them as well as introduce and clarify the executive functions of the brain and how they are affected by this disorder. In addition, treatment implications and modalities for working with this population will be evaluated and taught. Participants will also learn about how to address the common comorbid conditions of anxiety, depression and learning disorders which further complicate treatment. Methods of teaching include didactic seminar, case examples and small and large group discussions.

Faculty: Sharon Saline, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Northampton, MA. 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 as well as understanding psychological evaluations and improving teacher/parent communication. Her areas of expertise include diagnosis, treatment and intervention for children, adolescents and their families with ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities and various mental health issues. She has conducted numerous trainings around the Pioneer Valley for teachers, psychologists, adjustment counselors, ESP’s, parents and students on ADHD/ADD and Executive Functioning, Collaborative Problem Solving, Bullying Prevention, Promoting Success among Middle and High School Students, Effective Couples’ Therapy, Children’s Social Relationships and How Trauma Impacts Child Development.

Relational Psychodynamic Theory and Therapy

David Levit, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

This course will center upon relational perspectives on psychotherapy with emphasis on the evolution and expansion in our understanding of therapeutic process, therapeutic options, and therapeutic action. We will address relational revisions in basic concepts such as transference and countertransference. The foundations of relational perspectives will be presented, drawing upon the contributions of seminal theorists, such as Mitchell, Greenberg, Davies, Hoffman, Bromberg, Aron, Benjamin, etc. We will not only outline and discuss the central ideas about psychotherapy within the relational paradigm, but also examine them in light of more traditional psychodynamic perspectives. For example, the relational emphasis on the therapist’s expressive participation will be considered in light of a more traditional emphasis on analytic restraint.
While the emphasis of this seminar will be on the relational paradigm as a clinical theory, we will also consider it as a psychological theory. We will look at relational models of the mind, wherein conscious and unconscious inner processes and dynamics are conceptualized quite differently than in the Freudian view. This will include an emphasis on dissociation and its centrality in an understanding of the impact of trauma.
In addition to the clinical and psychological emphases in this program, we will also consider relational theory historically. We will contextualize its evolution in terms of the overall relational turn in the psychoanalytic world during the 20th century, and we will trace out the emergence of relational theory as a radical revolutionary movement beginning in the 1980’s.

Faculty: David Levit, Ph.D., ABPP is a Diplomate in Psychoanalysis and Clinical Psychology. His faculty positions are: Adjunct Associate Professor, Smith College School for Social Work; Faculty, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis (MIP); Co-Founder, Chair, and Faculty, MIP Postgraduate Fellowship-West; Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Tufts Medical School. He is in private practice in Amherst where he provides individual therapy and psychoanalysis for adults and consultation for colleagues.

Object Relations Theory and its Current Applications

David Levit, Ph.D., ABPP

As Faulkner stated, "The past is not dead; the past is not even past." This is true not only regarding the inner life of each of us, but also regarding the psychodynamic/psychoanalytic theories to which we look in order to understand internal life. The ideas of the founding figures of object relations theories live on within contemporary relational and intersubjective perspectives and within Self Psychology. This course will provide an overview of the fundamental contributions of the originators of object relations theories: Klein, Fairbairn and Winnicott. Discussion of each theorist will include his/her view of human nature, narrative of early development, model of the mind, perspective on psychopathology, and view of therapeutic process and therapeutic action. The course will also address the evolution of these original concepts in the course of more recent developments in psychodynamic/psychoanalytic approaches to therapy. Extensive clinical illustrations will be presented including process material from psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, with particular emphasis on the therapeutic relationship itself as a central medium for emotional and psychological growth and healing.

Faculty: David Levit, Ph.D., ABPP is a Diplomate in Psychoanalysis and Clinical Psychology. His faculty positions are: Adjunct Associate Professor, Smith College School for Social Work; Faculty, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis (MIP); Co-Founder, Chair, and Faculty, MIP Postgraduate Fellowship-West; Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Tufts Medical School. He is in private practice in Amherst where he provides individual therapy and psychoanalysis for adults and consultation for colleagues.

The Legacy of Developmental Trauma: Treating Complex Trauma in Adolescents and Families


Martha B. Straus, Ph.D

Many adolescents seen in treatment have endured complex trauma. Its impact registers on every level from the cellular to the societal. The children are affected neurologically, cognitively, physically, emotionally, behaviorally, socially, and spiritually. They suffer from the cumulative legacy of insecure and unstable attachments, domestic violence, abuse, neglect, multiple placements, and all of the attendant losses along the way, and are usually our most anxious, terrified, defiant, complicated - and mystifying - clients. Caring for them can also be overwhelming. Family members (and other caregivers) frequently suffer from vicarious traumatization or retraumatization while trying to contain and support them, adding another challenging layer of impact. By the time these adolescents reach adulthood, many systems are likely to have intervened to try to help them. But current expenditures for special education, healthcare, therapy and social services appear to be insufficient to stem the full gamut of negative physical and psychosocial outcomes including pregnancy, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency charges, mental health problems, school dropping out and serious chronic and acute medical problems. Complex trauma fills our hospitals and our jails; untreated, it is likely to be passed along to the next generation.

In this highly practical workshop, Dr. Straus will describe the impact and legacy of developmental trauma on adolescents and families, and offer dozens of effective interventions that you'll be able to take to the office right away. We will also examine the cumulative and synergistic effects of fostering resilience in the face of great vulnerability. At the end of the course, you'll know about: building teams that can offer multiple attachment relationships, improving executive functioning, reducing anxiety, unmasking agendas, devising joyful consequences (and using "time-in"), regulating affect, decreasing dissociative coping, fostering competencies and social skills, and developing coherent narratives. Through lecture and case examples, Dr. Straus will give you reasons to be hopeful, and confidence that you can help.

Faculty: Martha B. Straus, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire, and adjunct instructor in psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School. She maintains a small private practice in Brattleboro, VT and consults to schools, social service agencies and courts. Dr. Straus is the author of numerous articles and four books including No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents, and more recently, Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Intervention and Hope. Dr. Straus trains and conducts workshops internationally.

Relentless Hope: The Refusal to Grieve

Martha Stark, M.D.

Dr. Martha Stark's particular interest has long been in the patient's "relentless pursuit of the (bad) object." The patient's relentless hope (a masochistic defense) is the stance to which she desperately clings in order to avoid confronting - and grieving - certain intolerably painful realities about the love/hate object to which she is intensely attached; and her relentless outrage (a sadistic defense) is the stance to which she resorts in those moments of dawning recognition that the object might never be forthcoming after all. Finally, the patient's relentless despair (a schizoid defense) is the stance to which she retreats when attachment itself has become intolerable. Martha will offer prototypical interventions designed to facilitate transformation of the patient's need to possess and control the object (and, when thwarted, to retaliate by attempting to destroy it) into the mature capacity to relent, accept, grieve, forgive, internalize, separate, and move on.

Faculty: Martha Stark, M.D. - is Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Teaching/Supervising Analyst at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis. In addition, she serves on the Faculty of the Continuing Education Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the Beth Israel Deaconess
Medical Center (Harvard Medical School), is Adjunct Faculty at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School), and is Adjunct Faculty in the Continuing Education Program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. She is the author of three award-winning books on psychoanalytic theory and technique: Working with Resistance; A Primer on Working with Resistance; and Modes of Therapeutic Action.