Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy's (WAMFT) Annual Fall Conference took place at Seattle University last month. The conference's theme was “Finding Common Ground: The Practice of Family Therapy in a Divided Nation.” More than 150 therapists, supervisors, and clinicians-in-training attended the full day conference and engaged in rich discussions about culture and division in our world and in the therapy room.
Dr. Rebecca Cobb, Master of Arts in Couples & Family Therapy (MACFT) Assistant Clinical Professor at the School of Theology and Ministry and WAMFT president, gave the opening remarks, “Regardless of our own political views, we are all impacted by what’s going on in the world around us. It has the potential to divide, and also the potential bring people together. I’m proud join with a group of people eager to engage in conversations about social justice and healing in conflictual world.”
Dr. Christie Eppler, MACFT Program Director and Professor at the School of Theology and Ministry and Dr. Rebecca Cobb presented a workshop on using storytelling to integrate culture and spirituality in family therapy. Dr. Eppler notes, “I was excited to co-present data from a recent qualitative study about using short films in therapy. Dr. Cobb and I appreciated that participants described how they would use these experiential approaches in their own clinical practice. Using storytelling –discussing short films/television or writing one’s own story – is a creative method to explore ways that clients make sense of the challenges in their homes and in the current socio-political climate.”
Charity Laughlin, a current MACFT student, presented a research poster entitled, “Common Group within Difference in Couples Therapy: Differentiation, Attachment, or Both?” “Working with difference and conflict, including sexual differences, is integral to couple’s therapy” Laughlin explains. “I was excited to take advantage of this unique opportunity to present my work as a student to a professional audience, to gain experience in how such conferences and presentations work, and to collaborate with other professionals in the field around a topic of interest to me.”
The conference also awarded Charity Laughlin and Nils Ringo, School of Theology and Ministry MACFT students, both of the WAMFT Scholarships awarded for 2017. Charity Laughlin recently began her MACFT clinical internship at Seattle Counseling Service, a community based organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness with the LBGT community. Nils Ringo is in his final year in the MACFT program and is current an intern at Valley Cities Behavioral Health in Rainer Beach.
For more information on the Master of Arts in Couples & Family Therapy program click here.