Fwd: Special Conference Workshops on Relationship Enhancement and Filial Methods

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From: <newsletter@nire.org>
Date: Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 8:01 PM
Subject: Special Conference Workshops on Relationship Enhancement and Filial Methods
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com


Special Workshops on

Relationship Enhancement®

and Filial Methods




The 2017 Relationship Enhancement®

and Filial Therapy Conference



March 31 - April 1, 2017 in Bethesda, MD




Sponsored by

National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® (NIRE)


CE Workshops

For the 2017 Relationship Enhancement® and Filial Therapy Conference, NIRE and AFREM are co-sponsoring two workshops on Friday March 31 and two workshops on Saturday April 1.

Friday will include two RE Therapy related workshops: "Using the Relationship Enhancement model to mediate conflicts between traditional gender roles and contemporary societal values of equality in heterosexual, same-sex, immigrant, and intercultural relationships" and "A Salad of Integrity: Resolving Ethical Questions When Working from an Educational Model in a Medical Model Profession."

Saturday will include two play related workshops: "Filial Therapy in Non-group Settings: Navigating the Unique Challenges" and "When Change is Slow: Addressing Parent Concerns
During the Child-Centered Play/Filial Therapy Process."

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 March 31. 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 information may be found below.

AFREM Special Workshops Registration Form



Friday Workshops

Using the Relationship Enhancement model to mediate conflicts between traditional gender roles and contemporary societal values of equality in heterosexual, same-sex, immigrant, and intercultural relationships


Presenter: Goli Bellinger, M.S.W., LICSW, LCSW-C

Friday, March 31, 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 3 CE credits

We value equality in this nation, and for our world. This value underpins the Relationship Enhancement (RE) model which includes mutual understanding and respect.  Yet when couples share a household, the contemporary emphasis on the value of equality may lead to conflicts in the relationship, whether conscious or subconscious. This workshop will focus on complex ways the concepts of traditional gender roles and modern gender values lead to discourse in couples. Ideas of gender equality will be explored and contrasted with traditional values of the equitable division of labor. Case studies will illustrate various ways conflicts arise across diverse populations and sexual identity, as uncovered by deepening dialogue and empathy through the structured RE dialogue process. Finally, this session will present how to guide conflict management and problem solving by combining the values of equality and equity to help couples balance household and family responsibilities.  

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

1.    Identify cultural theories of the values of equality and equity. 
2.    Differentiate individual needs from cultural expectations and perceptions within various  couple populations, including immigrant, intercultural, and same-sex couples.
3.    Utilize deepening dialogues to reach the core concerns and unique needs of each individual, regardless of expectations driven by gender roles or societal values.
4.    Guide and help couples discover and identify what works best for their life and goals. 

Goli Amin Bellinger, M.S.W., is a couples therapist in Washington DC. Together with Mary Ortwein, she created the program Relationship Enhancement® for Refugees and Immigrants at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. She also consults on mental health and family trauma with immigrant and asylum-seeking populations, including as adjunct faculty at University of Maryland School of School Work.


A Salad of Integrity: Resolving Ethical Questions When Working from an Educational Model in a Medical Model Profession

Presenter: Mary Ortwein, M.S., LMFT

Friday, March 31, 2:00 – 5:15 p.m. 3 CE Credits

When Bernard Guerney wrote Psychotherapeutic Agents: New Roles for Nonprofessionals, Teachers, and Parents in 1969, he became a leader that moved psychology away from the Medical Model of Sigmund Freud toward the Educational Model anticipated by the work of Carl Rogers and the behaviorists. While elements of the Educational Model have remained strong in mental health, the acceptance of medical insurance billing by clinicians, beginning in the 1980s, now makes the assignment of a Medical Model DSM diagnosis the initial standard operating procedure for mental health treatment.
What issues does this raise for those who work from an Educational Model—or who integrate elements of the Educational Model with elements of the Medical Model, or even a Spiritual Model? How can these issues be resolved in ways that preserve both ethical and theoretical integrity? This workshop will explore these questions.
After an initial review of Bernard Guerney’s Educational Model, the model will be examined in light of contemporary clinical practice. Four potential slippery slopes for ethical or theoretical compromise will be examined: the presence of severe mental health symptoms when using the RE model with couples; medical insurance billing; best practices which include doing Educational Model interventions from a Medical Model theory; and working as part of collaborative medical model treatment teams. Criteria for maintaining ethical practice and theoretical integrity will be proposed, discussed, and applied for each of these situations as part of the workshop. The workshop will include both lecture and participant discussion.

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

1.    Identify client situations where ethical guidelines or the Educational Model may be compromised in contemporary mental health practice
2.    Identify criteria for evaluating situations that might lead to ethical or theoretical compromises
3.    Apply the criteria to specific scenarios to preserve both ethical and theoretical integrity

Mary Ortwein, M.S., LMFT, has provided Educational Model therapy and supervision for more than 25 years in a variety of settings, including training and supervision of more than 60 beginning therapists. Mary currently is director of IDEALS for Families and Communities in Frankfort, Kentucky. Co-author with Bernard Guerney of numerous Relationship Enhancement® materials, she is also author of Mastering the Magic of Play: A Handbook for Parents, which was first developed from her work teaching Filial Therapy to parents who often had multiple mental health diagnoses.

Dinner, Friday Night,

​March 31​
, 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.

Filial Play Therapy in Non-group Settings: Navigating the Unique Challenges

Presenter: Sharon Bryant, LMFT, RPT

Discussants: Louise Guerney, Ph.D., Julie Dodson, M.A., Nicole Bryan, M.S.

Saturday, April 1, 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 3 CE credits

Filial Play Therapy is a tried and true model for creating systematic change for the entire family. Research has shown that Filial Therapy not only provides children with a variety of therapeutic benefits, but it also strengthens the parent-child bond and attachment. Traditionally, Filial Therapy has been promoted for group settings, but it can also be effective on an individual basis. However, the use of Filial Therapy with individual clients can pose unique challenges. Clinicians are often faced with many methodological decisions: Do I start this family with Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) or with Filial Therapy. How will I know when to transition from CCPT to Filial Therapy? Do I involve the whole family or just one parent and child dyad? Do I have them start sessions in the office or begin with videotaped sessions at home? Although there are no black and white answers to these questions, we will talk about some factors that can help one make these decisions. Once clinicians determine the best methodology, another unique challenge arises: the need to compensate for the lack of group support. We’ll talk about various, creative techniques that can help clinicians navigate this challenge and foster a learning process. With the use of real cases, participants will have the opportunity to practice making decisions and providing encouragement to parents learning Filial Therapy.   

Participants completing this workshop will be able to:

1. Address the unique challenges involved when using Filial Play Therapy with individuals
2. Identify factors pertinent to methodological decisions regarding use of Filial Play Therapy with individual families
3. Gain fresh ideas for how to compensate for lack of group support

Sharon Bryant, LMFT, RPT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and received her masters in Marriage and Family Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary. She is certified in Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy and also is a Registered Play Therapist.  She enjoys providing services to children, adolescents, families, individuals, and couples and currently works in a group private practice called Spring Tree Counseling in the Chicago area.

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).

Julie Dodson, M.A., LMFT, is a counselor at Avenues for Women, where she serves women and couples, providing counseling for pregnancy options, relationships, resiliency, and trauma resolution. Julie is certified in both Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy. She earned a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2012.

Nicole Bryan, M.S., is a licensed clinical professional counselor.  She is in private practice in Chevy Chase, MD and a part of Weaver and Associates in McLean, VA. She specializes in treating children, adolescents and families, and has been trained in CCPT and Filial Therapy.


When Change is Slow: Addressing Parent Concerns During the Child-Centered Play/Filial Therapy Process

Presenter: Ian Masson, M.S.

Saturday, April 1, 2:00 – 5:15 p.m. 3 CE Credits

The process of therapy can be complex, involved, and sometimes longer than anticipated. When this occurs during play or filial therapies it can lead to frustration or anxiety on the part of the parent. The ability of the counselor to maintain the therapeutic relationship with the parent(s) and address their concerns becomes critical during these times. Therapists must be able to respond  in a non-defensive manner with empathy and at the same time clearly explain the play therapy process. Furthermore, the ability of the therapist to identify needs of the family or parent(s) and make appropriate recommendations becomes critical in order to address the parents’ concern regarding perceived “lack of progress” with the process. A therapist can further continued progress by making additional recommendations such as parenting skills training or transitioning from Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) to Filial Therapy. The ability to respond empathically while also providing a sense of hope for the future based on relevant explanations and/or recommendations becomes essential. 

Participants completing this workshop will be able to:   

1. Identify common concerns of parents at various phases during the CCPT or Filial play process
2. Apply the skill of empathic responding to ensure continued development of the therapeutic alliance
3. Provide explanations of the rationale and procedures of CCPT or Filial Therapy in response to parent concerns
4. Make appropriate recommendations based on concerns parents share during the process

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.

Registration Information

Location: The RE and Filial Therapy Conference  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 RE and Filial Therapy Conference annual meeting workshops have enjoyed each others company over dinner at a restaurant in Bethesda. We will do the same this year, on Friday,

​March 31​
 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 the NIRE Administrative Office at 301-680-8977.


RegistrationTo 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®

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