Keynote Addresses

AAMFT is proud to welcome our 2014 keynote speakers.

Thursday, October 16, 2014; 4:00 - 5:30 p.m: Understanding and Motivating Gen Y's

Karyn Gordon, MDIV, DMIN is one of North America's leading relationship / parenting experts, a best-selling author, a media personality, motivational speaker and founder of dk Leadership. Her mission is to inspire people to dream their best life, learn the tools and do it! She is passionate about teaching EQ Leadership Skills (Motivation, Time Management, Organization, Decision-Making, Confidence, Communication & Career Direction) to help develop thriving relationships at home (with ourselves; parents & kids/teens; husbands & wives) and at work (integrations: gen Y, gen X, boomers, traditionalists; mentors & mentees; teachers & students). She is the best-selling author of Dr. Karyn's Guide To The Teen Years (Harper Collins) and has written 3 additional resources for parents, teachers and, counselors.

Dr. Gordon is a regular on the USA's #1 morning show Good Morning America (ABC), Canada's #1 talk-show Cityline (City) and Toronto's #1 morning show Breakfast Television (City). In addition - she writes a regular column for New York Parenting and Chatelaine Magazines. Previously, she was the resident expert for The Mom Show (slice), hosted a radio talk-show (CFRB), and produced her own music talk-show, Spill Your Guts (Global), interviewing celebrities to share lessons they learned as teenagers. This year, she is thrilled to launch a new online program for young people and adults called the "Strategic Career" - a 4 week webinar & Top #50 Industry Expert podcast series empowering people to discover their dream career.

Dr. Gordon is dedicated to understanding the power that environment and family organization can have on overall emotional well-being.

Friday, October 17, 2014; 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg: Storied Reflections about Genuine Pioneers

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW is the Founder of The Divorce Busting Center in Boulder, Colorado and Woodstock, Illinois. She is an internationally renowned relationship expert, best-selling author of seven books, psychotherapist, and speaker. Her website, attracts thousands of visitors each day.

From 1982-1983, Michele trained with Steve de Shazer at the Brief Family Therapy Center (BFTC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From 1983-1986, Michele became part of the BFTC team and did research with Steve de Shazer and Wally Gingerich. Their research contributed to the theoretical underpinnings of the solution-focused therapy model. Michele's book with Bill O'Hanlon - In Search of Solutions: A New Direction in Psychotherapy, published in 1989, is considered a classic in the field of solution-oriented therapy.

Additionally, Michele has co-authored many articles on solution-focused therapy including the seminal article in Family Process published in 1986 entitled, Brief Therapy: Focused Solution Development, as well as the article on Pretreatment Change in the Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy in 1987.
In 1992, Michele disseminated many practical solution-focused principles to the general public in her groundbreaking book, Divorce Busting, aimed at helping couples save their troubled marriages. In 2001, Michele received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy from AAMFT for her work with couples.

Michael Durrant is Founder and Director of the Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney and has an international as a therapist, trainer, consultant and author in Solution Focused Brief Therapy. A Registered Psychologist, Michael has consulted to counseling/therapy agencies, teams in Australia and overseas and has presented professional training workshops in North America, Europe & Southeast Asia, including large-scale, ongoing trainings and consultations on solution-focused work to child and adult mental health services in New Zealand.

Michael is an Honorary Academic Associate in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, where he is involved in the training of School Psychologists and has been a visiting international faculty member on the Masters of Special Education program at Fontys University in the Netherlands. Michael is President of the Australasian Association for Solution Focused Brief Therapy and is the founding editor of the Journal of Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Michael is the author of a number of books and other professional publications in aspects of Solution Focused Brief Therapy.

Michael was fortunate to enjoy a close personal friendship with Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, and with other founders of Solution Focused Brief Therapy, including Eve Lipchik. Michael is one of very few outside speakers invited to conduct training at the Brief Family Therapy Center (the original de Shazer and Berg center in Milwaukee).

Friday, October 17, 2014; 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.: Shifts Happen: Reflections on the Legacy of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer

Frank N. Thomas, Ph.D. LMFT-S, SFBTA Archivist is Professor of Counseling and Counselor Education in the College of Education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He was a professor and clinical graduate faculty in the Family Therapy Program at Texas Woman’s University in Denton from 1989 to 2001.

Dr. Thomas’s book Solution-Focused Supervision: A Resource-Oriented Approach to Developing Clinical Expertise (2013, Springer) has been described by Michael Durrant, Director of the Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney and Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, as “THE most significant solution-focused book of the past 10 years.” He is co-author and co-editor of four additional books, including two on solution focused brief therapy. Additionally, Thomas has written over 80 articles and book chapters, more than 50 of which center on solution-focused approaches.

Dr. Thomas has been a therapist for over 37 years, concentrating on brief models of therapy in his teaching, supervision, and practice for more than 30 years. He serves on the editorial boards of five international journals, including his position as Associate Editor of The Journal of Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Dr. Thomas is also an AAMFT Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor and a Texas licensed marriage and family therapist.  

Cynthia K. Hansen, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience using Solution Focused Brief Therapy in her practice in Portland, Oregon, specializing in evaluation and treatment for children, adolescents, families, adults and couples, disaster response, and teaching nationally and internationally on solution-focused therapy.

Ten years ago, Insoo Kim Berg and Cynthia co-produced an audiotape entitled “Making a Difference with Adolescents”, available through the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association, which highlights Cynthia’s experience with teenagers using a solution-focused approach as well as Insoo’s extraordinary interviewing skills. Dr. Hansen is known for her “Solution Focused Tango” workshops that provide a novel context for exploring the solution-focused client-therapist relationship.

Most recently, Dr. Hansen has applied the solution focused brief therapy model to organizations and public policy issues such as suicide prevention and disaster response, and presented at the New Africa Organization Design Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2011. Dr. Hansen enjoys any opportunity to gather with her solution-focused colleagues in the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association and the European Brief Therapy Association, and treasures the mentoring and friendship that Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg generously offered. Dr. Hansen currently works for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Saturday, October 18, 2014; 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: The Impact of Public Policy on our Behavioral Health Care System

The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy
Former United States Representative, Rhode Island; Co-Founder, One Mind for Research and SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana); and Founder, Kennedy Forum

Representative  Patrick Kennedy served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is predominantly known as author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This dramatic piece of legislation provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment.

Now, Rep. Kennedy is the co-founder of One Mind for Research, a national coalition seeking new treatments and cures for neurologic and psychiatric diseases of the brain afflicting one in every three Americans. One Mind for Research is dedicated to dramatic enhancements in funding and collaboration in research across al brain disorders in the next decade. This historic grassroots endeavor unites efforts of scientists, research universities, government agencies, and industry and advocacy organizations not only across the country, but throughout the world. Rep. Kennedy is bringing everyone together to design the first blueprint of basic neuroscience, to guide efforts in seeking cures for neurological disorders affecting Americans.

Rep. Kennedy is the founder of the Kennedy Forum on Community Mental Health which served as a vehicle to celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's signing of the Community Mental Health Act, the landmark bill that laid the foundation of contemporary mental health policy and provide Rep. Kennedy with the platform to launch the bold, ongoing effort to advance the work President Kennedy began, The Kennedy forum continues to advocate for mental health parity.

Rep. Kennedy has authored and co-sponsored dozens of bills to increase the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including the National Neurothechnology Initiative Act, the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act, the COMBAT PTSD Act, and the Alzheimer's Treatment and Caregiver Support Act.

Rep. Kennedy is a winner of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Distinguished Service Award, the Society of Neuroscience Public Service Award, and the Peter C. Alderman Foundation Humanitarian Award, Centennial Award from the Clifford Beers Foundation, the Autism Society of America Congressional Leadership Award, the Depression and BiPolar Support Pual Wellstone Mental Health Award, the Epilepsy Foundation of Public Service Award and has been recognized by many organizations for his mental health advocacy. In 2014, he is being recognized by the Society of Biological Psychiatry, The Samaritan Institute, and The Association of Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA).

He is also founder of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus and the 21st Century Healthcare Caucus, as well as co-founder of the SAM-Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Rep. Kennedy lives in Brigantine, NJ, with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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