October 20, 2014

Several members of the Family Science Department (FMSC) presented at the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Conference. The annual conference is the world’s leading education and networking event for marriage and family therapists. It gives students, faculty, and professionals an opportunity to learn from leaders in the field, network with peers, and discuss cutting edge research and techniques over four days filled with educational and professional development activities. Participants included FMSC Professor and Director of the Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) Master's Program Dr. Norman Epstein; Instructor and Director of the Center for Healthy Families Dr. Carol Werlinich; FMSC doctoral candidates John Hart and BreAnna Davis and doctoral student Jenni Young; CFT master’s students Shawn Kim, Sam Allen, and Jocylynn Stephenson; and CFT alumni Clio Zheng, Nicole Ehlert, Liz Ott, and Paige Murtagh.

Dr. Epstein, Jenni Young, Clio Zheng, and Shawn Kim presented a workshop on culturally competent adaptations to Western-derived MFT models for Chinese society. They took into consideration cultural values and traditions, family structure and roles, communication styles, expectations of therapy, and effects of the educational system and economic development on family functioning in China.

Dr. Epstein, Dr. Werlinich, John Hart, BreAnna Davis, Liz Ott, and Paige Murtagh presented an institute on conjoint treatment with couples experiencing psychological and mild to moderate physical aggression. They showed video examples describing assessment and treatment methods in cognitive-behavioral, emotionally-focused, and narrative couple therapies, also focusing on ethical considerations and gender-related issues involved in conjoint treatment of aggression.

Nicole Ehlert, Dr. Epstein, and Jocylynn Stephenson presented a research poster titled “Couple depression, communication, and steps toward leaving,” and Sam Allen presented a research poster titled “An analysis of orthodox gay men and their maternal relationships.”

FMSC is proud of the extensive involvement of FMSC faculty, graduate students, and alumni at this national conference.

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Norman B. Epstein, Carol A. Werlinich, BreAnna Davis, Jennifer Young