Saturday October 22, 2016 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT
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The College of New Jersey: Education Building 
2000 Pennington Rd
Ewing Township, NJ 08628

Driving Directions 


Tarcila Sutterley 
(908) 651-5986 


Strength in Diversity: Celebrating MFT

NJAMFT is pleased to present a full day of workshops and up to 6 CEUs for LMFTs, LPCs and LCADs. Register now for our plenary address plus your choice from 6 afternoon workshops. You can register here online and choose to pay via PayPal or by mail in check.

Be sure to mark your calendars for October 22nd, 2016!

The 2016 plenary address this year features Jennifer Sparks Ph.D, LMFT

Plenary:  MFT and Neurobiology:  Celebrating our Roots, Imagining Our Future 


 As Marriage and Family Therapists we will celebrate what we know and how our structural practice supports the future of health, well-being and our own evolution. We will consider Evolutionary Biology, Trauma, Attachment, Systems and how the field of Marriage and Family Therapy is integrating Neurobiology into therapeutic practice. We will look at the interplay between therapist and self and its impact on the relationship between therapist and client.  Through experiential exercises we will explore how our greatest gifts become our most difficult challenges and how those challenges can play out in the traumas of our clients.  


This will be a 3-hour presentation with one 10-minute break. Experiential exercises will be dispersed throughout the presentation dividing periods of lecture and power point presentation.   

  • Lay a foundation for incorporating Neurobiology into our daily systemic practices
  • Discuss “brain basics” – Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), attachment, and the fear driven brain
  • Create a working definition of the integration of MFT and IPNB
  • Using experiential exercises, we will explore Self-Of-The-Therapist: Our gifts and our challenges
  • Identify strategies that allow for presence and attunement
  • Learning to trust right brain to right brain healing: Celebrating our gifts

About Our Plenary Speaker 

About Jennifer Sparks

Jen received her Masters of Education in Addiction and Transpersonal Psychology from the College of William & Mary and her Doctoral degree in Human Development emphasizing Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech. She has specialty training in Hypnosis and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing as well as Rape Crisis and Interpersonal Violence.

Jen began her 25-year career at The Meadows treatment facility in Wickenburg, AZ as the co-creator and facilitator of their in- and out-patient Eating Disorders program.  Over the years she has worked for several non-profit agencies in couples and family therapy, sexual assault, interpersonal violence and childhood abuse. In addition to a small private practice in Newtown, PA, Jen is the Clinical Director for the TCNJ Clinic and the Mercer County Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center (IDRC).  Her history with The College of New Jersey began in 2002 as an Adjunct Professor where she is currently teaching Couple’s Therapy and the MFT LAB Course.

NJAMFT Conference Schedule for Saturday, October 22, 2016

8:00 AM – 8:45 AM   Registration, Exhibits and Continental Breakfast
8:45 AM – Noon           Plenary Address - MFT and Neurobiology: Celebrating our roots, Imagining                                                   our future
Noon – 1:00 PM           Awards Luncheon (included in registration fee)
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM     Workshop Presentations – (Please Choose From Selections Below For a Total of 3 hours)
4:15 PM – 5:00 PM      NJAMFT Annual Membership Meeting

NOTE: The Plenary Workshop will provide 3 General CEUs

Afternoon Workshop Descriptions and Presenters:

A (3 Hrs.):    Guidelines for the Treatment of Court Involved Families - Presenter:  Jean Banti, MS, MFT, LMFT :   THIS SESSION HAS BEEN CANCELLED, PLEASE CHOOSE ANOTHER BELOW

B (3 Hrs.):
    The Transformative Power of Affect in Couple Therapy: Using Emotionally Focused Therapy. - 
Presenter: Debi Scimeca-Diaz, LMFT, LCADC

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is an empirically validated approach to couples’ treatment. One of the most recent research studies demonstrates that EFT can change the way we respond to threat and pain. Secure relationships (post EFT) provide us with a safe haven and help us better cope with the stress and anxiety of life.  Many couples need help strengthening and deepening their bond with each other, partly because they haven’t learned how to emotionally bond and connect with their partner.  In EFT, we experientially guide people into a new way of relating using live affect in the therapy room.   This presentation will focus on showing therapists the transformative power of affect in couple therapy. It will be part didactic and part demonstration by showing videos clips of couples in treatment.

About the Presenter: Debi is in private practice in Hamilton, NJ working as a Marriage and Family Therapist and EFT Trainer. Debi provides supervision and consultation for individuals and groups and offers specific group consultation for therapists learning EFT. 

C (1.5 Hrs from 1-2:30):    Working with Children with Broken Attachments - Presenter:  Yaritza Zayas MS, MFT, LPC, NCC

This workshop will focus on ways to work with children who have broken attachments, specifically due to adoption, foster care, death, trauma or other loss. It will also provide professionals with tools for parents to use in connecting with their children and improving communication. The workshop will provide insight for clinicians and caregivers of children with broken attachments and ways to work with these children specifically those who have been through adoption and/or foster care and those who have suffered other trauma and loss. This workshop will address the unique issues that children who have lost--or been separated from--a parent or significant caregiver. It will detail what Evidence-Based Practices work best with this population as well as detailing what interventions promote joining and trust.

  • Participants Will:Learn children's response to grief and loss.
  • Normalize children's reaction to grief and loss.
  • Identify the variances in children's feelings about adoption.
  • Identify ways to navigate loss for children.
About The Presenter: Yaritza works as Group Clinician/Independent Contractor, writer and educator at the Center for Grieving Children in Philadelphia, PA. She facilitates groups for children 5-18 years of age who are mourning the death of a loved one.

D (1.5 Hrs/1-2:30):    Utilizing Evidence-Based Practices in In-Home Settings: Why You Should Care and How to Make it Work - Presenter: Beth Ruske MSEd, LMFT, ACS

This presentation will explore the rational and research of utilizing Evidence Based Practices in our work as therapists with children, teens, and families. We will also explore the benefits, challenges and magic of doing work in home with families, meeting them where they are in every sense.  We will then explore several available approaches and marry these manualized, standard approaches to the free form of in-home therapy.  Through power-point, discussion, and small group activity, challenges and benefits will be discussed, including how to maintain fidelity to a model while utilizing therapeutic creativity. Participants will be able to:

Identify reasons for using EBTs
Identify several options of EBTs available to treat various symptoms
Be able to introduce EBTs to his/her practice
Identify how to adapt EBTs to in home settings

About The Presenter: Beth is the Program Supervisor of Intensive In-Community Services at Robins’ Nest in Glassboro, NJ. She has worked in-home with families disrupted by abuse and neglect, behavioral and emotional issues for over five years and has worked with families for almost 20 years. She has specialized trainings in TF-CBT, CPC-CBT, PCIT, Nurtured Heart Approach and completed the Adoption Certification Program through Rutgers and is always finding ways to bring a systemic perspective to the work.

E (1.5 Hrs/2:30-4:00):   The Tao of Therapy:  A Recipe for Balancing Life: Applying Principles of Tai, Chi, Qi Gong and the Tao to Systems Theory in Treatment - Presenter: Ray Blume LMFT, APM

Learning Objectives (This workshop qualifies for 1.5 Cultural Competence CEUs):

  • Learning the concepts of the Tao and how they are applicable in the treatment room to help clients learn to balance their emotional mind and rational mind.
  • Learning how to integrate balance and systems theory in the treatment room by integrating the tensions of life.
  • How to access intuition by using bottom up body sensations and quality to support cognition and access intuition.
  • How the practice of Qi Gong and Tai Chi help develop Mindfulness through the enhancement of the mind/body connection.
  • How the use of slow gentle movements can reduce emotional distress and help clients to self regulate.
  • Health benefits of practicing Qi Gong and Tai Chi.
  • How to access Qi energy in the body to promote self healing
  • Preventing therapist burnout by utilizing Qi Gong and the Tao for purpose of maintaining resilience and compassion training.

About The Presenter: Ray is a LMFT with a private practice in Gibbsboro, NJ and is an accredited mediator with the NJ Association of Professional Mediators. Ray works with his wife, Robin Blume esq. to help assist couples in the divorce process. He is a certified Tai Chi and Qi Gong instructor with the American Tai Chi Association and teaches at the William Rorher Center for Health and Fitness.

F (1.5 Hrs. 2:30-4:00):    Introduction to Discernment Counseling: A New Protocol for Working with Couples on the Brink - Presenter: Linda Hershman LMFT

When one partner is unsure whether they are interested in saving the relationship, there is little motivation for change. The couple quickly starts to feel demoralized because “the therapy is not working,” while the therapist becomes frustrated when his or her best efforts to engage the couple fail. Traditional marriage counseling does not offer effective ways of working with mixed agenda couples, in which one partner is leaning in and desires to preserve the marriage while the other partner is leaning out and is not sure whether he or she has the motivation or interest for couple’s therapy. Developed by Dr. William Doherty for these mixed agenda couples, this introduction to Discernment Counseling (DC) provides a protocol for helping couples reach a decision with clarity and confidence about whether to try to save the relationship, generally within 1-5 sessions.

About The Presenter: Linda Hershman is a LMFT and AAMFT- Approved Supervisor located in the Philadelphia area. She has served as adjunct faculty member with Immaculata University’s graduate program and with the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Center. Linda is certified in Discernment Counseling. 

To see prices and to register quickly, safely and easily online, either by credit card or mail-in check, click on the button below. Better hurry though, the Early Bird Discount ends in a few weeks! If you have any questions, you may contact our conference chair, Tarcila Sutterley LMFT at: tsutterley@outlook.com

Register Now!