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Friday, January 27, 2016, 10 am – 4:30 pm
Registration 9:30 am - 10 am

Continental breakfast & afternoon snacks provided. Lunch is on your own.

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9:15 - 10:00 am Registration
10:00 - 10:15 am Welcome:  Rick Hendricks, LMFT, President of MAMFT
10:15 - 11:00 am "Understanding Sexual Development Through the Lens of Consent & Pleasure," Yana Tallon-Hicks
11:10 am – Noon "Understanding Couple Sexuality Through the Lens of Trauma," Mike Lew, M.Ed.
Noon - 1:15 pm Lunch
1:15 - 3:00 pm Panel: “Avoidance, Compulsions and Self-Absorption: How Sexual Trauma Impacts a Couple’s Attachment, Security and Pursuit of Passion.” Moderator: Kathy McMahon, Psy.D. Panelists: Mike Lew, M.Ed.,  Ross Hackerson, MA, LMFT Nancy Knudsen, M.Ed., LMFT, Katherine Waddell, MA, LMFT
3:00 - 3:15 pm Break
3:15 - 4:15 pm Panel and audience conversation
4:15 - 4:30 pm Closing Remarks

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Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063  




Tangled Truths:
Helping Couples Living With the Aftermath of Sexual Trauma

January 27, 2017, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Sexual trauma often leads to detrimental effects on any intimate relationship. Partners of those who have been abused often feel helpless and confused. They want to do the right thing to take away their partner’s pain, while not neglecting their own sexual and emotional needs.

Therapists, even those who are comfortable working with sexually traumatized individuals, can become queasy when asked to help the marriage or partnership. They neither want to blame the victim, nor ignore the real challenges facing a love relationship grappling with these issues.

The long-term symptoms of sexual trauma are complex and may be masked by emotional dysregulation, sexual addiction, or sexual disinterest. Others show up as fear of expressing tender emotional expression, high anxiety, or guilt.

This symposium brings together distinguished clinicians and sexuality specialists to focus on the complexity of helping couples with these issues to enjoy greater intimacy, sexuality, and joy in their lives.


Mike Lew, M.Ed.,
works with men and women in their healing from the effects of childhood sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. A major focus of his work has been the development of strategies for recovery from incest and other abuse, particularly for men. Mike conducts public lectures and workshops for survivors, and trainings and consultations throughout the world. Mike has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and many other TV, radio programs, and online media. He has consulted to the United Nations, and U.S. Navy. His publications include Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse (Quill, 2004) and Leaping Upon the Mountains (Small Wonder Books and North Atlantic Books, 1999). Mike has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and the review board of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. He practices in Easthampton, MA.

Yana Tallon-Hicks is a noted local sex & sexuality writer and educator in Western Massachusetts.  She writes a popular column in the Valley Advocate, and has offered pleasure-positive workshops at colleges and youth groups all over New England. Yana was recently invited to deliver a TEDx talk in Austria about her sex and consent education work. Yana is currently a graduate student in the Marriage & Family Therapy Masters Program at Antioch New England and interns at Couples Center of the Pioneer Valley.

Ross Hackerson, MA, LMFT, has been practicing in the field of mental
health for more than 30 years. A former “conservative Texas psychologist,”
Ross discovered Rolfing at Esalen over 25 years ago and never turned back.
He is a Certified Advanced Rolfer, EMDR practitioner, and farmer. He conducts three- to four-day private personal psychotherapy intensives for individuals
suffering trauma of all sorts in Northampton, MA.

Nancy Knudsen, LMFT, has been a Marriage and Family Therapist for 30 years. She is a certified EFT therapist, certified EFT supervisor and currently serves as the Assistant Director of the New England Emotionally Focused Therapy Community. Nancy is also a certified EMDR consultant, and has a long history of integrating her couples work with state-of-the-art trauma treatment. She is a Past President of the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She maintains a private practice in Northampton, MA.

Katherine Waddell, LMFT, is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Couples Center of the Pioneer Valley. Having worked with couples for over 20 years, Katherine teaches and trains therapists, offering workshops and supervision in the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy (Ellyn Bader/Peter Pearson) across the USA. She also brings EMDR and the Adaptive Information Processing model into her work with individuals and couples. She practices in Northampton, MA.


Kathy McMahon, Psy.D. (Moderator) is a psychologist and has been a couples therapist for over 30 years. She is a certified Diplomat of sex therapy & sex education through AASECT, and Former Director of a Graduate Psychology Program MA in Counseling Psychology at Antioch University New England. She is President of Couples Therapy Inc., an international clinical practice seeing couples online & a weekend retreat format. She practices in Cummington, MA.