Category Archives: Family Based Mental Health

A Guide for Doing Family-Based Treatment Effectively

C. Wayne Jones, Ph.D.

Thursday, May 1st, 2014,  NHS in Colmar, PA
Friday, May 2nd, 2014, The Philhaven Conference Center, Mt. Gretna, PA
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

$125, 6.0 CE

Learning to translate systems theory into effective family based practice can be a challenge. It involves learning to see pattern, interpreting or thinking about what is observed relationally, then taking actions that disrupt negative patterns and create more positive ones.  All while maintaining a strong therapeutic alliance.  Therapists in training often ask “what does it look like when done well?”  Videos of effective family based therapy sessions with a variety of families and problem situations are used in this workshop to help address this question and highlight foundational clinical skills.  The basic principles of family systems theory and the mechanisms of change are also reviewed and discussed in relation to the observed therapy sessions. This workshop is designed to encourage maximum participation and interaction with the material.

As a result of participating in this training, participants will be able to: 1) Describe basic principles of family systems theory, (2) Explain specific mechanisms of change in family based treatment, 3) Describe eight foundational clinical skills that are essential to conducting family therapy sessions, 4) Identify what these skills look like in actual practice, 5) Describe how to use reflective questions to “push the conversation,” and 6) Describe how to facilitate change through enactments.

Making the Most of Team-Based Collaborative Treatment

Tara Byers, M.S, N.C.C.
C. Wayne Jones, Ph.D.

Thursday, September 11th, 2014, NHS, Colmar, PA
Friday, September 12th, 2014,  Philhaven Conference Center, Mt Gretna, PA
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

$125, 6.0 CE

The importance of cultivating a sense of partnership, working collaboratively with children and families is fundamental in family based treatment.  Too often, however this important relational stance is  given less attention to the other members of the treatment system, such as the therapists’ relationships with their co-therapist team partner, their supervisors and other professionals involved in the family’s life.  Teaming with others can be one of the most personally challenging components of family based treatment.  This workshop identifies the nature of successful teams and the empirical link between collaboration and treatment outcomes. Strategies are described for utilizing co-therapist teams to maximize the potency of the treatment with families.  Particular attention is given to the co-therapy and supervisor team.  Highlighted are the skills, attitudes and stages associated with the development of professional teams. Particular focus is given to common pitfalls and the signs therapists can look for to determine if they are working as a team. Strategies for team building and negotiating conflict are provided.

This workshop is designed to help you: 1) describe the elements of successful co-therapy teams, 2) describe the elements of successful therapist-supervisor relationships,  3) identify personal conflict management style, 4) identify strategies for fostering collaboration with other agency professionals, 5) identify constructive strategies for negotiating interpersonal conflict and 6) develop strategies for maximizing the use of co-therapy teams to both enhance therapy skills and help families meet their treatment goals.

Strengthening the Executive Role in Multi-Stressed Families

C. Wayne Jones, Ph.D.
Tara Byers, M.S., N.C.C.

Thursday, February 6th, 2014, Philhaven, Mt. Gretna, PA
Friday, February 7th, 2014, NHS, Colmar, PA

$125, 6.0 CE

This workshop identifies the common challenges of parenting in multi-stressed families.  These caregivers, often having traumatic family histories, become easily overwhelmed by the day-to-day management tasks of nurturing and guiding their children.  They may not be familiar with the basic principles of good parenting, may not feel comfortable with the “executive” role, may feel alone, and may be in chronic conflict with their partners.

This workshop begins with a review of the big picture on parenting and child development, reviewing current findings on the types of parenting practices that strengthen children’s resiliency.  Major focus is then given to how caregivers come to embrace a parent identity and how therapists can facilitate this process.  A distinction is made between parenting and being a “parent.”  Strategies are also provided for fostering greater comfort with the executive or leadership aspects of the parenting role. The afternoon portion of this workshop is devoted to caregivers’ relationships with one another – the co-parenting alliance.  Three maladaptive co-caregiving patterns commonly found among multi-stressed families are identified, along with the predictable challenges, family dynamics, agency interactions, and “traps” for therapists that are associated with them.   Strategies are highlighted for engaging the under-involved parent and constructively managing inter-parental conflict in sessions.

This workshop is designed to help you: 1) identify parent-child interactions which promote or constrain the development of social-emotional competence, 2) explain the processes that help caregivers move toward adopting a parent identity, 3) practice methods for helping parents take an executive or leadership role with their children, 4) describe the nature of a co-caregiver alliance and reasons it is important,  5) recognize and distinguish between three common dysfunctional co-caregiver relationship patterns, and 6) facilitate team work and positive communication between caregivers on behalf of children.


Clinical Foundations of Family Based Treatment 2013-2014

Marlene Reiff, LCSW, LMFT, Michael Russell, M.S. & Frani Pollack, Ph.D.

This 6 part, 36-hour team-taught series is offered at Philhaven in Mt Gretna, PA on 10/11, 11/22, 1/24, 3/7, and 3/21, 4/25 and 5/16. It is offered at Indian Creek Foundation in Souderton, PA on 10/10, 11/21, 1/2, 2/20, 3/27, and 4/3. Each session is 5.5 hours.

This series is designed for therapists in their first 16 to 18 months of training in the operationalized version of ESFT as applied to FBMHS. It is practice based, emphasizing the basics of the model, such as reading interactional pattern, systemic conceptualization of cases, creating a therapeutic alliance in families, and using the core assessment tools (Genogram, Eco-Maps, and the Time-line) to develop hypotheses. In each session, participants are engaged in real-world applications of basic skills through two to three organized case presentations. Each case presentation follows a standardized assessment protocol (the ITP) and a standardized treatment planning process (RTP) based on the treatment manual – Setting the Stage for Change: In-Home Family Based Treatment. Teaching methods include mini-didactics, video tape presentations, and role plays.

This series is designed to help the therapist:1) identify family interactional patterns, 2) create therapeutic alliances, 3) hypothesize using Genogram, Eco-Map, and Time-Line information, and 4) develop systemic case conceptualizations.

Clinical Applications of Family Based Treatment 2013-2014

C. Wayne Jones, Ph.D., Jorge Colapinto, LMFT, & Andy Fussner, M.S.W.

This 14 part, 68-hour team-taught series is offered at four different locations between September, 2012 and June, 2013: Keystone Child & Family Services in Harrisburg, PA; Philhaven in Mt. Gretna, PA; Pennsylvania Counseling Services in Lebanon, PA, and Northwestern Human Services of Montgomery County in Colmar, PA.

The focus of this multi-session practice-based course is on building assessment and intervention skills in the operationalized version of the Eco-Systemic Structural approach to family based mental health services, as outlined in the published treatment manual – Setting the Stage for Change: In Home Family Based Treatment. In each of these applied workshops, real-world applications are demonstrated through two to three organized case presentations. Each case presentation follows a standardized assessment protocol (the ITP) and a standardized treatment planning process (RTP). Emphasis is given to recognizing relevant individual, family and community patterns believed to be amplifying symptoms and inhibiting the development of recovery. Recommended interventions are observed via video tapes, and then rehearsed via role plays. The theoretical and research foundation for choosing one intervention over another is provided.

This series is designed to help the therapist:1) analyze family interactional patterns to identify strengths and vulnerabilities, 2) create therapeutic alliances, 3) design meaningful relational treatment plans to help children recover, and 4) select and utilize effective strategies for intervention. These strategies include a) those that strengthen individual family member skills in effectively modulating negative emotions and behavior, b) those that strengthen caregivers’ empathy and support toward their children, c) those that strengthen caregivers’ parenting skills, and d) those that re-structure and strengthen the caregivers’ relationships with one another and others in their extended network.