> CAMFT's 53rd Annual Conference
Conference OverviewPresentersWorkshopsTravelExhibitorsRegistration
6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Jamie McHugh, MA, RSMTSATURDAY, MAY 6, 2017
6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
SMA3 “Embodied Mindfulness”
Presented by Jamie McHugh, MA, RSMT
1 CE Hour | Track: Healing, Educational, Trauma and Family

Mindfulness practices are powerful methods for self-reflection and self-regulation that can be used with patients/clients experiencing PTSD or Trauma. Yet many of these methods were developed in the past when our brains weren’t so overwrought by technology and speed. Consequently, stillness can initially be overwhelming or counter-productive, especially for people with anxiety disorders. Embodied Mindfulness is a contemporary somatic approach to traditional contemplative sitting practices. Dedicated to reconciling the split between conscious movement and stillness, this step-by-step methodology to calm the body and quiet the mind balances inner witnessing with active somatic interventions. These resources include self-contact, subtle movement, breath and aspirated vocalizations to help modulate feeling and stabilize attention. This session will also consider how a psychotherapist might share these practices with patients/clients in a therapy session.

Upon completion of this experiential morning session, participants will be able to:

  1. Practice with their patients/clients the embodied mindfulness method of self-reflection and self-regulation for a fresh start to their day to settle and focus on themselves before taking in multiple streams of information.
  2. Demonstrate how to modulate feeling and stabilize attention through self-contact, subtle movement, breath and aspirated vocalizations during therapy with patients/clients dealing with anxiety, PTSD and trauma.

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Jill Epstein, JD, CAMFT Executive Director8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AMM3 “Annual Membership Meeting”
2 CE Hours

The Board of Directors cordially invites all CAMFT members to the Annual Membership Meeting. Listen to Jill Epstein, CAMFT’s Executive Director, deliver detailed information regarding CAMFT’s 2016-2017 accomplishments including a complete review of political and grassroots efforts on CAMFT-backed and CAMFT-sponsored bills. As always, member comments will be received. During the Annual Membership Meeting, CAMFT will recognize the Educational Foundation scholarship and grant recipients, as well as announce the winners of the Educational Foundation raffle drawing. Raffle ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

Both developmental and neurological research from the past decade have revealed infants as primarily right-brain beings and demonstrated that in the first few years of life the neural circuitry of the right brain expands internally at somewhere near the speed of light. In the safety and stability of loving and attuned resonance, children learn the most important life lessons of how to be present in their bodies, in their first relationships and eventually in the world, in a neutrally integrated and regulated way. Early childhood trauma, especially that sustained relationally, disrupts those growing capacities, and leaves implicit (unconscious and body-based) imprints in the subcortical right brain that create much of the suffering addressed in psychotherapy.

While the overwhelming bias in Western psychotherapy has been taught as a “top down” primarily left-brain model of conscious and verbal attempts at change, neuroscience is increasingly confirming that we must work in this right brain, unconscious, body-based arena as well. This workshop, using a combination of vignettes, experiential exercises and clinical tools, will look at ways that therapists, regardless of their clinical orientations, can add more implicit and “bottom-up” approaches to the way they work.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe some of the neurological correlates of trauma and of its healing, and the necessity for affect regulation in healthy functioning.
  2. Discuss the effects of trauma, and the implicit (unconscious) beliefs that result, on the capacity to regulate affect and arousal.
  3. Explain and utilize affect regulation skills and tools with clients (most of the material taught will relate directly to application).

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Richard S. Sinacola, PhD10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
S2 “Treatment Resistant Depression: Psychopharmacological Best Practices”
Presented by Richard S. Sinacola, PhD
2 CE Hours | Track: Healing


This workshop will present a concise yet complete approach to the medication best practices of treating treatment-resistant depression. Participants will be exposed to current practices and the reasons for such approaches, and come away with a better understanding of the need for various medication regimens and the typical patient concerns that are encountered. Participants will also have ample opportunities for questions and for voicing their own concerns.

   Upon completion of this workshop, participants will:

  1. Acquire a working knowledge of the biological components of treatment-resistant depression.
  2. Describe the various pharmacological options for treating depression.
  3. Acquire a basic understanding of the various options for using polypharmacy as a treatment approach.
  4. Engage in a professional discussion regarding patient concerns and the ethics of medication management.

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This presentation will be organized around PowerPoint slides. Lecture material will be interspersed with clinical case examples for mental health professionals. Video interviews with actual patients will provide a more personal picture of the onset, illness course, medical treatment, and family and relationship disruptions that frequently occur in those with medically significant endocrine (hormonal) disorders. Audience discussion of video cases will assist attendees in understanding the relevance to daily clinical practice. This presentation is intended to heighten awareness, present research findings, and challenge attendees to develop a new role for marriage and family therapy in the treatment of pituitary tumors and a variety of other disturbances of the endocrine system. 

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe a basic understanding of the biological purpose and function of the endocrine system.
  2. List four mental health symptoms commonly found in disorders of the endocrine system.
  3. Identify four ways disorders of the endocrine system impact relationships in both males and females.
  4. Name at least three tools and/or techniques mental health professionals can implement in clinical practice to assist in the identification, assessment, or medical consultation regarding potential endocrine disorders in their client population.


Nancy Zarse, PsyD10:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
S4 “Terrorism, Trauma and Resilience”
Presented by Nancy Zarse, PsyD
5 CE Hours | Track: All Tracks

This introductory workshop describes terrorism, trauma, and resilience. Participants will understand the common elements of terrorism, as well as the psychology of terrorism. Participants will learn about the process of moral disengagement, and the differences between terrorism and other catastrophes. The impact of children will be discussed, as well as the guidelines for dealing with children traumatized by terrorism. The workshop will cover resilience. Actual examples of terrorists and terrorism will lend context to the presentation. Infused into the workshop will be the presenter’s experiences working with law enforcement in the field of terrorism, as well as leading a study-abroad trip to Israel for seven years. The Israel course and international trip focuses on terrorism, trauma, and resilience.
Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. List the common elements of terrorism.
  2. Discuss the process of moral disengagement.
  3. Describe the differences between terrorism and other catastrophes.
  4. Discuss the traumatic impact of terrorism on children.
  5. Utilize recommendations to reduce the traumatic impact of terrorism.
  6. Describe resilience with respect to terrorism.
  7. Analyze examples of terrorism.

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Cathy Atkins, JD, CAMFT Deputy Executive Director10:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
S53 “Road to Licensure”
Presented by Cathy Atkins, J.D., CAMFT Deputy Executive Director
5 CE Hours | Track: Justice and Educational

Participants will learn the latest information on the licensing process; rules on obtaining supervised hours, appropriate work settings, requirements for supervisors, dealing with the Board of Behavioral Sciences, the licensing exams, finding the “right” jobs, marketing yourself, preparing for an interview, signing employment agreements, and protecting yourself should the employment relationship sour.

At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  1. Explain the laws and regulations as they pertain to the MFT licensing process;
  2. Describe the breakdown of experience hours for MFT applicants;
  3. Identify the BBS forms to be completed during the MFT licensing process; and
  4. Summarize the important employment issues related to MFT interns and trainees.

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Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW10:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
S61 “Mixed Orientation Sexuality: Where One is Straight and the Other is Gay, Bi or Sexually Fluid”
Presented by Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW
5 CE Hours | Track: Diversity and Family

In a rush of countertransference, many therapists see divorce as the only option. Yet, given time, such couples may decide to remain together, with certain adjustments.
This workshop will explore the treatment issues for the new mixed marriage, from how therapists can recognize their countertransference and keep it from interfering to ways they can tailor therapy to the couple’s unique needs.
Participants will learn specific interventions to deal with the straight spouse’s reactivity and the gay spouse’s guilt, and how to help the couple decide what’s best for them.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain how to assess the psychological trauma of growing up gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning.
  2. Discuss contemporary perspectives of mixed orientation couples.
  3. Formulate strategies for mixed orientation couples on compatibility, incompatibility, monogamy versus non-monogamy and sexual satisfaction.
  4. Describe how to apply specific interventions and assessment tools to assess for whether the non-straight spouse is gay, straight, bisexual or somewhere in between.
  5. Identify skills to help couples create a mutual vision of staying together.

SATURDAY, MAY 6, 12:15 P.M.–2:15 P.M.

Connect with colleagues at the Brown Bag Roundtable  Discussions! A cash concession will be set up in the exhibit hall for your lunch purchase convenience, and topics and moderators will be assigned to roundtables for discussion. Topics such as insurance issues, legal and ethical issues, software needs, setting up a private practice, MFT Licensure, Volunteering for CAMFT, Join CAMFT, CAMFT Certified Supervisor Program, Chapter Involvement, and more will be offered up for discussion. This is a great way to lunch with colleagues, share information, and network!

Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (PACL, PACV, PACGF)
CAMFT's Inaugural PAC Fundraiser and Luncheon
Special Guest Speaker:  California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones 

Here's a chance to ask your insurance questions and help CAMFT's political efforts!  

Don’t miss your chance to meet California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and learn more about how the industry is regulated and how you can make a difference! This is a unique opportunity to ask the California Insurance Commissioner questions about insurance parity enforcement for mental health coverage, as well as other questions on your mind. 

The fee to attend this special member-only, PAC luncheon is $60, which will directly benefit the CAMFT PAC. Your generous donation to our state PAC helps to advance our legislative agenda, and fund efforts to elect and re-elect legislators who are supportive of issues important to MFTs.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
Dave Jones is California’s Insurance Commissioner. He was first elected Insurance Commissioner in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Jones leads the California Department of Insurance and regulates the California insurance market. Insurers collect $259 billion a year in premiums in California, making it the nation’s largest insurance market.


Much of what takes place between parent and child during the first five years is primarily the development of self-regulation through the influence of a secure attachment. Self-regulation becomes the foundation of optimal development and makes possible subsequent higher emotional and personality growth. We will review the relation between early regulation and later emotional health, the lessons of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE study), and how an outcome such as delinquency can model the failure to develop self-regulation. We will discuss how to foster resiliency through co-regulation – a sensory sensitive, collaborative, relationally based and neurodevelopmentally informed approach to parenting.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the experiences necessary for the development of self-regulation in the young child.
  2. Connect disturbances in the early development of self-regulation to later problems with attachment, empathy, aggression, attention, substance abuse, and emotional stability.
  3. Apply three basic principles to healthy, neurodevelopmentally informed parenting practices that can be used in working with families in a therapeutic setting.

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Ofer Zur, PhD2:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
S8 “Ethics with Soul: Digital Ethics and Traditional Boundaries in the Age of Google, Facebook and Telehealth”
Presented by Ofer Zur, PhD
3 CE Hours | Track: Justice and Educational

This is an intermediate course addressing the complexities of boundary issues in psychotherapy, such as self-disclosure, gifts, touch, home visits, interventions outside the office, and dual relationships as well as digital ethics issues in telemental health, such as online boundaries, texting with clients, therapists Googling clients, clients Googling therapists and online multiple relationships. This course will incorporate popular movie clips to highlight context-based applications of therapeutic boundaries. It also emphasizes that flexible ethical therapeutic boundaries can enhance therapeutic alliances and clinical outcomes. Additionally, the course focuses on the effects of the general topic modern technology, such as the internet on psychotherapy.
As a result of attending this training, participants should be able to:

  1. Define boundaries in psychotherapy.
  2. Differentiate among boundary crossing, boundary violations and dual relationships in psychotherapy.
  3. List current standards of practice, codes of ethics and California laws in regard to boundaries in therapy.
  4. Identify the variety of digital ethics issues introduced by digital technologies.
  5. Describe the process of ethical decision-making regarding the ethical issues discussed in the workshop.
  6. Summarize ways in which diverse populations may require different applications of boundaries from clinicians.

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Amanda Somberg LMFT2:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
S91 “The Power of Play: Why Women’s Happiness, Mood and Sex Lives Need More Play Time”
Presented by Amanda Somberg, LMFT
3 CE Hours | Track: Healing, Educational and Family

In our busy world of work and home obligations, women often overgive, overcompensate, and feel guilt and shame about their needs and desires. The price for negating one’s needs, unfortunately, is discontent. This workshop shows how health and happiness are rooted in self-focus, not self-sacrifice. Through play, pleasurable activities, and satisfying sex – all of which require attention to self – women become better workers, better mothers, and better mates. This workshop teaches you the biological and psychosocial reasons for why women negate their needs. You will learn how play and pleasure improves mental health and strengthens relationships. Giving clients permission to meet their own needs, and by modeling healthy dialogue about sexuality (which is covered in detail), we pave the way for clients to fully embrace selfhood and healthy intimacy.

As a result of attending this training, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify the need to assess a client’s sexual functioning.
  2. Describe the complexity of women’s selflessness, co-dependency, and need to nurture others.
  3. Assist clients to tackle abandonment anxiety, guilt, and shame when they assert themselves.
  4. Explain self-care and how healthy sexual expression forms the basis for improved self-efficacy and relationships.

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Karen Wall, EdD, RN-BC, BSN, MFT Intern6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
SPS3 ““Processing Session”
Facilitated by Karen Wall, EdD, RN-BC, BSN, MFT Registered Intern
1.5 CE Hours | Tracks: All Tracks

A one-hour processing session (where participants may bring their own meal/snack) to discuss conference workshops. Facilitator will be present to enable, inspire, and support connection and integration. The facilitator will offer intimacy, inspiration, non-judgment, and freedom to share and/or listen.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize greater practical and inspirational value in the conference.
  2. Develop real connection with other therapists, students and interns.
  3. Listen to others' perspectives on presenters and workshops.
  4. Debrief from possible overload of intense input of information.
  5. Discuss what we are learning to solidify ideas and practical application.
  6. Practice more intimacy in sharing personal and professional inspiration and ideas.
  7. Explore how to incorporate new discoveries and material.

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6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Armand Volkas, LMFT, Director, RDT/BCTPlayback Theatre PerformersS101 “Stories of Collaboration, Empowerment and Resilience: A Playback Theatre Performance”
Performed by Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble and Armand Volkas, LMFT,Director, RDT/BCT
2 CE Hours | Tracks: All Tracks

Bay Area-based Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble, directed by psychotherapist and drama therapist Armand Volkas, will invite conference attendees to share personal stories about their struggles and triumphs as allies and advocates for social justice for their clients and ways in which their empowerment and resilience have inspired and moved us. The Playback Theatre form creates community and connection among people by revealing the dignity, drama and universality in their stories. The ensemble of actors and musicians will honor the work of therapists with their clients by bringing their shared narratives to life through spontaneous theatre. Participants are welcome to bring stories to tell or simply watch them unfold.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will:

  1. Observe how Playback Theatre creates a sense of community and connection by honoring the dignity, drama and universality in personal stories.
  2. Define the difference between the roles of therapist, ally and advocate when working with clients.
  3. Recognize how Playback Theatre can be an effective means of developing self-expression, self-awareness, empathy, communication and insight in small and large group therapy processes.

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Superscript Key
The superscript key is used to indicate who is not able to earn CE hours for a workshop. If a superscript appears at the end of workshop code, check the key to see if the workshop CE hours apply to you.

1 Not for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors
2 Not for RNs
3 Not for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors and RNs