Pre-Congress Research Forum

Family Therapy Practice and Research: A Dialogue

Wednesday, 20 February 2013, 9 AM - 5 PM


Co-Sponsored by these accredited MFT programs:


Keynote Speakers
for Pre-Congress Research Forum

·         Michael Ungar

·         Peter Fraenkel

·         Cecile Herscovici

·         William Northey

Register now!

Current fees:

·         $225
(category 1 countries)


·         $175
(category 2 & 3 countries)

Fees will increase 12/15/12.

Research Program Committee:

·         Wayne Denton, Ph.D., Florida Sate University

·         Ron Chenail, Ph.D., Nova University

·         Jerry Gale, Ph.D., University of Georgia

See Tentative Schedule


  Pre-Congress Research Forum Keynote Speaker

Michael Ungar Michael Ungar     Return to Top

Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is both a family therapist and a Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University where he co-directs the Resilience Research Centre that coordinates more than five million dollars in funded research in a dozen countries. That research is focused on resilience among children, youth and families and how they together survive adversity in culturally diverse ways. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on this topic and is the author of 11 books including The Social Worker, his first novel. Among his books for professionals are The Social Ecology of Resilience: A Handbook for Theory and Practice; Counseling in Challenging Contexts: Working with Individuals and Families Across Clinical and Community Settings; and Strengths-based Counseling with At-risk Youth. He also writes for parents and educators. Among his most recent works are We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Children and Teens and Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive.

In addition to his research and writing, Michael maintains a small family therapy practice in association with Phoenix Youth Programs, a prevention program for street youth and their families, and was the recipient of the 2012 Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award. Among his many contributions to his community has been his role as Co-Chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee. His blog, Nurturing Resilience, can be read on Psychology Today's website.

Pre-Congress Research Forum Keynote Speaker

Peter Fraenkel Peter Fraenkel    Return to Top

Peter Fraenkel, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, The City College of the City University of New York; and Director of Center for Work and Family at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. He is also in private practice in New York City, specializing in couple and family therapy. Dr. Fraenkel is the author of Sync Your Relationship, Save Your Marriage: Four Steps to Getting Back on Track (2011, Palgrave-Macmillan), co-author of The Relational Trauma of Incest: A Family-Based Approach to Treatment, and author of numerous publications on time, technology, work and family, collaborative community-based programs for homeless families and families that have survived domestic violence, integrative approaches to couple and family therapy, and child sexual abuse. He has presented extensively in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, England, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, and Hong Kong. Along with Marcia Sheinberg and Fiona True, he received the 2004 American Family Therapy Academy's Award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice for their work on family-based treatment of incest, and he received AFTA's 2012 award for Innovative Contribution to Family Therapy for his work in the area of time and couples, and resilience-strengthening programs for homeless families. He is a former member of the Board of Directors and is an Advisory Editor for the journal Family Process, a Contributing Editor for the The Psychotherapy Networker, and past Vice President of AFTA.


Pre-Congress Research Forum Keynote Speaker

Cecile Herscovici Cecile Herscovici           Return to Top

Cecile Rausch Herscovici, Ph.D., is Professor of the Masters Program in Family Studies at the Universidad del Salvador, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is Approved Supervisor and Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and member of the European Council for Eating Disorders.


Cecile trained as a family therapist at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic (1981-1983) and was Director of the Division of Family and Marital Therapy of the Pediatric Department of the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires from 1984 to 1993. She has been consultant and invited lecturer to training programs and seminars in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, United States, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.


Since 1983 Cecile is Co-Director of TESIS (Systems Therapies), an institution dedicated to training family therapists and to the treatment of patients. Her work as a psychotherapist encompasses eating disorders, family and marital therapy, and individual therapy of adults and adolescents. She has specialized in the interface of organic illness and mental health, with great emphasis in the area of eating disorders, where she published and researched extensively.


Cecile's distinguished list of accomplishments include being founding Editor of Sistemas Familiares (journal of ASIBA Systemic Association of Buenos Aires) and currently serves on various editorial boards scientific publications including the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, Journal of Family Psychotherapy, Journal of Eating Disorders, Advances in Eating Disorders: Theory, Research and Practice. Salient endeavors of her research work include the National Survey of eating disorders in Argentine population aged 10-19 (2002); a Cochrane Reviewed RCT assessing the Impact of the family lunch session intervention on weight gain and general outcome of adolescent anorexia nervosa. (2004), and the Evaluation of a School Based Obesity Prevention Program in Rosario, Argentina. She was awarded a grant by the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation, 2008-2009. Professor Herscovici has authored/co-authored Anorexia Nerviosa y Bulimia. Amenazas a la Autonomía (Paidos, 1990), La Esclavitud de las Dietas (Paidos, 1996) y El Bienestar que Buscamos (Adriana Hidalgo, 1999). Furthermore, she has written many chapters, as well as articles in refereed journals and other miscellaneous publications and has presented more than 150 papers at professional conferences.

Pre-Congress Research Forum Keynote Speaker

William Northey William Northey            Return to Top

William F. Northey, Jr., PhD scholarship focuses on qualitative research methods, the development and assessment of competence, addictions treatment, program evaluation and improvement, and the intersection of culture, workforce development, and effective interventions. He has served on the facilities of Drexel University, Bowling Green State, George Washington, Saybrook, Amridge, and Wilmington Universities.

Dr. Northey is Managing Partner of N-P Consulting and Therapeutic Services in Wilmington, Delaware which provides training, consultation, and behavioral health services for individuals, families, and organizations. Dr. Northey has been active in the development of effective ways to improve the competence of staff in the use of family psychoeducation, motivational interviewing, effective suicide interventions, and other evidence-based practices.

Dr. Northey served as the director of research and the professional development research specialist at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) from 1999 to 2005. While on the AAMFT staff he was instrumental in creating professional development programs for the field, including the annual research conferences and the resultant book Effectiveness Research in MFT; the Educators’ Summit, a spin-off from his role in the development and piloting of the MFT Core Competencies; and the Annual Conferences and Summer Institutes. Dr. Northey directed the AAMFT’s Practice Research Network, a federally funded project to better understand the practice patterns of MFTs in the United States and was actively involved in national behavioral health workforce development projects including the Annapolis Coalition, the Institute or Medicine’s Report on Crossing the Quality Chasm, and co-authoring the Center for Substance Abuse Services’ Treatment Improvement Protocol 39: Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy.

Dr. Northey has served as a research and program development consultant to a number of family therapy programs, including the Hiebert Institute in Rock Island, Illinois, the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Program, St. Mary’s University, University of Southern Maine, LaSalle University, and the University of Delaware. Among his accomplishments has been the development of a geographically diverse family therapy training program, program evaluation projects to improve dissemination of effective family therapy interventions, and development of family therapy competency assessment packages.

Dr. Northey has a robust publication resume which include major journals (e.g., Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Journal of Family Therapy, Journal of Family Psychotherapy), technical publications (e.g., Treatment Improvement Protocol 39: Family Therapy and Substance Abuse, Family Education & Support: Evidence Based Practice Psychoeducation for Children, Youth and Their Families in Delaware), and magazines and newsletters (e.g., Family Therapy Magazine).


  Tentative Schedule        Return to Top

9:00–9:15 AM       Welcome and Introduction: Jerry Gale, Facilitator

9:15–10:30 AM     Panel Presentations and Discussion: Wayne Denton, Facilitator

The first two panel speakers give 15 minute perspectives on the dialog between research and practice and then Wayne facilitates panel and audience discussion.

·         Cecile Herscovici

·         Michael Ungar

10:30–10:45 AM   BREAK

10:45–12:00 PM   Panel Presentations and Discussion: Ron Chenail, Facilitator

The second two panel speakers give 15 minute perspectives on the dialog between research and practice and then Ron facilitates panel and audience discussion.

·         Peter Fraenkel

·         William Northey

12:00 - 1:15 PM   LUNCH

Tables will be organized by research/practice themes so attendees can focus on particular aspects of the dialog.

Afternoon Tracks

Speakers focus either on research or practice and give a 45-minute presentation with 30 minutes of discussion. Congress attendees select presentations of their choice.

1:15 - 2:30 PM     Practice Emphasis Track Presentation - Cecile Herscovici

OR…   Research Emphasis Track Presentation - Michael Ungar

2:30 - 3:00 PM     BREAK

3:00 – 4:15 PM     Practice Emphasis Track Presentation - Peter Fraenkel

OR…   Research Emphasis Track Presentation - William Northey

4:15 - 4:30 PM     BREAK

4:30 - 5:30 PM     Questions: Jerry Gale, Facilitator

Congress attendees reconvene as a large group and Jerry facilitates a discussion on research practice dialog in family therapy.