Keynote Speakers

Karl Tomm photo

Karl Tomm Takeshi Tamura

"Family Therapy; East meets West"
Takeshi Tamura

Description: Family therapy practice needs to include wider cultural context. Social withdrawal or Hikikomori syndrome has be so widely spread among young people in Japan and East Asia for the last 30 years. It relates to the value of Eastern culture which emphasizes inter-dependence, group harmony and parent/child relationship all through the family life cycle. The solution of the Western culture is to achieve differentiation of the individual out of the enmeshed relationship. The Eastern culture produces alternative solution of connectedness and integration.

"Bringing Forth Patterns of Interpersonal Interaction to Enable Therapeutic Change"
Karl Tomm

Description: As family members, we inevitably drift into patterns of recurrent interaction that often support wellness, but could inadvertently foster pathology. Therapists who develop the perceptual and conceptual skills entailed in distinguishing these patterns become empowered to work more systemically. The 'IPscope' will be offered as a heuristic tool to enable therapists in recognizing these patterns and use them to guide their clinical work with families in therapy.

Takeshi Tamura, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Takeshi Tamura is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and a marriage and family therapist in private practice in Tokyo, Japan,  specializing in social withdrawal teenagers (known as Hikikomori in Japanese).  Dr. Tamura was a professor in the Education Faculty of Tokyo Gakugei University (1992-2011) and has been a frequent attender at IFTA Congresses beginning in Dublin in 1989 through the Kuala Lumpur Congress this past March.  Dr. Tamura interest and the focus of his writing has been in the area of connectedness and separateness in families, examining these issues and the role of father in the context of Japanese families.  In addition to being a board member of the Japan Association of Family Therapy, he is also the Chief of the International Committee for the Asian Academy of Family Therapy.

Karl Tomm, M.D.

Dr. Karl Tomm is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary where he founded the Family Therapy Program in 1973.  He is well known in the field of Family Therapy for his work in clarifying and elaborating new developments in systems theory and clinical practice.  For many years he was at the forefront of a new approach to therapy that emerged from systemic, constructivist, and social constructionist ideas.  This approach is collaborative rather than hierarchical and emphasizes therapeutic conversations to deconstruct problems and to co-construct healing and wellness. In 2006, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Family Therapy Academy and is the author of the recently published book, Patterns in Interpersonal Interactions: Inviting Relational Understandings for Therapeutic Change (Family Therapy with Sally St George.

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