Keynoters and Speakers

– Former Director, Couple Therapy Training, Chicago Center for Family Health


Healing Intergenerational Wounds: An Integrative Contextual-Neurobiological Approach to Couple Therapy

Distressed couples often get stuck in cycles of emotional reactivity. In this keynote, Dr. Mona Fishbane will explore the neurobiology of these cycles, offering interventions to help couples transform their dance and become more relationally empowered and generous with each other. Couple reactivity is often fueled by old wounds and unfinished business from the family of origin. Informed by contextual therapy, Mona will offer interventions to help clients “grow up” views of and relationships with parents and siblings. Intergenerational repair, what Nagy called “rejunctive action,” can help couples transform their interactional cycles, as they are no longer driven by invisible loyalties or other issues from the past. Relational ethics is key; the therapist helps adult clients “reach for their best self” in both couple and intergenerational relationships.

Cultivating Resources of Trusworthiness in the Adult Intergenerational Family

– Professor at Couple and Family Program and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (California), AAMFT clinical member and approved supervisor


Transgenerational Transmission of Socio-Political Trauma through the Contextual Therapy Lens

Consideration of the impact of historical events on relationships among family members across generations is a significant contribution of Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy’s work. In my presentation I will discuss a possible application of contextual therapy theory’s unique conceptualization of impact and transgenerational transmission of trauma as well as related legacies and delegations in the context of historical and cultural traumas. In my opinion this is particularly relevant to the Eastern European countries that share massive historical events and traumas of the region since the beginning of the 20th century- the horrors of two World Wars, the establishment of communist regimes and their subsequent falls marked with significant transformations in political and economic structures. These societal events belong to the “facts” dimension which, according to the theory, requires a comprehensive evaluation and therapeutic consideration for understanding family and therapeutic relationships. The consequences of historical traumas are complex and depend on many factors including current social structures and cultures as well as individual and familial social location and resources. The contextual approach highlights that “A knowledge of past events is intrinsically valuable only if it is useful for the future”. Thus, I will reflect on possible clinical implications for working with families experienced multiple and multilayered social traumas to activate their relational resources. Importance of cornerstone constructs of the contextual therapy theory such as trust, fairness, entitlement and parentification will be highlighted.

Workshop about the future of ICCT

– with Emőke Tarján

– Ph.D., LMFT


“The Parents’ Trap” – Sibling Bond Vs. Rivalry: Parentification and Sibling Relationships”

This presentation looks at destructive parentification and sibling relationships: Defines and distinguishes the pathogenic/destructive parentification in the family system as a fixed imbalance of reciprocity, from the optimal parentification where parents temporarily rely on the child for support and responsible actions. By considering both dimensions of relationships — systemic transactions and relational ethics — Contextual Therapy offers a unique contribution to the understanding of the sibling system in the context of destructive parentification. Contextual theory & therapy address the role assignment aspect and the multigenerational loyalty and commitment aspect. Different forms of role assignments of destructively parentified children (“caretaker”, “scapegoat” etc.) basically serve the same function of maintaining the emotional stability of family members as well as the relational stability of the family as a whole.

Despite the fact that most reports regarding sibling relationships have placed the main emphasis on sibling rivalry, the central emphasis in this presentation is on those aspects of sibling relationships, that promote growth and development — the “sibling bond.”

When, how and under what circumstances will destructive parentification affect the sibling bond? A model is proposed to conceptualize the relationship between parental function and sibling relationships. Three continua were identified within this model: 1) Parentification: optimal parentification to destructive parentification; 2) Parental involvement: optimal involvement to impingement; 3) Sibling relationship: sibling bond to rivalry or cut-off.

Biblical illustrations are offered to demonstrate realities of siblings under destructive parentification (Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, Joseph & his brothers). These illustrations are vignettes of compound realities, to enlighten a broader generational context which might have affected the relational dynamics.

– Ph.D., Psychologist, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


A Tribute to Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy and Barbara R Krasner:

My Tale of Gratitude: How Ivan’s insight and Barbara’s intuition enlightened me and transformed my therapeutic work and family healing

I will highlight the contextual insights and convictions that most transformed my clinical work and family healing, illustrating with clinical and personal vignettes.
In my first meetings with Barbara and Ivan, I was moved by their concerns for social justice and the larger contexts of family life within cultural and national legacies.
Reading Invisible Loyalties: I labored to comprehend while I felt understood.
Ivan called inviting me onto the staff of the Family Psychiatry Department at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I was immediately expanded by multidirectional partiality, everyone counts, everyone has a side. The therapist is to be “accountable to everybody who is potentially affected” by therapeutic interventions. This challenged me to begin imagining the side and context of those with me in the therapy session and those not present but intimately related. Even when I was seeing an individual, I was accountable to consider the humanity of all who might be affected.
I was challenged to understand the roots of loyalty in indebtedness and to see the evolution of loyalty expectations generation to generation as burdens and blessings are passed forward.
I was especially liberated by the freeing of loyalty expectations and obligations from the culturally held notion of nonnegotiable, death dealing constraints, by understanding that due consideration frees entitlement to self-delineation. One’s obligation to inquiry and consideration of fairness and just due to others necessarily includes, or is balanced by, finding one’s own voice, being present with one’s own truth.
Gradually ledgers of fairness, context as “the sum total” of one’s ledgers of fairness, parentification, revolving slate, earned entitlement, destructive entitlement, consequences and particularity, earned trustworthiness, etc. became working concepts, a lens, with practical therapeutic applications.
I am amazed today that as I reread Invisible Loyalties, what was difficult to comprehend when I was 33 is now all so clear at 81.
I have received. I am indebted. I am grateful.
From Ivan I received ‘sight’ for the reality and motivational priority of relationship ledgers and their multigenerational life. My analogy is the experience of snorkeling on a coral reef. When I look down into the water, I enter another universe. Seeing contextually through Ivan’s eyes opened my vision to a whole universe of ethical relatedness, the impact which I had felt and by which I had been moved but which I had not previously seen. I shared Ivan’s passion for inclusion, for the welfare of each person and people group. He taught me to attend to the relational resources and justice essential for well-being. The beauty of his mind and heart as he followed the threads of his insights through clinical cases, corresponding philosophies and theological perspectives, awakened my imagination. He penetrated psychological and relational pathologies, revealing hidden ethical stagnation and resources, exploitation and parentification, contributions deserving credit, and the liberating potential of dialogue, of equitable give and take.
Ivan expressed his concern with imposing religious interpretations onto these ethical relational dynamics. He saw these dynamics as empirically evident, as revealing what was inherent in all relatedness. To me Ivan’s insight begged for theological expression. I was coming from inner experience of God’s living, now, presence and care. The reality of asymmetry and a relational ledger in my relationship with God, therefore, made empirical sense to me. In fact, praise and gratitude and passing forward God’s love for me do liberate entitlement for self-delineation through due consideration. What a gift of understanding.
From Barbara I received a sustained commitment to my well-being and to our mutuality. I found a deep resonance with the mystical ground of contextual work that she knew and lived. I treasure her frequent challenge to see another’s side, to view the humanity and Real (context) of another while holding my ground, tending my Real (context) and speaking my truths. Her questions expose options, potential relational actions and possibilities. I have borrowed her trust in the trust-building process of fair consideration and risking uncertain outcomes. I respond to her example and her challenge to me to consider returning to strained and stagnant relationships, to imagine the humanity, the Real (context) of another, to harvest residual trust where possible, remembering former giving and receiving, to own my dignity and then initiate attempts to rejoin.
Together we forged a friendship and partnership spanning 50 years.
Together, with Karen Krasner Allen and Greet DeBruijn, we authored a memoir of Barbara’s contextual journey, Lifeblood of Trust for Real Relationship (ACCO, 2019), and brought to fruition a long-held desire to put contextual work into everyday language.

Healing Seven Generations: Lessons from a Multigenerational Healing Journey

This workshop will illustrate the healing of seven generations of the Schoeninger-Purvis family through the application contextual work. Each of us stands in the present, between the past, the legacies received, and future generations, living and yet to be born. My task is to, “take what has been given in the past, assess its merit, and, finally, recast it into more effective modes of offering future care.” (Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy and Barbara Krasner. 1986. Between Give and Take. New York: Brunner-Mazel. p. 145-146.)
The title, Healing 7 Generations, formed within me in July 2017 as I stood, with my four living generations on Neues Strasse in Schwabisch-Hall, Germany, at the address where my grandfather was born and raised. I was standing with my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren on the street where my grandfather had walked and played as a child. I was aware that here in this place he had lost his mother when he was just shy of 5 years old. Here my great-grandfather had grieved the loss of his wife, my great-grandmother, and my grandfather had felt the loneliness and lostness of missing his mother. And here I am standing with my great-grandchildren who are just shy of 5 years old. As I recounted to my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren my grandfather’s loss of his mother, I became aware that we were healing 7 generations, the three that precede me through the three that issue from me.

– Christelijke Hogeschool Ede- CHE Researchgroup Youth and Family – Hollandia


Strengthening Connectedness in Close Relationships

This keynote is about a reconstruction of the contextual theory of Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy.
The contextual theory is a rich, but also complex theory. Many contextual professionals struggle to understand and fathom this theory, which hinders the accessibility and applicability of this valuable approach. Therefore, I present a reconstruction of the contextual theory, starting with the foundation of the theory, followed by a new, clear structure, highlighting the cohesion of the core-elements of this theory.
Starting from the perspective of the contextual axiom encompassing the human innate sense of justice and care, it will be elaborated in the contextual anthropology, the contextual pathology and the contextual methodology. This reconstruction of the contextual theory may improve the accessibility of this complex theory and facilitate the applicability of contextual theory in practice.
If possible, I will also briefly consider the model for contextual therapy, developed as a guideline for contextual professionals.
Finally, the core of this family therapy approach appears to be true to its axiom: people are interconnected because of their being human, including their innate sense of justice and care. This innate sense is considered the strength and resilience of people and thus ‘the motivational layer in which hope resides for repairing the hurt human justice’.

Dr. Jaap van der Meiden MCH is system and contextual therapist, senior lecturer and researcher at the Christian University of Applied Sciences Ede (CHE), and founder of the CHE Institute Contextual Approach.

 

– Special Guest


The resources of contextual therapy in the treatment of major mental illnesses

Remembering and celebrating Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy is at first remembering his determination to help people suffering from psychosis: this explains his choice to study medicine and become a psychiatrist, and it also explains his unique path as a fully trained research biochemist.

This determination was not just at the foundation of his professional career, but it is at the foundation of contextual therapy itself. But currently, only very few contextual therapists are dedicating their career to the treatment of people suffering from severe mental illnesses.

In this this presentation I will discuss the resources that contextual therapy can offer for the treatment of people suffering of major mental illnesses and their families. First, I will focus one some general principles and then based on my lifelong clinical experience, I will demonstrate how to apply these principles to the treatment of specific disorders like Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorders, Major Depression ADHD, Conduct Disorders, and others.

It is my hope that this presentation will encourage practitioners, and especially the younger generations to engage or re-engage in the treatment of these populations. This would be a significant contribution to my late husband’s legacy.

Multidirectional partiality seems as simple as white clarity, but it is complex, even if it does not appear to be.Exploring this therapeutic lever

Ivan Boszormenyi Nagy has revolutionized Family therapy both by his theory and by the method of how to intervene through multidirectional partiality in order to achieve consideration for each member of the family as a subject in its own right. This consideration given to each protagonist of the family, present or absent, allows the establishment of a « dialogical-dialog ». This dialog helps to review everyone’s « ethical kaleidoscope » in terms of relational ethics in order to position everyone’s ethics and to open perspectives of concern and empathy, or even recognition of injustices, sufferings and misunderstandings. This can lead the members of the family to take responsibilities towards others and to reconsider past commitments previously ignored or trivialized. One of the strong points of multidirectional partiality is that emerges in the « betweens »of the relationships between the members of the family themselves. The ethical relationship that is developed between the therapist and each patient is in principle visible to other family members. Thus, implicitly but clearly, it conveys the message that for the therapist, everyone equally deserves the status of subject. The family thus gradually imbues this message by appropriating it and making it the subject of a family consensus. In addition, the relational style that links the therapist to each family member offers a specific example of how to be ethically together. During my talk I’d like to speak about my experience as a social worker with 17-21 years old diagnosed as sociopaths and as a contextual family therapist at the home of abusive families. I’ll focus on the use of multidirectional partiality as a lever for improvement in terms of justice, autonomy and relational balance and as a way to transform destructive legitimacy into constructive legitimacy. I would like to share the difficulties encountered with these patients and the resources offered by Nagy to better apply this method of intervention.

– Head of the family and couples therapist training program at Tel Hai academic College.

Certified Instructor and Marital and Family Therapist from the” Israeli Association for Marital
and Family Therapy”.

Court appointed expert in Parental Alienation


Judge your patient: ethically based provocative techniques

Boszormenyi- Nagy gave us the gift of looking at the ethical dimension of our patient’s lives. Ethics has to do with judgment. Of discerning between what is ethically right and what is ethically wrong in a relationship. Can therapists be judgmental?
Can therapist use criticism, provocation, shame, guilt and intimidation in therapy? Most therapist will probably disapprove of such use.
But in this presentation I want to suggest otherwise. I want to suggest that therapists need to grow and develop an ethical backbone. I want to suggest that an ethical backbone can actually help therapist use techniques that are more powerful in moving patients forward. When therapists do not develop an established ethical stance, their judgment will come from their emotions or identifications with one family member or another.
When therapist develop a deep ethical stance, their judgments come from a very different place. We can say that they earned their entitlement to use judgment, criticism and guilt in therapy.
The use of provocative techniques from an ethical stance cannot be used in order to push patients to do what their spouse, their parents, their children, their teachers or their therapist wants them to do. It can only be used in order to push clients to relate in ways which are more and more ethical towards themselves and others.
In this workshop I will demonstrate how therapists can think about ethics and how they can use different kinds of provocative techniques in order to push clients to earn worthiness, or entitlement.

Dr. Maria Angster, clinical child psychologist, psychotherapist, family constellation facilitator and accredited trainer of the German Society for Family Constellation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Systemaufstellungen).


Dr. Angster Mária, klinikai gyerek szakpszichológus, pszichoterapeuta, családállító. A Deutsche Gesellschaft für Systemaufstellungen (Német Rendszerállítók Társasága) ekkreditélt kiképzője.

 

– orvos pszichiáter, pszichoterapeuta
Az Ultrarövid Terápia és a kontextuális szemlélet kapcsolódása

Ultrarövid Terápia a gyakorlatban

Dr. Buda László Ph.D.
orvos pszichiáter, pszichoterapeuta,

a SzomatoDráma és az Ultrarövid Terápia módszerek megalkotója,

a „Mit üzen a tested?”,

a „Mit üzen a lelked?” és “A Gyógyító Játék vezetése” című könyvek szerzője,

a Pécsi Tudományegyetem egykori tanszékvezetője, a Magyar Szomato-pszichoterápiás Egyesület társalapítója és volt elnöke,

aki jelenleg elsősorban önismereti és módszertani tanfolyamok vezetésével, ismeretterjesztő előadások tartásával, egyéni konzultációkkal és könyvírással foglalkozik.

– Krízisintervenciós tanácsadó szakpszichológus, Felnőtt klinikai és mentálhigiéniai szakpszichológus, Színházterapeuta, Családterapeuta jelölt


„Látható lojalitások az addikciók körül”

– Hoffmann Katalin és Dr. Szemelyácz János

A szenvedélybetegségekről való gondolkodásban szinte már közhelyszámba megy, hogy az addikció rendszerbetegség, mégis sokszor tapasztaljuk, hogy a szakemberek sem látják tisztán a felszín alatt rejlő összefüggéseket. Előadásunkban arra teszünk kísérletet, hogy esetrészletek bemutatásával láthatóvá tegyük az addiktológiai problémákkal küzdő családokban jelen levő lojalitásokat, valamint górcső alá vegyük ezen rendszerek szöveteinek mélyrétegeit, segítségül hívva Böszörményi-Nagy Iván, illetve a kontextuális terápia mindenki által jól ismert fogalmait.

Talán szükségtelen bizonygatni, milyen hangsúlyos ezen diszfunkcionális családok vonatkozásában a kapcsolati etika, a parentifikáció, az elkötelezettség, a meghittség, a jogosultság, stb. kérdése. Célunk bemutatni a szenvedélybeteg játszmákon keresztül a láthatatlan lojalitás paradox törvényeit, valamint ezen folyamatok- és a kapcsolódó transzgenerációs mintázatok szerepét a szenvedélybetegség kialakulásában, fennmaradásában valamint a felépülési folyamatban.

Dialogue, as a means of Creating Trust and Disrupting the Legacy of Patriarchy and White Supremacy with White American Males

Contextual therapy’s invitation to engage in I-thou relationship through dialogue creates sacred space for therapist and client to co-create a trustworthy relationship. In a time where culture seeks to “other,” contextual therapy offers a guide to move beyond pretense into mutual relating that builds the ground of trust upon which therapist and client meet. This presentation explores how dialogue, direct address, and due consideration between therapist and client excavate the limitations of masculinity when defined solely by patriarchy and white supremacy. Therapy, when engaged as dialogue, becomes more than a means of solving a problem or remedying a pathology. It is a co-creative process by which both therapist and client transform. In this way, the therapy becomes an agent for healing beyond the walls of the therapy room.

The process of dialogue, direct address, and due consideration will be explored through four case studies of a white female therapist building trust with four white male clients. The case studies highlight dialogue as a means of engaging and reworking the legacies of white supremacy and patriarchy. Through engagement in trustworthy relating, clients and therapist build a secure foundation for exploring and meeting beyond their definitions of white masculinity.

– singer-songwriter, performer, coach


My name is Bea Palya. I’m a singer-songwriter, performer, and coach.
As a performer, I have 3 decades of experience, including singing in Carnegie Hall (New York), the Royal Opera House (London), and the Concertgebouw and Bimhuis (Amsterdam). Hungarian folk songs are my musical “mother tongue”, and I also have roots in Romani (Gypsy), Jewish, and Bulgarian music.

I’m equally passionate about songwriting, in which I dig deep into my soul to reach the universal subconscious layer. That layer is the source for my material – the gold that I dig up in that internal mining. That’s the reason my songs touch so many people, because everyone can relate to them. Some of the themes that arise include how to be less burdened by the inheritance we receive from our ancestors, how to give birth, how to have a positive body image, how to return to sexuality after childbirth and parenthood, how to have a sustained life partnership with another person, how to have the support of sisterhood friendships, and how to heal from divorce and what to say to our children about it. My songs are about how to love and how to be loved, how to connect with each other and with something bigger than ourselves.
In my teaching work, I coach people both in their singing and in their songwriting: writing their own original songs using their own voice, which also facilitate their healing process. My own explorations in my singing and songwriting led me toward deep psychological work on myself. I use that as the foundation of my teaching work. My creativity course “I Love my Ideas” involves developing a mindset and skillset around working with one’s core ideas in order to live authentically. Because this relates to the creative process in general, not just creation in music, I teach this to participants with a wide variety of backgrounds and professions. My singing and songwriting course “Freeing my Voice, Finding my Hidden Songs” involves concrete exercises to open and free one’s voice, cultivating a sense of joy in singing, and learning the basics of songwriting: embracing one’s personal history and creating songs out of that material in order to grow and self-realize.

My teaching and performing work bring people together and builds strong communities.

“Freeing my Voice, Finding my Hidden Songs”

I will make a 2.5 hour-long condensed version of my teaching method “Freeing my Voice, Finding my Hidden Songs”.

Songs are the most powerful form of communication, simultaneously penetrating both our minds and our souls.

I experienced the life-changing potential of songs in my own life as well as in the lives of other people. I see and feel unprocessed across generations, as we carry on the emotional weight of our parents, grandparents. Burdened by this inheritance, we may, for example, have issues as a grand-child because of our grandparents has unresolved traumas from a World War. We deal with incomplete mourning processes, fear, the missing tools of communication – not just in words, but in songs.

Nowadays many of us have forgotten how to connect to ourselves and to each other through singing, we can re-learn it! There are paths toward freeing our voice, writing the songs hidden deep in our hearts, which simultaneously give voice to ourselves and to our ancestors’ unresolved problems. We can develop our voice as a singer and as a songwriter, facilitating our personal transformation and tapping into the deep healing potential of singing.

I will incorporate multiple teaching methodologies:

1. Vocal technique and the joy of singing: breathing, energy, and visualization exercises, the presence of emotions in our singing, and the usefulness of imagery and visceral visualization processes. We will learn beautiful, easy melodies to open and strengthen our voices and build confidence in our singing.

2. The basic building blocks of songwriting:
Songs live inside everyone, and everyone is capable of singing themselves into their next chapter of life. Through journaling, discussions, playing with sounds, intonation, and tempo, finding easy ways of vocal improvisation, pairing our own words with an already-existing melody etc.., all participants will create their own songs growing out of their own thoughts and explorations.
In the end of this short process we will celebrate our transformation!

And before you are getting scared and saying to yourself “I can’t sing and I can’t write a song”, I say tenderly to you: if your curiosity is awakened by what you have red so far, don’t think, just come! Your presence and your willingness is enough to start with, and there is no such thing as doing it wrong in this workshop. The warm, friendly group environment provides strength for our experimentation, feeling of freedom, and growing self-confidence, as every member supports the others’ personal growth, building our new skills into our existing knowledge.

– Család-rendszer terapeuta, családállító, felnőtt és gyermek jógaoktató


Mentálhigiénés szakemberként végeztem a Semmelweis Egyetemen. Mellette család-rendszer terapeutaként, családállítóként, felnőtt és gyermek jógaoktatóként is működöm. Képzésben állok pszichodráma és test-orientált terápiák területén. Legközelebb áll hozzám a rendszer szemlélet, a test, érzelmek és lélek kapcsolata. Azonban fontosnak tartom, hogy több megközelítéssel és több módszerrel dolgozzak a munkám során. Munkám során gyermekkel, kamaszokkal és felnőttekkel is dolgozom.

– Pszichiáter-addiktológus-pszichoterapeuta, az INDIT Közalapítvány addiktológiai intézményrendszerének szakmai vezetője és kuratóriumának elnöke, az ELTE és a PTE c. egyetemi docense


„Látható lojalitások az addikciók körül”
– Hoffmann Katalin és Dr. Szemelyácz János

A szenvedélybetegségekről való gondolkodásban szinte már közhelyszámba megy, hogy az addikció rendszerbetegség, mégis sokszor tapasztaljuk, hogy a szakemberek sem látják tisztán a felszín alatt rejlő összefüggéseket. Előadásunkban arra teszünk kísérletet, hogy esetrészletek bemutatásával láthatóvá tegyük az addiktológiai problémákkal küzdő családokban jelen levő lojalitásokat, valamint górcső alá vegyük ezen rendszerek szöveteinek mélyrétegeit, segítségül hívva Böszörményi-Nagy Iván, illetve a kontextuális terápia mindenki által jól ismert fogalmait.

Talán szükségtelen bizonygatni, milyen hangsúlyos ezen diszfunkcionális családok vonatkozásában a kapcsolati etika, a parentifikáció, az elkötelezettség, a meghittség, a jogosultság, stb. kérdése. Célunk bemutatni a szenvedélybeteg játszmákon keresztül a láthatatlan lojalitás paradox törvényeit, valamint ezen folyamatok- és a kapcsolódó transzgenerációs mintázatok szerepét a szenvedélybetegség kialakulásában, fennmaradásában valamint a felépülési folyamatban.

– Part-time Family Therapist and trainer, licensed in Social Work, Master’s Degree in Supervision, expert in Social Field and Project Management


Struggling in the net of vertical (infantile) and horizontal (relationship) loyalties

– Presentation with Réka Balázs

Couples who work with us often report that they do not understand why they are helpless, paralyzed, why they fall out, why they hurt and harass each other, or why they run away from their relationship.

Our practical experience shows that in the crossfire of loyalty conflict, vertical and horizontal dimensions compete to gain legitimacy. Our cases report that the unclear, incomprehensible and elusive twist of this cavalcade makes their relationship impossible.
In our presentation, we try to present these processes by analyzing case studies of two families.

Part-time Family Therapist and trainer at the ‘Pro Nobis’ Psychotherapy Center in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania, licensed in Social Work, Master’s Degree in Supervision, expert in Social Field and Project Management.

– Associate Professor, Department of Couple and Family Therapy

Adler University, Chicago, IL


Are We There Yet?: Positioning Social Justice at the Heart of Therapy

Contextual Family Therapy is an effective theory for intervening justly with families. Specifically, its commitment to exploring fairness, justice, and entitlement lends itself overtly to incorporating a social justice perspective. The aim of this presentation is to discuss a framework for integrating social justice in the therapy room.

– Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, Family-System Therapy Institute


Historical Transgenerational Trauma in Hungary – Restorative Opportunities Through Psychodrama.

Workshop about the future of ICCT

– with Tatiana Glebova

– Experienced marital and family therapist committed to healing through relationships.

Dedicated teacher for learner-centered education.

Published author, researcher, and workshop leader.


Touchpoints for Relational Ethics with Application to Education

Contextual Therapy’s relational ethics were intended by Nagy to become part of every therapeutic modality. This presentation demonstrates how relational ethics are also applicable to the process of education whether in a supervisor/supervisee relationship, a mentor/mentee relationship, or a professor/student relationship in a formal classroom. Buber claimed that true education prepares the student for real relationship and authentic engagement. It is more than delivering knowledge to a student. When teacher and student develop trust between them, and open to one another, genuine meeting can occur and formative processes flourish. In this way, students do not simply pass exams, but grow in personhood and relational freedom. This allows them to sit in their therapy rooms or their own family contexts in new ways.

Contextual Therapy’s relational ethics will be distilled into five touchpoints and applied to the relationship between teacher and student. Results of a pilot focus group study on MFT education as dialogical engagement will delineate a process as well as share examples of the outcomes for students.

– Ph.D., LMFT

Systemwide Program Director, Alliant International University,
Couple and Family Therapy Program


Building Trust: Couples Therapy and the Challenges of Fairness and Justice

Trust is seen as the core value in couple and family life, and as humans, we all deserve trustworthy relationships. Contextual family therapy was among the first models to claim that family therapy and moral questions are inseparable. We cannot overlook the importance of affection or the ever-present element of power, but we should hold trustworthiness as the critical element in holding relationships together. The Hallmark of the contextual family therapy model is based on the conviction that all family members gain from trustworthy relationships, which are the outcome of (1) giving credit to those in the family that deserves it, (2) responsible responding, and (3) care about a fair distribution of relational burdens and benefits. However, in some situations one member of the couple claim to some relational resource out of need, while another feels entitled to it on the basis of merit and the therapist has to help them agree on whether the justice is ultimately need or merit-based. Justice in this sense is not a straightforward matter that will be recognized by all involved if they simply hear one another out. Thus, this presentation will focus on relational ethics and trust-building to help couples reappropriate individual responsibility and accountability within a systemic context of couple therapy. It will highlight several clinical strategies for working with couples and discusses how trust accrues for the couple if there is a fairness of exchange, reciprocity, and equitable give and take.

– Founder and Trainer of Live The Connection


Consequences of the Neurobiological Findings for the Healing of all Sorts of Relationships

We know that at least 95% of our behavior is automatically, subconsciously driven. Only 5% of our behavior is consciously chosen in a goal-directed way (Lipton, 2015; Szegedy-Maszak, 2005). What is fair in the relationship – over the generations and between cultures – and what we want to achieve in the direct address between people or between groups, is often biased by the triggers, attached to the amygdala (Levine, 2015). These triggers are the result of earlier misunderstandings, loss of control and trauma (Nader, 2003). During the contact people have with each other, these triggers result in subconscious fear reactions (fight, flee and freeze) which can lead to difficulties during the direct contact.
All those triggers of past traumatic events and fear reactions resonate in the actual thinking, dealing with and possible contacts between the people involved. This can be a burden for direct address, the open dialogue that is needed to build up constructive living together.

Because the addressing of the conscious mind only affects about 5% of the person’s behavior, conscious contextual counseling can be seriously enhanced by including the inhibition of the subconscious triggers (95%) that might affect the relationship(s).

During this lecture and demonstration, I will explore and demonstrate how we can inhibit the subconscious triggers. I will show what is needed to address and change the subconscious in order to erase the load people are experiencing after misunderstandings, trauma, neglect, abuse, and other loss of control. Contextual counseling can be enhanced by including the creation of subconscious impulses that generate fair giving and receiving in the relationship. Taking care of subconscious connections is an optimal preparation for direct address in partner- and family counseling.

Consequences of the Neurobiological Findings for the Healing of all Sorts of Relationships

We know that at least 95% of our behavior is automatically, subconsciously driven. Only 5% of our behavior is consciously chosen in a goal-directed way (Lipton, 2015; Szegedy-Maszak, 2005). What is fair in the relationship – over the generations and between cultures – and what we want to achieve in the direct address between people or between groups, is often biased by the triggers, attached to the amygdala (Levine, 2015). These triggers are the result of earlier misunderstandings, loss of control and trauma (Nader, 2003). During the contact people have with each other, these triggers result in subconscious fear reactions (fight, flee and freeze) which can lead to difficulties during the direct contact.
All those triggers of past traumatic events and fear reactions resonate in the actual thinking, dealing with and possible contacts between the people involved. This can be a burden for direct address, the open dialogue that is needed to build up constructive living together.

Because the addressing of the conscious mind only affects about 5% of the person’s behavior, conscious contextual counseling can be seriously enhanced by including the inhibition of the subconscious triggers (95%) that might affect the relationship(s).

During this lecture and demonstration, I will explore and demonstrate how we can inhibit the subconscious triggers. I will show what is needed to address and change the subconscious in order to erase the load people are experiencing after misunderstandings, trauma, neglect, abuse, and other loss of control. Contextual counseling can be enhanced by including the creation of subconscious impulses that generate fair giving and receiving in the relationship. Taking care of subconscious connections is an optimal preparation for direct address in partner- and family counseling.

– Full-time professor at the University School of Nursing and Occupational Therapy of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (EUIT-UAB)

Trainer in the European Social Fund
and collaborator in international cooperation projects


Differentiation as a Relational Process

Both contextual theory (Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy) and Bowen Family Systems Theory (Murray Bowen) consider that the lives of individuals move in an undulating balance between freedom and lack of freedom. That is to say, every step towards emotional maturity, towards autonomy, differentiation and ultimately towards everything that implies the development of an individual who decides his own life; entails undoubtedly an encounter with antagonistic movements of autonomy vs. bonding. These dilemmas are between the accomplishments and commitments towards meeting the needs and desires of oneself, and those of other significant people with whom they are in relation. Who is one to satisfy? Themselves or the other? Can one’s satisfaction be compatible with the other? What responsibility is there to assume? How can one connect with others without losing their sense of self?

This study aimed to explore the relationship between the central constructs of both theories; Relational Ethics, and differentiation of self. Gaining a deep understanding of each theory as well as their connection is essential in order to guide people towards genuine and deep relational experiences, which play a vital role in the achievement of psychological health and the maturation of individuals.

Ph.D. in Psychology. Degree in Psychology. Degree in Occupational Therapy. Master’s degree in Analytical Psychotherapy. Master’s Degree in Constructivist Psychotherapy and Health Psychology. Post graduated in Systemic Intervention with families, children and adolescents. Post graduated in Techniques for intervention in Mental Health.

Full-time professor at the University School of Nursing and Occupational Therapy of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (EUIT-UAB). Trainer in the European Social Fund and collaborator in international cooperation projects.

– Associate Professor in Marriage and Family Therapy
Syracuse, New York


Applying Contextual Therapy to working with populations experiencing Social Injustice

Summary:
In this panel discussion speakers will examine the application of contextual therapy theory to working with issues of social injustice. Through a discussion of clinical work and research on various marginalized and underserved populations, speakers will address considerations for working with: immigrant and refugee populations, those with experiences of complex trauma, transgender/gender expansive populations, and clinical supervision. The presentations will examine opportunities in and relevance of contextual therapy constructs while working from a social justice perspective.

Discussant & Moderator:
Rashmi Gangamma, PhD, LMFT
Associate Professor, Dept of Marriage and Family Therapy
Syracuse University
Email: rgangamm@syr.edu

Speakers:

1. Manijeh Daneshpour, PhD
System-Wide Director
Professor, California School of Professional Psychology
Alliant Interntational University
Email: mdaneshpour@alliant.edu

2. Jennifer Coppola, PhD MFT
Private practice
Email: jlcoppol@syr.edu

3. Linda Stone Fish, PhD LMFT
Professor, Dept of Marriage and Family Therapy
Syracuse University
Email: flstone@syr.edu

4. Cadmona Hall, PhD LMFT FT
Associate Professor, Couple and Family Therapy Department
Adler University
Email: chall@adler.edu

– Part-time Family Therapist and trainer at the ‘Pro Nobis’ Psychotherapy Center in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania


Struggling in the net of vertical (infantile) and horizontal (relationship) loyalties

– Presentation with Adolf Papp

Couples who work with us often report that they do not understand why they are helpless, paralyzed, why they fall out, why they hurt and harass each other, or why they run away from their relationship.

Our practical experience shows that in the crossfire of loyalty conflict, vertical and horizontal dimensions compete to gain legitimacy. Our cases report that the unclear, incomprehensible and elusive twist of this cavalcade makes their relationship impossible.
In our presentation, we try to present these processes by analyzing case studies of two families.

Part-time Family Therapist and trainer at the ‘Pro Nobis’ Psychotherapy Center in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania, licensed in Psychology, teacher and expert in Step by Step Alternative

– Journalist, the author of the “The Forgotten Generation” book from Germany


War Grandchildren – The Legacy of the Children of War Children

War Grandchildren – The Legacy of the Children of War Children

The playback theater is a spontaneous, impromptu theater, where members of the audience are warmed up to share experiences and tell stories about their own lives. The viewers meet a conductor, some actors and a musician – ready to play. Who tells a story drawn from his own experiences, may select the actors for the roles, and can watch it, as it is played it by them immediately, to experience it in a different, more complete way. The actors recreate the events using pantomime, music, dance and dialogue. The last word has the teller, and he/she can correct what happened on the stage, as he/she likes.

Stories can be about anything, from a simple everyday event, to personal experiences. One story gives birth to another. This is how the performance develops, which is unique and unrepeatable. Our good experiences are enriched, when we have someone to share them with, while the burden of our difficult experiences becomes easier when it finds open ears. The shared experience is lively – sometimes immersive, other times deeply moving – puts the events of life, ourselves, others, our society, and our world into a broader perspective. The performances create relationships among people.


A playback színház spontán, rögtönzött színház amelyben a közönség tagjait arra hangolják, hogy osszanak meg élményeket, mondjanak el történeteket a saját életükbôl. A nézôk egy játékmesterrel és egy sor játékra kész szinésszel, illetve egy muzsikussal találkozhatnak. Aki elmesél egy a saját élményeibôl merített történetet, kiválasztja a szerepekre a szinészeket, megnézheti ahogy ezt azonnal lejátsszák, hogy ezúttal egy más, teljesebb módon élhesse azt át. A szereplôk a pantomím, a zene, a tánc és a párbeszéd használatával teremtik újra a történéseket. Az utolsó szó a mesélôé, melyben a színen történteket tetszése szerint helyesbítheti.
A történetek bármirôl szólhatnak, egyszerû hétköznapi eseménytôl személyes élményekig. Egyik történet szüli a másikat. Így alakul ki az elôadás, amely egyszeri és megismételhetetlen. Jó élményeink gazdagodnak, ha van kivel megosztanunk őket, míg a nehéz élményeink terhe könnyebbé válik, ha nyitott fülekre talál. A közös élmény életteli, – néha magával ragadó, máskor mélyen megindító – szélesebb perspektívába helyezi az élet eseményeit, önmagunkat, másokat, társadalmunkat és világunkat. Az elôadások kapcsolatot teremtenek az emberek között.