The State of Therapy 2023: NEAFAST Annual Conference—Contemporary Family Therapy Across the Life Cycle

NEW DATE: November 3, 2023; 8:30am-4:30 pm ET
6 CEs | Live In-Person
William James College

Presenting problems appear in a variety of systemic and developmental contexts, and many problems arise as a result of the challenges transitioning from one stage to the next. The State of Therapy 2023: Contemporary Family Therapy Across the Life Cycle, takes the work of Monica McGoldrick and other explorers of the development of the family and expands it to include cultural and social expansions over the last thirty years, including the impact of COVID, technology and social media, and medical advancements, such as IVF.

Attendees of the State of Therapy will be able to attend one workshop from each of the four developmental stages—new relationships, birthing, adolescents/launching, and aging—and take new skills back to the clients they serve. The workshops are:

New Relationships and Coupling (9:30-10:45)

  1. Sharing More than a Bed: Navigating the Complexities of Sex, Chores, and Bills in New Relationships and Cohabitation with Contemporary Family Therapy, with Anna Svetchnikov
  2. Clinical Considerations for Working with Polyamorous Clients, with Brooke Norton

Birthing and Young Children (11-12:15)

  1. A Shift in the Family System: Relationships and Parenting Very Young Children, with Kimbell DiCero
  2. Supporting Couples in the First Year of Postpartum, with Hazel Walker
  3. Psychosocial Impacts of Infertility on Couples, with Alicia Abdella

Adolescents and Launching (1:15-2:30)

  1. Adolescent Use of Interactive Digital Media: How Family Therapy Can Help, with Kathryn Cooney
  2. System Overland: The Prevalence of Anxiety in Today's Adolescent, with Caitlin Pierce

Aging (2:45-4)

  1. Aging while the World is Going Astray: Appreciative and Frank Conversations, with Gonzalo Bacigalupe
  2. Nurturing Sexual Consent in Older Adults, with Natalie Huitema

There is a limitation in space--please sign up early! The earlier you sign up, the more likely you are to participate in your first choice workshop.

Each workshop will follow this format:

  • 20 minute Ted Talk-like presentations that introduce the topic
  • One or two discussion questions, that will be discussed in small breakout groups
  • A large group discussion of themes that stood out from the breakout groups
  • Additional questions and answers

The State of Therapy Conference includes the opportunity to learn from, network, and collaborate with other family and systemic therapists, and is incredibly affordable! The following fees will give you 6 CEs, breakfast, lunch, and the opportunity to network with the brightest, most talented relational therapists in New England:

Non-Members: $180 
Members: $120
Student and Agency Worker Members: $30 (Through the Emily Mitchell Scholarship Fund.)
Become an NEAFAST Member! 

Sign Up Here!


Alicia Abdella, LICSW, works in private practice in Andover, MA. She has over 10 years of experience supporting couples and individuals as they navigate challenges on their path to parenthood. She has worked at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Vincent Fertility Center, providing psychosocial support to patients pursuing assisted reproductive technology for family building, and at Circle Surrogacy in Boston, MA, assessing gestational carrier applicants and supporting intended parents on their journey to parenthood via surrogacy.

Dr. Gonzalo Bacigalupe, LMFT, is Professor of Counseling Psychology. He is the treasurer of the Family Process Institute and was president of AFTA. As part of a grassroots network mobilizing to change the COVID-19 strategy, he also leads a transnational research team inquiring on the impact of COVID-19 on families and communities, health equity, trauma, and the climate crisis. He has published on the role of emerging technologies and vulnerable populations transnational families, political and family violence, health disparity, e-health, and disaster risk reduction.

Kathryn Cooney, LICSW received Master’s in Social Work from Syracuse University with a specialization in Family Mental Health. She trained in Structural Family Therapy with Thomas Roesler, MD and Michelle Rickerby, MD as a lead clinician with the Hasbro Children’s Hospital Partial Program from 2000 to 2005. She recently joined the Boston Children’s Hospital Adolescent Medicine Mental Health Team specifically working with the Center for Interactive and Internet Disorders under the direction of Michael Rich, MD and Mike Tsappis, MD. 

Dr. Kimbell DiCero is Teaching Faculty in the Counseling and Behavioral Health Department at William James College. Prior to completing her doctoral degree, Dr. DiCero worked extensively with families with young children, and teen families, and ran programs and parenting support groups in the community, including at The Rice Center for Young Children and Families, a program of The Home for Little Wanderers. Her clinical interests center on infant-parent mental health, dyadic and attachment therapy, and teen parents and their children. 

Dr. Nathalie Huitema holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Sexology. She received her PhD at CIIS in California, with a focus on sexual consent in people with dementia. Nathalie worked in nursing homes for 15 years, developed diverse sexuality trainings, and is (co-)author of several journal articles and book chapters.

Jessie Lane, LMFT, specializes in working with members of the LGBTQ+ community, neurodiverse humans, as well as their families and partners. Jessie carries a formidable passion for relational and systemic therapy and its application in all arenas of medical care. Jessie also currently serves as Secretary on the board for the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy.

Brooke Norton, LMFT is a sex therapist in Western Mass. She has been working with polyamorous clients since she started in 2014, as well as being polyamorous herself. She has been in private practice since 2019, and before that was an Associate at Northampton Sex Therapy Associates, under the supervision of Jassy Casella Timberlake. Brooke has taught Human Sexuality at Antioch College as an adjunct professor, and has also presented for the Sexual Health School in Hawaii, Clark University, and Widener University.

Caitlin Pierce, LMFT, has 15 years experience working in family systems and trauma-informed care. Caitlin's areas of expertise include family systems, relationships, stress/wellness, anxiety, trauma, and depressive disorders. Caitlin currently resides on Cape Cod and has a small private practice, while also working full time for Housing Assistance Corporation as their Director of Clinical Services.

Sarah Ransom, LICSW, works as a Clinical Supervisor at an inpatient recovery center called Recovery Centers of America. She is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and enjoys providing hope and education to individuals and their families to those who are battling addiction.

Anna Svetchinov, LMFT, has over 12 years of experience in relationship counseling. She holds a BS in Psychology and an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy. Anna founded Longwood Care, a national mental health organization, I Care We All Care, a mental health non-profit foundation, and the Positive Parenting Initiative.

Hazel Walker, LMFT, is dedicated to teaching moms and couples how to thrive in their postpartum experience. She has hosted the “Am I Ready for Parenthood Workshop?” and has collaborated with many community providers such as doulas, OBGYN’s, and other mental health professionals to ensure that moms and couples feel more supported.

This activity is approved certification by the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy (NEAFAST) on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LMFT professional continuing education.

This activity is pending certification by the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc. on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LMHC professional continuing education.

This activity is pending certification by the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LICSW professional continuing education.

Please note: It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.

This program is being offered independent of any commercial support or conflict of interest. Clinicians with any level of experience are welcome to participate.

Cancellation Policy: Please email us at [email protected] if you are unable to make it. We will give a full reimbursement for cancels prior to October 6, 2022. Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions to this.