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Porter-Cason Accomplishments for 2013-14

Highlights of the years work of Porter Cason Institute for the Family include three major accomplishments. The first is that we began a new Master in Social Work Certificate in Family Practice (CFP) program, which is one of just a handful that are offered in social work. Most of the other certificate programs are affiliations with businesses which provide family therapy rather than school run programs. So, we are unique and important in this regard. About 50 of the current students who have been accepted into our program have expressed an interest in our new certificate program which shows strong interest in the CFP program. The program features student community connections, personal contact, and lectures by some of the nation's leading experts in family practice (I.e., members of our board).

Second, we provided three 4-day intensive trainings in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). According to Jay Labow (in his 2014 book Couple and Family Therapy, EFT is just one of three recognized evidence- based treatment models in couples therapy (also applicable to family practice). To my knowledge, such an intensive training opportunity has not been offered in the field of family practice in Louisiana and has resulted in the spreading of this approach in the deep southÄîan important contribution.

Third, those trained in EFT have continued their study and advancement in this approach through PCI supported regular meetings both in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. I should add that the contributions from the Cason-Leach fund were also critical in supplementing the support we received from PCI endowment for all of these endeavors.

A detailed list of accomplishments follows:

  1. Porter Cason Initiated the Family Practice certificate for MSW students. We have 12 students who are currently working to earn their certificate in family along with their MSW in December 2014. Their assignments and field placements are uniquely tailored for experience in family work.
  2. In addition we have a community journal club that mixes students with seasoned community agencies and practitioners who are engaged in family work. Dinner and guided discussions and family trainings are the focus of the meetings.
  3. Planned and executed 13 workshops between July 2013 and April 2014.
  4. Porter Cason Institute planned, and executed a regional 12-day course over different weeks in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy intensive training. The series was a first for the school and the deep south region. The evidence based method of family work is widely used in other regions of the country and the world, but there had been no trainings in the deep south. The series was a huge success, drawing participants from as far away as Arkansas.
  5. We have initiated and maintained an ongoing Emotionally Focused Therapy community study group
  6. We added two new Nationally acclaimed board members in family work:
    • Carol Anderson is Professor of Psychiatry and Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of its Center for Mental Health Services Research. She created the psycho educational model of intervention for patients with schizophrenia and their families, and has developed interventions for engaging families in treatment. Her current projects include studies of mothers of emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children, and the reasons they do not accept mental health services, continuity of care using online support, education and treatment for schizophrenic patients, and a collaborative study with a community agency to increase the relevance of mental health services for low income individuals.

      In addition to authoring 33 articles in peer reviewed journals, and 27 book chapters, she is the co-author of Schizophrenia and the Family: A Practitioner's Guide to Psycho education and Management (Guilford), Mastering Resistance: A Practical Guide to Family Therapy (Guilford);Flying Solo: Single Women in Midlife (Norton); and co-editor of Women in Families: A Framework for Family Therapy (Norton). She was the Editor of Family Process from 1999 through the end of 2003.

      Dr. Anderson has also served AFTA as Vice-President, Secretary, Board Member, and as chair of the Membership and Clinical-Research Conference committees. She received an award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy in 1985 from AFTA and for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Family Therapy in 1987 from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

    • Dan Hughes, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist with a limited practice near Philadelphia. He has specialized in the treatment of children who have experienced abuse and neglect and demonstrate ongoing problems related to attachment and trauma. This treatment occurs in a family setting and the treatment model has expanded to become a general model of family treatment. He has conducted seminars, workshops, and spoken at conferences throughout the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia for the past 15 years. He is also engaged in extensive training with certification of therapists in his treatment model, along with ongoing consultation to various agencies and professionals. Dan is the author of many books and articles. These include Building the Bonds of Attachment (2nd Ed.) 2006, Attachment-Focused Parenting (2009), Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook (2011) and Brain-Based Parenting (2012).
  7. We are rethinking our family practice class and readings and plan to draw heavily from our Porter Cason board work and perspective.
  8. We held our annual spring board meeting and board members did family trainings and consultations with students, practitioners and agencies.
  9. We are reworking our web site. It will have a virtual Library with links to the interests and projects of our board members and the Institute.
  10. We continue to support local programs and agencies that are on the front lines of working with our multi-stressed families and children. Here is a link to a CBS Super Bowl Sunday documentary on one of those programs . The program is called " The Roots of Music". The piece is introduced by Wynton Marsalis, one of our great New Orleans Musicians --