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 Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family (MHAF) 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 mental health, addiction, and the family. To my knowledge, such an intensive training opportunity has not been offered in the field of mental health, addiction, and the family 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:
- Porter Cason Initiated the Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family certificate for MSW students. We have almost 20 students who are currently working to earn their certificate in mental health, addiction, and the family along with their MSW in 2019. Their assignments and field placements are uniquely tailored for experience in mental health, addiction, and family work.
- 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.
- Planned and executed 14 workshops between July 2018 and June 2019.
- 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.
- We have initiated and maintained an ongoing Emotionally Focused Therapy community study group.
- We are rethinking our mental health, addiction, and the family practice class and readings and plan to draw heavily from our Porter Cason board work and perspective.
- We held our annual spring board meeting and board members did family trainings and consultations with students, practitioners and agencies.
- 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.
- 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 Covenant House video which features young adults sharing their experiences of life in dealing with mental health, addiction, and their families. --- https://www.covenanthousenola.org/shelter-documentary/