Category Archives: Education

2017 Fall Workshop


The Virginia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy


Walking the Delicate Balance: Working Systemically with Complex Developmental Trauma

2017 Fall Workshop

Attachment, Attunement, Aggravation

6 CE Hours

Mary Jo Barrett, MSW

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

8:00am — 3:30pm

George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia

Click Here to Register


Download a copy of the brochure (.pdf)



Complex developmental trauma is associated with a range of experiences occurring at key points in human development. Important strides have been made in the ability of therapists to help clients overcome symptoms of complex developmental trauma. At least for the time clients are with us in the therapy room, clients are able to learn and access new ways of thinking, self-regulation, and even a sense of restored well-being. But, once they leave the safe, rarefied space of the therapy room, do they have the skills to address the difficulties or problems they will experience in relationships with intimates, family, friends and co-workers?

Using a systemic approach creates an opportunity for clients to understand their own and the other’s inner experience, and to learn and practice self-regulation and co-regulation. By creating a collaborative context in therapy, clients are encouraged to demonstrate and to witness change along with the most important people in their life. Thus, the therapist invites the couple, the family, and extended relationship network into the therapy room to enable those to be transformed into healing relationships.

Through therapeutic enactments, what happens at home or in the community can be experienced and shifted while in the therapy room. Triggers and patterns can be revealed and then interrupted. A corrective experience can be created through a process of validation, affirmation, and attunement. In front of the stimulus, people learn skills to alter distorted cognition, manage anxieties, hold affect, regulate emotion, navigate attachment, evolve self-concept, and experience a window of tolerance.

For therapists working with complex developmental trauma, this workshop will:

  • Illustrate how to integrate systemic models of family, couple and relational therapy into treatment
  • Explore the role of systemic intervention when violence or trauma is currently occurring in a family
  • Illuminate family of origin work with adult survivors
  • Show how to bring the family or relational network into the room in spirit even if they cannot be there in body
  • Teach specific interventions that can be used at each stage of the treatment process
  • Highlight essential ingredients for successful outcomes
  • Illustrate how to transfer benefits of therapy into the client’s natural life of relationships


About the Presenter

Mary Jo Barrett is Executive Director and founder of The Center for Contextual Change, Ltd. She holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois Jane Addams School of Social Work and has been on faculties of the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, the Chicago Center for Family Health, and the Family Institute of Northwestern University. Previously, Ms Barrett was Clinical Director of Midwest Family Resource; she has been working in the field of family violence since 1974.

Ms Barrett’s latest book, Treating Complex Trauma: A Relational Blueprint for Collaboration and Change, co-authored by Linda Stone Fish, published in June 2014. Ms Barrett also co-authored two books with Dr Terry Trepper: Incest: A Multiple Systems Perspective and The Systemic Treatment of Incest: A Therapeutic Handbook. She co-created the Collaborative Change Model, a highly successful contextual model of therapy used to transform the lives of those impacted by abuse and/or traumatic events. Her passion is teaching and supporting clinicians to recognize their own resources so that they can help clients discover their own resources.

Ms Barrett founded the Family Dialogue Project, a mediation program striving to redefine relationships within families that have been impacted by allegations of abuse or differences that appear irreconcilable. Ms Barrett’s dedication is to help both clients and professionals to find peaceful nonviolent resources, in order to manage the complexity of their lives. Her trainings and published works focus on the teaching of the Collaborative Change Model, treatment for: family and couple violence; Complex Trauma; adult survivors of sexual abuse and trauma; eating disorders; couple therapy; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Compassion Fatigue.


Click Here to Register


Download a copy of the brochure (.pdf)



Registration is limited to licensed mental health professionals (LMFT, LPC, LCSW, LCP, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners), Residents/Supervisees, and Graduate Students currently enrolled in these disciplines. Enrollment is on a first come, first served basis.

Click here to register online or download the printed brochure, complete the registration information panel, and enclose payment to VAMFT for the correct amount. This covers workshop, handouts, CE certificate of attendance, continental breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee, and parking in Mason Pond Parking Deck (voucher provided at workshop completion). Lunch is on your own and you can choose from a variety of restaurants located in the atrium of the Johnson Center.

If you are paying by check, please make it payable to VAMFT, and mail both your check and a registration form to:

Scott Fowler
101 Nat Turner Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23606


Cancellation & Refund Policy

Any cancellation of attendance must be made in writing and received by VAMFT no later than 10/6/17; a refund less $35 processing fee will be provided. After this date refunds are not possible, regardless of personal circumstances. It is regrettable that personal circumstances prevent attendance, including medical conditions and emergencies, weather or transportation, however the logistics of event management prevent us from assuming responsibility for these contingencies. A registration may be transferred to another clinician in toto with prior notification to VAMFT.



The George Mason University official address is 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030. Workshop is located in the Johnson Center at the heart of the University. Downstairs, in Dewberry Hall. The registration desk opens at 7:30 a.m. Workshop begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. to enable attendees to depart ahead of traffic in the region. Attendees must sign in. Certificates are awarded only on conference completion at 3:30 p.m. A voucher will be provided at workshop completion to enable free parking at the Mason Pond Parking Deck. Johnson Center is adjacent to the bronze statue of George Mason.

Arrangements for 25% discounted hotel rate have been made with Marriott Residence Inn, 3565 Chainbridge Rd, Fairfax. Phone hotel reservations at (877) 399 6027. Make reservations prior to 10/12/17 and cite VAMFT to receive this rate.


Contact Information

For questions about the conference please contact Scott Fowler (



Sponsored as a service to the profession by
the Virginia Association for Marriage & Family Therapy

Ronnie Zuessman, PhD LCP LMFT, Past President




Information about our Spring Conference


The Virginia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy


Doing Therapy with Couples & Families –

Ethical & Professional Issues


Michael Gillette, PhD

Jaime Hoyle, JD
Exec Dir VA Board of Counseling

Erika Grafsky, PhD
Asst Prof, Virginia Tech

May 5, 2017              8:30am-4:30pm

How do I become an approved supervisor?

For complete information on becoming an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, please click here.  Becoming an AAMFT Approved Supervisor meets all of the requirements to be approved by the BOC to provide MFT supervision to MFT Residents in Virginia.

In order to become a BOC approved supervisor you must:

“1. Hold an active, unrestricted license as a marriage and family     therapist or professional counselor in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided;

  1. Document two years post-licensure marriage and family therapy experience; and
  2. Have received professional training in supervision, consisting of three credit hours or 4.0 quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-50-96.”

The application form to become a BOC approved supervisor is available here.



How do I find an approved supervisor?

To find an AAMFT Approved Supervisor please click here.

To find a BOC approved supervisor please click here.


Coming soon: To find a list of VAMFT/AAMFT Clinical Fellows in Virginia who are available to provide supervision to Residents in MFT in Virginia please click here.

What license must a supervisor hold?

At least 100 of the 200 required supervisory hours must be provided by an LMFT.  The remaining supervisory hours may be provided by an LPC with the qualifications referenced below.

The recently revised Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy (8-24-2016) state that the MFT residency supervisor must:

“1. Hold an active, unrestricted license as a marriage and family therapist or professional counselor in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided;

2. Document two years post-licensure marriage and family therapy experience; and

3. Have received professional training in supervision, consisting of three credit hours or 4.0 quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-50-96. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist. Supervisors who are clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, or psychiatrists and have been approved to provide supervision may continue to do so until August 24, 2017.”

Residents in MFT whose supervisory contracts with a clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, or psychiatrist were approved prior to August 24, 2016 and do not compete their residency or supervisory hours prior to August 2017 will be required to have a new supervisory contract approved by the BOC with a BOC approved LMFT/LPC supervisor in order to complete their residency requirements.

VAMFT strongly recommends that as much as possible your MFT residency supervisor be a Clinical Fellow of AAMFT and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.  AAMFT Approved Supervisors must meet much more stringent requirements that those required by the BOC (a 30 hour course in MFT supervision, 180 supervised hours of MFT residents, and a minimum of 36 hours of supervision of their supervision of MFT candidates).

You can find a partial listing of AAMFT Approved Supervisors in Virginia who are available to provide supervision, AAMFT Clinical Fellows who are candidates to be AAMFT Approved Supervisors, and AAMFT Clinical Fellows who are approved as MFT supervisors by the BOC linked here in the near future.


What are the supervised practicum experience requirements?

You must complete at least two years of supervised post-graduate degree experience, during which you must complete at least 3400 hours of supervised work experience. In that time you must accrue at least:
▪    2,000 hours of clinical marriage and family therapy services

▪    including 1,000 hours of direct client contact, of which at least 500 hours must be with couples and/or families, and

▪    200 hours of face-to-face supervision with a licensed supervisor trained in the supervision of marriage and family therapy, receiving a minimum of one hour of supervision per 20 hours of supervised work experience.
The complete supervised residency experience requirements are excerpted from the Regulations Governing the Practice Marriage and Family Therapy (8-24-2016):
“B. Residency requirements.
1    The applicant shall have completed no fewer than 3,400 hours of supervised residency in the role of a marriage and family therapist, to include 200 hours of in-person supervision with the supervisor in the consultation and review of marriage and family services provided by the resident. For the purpose of meeting the 200 hours of supervision required for a residency, in-person may also include the use of technology that maintains client confidentiality and provides real-time, visual contact between the supervisor and the resident. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist.

a. Residents shall receive a minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours of supervision for every 40 hours of supervised work experience.

b. No more than 100 hours of the supervision may be acquired through group supervision, with the group consisting of no more than six residents. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.

c. Up to 20 hours of the supervision received during the supervised internship may be counted towards the 200 hours of in-person supervision if the supervision was provided by a licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed professional counselor.

2    The residency shall include documentation of at least 2,000 hours of clinical marriage and family services of which 1,000 hours shall be face-to-face client contact with couples or families or both. The remaining hours may be spent in the performance of ancillary counseling services. For applicants who hold current, unrestricted licensure as a professional counselor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, the remaining hours may be waived.

3    The residency shall consist of practice in the core areas set forth in 18VAC115-50-55.

4    The residency shall begin after the completion of a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy or a related discipline as set forth in 18VAC115-50-50.

5    A graduate-level internship in excess of 600 hours, which was completed in a program that meets the requirements set forth in 18VAC115-50-50, may count for up to an additional 300 hours towards the requirements of a residency.

6    The board may consider special requests in the event that the regulations create an undue burden in regard to geography or disability which limits the resident’s access to qualified supervision.

7    Residents shall not call themselves marriage and family therapists, directly bill for services rendered, or in any way represent themselves as marriage and family therapists. During the residency, they may use their names, the initials of their degree and the title “Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy.” Clients shall be informed in writing of the resident’s status, along with the name, address and telephone number of the resident’s supervisor.

8    Residents shall not engage in practice under supervision in any areas for which they do not have appropriate education.

9    The residency shall be completed in not less than 21 months or more than four years. Residents who began a residency before August 24, 2016, shall complete the residency by August 24, 2020. An individual who does not complete the residency after four years shall submit evidence to the board showing why the supervised experience should be allowed to continue.

10    Residency hours that are approved by the licensing board in another United States jurisdiction and that meet the requirements of this section shall be accepted.”


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