AAMFT held its 2013 Annual Conference in Portland, OR. The general theme of the conference was "Raising Vibrant Children."

The 2013 AAMFT Annual Conference provided Fellows with the opportunity to collaborate, network with, and learn from various leaders in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Among the many training events at the annual conference, Fellows had the opportunity to learn about issues related to substance use within Latino communities, military families, resiliency among urban youth, and the provision of therapy to indigenous families. 


Speakers at the 2013 AAMFT Annual Conference included:
  • Angela Lamson
  • Melissa Lewis
  • Amelia Muse
  • Lisa Buchner
  • Meghan Lacks
  • Thomas Kimball
  • Roy Bean
  • Sergio Pereyra
  • Andrae L. Brown
  • Denise Wifley
  • Erica Hartwell
  • Laurelle Myhra
  • Manijeh Daneshpour
  • Iman Dadras Konestani

For more information on presenters, including bios, outlines and additional resources please click here!

Required Sessions for Fellows

All MFP Fellows were required to attend the following sessions:
  • 207: Military Couples: Physical Health and Relational Well-being (Presenters: Angela Lamson, Melissa Lewis, Amelia Muse, Lisa Buchner, and Meghan Lacks) - This presentation will cover information regarding physical, psychological, and relational health of military couples. Given the high reintegration rates, caring for the health of military personnel and their relationships is essential. Research will be shared from a clinical research couples’ project. Implications for pre and post deployment assessments, treatment outcomes, and policy interventions for military couples will also be presented.
  • 305: Culturally Competent Treatment of Latino Youth Substance Use (Presenters: Thomas Kimball, Roy Bean, and Sergio Pereyra) - Latino adolescents have high rates of drug and alcohol use, when compared to other ethnicities. Societal discrimination and a number of cultural elements serve as both risk and protective factors for this at-risk population. This workshop will review the relevant literature and present a culturally competent treatment model that attendees can apply to their clinical practice.
  • Keynote Address: The Young Will See Visions and the Old Will Dream Dreams: Examining the Vitality and Resilience of Urban Youth and Their Families Presenter: (Andrae L. Brown) - Despite some political, economic, and social gains, an overwhelming number of urban youth face daily threats to their physical and psychological wellbeing. Coming of age is often seen as a universal experience; however, the journey is tempered by the intersections of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and region. This keynote will explore the beauty and vitality of the modern family and its innate drive to raise healthy, talented, and vibrant children.
  • Keynote Address: Healthy Parents, Healthy Children: Promotion of Optimal Family Lifestyle Habits and Weight Regulation (Presenters Denise Wilfley) - Dr. Denise Wilfley will offer a family-based approach to developing and sustaining healthy eating and lifestyle habits in children. Parents are key agents of change, and Dr. Wilfley will describe how they can engineer their home and social environments to optimize healthy weight regulation, encourage positive body esteem, and prevent excess weight gain and eating disorders.
  • 402: Decolonizing Therapy with Indigenous Children & Families (Presenters: Erica Hartwell, Melissa Lewis, and Laurelle Myhra) - Effective systemic therapy with American Indian children and families is needed, due to the deleterious effects and intergenerational vulnerabilities of historical and ongoing cultural losses and trauma. This workshop will address the biopsychosocial effects of historical trauma and contextual factors on health disparities among AIs. Decolonizing strategies and techniques for MFTs working with AI children and families will be addressed.
  • 511: Cultural Neuroscience: Child and Adolescent Brain Development (Presenters: Manijeh Daneshpour and Iman Dadras Konestani) - Cultural neuroscience has the potential to shed light on how social and cultural contexts interact with brain development. Drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, and anthropology this presentation focuses on children and adolescent brain and discusses cultural context of neuroscience research to examine critical ways that marriage and family therapists can utilize this information in working with families.

Special MFP Conference Events

The MFP held various events during the Conference that were attended by Fellows, MFP Advisory Committee members, MFP Mentors, MFT students and other individuals interested in the MFP:
  • MFP Orientation - Provided all 2013-14 Fellows with an opportunity to meet with the MFP Program Director, MFP Staff, AAMFT Executive Director, MFP Mentors, MFP Research Consultant, members of the MFP Advisory Committee and each other to discuss plans for the 2013-14 MFP Program Year and expectations, and many opportunities the MFP provides.
  • MFP Social Hour - Provided a networking forum for MFP Fellows and Alumni, MFT Program Directors, MFP Mentors, MFT students and other stakeholders to learn more about each other as well as the many opportunities available via the MFP.
  • MFP Showcase - An exciting event that allowed the MFP an opportunity to present information on opportunities and benefits that it has for interested individuals. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from current Fellows about their experiences in the MFP, as well as from MFP Staff. Attendees also had the opportunity to receive MFP promotional items including free MFP T-Shirts, Padfolioes, Posters, USB Drives, Pens, etc.
  • Poster Session - Many MFP Fellows and Alumni presented posters on their cutting edge research during this session. For more information on MFP Fellows and Alumni that presented at this year's poster session follow this link.

Annual Conference 2013 Pictures

The following slideshow highlights some of the training events at the 2013 AAMFT Annual Conference- enjoy.