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Leadership Symposium 2017

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The Symposium is designed specifically for:

  • Emerging leaders who want to develop their skills
  • Established leaders who may be looking to diversify or expand their careers
  • MFTs interested in investing in the profession and the association for the future

This event is uniquely tailored to MFTs and focuses on:

  • Profiles of unique career paths and challenges overcome by MFTs
  • Career and leadership development skills
  • Increasing understanding of association and group governance
  • Interactive workshops
  • Peer-to-peer networking

Keynote Speakers:

Winning Well: The Art of 360 Leadership – Karin Hurt

You're making an impact in the therapy room-- strengthening relationships and inspiring personal and "team" growth. Who else could benefit from your influence? Where else could you influence positive change? What difference could you make in your community, associations, local organizations or government? In this keynote and highly interactive breakout session Karin Hurt shares her practical, easy-to-implement techniques from her award winning book, Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results- Without Losing Your Soul.

Karin Hurt helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul in the process. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in human resources, training, customer service, and sales, and marketing. Karin was named on the American Management Association 2015 List of 50 Leaders to Watch, Inc's List of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, and Trust Across America's 100 Thought Leaders in Trusted Business Behavior. She has a BA in Communication from Wake Forest University and an MA in Organizational Communication from Towson University. Learn about her book here.

Why Advocacy Still Matters – Mike Gottlieb

Michael Gottlieb, President of National Journal's Policy Brands Roundtable, will discuss the elements of effective federal advocacy. National Journal Research engages with thousands of senior policymakers each year to determine how federal policymakers engage with advocates from the public, private, and social sectors. Mr. Gottlieb, a former White House advisor, will focus on the relevance of an organization's "policy brand" to its investment in advocacy, including the value of research and subject matter contribution. 

Mike Gottlieb, JD, MPH, MSc, MA, has more than 15 years experience as a consultant, policy advisor, and attorney in Washington DC. He has advised a wide range of clients including Board- and Executive-level leadership at Fortune 100 companies, state attorneys general, and all three branches of the federal government under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Prior to his current role as Executive Director of National Journal Group's Policy Brand Roundtable, Mr. Gottlieb was Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President of the United States under the Obama Administration. He is a Captain in the United States Air Force Reserve Corps and holds graduate and professional degrees from Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of London. 

Excellence: The Winners Traits – Kimberley Amirault-Ryan

As one of the leading mental performance consultants in the field, Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan has coached and trained some of the world's top athletes and teams. Throughout her career, she has witnessed what habits and behaviors are required for success and will share her expertise on how you can create an environment that is more conducive to achieving success, winning, and excellence. Whether you're in the rink or in the boardroom, Kimberley will share universal traits that are possessed by those that experience the most success in their field and how you can replicate it within your own careers, teams, and organizations. Interspersed with real life examples from her Olympic, NHL, and NBA championship experiences, Kimberley will ensure you leave this keynote armed with the recipe for success. 

Internationally celebrated for her work in the area of applied sport psychology, Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan, BA, MA, PhD, is recognized as the first and only woman to be the Performance Consultant with the New York Rangers, the New York Knicks, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Edmonton Oilers. Dr. Amirault-Ryan has worked at 5 Olympic Games with the Gold Medal winning teams of the Women's Hockey Team, Cross Country Ski Team, and Speedskating Team. The Canadian Olympic Committee appointed her as the Lead of Sport Psychology for the entire Olympic team for the 2010 Vancouver, 2012 London and 2014 Sochi Olympics. Dr. Amirault-Ryan’s insights and practical applications have led to companies worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies VISA, General Mills and Royal Dutch Shell to hiring her to help motivate them to lead under pressure and achieve sustained high performance.


Featured Breakout Presenters:


The Feminization of Leadership? Opportunities for Women in Leadership in 2017 – Linda Schwallie   

We are all keenly aware of the rapid pace of change in every aspect of today’s world and the reality of the future often being one we cannot imagine today. Leaders today must influence broad and diverse groups of people with whom they have no direct authority, and these groups typically hold power of their own through their access to information and their ability to communicate with nearly anyone. These dynamics require leadership based on skills of personal interaction rather than on authority. Women have a head start in using their emotional intelligence and relationship building skills to achieve their greatest effectiveness with this leadership style to influence others. This workshop is designed to inspire, motivate, and build connections among female leaders.  

The Art and Science of Integrating and Differentiating  Roles as MFT Leaders – Shelley Hanson

There's a saying, "One doesn't quit a job, one quits a boss." We've all experienced the less-than-optimal boss as well as the leader that stands out as a shining star. What's the difference? Explore how your MFT skills enhance- or hinder- your best leadership Self. 

Entrepreneurship and the MFT: Creating New Career Paths – Chris Hoff  

This interactive workshop will examine how MFTs are combining their clinical training and entrepreneurship in non-traditional ways and in the process impacting various communities and creating exciting new opportunities for themselves and the field. This workshop will discuss how MFTs might create their own opportunities, examine potential pitfalls, and develop strategies that lead to success. 

Toward a Greater Professional Relevance: Advancing Population Health and the MFT Profession through Research and Social Policy – Carizma Chapman 

To truly address the mental and emotional needs of families and communities, and advance the profession, MFTs need to be more widely positioned to not only provide sensitive and effective treatment, but also to address the larger social, economic, and environmental factors shaping health. This presentation will inform of the critical role of health policy and research on improving community mental health, discuss the need of greater health policy and research training in MFT programs, and provide practical tips on how early career and seasoned professionals can engage in health policy and research to combat social determinants of health and advance health equity.


From Therapist to Association Leader: An Isomorphic Process? – Silvia Kaminsky 

Any intelligently informed person could well argue that MFTs, as relationally and systemically trained therapists, should have a positive edge in making the transition to the world of association leadership and/or management. However, there are clear challenges and contradictions in the learning curve from therapist to effective association leadership that are predictable and can be easily overcome. This presentation will identity the differences in the role and responsibilities of therapist and association leader, how our skills as therapists can be adaptable to association Best Practices, and the most common challenges for therapists in operating within a policy-driven governance structure. 

Innovations in MFT: Imagining, Developing, and Implementing Ways to Maximize our Relational Lens – Angela Lamson

Given the relational lens that marriage and family therapists bring to any system, it isn’t uncommon for MFTs to be perceived and received as genuine and successful leaders. This presentation will focus on some of the unique contexts that are well suited to expand the possibilities for MFTs, ways in which MFTs can expand their roles within innovative career contexts, and lessons learned from a journey that showcases successes and missteps. MFTs will leave this presentation with ideas on how to build a career map that can maximize their imagination, development, and implementation of a relational lens in innovative contexts and roles.

Risk, Resilience, Reward: Living Life Outloud  – John Becker

This will be an experiential workshop integrating one's own personal philosophy of life with the 3-step process of risking, building resilience, and experiencing reward. The centerpiece of this 3-step process will be embracing and managing tension. 

Transitioning to Full Time Private Practice – Shelby Riley

Transitioning to a full time family therapy practice is an effective way to evolve the career of a seasoned MFT who has been working in agency, hospital, and/or academic settings. This workshop will teach an effective model for building a full time private practice and guide participants in developing a business model that will allow them to diversity their skills and career interests as well as earn a respectful, livable wage. This presentation will address common fears, concerns, and questions about creating a full time private practice and other ideas for creating a healthy, respectful work environment that honors everyone, at every stage of their career. 


Schedule at a Glance

Thursday - March 9


8:00 a.m.  3:30 p.m.

Approved Supervisor Refresher Course

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Optional Town Hall
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Networking Welcome Reception


Friday - March 10


8:30 a.m.


9:00 a.m.

Welcome Remarks

9:15 - 10:45 a.m.

Keynote - Winning Well: The Art of 360 Leadership

10:45 - 11:00 a.m.


11:00 - 12:00 p.m.

Workshop - Winning Well: The Art of 360 Leadership

12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Networking dine arounds

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

3:00 - 3:45 p.m.


3:45 - 5:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Saturday - March 11


8:30 a.m.


9:00 a.m.


9:15 - 10:45 a.m.

Keynote - Why Advocacy Still Matters

10:45 - 11:00 a.m.


11:00 - 12:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

12:45 - 2:00 p.m.

Networking Luncheon

2:00 - 2:15 p.m. Break

2:15 - 3:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Keynote - Excellence: The Winners Traits 

5:30 - 5:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Networking Opportunities

Thursday evening: Networking Reception

Friday lunch: Dine Arounds

Saturday: Networking Luncheon

Certificate in Leadership

AAMFT is pleased to launch our second cohort (2017-2018) for the Certificate in Leadership at the 2017 Leadership Symposium. This unique program has been developed to provide MFTs of all levels with the skills to enable them to help advance both their own careers and our vibrant and expanding profession. 

Designed to be completed over 18-months, this program is the first of its kind for MFTs. Built around a unique mix of training, education, mentoring, and self-discovery that delivers the most comprehensive experience available. The training will focus on key areas of leadership development both in the concept and the practical application of skills. There are a limited number of scholarships available. Visit the Certificate page for more information.  


Registration Type



Full Leadership Symposium

Clinical Fellows
Early: $125
Regular: $150

Pre-Clinical Fellows
Early: $100
Regular: $125

Early: $85
Regular: $100

Includes the AAMFT Leadership Symposium in its entirety (15 CEs). Open to AAMFT members only. Rates vary based on membership category.

Early registration ends on January 16, 2017.

Certificate of Leadership Track

$550 (learn more)

Registration for the 2017 - 2018 AAMFT Certificate in Leadership program. Applicants receive access to the full Leadership Symposium and a total of 30 CEs (15 at the Symposium). Those participating in the Certificate program should plan to attend the Certificate of Leadership Day on Thursday, October 5, 2017 in Atlanta, GA.

Refresher Course


Approved Supervisors needing to complete their 6-hour refresher course do so as part of their Leadership Symposium registration or register for this course as a stand-alone event.


Space for this event is extremely limited for this event. Early registration is strongly advised. Note: if registrants are awarded a scholarship for the Certificate program, their registration fees will be refunded to them upon selection. 


Need to renew your Approved Supervision designation? Add it on to your Leadership Symposium registration or take the Refresher Course on its own.

Approved Supervisor Refresher Course

Kathleen Laundy, PhD AAMFT Approved Supervisors must take a comprehensive 6-hour refresher course prior to the renewal of their designation. This session is designed specifically to meet that requirement, and to keep practitioners up-to-date on clinical MFT supervision practice. This course will include case examples, didactic and interactional instruction methods. It will focus on current resources available to supervisors, management of ethical and legal issues likely to arise during supervision, utilization of supervision contracts, cultural competence in supervision and therapy, and discussion of the current AAMFT Approved Supervisor requirements.


Cancellation Policy: Cancellations and any subsequent request for refund must be made in writing by February 10, 2017. Upon cancellation you have the right to request that your fee (in full) be held (for up to one year) and used toward application to another AAMFT event registration. If you prefer a refund, you must indicate so in writing. No refunds or transferred fees will be made after February 10, 2017.

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Hilton Arlington.

How to Reserve:

Contact hotel directly at 1-800-HILTONS, or 1-800-445-8867

Use group code ALS

Or reserve online here. Reservations must be made by Monday, February 6, 2017.

Platinum Sponsor: