AAMFT 2014 Leadership Conference
March 13, 2014 to March 16, 2014
Hilton Arlington, Arlington Virginia

Leadership Conference Overview
The AAMFT Leadership Conference provides an opportunity for AAMFT Division Leaders to network and enhance various facets of their leadership skill sets through division management training, state and national level advocacy initiatives, and open collaboration. Components of the training received by division leaders include: division advocacy, use of social media, division management, membership engagement, membership recruitment and retention, and division finance. Components of the state and national level advocacy initiatives relevant for the conference include: Medicare MFT Coverage, Veteran Affairs-MFT Jobs and MFT Student and Faculty Funding.

MFP Fellow/Alumni Overview
The MFP, pursuant to its goal of advancing the MFT and wider behavioral health profession through workforce development and culturally competent service and research provision, has provided support to 3 Fellows to attend the 2014 AAMFT Leadership Conference. These Fellows were selected based on noted achievements and outlined/demonstrated interest in advocacy efforts, the MFT field, and advancing their professional goals. Attendance to the Leadership Conference provided them with an opportunity to make advancements in these areas.

MFP Fellows not only gained from their experiences at the conference but also contributed their knowledge, expertise and positions to all discussions in which their divisions are involved. MFP Fellows/Alumni engaged with Divisional Leaders during congressional visits, in group sessions/discussions on Medicare/Veterans Affairs, on Divisional or National AAMFT policy issues, etc.

The following AAMFT Minority Fellowship Program Alumni and Current Fellows were able to attend this Leadership Conference with the support of the AAMFT MFP.

Erika Smith - Fellow

Erika Smith is a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Kansas State University. She has a decade of experience providing therapy to victim/survivors of crime-related traumatic events and their families. She is a Clinical Member of AAMFT. She is trained in EMDR and is a Certified Trauma Specialist through the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists. She also holds a Master's degree in Exercise Science. Her clinical and research interests converge around the use of novel exercise interventions for the treatment and prevention of traumatic stress reactions and co-occurring substance use. 

Una Henry - Fellow

Una Henry is currently enrolled as a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Kansas State University. Her main area of interest is in working with adolescents from diverse backgrounds. She also enjoys working with couples. She is currently working on publications examining the dynamic nature of racial identity among multiracial adolescents and its impact on delinquency. She is also creating a racial identity measure specifically for multiracial adolescents. In future, Ms. Henry plans to obtain employment in a marriage and family therapy program and train future therapists in understanding diversity and racial identity and its place in adolescent outcomes. She would also like to increase the knowledge of research and statistics in the field of marriage and family therapy.

Hernan Barenboim - Fellow

Hernán Barenboim is currently a doctoral student at Saint Louis University. He holds an M.A. in Psychology from Kennedy University in Argentina. Hernán has developed a special interest in systemic-relational therapy since 2004 when working with Hispanic and bi-cultural families in their adaptation to living in America. This experience gave him a more defined focus on research about dysfunctional attachments in multicultural families. He believes that this study could help to increase understanding of cultural adaptation, international adoptions, substance abuse and parenting. Hernan received training in psychoanalysis during his masters studies, with focus on the theories of Jaques Lacan and Melanie Klein. However, since relocating to America, he expanded those theories with the study of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.