Alumni, Community and Student Engagement Initiatives

Happenings in the MFT Community



Come and learn with fellow MFTs
about the latest developments in
Marriage and Family Therapy

Great opportunity to network and create community!

Thursday, Dec 16, 2010

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Canisius Hall Room 15



Spring Student Networking Breakfast!

Please join us for …

CTAMFT Student Committee Sponsoring

NETWORKING BREAKFAST for MFT students and Post-Graduates 

 “Life After MFT Graduation”

Saturday, April 24th   9:30am-12:00pm

Westbrook Youth & Family Services

1163 Boston Post Rd, Westbrook CT         

Speakers from throughout CT will present on topics including:

Licensure  *      Private practice  *     Insurance  *      Marketing

MFTs in schools  *    Internal Family Systems Therapy

For questions or comments,  please contact:

Julie Iwanicki, Student Representative              

Marcie Mauro, Student Committee

Diversity and CTAMFT

The following post is the first in a series of posts on the CTAMFT blog that addresses the CTAMFT’s efforts to add diversity initiatives to their strategic plan and some of the challenges that arise as part of that process. Please go to to read the other posts related to this topic…

I wanted to use this opportunity to comment on some of the discussion during and following the board meeting on the issue of diversifying our profession not only in terms of the membership but in terms of the ways and the venues in which we provide our services. 

I would like to voice my individual opinion on the issue of how we as a board can most effectively tackle the issue of diversity in our profession or at least in our state. My sense is that everyone on the board cares very much about this issue but that there is a healthy amount of fear and trepidation about how to address and discuss this issue in a politically correct way or in such a way that no one is offended or comes off looking insensitive to issues of race.

In my opinion political correctness has no place in this process as it keeps people from speaking honestly and from asking questions. Race/diversity is a sticky topic and creates a lot of discomfort and that’s ok. As a board we will continue to go nowhere if we are unwilling to be uncomfortable when discussing this issue. The discussion on shifting agencies to more systemic thinking and the notion of “dumbing down” our profession in my view is evidence of a lack of awareness about 1) the assumptions that are embedded in such a statement and 2) what is truly required to diversify our field.
If as a profession we decide that we want to stay 100% true to our origins and remain a specialized group of clinicians that work privately with wealthy or commercially insured (which is the same thing) clients and are ok to shrink in our numbers rather than expand our philosophical foundation; fine. If however, we as a profession wish to grow and be more reflective of our society, where in less than 20 years White people in this country will no longer be the majority; we need to be willing to have a frank discussion about these often difficult issues and table our individual anxieties and fears until we have an action plan in place.
I will personally mix the martinis after the meeting for those of us who need to exhale and let off some steam afterwards!
I would also add that this is a class issue as well as a diversity issue. There are plenty of ethnic minorities that are middle class; especially in Fairfield county and throughout our state. They are not the client population that we’re talking about. However in terms of diversifying our ranks it should be noted that middle class ethnically diverse applicants to our programs are typically not more than one or two generations removed from a lower social class and likely have extended family members that have not asended to their social class. Many of these new colleagues will be interested primarily in working in settings where they can impact the lives of people in their communities; which means agencies, hospitals etc. This issue touches many of the other things that are part of our strategic planning such as how our members can better support themselves financially in our field, identifying better career paths within agencies, hospitals and other institutions etc.
In short, there is much work to do here and I just hope that going forward we can have more frank and open discussion about the underlying attitudes that have made mft’s on a national as well as state level impotent in the area of diversity throughout the profession’s history. I feel confident that we can then come up with a plan that will put us our desired path. I encourage you all to blog about your thoughts or feelings about this or any other topic. Blog posts do not have to be warm and fuzzy, cold and prickly works too! In any scenario candor is ideal.

Kristen Orakwue is a CTAMFT board member, a clinician at FSW, Inc, in Bridgeport and is in private practice with the Collaborative Counseling Group inTrumbull, CT. She is also the administrtor of this blog.

A Great Opportunity

On November 21, 2009 the CTAMFT sponsored a Student Networking Breakfast at Naugatuck Youth and Family Servicesd in Naugutuck, CT and it was a huge success. There were over 40 MFT students at various stages in the program at the various schools in Connecticut. In addition to  breakfast, the event included information on the licensing exam, the post masters degree job market, when and how to get on insurance panels and how to complete the necessary paperwork, MFT in schools and many other topics by 5 different speakers. The speakers included many past and present CTAMFT board members as well as LMFT’s that have been working in the field for many years.

As one of the speakers, the thing that struck me most about being there was how much I wished there had been such an event when I was in school. So much important and beneficial information was presented, not to mention having the opportunity to meet MFT students from other programs and the opportunity to talk with seasoned clinicians (and potential employers) in our field.

I know that we’re all busy and have many things to do, but I would encourage all Fairfield MFT students and those who are recently licensed to make a point to attend the next Student Networking event, or any other events that provide opportunities to network with current and future members of our field. Ours is a small community and the more people you know the better. If you’re feeling bad about missing this one, not to worry…I hear there’s another one being planned for the spring!

Homecoming & Family Weekend

 Come Celebrate

Homecoming & Family Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25, 2009

This October, discover (or rediscover) your Fairfield ‘home.’ Whether you are a recent graduate, a not-so-recent graduate, or a future graduate, there’s something exciting planned for everyone at Homecoming & Family Weekend. If you have any questions, please call (203) 254-4000, ext. 3288 or visit


Schedule of Events – Please be Sure to Attend MFT Sponsored Events

(Schedule as of Wednesday, October 8)

12:00 pm -12:45 pm

Exploring Fairfield: Session 1
Various Locations

Explore and get re-acquainted with campus by attending one of the Exploring Fairfield sessions.


Domestic Violence: Warning signs, Understanding the Cycle of Violence, and Available Resources: A panel of Marriage and Family Therapists working in local community agencies will discuss the impact of domestic violence on families and children as well as provide information on local resources. Students and professionals will also have an opportunity to ask questions on best practices for working with this population.


1:00 pm – 1:45 pm


What’s New in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department?: Marriage and Family Therapy faculty members and graduate assistants will discuss the newest additions to the program, including new faculty members, new courses, upcoming workshops in our workshop series, our Urban Grant Initiative, and the new MFT blog. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.


2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Professional Development in MFT: “10 Things You Can Do to Prepare Yourself for Life After Graduation”: The transition from MFT student to “Jane Smith M.A.” working at an agency is often a difficult one. Listen to former students discuss how they navigated through the transition so that you can set realistic expectations around pre-licensure employment, working in agencies, taking the licensing exam, and other important information for new graduates.



Go the the Homecoming Family weekend page to get a full schedule of events

Networking Breakfast for MFT Students!

Please Come to the Networking Breakfast for Students

Held by the CTAMFT Student Committee.

When? Saturday, November 21st, 2009 at 9:30am

Where? Naugatuck Youth and Family Services

13 Scott Street Naugatuck, CT

* What do I need to know for MFT life after graduation?

* Not sure what kind of job awaits you? What about insurance?

Private practice? Possible income? These type of questions and

more will be covered at the breakfast.

* Please contact Julie Iwanicki, CTAMFT Student Rep, at with any questions.

2009 Consortium Conference

Dan Hughes, PhD, spoke at the Southwest CT Regional Consortium conference on May 8. His topic, attachment-focused family therapy, uses attachment research theory to build parent-child bonds to “co-regulate” affect, integrating traumatic history and building an ongoing template of safety and exploration. Therapist stance with both children and parents is “playful, accepting, curious and empathic.” He ended his talk with a quote from the Inuit storytelling tradition ” To love a child is to learn the song within their heart and sing it back to them when they forget it.” Hughes is based in Pennsylvania and has written several books that bridge psychodynamic and relational principles.

For more information about Dan Hughes you can visit his website at

Mindfulness in Family Therapy Workshop

Fairfield University is pleased to offer the latest in a series of workshops for Human Service Professionals:”Cutting Edge Approaches: Mindfulness in Family Therapy” on May 29, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00p.m. Dr. Eric McCollum of Virginia Tech will conduct the workshop which will introduce therapists and educators to the concept and history of mindfulness, aspects of its Buddhist roots that are being integrated inclinical and educational models, its research base, and specific implications for utilization. Particular attention will be paid to the benefits of therapists’ and educators’ own practice of  mindfulness to ground their professional work. Participants will have ample opportunities to learn and practice a variety of mindfulness techniques. Friday, May 29, 2009 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Kelley Center Presentation Room Cost: $100 (professional) $65 (student) 6 CEU’s – MFT

Hope you can join us!

 MFT Mindfulness flyer 09_2.pdf?(146KB)?

Annual CTAMFT Conference

The 2009 annual CTAMFT conference was held on Friday May 8th at Anthony’s Ocean View in East Haven Connecticut and was by all accounts a huge success! 270 people participated in the day that included fantastic speakers, fabulous food, (including gelato during a late afternoon break!) and an incredible view!!! A diverse group of MFT’s, and MFT students from all over the state had an opportunity to network, fellowship and learn about how to become more involved with CTAMFT by signing up for various committees and learning about upcoming workshops and continuing education opportunities.

CTAMFT 2009 conference participants

CTAMFT 2009 conference participants

For those of you that missed the conference and would like to learn how you can join or become more involved with CTAMFT, please go to their website at