Minutes of AFP meeting at APA 2019

16 members of AFP gathered for breakfast at the APA, including 3 of our 2019 award winners, Dr Kacey Moss, Dr Andrew Chansky and Dr Kirsy Japa. (Several other AFP members who presented at the conference were unable to attend.) We reviewed accomplishments of the preceding year, including our revamped website, the formation of a culture and family interest group at SSPC spearheaded by two of our members, Dr Steve Wolin and Dr Vincenzo Di Nicola, and several well attended presentations by our members at APA.

Dr Chansky, Dr Nguyen and Dr Heru gave presentions of their work. Dr Chansky discussed family training in his residency and others, Dr Nguyen discussed using systems theory to explain the university system or any work system to trainees, and Dr Heru her recent focus on systems theory and particularly the work of Karl Friston. (see utube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIu_dJGyIQI )

Dr Glick's question, "what about family therapy in residency, where has it gone and can we do something about it" led to a spirited discussion of systems in general and the need for residents to understand the complex nested systems of family, community, culture and mental health care. We discussed the need for family care to be taught in the context of current practice and brief encounters with patients. While we all agreed that seeing family therapy and trying it was crucial to resident understanding of families, residents needed principles of family assessment, support and consultation useful for brief encounters in med management. Everyone agreed that in programs where family work and observation of family cases was available, many of the residents became very interested it in and incorporated it into their work. Dr Chansky wondered if we should be focusing on evidence based and more manualized treatment since that seems to be how training is going.

The group brainstormed further ways to give residents a chance to broaden their knowledge of family therapy. Suggestion that we hope to implement include:

Resident exchange program, where residents from one program spend a day at a different one to see how family work is integrated into the program

Develop a webinar about families and family work, for residents and young faculty, where cases could be discussed and AFP members could present their models of care. This would require us locating a program where the tech set up was available. Does anyone have suggestions?

Develop a panel for next year's APA about family interventions that would be used in short term settings. This would include research findings about such models.

Dr Kurimay suggested that we do something to honor Dr Böszörmény- Nagy on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Next year the APA is in Philadelphia. Many people om the East Coast who do not attend the APA would be willing to come to an AFP conference that did not require APA registration. We are thinking about what kind of meeting to have--if we can pull it off, perhaps a half day conference the Friday before the meeting. Stay tuned. If you would like to help, let me know.

We are trying to locate past resident award winners who have written articles or done presentations related to family work. If you have information, please email me.

Ellen Berman