Pre-Conference Certificate Programs


June 2 & June 3, 2015

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

SonkinRemodeling the Wheel: Domestic Violence Intervention with the Brain in Mind 

By: Daniel J. Sonkin, Ph.D

Over the past 22 years, imaging technology has improved to such an extent that we are literally able to peak into the brain as it functions in real time. Not only do we now have a better structural understanding the brain, but also we now have a much better understanding of how the various structures function in relation to violence and aggression.  One of the areas that has enjoyed the greatest growth is the affective neurosciences; the study of emotion.  Due to these new insights, emotion has shifted from a back seat or less-important position in neuroscience literature to being in parity with cognition.  In fact, research suggests that cognition and emotion are so inextricably entwined that it would be very rare that we would have emotion without a thought or visa versa.  This fact suggests that discovering the self is as much an emotional process as analytic one.This renaissance of affect has been valuable to clinicians of all orientations. Emotion has for a century been an integral part of psychotherapy.  Most clinicians, even those cognitively inclined, will at one point or another help their clients heighten their awareness and identification of emotional processes, as well as finding more adaptive ways of regulating their emotions.  Understanding how emotion is behaviorally manifests is critical to developing effective strategies for change in psychotherapy.This workshop will review the recent findings in the affective neurosciences, as well as genetics, attachment theory and memory, and explore their application to domestic violence theory and intervention.  Understanding the brain, and how it experiences the world and affects our experience of others can only help in our being more effective therapists.Daniel Jay Sonkin, Ph.D. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in an independent practice in Sausalito, California. Since 1981, his work has focused on the treatment of individuals and couples facing a variety interpersonal problems. In addition to his clinical experience, he has testified as an expert witness since 1977 in criminal cases where domestic violence is an issue.As one of the early specialists in the field of family violence, Dr. Sonkin has developed a widely used protocol for treating male batterers. His book, Learning to Live Without Violence: A Handbook for Men has been published in English, Spanish and Japanese and is utilized by treatment programs around the world. He is also the author of numerous articles and books on domestic violence and child abuse.For the past twenty years he has been integrating attachment theory and neurobiology into his clinical work with perpetrators and victims of violence, as well as his general psychotherapy patients.He is the recipient of the 1989 Clark Vincent Award for Literary Contribution to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and is the 2000 recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Member Award from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Violence, Victimization & Trauma: The Complexity of Trauma Responseslori

By: Dr. Lori Haskell

A trauma-informed approach is increasingly becoming recognized as essential for working effectively with women and men who have experienced prolonged or repeated exposures to violence, abuse and neglect.   Through a trauma lens, people’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions can be better understood as the necessary adaptations they have developed in order to survive and cope with traumatic experiences.   While a trauma informed approach is becoming well understood for victims of violence, it is also a more expansive and effective approach for working with offenders and those who have committed violence.  Taking ideas of accountability seriously requires more sophisticated and trauma informed appreciations of what causes offending and how best to promote rehabilitation.These traumatic experiences are relational, and they most often begin in early childhood.  As a result they are formative, and affect many domains of a person’s development and functioning in adulthood. Because the trauma that is at the core of so many of our clients’ lives is the abuse, neglect and abandonment they experienced at the hands of those who were expected to love and protect them, the therapeutic helping relationship can often be a tumultuous experience.  These relational difficulties create another level of stress for service providers and can also contribute to burnout.Trauma-informed services, organizations, and programs recognize the vulnerabilities and triggers of trauma, thereby enabling these services and programs to avoid re-traumatizing clients, and to be more supportive and effective in doing their work.  A trauma informed model is comprised of information from neuroscience, clinical research and cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic perspectives. Participants will learn how people’s brains, minds and bodies are affected by traumatic experiences.Through utilization of clinical case material, participants will be exposed to a rich theoretical understanding of complex trauma that is nonpathologizing, developmentally informed and takes into account social context.Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize biological, psychological and social contexts of complex trauma and its treatment
  2. Understand a developmentally informed therapy for complex post-trauma
  3. Discuss ways in which complex trauma differs from “simple” trauma
  4. Explore the central components of any effective trauma treatment.
  5. Outline the rationale for process-based affect regulation skills development
  6. Become familiar with specific interventions for Complex PTSD
  7. Explain why and how the therapeutic relationship is critical in the treatment of PTSD and complex posttraumatic stress

Dr. Lori Haskell is a clinical psychologist in private practice. Dr. Haskell’s clinical interests include trauma, revictimization, vicarious trauma, sexual abuse and sexual violence in relation to psychological development.  She has a status appointment as an assistant professor in psychiatry at the University of Toronto and is an academic research associate with the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children.

Dr. Haskell’s research work includes projects addressing the impact of trauma on Aboriginal peoples, trauma and the service challenges for developmentally disabled people, complex trauma and homelessness, and restorative justice and gendered violence. 

In recent years she has presented to the Canadian judiciary, both nationally and provincially, on behalf of the National Judicial Institute in Ottawa.  She has also provided expert evidence in a number of legal proceedings.  Most recently, she testified at the Coroners Inquest of the domestic homicide of Sunny Park, her son and parents.

Dr. Haskell has presented at workshops, conferences and professional meetings in Canada and internationally on issues relating to violence against women and children.  She has educated judges, crown attorneys, police officers, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, service providers and community groups on these issues.  In October she was in Nova Scotia providing a workshop on Trauma Informed Policing to the RCMP.

MandelThe Safe and Together™ model: “Using a perpetrator pattern-based approach to reduce mother-blaming, increase accountability for perpetrators as parents and improve collaboration  with child protection”

By: David Mandel

Drawing on his experience working with child welfare systems in the US and abroad, David will provide a two day workshop that will be an introduction to the Safe and Together model and two of it’s most powerful Practice Tools: Pivoting and Perpetrator Pattern Mapping.  The workshop will be a mixture of presentation, small and large group discussion and experiential activities. David will present how a focus on specific behaviors of domestic violence perpetrators can shift the conversation about children and domestic violence from the reigning paradigm of “failure to protect/blame the mother” to a focus on accountability for perpetrators as parents.  David will also discuss the characteristics of a domestic violence-informed child welfare system, and how a clearer picture of nexus between perpetrators’ behavior patterns and child abuse and neglect can help improve collaboration between child welfare, domestic violence advocates and batter intervention programs. David will also examine the impact of gendered parenting expectations on programs and community collaboration and how setting higher expectations for men as a parents can improve outcomes for families.David Mandel, MA, LPC has been working in the domestic violence field for 25 years. David’s international training and consulting focuses on improving systems’ responses to domestic violence when children are involved, and responsible fatherhood. David has developed the Safe and Together™ model to improve case practice and cross system collaboration in domestic violence cases involving children, and continuum of practice framework for promoting the development of domestic violence informed child welfare systems. David and his staff have consulted to United States’ child welfare systems in a number of states including New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Vermont, Oregon and Ohio. This has included overseeing a statewide network of domestic violence consultants for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families; training domestic violence subject matter experts for Florida’s Department of Children and Families; improving collaboration between child welfare and domestic violence advocates in Colorado; and the development of certified Safe and Together trainer network to support the roll out of differential response in all 88 Ohio county child welfare agencies.  David Mandel and Associates collaborates with domestic violence agencies such as the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. In last few years, David Mandel & Associates also provided extensive training in the United Kingdom, Australia, the Republic of Ireland and Singapore. David has written journal articles on batterer’s perceptions of their children’s exposure to domestic violence and the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare practice. His chapter on “Batterers and the Lives of Their Children” was published in the Praeger Series Violence Against Women in Families and Relationships. His Safe and Together blog can be found at