Pre-conference workshops

Pre-conference Workshops

$ 25 for 2-hour workshop, $50 for half day workshops and $100 for full day

10:15-12:15: Navigating Courageous Conversations About Power, Privilege, and Discrimination

Elizabeth DeBoer Kreider 
Linh Luu,
Kristin Bertsch,
Karen Kegel,
Candice Presseau,

The W.E. C.A.R.E. (Warmth, Empathy, Compassion, Acceptance, Respect and Equity) Campaign was developed in response to recent discriminatory events targeting students with marginalized identities at a Northeast U.S. university. W.E. C.A.R.E. was designed to build cohesion within the campus community while addressing the ramifications of discrimination through education, support, and advocacy. As part of the campaign, a group of counseling psychology doctoral students produced a video to help facilitate conversations about power, privilege, and discrimination.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide a forum for participants to engage in cultural perspective taking and discuss its utility in combating discrimination. In the spirit of giving voice to those who have been silenced, the workshop will encourage the use of the Courageous Conversations Model (Singleton & Linton, 2006), which helps to engage, sustain, and enhance meaningful dialogue. Workshop facilitators will first introduce the background of the video and review the Courageous Conversation Model. Next, participants will be guided through the video and encouraged to share thoughts and reactions to each vignette. Lastly, participants will brainstorm strategies for engaging in future courageous conversations and becoming better allies for culturally marginalized groups.

This workshop will offer 2 Continuing Education Credits.


1:00-3:00: Implementing Evidence Based Treatment for Empowering Women Survivors of Sexual Violence

Patricia Yauger
Carlos Golfetto

Over the past 40 years Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) has provided services for victims of sexual violence. Since 1972 when Pittsburgh National Organization of Women established PAAR in response to a series of rapes, PAAR has empowered women survivors of sexual violence through medical/legal advocacy, helpline, prevention and outreach, and counseling services. This presentation will elucidate PAAR’s integrative approach to trauma-focused therapy with an exploration of the well-being of women survivors of sexual violence. To accomplish this goal, the presenters will discuss the implementation of PAAR’s counseling framework Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) within the context of recovery and empowerment of women.  CPT is a widely used modality of cognitive behavioral therapy and considered an evidence-based treatment, effective in the treatment of trauma survivors. Research indicates that CPT’s structure fosters active participation of the client in the healing process by using assignments that explore safety, trust, power/control, self-esteem and intimacy.  CPT was designed to reduce PTSD symptoms so that trauma survivors can return to normal functioning and put their trauma in the past.  This approach helps women survivors of sexual violence regain a sense of self and take back control of their lives as a survivor instead of a victim. Presenters will discuss how therapy can be tailored to meet the individual needs of women survivors of sexual violence. Also, main elements in the healing process involving acceptance and desensitization of the traumatic event, and development of balanced and realistic beliefs about the trauma, self, and others. Participants will be able to recognize the benefits of utilizing trauma-focused therapy to empower women survivors of sexual violence by using this evidence-based treatment.  The target audience will include experienced clinicians and graduate students interested in providing trauma focused counseling.

This workshop will offer 2 Continuing Education Credits.


3:15-5:15: Feminist CBT: Meet Me at the Intersection

Laurie Roehrich

Feminist therapists and theorists have often criticized cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).  Traditionally, CBT has emphasized Western empiricism, structured sessions, getting in touch with and evaluating/testing automatic thoughts and homework assigned to experiment with new thoughts, moods, and behaviors.   However, the approach can also promote collaboration between therapist and client, empowerment, guided discovery, and skill building.  In addition, CBT has been subjected to vigorous research outcome studies and there is ample evidence for treatment effectiveness.

Feminist therapy has an emphasis on egalitarian relationships, acknowledgement that the personal is political, honoring client experience, and de-pathologizing distress (and diagnostic labels) by placing it in the proper social context.  However, actual feminist therapy outcome research has not been a popular strategy, and evidence-based support for the approach is lacking.

Is it ever possible to integrate these two approaches successfully?  Many therapists would label themselves as “feminist”.  How does this translate into our everyday practice with clients?

This workshop, led by three women all in different career phases (graduate student, early career, middle career) will explore these issues in depth.  A brief client case will be presented and analyzed using the two perspectives and creating an integrated plan that emphasizes the best aspects of both feminist and CBT approaches.  Commonly used rating scales such as the Feminist Therapy Behaviors Checklist and the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale will also be presented and discussed.  In addition, tips for providing supervision that blends both approaches will be discussed.  A bibliography of resources will be created for workshop participants.



Morning workshops 8:00 am -12:00pm

  1. Building Strengths in Traumatized Girls and Women

Pearl Berman
Amanda Trovato

 This workshop provides training in using research on trauma, resilience, and culture, to build strengths in traumatized girls and women. Participants will practice interpreting case history information and designing treatment goals for 12 year old, biracial Maria and her 75 year old, White grandmother Ellen. Maria started life as a neglected and abused child living in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico with an alcoholic, young, single mother. Ellen started life in a young, two parent family in rural Ohio. Ellen’s parents married young and her father soon showed himself to be addicted to gambling, alcohol, and to have a violent temper. Ellen married immediately after high school to escape from her abusive father by marrying a man who abused her until his death at the age of 64. Ellen had never interacted with a person of Latino descent and Maria had never formed a secure attachment. These factors and the trauma they had both experienced interfered with their ability to develop a healthy family system. This workshop will contain didactic and experiential training in using three research-informed strategies for helping Ellen and Maria develop an adaptive family. The first will use research on the impact of adverse childhood events to determine the skills that Maria and Ellen need to learn to develop a relationship free of abuse and neglect. Secondly, resiliency research will be used to guide them in developing personal and interpersonal strengths. Third, research on the impact of cultural differences in relationships will be used to help Maria and Ellen.  Concepts of Familismo, Personalismo, Simpatica, and Respecto, important in Puerto Rican culture, and Ellen’s deeply held Protestant beliefs will be incorporated into healing rituals between Maria and Ellen making their differing cultural backgrounds  sources of strength rather than misunderstanding. Issues in outcome assessment will be raised.

This workshop will offer 4 Continuing Education Credits.


  1. A Heavy Price: The Effect Of Subtle Weight Stigma On Our Girls, Our Clients, And Ourselves AND What To Do About It

Jennifer Henretty
Jamie Atkins

Living in an image-driven society, weight stigma is everywhere we turn.  There are subtle, and not so subtle, messages in the media, in our daily interactions with strangers, and in our well-intentioned communication with family members.  These messages, which begin to bombard us as young girls, are something society at large often accepts and sometimes even welcomes in the context of the “fight against obesity” as it is widely and erroneously believed that size and health are irrefutably related.  As the “fight against obesity” continues to gain momentum, unfortunately so do the unforeseen ill effects of weight stigma.  Now more than ever is the time for us to turn our attention to the impact we as women in psychology can have on the fight against weight stigma!  In order to have the greatest positive impact with our girls, with our clients, within our communities, and within ourselves, we as wise women must look around, look inside, and get vocal about the issue.  Topics discussed in this presentation will include relevant research pertaining to weight stigma and its effect on girls and women, how to identify the subtle messages of weight stigma, how to facilitate self-exploration of internalized weight stigma, and how to address and decrease weight stigma in our treatment settings, our educational settings, and our home settings. Experiential exercises will provide an eye-opening look at the insidious nature of weight stigma but also at how we can begin to decrease weight stigma in ourselves and the girls and women in our lives.  Videos, images, and discussions will keep audience members active in the presentation.


  1. Implicit Attitudes: Tools for Fostering Personal and Political Change

Andrea Iglesias
Glenda Russell

This workshop provides an introduction to implicit attitudes, a framework for thinking about issues around diversity that bypasses shame and blame while offering a vehicle for taking responsibility for creating real change. The research on implicit attitudes suggests one important empirically based avenue for understanding how, despite so much laudable institutional change, different forms of oppression continue to present members of target (and non-target) groups with constraints and challenges. The implicit attitudes framework allows us to label some of the more subtle forms in which oppression occur and provides clear implications for intervention. This workshop will demonstrate applications of this model to such areas as diversity training, psychotherapy/counseling, academic skills development, group therapy, work with members of targeted groups and groups of allies, and varied teaching, outreach and consultation interventions.

This workshop will begin with a thorough exploration of the implicit attitudes model and how it can be used to understand subtler dynamics in issues of oppression.  We will create a community of participants who will focus on developing a working understanding of the model, with attention to the dynamics of sexism, racism, homophobia/heterosexism, ableism, genderism, anti-immigrant bias, and religious bias. We will be sharing real life examples of applying the implicit attitudes model in an array of settings looking at both successes and challenges. Participants will take part in interactive and experiential activities to allow for practice with labeling, explaining, and interrupting these attitudes and addressing them at personal, interpersonal, institutional, and climate levels. Participants will leave with clear action steps of how the implicit attitudes model can be used in their own personal and professional work.

This workshop will offer 4 Continuing Education Credits.


Afternoon workshops 1:00pm-5:00 pm

  1. Women’s life choices. . . Or lack of choices

Pauline Lytle
Carol Lopez

This experiential training workshop will explore a woman’s perception of choice and agency in making five specific life span transitions: having an occupation (career, work, stay-at-home) and the education required given that choice, being single or partnered, having a child or being childfree, filial responsibility or caring for parents, and “creating” her adult (and aging) body and body image.  These transitions are issues that repeatedly surface as presenting problems for female clients entering psychotherapy.  Women often measure their success by when and how well they have achieved or completed these transitions, as if there is a certain age by which they “should” have gotten married, created a career, etc., and if they haven’t succeeded, then they have failed somehow in the task of being a “normal” adult female.  Multicultural influences on these “choices” will be explored through the use of the ADDRESSING framework articulated by Hays (2008), which includes: age and generational influences, developmental and acquired disabilities, religion and spiritual orientation, ethnic and racial identity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, indigenous heritage, national origin, and gender identity. The goal is to weave a structure to contextualize the intersection of women’s choices in their life transitions with culture, cohort/historical/geographical influences, and individual and family life cycle development. The course will integrate feminist and systemic theories and research with the workshop participants’ life experiences. This is a class where the younger women and wise women in the audience can collaborate to learn from each other about the differing levels of feminism in our culture and how those levels impact choices. The class will explore the social construction of gender roles, gender equality and empowerment of women in conjunction with perceived choice and self-efficacy. The methodologies used in teaching this course will include lecture, discussion, group activities, journal writing, and active participation by all.


  1. White Women Unlearning Racism (WWUR)

Kathy McCloskey
Gili Goldfrad
Melissa Henry
Laura Streckfuss
Tiffany O’Shaughnessy

This 4-hour workshop facilitated by White Women in addition to a Woman of Color, uses a combination of psychoeducational and experiential approaches to raise critical awareness around White Women’s privilege. The first step in unlearning racism is to acknowledge that as White Women, we have all internalized racist messages to some degree. Through dialogue, our agenda as facilitators is to help each participant identify where you are in the process of unlearning and challenging racism as White Women. We will also discuss what it means to be White and explore examples of White privilege, distinguish between overt and covert racism, identify the process of racial tokenism, discuss principles of anti-racist action and advocacy, and provide strategies for overcoming racism within our communities and ourselves.  As facilitators, we will encourage personal racial self-analysis and awareness with a critical consciousness through multimedia material, handouts, and opportunities for small and large group work.  We are aware that White Women attending this workshop may be at different stages in unlearning racism, and recognize this material is inherently intense and oftentimes uncomfortable. Thus, we encourage self-care throughout. After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Accurately assess their personal level of racial identity and awareness and apply this to social justice work in their communities.
  • Identify the various forms of racism that limit effective collaboration in feminist work.
  • Identify the ways in which cognitive and verbal strategies (e.g., derailing) perpetuate various forms of racism.
  • Demonstrate effective methods of challenging privilege and engaging in anti-racist work.

This workshop will offer 4 Continuing Education Credits.


  1. Qualitative Methodology Serving Feminist Goals

Louise Silverstein

  Qualitative methods are especially suited to feminist goals. Rather than using researcher-constructed surveys or interview protocols, qualitative methodology is “bottom-up,” i.e., focused on participants’ concerns, and collaborating with participants in the research design.  Qualitative researchers practice “learning to listen, and “listening to learn.”  This standpoint mirrors the values of feminism and multiculturalism, i.e., sharing power, reflecting intersectionality, and respecting marginalized groups.

The workshop is based on an approach to coding qualitative data (Auerbach & Silverstein, 2003) that consists of 6 steps, beginning with: stating a research question; organizing the data into Repeating Ideas, Themes and Theoretical Constructs; and finally creating a composite Theoretical Narrative that tells the story of the participants’ subjective experiences of the phenomenon under study.  Thus the model combines a grounded theory approach with a narrative that makes the data more accessible.

The interactive nature of the workshop will provide opportunities for participants to code data from actual transcripts of studies that the presenter has completed over the past 15 years, e.g., gay dads, Chinese children in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake; parents with children in special education. The final hour will be tailored to the workshop participants’ specific research concerns, e.g., creating a research question, strategies for recruiting a sample, and planning a pilot study.

This workshop will offer 4 Continuing Education Credits.


  1. The New AWP Older Women’s Caucus

Leonore Tiefer
Mary Hayden
Ruth Hall
Irene Frieze 

The AWP Older Women’s Caucus (OWC), originally formed in 1992 but dormant since the early 2000s, reconvened at the 2015 AWP meeting in San Francisco. At a session on a Boston conference on feminism in the 1960s, 20 women signed up  to constitute the initial mailing list of the OWC and Leonore Tiefer agreed to sent a report to the newsletter and to plan a preconference training workshop for 2016. This 1/2 day pre-conference workshop will focus on several issues pertinent to feminist psychologists’ views of and experiences of aging and retirement: archives; retirement work arrangements; setting up systems for staying in touch and becoming a support community for each other; planning newsletter contributions, drafting a mission statement for the AWP caucus webage; role of animals in retirement; special considerations for private practitioners, maintaining identity and self-esteem. The session will consist of structured experiential activities and discussion.