We are very pleased to report that our chapter’s San Francisco conference in February was a great success in all respects: attendance; venue; quality of workshops and institutes. The conference theme, “EVOLUTION AND INNOVATION: The Art and Science of Solutions for Families in Conflict” inspired high quality proposals, and based on informal feedback, as well as the course evaluations, the workshops themselves did not disappoint. Reflecting current research trends and interests, workshops included new approaches to addressing parent-child contact problems, use and misuse of current technology, psychological testing, children’s input in custody matters, among others. These workshops were in addition to our pre-conference institutes which explored decision-making in family law, special needs children in divorced families, and practical issues in family violence cases.
Attendees had high praise for our invited plenary speakers and topics. In the interest of exploring innovation and the “conciliation” aspect of our organization’s mission, the conference kicked off with Dr. Fred Luskin’s experientially based talk on forgiveness and its applications to the families with whom we work. We also benefitted from learning about Dr. Robin Deutsch’s new educational program for high conflict families and hearing Dr. Patricia Papernow’s informative talk about the complexities of step family dynamics, including “what works and what doesn’t” when trying to address their conflicts and needs. And Dr. Michael Saini and Hon. Mark A. Juhas ably accepted the mantle long held by Dr. Joan Kelly and provided an update on current research and legal trends in family law.
This year, the Board took a calculated risk and changed venues for the Northern California conference. In 2016, we reached capacity at the Mark Hopkins and our switch to the larger Park Central worked out even better than anticipated. And it’s a good thing we made the change, since attendance was up almost 20% from 2016. In fact, we had the largest attendance of any chapter conference, at just under 300!
We on the conference committee would like to thank all those individuals who contributed to the success of our annual conference. They include non-board members of the committee, sponsors, and the members who made it to San Francisco during the big game weekend. We’d be remiss if we didn’t sing the praises of our Administrative Assistant, Merry Gladchun, who makes it all happen.
Looking forward to seeing you in Costa Mesa in February 2019!!
Bob Kaufman, Ph.D., ABPP
Shane Ford, Esq.
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