(Cancelled) CIT 1: Tuesday, November 16 | 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. ET

Creating a Relational Frame in the Context of Youth Substance Use: Foundations of Family Engagement

Molly Bobek, LCSW, Partnership to End Addiction
Aaron Hogue, Ph.D., Partnership to End Addiction

Molly Bobek Aaron Hogue

Participants earn 7 continuing education credits.

Basic to Moderate level of familiarity with the material.

Categories: Addictive Behaviors, Parenting/Families
Keywords: Adolescents, Families, Substance Abuse

Although family therapy has the largest base of empirical support for treating adolescent substance use (ASU), there are several significant barriers to its widespread adoption. Informed by research and clinical practice in real world settings, this training will provide an introduction to techniques for therapists to build a relational frame with youth and their families.  The techniques featured emerge from an empirical distillation of the core elements of family therapy across the three most prominent evidence based manualized treatments for adolescent substance use (Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Functional Family Therapy, Multidimensional Family Therapy). Participants will be invited to learn and practice a relational and systemic set of interventions that are socioculturally attuned, pragmatic, and accessible. Techniques include Parent Collaboration, Enhancing Parental Love and Commitment, Parent Ecoystem, Family Goal Collaboration, and Relational Reframing. The training will be experiential, with opportunities for participants to observe the techniques via video demonstrations, practice with co-trainees, and engage in reflective processes related to self of the therapist.

At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

  • Provide information on the core elements approach for family therapy for adolescent substance use.
  • Increase clinicians’ capacity to understand adolescent substance use problems as relational.
  • Familiarize clinicians with treatment engagement strategies for adolescents and their families
  • Offer clinicians an overview of family therapy techniques for inviting change in meaning and change in behavior for adolescents and their families.
  • Explore with clinicians how self of the therapist and identity/systems of oppression impact family therapy for SUD.


  1. Components of a Relational Frame for Youth Substance Use and their Families
    1. Assumptions and Premises related to youth, substance use, and family relationships
    2. Foundations of Relational and Systemic Thinking
  2. Key Techniques for a Relational Frame for Youth Substance Use and their Families
    1. Caregiver Engagement Techniques
    2. Family Goal Collaboration
    3. Relational Reframing

Long term goals:

  • Introduce more relational thinking in case conceptualizations with youth who use substances/have a substance use disorder
  • Increase family member engagement and utilize more family therapy techniques with youth who use substances/have a substance use disorder

Recommended Readings:

Colapinto, J. A. (1995). Dilution of family process in social services: Implications for treatment of neglectful families. Family process34(1), 59-74.

Hogue, A., Bobek, M., Dauber, S., Henderson, C. E., McLeod, B. D., & Southam-Gerow, M. A. (2017). Distilling the core elements of family therapy for adolescent substance use: Conceptual and empirical solutions. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse26(6), 437-453.

Hogue, A., Bobek, M., Dauber, S., Henderson, C. E., McLeod, B. D., & Southam-Gerow, M. A. (2019). Core elements of family therapy for adolescent behavior problems: empirical distillation of three manualized treatments. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology48(1), 29-41.

Watts‐Jones, T. D. (2010). Location of self: Opening the door to dialogue on intersectionality in the therapy process. Family Process49(3), 405-420.

CIT 2: Tuesday, November 16 | 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM ET Part I
Wednesday, November 17 | 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM ET Part II

Culturally Responsive, Anti-Racist Cognitive Behavioral Therapeutic Practice: Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills

Jessica LoPresti, Ph.D., Co-Founder, BARE Mental Health and Wellness, LLC Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Suffolk University

Jessica LoPresti

Dr. LoPresti is co-founder of BARE Mental Health & Wellness, and an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Suffolk University. Dr. Graham-LoPresti graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Psychology and American Studies and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has focused her career on promoting the resilience, health, and well-being of people and communities of color and has published extensively on the multi-level impact of racism on mental health as well as barriers to quality and effective mental healthcare for underserved and underrepresented communities. In addition, Dr. Graham-LoPresti owns a clinical private practice where she helps clients cope with a range of psychological struggles including anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship challenges, as well as stress associated with marginalization and oppression.

Tahirah Abdullah, Ph.D., Co-Founder, BARE Mental Health and Wellness, LLC Associate Professor, Psychology Department, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Tahirah Abdullah

Dr. Abdullah is co-founder of BARE Mental Health & Wellness, and an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Africana Studies from the University of Miami, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Abdullah-Swain’s research focuses on the impact of racism and discrimination on mental health, barriers to help-seeking for mental health problems, mental illness and mental health treatment stigma, and understanding Black Americans’ therapy experiences. She aims to use the knowledge gained from her research to improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services for Black Americans, and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and mental health treatment. In addition to her research, Dr. Abdullah-Swain mentors doctoral students and teaches introduction to psychology classes, undergraduate Race, Culture and Relationships classes, as well as doctoral-level Culture and Mental Health and Clinical Intervention Strategies courses.

Participants earn 7 continuing education credits.

All levels of familiarity with the material.

Primary Category: Treatment-CBT, Oppression and Resilience
Key Words: CBT, Evidence-Based Practice, Race, Anti-racism

While racial diversity grows in the U.S., stark disparities in access to quality, effective mental healthcare grow in tandem, debilitating people and communities of color (Cook et al., 2017; Creedon & Cook, 2016). Even after surmounting barriers to accessing mental healthcare, people of color frequently experience negative outcomes related to mental health treatment experiences. Research has suggested several reasons for the decreased likelihood of receiving quality, effective mental health services for people of color, including lack of culturally responsive mental healthcare (American Psychiatric Association, 2017). Further, racism has been and continues to be pervasive in U.S. society, contributing to increased racism-related stress, psychological distress, anxiety, depression, and trauma symptoms (Abdullah et al., in press; Brown et al. 2000; Hwang & Goto, 2008; Pieterse et al., 2010; Whitbeck et al., 2002). Cognitive behavioral therapy has long been considered a gold standard, evidence-based best practice for the treatment of many psychological challenges (David et al., 2018). Therefore, it is imperative that CBT clinicians are antiracist in their work and workplaces and are trained in the provision of culturally responsive CBT. This workshop will present some background knowledge and foundational skills for being an antiracist therapist and implementing culturally responsive cognitive behavioral interventions.

At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

  • Consider and describe positionality as it relates to engaging in anti-racist CBT.
  • Identify and describe how racism-related stressors impact the development, course, and treatment of people of color experiencing psychological distress.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of ways CBT’s assumptions may further marginalize clients of color when applied to experiences of racism.
  • Describe, understand, and develop skills related to providing anti-racist, culturally responsive CBT.

Long-term Goal:

  • Develop a plan with accountability for how you will work towards a more antiracist therapy practice.


  1. Awareness and knowledge needed for culturally-responsive, anti-racist CBT
    1. Defining racism at the individual, interpersonal, and institutional and systemic levels
    2. Foundational understanding of racism and mental health care, cultural humility, and anti-racist mental health care
    3. Awareness of the practices related to the mental health care process that could contribute to marginalization and self-reflection related to how these may occur in one’s own workplace or therapy practice
    4. Understanding one’s own positionality as it relates to power and privilege in the context of the therapist role, one’s other identities, and the client’s identities
    5. Knowledge of the assumptions of cognitive-behavioral therapies and ways that these assumptions could contribute to marginalization if applied inappropriately
  2. Skills needed for culturally-responsive, anti-racist CBT
    1. Development of skills related to culturally-responsive and anti-racist mental health care, including the policies and procedures in the therapy office and the process in the therapy room
    2. Appropriate application of CBT in the context of racism-related stress
    3. Specific skills to enhance, frame, and contextualize psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring, exposure, acceptance, and other cognitive-behavioral interventions
    4. Develop individual plan for engaging in the continued learning and self-reflection needed to be a culturally-responsive/humble and anti-racist therapist.

Recommended Readings:

Graham-LoPresti, J. R., Gautier, S. W., Sorenson, S., & Hayes-Skelton, S. A. (2017). Culturally sensitive adaptations to evidence-based cognitive behavioral treatment for social anxiety disorder: A case paper. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 24(4), 459-471. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpra.2016.12.003

Harrell, S. (2010). A multidimensional conceptualization of racism-related stress: Implications for the well-being of people of color. Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 70, 42-57. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0087722

Hinton, D. and Patel, A. (2017). Cultural adaptations of cognitive behavioral therapy. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 40, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psc.2017.08.006

Iwamasa, G. Y., & Hays, P. A. (2019). Culturally responsive cognitive behavior therapy: Practice and supervision, 2nd ed. American Psychological Association.

Graham-LoPresti J.R., Abdullah T., Calloway A. (2020) Culturally Responsive Assessment and Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In: Benuto L., Gonzalez F., Singer J. (eds) Handbook of Cultural Factors in Behavioral Health. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-32229-8_17


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