The annual Missouri Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (MOAMFT) Conference took place April 16-17 in Kansas City, Missouri and focused on the theme "Intimacy in Couple Relationships: Couples, Families and Friends.” Honored speaker Dr. David Schnarch gave an informative and powerful presentation Friday concentrating on the importance of differentiation, intimacy, and desire in relationships. Based on extensive research, Dr. Schnarch also incorporated neuroplasticity into relationship dynamics and discussed the impact on couple relationships specifically. Dr. Schnarch included therapeutic implications and interventions for use with various dyadic relationships, integrating research and therapy examples.
Plenary speaker Dr. Dorothy Becvar opened the conference Saturday morning with a review of the rich history of Marriage and Family Therapy. Forest Institute was well represented in the break out sessions and in poster presentations. Kristy Krueger, Stephanie Messer and Tiffany Ragan presented "Traumatic Brain Injury: Assessing, Maintaining, and Rebuilding Couple Intimacy”, Kristy Krueger and Dr. Kristina Brown presented "Assessing Couple Intimacy Using the Consensus Rorschach and Intimacy Status Interview”, alumna Drs. Libby Bennett and Ginger Holczer presented, "Interventions in Couples Therapy: Relationship, Communication, and Sexual Challenges”, and Shawna Baron, Julie Gouy, Taylor Olson and Jamie Bell presented, "The Effects of Incarceration on Intimate Relationships.” Poster presentations over a variety of topics were presented by Jacob Chavez, Collin Davies, Alexis Faller, Barbara Farrell, Kelly Finch, Bryce Gray, Philip Hawley, Erica McQuiddy, Stephanie Messer, Christian Michau, Cass Neuhaus, Kendra Price, Stacy Ogbeide, Gaston Rougeaux-Burnes, and Mandy White. In addition, MOAMFT honored Dr. Jennifer Baker with the Media Award for her esteemed work as a marriage and family therapist present in Missouri media and furthering the reach of marriage and family therapy. Student Brandi Noirfalise was honored as Outstanding MFT Student of the Year for her dedication and hard work in the field of MFT with a touching introduction from Dr. Bill Robison. Dr. Kristina Brown is on the MOAMFT Education Committee and participated in the planning of the event. Allison Champion and Nakita Dent volunteered at the conference and worked diligently behind the scenes. Congratulations to all who were honored or participated in this conference, representing the quality of Forest professors and students.
Written by Kelly Finch, MA.
Photos provided by Kristina Brown, PhD, Kelly Finch, MA and Stacy Ogbeide.