• 13 Jan 2021 4:21 PM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Values Grounded Parenting: Cultivating a Family Culture Rooted in Positive, Solid Values
    Saturday, April 24th, 1:30pm CST 

    Presented by Michael J. Redivo PhD

    This workshop provides a Values Grounded framework for cultivating a family culture to raise respectful, responsible, and well – adjusted children. The 4 Pillars to Values Grounded Parenting will be reviewed with real world examples. Practical application will be emphasized so participants can use the concepts in their practice and parents with whom they work.

    3 Objectives to be Learned During this Presentation. 

    1. Participants will identify and learn how to help families develop a shared vision, positive values and a family culture board. 

    2. Participants will learn how to link discipline with the vision and values, supporting a positive and protective approach as opposed to a punitive, shaming approach. 

    3. Participants will learn the hidden value of conflict and mistake making and how to use these to fertilize growth within parents and children.

    Click Here to Watch a Preview Video of This Presentation

    Dr. Michael Redivo has extensive experience in working with parents, families, and children. He has provided training and consultation for parent groups, schools, and business organizations. Through this work, he has empowered families and organizations to grow and transform their culture to embody values grounded principles. Additionally, Dr. Redivo helped launch a private day school for youth with significant emotional and behavioral challenges. He supervises various mental health professionals and teaches graduate students. The most challenging role (and most rewarding) is being a Christ centered dad and husband.

  • 13 Jan 2021 3:54 PM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Equal Opportunity Offender: How We Become Chaste Together 
    Presented by Andrew Cominskey MDiv. 
    Saturday, April 24th, 10:45am 

    Any mention of “diversity” in counseling circles begs the questions: Is the CPA sexually inclusive? Does it welcome all sexual identity variations? We now live under a 50-year-resume of “gay” affirmation that has morphed into an LGBT+ mandate—include us, or else! 

    We must answer. Gratefully, we as Catholics have the only response that will endure: the robust call to chastity that includes every human being, regardless of their starting point. Chastity is an equal opportunity offender! And we do everyone a favor by refusing to treat some expressions of disintegration as blessed, worthy of full rights and privileges on par with gender integration. 

    For the last 40 years, I have studied, created, and practiced a group approach to a range of sins against chastity. The best approach to “sexual inclusivity” is to gather with the admittedly disintegrated and, in accord with Jesus and His friends, to take steps together toward integration. A sound working understanding of chastity is essential, as is the theological anthropology that informs the trajectory for becoming integrated in one’s gender and in relation to the other. Key psychological insights will be highlighted, as will the rationale of the group process for repairing and fortifying persons seeking progress in chastity. 

    Central to this process is reliance upon Divine Mercy. Together, we welcome Jesus’ flow into our impaired passageways. We of course do our part, and with diligence. In the end, we honor Him as the Source that sets persons free from misbegotten anthropologies, addictions, and abuses that undergird and are perpetrated by sins against chastity. 

    40 years ago, I had taken much ground in overcoming same-sex attraction as a husband and father through psychotherapy; I was also studying to become a therapist and a minister at Fuller Theological Seminary. Simultaneously, my wife and I determined to provide opportunities at our local church for persons dealing with sexual disintegration. We refused to become a subculture of “ex-gays” or “addicts in recovery” or “victims of abuse.” Rather, we pointed every seeker to Jesus, His community, and the integration He inspires, one day at a time. 

    Today, as Catholics, we include all persons in our diocese who seek help for having violated or been violated by the boundary-breaking freedoms of our age. Mercy finds rich expression as we gather to discover the beauty of our powers of life and love. 

    This group format has been piloted around the world in a variety of community settings, with feedback from leaders and participants refining its form and content. Unlike many clients who seek professional psychotherapy, persons come to us agreeing with a traditional understanding of sexuality. Nevertheless, this presentation will provide a hopeful and helpful resource for all skilled helpers who will benefit from discovering how spirituality and sexuality converge in chastity for the dignity of the individual.

    3 Objectives to be Learned During this Presentation. 

    1. Cast a lifegiving and dimensional understanding of chastity for the therapist, consider how a group process combined with individual psychotherapy enhances positive outcomes in growth in chastity, and how an integrated approach to addressing sexual disintegration is the best way forward for addressing LGBT+ demands upon the Christian psychotherapeutic community. 

    2. Does a sound Catholic understanding of chastity provide a way forward for those in the LGBT+ lifestyle? Yes, insists this formally gay-identified man. LGBT+ ideology has pervaded our clinical culture.

    3. How we navigate a variety of clients’ starting points, while providing clinically sound options for them, is essential. We will explore therapeutic and spiritual insight into an authentic grasp of chastity for clients seeking clarity in their sexual selves. We as Catholics have the only response to the LGBT+ community that is just and enduring. The robust call to chastity includes every human being, regardless of their starting point.

    Andrew Comiskey (M.Div.) has worked extensively with the healing of the sexually and relationally broken. He is the Founding Director of Desert Stream/Living Waters Ministries, a multifaceted outreach to the broken. Andrew’s ministry grows both out of his own commitment to overcome homosexuality and his experience as a husband to Annette, father of four children and grandfather to five grandkids. He is author of Pursuing Sexual Wholeness (Creation House), Strength in Weakness (InterVarsity Press), Naked Surrender: Coming Home To Our True Sexuality (InterVarsity Press) and the Living Waters healing program. Andrew seeks to equip the Church to be whole and holy, a bride ready to receive Jesus. Andrew serves at St. Thomas More Parish in Kansas City, Missouri. After over four decades of ministry, Andrew still loves receiving and extending mercy to sexual sinners like himself.

  • 13 Jan 2021 1:25 PM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Networking to Inclusion: How Individuals, Agencies, and other Non-Profits Can Collaborate to Better Serve Minority, Immigrant and Underserved Communities. 
    Presented by Jessica Barboza MA, and Lacy de la Garza MPsy 

    Saturday, April 24th, 10:45am CST

    Community partnerships and collaboration both maximize limited resources in serving diverse minority groups otherwise underserved or marginalized. Isolation and disconnection in our Catholic community can be improved by active diocesan and parish leadership, networking opportunities, and specific strategies for building sustainable collaborations. Mental health professionals are encouraged to actively participate in social justice initiatives by providing access to mental health services for underserved populations. In this workshop, you will learn how to collaborate with local ministries as a mental health professional and promote community partnerships within your diocese to better serve minority, immigrant, and underserved populations.

    3 Objectives to be Learned During this Presentation. 

    1. Understand how collaborative partnerships build community resilience for minority and marginalized groups.

    2. Learn skills and strategies for initiating and sustaining collaborative relationships with local ministries.

    3. Discover how mental health professionals can be an asset for community ministries.

    Click Here to Watch a Preview Video of this Presentation 


    Jessica Barboza is a licensed associate marriage and family therapist in the state of Utah where she is studying for her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies. Her research interests center around family meaning-making and she is currently conducting research to better understand how these processes impact family resilience. She has facilitated grief groups at the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, the Austin Center for Grief and Loss, and the Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence at Utah State University. Jessica advocates for the scientist-practitioner model of clinical training and values interdisciplinary collaboration in research and clinical practice.

    Lacy de la Garza is a Dallas native who holds a Masters in Psychology from the University of Dallas. She has a wide range of work experience including post-abortion healing, arts education, higher education and enrollment, and now non-profit administration. Her psychological research interests stem from both industrial organizational and counseling psychology. They include workplace structure and communication, technology and the modern workforce, post-abortive issues, and cultural issues affecting the family. Currently, she serves as Director of Parish & Community Relations at Catholic Charities Dallas and serves on a number of community task forces and organizations.

  • 13 Jan 2021 1:13 PM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Black and Native American Mission Office: Healing Trauma’s Narratives with Faith, Hope, and Charity
    Presented by Robin Treptow PhD, and Fr. Maurice Henry Sands
    Saturday, April 24th, 10:45am CST

    This dyad of presenters will use their joint expertise to first name racism and its health effects rooted in historical trauma, and then introduce mission-centered Catholic-Christian advocacy, theory, and practice for healing racism and its grave effects. We will offer research, theory, and tools that attendees can use to become aware of their own biases in order to better help the vulnerable. We will speak culturally-congruent ways to intervene, e.g., culture, nature. Further, CEO of the Black and Native American Mission Office, Father Maurice Henry Sands, will speak to the Church’s work to heal traumas passed from parent to child over successive generations. Participants will leave enriched with data about racism’s costs, advocacy mindset, and culturally apt tools for intervention, e.g., immersion in God’s creation as restorative to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

    3 Objectives to be Learned During this Presentation. 

    1. Describe a model of racism’s deceit, and list three ways historical trauma affects wellbeing. 

    2. Apply mission-centered Catholic-Christian advocacy, theory, and practice as tools for healing to racism’s effects.

    3. Name two changes they will make in their clinical or ministry work by integrating a mission/advocacy mindset with scientific data, i.e., faith and reason, to help heal intergenerational trauma due to racism.

    Click Here to Watch a Preview Video of this Presentation 


    Dr. Robin Lynn Treptow holds doctorates in clinical psychology (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1999) and infant and early childhood development (Fielding Graduate University, 2019). She is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Divine Mercy University in Sterling, VA. Her research has focused on impacts from implicit bias by healthcare providers and early intervention providers on babies’ growth and development.

    Father Maurice Henry Sands is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit. He serves as the Executive Director of the Black and Indian Mission Office in Washington, D.C. Fr. Sands is a full-blooded Native American, belonging to the Ojibway, Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes. Fr. Sands’ home is Bkejwanong/Walpole Island First Nation, unceded Indigenous territory, which is located one hour north of Detroit at the mouth of the St. Clair River. Fr. Sands had a career in accounting and corporate banking prior to his studies for the priesthood. He has worked to assist Native Americans in differing facets of life his entire adult life.

  • 13 Jan 2021 12:45 PM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    The Application of the Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person: A Case Study.
    Presented by William J. Nordling PhD, Paul C. Vitz PhD, Craig Steven Titus PhD of Divine Mercy University 

    Saturday, April 24th, 9:00am CST.

    The presentation uses lecture and case study material to introduce the audience to the Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person and its application to clinical practice (Vitz, Nordling, & Titus, 2020). The Meta-Model provides an enriched vision of the person that is structured by the use of its eleven psychological, philosophical, and theological premises. These premises are the basis for the Meta-Model’s psychologically-based definition of the person:

    “From a psychological perspective, the human person is an embodied individual who is intelligent, uses language, and exercises limited free-will. The person is fundamentally interpersonal, experiences and expresses emotions, and has sensory-perceptual-cognitive capacities to be in contact with reality. All of these characteristics are possible because of the unity of the body and unique self-consciousness, and are expressed in behavior and mental life. Furthermore the person is called by human nature to flourishing through virtuous behavior and transcendent growth; through interpersonal commitments to family, friends, and others; and through work, service, and meaningful leisure. From their origins (natural and transcendent), all persons have intrinsic goodness, dignity, and worth. In the course of life, though suffering from many natural, personal, and social disorders and conditions, persons hope for healing, meaning, and flourishing.” (Vitz, Nordling, & Titus, 2020, p. 21)

    In its clinical application, the Meta-Model serves as a framework that enlarges the context of traditional case conceptualization (e.g., Sperry & Sperry, 2020) through the use of different levels of understanding the person, including: personal/individual, family and relational, vocational callings, and virtue-based flourishing. The framework also highlights many aspects of dignity and diversity in the case study, such as sex-gender, developmental stage, race and culture, religion/spirituality. 

    After introducing the Meta-Model, the presentation demonstrates its application by examining a case study. In doing so, it shows the benefits that the Meta-Model brings to diagnosis, case formulation, and treatment planning.

    4 Objectives to be Learned During this Presentation. 

    1. Identify the eleven premises of the Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person. 

    2. Describe three major benefits that the Meta-Model bring to the psychological sciences and mental health practice.

    3. Discuss five important levels of understanding the person that are utilized by the CCMMP framework to ensure the development of an enriched vision of the person, diagnosis, and treatment plan.

    4. Identify how respect for dignity and diversity is expressed in the Meta-Model’s approach to case conceptualization, especially through understanding the importance of culture, religion, sex/gender, and developmental stage.

    Click Here to Watch a Preview Video of this Presentation 


    William Nordling, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, is a professor at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences at Divine Mercy University where for 20 years he has taught coursework in child, marriage and family therapy, and more specifically in the areas of individual and family-based play therapy. Dr. Nordling is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor through the Association for Play Therapy (USA).  He was a founding Board member of the Maryland Association for Play Therapy and also served on the Board of Directors of the national-level Association of Play Therapy (USA) for six years, and was its President in 2010. Dr. Nordling has conducted over 150 multi-day training workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally in the areas of play and Filial therapy.  He has authored a number of publications in these areas including co-authoring the book Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with ChildrenDr. Nordling was a founding board member of the CPA and served as its 3rd President.

    Dr. Craig Steven Titus is professor at Divine Mercy University (Sterling, Virginia) and director of the Department of Integrative Studies. His research interests focus on: virtue theory and the psychology of virtue; emotional and moral development; resilience and virtue; and the integration of psychological sciences, philosophy, spirituality, and theology. He published over 60 journal articles, book chapters, and books, for example, in Journal of Positive Psychology; Journal of Psychology and Christianity; Journal of Moral Theology. Most recently, he published the book chapter entitled “Virtue and resilience: Aquinas’s Christian approach to virtue applied to resilience,” in Biblical and theological visions of resilience: Pastoral and clinical insights (Routledge, 2020).

    Paul C. Vitz, Ph.D. Senior Scholar and Professor, Institute for the Psychological Sciences, Divine Mercy University; Professor of Psychology Emeritus, New York University.(Ph.D. Stanford University). Dr. Vitz’s work is focused on the integration ofChristian theology, especially Catholic anthropology, with psychology and breaks from secularism and post-modern relativism. This is expressed in his work on the just published Catholic Christian Meta Model of the Person. He also addresses: hatred and forgiveness; the  importance of fathers; psychology of atheism; and the complementarity of men and women. He has published seven books and many articles, videos, Op-Eds, etc.

  • 13 Jan 2021 12:18 PM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Psychotherapy: Healing the Soul. Wisdom of the Holy Fathers.
    Presented by Dr. Donna Dobrowolskey MD. 
    Friday, April 23rd, 2:45pm CST. 

    The term psychotherapy is derived from the Greek psyche meaning “soul,” and therapeia, meaning “healing”. For the ancient Fathers, the human person and psychological functions are intimately connected with an understanding of salvation as healing: a return to humanity’s original creation in the image and likeness of God.

    3 Objectives to be Learned During this Presentation. 

    1. Participants will be able to deepen their integrative view of the person from the lens of Patristic anthropology.

    2. Participants will recognize how the profound insights offered by the Desert Fathers and Mothers can be integrated into the human condition and its potential for transformation.

    3. Participants will have a better appreciation of how Patristic teachings and practices can be integrated with contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches to address the challenges of the new century.

    Dr. Donna Dobrowolsky is a psychiatrist who earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in 1989, where she also completed her Psychiatry Residency in 1993. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Dobrowolsky maintains an active adult psychiatric practice in the Chicago area. She treats psychiatric disorders, including those that intersect medicine, neurology and psychiatry. She provides psychiatric care for seminarians, clergy and religious. A Byzantine-rite Catholic, Dr. Dobrowolsky embraces a sacramental, liturgical world-view, valuing the inter-relationship between medicine, psychology and religion toward personal healing.

  • 13 Jan 2021 11:59 AM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Divorces, Movements, and a Wedding: A Practical Theological Framework for Healing in a Post-Modern World

    Presented by Dave McClow MDiv
    Friday, April 23rd, 1:00pm CST. 

    Post-modernism presents many challenges to us and our clients—skepticism, subjectivism, and relativism.  Post-modernism subscribes to a philosophy of make-up-your-own-reality rather than a discover-it view of reality (natural law).  A series of divorces serves as the foundation for this view.  I will suggest that this thinking is primarily based on trauma that has triggered fear and a search for certainty, resulting in chaos or rigidity that often only leads to anxiety and depression.  I will provide a practical map that outlines the divorces and their personal and cultural consequences.  I will explore several fundamental psychological and theological movements of life that when disrupted create problems and require restoration.  And finally, I will offer a pastoral model of the soul to integrate the cognitive, affective, and behavioral techniques and their potential timing.

    3 Objected to be Learned During this Presentation

    1. To explore several foundational philosophical, theological, and psychological divorces that create many of our personal and cultural problems, and to offer thoughts on healing them.  Examples include: goodness from fatherhood, body from soul, sex from marriage, gender from biology

    2. To identify the fundamental psychological and theological movements of life that when disrupted create problems and need to be repaired for health:  giving and receiving love (John Paul II—the Law of the Gift, Vatican II), love and fear (Scripture, Porges), unity in diversity, a.k.a. making a place for the other as other, or empathy (Seigel); and order and chaos (Seigel); and to be able to pastorally diagnose and identify interventions that address these.

    3. To discover the diagnostic and prescriptive utility of a pastoral model of the soul—head, heart, and hands (cognitive, emotional, and behavioral)—that integrates our Catholic theology and secular psychological techniques and that suggests the potential timing of these techniques. 


    Dave McClow, M.Div., LCSW, LMFT, is a clinical associate for the Pastoral Solutions Institute and author at Catholic Exchange, Patheos, and Today’s Catholic.  He writes about a Catholic vision of masculinity which is summarized in the Abba Prayer for Men.  He is also very active in his diocesan men’s group, Rekindle the Fire, and has founded multiple text ministries for men. For over 30 years he has been helping individuals, couples, and teams change in a variety of settings: inpatient psychiatric and addictions, employee assistance, outpatient community mental health, and statewide technical assistance centers. His counseling specialties are depression, anxiety, trauma, and the building of practical skills to cope with overwhelming emotions. He has been a national consultant and trainer for a number of evidence-based practices and topics.  He has also started a number of small businesses. Trained as a pastoral counselor, he has always recognized God as the source of healing and integrated his faith into his counseling practice.

  • 13 Jan 2021 11:31 AM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Unity Starts from the Womb: How Early Connections Heal Families and Mitigate Intergenerational Trauma
    Presented by Robin Treptow PhD, Marina Rutowski PhD, and Graciela Nearing PhD.
    Friday, April 23rd at 1:00pm CST

    Presenters examine racism, intergenerational trauma, and how attachment can mitigate costs to human dignity. We offer research and theory informed tools for helping families heal from racial/ethnic disparities. Attendees will learn to use early relationships across service settings, age, and racial/ethnic groups to help heal trauma across and within generations.

    3 Objectives to be Learned at this Presentation. 

    1. List three ways in which racism negatively impacts the wellbeing of young children and their families.

    2. Use a Catholic-Christian vision of the person as an antidote to racism’s effects for children and adults.

    3. Specify two ways they will alter their practice due to understanding how early relationships can help heal intergenerational trauma, e.g., due to racism

    Click Here to Watch a Preview Video of this Presentation 


    Dr. Robin Lynn Treptow holds doctorates in clinical psychology (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1999) and infant and early childhood development (Fielding Graduate University, 2019). She is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Divine Mercy University in Sterling, VA. Her research has focused on impacts from implicit bias on babies’ growth and development.

    Graciela Nearing was born in Havana. She has been married to Michael for 50 years. They have 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Dr. Nearing received a BA degree in Elementary Education, an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision and a Psy.D. She completed a clinical/research internship, University of Miami School of Medicine; a post-doctoral residency in Atlanta, GA in programs with addiction and families in crisis. Dr. Nearing developed and implemented a psychosocial program in the NICU at Niklaus Children’s Hospital, (Miami) providing psycho-emotional support to parents, a paper published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 2012

    Marina Rutowski has developed a 15+ year career in play therapy after training in multiple theories by 2 play therapists during social work education at Columbia University. Marina went on to complete post masters certification in Play Therapy, as well as earning Registered Play Therapist credentials. She has developed a career specializing in trauma recovery from age 2+, with special emphasis on repairing early attachments. As the saying goes, “Relationship is everything!” Marina is grateful for every opportunity she has to see the Holy Spirit give new life and love to her clients’ lives.

  • 13 Jan 2021 11:01 AM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Embracing Cultural Humility in Grief Experiences
    Presented by Jessica Barboza MA
    Friday, April 23rd, 10:00am CST. 

    The intersection of race, ethnicity and religion informs family meanings related to death and dying. In this presentation, we will discuss therapeutic strategies (ie. enactments and experiential techniques) that promote bereavement resilience and consider how Catholic clinicians and clergy can more fully demonstrate cultural humility when ministering to bereaved families.

    3 Objectives to be Learned at the Presentation

    1. Describe how the concepts of family resilience and cultural humility apply to experiences of grief and loss. 

    2. Examine the use of Catholic perspectives, traditions, and rituals to support family resilience through meaning-making.

    3. Demonstrate cultural humility around ethnic traditions and beliefs when serving bereaved families.

    Click Here to Watch a Preview Video of this Presentation

    Jessica Barboza is a licensed associate marriage and family therapist in the state of Utah where she is studying for her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies. Her research interests center around family meaning-making and she is currently conducting research to better understand how these processes impact family resilience. She has facilitated grief groups at the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, the Austin Center for Grief and Loss, and the Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence at Utah State University. Jessica advocates for the scientist-practitioner model of clinical training and values interdisciplinary collaboration in research and clinical practice.

  • 13 Jan 2021 10:35 AM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

    Application of Culturally Informed Treatment of Hispanic/Latino Catholic Seminarians in the United States. 

    Presented by Jared Zeringue MA and Maribel Laguna MA.

    Friday April 23rd at 10:00am CST

    This presentation focuses on understanding the unique cultural experiences of Hispanic/Latino seminarians. It examines the priestly formation experience of this population and addresses how this experience affects the pillars of formation. Best-practices and treatment recommendations for counseling Hispanic/Latino seminarians will be presented. 

    3 Objectives to be Learned at this Presentation:

    1. Attendees will understand the experience of Hispanic/Latino males in Catholic seminarians including the specific challenges and opportunities encountered. 

    2. Attendees will know the best practices for counseling this population and be equipped to implement them. 

    3. Attendees will know culturally specific issues that affect various pillars of priestly formation. 

    Click Here to View a Preview Video of this Discussion 


    Jared Zeringue is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Louisiana. He is the Director of Counseling Services at St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, Louisiana where he provides mental health counseling, offers human formation workshops, and oversees support groups. Also, Jared operates a small private practice in Covington, Louisiana. He and his wife Katie have been married for almost eight years and they have 3 really cool kids. Jared enjoys reading, studying maps, birding, and hiking.

    Maribel Laguna is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in Irving, Texas, where she is the co-owner of In His Image Counseling Center, PLLC. She is also a board member of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association. Maribel has worked as a counselor in a variety of settings including the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center, Genesis Women’s Shelter, and Dallas Independent School District Youth and Family Centers. Ms. Laguna specializes in pre-marital preparation, marital counseling, vocational discernment, as well as Affirmation Therapy. Additionally, Maribel is a presenter at Catholic events in the Diocese of Dallas. She has been a guest on various Catholic podcasts, La Red de Radio Guadalupe, "Alegre La Mañana” and on EWTN Espanol, Cara a Cara.

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