Conversation Hours

Next Up

Friday, November 1, 2019 

Shame in Psychotherapy: What Therapits Need to Know

Presenter: Janet Hoffer, DSW, LCSW

Hostess: Meryl Nadell

RSVP: By Saturday, October 26, 2019

***Please check our E-bulletin or the Member's Corner page for meeting place and RSVP information.


2019-2020 Calendar of Conversation Hours

Fridays, 10 AM-Noon 


November 1, 2019

Shame in Psychotherapy: What Therapist Need to Know

Presenter: Janet Hoffer, DSW, LCSW

Hostess: Meryl Nadell

The goal of the presentation is for participants to learn how working directly with shame can become an important healing agent in psychotherapy.  Shame is frequently the reason for therapeutic stalemates and even failures (Lewis, 1987). When we become brave enough to recognize shame in both our clients and in ourselves (an even more difficult task), we create opportunities to work directly with shameful emotions and deepen the therapeutic work.  This presentation teaches participants to listen for the ways shame is disguised and avoided in the consultation room, as well as how to address this elusive emotion. Participants will learn the definition of 'therapist shame', the distinction between guilt and shame, and some recommendations for the therapist when working with shame.



December 6, 2019

Introduction to Brainspotting: Using Mindfulness, Dual Attachment and Visual Field for Healing

Presenter: Cara Maksimow, LCSW  

Hostess:  Marissa Tucker

As a therapist do you at times find yourself a bit stuck with a particular client? Unsure where to go? Despite highly effective treatment options, there is something below the surface that the client has not been able to verbalize or discuss. Brainspotting may be an option. Brainspotting is a powerful, mindfulness-based, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms. It was discovered by David Grand, PhD while practicing EMDR in 2003. Join Cara Maksimow, LCSW to hear more about the hx of BSP and a basic introduction to the process and how she has been incorporating BSP along with contemplative psychotherapy and polyvagal theory into her practice.



March 6, 2020

Let's Talk About the Mental and Emotional Health of Children in an Era of Lockdown Drills and School Violence

Presenter: Nancy Kislin, LCSW, MFT

Hostess: Lynn Kramer

A shocking 187,000 school students have been directly exposed to gun violence since the Columbine school shooting in 1999.  Students endure the trauma of being in lockdown and active shooter drills that occur regularly in schools.  The role of the school administrator, teacher, and professional working with students has never been more challenging.  The emotional and mental health of students is greatly being affected as evidenced by the rise in depression, anxiety, suicide and students’ fear of going to school. This presentation will provide unprecedented professional insight and critical therapeutic guidance to help mental health professionals successfully engage, nurture and assist students in coping with the frequent and often traumatizing lockdown drills.

We will talk about:


  1. Utilizing less traumatizing language when talking to students about lockdown drills and other school 

violence incidents;

2.       Teaching students coping techniques to employ during drills;

3.       Discussing the elements of trauma, identifying trauma, and analyzing how trauma affects behavior 

          and mood;

4.       Learning the connection between virtual violence found in video games and social media;

5.       Understanding how drills are affecting students, parents, and educators.


Nancy Kislin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Marriage and Family Therapist, keynote speaker, author, and former Adjunct Professor at Kean University. She maintains a private child, adolescent, and family psychotherapy practice in Chatham, New Jersey. She creates and facilitates parent, teen, and children programs in schools, religious institutions, and summer camps. As a speaker, Nancy has addressed diverse audiences including small groups of parents and children, school classes, educators, clergy, and fellow psychotherapists. to religious institutions, educators, and other psychotherapists. Nancy has always been at the forefront of bringing current issues confronting children and parents to her audiences, and is passionate about helping parents and children navigate the complex issues of today’s society.  Nancy is the author of LOCKDOWN:  Talking To Your Kids About School Violence.  



May 15, 2020

Using the Creative Process as Healing

Presenter: Lisa Sturm, LCSW


Hostess: Beverly Hays  

Join in a conversation about how we might use creativity to process both secondary traumas from our work, and our own experiences and enduring vulnerabilities. Fresh out of school, Lisa Sturm was hired to treat all the women and adolescent girls that entered her inner-city counseling center. While processing her own feelings about her clients’ losses, traumas, and triumphs, a novel was born. Echoed in My Bones is the story of twin sisters, Jasmine who looks black and Tessa who looks white, who are separated at birth and raised in neighboring New Jersey towns, but worlds apart. Neither one know of each other’s existence until their birth mother’s son is diagnosed with leukemia. In order to find a compatible bone-marrow donor, their birth mother, Lakisha, is forced to choose between keeping her traumatic history hidden or searching for the daughters she abandoned. How Lakisha, Jasmine, and Tessa come together again is the story of the mistakes that threaten to destroy us and the injuries that echo in our bones; the ones that only love can heal. Come hear how others creatively process those things that echo in our bones.



** No CE Hours are awarded for conversation hours


For more information, please contact NJAWT's Program Chair, Kimberly Goodrich at (732) 455-1623 or email