2013 Yale-Riggs Conference on Partnerships, Parenting, and Family Systems

Program Faculty and Special Discussants

Steven Ackerman, PhD is a clinical psychologist, a treatment team leader, the Accreditation Manager, and the Manager of Clinical and Organizational Evaluation at the Austen Riggs Center. Active in research, he has presented and published on a variety of topics, including personality assessment, psychopathology, psychodynamic theory, psychotherapy process, early termination, treatment outcome, and long-term psychoanalytically oriented residential treatment.

Jean Adnopoz, MPH is a Clinical Professor and the Director of In-Home Clinical Services at the Yale Child Study Center. Among the programs she has developed and managed with her colleagues are the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service, Family-Based Recovery, the Intensive In-Home Re-integrative Service, Intensive Family Preservation, and Positive Intervention for Families with HIV/AIDS. She has published widely on family-oriented intervention and related topics. She is currently Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors for the National Crime Prevention Council, and she is also a member of the Board of Directors for Connecticut Voices for Children.

Susan Bers, PhD is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and on the faculty at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. She is a private practitioner, and she serves as a clinical consultant for a research project on the development of a mentalization-based parenting psychotherapy for substance-using mothers.

Spencer Biel, PsyD is a staff psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center. He conducts psychological testing, works with groups and families, and is a consultant in the therapeutic community program. He has lectured and taught brief courses on psychoanalytic theories of development, childhood precursors of adult psychopathology, and treatment resistance.

Lourdes De Las Heras, MS is a Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is helping to coordinate a research program focusing on the development and evaluation of mentalization-based interventions for mothers and fathers with psychiatric and substance use disorders. She has also done qualitative research exploring the parenting experiences of fathers struggling with substance use disorders.

Cindy DeCoste, MS is a Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is the project director for a research program focusing on the development and evaluation of mentalization-based interventions for mothers with substance use disorders.

M. Gerard Fromm, PhD is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center. He is also on the faculties of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute, the Harvard Medical School, and the Yale Child Study Center where he is an Assistant Clinical Professor. He is presently the incoming president of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations.

Karen Hanson, LCSW is the Coordinator of Family-Based Recovery Services and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work at the Yale Child Study Center. She has extensive experience treating families affected by substance abuse. She earned her Master Degree in Social Science Administration from Case Western Reserve University with a concentration in children and families. Following graduation, Ms. Hanson continued her training as a NIMH Social Work Fellow at the Yale Child Study Center, and she worked for ten years as the Chief of Social Work on the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit at Yale University School of Medicine.

Sharon Krikorian, PhD is a clinical psychologist, treatment team leader, and consultant in the therapeutic community program at the Austen Riggs Center. She also served as a consulting psychologist at Connecticut Junior Republic for 12 years. She has co-authored publications regarding the dynamics of treatment team functioning, and she is currently a candidate at the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute.

Linda Mayes, MD is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. She is also a Special Advisor to the Dean of the Yale University School of Medicine and chairman of the directorial team of the Anna Freud Centre. As a clinical investigator, she works at the interface of pediatrics, developmental psychology, and child psychiatry. Trained as a pediatrician and neonatologist, as well as a child and adult psychoanalyst, her research integrates perspectives from child development, behavioral neuroscience, psychophysiology, neurobiology, developmental psychopathology, and psychoanalysis.

Thomas McMahon, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Child Study at the Yale University School of Medicine. As a clinician, educator, and researcher, he is interested in ways developmental principles can be used to expand understanding of substance abuse, family process, and child development.  With support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, he has been involved in research designed to expand understanding of substance-abusing fathers, and he has been developing a gender-specific parent intervention for men enrolled in substance abuse treatment.

Cathleen Morey, LICSW is the Director of Clinical Social Work at the Austen Riggs Center. Ms. Morey coordinates, manages, and provides supervision for clinical social workers at the center who conduct patient and family assessments and provide family consultation, family therapy, and dynamic casework services. She has published, taught, and presented on the theory and practice of family therapy.

David Reiss, MD led the Center for Family Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine for 35 years where he served as the Vivian Gill Distinguished Research Professor. He was an Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center in 2007-08, and he has recently been a Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center. He is a graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and during his years in Washington, DC, he practiced psychoanalysis as well as family-oriented psychiatric care. His research has centered on social and genetic analysis of the impact family relationships have on adult and child development.

Helena Rutherford, PhD is an Associate Research Scientist at Yale Child Study Center where she is focusing on exploring the neurobiology of parenting and the development of new approaches to assess parenting in a laboratory setting. Her recent work has focused on measuring sensitivity to visual and auditory cues in infants as well as top-down regulation of parental response to infant cues by cognitive control. She is also interested in how addiction and other individual differences may impact the neurobiological correlates of parenting.

James Sacksteder MD is the Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Austen Riggs Center. Dr. Sacksteder has written more than 20 articles and book chapters on the treatment of anorexia nervosa, long-term psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy of severely disturbed patients, narcissism, object relations theory, and ego psychology.

Nancy Suchman, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Child Study Center at the Yale University School of Medicine. Her clinical research focuses on the development and evaluation of mentalization-based interventions for mothers with psychiatric and substance use disorders.

Megan Smith, DrPH is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Child Study at the Yale University School of Medicine and a Lecturer in the School of Public Health. Her award-winning clinical research is in the area of perinatal psychiatry and focuses on the influence of maternal psychopathology during pregnancy on infant and child outcomes. She is currently the director of the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership, a community-academic collaboration to create public mental health programs for low-income mothers.

Carla Smith Stover, PhD is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. She has extensive clinical experience with families impacted by domestic violence, including collaboration with the Child Development-Community Policing Program. She has also been involved in the development of early intervention and longer term, evidence-based treatments for children, adolescents, and parents, including TF-CBT and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. She is currently the Research Director for the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, and she is developing a parent intervention for fathers arrested for intimate partner violence.

Jane Tillman, PhD is the incoming director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center. She is also a treatment team leader, she directs the Suicide and Self-Destructive Behaviors Laboratory, and she is the principal investigator for a study on States of Mind Preceding a Near Lethal Suicide Attempt. Active in many professional organizations, Dr. Tillman chairs the Ethics Committee for Division 39 of the American Psychological Association, and she is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education.

Elizabeth Weinberg, MD is a staff psychiatrist at the Austen Riggs Center, and she is on the faculties of the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute and the Houston Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute, where she completed her psychoanalytic training. While a member of the staff in the Department of Psychiatry at the Baylor College of Medicine, she developed and led an intensive outpatient program for patients with personality disorders at the Ben Taub General Hospital. Dr. Weinberg has taught and presented on the subjects of self-injury, suicide, and borderline personality disorder.