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Conference code:

9:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.


Esther Perel

keynote presentations

esther perel: The Future of Relationships

Our relational lives are undergoing a radical makeover. The traditional focus on duty and obligation has given way to an ever-growing emphasis on personal freedom and fulfillment. The enshrinement of intimacy, the tyranny of endless options, and the erosion of emotional intelligence are just a few of the changes at play. Exacerbating these shifts are the technologies that increasingly mediate our bonds. The rise of the algorithm as matchmaker, the commodification of human beings in the swiping culture, the pressure to curate enviable lives on social media—all of these societal changes are rewriting the relational playbook. An entire vocabulary is emerging to describe the evolving landscape of love, lust, and commitment.  Radical transparency. Ethical non-monogamy. Simmering, icing, and ghosting. FOMO, FWBs, MILFs, and BFFs.

Some developments lead to greater connection, others to increasing isolation. This presentation explores how today’s social changes are entering the consulting room and influencing our clinical choice points. It highlights how they are transforming our understanding of gender, identity, and sexuality, and transforming our approach to couples therapy.


Cuban dance troupe:
dancing and healing-awakening body wisdom

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Sessions


Conference code:

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Dan Siegel

Attachment and the Developing Mind in Psychotherapy
Daniel J. Siegel

A deep understanding of the nature of the human mind and how it develops across the lifespan can form the scientific foundation for an approach to psychotherapy that blends interdisciplinary thinking with practical tools to cultivate a healthy mind.  Psychotherapy enables a clinician to help individuals identify patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that may be restricting them from living a full and rewarding life.  Some of these aspects of a person’s presenting profile may be due to experiences from attachment relationships while others may be a function of inborn neural propensities called temperament. In this presentation, the field of interpersonal neurobiology will be explored in depth to provide a consilient framework that offers a discipline-neutral view of how the mind develops within the interactions between relationships and the unfolding of the nervous system across time.  Interventions that draw on this scientific foundation can then be seen to harness the power of the therapeutic relationship to move the individual toward well-being.


  1. What is the human mind?
  2. How does the mind develop?
  3. How does psychotherapy work?
  4. How attachment experiences shape development
  5. Neural development, relationship patterns, and the unfolding of pathways of mental life
  6. The chaos and rigidity of impaired integration
  7. Healing and Acceptance in adult personality
  8. Integration at the heart of health
  9. What constitutes a healthy mind, relationships, and brain?

Participants will be able to

  1. Understand how science illuminates the nature of the healthy mind.
  2. Outline how the field of developmental neuroscience can be used to demonstrate how psychotherapy works.
  3. Identify nine domains of integration that are at the heart of mental well-being.
  4. Identify the ways in which attachment influences the development of emotion regulation and the capacity for intimacy in adulthood.

Conference code:

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Ida Fernández Inufio

The Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Integrative Group Psychotherapy: Students with Emotional and Behavioural Disorders
Ida Fernández Inufio

The Departments of Mental Health of Old Havana and Centro-Habana set out to determine the effectiveness of a Group Psychotherapeutic Intervention Program from an integrative model using the "Cognitive Behavioral”, "Game Therapy", and "Dynamic and Relational Therapy" approaches. Using both verbal and non-verbal combined techniques aimed at school children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. A sample of 11 children who fulfilled all the inclusion criteria was formed. The therapy was developed during 8 sessions, one weekly, of an hour and a half of duration. Simultaneously the parents participated in 8 sessions of Psychotherapy of Modification of Attitudes and some joint sessions with their child, besides receiving psychoeducational orientations. Individual evolution was measured by: free and family drawing; initial and final survey of parents; initial and final psycho-pedagogical characterization of teachers; and observation. Group indicators were used for group evolution. Also the most effective techniques were selected, based on the analysis of elaborated indicators. It was found a relationship between parental involvement and involvement, with the level of evolution of the children. The main symptoms included: aggressiveness, impulsivity, anxiety and restlessness, decreased considerably. The body techniques of Dynamic and Relational Psychotherapy in children and in joint sessions with parents; Non-verbal techniques of drawing painter and brush; Therapeutic Stories and Participatory Techniques were the most effective. The effectiveness of Integrative Group Psychotherapy was evident.

Conference code:

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Focusing on Dual Disorders
Pedro Ruiz

Description to come...

Conference code:

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Joe Kort

Gender and Sexual Fluidity: Working with Sexual and Gender Identities
Joe Kort and Rita Pereira

Description coming soon...

Conference code:

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Elizabeth Mendez Parra

Inter-Family Therapy Approach: Working with Families in Havana
Elizabeth Méndez Parra

This workshop presents an application of Inter-Family Therapy which is based on methods and therapeutic models introduced to Cuba through the work of Dr. Reina Rodríguez  and Professor Javier Sempere. Inter-Family Therapy is designed to bring family members together on a regular basis to share “what is not being said” as an opportunity to resolve problems and for dynamic ongoing learning. The workshop will discuss the experiences of applying Inter-Family Therapy with clients from the community of Centro Habana and Habana Vieja.

You  Will Learn:

  • The basic theoretical framework of the type of Family Therapy developed through Dr. Rodríguez  and Professor Sempere
  • Practical challenges and opportunities that arise in the implementation of Family Therapy with families from Centro Habana and Habana Vieja.



2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. sessions


Conference code:

2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Esther Perel

The State of Affairs: Rethinking our Clinical Attitudes Toward Infidelity
Esther Perel

Sexual infidelity is generally regarded as a grave symptom of a troubled relationship. Consequently, the revelation of an affair often triggers a crisis that threatens the entire foundation of trust and connection in a couple. Conventional practices mandate that therapists should insist upon full disclosure, never keep secrets, and view the infidelity as a highly traumatic event.

However, when it comes to affairs, there is no one size fits all. Our discussion will include the variations of infidelity—from one-night stands to second families, a reaction to a bad relationship, simple immaturity or basic humanity.
In this workshop, we will approach affairs from a dual perspective of growth and betrayal, an act to balance emotional and erotic needs, or an attempt to stabilize and not only harm the primary relationship.

We will briefly cover the complexities of marriage, sex, intimacy, and monogamy in couples from a multicultural, nonjudgmental perspective. The motivations underlying affairs and their possible meanings in different relationships, both heterosexual and gay will be explored, as will the benefits and costs of truth-telling and transparency, how to create a safe therapeutic environment to work with secrets and confidentiality.

We’ll address whether all affairs are traumatic, how couples can rebuild trust and intimacy, how boundaries of fidelity can be defined and justified and if some affairs can actually transform a marriage. In this broader perspective, fidelity is considered contextually in terms of multicultural meanings and individual choice.

A three stage model for post affair recovery is laid out to help couples in the immediate aftermath of the revelation of an infidelity, to mine the respective experiences, and to determine weather to break-up, simply survive, or turn crisis into opportunity. We will discuss truth and accountability, detective and investigative questions, loyalty and faithfulness.

With an eye on the existential, clinical and ethical aspects involved, we will focus on how our own assumptions, values, and personal experiences can influence our therapeutic work and elude the needs of the couple.

Couples therapy has traditionally focused on two partners occupying a shared space with a neutral third party, striving toward greater honesty and transparency. Couples are engaged as a unit, and therapists are discouraged from seeing partners separately lest power balances or allegiances be disturbed. What’s lost in this approach to couples therapy?
To effectively engage such issues as intimacy, sexuality and infidelity, therapists must create separate spaces where each partner can explore his/her feelings and experiences along with larger relationship dynamics. Couples therapy can best succeed in combinations of one and two.

The workshop draws on attachment and psychoanalytic theory, family systems and body-oriented approaches and applies to couples of all sexual orientations.

Invited to the session will be a leading Cuban couples therapist who will share her perspective on issues like “full sharing” and transparency and discuss common Cuban approaches to dealing with affairs in couples therapy.

Learning objectives:

  • Create a safe and open therapeutic environment to manage secrets, confidentiality, transparency and truth-telling
  • Structure the therapeutic process flexibly to help couples deal with the crisis of infidelity, if, and how to re-envision their relationship in the aftermath of an affair.
  • Master the three phases for post affair recovery: 1-The immediate aftermath of the revelation, 2-exploring the differentiated meanings of the affair, investigative versus detective questions, 3- After the Storm: the legacy of the affair
  • Draw the connection between attachment maps— expectations, conflicts, hope and disillusionment with intimate connections-- and erotic blueprints, i.e., sexual feelings and behaviors.
  • Gain a more flexible therapeutic model to create a combination of one and two, allowing separate spaces where each partner can explore his/her feelings and experiences about the infidelity along with larger relationship dynamics
  • Guide couples to explore the motivations behind an affair and construct the story of the affair moving from blame and crisis to understanding and opportunity when possible.
  • Support couples to draw from their new understandings of one another and the lessons learned from the affair to navigate forgiveness, redefine and restore trust and intimacy, and open up communication about boundaries, fidelity and monogamy.
  • Discuss perspectives on love and desire and help couples open up possibilities for erotic recovery post affairs.
  • Learn about Cuban approaches to dealing with affairs in couples therapy

Conference code:

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Systematic Reflective Therapy
Klaus Deissler

description to follow

Conference code:

2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Play, Music, Health: The use of music and play in therapy
Jorge Montaldo

Description to follow

Conference code:

2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Joe Kort

Gender and Sexual Fluidity: Working with Clients Boutique Sexual and Gender Identities
Joe Kort

Are you making the biggest mistake treating your clients questioning their sexual and gender identity? Are you pushing them to “come out”? If you are, you could be traumatizing your clients.

Today’s adults and youth are expressing sexual identity and gender identity in various ways that are not binary. Gone are the days when everyone self-identifies as either gay or straight or male and female. Modern culture is making room for non-binary identities leaving therapists confused about how to develop treatment interventions for these clients to be most effective.

You will:

  • Learning up-to-date terms and definitions about sexual and gender identity
  • Understanding non hetero-normative sexual behaviors and practices
  • Recognize crucial points for transgender teens and adults medically and psychologically and how to create best treatment plan
  • Differentiate between sexual fluidity from bisexuality, gay and lesbian identities
  • Learn and differentiate correct terms such as gender queer, gender fluid and cisgender


Conference code:

2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Linda Graham

Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth
Linda Graham

"Trauma is a fact of life.  It doesn't have to be a life sentence." — Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experiencing trauma therapy

People do learn and grow from meeting the challenges and adversities of the human condition when they have enough support, resources and skills to do so.

This daylong explores discoveries of neuroscientists, mental health counselors, and spiritual teachers in the emerging field of resilience and post-traumatic growth, that teach us how people can learn to cope with the trials and troubles, even tragedies, of their lives, and find a deeper sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment through their process of recovery.

Participants will learn to apply practices of mindfulness, self-compassion and resonant relationships to five factors that predict genuine post-traumatic growth: acceptance of reality (and the consequences of what happened); resourcing with family, friends, friends, and community; recognizing the positive in the midst of the difficult, writing the coherent narrative of the event within the larger life story, and appreciating the new life that emerges because of the difficulty, not just in spite of it.

Learning Objectives:

  • Teach clients tools from the Mindful Self-Compassion protocol that help hold and shift our relationship to difficult experiences.
  • Teach clients tools to find the silver lining, the gift in the mistake, of any challenging or catastrophic experience.
  • Teach clients to reach out to and share their story with “compassionate companions.”
  • Facilitate clients writing the coherent narrative of any traumatizing or potentially traumatizing event.

Conference code:

2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Georgina Fariñas García

Psychoballet: Cuba's Movement and Dance Therapy
Georgina Fariñas García

This innovative program developed in Cuba that integrates dance and movement with psychology, called psicoballet (psycho-ballet). Working with psychologists and professional dancers, children and adolescents use dance to improve self-esteem, learn skills in self-regulation, self-discipline, cooperation and socialization. Psychoballet started in Cuba in 1973 for children and adolescents with behavioral disorders (both internalizing and externalizing), and now includes individuals with developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, adults and the elderly.  They learn a variety of dances and their confidence improves remarkably as they continue in the program.
In this workshop led by the founder of Psychoballet, you'll learn the basics of this approach and how it is used.



Conference code:

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(lunch from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.)

Gina Biegel

Be Mindful and Stress Less: 50 Ways to Deal with Your (Crazy) Life
Gina Biegel

Learn 50 ways to combine the powers of mindfulness and positive neuroplasticity to learn how to change teens brains to tilt away from negative thinking and toward positive resources.


It’s a high-stress and demanding life for teens today—social life, school, work, and family can easily become overwhelming for adolescents. Many teens are irritable, angry, in pain, and out of control. Without healthy interventions, they are prone to anxiety, depression, self-harm, and other psychological, and physiological issues.

Fact: 1 in 5 youth 13-18 years of age have or will have a serious mental illness.

Now that we recognize the problem lets discuss a solution.
Join Gina Biegel, creator of MBSR-T, for a 4-hour training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens. You’ll learn 50 mindfulness-based skills and tools for dealing with stress from her recently published book: Be Mindful Stress Less: 50 Ways to Deal with Your (Crazy) Life. This book is being released at this conference. Revolutionize your practice, and transform the lives of the teens you work with. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens Program (MBSR-T) is an evidence-based efficacious therapeutic treatment in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

By attending this training, you will be able to teach teens how to shift their thinking away from impulsive, thoughtless, and judgmental ways of reacting to life and teach them to mindfully respond and utilize the resources they have created. These mindfulness and positive neuroplasticity skills provide teens with an anchor and compass to guide them when they feel emotionally dysregulated, stressed, anxious and depressed. Teach teens to live rather than just exist in an ever-increasing multi-media stimulated technological environment.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe ways the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens program assists teens to take positive experiences and turn them into lasting beneficial resources; while developing and strengthening fundamental human needs for safety, satisfaction, and connection.
  • Explain how mindfulness puts a space, a pause, between a stimulus and a response. It is in this pause that peoples' ability to respond to life’s problems rather than reacting increases.
  • Utilize positive coping behaviors instead of negative coping behaviors, to manage stress, pain, and suffering.
  • Examine and explain recent advances is neuroscience, neuroplasticity, and positive neuroplasticity on the developing teenage brain.
  • Learn skills to teach teens the importance of, and ways to cultivate, self-care, to be more present in their relationships with others, and to be more compassionate, accepting, and respecting of other people.

Conference code:

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(lunch from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.)

Jack Saul

Building Resilience in Families, Communities and Organizations:
A Training Program in Global Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Jack Saul, PhD

This workshop will present a combination of didactic material, experiential exercises, and case vignettes developed at a summer Institute in Global Health and Psychosocial Support developed by the International Trauma Studies Program in New York City and the Antares Foundation in Amsterdam.  The Institute took place at Teacher’s College, Columbia University in July, 2015 and since then has been utilized in training at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The workshop is an immersion training program for mental health, health, and allied professionals working with populations who have endured severe adversities and trauma, such as domestic and political violence, extreme poverty, armed conflict, epidemics, and natural disasters. It introduces the participants to clinical and community approaches to promoting mental health and psychosocial well-being informed by a multi-systemic, strength-based perspective. Participants learn to apply collaborative and contextually sensitive approaches to enhance social connectedness and resilience in families, communities and organizations.

In this workshop we will focus on three necessary tasks for practitioners working with individuals, families, and communities from a socio-ecological perspective: (1) they must work in the context of a strong and supportive organization (2) they must appreciate the complexity of the larger systems and structural influences with which they are engaging; and (3) they must be open to the possibilities for healing and transformation.  Because one of the central principles in doing this work is to strengthen the capacities of families and communities to promote their own well-being, we have stressed that this work is most effectively carried out by professionals and organizations that are putting into practice themselves the principles they are seeking to promote.

The learning objectives are:

  • provide participants with a multi-systemic framework to address mental health needs and promote psychosocial well-being based on internationally accepted guidelines and best practices,
  • demonstrate how to map the impact of trauma on and sources of resilience at all systemic levels – individual, family, community, society at large.
  • enhance skills in working with populations affected by trauma and loss in clinical and community settings, and
  • teach best practices in staff stress management, effective team support and self care.

**Conference/schedule subject to change**