Spring Conference Pre-Conference Institutes

 (2 hours CE)

#1. Walk-and-Talk Therapy: An Integrated Approach to Wellbeing 

Denice Crowe Clark, LMFT, BC-TMH

For all interested therapists.

Walk-and-talk therapy, where psychotherapy sessions occur outdoors in a natural setting while client and therapist walk side-by-side, is gaining popularity as evidenced by increased media attention (Chillag, 2017; English, 2015) and recent academic research (Jordan 2015; Revell & McLeod, 2016; Revell & McLeod, 2017). Therapists who incorporate walk-and-talk therapy in their practices believe in the benefits of physical activity, nature exposure, and psychotherapy, for overall wellbeing including mental and physical health, and the literature supports benefits to wellbeing for each component individually and in combination. Researchers studying walk-and-talk therapy from the therapists’ perspective uncovered perceived benefits, as well as hindering factors associated with the practice.

This presentation will explore the research to date regarding walk-and-talk therapy, as well as address potential risks and benefits of the practice. In addition, the presenter will discuss ethical and practical considerations for therapists desiring to incorporate walk-and-talk therapy sessions into their therapeutic repertoire. 


1. Explore research regarding physical activity, nature exposure, and psychotherapy individually and in combination for overall wellbeing.

2. Explore the research to date regarding the practice of walk-and-talk therapy.

3. Discuss potential risks, benefits, ethical, and practical considerations for integrating walk-and-talk therapy into one’s practice.

Denice Crowe Clark is a 2008 graduate of Mercer University and owner of Sole to Soul Therapy & Consulting in Atlanta, GA. Denice’s private practice is a dedicated walk-and-talk therapy practice where she takes her sessions off the couch, outside, and walks side-by-side with her clients in scenic Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta. Denice is currently pursuing her doctorate with Walden University where she is researching the clients’ perspective of walk-and-talk therapy.

#2. Love Cycles, Fear Cycles: The Essence of Couples Therapy

David Woodsfellow, Ph.D.

For all interested therapists. 

Many people come to therapy troubled about their relationships. They’re usually stuck in some negative cycle that they can’t get out of, no matter how hard they try. Our ability to see, understand and help them change these relentless cycles is an essential component of successful therapy.

This workshop presents an extremely user-friendly model for understanding these vicious cycles. The model is interesting, insight-producing and easy-to-remember. Clients like it and find it easy to understand. It clarifies what needs to change. Therapists find this model easy to use, even during a fast-moving session. This workshop is appropriate for couples therapists and individual therapists. It is also appropriate for therapists’ life-partners. You and your partner might want to learn this model together so that you can apply it to your relationship together.

In time, every relationship finds its own negative cycle – the worst possible combination of the two people’s issues. In this cycle, things worsen quickly. Each person threatens the other- again and again – leaving both people frustrated and hurt. Clients need to understand this negative cycle, so they can interrupt it and change it.

In this workshop, we’ll show you how to help them do that. We call this changing a fear cycle into a love cycle. When you help someone change their negative cycle to a love cycle, you’ve really helped them change their life. We’ll give you a tool that has helped a lot of people do this.


Participants will be able to

l. Diagram the unique Fear Cycle in any client’s relationship.

2. Clarify which behavior each person needs to change.

3. Clarify which feeling each person needs to learn to regulate.

4. Explain the unique Love Cycle in any client’s relationship.

David Woodsfellow, Ph.D, For the last 25 years Dr. Woodsfellow’s practice has been exclusively couples therapy. He’s done 25,000 hours of couples therapy. In 2018, he co-authored Love Cycles, Fear Cycles: Reduce Conflict and Increase Connection in Your Relationship, published by Select Books, NY. David is a graduate of Harvard, Antioch New England, UC Santa Barbara, and Georgia State University. He has trained extensively with Harville Hendrix, John Gray, John and Julie Gottman, and Terry Real.

#3. In Your Skin: Strength Based Therapy with Transgender Individuals

Nina M. Kennedy, LMFT 

For all interested therapists. 

The workshop outlines important aspects to consider when providing competent strength-based therapy with transgender individuals and their families. The unique complexity and considerations required in effective therapy range from appropriate use and context of language. Language allows for understanding, acknowledgement, and validation or a transgender individual’s experience. This is a key indicator of successful transition and treatment. A working knowledge of medical transitioning processes and resources is paramount. This includes aspects involving insurance coverage or procedures, participating providers, legal issues, requirements, and involvement of families where mandated. On a level of cultural competency, a therapist benefits from understanding the breadth of dominant social discourse shaping not only the individual and family, but all the systems involved. Negative impacts of prejudice and discrimination including suicide lethality rates, growth of hate crimes against transgender individuals, continued legislation prohibiting transgender individual rights, substance abuse, and ongoing significant mental health issues are ever present. As professionals, our due diligence requires us to understand and manifest an awareness of this growing visible population.

Continuing education for therapists in treating transgender and non-binary identifying individuals is minimal considering the growing need and spreading social discourse. In Georgia, transgender individuals seeking medical transition are required to receive mental health counseling, assessment and recommendation by a licensed provider. Competency in strength-based treatment requires current education and information relevant in areas of language and terminology, assessment tools, medical knowledge of transition procedures and resources, as well as growing relevant social impacts and influences.


1. Importance of Language with Identity

2. Therapist Self-Assessment of Competency

3. Assessment of Transition Readiness (ex reviewed: Adolescent and Family)

4. Understanding Growing Social Impacts and Place in the Therapy Process


Nina Kennedy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is currently practicing with C. Williams and Associates, LLC in Savannah, Georgia. Nina received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Valdosta State University and has been practicing in the field for over 15 years. Nina is a strong advocate and support for the LGBT community and provides continuous person-centered therapy services to this population and support systems in her practice.