AFTA Officers

Amy R. Tuttle, PhD, LMFT, President (7/19 - 6/21)

Amy is an associate professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, clinical supervisor, and couple and family therapistShe joined AFTA in 2008 as an Early Career Member (ECM) and transitioned to regular member in 2012. Amy’s served in many capacities for the organization, including Vice President and on several AFTA committees (e.g., ECM, membership, nominating, program planningculture and economic diversity, and governance). Amy’s professional interests include relational, systemic, and social constructionist informed family therapy theories, cultural, contextual, and diversity issues, intervention with marginalized, under resourced families and communities, and intergenerational processes around issues of trauma and injustice (e.g., the impact of Japanese American internment on multiple generations of a family). She is currently working on the Family Legacy Project, an ongoing qualitative research study examining relational and interactional processes around issues of trauma and injusticeAmy has published research on families in Child Protective Service Systems, the larger social context and relational orientations, recovery from sexual abuse, and parenting as relationship. Amy was the recipient of AFTA’s 2012 ECM Award. 

Lascelles Black2Justine D'Arrigo-Patrick, PhD, Vice President (7/19 - 6/21)

Justine is an Assistant Professor at Cal State San Bernardino in the Counseling & Guidance program. Justine’s teaching, clinical work, and research center on post-structural, post-postmodern, post-oppositional and relational philosophies. Of specific interest to them, is how efforts of activism can potentially colonize people’s experiences in counter cultural ways. Because of this, their work supports the need to further refine our analysis of power when engaging in what gets languaged as justice work.  

Linda2Monica Sesma-Vasquez PhD, RSW, Secretary (7/19 - 6/21)

Monica is anAdjunct Assistant Professor at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada, sessional instructor at the Certificate and Diploma in Couples and Family Therapy at the Faculty of Social Work, and Executive Director of the International Certificate of Collaborative and Dialogical Practices. Monica is a family therapist and supervisor at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre. She is Faculty with the Houston Galveston Institute, Grupo Campos Elíseos, and Instituto Kanankil. Monica is a Taos Institute Associate and Board Member. She publishes and presents nationally and internationally on a diversity of topics related with social justice and social construction-oriented family therapies. Monica’s research program focuses on trauma discourses and multicultural counselling practices with immigrants and refugees, psychiatric/psychological diagnostic culture, and body weight stigma. Monica is the Spanish Translator Editor of the International Journal of Collaborative and Dialogical Practices.  

ramonChris Hoff, PhD, LMFT, Treasurer (7/19 - 6/21)

Chris currently serves as an Assistant Professor in Counseling and Guidance at California State University San Bernardino and is the Founder/Director of the California Family Institute. The California Family Institute provides low/no cost counseling to the community and serves as a training and research site for MFT’s. Chris' past board experience include roles in AAMFT-CA serving as Student Board Representative and then Board Treasurer. Additionally, he has served on several non-profit boards supporting both the arts and issues of social justice and has presented across the country on the topics of conflict resolution, teaching & learning in MFT, and social entrepreneurship. Chris has also been an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist and was twice recognized for Excellence in  Entrepreneurship by the Orange County Business Journal. Chris brings over 20 years of experience in human resources. Chris' research interests include teaching & learning in family therapy and doing social justice in family therapy. 

Victoria Dickerson, PhD, Past-President (7/19 - 6/20)

Currently in private practice in Los Gatos and Aptos, California, Vicki has been active in AFTA for 25 years as Board member, officer, program chair and committee chair. In 2012 Vicki received AFTA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She currently is the Social Media/Communications Strategist for the Family Process Institute and also organizes and moderates a Webinar Series for Family Process in partnership with Ackerman. Vicki recently edited a special section on narrative and poststructural ideas for the journal Family Process and also an AFTA Springer Brief on the same topic. She has been the director of two training centers, a founder of one of the first mental health websites, and a professor in various universities.

AFTA Board of Directors

Baima2Timothy Baima, PhD (7/17 - 6/20)

Timothy is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private practice in San Mateo, California. He is an associate professor, and clinical training director of Palo Alto University’s MA Counseling Program. Tim’s passion for healing and social justice informs his clinical work, teaching, research interests, and leadership style. His current research focuses on issues of power amongst white mental health professionals. He has co-authored chapters on men and friends in the Expanded Family Life Cycle, and presented at several conferences on issues related to social privilege, men, and economically disadvantaged urban communities.

Sarah Berland, LCSW (7/18 - 6/21)

Sarah currently serves as Chair of AFTA’s Family Policy Human Rights Committee and part of the Strategic Plan Implementation Group.  She is a member of the teaching faculty at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, where she is also Founder/Director of the Justice Project, which provides therapeutic support to families impacted by the criminal justice system - engaging practices that invite those that have had the experience of being “surveilled,” to instead be “witnessed.”  Sarah joined AFTA in 2009, while still a student at the Smith College School for Social Work.

Bibuld2Lisa Bibuld, PsyD (7/17 - 6/20)

Lisa is Director of Student and Family Support at a charter school in Boston, and has worked with children and families in a clinical capacity for the past 12 years. An AFTA member since 2011, Lisa presented early findings of her dissertation on Narratives of Resilience and Resistance that year, and subsequently served as a co-facilitator on the Racial Domination/White Privilege Interest Group for three years (2013 – 2015) At the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, Lisa was a clinician on the Family Team and coordinated a homeless prevention program for teens (2012 – 2015).  Additionally, Lisa also co-facilitated the Diversity Team series (2012 – 2015) and was a member of the Clinicians of Color group at the Center.   

Gene Combs, MD (7/19 - 6/22)

A long-time AFTA member and previous board member, is clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago, where he is director of behavioral sciences in the North Shore University Health System Family Medicine residency program. He is core faculty at Evanston Family Therapy Center, where he has taught and supervised narrative therapy for a quarter-century. Gene's extensive writings (mostly co-authored with Jill Freedman, M.S.W.) include Narrative Therapy: The Social Construction of Preferred Realities, and the chapter on narrative couple therapy in the last four editions of the Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy.

Elisabeth Esmiol Wilson, PhD, LMFT (1/20 - 6/20)

Dr. Elisabeth Esmiol Wilson, Ph.D., LMFT, is an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. She earned her Ph.D. in MFT from Loma Linda University and has a seminary degree in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. Her research focuses on couples’ experiences of gender, power and spirituality and on clinical training issues including attending to larger contextual issues and integrating client feedback into treatment. She has published journal articles and book chapters on these topics and co-edited an AFTA Springer Brief titled Socially Just Religious and Spiritual Interventions: Ethical Uses of Therapeutic Power with Dr. Lindsey Nice. Dr. Elisabeth Wilson is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, and runs an active, sex-positive, private practice integrating spirituality and sexuality.  

Jerry Gale, PhD (7/18 - 6/21)

Jerry is the Program Director of the Family Therapy Doctoral Program at the University of Georgia. He has been an AFTA member since the mid-90’s and received the AFTA 2006 Outstanding Research Award. With Roxana Llerena-Quinn he co-chaired the 2014 AFTA annual conference in Athens, Georgia. He has over 80 publications and has authored/co-edited three books. He is presently co-Pi on a 5-year, 8-million-dollar grant, The integration of marriage and relationship education into family and children services: A Campus-Community partnership.   He is involved in extending systems practices through projects implementing relational financial therapy and relational meditation, and he is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary ASPIRE Clinic. Attending to social justice and addressing social determinants of health is of primary importance to Jerry.  He gave an invited presentation When the right answer is wrong: Addressing multiculturalism and diversity for financial therapists at the seventh annual Financial Therapy Conference.  He has presented on incorporating relational meditation into social justice work at AFTA and in a webinar for the Taos Institute.

Mariana Juras, MS, Ph.D. (6/20 - 6/22)

Mariana Juras, MS, Ph.D., is a psychologist and marriage and family therapist from Brazil. She came to the US in 2015 as a visiting research scholar in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology of Eastern Illinois University (EIU), she teaches clinical courses to undergraduate students and to graduate students of the Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology Program. She is also an internship academic supervisor, thesis advisor and mentor undergraduate and graduate-level research studies. Her research agenda includes forensic psychology, divorce and remarriage, domestic violence, and parenting interventions.

Kyle Killian - Toronto, CanadaKyle Killian, LMFT (7/17 - 6/20)

Kyle is faculty at Simmons College and Capella University. He has 55 publications on immigrant, refugee, and multiracial families, intercultural couples, vicarious resilience, and self-care. Kyle's books include Interracial Couples, Intimacy & Therapy (2013) and Time, Temporality and Violence in International Relations (2016). A diversity consultant for government departments and organizations, he is co-founder of Global Change Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus, an NGO advocating for immigrants’ rights, and a founding member of a consortium promoting understanding of secondary traumatic stress in helping professionals. Kyle has served on AFTA’s Research Committee as member and Chair. 

LauraLana Kim, PhD, LMFT (7/19 - 6/22)

Lana is an Associate Professor in the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy Program at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and AAMFT approved clinical supervisor at the Lewis & Clark Community Counseling Center. She earned her PhD and MS degrees in MFT, with a concentration in Medical Family Therapy, from Loma Linda University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. In her clinical work, she draws from narrative approaches and socio-emotional relationship therapy, and is interested in the ways in which power, culture, and larger social contexts shape lived experience, relationships, problems, and the process of change in therapy. Her research interests include second generation Asian-American families, parent-child relationships, culturally responsive MFT practices, clinical supervision, and medical family therapy and collaborative care practices. 

Roxana Llerena-Quinn, Ph.D., LMFT (7/19 - 6/22)

 is a senior attending psychologist in the Department of Outpatient Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she has co-directed the Latino Team. She has faculty appointments from Harvard Medical School and Boston University Medical School. At Boston Medical Center, she works with immigrant Latino families undergoing cultural transition, confronting stressors associated with reunifications after prolonged or most recent border separations. Her clinical, teaching, writing and research interests are in the area of immigration, Latino mental health, cross-cultural care and prevention.  Advocacy and community service efforts have aimed for a more equitable access to resources for cultural and linguistic minorities.  She mentors first generation, college-bound students, through the Seeds of Hope Program at  Harvard Medical School. She has taught at several local universities in the Boston area and in Latin America.  An AFTA member since 1998, she has served the organization in many capacities:  Contributor to the AFTA Newsletter 2001-2002. Monograph series 2005; People of Color Network meeting planner and co-facilitator 2001-2002,2019; Dialogue Groups Facilitator 2001-2003.  Cultural and Economic Diversity Committee at various times since 2004. Nominating Committee 2004, 2011- 2013. Interest Group Co-Chair 2004, 2005-2007, 2011-2013, 2018. Board Member 2009-2012, Annual Program Co-Chair 2013-2014. Awards Committee 2014 to present. 

LauraLaura Roberto-Forman, PsyD (7/15 - 6/18, 7/19 - 6/21)

Professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School who specializes in women’s health, couples and families, and eating disorders. Past Editor-in-Chief of the AFTA Monograph Series and past Secretary of AFTA, she is on the editorial boards of JMFT, JFFT, and Family Process (ad hoc), and writes extensively on transgenerational couple and family therapy (Transgenerational Family Therapies, Guilford). Laura is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 43). Past Board experience: Secretary, Awards Chair, Publications Chair. Committee Service: Cultural and Economic Diversity; Program; Membership; Nominations; AFTA Futures; Women’s Institute; Human Rights. Additional interests: interfaith dialogue; mindfulness; yoga.

LauraLaurel Salmon, LMFT (7/19 - 6/22)

Laurel Salmon is a NYS licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has been an active member of AFTA since she joined as a student in 2013. She has a strong background in socially just mental health, domestic violence as well as training and education. Her primary area of focus has been integrating strategies for understanding oppression dynamics into clinical work and clinical supervision. She has given presentations and written about the various ways that racism, sexism, hetero-sexism and religious oppression impact the work we do with our clients. Laurel's roles in AFTA include being a member of the Cultural and Economic Diversity Committee and Membership Committee. She has served on Nominations and been chair of the committee. She is the current facilitator of the People of Color network and chair of the Early Career Membership Committee. Laurel received AFTA's Early Career Award in 2018. She is committed to expanding the presence of Marriage and Family therapists in New York State. She is the former Program Director of the Courtland Avenue clinic. Laurel is currently the Senior Director of Therapeutic and Support Services for the Center for Safety and Change wher she oversees supportive counseling and clinical programs for clients who are survivors of child sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking.