AFTA Officers

Jane C. Bardavid, LCSW, President (8/16-6/17)

Retired director and now consultant of CAPE, a MH clinic for older adults. The agency provides affordable comprehensive services sensitive to the needs of older adults. Jane continues to work toward ensuring that older adults receive their fair share from the mental health community. Developed NYS approved CEU curriculum for agency. Graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work, Minuchin Center for Family Studies; Chair, Queens Geriatrics Committee; Executive Board, Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies; Secretary, AFTA and Queensboro Council for Social Welfare; Instructor of FT, Adelphi School of Social Work; Clinical FT supervisor.

Shawn V. Giammattei, Ph.D., Vice President (9/16-6/17)

Shawn V. Giammattei, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice; faculty at California School of Professional Psychology, Coordinator of Training for the Rockway Institute, Treasurer of the Association of Family Therapists of Northern California, clinical/research member of Mind the Gap/Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic at UCSF, and research consultant Kaiser Permanente, NCA. AFTA: Member since 2006, board member, Marketing, Governance, Early Career, and Nominations committees, Men’s Institute and LGBT Networking co-leader, 2013 Brief Presentation co-coordinator. Publications and interests: Trans youth, LGBT couples and families; family formation, functioning, and resilience; family focused research; social justice and intersectionality; family therapy training; and distance learning.

John Lawless, Ph.D., MPH, Treasurer (2/16-6/17)

Associate Dean–Human Services at State University of New York/Empire State College, Current Treasurer for Family Process Institute, Editorial Board for Family Process and Contemporary Family Therapy, and Program Chair for the International Family Therapy Association. AFTA: Awards Committee Chair, 2005-2007; Board Member, 2006-2009; Award Committee Member, 2003-2005; Facilitator of Racial Domination and Privilege Domination Interest Group, 2004-2007; Co-Facilitator of Men’s Institute, 2004-2007; 2007 Vancouver Program Committee member-Interest Group Coordinator; 2008 (Philadelphia) & 2009 (New Orleans) Program Committee Chair, Treasurer 2009-2011, Electronic Information Chair 2010-2012, Executive Director Search Committee Co-Chair, & Futures Committee Co-Chair.

Karni Kissil, Ph.D., LMFT, Secretary (7/15-6/17)

Family researcher and a family therapist in Jupiter, Florida. I have been providing couple and family therapy for more than 20 years in both Israel and the U.S. I graduated from Drexel University Couple and Family Therapy Department in 2012, and was the recipient of the Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy Social Justice Award. My research includes: 1) the person-of-the-therapist training and dissemination to providers, 2) impact of parental medical illness on the family, and 3) examining how cultural contexts shape experiences among vulnerable populations, such as ultra-orthodox Jewish gay men. I authored and co-authored more than 25 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. In 2015 I will receive the AFTA Early Career Award.

Victoria Dickerson, PhD, President-Elect (8/16-6/17)

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

Christiana Awosan, Ph.D., MFT (2/16-6/17)

Marriage/Couple and Family therapist, educator and researcher. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Seton Hall University. Her commitment to social justice and multicultural issues have guided much of her clinical work, teaching and research. Christiana’s current scholarly work focuses on social-historical, cultural and structural factors that impact the mental, emotional, and relational well-beings of Black individuals, couples and families. She has presented at several national and international conferences. Christiana served as a co-chair of the 2015 AFTA Conference Paper Presentation and she is looking forward to continuous service in the organization.

salihaSaliha Bava, Ph.D. (7/12-6/15; 7/15-6/18)

An associate professor of marriage and family therapy at Mercy College, NY and maintains a private practice in NYC. As a Taos Institute Associate, she advises in their PhD program and MSc in Relational Leading program. Saliha is on the Board of the International Certificate of Collaborative-Dialogical Practices. She publishes and presents internationally on collaborative practices, trauma, training, research, leadership, and therapist/consultant’s creativity from relational and performative perspectives. Saliha is currently researching “how adults play?” She is the co-founding Editor of the International Journal of Collaborative Practices and serves on the editorial review board of The Qualitative Report and Journal of Systemic Therapies.

brownAndraé L. Brown, Ph.D., LMFT (7/14-6/17)

Professional career highlights include serving as professor at Hunter College, NY and Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. He has also served as the co-director of Affinity Counseling Group, a research fellow for the Council on Contemporary Families, and as member of several national boards. Andraé’s entrepreneurial spirit has led him to start several businesses designed to bring a critical empowerment and social justice based framework to the fields of mental health, sports, entertainment, public policy, philanthropy, and education. He currently operates an independent clinical, research and consulting practice and is an adjunct professor at Howard University. Andraé earned his B.S. in psychology at Elizabeth City State University, his M.Ed. in school counseling at the Univ. of Maryland, and his Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy at Seton Hall University. He is the recipient of the 2014 AFTA Early Career Award.

Gene Combs, M.D. (7/16-6/19)

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.

Justine D'Arrigo-Patrick, Ph.D. (2/17-6/17)

Justine D’Arrigo-Patrick, Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor in the Counseling & Guidance Program at California State University, San Bernardino, where she and her wife, Beth, are participating in the newly instituted "Faculty In Residence" program. In this role, she and her wife are creating connections and community with LGBTQi+ identifying undergraduate students living within the residence halls by hosting a bi-monthly "queer space."  She earned her Doctorate in Marriage & Family Therapy from Loma Linda University in June 2014, and spent the following two years teaching in the Marriage & Family Therapy program at Antioch University, New England, before returning to California. Justine's research, teaching and clinical interests focus on the intersection of Postmodern and Critical Theories, post-oppositional practices, as well as therapeutic activism and social justice work in therapy. She loves to teach, learn and spend time with those she holds most dear. Justine has been an active member of the American Family Therapy Academy since 2010, and continues to deeply value the ways she has grown while being a part of the AFTA community.

marthaMartha E. Edwards, Ph.D. (7/15-6/18)

Director of the Ackerman Institute’s Center for the Developing Child and Family and director of Research. Her interests include: child development in the context of the family and culture; the determinants, processes and outcomes of parenting; and the integration of body, mind, and spirit. Martha created Bright Beginnings, a curriculum for infants, toddlers, and their families designed to promote infant mental health, school readiness, and the ongoing relational development of children and parents. In AFTA, she has served as Board Member, Program Chair, Vice-President, and Membership Chair. Martha is also Board Member and Program Chair for the NY Zero to Three Network, and advisory editor for Family Process.

Diane Estrada, Ph.D., LMFT (7/16-6/19)

Diane Estrada, Ph.D., LMFT is an associate professor in the counseling program at University of Colorado Denver. Her administrative experiences include being the director of two University and Community Counseling Centers, past chair/program leader of the counseling program. Diane has served as vice president of Latino Concerns for the Association of Multicultural Counseling & Development and was recently elected president-elect of this organization. Her research focuses on diversity and social justice Issues in clinical training, clinical supervision, and institutional Systems. Diane's teaching focuses on the application of Family Systems Therapy and working with multicultural issues. Her clinical practice centers on working with marginalized individuals, couples, and families.

Lawrence Levner, LCSW (7/16-6/19)

Lawrence Levner has been a social worker for 42 years with experience in community organizing, community mental health, family and individual therapy. He was clinical supervisor and director of the Family Therapy Practice Center of Washington, DC, 1984-2006. Larry continues to consult to community and mental health organizations and has a private therapy practice. He is concerned with issues of social justice and human rights; particularly the social context of family life and the social, cultural, and political issues affecting families. Larry is currently chair of AFTA's Family Policy/Human Rights Committee.

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

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.

ramonRamón Rojano, MD, PhD, MFT, MPH, CPC (7/14-6/17)

Experienced mental health, social services and public health practitioner and community leader. Working in private practice and teaching at the Universidad del Norte and Universidad Simón Bolívar. Also engaged in various community projects. Successfully, mixed systemic thinking, population health and resilience theories. Developed Community Family Therapy, an approach replicated internationally, and the Middle Class Express, a program that helps families move and sustain middle class. Trained psychiatrist, family therapist and coach. Served as director of mental health, public health and social services in public and private organizations. Completed studies of medicine and psychiatry in Colombia. In the U.S. obtained a PhD in psychology, and masters in public health and family therapy. Also, a certified professional coach. AFTA member since 1997. Chair of the Cultural and Economic Diversity Committee since 2013.

CharlesEtta T. Sutton, MSW, LCSW (7/16-6/19)

CharlesEtta Sutton, most noted for her mastery in Train-the Trainer work and facilitation, this family therapist, author, spiritual well-being, health promotion and social justice advocate provides therapy, supervision, training, consultation and program development. Retired from UMDNJ-OPSR as director of training in 2003, her life transitions find her continuing her work as principal of CTS Group Sutton & Associates, faculty, and clinical supervisor at Center for Family Community and Social Justice, founding faculty of Multicultural Family Institute, faculty and board of the Turtle Island Project, master facilitator, International Black Summit. CharlesEtta brings an irrepressible “joie de vivre” to her work and “walks her talk.”

davidDavid Trimble, Ph.D. (7/12-6/15; 7/15-6/18)

Psychologist and family therapist in the Boston area. He teaches family therapy at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology at Boston Medical Center, the oldest multicultural psychology internship program in the country. David has a practice in Brookline. He has helped with efforts to address race and social justice in AFTA. David is a Board member, member of Futures and Search Committees, and Chair of the Bylaws Committee.