Clinic News


Lorenz to Host Third Annual Conference

Each year, Lorenz Clinic hosts an invited practitioner for a day-long conference for clinicians that integrates science into practice.  This year’s conference will feature Dr. Ed Watkins, one of the most prolific researchers and authors on the topic of clinical supervision, the signature pedagogy of the mental health field.  To introduce the therapist community to Dr. Watkins and to shed light on therapists’ continuing education process for clients and families, I interviewed Dr. BJ Suarez, Lorenz Clinic’s Training Director and chair of the Conference Committee, about the event.    A summary of the conversation appears below–

What is the annual conference series?

Lorenz Clinic sponsors an Annual Invited Practitioner Series to provide continuing education to therapists who have an interest in working with couples, families, and individuals. We invite national leaders and researchers to present their innovative techniques and perspectives so that local clinicians are providing the best care possible to clients in therapy.

Who is it for? 

The Conference is for any interested therapist, clinical student at any training level, clinical supervisor, or employee in the mental health field who would like to learn more from national speakers on topics relevant to providing therapy to families, couples, or individuals.

Why do therapists attend trainings?

Ed Watkins, Ph.D.

Therapists attend trainings to continue to learn from the most recent research in the field. Continuing education events are a requirement from state licensure boards for clinicians to ensure that they are providing the best care possible. Clinicians should keep up with recent therapy approaches which are evidence-based and demonstrate positive outcomes through up-to-date research studies.

How does going to a conference like this help you be a better psychologist for my child?

Therapists who attend this Conference will improve in their direct client care and how they approach providing therapy. While many years of study in Master’s or Doctoral programs will teach clinicians about how to think about therapy, skills in therapy cannot alone be taught by textbooks. Providing therapy is an artform as much as it a science, and hearing eloquent metaphors and quotes from your therapist often comes from a therapist learning it in person, not by learning from a binder full of quotes during graduate school. Therefore, it is important for clinicians to apply new and updated therapy skills under the teaching from seasoned supervisors who have great experience in working through difficult therapy cases. Having a secure, well-grounded supervisor is the cornerstone for clinicians to build self-confidence and artistry in therapy skills. Supervisors are mentors to apprentice clinicians, and clinicians learn best when they feel that their learning is supported and is treated as a priority for their development. This Conference will teach students, clinicians, and supervisors how to create a strong foundation for learning when meeting their supervisor on day one and how to continue this relationship afterward.

What will attendees learn this year?

Attendees will learn more about supervisory relationships and how to communicate well in supervision. As previously mentioned, supervision is the most important aspect of learning clinical skills. However, just like in therapy or in real life, sometimes supervisors or clinicians will have difficulties in their communication and signals may get crossed. This may lead to someone thinking “I am not sure if this person truly understands my struggle and what I am going through.” This Conference will help clinicians and supervisors to address these ruptures in their relationship and to have the courage to to effectively get back on the same page, even after moments of feeling misunderstood. Especially in Minnesota, we are often known for our “Minnesota Nice” and may not address the elephant in the room for the sake of politeness, even when we know that we have to tell someone that we do not feel heard or understood. Not only is this a great skill to have in supervision, this is something that will help clinicians learn more about interactions in therapy with their own clients. However, by building strong supervisors in the Twin Cities, we can continue to develop strong therapists who will then provide excellent services in therapy to our clients as well.

What can the therapist community expect from future Lorenz conferences? 

The therapist community can expect additional training from national leaders in the fields of Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy. We expect to bring additional perspectives that will help therapists in the Twin Cities metro area to learn more about how to view systemic concerns with families and clients. We continually read the most recent research and texts in the field and will aim to invite the most influential speakers and authors to visit the Midwest to teach us their methods in person.

Why did you choose Dr. Watkins?

Dr. Watkins researches an area that is often overlooked which is the role of humility in improving the clinical supervision teaching experience. Bringing him to the Twin Cities with his experience and knowledge will allow attendees to learn more about supervision, which is the most essential area of educating therapists how to hone their therapy skills. Dr. Watkins has also developed his own videos of his own supervision sessions. Attendees will have the rare experience to see a researcher conduct his own supervision with a student and see the actual methodology and strategies that he uses to connect with his supervisees. Very rarely will trainings have the same person in a video talk directly about their experience, and attendees will have opportunity to witness these sessions and ask direct questions of that same person. This will create a more personal and in-depth experience to foster further reflection and discussion for all attendees, just as if attendees were to experience their own personal supervision from the researcher himself.

Tell us about the venue

The conference will be held at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the lush gardens on the inspirational grounds of the arboretum during breaks. This will encourage further reflection for attendees during an engaging day full of learning.

Any discounts to attend?

There is early bird proving through 8/31/19, and there is special pricing for students and pre-licensed practitioners.  Clinicians who wish to attend can register here.