Relevant Social Issues in the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy

2020 IAMFT Fall Conference - Who are the speakers?

The Conference Committee issued a survey application to invite several presenters for our 2020 Fall Conference.  The following presenters graciously agreed to offer their ideas and expertise with us.  They are listed in alphabetical order.  Their biography information shares a bit more about their professional background.  Please enjoy reading about them.

(Editor's note:  This page content is still a work-in-progress.  Please have patience.  We plan to add a link for you to download each speaker's materials for your own use during the conference.  Thanks, IAMFT Conference Committee)

Carl Becker

Carl J. Becker, J.D. ([email protected]) is a partner in the law firm of Becker Bouwkamp Walker, PC where he practices in all areas of domestic relations/family law including mediation, dissolution, paternity, custody, support, property settlement, protective orders, and guardianships.  He also practices in the areas of general commercial advice and business litigation.  Carl received his undergraduate and legal education at the University of Illinois (B.S., Accountancy with High Honors, 1988; J.D., cum laude, 1991).  Carl has been recognized as an Indiana Super Lawyer.  He is a Registered Domestic Relations Mediator and trained as an Arbitrator.  Carl was selected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.  He is a member of the Impact Fund Committee for the Indianapolis Bar Association for both 2019 and 2020.  Carl has lectured on numerous occasions regarding family law issues including child custody, child support, property issues, mediation plus other alternative dispute resolution techniques, and the representation of children.



April Bordeau

April Bordeau, LCSW ([email protected]) is Executive Director at Care to Change located in Avon, Indiana.  She is a trained trauma therapist.  For more than two decades, April has focused on helping families overcome challenges in their lives.  While April was earning a B.S. degree in Child Development from Purdue University, she mentored at-risk youth at a community center and also worked in Child Protective Services at the Department of Child Services.  In 1997, she earned her master’s degree from the University of Michigan, graduating summa cum laude.  She began working as a clinical in-patient therapist in a Detroit psychiatric hospital, helping suicidal youth who had histories of complex trauma and abuse.  After moving to Indianapolis, April worked as a wrap-around therapist and later became manager at a residential treatment facility for youth.  During that time, she provided oversight to direct care staff, case managers, and therapists who served in a secure unit, a young children’s unit, and an adolescent girls’ unit.  In 2001, April became the executive director of a domestic violence shelter.  In 2014, she and her business partner began planning for Care to Change, which opened in 2015.  April is a Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) practitioner and certified educator.  She is also a Prepare-Enrich & SYMBIS pre-marriage and marriage facilitator.  April has trained in Crisis Intervention Teams, NOVA crisis intervention, Theraplay, and the Suicide PAIR program.  She is a QPR Instructor and is an approved Focus on the Family Counselor.   April currently leads the Hendricks County Mental Health and Wellness Coalition.  Please visit the “Care to Change Counseling” on Facebook.  

Compassion Fatigue

Alan A. Bouwkamp, J.D. ([email protected]) is a partner in the firm of Becker Bouwkamp Walker, PC in Indianapolis, Indiana and practices in the areas of family law and general litigation issues.  Mr. Bouwkamp received a B.A. Degree in 1984 from Indiana University and his Juris Doctorate degree, cum laude, in 1990 from Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.  He has practiced extensively before trial courts throughout Indiana, the Indiana Court of Appeals, and has argued before the Indiana Supreme Court.  Mr. Bouwkamp has lectured extensively on issues such as life after divorce, child custody and shared parenting, child abuse, and general family law.  He has had an AV Preeminent® rating through Martindale-Hubbell® for more than 16 years, is recognized as an Indiana Super Lawyer (2020), and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.  Mr. Bouwkamp is a member of the Indianapolis, Hamilton County, and Indiana State Bar Associations, a member of Grievance Committee B of the Indianapolis Bar Association, a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and the Central Indiana Association of Collaborative Professionals.  He is also a member of both the Indiana Chapter and the National Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.  Mr. Bouwkamp is a member of Collaborative Solutions, Inc., an interdisciplinary Collaborative Law practice group working together to help couples avoid the uncertain outcome of court.

7 Guidelines COVID-19,  Top 10 List



Tori DiBona, B.S. ([email protected]is currently a graduate student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond, Indiana. She will be graduating in December 2020. Tori received a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Family Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is primarily interested in conducting research on the stigmatization of sexual and gender minorities, exploration of human sexuality, as well as the influence gender and sexual norms have on individuals, couples, and families.

Survivors of sex trafficking



Carolina Forman, MA ([email protected]) serves as the Assistant Director for Campus Climate and Retention at Indiana Wesleyan University.  She holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  Carolina is Uruguayan-American and thanks critical theorists and Liberation Theologians that came out of Latin America, for highlighting and informing the place her cultural self has in the work of justice.  Carolina is interested in researching the impact of critical consciousness on the lived experiences of minoritized students




Jessica Hood, MSW, LCSW ([email protected]) is owner/therapist at Indy Child Therapist, LLC.  She started and owns this group practice as well as founded Indy Private Practice Network (IPPN) for Therapists, an online Facebook group to provide networking for therapists.  IPPN hosts quarterly networking meetings for therapists, currently virtual only.  She has been in the field for 13 years and has experience working in residential centers, schools, and outpatient settings in addition to private practice. She obtained both her BSW and MSW from the IU School of Social Work.

OCD 101




Lara Hoss, B.S. ([email protected]) is currently a third-year master`s level student in the MFT Program at Purdue University Northwest located in Hammond, Indiana.  She is expected to graduate in December 2020.  Lara received her B.S. degree in Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University.  Her main research interest is intimate partner aggression and how it is conceptualized and treated in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.  Lara also interns at Uhlich Children's Advantage Network in Chicago, Illinois.

MFT Perceptions of Intimate Partner Aggression





Emily Schulz, B.A. [she/her] ([email protected]) is currently a second-year graduate student in the MFT master’s program at Purdue University Northwest.  Emily received her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University.  In addition to seeing clients as a therapist intern, she is working on her thesis and other research projects.  Her thesis is investigating how mindfulness impacts perceived sexual arousal, sexual satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction.  She has presented her research on sexual health and how it relates to dimensions of well-being at national and international conferences.  She is passionate about the bidirectional relationship found in sex therapy and sex research and how they inform one another.  After graduation, Emily plans to pursue a doctoral degree to continue to learn more about sex therapy and research.

Childhood sexual abuse

Adam R. Smithey, PhD, LMFT, ([email protected]) is a highly sought after and respected marriage and family therapist specializing in relationship counseling and intensive counseling retreats.  He earned a bachelor degree in Psychology from Trine University (2008), a master degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Capella University (2011), and his PhD in Counseling, Education and Supervision through Capella University (2015).  Dr. Smithey is COE (Chief of Everything) at Smithey Counseling Services, an Indiana-based, uniquely customizable, relationship counseling service that serves local, national, and international clientele.  He maintains an evening and weekend-based private practice in central Indiana and spends his weekdays as a stay-at-home dad to his children (ages 8, 5, & 4).  Dr. Smithey is Indiana’s first Certified Gottman Therapist and first Certified Discernment Counselor.  He is a Gottman Method Trainer and Gottman Couples Workshop Presenter, and regularly presents locally and nationally. He is also an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.




Sarah Stilz, MS ([email protected]) is a seasoned healthcare professional with over 15 years working in the preventative aspect of healthcare.  Her work focuses on chronic disease treatment and prevention with a special emphasis on diabetes and eliminating health disparities.  Sarah is founder and managing partner of Prime Movement Healthcare, a virtual healthcare clinic that is telehealth-driven.  She is a CDC-recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program, Certified Diabetes Educator, National Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach, and Certified Nutritionist.  Sarah’s business home is Prime Movement Healthcare, 201 North Illinois Street, Suite 1600, South Tower,Indianapolis, IN 46204



Elizabeth Walker, J.D. ([email protected]) is a partner in the firm of Becker Bouwkamp Walker, PC in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She has focused her practice exclusively on family law matters since entering the practice of law.  She received her B.A. degree from Purdue University in Political Science and her J.D. degree from the Robert McKinney School of Law, Indiana University.  Elizabeth is a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, has been recognized as an Indiana Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2015- 2021 and as a “Leadership in Law Up & Coming Lawyer” in the Indiana Lawyer newspaper in 2016.  She also serves as Secretary to the Board of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation and is a Board Member of the Central Indiana Association of Collaborative Professionals (CIACP).  Elizabeth serves as a private and volunteer court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem in the Hamilton County and Boone County Courts on behalf of children and is a Domestic Relations Mediator.




Adrian Weldon (she/her/hers) ([email protected]) is a graduate student at Purdue University Northwest.  She anticipates completing a Master’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy by December 2020.  Originally from Kentucky, Adrian completed undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Family Sciences at the University of Kentucky.  Adrian is also a therapist intern at Pillars of Wellness in Merrillville, Indiana.  Going forward, she plans to pursue a PhD in Medical Family Therapy.  Her interests include holistic health, community education, and increasing access to healthcare services, particularly in rural communities.

Impact of childhood traumatic stress on physical health



Dr. Denise Williams Ph.D., LMFT ([email protected]) is currently an Assistant Professor of Counseling at a COAMFTE-accredited MFT master’s degree program at Indiana Wesleyan University.  She earned her Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University.  She earned her Master of Arts degree in Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of South Florida.  Dr. Williams’ research interests include:  marital issues, couples’ sexual intimacy concerns, the influence of addiction in the family, and underrepresented groups such as undocumented and international students.  Additionally, Denise has done research on cultural and marginalized group issues, more specifically those in higher education.  She is also an AAMFT Clinical Member and AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

I don't get a break