Calendar of Events
Sixth Annual Riggs-Yale Conference on Developmental Psychopathology, Family Process, and Social Context: Early Intervention with High-Need/Low-Resource Populations
Austen Riggs Center
Jointly planned and presented by the Austen Riggs Center, the Yale Child Study Center, and the Yale Department of Psychiatry
Early childhood adversity may have negative consequences that last a lifetime in the form of relational, behavioral, and health problems. Projects at the Yale Child Study Center and the Austen Riggs Center are underway within our local communities to provide early intervention within the family system that may help to foster healthy relationships and resilience in children, particularly those at risk for poor outcomes. In the sixth annual Riggs-Yale Conference on Developmental Psychopathology, Family Process, and Social Context, researchers and project leaders from both institutions will describe community-based programs designed to provide care to high-need/low-resource populations. The aim of the conference is to learn about specific approaches to understanding various forms of childhood adversity and to engaging the family system to mitigate risk and promote healthy development.
The conference is designed to promote learning across disciplines and modalities of intervention, with ample time for discussion following each presentation. We invite clinicians, researchers, and administrators who work in early childhood care settings, or with families, to come share your knowledge while learning from others.
8:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast
9:00-9:15 a.m. Welcome
9:15-9:45 a.m. Attachment and Preventive Intervention: Some Introductory Comments
Linda Mayes, MD
9:45-10:30 a.m. The Discovering Your Baby Project
Donna Elmendorf, PhD, and Claudia Gold, MD
10:30-10:45 a.m. Break
10:45-11:30 a.m. Minding the Baby
Nancy Close, PhD
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discussion
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30-2:00 p.m. Attachment, Drug Abuse, and Clinical Intervention: Some Introductory Comments
Linda Mayes, MD
2:00-2:45 p.m. Mothering From the Inside Out
Nancy Suchman, PhD
2:45-3:00 p.m. Break
3:00-3:45 p.m. Thinking about Fathers: Men as Parents in Systems of Care
Thomas McMahon, PhD
3:45-4:30 p.m. Discussion and conference closing
Linda Mayes, MD, is the director of the Yale Child Study Center and the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology in the Yale Child Study Center and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Sewanee, The University of the South. She is also a child and adult psychoanalyst and member of the faculty of the Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute where she completed her psychoanalytic training. Her scholarly work focuses on the impact of early life adversity and chronic stress on child and adult social development. Formally trained as a pediatrician and neonatologist as well as a child and adult psychoanalyst, her research integrates perspectives from child development, behavioral neuroscience, psychophysiology, neurobiology, developmental psychopathology, and psychoanalysis.
Thomas J. McMahon, PhD, is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Child Study at the Yale University School of Medicine. As a clinician, educator, and researcher, he is interested in the ways developmental principles can be used to expand understanding of substance abuse, family process, and child development. With support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, he has been involved in research designed to expand understanding of high-risk fathering and has been developing gender-specific parent interventions for men enrolled in substance abuse treatment.
Nancy E. Suchman, PhD, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Suchman’s research integrates perspectives from attachment theory, neuroscience of addiction, and developmental psychopathology. Funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1995, her research has focused on developing and evaluating attachment-based parenting interventions for mothers with substance use and psychiatric disorders. In 2015, she completed the second randomized clinical efficacy trial testing the efficacy of Mothering From the Inside Out, (MIO) a mentalization-based psychotherapy that aims to promote maternal reflective functioning–the capacity to make sense of and manage emotional distress in difficult parenting situations and to make sense of young children’s emotional needs in order to promote secure attachments. Two randomized clinical trials have now demonstrated the efficacy of MIO. In a third ongoing randomized trial, addiction counselors are being trained to deliver MIO with sustained fidelity to determine whether treatment efficacy holds in a community-based setting.
Nancy Close, PhD, IMH-IV, is an educator and clinician and endorsed infant mental health mentor with the Connecticut Association of Infant Mental Health. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of children under age five and in mental health consultation to preschool programs. She teaches Yale College students and fellows in training at the Child Study Center. Dr. Close is a co-director of the Minding the Baby Program, an evidence-based home visiting program, which focuses on child and maternal health and mental health, supporting parent-child attachment and the development of the reflective function. Dr. Close is engaged in international work in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. She is the director of a fellowship in Early Childhood Development that is sponsored by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.
Claudia M. Gold, MD, is a pediatrician and writer with a long-standing interest in addressing children’s mental health needs in a preventive model. She has practiced general and behavioral pediatrics for more than 25 years, and now specializes in early childhood mental health. She currently works as an infant-parent mental health specialist at the Austen Riggs Center and offers parent-child consultations for ages 0-3 at Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires. She is the author of several books: the recently released The Developmental Science of Early Childhood: Clinical Applications of Infant Mental Health Concepts from Infancy through Adolescence (Norton, 2017); The Silenced Child: From Labels, Medication and Quick-Fix Solutions to Listening, Growth and Lifelong Resilience (Da Capo, 2016); and Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child’s Eyes (Da Capo, 2011). She is on the faculty of William James College, University of Massachusetts, Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health Program, the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute, and the Brazelton Institute. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
Donna Elmendorf, PhD, is the director of the Therapeutic Community Program and the Activities Program at the Austen Riggs Center. Dr. Elmendorf also serves as a psychotherapist and a psychotherapy supervisor in the Center's Adult Psychoanalytic Training Program and Fellowship in Hospital-Based Psychotherapy. She provides group consultation and supervision and leads the Center's consultation service. She also leads the Human Development Strategic Initiative, bringing developmentally informed, relationship-based interventions to our local Berkshire community. She has written and presented in the areas of symptomatic behavior as interpersonal communication, competence and regression in group dynamics, and social cognition in young children. She is the chair of the Leadership Committee of the American Residential Treatment Association and has served on the consulting staff of many group relations conferences.
Fees & Registration
Registration includes breakfast and lunch.
$150 early registration by July 12, 2017; $175 after July 12, 2017
Please register online or call Erikson Institute Education Coordinator Samantha Blache at  931.5230.
Participants will be able to:
- Give examples of types of community wide early intervention
- Discuss the needs for early mental health intervention within their local contexts
- Recognize the risks associated with early childhood adversity
The Austen Riggs Center designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Riggs also designates this live activity for 6.0 continuing education credits (CE) for psychology and social work.
This live activity has also been approved for 6.0 Nursing Contact Hours as established by Regulatory Authority 244 CMR 5.00: M.G.L. c. 112, §§ 74 and 74A.
The Austen Riggs Center is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The Austen Riggs Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content. For additional information about this program, please call the Erikson Institute Education Coordinator Samantha Blache at  931.5230 or email email@example.com.
The Austen Riggs Center’s policy on disclosure requires guest speakers to disclose any significant financial interest or other relationship with any commercial supporters of this live activity. In keeping with this policy and the disclosure requirements of the Massachusetts Medical Society, we hereby state that neither the speakers, nor anyone involved in the planning of the CME/CE event, have disclosed a potential conflict of interest. The Austen Riggs Center accepts no commercial support of any kind to support our CME/CE events.
Austen Riggs Center, #1344, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 02/02/2017–02/02/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. As of July 2015, ACE is accepted in 47 jurisdictions. This does not include the states of New York, New Jersey, and Maine.