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Family Therapy Training Institute Faculty

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Ashley Bowers, MA, LMFT – is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Coordinator of the Family Therapy Training Institute and the Milwaukee Mental Health Consultants, programs of Aurora Family Service. She provides clinical services through the Aurora Family Service Counseling Clinic in addition to consultation and training to nonprofit agencies and schools. Areas of clinical interest and practice specialties include parent education, relationship stress, domestic violence, divorce, blended family challenges, depression, anxiety and life stress management.

Elizabeth Cocos, LMFT, LCSW – is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and AAMFT Approved Supervisor with over 21 years of clinical experience. She is a board member of the WAMFT and she will be fulfilling her third year of board membership in 2013. She is employed at St. Aemilian-Lakeside's Family Services program which specializes in serving families involved with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare through Integrated Family Services. Her clinical specialties include sexual abuse, trauma, family trauma, in-home therapy, working with families involved in the Child Welfare system, teaching Marriage and Family Therapy at FTTI and supervising Marriage and Family Therapists.

Eric J. Habrel, PhD, LMFT – is a licensed clinical psychologist and AAMFT Approved Supervisor who has been practicing in Southeastern Wisconsin since 1986. Dr. Habrel taught in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for over 20 years and currently holds an Adjunct Faculty position at Ottawa University-Wisconsin. Eric provides consultation, training and supervision services throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. His practice specialties include working with couples, Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) with couples, family therapy, mood disorders, anxiety, and life stress management.

Elena Hennick, LMFT – is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and works in private practice with Systemic Perspectives. In addition to being a faculty member of the Family Therapy Training Institute she also provides clinical supervision and instruction. Her areas of clinical interest and specialized practice include: marital/relationship stress, divorce, blended family challenges, and sibling conflict; parenting concerns, including parenting special needs children; depression and anxiety in children, adolescents, and adults; and sexual abuse, suicide, and other forms of trauma.

Dan Hermsen, LCSW, LMFT, CSAC – is a psychotherapist and addictions counselor with over 30 years clinical experience. In 2001, Milwaukee Magazine recognized him as one of the best AODA therapists in the area. He currently works for Aurora Behavioral Health in Waukesha. In the past he worked for DePaul Belleview, Elmbrook Hospital Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center, and Waukesha Memorial Hospital's Behavioral Medicine Center.

Mark Hirschmann, PhD, LMFT – Dr. Mark has specialized in practice in couples therapy. He teaches professional issues and ethics at FTTI and at Edgewood College in Madison. He has growing interests in marketing private practice, managing couple-related anger and “holding awareness” during treatment sessions. His professional contributions include past-president of the Wisconsin Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and he served on the first State of Wisconsin MFT Examining Board.

Ray Hoffmann, LMFT, LCSW, SAC, ICS – is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and is employed as a therapist at The Center, Sheboygan Aurora Medical Center where he has also served as the past clinical coordinator. He was the Director of Family Care Specialists which licenses treatment foster homes and provides in-home therapy and served as instructor for the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Currently, he provides supervision for post-masters students in Marriage and Family Therapy, acts as a field instructor for social work graduate students and has been an instructor at the Family Therapy Training Institute since 1999. His practice specialties include trauma therapy and in-home family therapy.

Phyllis Lardinois, LMFT, LPC – is a licensed marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, and school counselor with a certificate in trauma counseling. Phyllis is in private practice at Cornerstone Counseling Services in Brookfield where she works with children, families, couples and individuals. Phyllis works in the School District of Waukesha as the Coordinator of Elementary Guidance and Counseling Services, providing consultation, crisis intervention, staff support and staff training in social-emotional development, grief, trauma-informed education and anti-bullying. Phyllis is an adjunct professor at Carroll University and serves on the boards of the Waukesha Education Foundation and Parents' Place in Waukesha. Phyllis is a member of the Trauma-Informed Care Partnership of Waukesha County and the Waukesha C.A.R.E. Center Advisory Committee.

Jorena Lewandowski, LMFT, LCSW – is a licensed marriage and family therapist providing clinical services at Aurora Family Service. Jorena is a graduate of the Aurora Leadership Academy; graduate of the Family Therapy Training Institute and is currently an AAMFT Approved Supervisor who is supervising FTTI post-graduate MFT trainees. She is co-creator of Changing Families: The Impact of Divorce on Children from an African American Perspective, a psychoeducation program mandated by Milwaukee County Courts. Her practice specialties include mental health issues impacting African Americans, trauma counseling, families experiencing domestic violence, impact of chronic medical health illness on mental health with individuals, couples, and families.

Robert W. Marrs, MS, LMFT – is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and past president of the AAMFT Wisconsin Division. He currently serves as the Manager of Clinical Services at Aurora Family Service where he administers the agency's outpatient mental health clinic. Robert also serves as an Instructor in Marquette University's Counseling and Counseling Psychology master's program. Clinical specialties include social constructionist therapies, supervision, and working with couples.

Kevin O'Brien, LMFT, LCSW – is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and Director of the Family Therapy Training Institute. He is in private practice at Systemic Perspectives. Kevin manages Milwaukee Mental Health Consultants, providing consultation and training to nonprofit agencies and schools. He completed the Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Certificate program through the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Kevin's specialties include child and family therapy, trauma, couples and men's issues.

Ann Marie Starr, LMFT, and LCSW – is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She practices as a marriage and family therapist with Systemic Perspective in Brookfield Wisconsin. Ann consults and provides training to both public and private agencies. She served as president of the Wisconsin Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and held an appointment to the Marriage and Family Therapy Board for the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Her practice specialties include families and addiction, blended family issues, elder family issues and professional practice ethics.

Eric Weiner, MSW, PhD – is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). He is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Weiner worked for over 12 years in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine as a therapist, educator, and consultant. His interest lies in the connection between health and relationships. He works with individuals, couples, and families with issues of chronic illness, general medical health, anxiety and depression. He has a specialized interest in heart disease and cancer and how it affects the patient as well as other family members. His work has also grown to encompass the psychological and relationship issues associated with family wealth. Whatever the concern, he works to assist clients in finding inner strengths and resources to resolve their issues.

Karol J. Wendt, MSW, LMFT, LCSW – is a member of NASW, WFBST, and she is an AAMFT-Approved Supervisor. She's a faculty member at the Family Therapy Training Institute (FTTI), as well as a trainer for the Regional State Partnerships for Child Welfare. As a therapist for more than 30 years, Karol has worked with a wide array of life issues that bring individuals and families into counseling. Her work integrates systems therapy with mindfulness practice. Karol believes that when we reconnect with ourselves and each other, life struggles can be faced with greater ease. Karol sees her job as a guide in helping each person build on their own unique strengths: where there is fear, to see possibility; where there is struggle, to see opportunity and hope. Her practice specialties include anxiety and depression, relationship problems, family therapy and parenting concerns, grief and loss, addiction and women's issues.

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