As a lecturer at Rutgers, The University of New Jersey School of Social Work, Richard Lally has taught graduate-level classes including Working with Children and Adolescents, Welfare Policy, and Families and Family Therapy.
He has instructed psychiatric residents on the fundamentals of family therapy at Bergen Regional Medical Center and NYU Child Study Center.
Rich teaches continuing education classes for mental health professionals. He also provides lectures and training to agencies and community services including schools, universities, places of worship, and self-help groups.
He has provided supervision and training to other therapists in the public and private sectors for many years.
Select educational seminars and CEU classes are summarized here.
The Impact of Social Media Algorithms & Influencers on Adolescents and Families
Social Workers have been at the forefront of social justice for many years.We now also need to take the lead addressing how social media companies are impacting our families.Adolescent suicide and suicide attempts have increased over the past twenty years. , , and the documentary “Social Dilemma” ask questions about the impact of social media on mental health. Combining these publications with recent research, this course will explore how social medias’ algorithms and influencers encourages constant attention effecting the child/adolescent and family.This constant attention by social media impacts the communication patterns between family members, virtual friends, non-virtual friends, and mental health professionals which develops multiple triangles, where all parties are trying to uphold their own preferred sociocultural trends, creating conflict and virtual/non-virtual closed systems. The constant attention and closed systems are impacting the families’ mental health. We will discuss why it is important to utilize a systemic approach (Structural Family Therapy) to address these important issues.
Structural Family Therapy in the School System
This workshop will review the philosophical beliefs of Structural Family Therapy (SFT) and explore common misconceptions about SFT. We will discuss the school system culture which predominantly focuses on the child rather than the family and demonstrate the value of introducing a Structural Family Therapy perspective into schools. Participants will watch a Structural Family Therapy session with a child who is school avoidant and the class will evaluate school district data to understand how SFT can impact student attendance and grades.
Structural Family Therapy and Divorce
In this workshop we will review the core principles of Structural Family Therapy (SFT) and apply them to working with families going through the process of divorce and struggling after divorce is finalized. Utilizing SFT, we will focus on the importance of working with subsystems and making children the priority. We will also discuss strategies for marking the boundaries between family members and lawyers who fight to win while the children lose.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Family and the Larger System:
All families, communities and therapists are feeling overwhelmed due to COVID-19.
This course will address why a systemic strength-based therapy is the key to helping families and communities during the pandemic. Guided by the principles of Structural Family Therapy (SFT), the presentation will examine the impact of COVID on the larger systems and the family in different socioeconomic communities. The presentation will also discuss/hypothesize/map the challenges social workers and other mental health professionals face now and when the quarantine begins to wind down.
The Disintegration of the Family by the System of Care
The core principles of Structural Family Therapy will be applied to examine the challenges encountered when multiple providers work with families. In today’s managed care environment, each family member may have their own individual therapist and/or psychiatrist. This can result in the family being pulled in different therapeutic directions and the loss of family identity. Using recorded video sessions with Dr. Salvador Minuchin, participants will be encouraged to evaluate how therapists and families respond systemically when families are involved with many helpers. The skills and interventions that characterize Structural Family Therapy will be highlighted throughout the presentation.
Structural Family Therapy with Self-Destructive Adolescents
Therapists frequently work with adolescents who exhibit self-destructive behavior. In this workshop, we will examine the core principles of Structural Family Therapy and examine the effectiveness of family work in treating self-harm. Using a taped session with Dr. Salvador Minuchin, participants will be encouraged to evaluate how family and larger systems react to self-destructive behaviors and unintentionally “help” to maintain symptoms such as cutting, burning, drinking and drugging, promiscuity, disordered eating, etc. Strategies for challenging the maintenance of symptoms will be provided. The skills and interventions which characterize Structural Family Therapy will be highlighted throughout the presentation.
When Students Refuse to Go to School
COVID-19 has exposed the gaps (and the unrealistic expectations of schools) in the schools’ approach to mental health.
Schools and parents must take a different approach to interacting with students who resist leaving home or getting out of the car to attend in-person school. Without appropriate planning and coordination within the school and with families, CST and school administration can unintentionally make it more difficult for the student/family as they navigate return to in-person school during/after COVID-19. The class will examine the evolution of school involvement in this issue and how both family and school intervention can impact the return of school-avoidant students.
Guided by the principles of Structural Family Therapy (SFT), the presentation will examine the communication patterns in families and with the school while interacting with a student at home or in a school parking lot. The course will address a shift from an individual/student focus to systemic strength-based therapy can help schools, families, and students transition to a successful fall semester.
A Brief Discussion of Structural Family Therapy: Working with Chronic Disease
It is not uncommon for physicians and therapists to feel overwhelmed by adolescents with chronic disease. In this workshop we will discuss the core principles of Structural Family Therapy (SFT) and Dr. Salvador Minuchin’s use of SFT when working with children with diabetes. The skills and interventions which characterize Structural Family Therapy will be highlighted throughout the presentation.