Consultants Rhea Almeida, M.S., Ph.D, L.C.S.W. Rhea V. Almeida, MS, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., founder of the Institute for Family Services (IFS) in Somerset, New Jersey, is a family therapist and Columbia University graduate. She has 25 years of experience as a teacher, therapist, consultant, speaker and author. Creator of the Cultural Context Model (CCM), Dr. Almeida is the author of three books Expansions of Feminist Theory Through Diversity, Transformations in Gender and Race: Family and Developmental Perspectives and co-author of Transformative Family Therapy: Just Families in a Just Society and numerous journal articles. Her interests include evolving paradigms that have social justice at their center; providing creative access to resources for diverse couples balancing work and family life; working with families around the reunification of their children in state foster care; providing supervised therapeutic parenting for fathers and their children towards restoring parental rights; working with families and children who are confronted with inaccurate diagnosis and drug remedies by school systems; providing innovative services for men with a range of life difficulties. She also oversees a training and mentoring program for graduate students. Dr. Almeida has also received the American Family Therapy Innovative Contributions to Family Therapy award. She is annually honored by the Award from the Domestic Violence Hotline for her work with women and families with domestic violence. She has served on the editorial boards of several distinguished journals in the field including The Journal of Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and The Journal of Feminist Family Therapy. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Counseling and Human Services at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Cultural Diversity Committee for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), New Jersey Chapter. She has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today and on CNBC, National Public Radio, and Pure Oxygen Network.
Lisa Dressner, L.C.S.W. Lisa Dressner founded Affinity Counseling Group, a private community-based mental health center, in March 2000, and replicated the Cultural Context Model to work with families impacted by incarceration. She has developed clinical programs for professionals and institutions in the areas of liberation based healing and community organizing, including the Zakee Bowser Foundation and the Raritan Bay YMCA. She has joined Dr. Almeida in presenting nationally and internationally on domestic and community violence, creating therapeutic healing communities, juvenile justice clinical practice and reform, as well as a presenter at the national White Privilege Conference. She is committed to training students and professionals in the mental health field in the areas of culture equity, including the study of white privilege and integrating social justice in clinical practice.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." - Desmond Tutu