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Fall Half Day Conference
Fall Half Day Conference

Fri, Sep 15



Fall Half Day Conference

Non-members - SAVE $30 - NEW lower price! LIVE event, with zoom link available for virtual attendance.

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Time & Location

Sep 15, 2023, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Minneapolis, 701 N Washington Ave suite 700, Minneapolis, MN 55401, USA

About the event

Narcissist, abuse, alienation, trauma, and many more words are getting impacted by “concept creep.” Concepts or words across professional disciplines and families are being used incorrectly.  This can and does cause harm to the clients we work with. Join us to discuss these concepts, the problems this is causing, and how to approach this work to change the direction.

MN Board of CLE - 2.25 credits approved

MN Board of Psychology - 3.0 credits approved

MN Board of Social Work - approved 2.25 credits

MN Board of MFT - 2.25 credits approved

MN Judicial Branch ADR - 2.25 credits pending

Concept Creep: The Meaning of Crucial Terms Getting Lost in Family Courts

Moderator: Megan Oudekerk, PsyD

Keynote: Michael Saini, Ph.D., M.S.W., R.S.W.


  • Attorney- Brittany Pearson
  • MFT Megan Oudekerk
  • Attorney Rasheen Tillman
  • MFT Michelle Libi
  • Judge- Yellowhammer
  • PC Amber Serwat


9:00-9:10 Introductions:

   Zak Chesson and Racheal Howitz

9:10-9:20 Welcome, announcements:

   Erin and Megan

9:20-10:20 Keynote:

   Mike Saini

  • Concepts with horizontal and vertical shifts
  • General Terms
  • Bullying
  • Family law terms
  • Gatekeeping vs. Parental alienation

10:20-10:45 Audience Activity:

   In groups, come up with your own list of terms that have been impacted by concept creep or are problematic in the field

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-11:45 Panel Discussion: 

  1. From the identified list, what do you think about these terms?
  2. Where have you seen terms become problems?
  3. How do you think we bring clarity to our use of language?
  4. What are the pros and cons of using concepts in legal settings? - Using behaviors/attitudes versus labels

11:45-11:55 Panel Summary of Key points: 

   1 minute per panelist, concrete examples for people to take away from the conference

11:55-12:00 Closing:

   Racheal and Megan

CONCEPTS OF CONCERN - Trauma, trauma-informed practice, trauma vs stress - Perceived trauma - Abuse, perpetrator, victim - Safe, unsafe- (good enough parenting ideology) - Child’s best interests - Coercive control vs. situational violence


Dr. Michael A. Saini is the President Elect for the National Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. He has been a professor with the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work since 2008 and is the Co-Director of the Combined J.D. and M.S.W. program with the Law Faculty.

For 19 years, Michael conducted parenting plan evaluations and assisted children’s counsel for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario. Michael is a Board Member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Access for Parents and Children of Ontario (APCO), Family Mediation Canada (FMC) and the Canadian Coalition of the Rights of the Child (CCRC). 

Michael has over 200 publications, including books, book chapters, government reports, systematic reviews and peer-reviewed journal articles. He is an Editorial Board Member for the Family Court Review and the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage.

Learning Objectives:

• Identify what concepts that can used incorrectly and what their actual meaning is.

• Explain how therapy, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes, and custody evaluations are challenged when terms are used incorrectly

• Create strategies for working with clients to avoid having “concept creep” occur


Concepts or words are used incorrectly in society and in our work with families. Unfortunately, this can and does cause harm to the clients we work with. Concepts such as trauma, abuse, narcissism, alcoholic, depression, and many more concepts are frequently used across professional disciplines and in services incorrectly by our clients and professionals. Join us to discuss these concepts, the problems this is causing, and how to approach this work to change the direction. 


Our Family Wizard

DeWalt, Chawla, Saksena


Family Law Software

Taft Law


  • Member

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  • Non-Member $140

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