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Home2023 Conference Program Information




NOV 5-12, 2023



                                   WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC









Come celebrate our 54th annual IHLRN conference November 5-12, 2023 at the historic Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach NC.  This beautiful destination resort is located on the Atlantic Ocean situated between the ocean and the bay. You can walk right out of the hotel and be on the beach or out the back and be on the marina side with boats - so we can watch both the sunrise and the sunset. This is the kind of soul nourishing setting that Virginia felt was such an important part of the IHLRN experience. Do check out their website for photos and more information about this lovely area.


           We have decided this year to make a day rate available for local Satir students, trainees, and practitioners who cannot manage or afford the week conference.  See details below.  We are posting the preliminary program to entice you to register soon.


PRELIMINARY PROGRAM: We have 20 CEC presentations (pending approval by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). There will be many other wonderful workshops posted when the conference begins. Everyone is invited to present a workshop. Plenaries begin at 9:00 am. The afternoon schedule is created once the conference begins by people signing up to present on the posted calendar.

           PLENARIES (CEC)

MONDAY: The Use of Self In Therapy – Facilitator: Betsy Gast, Panel: Howard Kahn, Lois Gold, Jean McLendon

Following the short film, “The Use of Self in Therapy”, in which Virginia Satir demonstrates her use of self with a variety of clients, a panel of Satir-trained therapists will discuss the meaning of the concept of “use of self” by the therapist and how this relates to their counseling and consulting practices.

TUESDAY: Clinical Use of Virginia Satir’s Parts Model with Individuals in a Private Practice Setting – Richard Kennedy

This workshop will discuss the rationale and effectiveness of using Virginia Satir’s Parts Model with individuals across a spectrum of diagnoses. We will discuss how the therapist’s use of a parts model can help individuals identify, concretize, and externalize positive and negative aspects of their internal dialogues.

WEDNESDAY: Family Reconstruction – Jean McLendon

This all-day workshop will begin with a didactic overview of the purpose and process of Satir’s Family Reconstruction Model, followed by a multi-hour demonstration. Through role-playing and enactment, participants may understand and experience their parents and family history in new ways.


FRIDAY: Time Travel: An Intra-Personal Reconstruction (ala Satir’s approach to Family Reconstruction) to remember who you truly are! – Pat Jameson

In this plenary workshop, participants will be asked to journey back through time, reconnecting with their “younger selves” so as to illuminate, shine a light upon their hopes, dreams, attributes, feelings, beliefs, expectations…so as to remember, reconnect and integrate their past selves with who they are today.


CEC WORKSHOPS: not put on schedule until conference begins

Using Art to Identify Owned and Disowned Personal Parts – Lee Leviton

Virginia Satir used her Parts Party Model to help people identify various parts of their personality and postulated that each part serves a purpose. This workshop experience uses art to identify the positive purpose of all parts of one’s personality.


Nonviolent Communication for Meaningful Connections- Liv Monroe

Simple communication tools will be explained, then taught using examples from participants’ own experiences. This workshop will include skills for not taking things personally, gaining courage to try something different during recurring conflicts, and practicing self-care.


Improv Theatre for Group Cohesion, Awareness of System and Self, and Attuning Body and Mind Connection – Kate Urquhart

Improv theatre leans into Satir’s use of imagination and play and replicates the experiential nature of her interventions. This workshop will consist of several activities, games, and exercises from improvisational theatre designed to build cohesion, trust, awareness of self in a scene, and more.


Family Therapy Basics: An Integrated Model – Betsy Gast

By integrating Solution-Focused, Gestalt and Satir concepts, this workshop will present a structure for meeting with couples and families that provides a safe place to begin, a creative, experiential middle and a respectful, productive way to close a session.

A Journey into Grief and Loss for Healing and Empowerment using Satir’s Iceberg Model –

Pat Jameson

This workshop is designed to enable participants to gain knowledge and understanding of the various forms of loss: from every day “ordinary” losses through the loss of loved ones through death. Virginia’s Iceberg Model will guide participants as they discover their own meaning of loss. 

Star Experience with the Satir Model and Tracking Process – Regina Taggart, Jean McLendon

This demonstration workshop invites the audience to observe as a volunteer (the Star) is guided through interventions of the Satir Model. This is a rare opportunity to watch as a second presenter will track interventions and facilitate discussion throughout the process.

Peace Within: It’s about Wonder and Wellness, Not Weight Loss - Kelly Toney & Amanda May

This workshop will explore the application of the Satir Growth Model in helping people who

struggle with body image disturbances and eating disorders integrate the new health paradigm

approach called Health at Every Size (HAES)™, a weight neutral approach.

How to connect to your intuition (Wisdom Box) using body, breath & sound – Amanda May & Kelly Toney

Participants are invited to an experience of wonder and connection with their intuition (Satir’s Wisdom Box) using body movement, breath & sound. We will awaken energy, balance the body and bring the mind to stillness.

Your Inner voice, The best inner guidance and support for Self, Other and World –

Leesa Sklover      

This workshop is an experiential, creative workshop on cultivating the best inner and outer voice in counseling. Participants will learn vocal tools and the use of music, sound and yoga therapy techniques to acknowledge the power of the voice.


Satir and Adolescents/Teenagers- Heather Palmeteer

This workshop will focus on how to apply Satir concepts when working with young people. The presenter will discuss challenges that come up with adolescents, such as non-participation/avoidance/scheduling conflicts, brain development, limited experiences developing resilience, and susceptibility to negative influences (i.e. social media, memes, patterns/themes/algorithms online).


Coping, Communication and Congruence – Sandra Finkelman

Using sculpting as a physical metaphor to externalize an internal experience is one of the cornerstones of the Satir Model. Using a family simulation exercise, this experiential, interactive and playful workshop will give all participants the opportunity to experience (or experience anew) the core coping stances identified by Satir.


With whom am I having the pleasure? – Sandra Finkelman

As soon as we meet someone, and sometimes even before we meet someone, we are making up stories about them. This workshop provides an experience for looking at first impressions and how to move past these to a place of authentic connection.


Contemporary Issues for Working with Women – Jean McLendon & Cindy Rosner

This experiential, Satir-based group model provides women opportunities for self-awareness, interpersonal growth and skill development


Contemporary Issues for Men’s Work – Richard Kennedy

This experiential group uses men’s group processes that are being used in exiting Men’s Groups, such as the Man Kind Project, as well as Satir Model to provide an opportunity for self-awareness, support, sharing of feelings, interpersonal growth and skill development.


Your Professional Will: The Ethical Care of Your Practice and Yourself – Ann Steiner

The Ethics Codes for every discipline require that you have a Professional Will. This workshop helps you plan who will contact patients if you cannot, and ways to minimize the impact of your absence on your patients, colleagues, loved ones, and community.  Illnesses, retirement, relocation and sudden emergencies happen and we all need to have backup systems in place.




Blockade Runner Resort, 275 Waynick Blvd. Wrightsville Beach, NC 29480, 800-541-1161

It is located just outside of Wilmington, NC, so we fly into Wilmington and take an Uber or a taxi to the hotel. The Wilmington airport is less than 10 miles away. We open the conference with a cocktail reception Sunday at 5:30 followed by dinner at 6:30 and a brief conference opening at 8pm. All meals for the week will be buffet.



RATES:  Our hotel faces both east and west and offers single, double queen, and king rooms but no sofa beds. A cot or roll away can be brought in for the triple. Cost below is per       person, all inclusive.


Standard Harbor View rooms


Single:            $2,435

Double;          $1,835

Triple:             $1,745

Standard Ocean View Rooms

Single:            $2,597

Double:          $1,917 

Triple:             $1,805     

These rates include: conference registration, hotel room, seven breakfasts, five lunches (no lunch on Thursday or Sunday), six dinners, the resort fee, all taxes, as well as the annual $25 IHLRN association fee.


DAY RATES: Day rate is $110 per day including lunch. $155 per day including lunch and dinner. Those eligible for the IHLRN day rate include students/participants who have attended any of these courses sponsored by the UNC-CH School of Social Work in Chapel Hill: Use of Self, The Satir Model, The Summer Intensive and Family Reconstruction. The deadline for registering for day rates is October 22. The day rate includes the informal evening programs. There are no presentations on Thursday. We will have “greeters” for the folks who are not here for the whole so you can understand how things work and feel part of the group.

Tips: Our tradition is to provide additional tips for housekeepers, front desk staff, engineers, maintenance staff, gardeners, chefs, cooks, dishwashers, and other hotel staff that work with us during the 7-day conference. If you are able, be generous and include tips for these workers on your registration form.

Payment: Other than those attending on the day rate, our contract requires the full week reservation. All payments must be made in US dollars. Foreign registrations must be drawn in US dollars on a US bank or international money order. If paying by check please send to Cynthia Brooks, our bookkeeper, mailing address on registration page. This year you have the option of also paying with Zelle or Venmo, as well as Paypal. We appreciate Zelle or Venmo payments because there are no fees involved. 


Mailing List: If you are NOT attending the conference this year but wish to remain on the mailing list and continue to receive notice of future IHLRN conferences you must return the mail list form and a $25 check for the annual fee which goes towards administrrative expenses. If you attend the conference these fees are included in your registration fee.


Early Arrival/Stay After:  You are welcome to come in early with the IHLRN Board of Directors on Friday and have a quiet weekend before the conference begins. If you choose to arrive early or stay later, you must make arrangements through M.A.,NOT THE HOTEL. The cost for the room is $157/night Harborside, $180/night Oceanview (taxes included).  


Cancellations: Our cancellation policy is based on the hotel contract.  

1.     Cancellations 10 days prior to conference (by October 25) will be refunded.

2.      Cancellations after October 25-- we will do our very best to issue you a refund if we can fill your spot or if the hotel agrees not to charge us. The contracted catering charge of $950.00 per person is set and final 10 days prior to the conference and is owed to the hotel regardless of cancellations.

3.     Room charges are refundable up to 72 hours prior to the conference. The hotel will not issue refunds after that date.

4.     All cancellations are subject to a $50 processing fee which includes IHLRN associates dues. 

 Scholarships: We have additional scholarship monies this year. Please apply if you need assistance. Part of the scholarship fund this year is dedicated to introducing new people to the “lived “ Satir experience. If you know a Satir colleague who you would like to introduce to IHLRN, please forward them the conference and scholarship information. The scholarship form is on the website We would especially like to assist newcomers and folks outside the US, who had a taste of IHLRN on zoom to be able to attend our in-person event. WE HAVE EXTENDED THE SCHOLARASHIP DEADLINE TO SEPTEMBER 15.

Thursday Activities: There are many options for our day off. We are right on the beach and the bay so there are boating and water sports activities as well as many local options - also the full spa is right there on the property! Think about bringing family. There is plenty to keep them busy!

CECs: Pending approval the Virginia Satir Global Network, an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP#5224), may offer NBCC-Approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. There is a $40 processing fee for CECs.

Weather: Early November weather should be very comfortable in the 60-70’s.


Need Help?

Visit our website at 

Contact site coordinator M.A. Bjarkman at 317-850-5111;  (California time zone), for assistance with hotel logistics, early arrival or late departure, roommate assistance, schedule changes, dietary restrictions.

Contact Joanne Kennedy for technical assistance with registration- (360) 870-9071; 

Contact Lois Gold, Conference Co-Chair, for program questions or general questions. (503 703-1740;

Contact Betsy Gast –CEC chair, for CEC questions. (253)278-9446.

 We REALLY hope you will join us and be part of our 54th annual IHLRN Conference/family reunion. If you are new to IHLRN, this is an opportunity to participate into the lived Satir experience and be part of the unique yeasting and learning that happens when we are together. If you are new or from outside the USA, please consider applying for a scholarship. We have had generous donors and more scholarships are available. Register soon because we hope to fill quickly and we don’t want you to end up on a waiting list.



M.A. Bjarkman and Lois Gold

Conference co-chairs


PS All this information will be up on our website: under Conference.