A Spotlight on Professor Gagliardi, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Posted on March 03,2014 by falimspp2013

Couples and Family Therapy Interview

A few months ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Jackie Gagliardi, who is a part of the core faculty here at MSPP and the coordinator of the Couples and Family Therapy program. I am currently taking Collaborative Therapy with Multistressed Families and Professor Gagliardi is a wonderful teacher on this subject. She holds many years in this field under her belt, and with that comes a multitude of experiences and stories. Professor Gagliardi is a licensed marriage and family therapist, clinical supervisor, consultant and co-author of Study-Guide for the Marriage and Family Therapy National Licensing Examination. She holds a Master’s in Education in Counseling and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Family Systems from Northeastern University.

For many years, Professor Gagliardi worked as a play therapist for children, and overtime she noticed that, although the children would initially improve, they would eventually come back, because the family was not working together as a unit. She realized that the work she was doing with an individual could only go so far, unless the family was brought in and everyone made an agreement to cooperate. This motivated her to pursue a CAGS in Family Systems. She also had the unique opportunity of training at the Family Institute in Cambridge, MA.

Professor Gagliardi has had a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts for 33 years specializing in individual, couple and family therapy. She also has had a consulting business, in which she had the opportunity to connect with schools, family owned business and clinics, including community agencies. While juggling all of this, she has run numerous parent groups and teacher workshops and been a critical part of Kantor Family Institute in Cambridge. Professor Gagliardi was involved in the founding of The Family Solutions Institute, which grew out of Kantor Family Institute.

Her experiences as a therapist helped drive her to teach future clinicians. She was the co-director of the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Cambridge College and an adjunct faculty member of the Andover Newton Theological School and at Wheelock College. She became a part of the MSPP community five years ago and is actively involved in every part of the CFT program here. In fact, she serves as an advisor to many of the CFT students, including myself.

When designing the CFT concentration at MSPP, Professor Gagliardi and the other team members decided to name the program “Couples and Family Therapy” instead of the traditional “Marriage and Family Therapy.” Professor Gagliardi advocated for this unique title because she wanted to acknowledge that the definition of relationships is changing and that there all many types of couples. “You do not need to be married to seek therapy,” she commented and specifying marriage in the title would not honor other relationships and this societal change.

Professor Gagliardi is driven by her desire to help people, thus she also finds the time to be a member of the Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health. As a part of this team, she is advocating for consumers and their protection and serves as the representatives of Marriage and Family Therapists on the board. She has the distinct chance to review applications for licensure in different disciplines.

She suggests that prospective and current students in family therapy programs should definitely go for all the way and apply for licensure as an LMFT, especially now that Massachusetts has given vendorship to LMFT’s. This means that LMFT’s can now bill insurances for the work they do, which is crucial to our progress. “Now that we have vendorship, the field will be growing and there will be an increase in jobs, especially due to Children’s Initiative, and in wraparound services and home based work,” she says.

Professor Gagliardi also recommends that therapists work to continue their education, even after they graduate. She advises that attending workshops and conferences are not only great networking tools, but also excellent ways to introduce balance into your life.

When asked about her many projects and what they mean to her, Professor Gagliardi remarks, “I am really excited because my passion is to train couples and family therapists to serve the underserved and to become competent and culturally sensitive therapists.”

Professor Gagliardi previously served as a board member of the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and back in November, MSPP hosted the MAMFT board members, who spoke with CFT students regarding career opportunities. MSPP also hosted MFT program directors for their quarterly meeting.

“I love what I do and the thing I love the most is to be able to help people communicate and find a way to live their preferred lives. I think of all the times I have met with people and how in the end, we worked to find a way to improve the quality of their life. However small or large the change was, it was contributing to their quality of life, and I had a unique hand in that,” Professor Gagliardi remarks. Her passion is not only evident in her impressive criterion but also in the stories she shares with her students. She is knowledgeable, compassionate and encouraging, and I am honored to have the opportunity to train under her guidance.

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Tagged Couples and Family Therapy, Counseling Psychology

Tips for Surving the GRE

Posted on February 27,2014 by aliatmspp

For some of us, standardized tests are the last thing on our bucket lists. The truth is if you thought you were done with filling in bubbles with the SATs, I have some tough news for you: not only do you need to bubble-in like a champion for many national voting procedures, but equally bubble-riffic are exams like the GRE and the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). However, depending on where you take it, it’s likely that your exam will be administered on computers, so you can put your #2 pencil away. As you may know, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for entrance to MSPP’s Clinical PsyD graduate program; it is an optional application material for the Master’s programs, and the PsyD programs in both School Psychology (“strongly recommended” that you take the GRE for the School Psych PsyD program) and Leadership Psychology. This post will take a closer look at the GRE and offer some tips to employ when tackling that computer screen’s challenges.

As previously mentioned, for most test takers, this exam will be computer based. Please note that there was a significant overhaul of the GRE a few years back, so for those of us who may be rusty, let me offer some conventional wisdom: from what I understand, the “newer” (as of 2012, I believe) GRE is adaptive between sections, not within sections. Knowing this takes the pressure off those first five questions that had been touted as the most important in the previously adaptive GRE. Also, you can skip questions, flag questions, and scroll through questions. This is helpful for those moments when you’re stumped and feel the need to move on but not completely abandon ship. One overarching theme I might advise is to be sure that you understand what each question is really asking. This applies to both verbal and quantitative questions. If you’re not sure about a response, it’s okay to flag it and come back to it.

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Tagged Change of Career, Clinical PsyD, Organizational Psychology & Leadership, School Psychology, Applying to MSPP

Anxiety as a Positive Agent for Change

Posted on February 27,2014 by jeanc2013

Anxiety is a part of everyone's life from the moment we are born, and is generally produced from some form of change. Generally connoting negative emotion and outcome, anxiety is synonymous with stress which many of us have come to believe is not a "good" thing.

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Demonstration Blog Post

Posted on February 27,2014 by Sean Dazet

This is a quick little blog post to get you started. You can easily edit or delete it from the blog dashboard, accessed from the sprocket menu in the upper right corner of your screen. The power is totally in your hands. 

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Top 4 Tips for Interviewing

Posted on February 25,2014 by msppblog

Our Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department recently hosted a "Breaking In" workshop for current students and alumni. These 4 Top Tips For Interviewing were provided by MSPP Organizational Psychology Alumni, Marge Dupere and Dennis Woodruff.

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Tagged Change of Career, Organizational Psychology & Leadership, Online Education

Top 3 Tips for Linked In

Posted on February 25,2014 by msppblog

Our Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department recently hosted a "Breaking In" workshop for current students and alumni. These 3 top tips on Linked In were provided by MSPP Organizational Psychology Alumna, Leto Papadopoulos.

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Tagged Change of Career, Organizational Psychology & Leadership, Online Education

Top 3 Tips for Resume Writing

Posted on February 25,2014 by msppblog

Our Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department recently hosted a "Breaking In" workshop for current students and alumni. These 3 top tips on Resume Writing were provided by MSPP Organizational Psychology Alumna, Kelly Armstrong.

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Tagged Change of Career, Organizational Psychology & Leadership, Online Education

Preemptive Nostalgia

Posted on February 25,2014 by sthurstonmspp

As has been previously mentioned, I am a graduate of Wesleyan University. That’s Wesleyan. Not Wellesley. Don’t ask me why, but every time I told someone where I was going, they said “Oh, the all-girls school?” I believe there was even a shirt printed joking to that effect sometime in my sophomore year. Our desire for clarification had nothing to do with the caliber of either school, but rather was related to our fierce pride in all the things Wes had to offer, in the way we believed we were pushing boundaries and being someone new. Last night, How I Met Your Mother had a scene depicting a flash forward to two of the characters dropping their son off at their alma mater, Wes, and then heading to the local watering hole (Eli Cannon’s!). As the writers are Wes Alums, these types of scenes happen occasionally and always make me smile with happy memory.
Bear with me. I am going somewhere with this. I am graduating from the MA/CAGS program in June (yay!) and am positively SHOCKED that three years have gone by. And while the glories of grad school are far different than the memories of college, there are the same moments of self reflection and growing edges that I will look back and reflect upon with misty smiles. I expect we all feel proud of MSPP, of the education we have had here, the field expectations, and its new building that finally reflects the quality within. I sometimes still get the blank, confused stare when I say I attend MSPP, but then, I am used to that. It is happening less and less often as reputations of the quality professionals take root in the area, and I look forward to the day when conference presenters make reference to “1208” and The Great Debate About Free Printing” and I can chuckle at the memories along with the crowd.

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Tagged School Psychology

Greetings from Fatimah

Posted on February 23,2014 by msppgmh

As a first year student in the Master in Counseling and Global Mental Health Program, I am honored to be a part of the MSPP community. Prior to matriculating into this program, I spent the last 11 years in Philadelphia in various service environments. I have spent 10 years working as a diversity trainer and facilitator within the context of non-profit and higher educational institutions. I have also provided technical assistance to immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs – providing wrap-around services in low and modest wealth communities. I am a Senior Fellow and the human rights organization, Humanity in Action and have engaged in social change work in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

I love the Global Mental Health Program at MSPP for many reasons. Firstly the program provides a space for me to synthesize my work as a global advocate with the practical skills of psychotherapy and healing. I have gained a tremendous understanding of the role mental health professionals play in providing support to refugees in the United States as well as their role abroad in disaster relief or following the devastation of mass violence. As challenging and intractable as these major problems sound, I have found courage and hope in the trauma informed treatment framework based on decades of experience among MSPP faculty.

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Tagged Global Mental Health

An Afghan Adventure

Posted on February 20,2014 by jeanc2013

So, I spent the past 10 months at a Marine Corps base in Afghanistan.

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Tagged Change of Career, Global Mental Health, Personal Growth, Online Education, Experiential Education