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Whose Story is it Anyway? Individual Development across Family Systems

  • 12/08/2023
  • 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Children's Services Council 2300 High Ridge Road Boynton Beach, FL 33426


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Whose Story is it Anyway? Individual Development across Family Systems

Rebecca Nelson, MA, LMHC, EMDR-C, QS and 

Dr. Secquay Gordon, Ph.D., LMFT

Stories from the family system of origin influences individual personalities and beliefs across the lifespan. If not examined, these transgenerational messages can interfere with developing a secure and true sense of self. In the counseling space, we often find that individuals hold these family messages as truths and as such live their lives and execute decisions according to this gospel. The need to live out this family narrative can compromise the individual’s happiness, esteem, and experience of satisfaction. This discussion seeks to examine how these messages are learned, how they may interfere, and how counselors can help to deconstruct and adapt this belief system to better fit individual life circumstances.

Learning Objectives:

1. Explain how family systems shape individual personality, attachment style, and core beliefs

2. Understand the function of defensive or manipulative behaviors as creative survival strategies to manage attachment and safety needs

3. Understand how survival strategies within the family of origin manifest in adult relationships 

2.0 General CEU Hours

Rebecca Nelson, MA, LMHC, EMDR-C, QS

Primary Therapist at Caron FL's Ocean Drive

As a Primary Therapist, Rebecca Nelson helps patients increase personal insight and develop new skills that support greater fulfillment and purpose. She believes that everyone deserves a life filled with purpose, joy, and peace.

Rebecca uses warmth and authenticity to create a safe, consistent, and non-judgmental space. She enjoys helping patients engage in self-exploration so they can shift focus from struggle to creating a life filled with meaning.

Before coming to Caron in 2022, she worked as a therapist in a range of settings, including hospital inpatient, acute emergency room, residential, outpatient, and private practice clinical settings. This range of experience enables her to work with patients through any obstacles with compassion, empathy, and unwavering support. Her hope is to develop a strong alliance where trust, vulnerability, and commitment to personal growth will lead to resilience, hope, and healing.

Rebecca believes in individualized care and works with patients to identify specific areas of growth to foster their ability to be their best selves. Rebecca has a passion for addressing emotional and behavioral challenges using advanced intervention techniques. She is a certified provider of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and the safe and sound protocol (SSP), and she is intensively trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). She specializes in the treatment of trauma-related mood and anxiety disorders and her practice is rooted in trauma-informed care.

 She has a Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in communications, human development, and applied psychology from Boston College. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in counseling at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton.

Dr. Secquay Gordon, Ph.D., LMFT

Family Therapist at Caron FL's Ocean Drive

Dr. Secquay Gordon is a licensed marriage and family therapist at Caron Ocean Drive.

His ability to build rapport and connect with patients and families allows him to create an atmosphere of trust and respect. Dr. Gordon believes that the family is an ecosystem that will adjust to get back to homeostasis, even if that means incorporating unhealthy patterns. Thus, Caron’s emphasis on incorporating the family system is critical to the treatment process.

 Before beginning his work at Caron Ocean Drive in 2022, he had served as a licensed marriage and family therapist at Caron Renaissance since 2018.

Prior to coming to Caron, Dr. Gordon worked as a clinical director, community-based outpatient therapist, and held a private practice. He is a Florida-approved supervisor. Dr. Gordon also specializes in the effects of internal and external influences on professional athletes. His dissertation explored the career cycle of professional athletes and their families and the difficulties in adjusting to retirement.

Dr. Gordon has a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy from Nova Southeastern University. His education as well as structural family training with Salvador Minuchin, founder of structural therapy, gave him a deep knowledge and expertise in family systems and its role in treating substance use disorder.

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