Thank you for another great year!

7th Annual Adler Academy of Minnesota Conference – Sept 29th, 2023

Save the date for our 7th annual conference:

Adler Academy of MN

Fall 2023 Conference

Friday, September 29, 2023

MN Landscape Arboretum

“Helping clients change: Finding courage, with hope, humor, and happiness.”

with Craig Balfany, Erin Rafferty Bugher, and Marina Bluvshtein


Helping clients change takes movement and is a collaborative process. In this workshop, we will explore creative ways to encourage change. The day will start with a lecture and therapeutic demonstration inviting participants to revisit ideas of hope, humor, and a sense of happiness as fueling courage to overcome life impasses. The ethics of creative non-linear interventions (such as humor) will be addressed throughout. Following the lecture, participants will be guided in an active, hands-on weaving experiential that will result in both community and individual projects. The relevance of weaving from a variety of cultural perspectives will be discussed. We will demonstrate how therapists can engage clients in conversations around creative experiences that contain stories of hope, humor, and happiness. Participants will play with weaving as a metaphor for structure and support (the warp) and the individual uniqueness of clients (the colors and textures of the weft). Discussions about how therapists use encouragement, humor, hopefulness, and happiness in their work with clients will be woven into this workshop.


1)    Participants will explain the history of the use of humor in psychotherapy and its connection to optimism and courage.

2)    Participants will notice and articulate examples of the therapeutic uses of hope, humor, and the inherent feeling of happiness described in the major therapeutic theories and highlighted in Adlerian psychotherapy.

3)    Participants will examine the risks and benefits of humor and other non-linear interventions, including with respect to cultural traditions and the level of acculturation.

4)    Participants will be able to articulate three uses of the weaving process and products in creating awareness of the therapist’s and client’s cultural identity.

5)    Participants will create intentions on each of the following topics: encouragement, hopefulness, humor, and happiness, and contribute to the social interest community weaving (project), all in a cultural context.  

6)    Participants will identify three techniques that utilize encouragement, humor, and/or creative processes that can support clients’ movement toward change.


Craig Balfany, ATR-BC, LPC

Biographical statement

Craig Balfany is a Registered and Board-Certified Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor.

He has many years of graduate teaching and clinical supervision from an Adlerian perspective. His twenty years of clinical experience includes conducting both group, individual, and community art therapy in mental/chemical health and rehabilitation settings. Active engagement in the creative process is a core value for facilitating expression, useful movement, and social connectedness in his work. His artistic identity is rooted in working with natural and found objects, clay, photography, and metaphors as a grounding and transformational experience.

Erin Rafferty-Bugher ATR-BC, LPCC

Education and training. I received an MA Degree in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and have been actively engaged in the mental health field providing art therapy and creativity in health since 1998.

Experience. Includes trauma-focused mental health services with children and adolescents in long-term educational/ therapeutic settings as well as in clinical behavioral mental health hospital settings. I have experience implementing and supporting the development of art therapy programming into numerous mental health agencies around the twin cities. My experience has expanded over the years to include working with folks to empower and encourage creative and healing potentialities in areas of cognitive and developmental abilities, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, oncology and school-based SEL programming. As an educator, I have dedicated my life’s work to expanding and advocating for art therapy and have collaborated in the development of the art therapy program at Adler Graduate School, MN since 2009. I have supervised and consulted with countless mental health and art therapy professionals over the years supporting their professional development and identity journey.

Dr. Marina Bluvshtein – PhD LP (MN) and MA LMFT (MN) Marina is a director of the Center for Adlerian Practice and Scholarship at Adler University in Chicago. She is a NASAP Diplomate in Adlerian Psychology and a President of the International Association of Individual Psychology and an associate editor of the Journal of Individual Psychology. Her areas of expertise include Early Recollections, Metaphors, and Nonlinear Interventions.

Register before August 29th for Early bird pricing: $150 for Professionals, $125 for Students

Lunch & Arboretum entrance fee included

After August 29th: $165

Places to stay:

1. HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CHANHASSEN 7855 Century Blvd.Chanhassen, MN  United States  55317
2. AmericInn by Wyndham Chanhassen 570 Pond Promenade, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Grief Series 2023

The Adler Academy of Minnesota Presents

A Series of Zoom Workshops on Grief.

February 24, 2023 12 – 1 pm CST

The first workshop in the series will be presented by:

Dr. Tim Hartshorne, PhD –

Topic: Good Grief: Depathologizing human experience

We hope you can join us virtually on Feb 24th.

Questions: Email us at [email protected]

Link will be sent by email to registrants the day before event.

February 24, 2023

6th Annual Minnesota Adlerian Conference – Sept 16, 2022

Registration is open for the 6th Annual Conference hosted by the Adler Academy of Minnesota on September 16, 2022 at the MN Landscape Arboretum.

The 6th Annual Minnesota Adlerian Conference

Helping Clients Change: Honoring Their Grieving Process

September 16, 2022

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Presented by

Brittany Trauthwein, PsyD, LCP (IL), Elaine Carey, PsyD, LCP (IN), Heather Leigh, DAT, ATR-BC, LCPC (IL), Marina Bluvshtein, MA LMFT, PhD LP (MN)


This highly experiential training will be taught by a team of four – with an exciting combination of expertise in grief and Adlerian therapy. Participants will learn how the grief process is different from other human experiences and life transitions. Participants will learn about grief and grief work from an ethical, cultural, and systemic perspective with an Adlerian focus. Participants will learn interventions and engage in experiential learning that is appropriate for helping professionals, who also experience their own grief processes. The major approach used in this training – both its theoretical and its experiential components – is the systems approach, from family to lifespan to greater social systems impacting and being impacted by grief processes. Art therapy approaches to grief will be used throughout.

Dr. Brittany Trauthwein – Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Fellow in Thanatology (death, dying, and bereavement), and the Founder of Bridgepoint Psychology Center in Chicago, IL. She is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).
Dr. Elaine L. Carey is a licensed clinical psychologist (IN) with a doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in substance abuse from Adler University, Chicago (APA Accredited). She also earned a Master’s of Education in Counseling and Counselor Education with a Mental Health focus from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.
Dr. Heather Leigh, DAT, is Associate Professor and Department Chair for Art Therapy at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI. She is a Board-Certified art therapist and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (IL). Dr. Leigh earned her Professional Doctorate in Art Therapy from Mount Mary, her MA in Counseling Psychology: Art Therapy from Adler University in Chicago. Much of Dr. Leigh’s clinical experience has been with elders and their caregivers for whom grief and loss are central.
Dr. Marina Bluvshtein – PhD LP (MN) and MA LMFT (MN), with a specialty in applying therapeutic metaphors in clinical practice, among other areas of expertise. She teaches and writes on the use of metaphors, including publications in peer-reviewed journals.

The training has been approved for 6.5 CEU by the MN Board of Psychology, the MN Board of MFT, and the MN Board of BHT.

We are planning for a live conference, so seating will be limited to 50 people.  Participants will receive breakfast, lunch, and a snack.  Registration is open until Sept 14th. Early bird pricing ends on Sept 1st.

The last day to cancel your registration is September 9th. There will be no refunds after this date.

Please save the date and keep an eye on more news from us as we draw closer to the date.

Adler Academy of MN

woman writing on a notebook beside teacup and tablet computer

3 CEU’s – MFT Ethics approved

Meet us live on Zoom as we take you through a condensed version of September’s conference and earn yourself 3.0 CE hours. Participants can use the same BMFT approval number.

The 5th Annual Minnesota Adlerian ConferenceHelping Clients Change: You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup. (From the Sept 24, 2021 Annual Conference).

This training addresses issues related to burnout, compassionate fatigue, and vicarious trauma that helping professionals face in their daily life, and especially during times of mass crises.

·      Participants will identify sources of and significant differences between burnout, compassionate fatigue, and vicarious trauma.

·      Participants will interpret typical scenarios in light of these differences, and will relate personality variables to how burnout, compassionate fatigue, and vicarious trauma are experienced and how these may be impacting their professional practice. 

·     Participants will design their own creative and communally useful wellness plan, based on Adlerian perspective of wellness.

In this training, participants will attend a mini lecture, a live demonstration, portions of panel discussion with local experts, and small groups experiential exercises.

Speaker – Marina Bluvshtein, PhD LP; MA LMFT

You will also review portions of the panel presentation with moderator Gary Schoener, LP and local presenters.

3 CE hours of ethics approved by the MN Board of MFT. You can use that for your next reporting cycle or to meet your CE extension plans for 2020-2021 cycle.

Approved by the Board of Psychology, MN Board of MFT, and the MN Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy for CEU’s.

Have questions? Email us at [email protected] or call 763-464-4783.