Welcome to the Porter-Cason Institute

School of Social Work
6823 St. Charles Ave., Blg. 9
New Orleans, LA 70118-5698
Phone: (800) 631-8234
Fax: (504) 862-8727


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Porter-Cason Institute for the Family Board Members

Carol AndersonCarol Anderson is Professor of Psychiatry and Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of its Center for Mental Health Services Research. She created the psycho educational model of intervention for patients with schizophrenia and their families, and has developed interventions for engaging families in treatment. Her current projects include studies of mothers of emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children, and the reasons they do not accept mental health services, continuity of care using online support, education and treatment for schizophrenic patients, and a collaborative study with a community agency to increase the relevance of mental health services for low income individuals.

In addition to authoring 33 articles in peer reviewed journals, and 27 book chapters, she is the co-author of Schizophrenia and the Family: A Practitioner’s Guide to Psycho education and Management (Guilford), Mastering Resistance: A Practical Guide to Family Therapy (Guilford);Flying Solo: Single Women in Midlife (Norton); and co-editor of Women in Families: A Framework for Family Therapy (Norton). She was the Editor of Family Process from 1999 through the end of 2003.

Dr. Anderson has also served AFTA as Vice-President, Secretary, Board Member, and as chair of the Membership and Clinical-Research Conference committees. She received an award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy in 1985 from AFTA and for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Family Therapy in 1987 from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Harry AponteDr. Harry Aponte has publications on family therapy, training and supervision in therapy, working with people of diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and spirituality in therapy. He has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia. He received postgraduate training at the Menninger Clinic, and worked there in a variety of capacities, including as a supervisor and teacher.  From Topeka, he came to Philadelphia to work at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic of which he eventually became the director. Dr. Aponte is a Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work. Among other honors, he received the award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy and Practice from the American Family Therapy Academy in 1992, and the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy from the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in 2001.  He also received the I. Arthur Marshall Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Menninger Clinic in 1997. Dr. Aponte received the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from Drexel University in 2004, and the Degree of Doctor of Public Service (honoris causa) from the University of Maryland in 2006.nois University, Pacific Lutheran University, and the University of Connecticut.

George FallerGeorge Faller is a Lieutenant in the NYC Fire Department and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in New York. He is the founder and director of the New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). After September 11, 2001, George received extensive training from Dr. Susan Johnson in using Emotionally Focused Therapy with traumatized couples, He is a Clinical Member of AAMFT and is an Approved EFT Supervisor. George is helping to spread EFT in the tri-state area, running numerous supervision groups and is teaching an EFT course at the Ackerman Institute in Manhattan. George is also currently working with the U.S. Army to help repair returning veterans’ marriages and train Army chaplains in using EFT. He has a private practice in Westchester and provides training throughout the country. George is married to Kathy and has two boys, Christian and Dylan.

Peter FraenkelDr. Peter Fraenkel is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Environmental Psychology at the City College of the City University of New York and is Director of the Ackerman Institute’s Center for Work and Family which includes empirically-supported, community-based programs for families facing the challenges of homelessness, domestic violence, and immigration.  Dr. Fraenkel is co-author of The relational trauma of incest: A family-based approach to treatment.  He is the author of numerous publications on work and family, collaborative community-based family programs, integrative approaches to systemic therapy, and child sexual abuse.  He is a co-recipient of the 2004 American Family Therapy Academy’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice.  He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the journal Family Process and is on the editorial boards of Family Process, the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, and Psychoanalytic Psychology.  He is also a contributing editor for the Psychotherapy Networker and past Vice President of AFTA.

Heather GillisDr. Heather Gillis is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Tulane School of Social Work as well as the School's Director of Field Education. She earned her Ph.D. from the Tulane School of Social Work in 2009, and her MSSW degree from the University of Tennessee. Since 1999, Dr. Gillis has focused her teaching efforts on field education, methods of practice, learning and research for practice, and preparing students to complete the professional project. Students at the Tulane School of Social Work have to complete 990 hours at a field placement in order to receive their master's degree. Heather coordinates not only the placement process but also works with community organizations to ensure they are paired with the correct student to meet both of their needs. Dr. Gillis is a licensed clinical social worker and a board-approved clinical supervisor who has worked in direct practice for more than 20 years.

Dan HughesDr. Dan Hughes is a clinical psychologist with a limited practice near Philadelphia. He has specialized in the treatment of children who have experienced abuse and neglect and demonstrate ongoing problems related to attachment and trauma. This treatment occurs in a family setting and the treatment model has expanded to become a general model of family treatment. He has conducted seminars, workshops, and spoken at conferences throughout the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia for the past 15 years. He is also engaged in extensive training with certification of therapists in his treatment model, along with ongoing consultation to various agencies and professionals. Dan is the author of many books and articles. These include Building the Bonds of Attachment (2nd Ed.) 2006, Attachment-Focused Parenting (2009), Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook (2011) and BrainBased Parenting (2012).

Dan is the father of three wonderful daughters, now adults, and one granddaughter. He can be contacted at His web site is

William MadsenDr. William Madsen is the Founder and Director of the Family Centered Services Project. He provides international training and consultation regarding collaborative approaches to therapy and the development of institutional cultures that support family-centered work. Dr Madsen was the Director of the Program in Narrative Therapies at the Family Institute of Cambridge and a Senior Associate at the Public Conversations Project.  He has spent most of the last 30 years working with multi-stressed families in public sector mental health, social service and health care settings.  He has developed and administered innovative programs that combine outpatient and home-based services and has written and presented extensively about the development of strengths-based, collaborative partnerships between families and helpers.  He has authored several books including   Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families (2nd Edition) He actively works and writes about a framework of "collaborative helping" for family support workers, case managers, and milieu workers. His work has been profoundly influenced by clinical approaches such as Narrative, Collaborative and Solution-Focused Therapies, by organizational approaches such as Appreciative Inquiry and the Public Conversations Project, by involvement in family-centered services, wraparound and systems of care approaches and perhaps most of all by learning from clients and client groups.

Barbara SoniatDr. Barbara Soniat is an associate professor at the Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) and director of its Center on Global Aging. She is the co-author of NASW publication: Empowering Social Workers for Practice with Vulnerable Older Adults. She teaches MSW practice courses and a course on clinical social work practice with older adults, and she is co-principal investigator for a Council on Social Work Education gero-ed project. Dr. Soniat also serves as a commissioner for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging. She has worked in the fields of social work and gerontology for over 30 years. For over 20 years, her career effectively integrated clinical practice, research, teaching, and interdisciplinary field-based education of professional students. Dr. Soniat is the former long-time director of the George Washington University (GWU) and IONA Senior Services geriatric assessment and case management programs, where for over two decades she implemented collaborative partnerships between a university medical center (GWU), a public agency (the Washington, DC, Office on Aging), a private agency (IONA Senior Services), and several schools of social work (NCSSS, Howard University, University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Alabama) and departments of psychiatry (GWU and Georgetown University). Through these endeavors, she has worked with many social workers, case managers, student learners, and colleagues to develop, test, modify, and refine models and tools for education, research, and practice with vulnerable older adults. Dr. Soniat has a strong interest in pursuing answers to practice-generated research questions. She is a featured speaker at national, international, regional, and local conferences and provides international training and consultation regarding collaborative approaches to therapy and the development of institutional cultures that support family-centered work.

Lynn PearlmutterDr. Lynn Pearlmutter is an Associate Professor at the Tulane School of Social Work, where she earned her PhD in 1990. Dr. Pearlmutter served as a field supervisor and adjunct professor for many years prior to joining the full-time faculty at Tulane. Before joining TSSW's faculty, she worked for more than 20 years in agency practices in Chicago, Berkeley, Pittsburgh and New Orleans, specializing in child, family, couples and group therapy. Dr. Pearlmutter’s dissertation, practice, workshops and publications focus on her area of specialization: couples therapy.

Andre SternAndre Stern currently practices in New Orleans and earned this MSW from Tulane in 1980. Stern has spent more than 20 years in private practice along with his time in the New Orleans Public school system as well as Catholic Charities and Family Services. He was an associate of Liz Rayne. He works on communication within families and the mind/body connection in communication and relationships.

Froma WalshDr. Froma Walsh, MSW, PhD is Mose and Sylvia Firestone Professor Emeriti in the School of Social Service Administration and Department of Psychiatry, Pritzker School of Medicine, at the University of Chicago. She also holds an appointment as Clinical Professor, Applied Psychological & Family Studies, Northwestern University.  Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Chicago Center for Family Health.  Dr. Walsh is a leading authority on family resilience. She has developed a resilience-oriented, community-based practice approach to strengthen families in crisis (e.g. major trauma; loss); in disruptive transitions (separation, divorce; migration); and facing challenges of persistent, multi-stress conditions (e.g. illness, disability; economic hardship). Her research-informed Family Resilience Framework is widely applied in intervention and prevention efforts. She is also a leading expert on contemporary family diversity and multi-faith spiritual perspectives. Her approach addresses developmental, systemic, cultural, and spiritual influences in suffering, healing, and resilience. Dr. Walsh is a frequent speaker and consultant nationally and internationally on resilience-oriented community mental health training, practice, and research. With over 90 publications, her books include: Strengthening Family Resilience, (2nd Ed., 2006); Spiritual Resources in Family Therapy (2nd Ed., 2009); Normal Family Processes: Growing Diversity and Complexity (3rd Ed., 2003); Living Beyond Loss: Death in the Family (2nd ed. 2004); Chronic Disorders and the Family and Women in Families.

Tulane School of Social Work, 127 Elk Place, New Orleans, La. 70112  1-800-631-8234