The Presenters

All presenters practice the solution focused approach. Many of the presenters are school counselors and interventionists, principals and clinicians. Many are published and all present their work to educators like you!

Elliott Connie, MA, LPC  has worked with thousands of individuals, couples, and families applying the solution focused approach to help them move their lives from the current problems towards their desired futures. He is the founder and Director of The Solution Focused University, an online learning community and speaks around the world at national and international conferences and events in such places as throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, England, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, Holland, Canada, and Asia. He has authored or co-authored 4 books including “The Art of Solution Focused Therapy”, “Solution Building in Couples Therapy”, “The Solution Focused Marriage”, and “Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with Clients Managing Trauma”.

Cynthia Franklin, PhD, LCSW

Cynthia Franklin, Ph.D, LCSW-S, LMFT, is the Stiernberg/Spencer Family Professor in Mental Health and the Associate Dean for Doctoral Education at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. Franklin has a courtesy appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and at the Dell Medical School. She holds faculty fellowships at the Humanities Institute and at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk in the Department of Special Education.

 Franklin’s career bridges clinical practice, research, teaching, and leadership.  She was named one of the 100 most Influential contemporary social work, faculty for the overall impact of her more than 200 publications (Journal of Social Service Research, 2019). 

In the early 2000’s, Franklin helped develop a solution-focused, dropout prevention program in Austin, Texas, Gonzolo Garza Independence High School, which reduces dropout rates and helps students graduate and attend college. Garza High School’s continuous success has resulted in several recognitions including, the Texas Education Agency, model school program and The United States Department of Education ranking as a top five dropout prevention program.

Paulina Gazzardo, PhD, LMFT

Paulina is a LMFT in the State of Texas and received her PhD in MFT from Texas Wesleyan University. Her dissertation involved her working in a high risk school where school refusal was rampant. Through her research, she showed how the solution focused approach could drastically stop school refusal through engaging students and teachers in a conversation with her assistance. She is in private practice in Fort Worth, Texas and consults to area schools.

Brooke Goggans, MA, LPC

Brooke is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the clinical director at the Excel Center in Fort Worth, which is an intensive outpatient treatment center, specializing in group therapy, family therapy and medication management. Brooke has been with the Excel Center for over three years and has used SFT as her primary therapeutic model leading group therapy, facilitating family therapy, teaching student interns, presenting cases to treatment teams, and assisting in the transition process back to school from a treatment setting. Brooke has also worked closely with The WARM Place since 2012. The WARM Place is located in Fort Worth and provides grief group support for children having experienced a significant death loss.    She incorporates solution focused and narrative therapy with clients dealing with grief and loss.

Mario Layne, PhD

Mario is a high school principal who specializes in working successfully with at risk high school students. His work alongside his school counselor, Tiphynee Salazar, resulted in diminishing misbehaviors and creating more compliance among students at risk. More info to come…

Linda Metcalf, M.Ed., PhD, CSC, LPC-S, LMFT-S

Lindais a Professor of Education and Director of the Graduate Counseling Program at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas where she also maintains a private practice. She is the author of eleven books including Counseling Toward Solutions (1995, 2008, Wiley), Parenting Toward Solutions (1997, Prentice Hall), The Miracle Question, (2004, Crown House, UK), Solution Focused Narrative Therapy (2017, Springer)  and  Marriage and Family Therapy: A Practice Oriented Approach, 2nd Edition (Springer, 2011, 2019).She has presented hundreds of seminars to trainees in the United States, Australia, Japan, Newfoundland, Germany, Scotland, England, Norway, Amsterdam, Singapore and Canada. She is Past President of the Texas Association for Marriage and Family therapy and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Rebekka Ouer, LCSW

Rebekka Ouer is a clinical social worker who specializes in solution focused work with the LGBT community. She has served as an adjunct professor at UTA’s School of Social Work and she is also a clinical supervisor for LMSW’s in Texas. She frequently conducts trainings about Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and the LGBT community and has authored a book from Routledge Publications: Solution Focused Brief Therapy with the LGBT community: Creating Futures through Hope & Resilience. Specialties are working with LGBT Individuals,LGBT Couples & Relationships, Trans Teens & Families and writing Transgender Letter Assessments.

Marilu Romero, PhD, LMFT A

Marilu Romero Ph.D. is a Latina solution focused therapist who is passionate about helping diverse families achieve their potential and has been aiding this community’s transformation in her private practice in Fort Worth.  Her recent scholarly pursuit included a research project on the experience of Latino immigrant clients with limited English proficiency in the solution focused therapy setting. Having a background as a daughter of immigrant parents and being bilingual in Spanish and English gives her a unique personal connection to the issues diverse and non-English speaking families face, and inspire her life both professionally and personally. 

Tiphynee Salazar, MSSC, LPC

Tiphynee is the Lead Counselor at Haltom High School. She has worked as a school counselor in elementary, middle and high schools for over 5 years. She uses the solution focused approach every day with every student, teacher and parent she sees. She has a small private practice and is a frequent presenter at conferences with Mario Layne.

Christina Stanley, MSSC, LPC, LMFT

Christina began her teaching career in elementary school and felt a calling to help more. In 2009 She landed a position at the Career Counseling center at Texas Wesleyan University during her internship. Her unique perspective as a Military wife of 8 years and led to helping spouses, military members and veterans. She has provided solution focused counseling services in nursing homes and the Glick House at Texas Wesleyan University. After pursuing and receiving a School Counseling degree she took on a position as an elementary school counselor where she practiced the solution focused approach with staff, parents and students. Her love for helping people, coupled with the skills she learned in London, England at BRIEF Therapy Practice drove her to open her own private practice.

Carolina Utz, MSSC, LMFT

Carolina is a LMFT who works with trafficked youth and their families, couples, individuals and children. She has been an elementary school counselor and is currently a transition counselor for students returning from placement after being in the court system. Her work with schools has insured that students who were formerly labeled receive a new beginning when they return to schools.

Linda Webb, PhD

Dr. Linda Webb is currently principal of Gonzalo Garza Independence High School, and known internationally for the outstanding contributions to Solution Focused classrooms. Her depth and breadth of knowledge in curriculum & instruction; leadership; along with an expertise in transforming urban schools, produced a National Blue Ribbon award at Pillow Elementary, and in addition, H-E-B principal of the year for Texas. She has served on the University of Texas Advisory Board of Gender & Women’s Studies; National School Leadership Network; currently she is an adjunct professor at Huston-Tilllotson ; and has written for Educational LeadershipInstructor; and cited in Best Practices of Award Winning School Principals.

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