Dr. Jessica Weiss-Ford, LCSW, CCTP

SunPoint Counseling / Millersville University

Dr. Jessica Weiss-Ford, LCSW, CCTP has been in the field for approximately 25 years.  She is a licensed outpatient therapist at SunPoint Counseling and adjunct professor at Millersville University in their School of Social Work program.  Dr. Weiss-Ford previously was a school based outpatient therapist for 12 years with T.W. Ponessa.  She is also co-chair of the Positive Change Conference with Compass Mark.  Dr. Weiss-Ford also worked with Lancaster Children and Youth for 7 ½ years investigating neglect and abuse cases and systemic issues related to such dynamics with children and families.  Some of the systemic issues were food insecurity and other socioeconomic difficulties, drug and alcohol issues, and mental health issues.  Importance of fostering resiliency and meaningful connections for children and families was apparent in combating difficult dynamics they were facing.  Her therapy space welcomes people of all genders, sexualities, cultures, religions, and diverse relationships arrangements utilizing strengths based, non-judgmental therapist who walks with her clients to meet their goals. Dr. Weiss-Ford formulates clinical interventions that are relevant to each of her client’s needs in all their life domains.  The first words that Dr. Weiss-Ford’s clients use to describe her are: genuine, caring, hopeful, thoughtful, and realistic with a thoughtful treatment planning approach.

Dr. Weiss-Ford is most proud and grateful of being able to walk alongside the journeys of both clients and her interns in their respective lives.  With over two decades of clinical experience, Dr. Weiss-Ford formerly was the  Coordinator of the Graduate Internship Program at a local counseling center, along with currently serving as an experienced Field Instructor and Social Work Graduate Adjunct Professor at Millersville University. She has presented trainings on working with our LGBTQ+ populations and trauma-informed approach with real world expectations in clinical agencies and within Millersville University.  Her clinical roles are diverse including: licensure supervision, school based counseling, outpatient mental health, and providing case consultation on LGBTQ+ and sexual therapy cases.  Dr. Weiss-Ford earned her PhD in Human Sexuality from Widener University, where her dissertation addressed the sexuality needs for individuals with ID/DD through an exploratory qualitative study interviewing the individuals directly regarding perception of needs.

Dr. Weiss-Ford has extensive advanced trauma counseling training, including EMDR Trauma Therapy, and Mindfulness Certification Training which aid her in helping heal her clients from difficult events in their pasts.  Further, she has maintained her Certified Clinical Trauma Professional certification.  Dr. Weiss-Ford also has ensured to have advanced trainings emphasizing better enhance cultural competency and diversity needs, including the intersectionality of our identities and our lived experiences that form our identities.  She keeps these aspects in mind while working with clients in her therapy room.  A book that impacts her clinical practice is “How to be Antiracist” by Ibram X Kendri.  His discussion on how we need to deconstruct oppressive dynamics within our lives, including the language and every day interactions with one another inspired Dr. Weiss-Ford to continue to do better in examining implicit biases and the evaluative work herself and clinicians need to engage in to improve understanding of lived experiences for all.  Dr. Weiss-Ford embraces a narrative therapist approach with a feminine twist, which aligns with Ibram’s book’s philosophy.  In relation to creating our own narratives, to quote Brene Brown, “When we deny the story, it defines us.  When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.”

8.30 - 9.30 AM Morning Keynote

Wednesday Morning 2023

The Power of Embracing Multidimensional Narratives

While either providing advocacy, support or treatment via therapeutic interventions, organizations, or policies, it is important to value the multidimensional aspects of an individual’s identity (intersectionality)This presentation will examine ways to acknowledge and celebrate individual’s intersectionality including visible and non-visible identitiesIt allows open and honest communication and interactions on behalf for ourselves and othersBiases based on focusing on only certain aspects of individuals and groups must be closely examined to ensure genuine and helpful connections with holistic, supportive actions followingThis presentation will discuss the social constructs and expectations that are internalized to create narratives that are productive for growth in diversity, equity and inclusion for everyone and all their parts  

This sessions is eligible for 1.0 CEs.