Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Dr. Harry J. Aponte, MSW, LCSW, LMFT

Name of Innovative Program: 
Person-of-the-Therapist Model
Sponsoring Organization
Dr. Harry J. Aponte, MSW, LCSW, LMFT
Name of Innovative Program Lead: 
Dr. Harry J. Aponte
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead: 
harryjaponte@verizon.net
Project Description: 
Dr. Harry Aponte has been an innovator in family therapy for over 40years.  There is a trajectory of the development of his theoretical framework, clinical practice and training that led to the development of ‘The Person-of-the-Therapist’ model.  This model is an approach to training and supervising therapists with the core concept of the wounded healer as key to the healing power of therapy.  This model posits that common humanity bridges therapists and clients and enables them to relate to and connect with through unique issues across ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural boundaries.  The primary goal of this model is to maximize the effectiveness of therapy through the use of self.  The primary goal of the formal training is for the trainees to gain mastery of their selves within their roles as therapists. The primary goal of supervision is to assist the supervisee to better serve the client.  This training model has been incorporated into the training and supervision therapists in Drexel University’s Family Therapy Programs in Philadelphia and the Family Institute of Virginia. Dr. Aponte is in the process of developing a training manual for the ‘The Person-of-the-Therapist’ so that this work can be replicated by other professionals and institutions/organizations.
Creativity and Innovation: 
Dr. Harry J. Aponte has been an innovator in family therapy for over 40 years.  There is a trajectory of development of theoretical framework, clinical practice and training that led to the development of ‘The Person-of-the-Therapist’ model, an approach to training and supervising therapists that has in its core philosophical principle the concept of the wounded healer as key to the healing power of therapy.  It is because of our own battles with the challenges of life that we have insight into what it takes to overcome, to change and to grow, especially in the face of the obstacles we present to our own self-betterment.  While in the formal training the primary goal is for the trainees to gain mastery of their selves within their roles as therapists, supervisions primary goal is to assist the supervisee to better use self to serve the client.
Leadership: 
Dr. Aponte has a private practice in Philadelphia. He also is a clinical associate professor in Drexel University’s Couple & Family Therapy Department.  Dr. Aponte is a principal trainer at the Family institute of Virginia where he leads  an intensive nine-month program,  The Aponte/Winter Professional Development Program for Human Services  and "The Person and the Practice of the Therapist" training.  He has numerous publications on family therapy, training and supervision in .  He has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia.  Dr. Aponte is a Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Board Certified Diplomat in Clinical Social Work.
Sustainability: 
This training model has been tested and developed at the Family Institute of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. Training and supervision within the Person-of-the-Therapist model has been incorporated into the training and supervision of marriage and family therapists in Drexel University’s Couple and Family Therapy Programs in Philadelphia.
Replicability: 
Dr. Aponte is in the process of developing a training manual for the ‘The Person-of-the-Therapist’ model so that this work can be replicated by other professionals and institutions/organizations.
Results/Outcomes: 
The Drexel University Marriage and Family Therapy program first tested the Person-of-the-Therapist’ model in the fall of 2002 with a volunteer pilot group of six students who were followed for two years. The pilot highlighted how the training needed to be fully integrated into the schedule and curricula of the program. The following year, the POTT experience became part of the curriculum for all first-year students and it continues to be an integral part of the first-year curriculum of the Drexel program.  There have been multiple publications by the trainers and trainees documenting the development and experience of training as well as the direct impact on clinical work.  
#8749