Here are the workshops and lectures that will be offered at the VSOF conference in 2018.

12 CEU units for both days.



Peter Mortola, Ph.D. is Professor of Counseling Psychology at Lewis and Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling and the Co-Director of the Educational Specialist degree program in School Psychology. He is the author of Windowframes: Learning the art of Gestalt play therapy the Oaklander way (Routledge/Gestaltpress, 2006), the culmination of 10 years of inquiry and research on Violet Oaklander’s methods of both child therapy and adult training. Windowframes has been translated into German, Spanish and Korean. He is also the co-author of BAM! Boys Advocacy and Mentoring: A leader’s guide to facilitating strength-based groups for boys (Routledge, 2008).




Cassiana Castro is a Psychologist and Gestalt therapist practicing in Curitiba, Brazil. Having attended the Oaklander summer training in 1994, as well as other Gestalt trainings with Erv and Miriam Polster, Joseph Zinker and others, she is presently offering her own trainings in Gestalt therapy in the state of Parana, Brazil





Gianomenico Bagatin Gianomenico Bagatin has a Degree in Psychology with honors at the University of Trieste and has completed a four-year specialization in Psychotherapy at the Gestalt Institute of Trieste, Italy. Giando is the author of a number of books on psychology, teaches at the University, and has organzied a series of conferences on the Oaklander Model in Italy along with VSOF founding members Karen Fried and Lynn Stadler.



Seema Omar Seema Omar (M.A. Applied Psychology) is a counsellor, who works with children, young adults, parents, teachers and caregivers, in one-to-one sessions and in groups​ in Sri Lanka and India​.​ She uses the creative modalities of art, clay, drama, sand tray, music, play and storytelling in her work. She is passionate about teaching self-compassion as a mindful way of building inner resilience in people, and interconnectedness in communities.​ Seema has studied the Oaklander Model in depth, and with VSOF founding member Karen Fried recently organized and presented at an Oaklander Model conference in India.


Lillian Freeman, LCSW: Lillian has been a psychotherapist for over thirty-five years in West Los Angeles specializing in family, couples, children, adolescents, and addiction therapy. Lillian is in private practice and has been a Professor of Psychology for 25 years teaching the Treatment of Children. She graduated from UCLA where she had majored in child psychotherapy. Lillian trained with Violet Oaklander, PH.D in Hermosa Beach in the 1980’s and had advanced supervision with Violet in Santa Barbara in the 1990’s.





Karen Fried, M.A., M.F.T., Psy.D. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an Educational Therapist in Santa Monica, California. She has a private practice in Psychotherapy and is co-director of the K&M Center, a learning center providing educational services to students ranging from four years old to college age. Karen is a founding member of the Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation, which continues the Oaklander Model of therapy with children. She has provided continuing education and training to educators and child therapists in the US, and Europe. Karen co-authored an Executive Functioning Workbook as well as reading and math workbooks.




Susana Millán is the head and founder of Instituto de Terapia Gestalt para niños y adolescentes, a Gestalt Therapy Institute for practice and training under the Violet Oaklander Model in Leon, Mexico. She holds a Master´s degree in Gestalt Therapy; she received the following training: Basic Intensive Training, Advanced Intensive Training, 2nd Advanced Intensive Origins, and Training for Trainers at Felicia Carroll's West Coast Institute in Solvang California. Also she participated in the 21st Century Perspectives' Summer Workshop in Malibu, California; she fulfilled all requisites to obtain the Certification in the Oaklander Model by the West Coast Institute for Gestalt Therapy. Image and bio forthcoming




Lynn Stadler, MA, MFT is a Gestalt psychotherapist and licensed Marriage Family Therapist in private practice in Santa Barbara, California. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, is a graduate of the Santa Barbara Gestalt Training Center, and she completed intensive training with the Violet Oaklander Institute. Lynn provides workshops, seminars, and training for social service agencies, universities and other teaching organizations worldwide -- most recently in Russia, Brazil, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, and Slovenia.







Jon Blend Jon is a Gestalt psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer based in London, UK working with adults, children and families in private practice. His background lies in psychiatric social work and counselling. Jon is a Director of the British Gestalt Journal; he is also an improvisatory musician performing with Playback South theatre company ( He tutors and supervises on the child psychotherapy course at Terapia. Since training with Violet Oaklander in 2000 Jon’s work has been deeply influenced by the Oaklander approach; his annual expressive arts intensive for child therapists at the Gestalt Centre, London draws inspiration from Violet’s ideas.


Continuing Education Units:

This course meets the qualitfications for up to 12 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.