Training for positive, empathic parenting

More than a course, ADAPT is an opportunity for parents to learn, practice, use, and retain positive parenting techniques and tools.

The program includes a focus on mindfulness and emotional coaching, designed especially for families who have experienced stress and/or trauma. Our goal is to strengthen stressed parents’ capacities to regulate their emotions and be more effective with their children.

Rooted in research

ADAPT began as After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools, initially developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota to build resilience by supporting parents in military families. ADAPT is now housed at Arizona State University.

Our approach is based on more than 50 years of rigorous research on positive parenting techniques. Our studies to date have involved active duty military, Guard, and Reserve members and veterans across all branches of service. Recently our work has expanded to focus on healthcare professionals whose parenting roles have been affected by their challenging work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each study evaluates parenting tools with the goal of addressing families’ unique stressors and creating positive outcomes.

Meet the ADAPT team

Abigail Gewirtz

Ph.D., LP – ADAPT Director and Developer

Abi’s research interests are in trauma, resilience, parenting, and promoting children’s healthy development. Her team is involved in multiple research and implementation projects throughout the United States that all aim to help parents be their children’s best teachers during times of stress and trauma. Dr. Gewirtz has published more than 100 articles, chapters, and books and is the recipient of several grant and career awards.

Read Abi’s full bio here.

Photo of Dr. Abigail Gewirtz.

Amy Majerle

Research and Implementation Program Manager

Amy joined the ADAPT team first as a graduate student assisting with study recruitment and outreach, and in January 2016, moved to the role of Program Manager. Amy retired in 2012 from the Minnesota Air National Guard after 22 years of service, including one deployment, and is also the spouse of a military retiree. Before coming back to graduate school Amy was a high school counselor for almost 10 years. Amy completed her second graduate degree May 2016 in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota with a focus on military families.

Shauna Tiede 

Assistant Program Manager for Research

Shauna graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Psychology and has worked for the ADAPT studies since 2011. Prior to her role as Assistant Program Manager for Research, Shauna worked as the Interview Coordinator where she oversaw data collection during in-home interviews. While she was an undergraduate student, Shauna assisted Dr.Gewirtz in collecting data for the Early Risers program, which sought to promote resilience and improve outcomes in families living in supportive housing.

Amberlee Martin

Program Coordinator

Amberlee has a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling: Military Resilience and brings with her a very diverse background in volunteering including serving as the President of a local non-profit.  She was an active duty Army spouse for 6 years and previously served in multiple research roles with ADAPT. Her most recent role is leading a new stress wearables study with frontline workers.

Susanne Lee, Ph.D.

Data Manager

Susanne completed her postdoctoral training in prevention science at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota. She worked as a statistician for multiple prevention trials that examined effectiveness, dissemination, and sustainability of evidence-based preventive interventions for at-risk children and families who resided in culturally diverse, economically disenfranchised communities. In 2018, she joined the ADAPT team as a Data Manager coordinating many aspects of data processing systems and data analysis.

Sydni Basha

Coding Lab Manager

Sydni is a graduate student at Arizona State University working toward her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Community and Prevention Science. She joined the ADAPT team as a graduate student in the Fall of 2020 after completing her Bachelor's in Psychological Sciences and minor in Conflict Analysis and Trauma Studies in 2019. After undergrad, Sydni worked as a Mental Health Case Manager for a non-profit in Minneapolis, MN as part of the Social Security Administration's national, multi-site, Supported Employment Demonstration study. Her research interests relate to the dissemination, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for at-risk or highly stressed populations. She is primarily interested in understanding how clinicians, therapists, and facilitators (or other mental health practitioners) influence engagement with these evidence-based interventions. Sydni now manages the Behavioral Coding Lab, supervising the undergraduate assistants coding the observational data collected as part of the ADAPT research projects.

Clinical Team

Molly Willer, Ph.D., L.P.

Clinical Director

Molly received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota with a focus on treatment outcome for eating disorders. She spent three years as a psychologist with the rehabilitation/polytrauma program at the Minneapolis VAMC before joining the ADAPT team. Since 2010 Molly has worked as a facilitator, coach, fidelity rater, trainer, and clinical director with ADAPT. 

Katie Vaca, MAS-MFT

Implementation Coordinator

Katie earned her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Arizona State University in 2021, where she completed an intensive internship working with individuals, couples, and families at a private practice. Katie joined Arizona State University’s REACH Institute in 2013. She first worked as a research coordinator and field manager for an evidenced-based program focusing on divorced and separated families (New Beginnings Program) and then as a research specialist and data manager for the research methodology team on the Family Check-Up Program. Katie joined the ADAPT team as a facilitator and implementation coordinator in the Spring of 2022. She also works as a facilitator, supervisor, and program coordinator on an evidence-based program for bereaved families (Resilient Parenting for Bereaved Families).

Patty Ostberg-Speiker, MA, LMFT 

Facilitator, Coach, Fidelity Rater and Trainer

Patty received her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in 2017. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Minnesota and utilizes evidence-based therapy models at her private practice. Patty has worked in community-based mental health and extensively with military families and parents. Prior to becoming a therapist, she earned two Bachelor's degrees in Journalism and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin River Falls and worked as a journalist for a decade at the Minnesota State Capitol. Since joining ADAPT in 2017, Patty has worked as a facilitator, coach, trainer and is a fidelity rater.

Darlene Wetterstrom, LICSW  

Facilitator, Coach, Fidelity Rater and Trainer

Darlene graduated with her MSW from the University of Minnesota and has worked primarily with military families including the Minnesota Army National Guard.  Darlene joined the ADAPT team in 2011 and is a facilitator, coach, fidelity rater and trainer. 

Jasmine Banegas, MSW, LICSW 

Facilitator and Trainer

Jasmine received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work in 2017. Prior to joining the ADAPT team, she served as a bilingual clinical social worker providing community-based mental health services to Latinx/o/a children, youth, and families in the greater Detroit area. She has been trained in various evidence-based practices, such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Since 2019, Jasmine has worked as an ADAPT intervention coordinator and facilitator. During her time with ADAPT, she has been able to assist in the development of the contextual adaptations of ADAPT for first responders and diverse immigrant/refugee populations. Jasmine will begin pursuing her PhD in Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota in Fall 2021.