Erik Thompson, MA

Erik Thompson MA is a licensed psychologist and founder of Thompson Leadership Development, Inc. an executive coaching firm. Erik challenges senior executives to build maturity and responsibility in their organizations, beginning with themselves. He coaches and trains CEO’s, presidents, and their leadership teams nationally to develop relationship excellence. He is a change agent, who has been working with executives for over a decade.

Erik is a Vermont Licensed Psychologist-Masters. Before founding Thompson Leadership Development, Erik spent 15 years as a clinician, supervisor, and trainer in the community mental health system, and maintained a private family therapy practice for 10 years. Erik’s professional discipline for the past 25 years has been the application of systems thinking to leadership. After completing a master’s degree in psychology, he completed a three-year post-graduate training in leadership science at the Georgetown Family Center. He is a frequent presenter at both business and scientific conferences nationally, and has published peer reviewed scholarly articles on the science of leadership.

Erik is the author of the international award winning "How To Be A Better Mentor" published in the Journal of Accountancy.

Erik volunteers as director of the Vermont Center for Family Studies, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening, stabilizing and vitalizing families by training family advisors, coaches and therapists.

For 30 years Erik’s daily meditation practice has inspired him to achieve poise in the storm. He resides in the mountains of Vermont, where he enjoys hiking and skiing with his daughters, nieces and nephews.

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Michael Gilman, LICSW, ACSW

Michael Gilman, LICSW, ACSW joined the VCFS faculty in 2009. Over the past 15 years, he has developed a strong understanding of Bowen Theory through his participation in the Vermont Center for Family Studies’ training programs. In 2008, Michael began studying Bowen Theory more intensely through the Postgraduate Training Program at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington D.C.

Current Clinical Work: Michael Gilman is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Vermont and a member of the National Association of Social Workers’ Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW). He is one of the founding members of Optima, a private practice in Burlington, Vermont. Michael’s current practice at Optima includes work with adolescents and adults as well as families, couples and organizations. His clinical interests include anxiety, depression, chronic health, trauma, substance abuse, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Education and Experience: Michael Gilman received both an undergraduate degree in psychology (1988) and a Masters in Social Work (1995) from the University of Vermont. Prior to receiving his Masters degree, Michael worked with adults diagnosed with chronic and severe mental illness at the Howard Center for Human Services. During his seven-year tenure there, he also worked in residential treatment, case management services, individual therapy, emergency respite and mobile crisis services. Following his Masters education, Michael served as Clinical Director for Client Services at Vermont CARES, the state’s largest AIDS Service Organization. As a member of the management team, he developed and supervised services for individuals and families dealing with HIV disease and those at risk of infection. Michael then went on to serve as the Executive Director of the Vermont Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. There he advocated for social work professionals and their clients in the legislature, with the State, with other coalitions, and in a variety of stakeholder meetings. In addition, he is an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Vermont, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in the Social Work and Counseling programs.

Clinical Approach: Michael sees himself as a consultant to individuals examining and understanding the challenges that life is presenting and ways to manage themselves through them. He believes that families teach us a lot about what it means to be in relationships with one another and about how we function, think and act in those relationships. Understanding dynamics and patterns that we engage in can help us better manage ourselves in relationships whether that be in families, marriages, partnerships or in the workplace.

Michael’s social work education set the foundation for looking at the person in the context of their environment taking into consideration a broader systemic perspective of the many aspects of life that can influence how individuals function and behave. As life presents challenges, the best tool available is oneself. Michael believes that the more individuals can understand their own internal emotional and thinking systems then the better equipped they are to navigate the challenges presented at home, in school, in the community and at work. Managing self requires the ability to find ways to step back from the moment to gain a broader perspective, to gather facts, and to strengthen one’s knowledge.

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Nancy Weber, MS

Nancy Weber is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, who is an adjunct professor in the Master's in Counseling program at UVM. She practiced family therapy for many years as a member of the Dolan House group and was a supervising therapist at the UVM Counseling Center. She attended the post-graduate training program at the Bowen Center for three years. Nancy's interests including the practice of dynamic neutrality in family leadership.

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