At AFTA's Annual Meeting experienced family therapists get together with colleagues, share new ideas, follow up with each other on the year's work, and plan new projects. Interest groups are the core of AFTA, for they are a meeting ground for those thinking about working in specific areas. Specialists from other fields are often invited to the Interest Groups for cross-fertilization of new ideas. Members are encouraged to keep in touch with their Interest Groups during the year between Meetings and to develop new Interest Groups as a way of enriching and broadening the scope of our knowledge. Other activities at the Annual Meeting include: topic-focused plenary sessions; addresses by distinguished speakers from fields allied to family therapy; brief presentations; open forums for broad issues such as family policy, diversity, ethics, and credentialing; large dialogue sessions on gender and diversity issues; awards to outstanding professionals within the family field; business and Board meetings; and social time for building networks with peers from across the country.
Every other year there is a Clinical Research Conference where practitioners and research investigators address together subjects of mutual interest. In some years there is a Pre-Meeting Symposium in which a theme of current importance is addressed. This meeting is designed for and open to all health professionals, including AFTA members.