Spring 2023 Course List
All courses will be live virtual courses unless noted as an "in person training" next to the title of the course. In person courses will be held at different locations in the community; please check workshop listing for the location address.
- The Buddha is Happy You’re a Therapist: Cultural Appropriation & the Buddhist Origins of Mindfulness Interventions
Date: Friday June 9, 2023
CE Hours: 3.0
Location: Online Via Zoom
DBT, ACT, MBSR, Self Compassion Therapy and EMDR. What do all these therapies have in common? All of them use mindfulness as a foundational skillset essential to the therapy–and all of them took those skills from Zen and other Buddhist traditions. Although the Buddha himself would arguably be happy about any positive impact his teachings had in the future, the process of cultural appropriation has robbed mindfulness of some of its best elements. Corporate and clinical institutions have colonized mindfulness and stripped it of its cultural origins in an effort to appeal to white, “new-age” or secular audiences. This training aims to place mindfulness back in a historical, cultural context; to explore the relevance of Buddhist textual and cultural traditions of mindfulness; and to finally crystallize clinical applications and ways to better employ existing mindfulness-based therapies now equipped with this knowledge.
In this 3 hour training, participants will:
- Learn a very brief history of Buddhism as a cultural and religious tradition.
- Learn the recent history of Zen’s popularity in the west and its impact on clinicians who later developed various mindfulness-based therapies.
- Learn core Buddhist concepts which have informed therapy, such as the concept of Emptiness, no-self, etc.
- Learn core elements of Buddhist ritual and worldview which have been stripped away from secular mindfulness
- Learn ways to apply this knowledge to better serve clients who are engaged in interventions such as ACT, DBT, and EMDR.
Cory Coppersmith, LCSW, grew up on a dirt road in Price, Utah. He completed a BA in speech and rhetoric at Penn State and returned to Utah to work in wilderness therapy, where he learned from exceptional LCSW mentors and decided to pursue social work. He attended the University of Pittsburgh’s MSW program and was in the first cohort of Cannon Fellows. Cory worked in a variety of health care and psychiatric settings afterward, working primarily with adults in outpatient settings over the past three years. He works at Alliance Therapy Center, a group practice in Squirrel Hill. He plays appropriate amounts of Dungeons and Dragons and has split his time in 2022 between Pittsburgh, a Buddhist retreat center in Virginia, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Fall 2023 Course List
An Integrative Approach to the Assessment & Treatment of MI
Date: Friday September 22, 2023
CE Hours: 3.0
Location: Online Via Zoom
This training will introduce the underlying theories of the Integrative Approaches to treatment (e.g., Daoism, Buddhism, Systems theory), as well as familiarize practitioners with specific engagement strategies to facilitate change in clients' lives and assessment tools for understanding the root cause of mental illness and disease. Participants will leave with empirically-validated intervention tools for treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, grief/loss, and burnout/stress. Participants will also learn to exhibit cultural appreciation, rather than cultural appropriation, in the use of these tools and strategies.
- To understand the major underlying theories of Integrative approaches to treatment.
- To identify and describe at least three effective engagement and assessment strategies from an integrative perspective.
- To understand and discuss three evidence-based, integrative intervention strategies for treating mental illness.
- To discuss differences between cultural appreciation vs cultural appropriation.
Courtney Kubovcik, LSW is a licensed social worker and behavioral health therapist specializing in trauma-informed care. As a practitioner, Courtney uses embodiment techniques and integrative approaches to treatment. Courtney has been serving vulnerable populations for over a decade and understands the cycles of trauma and disease. Without exception, Courtney believes that all people are worthy of health and abundance, and that we all have the potential for healing within. Courtney believes that people are the experts in their own lives. As therapists and mental health professionals, our job is not to "fix" clients, but to help them build the skills that they need to "fix" themselves. Courtney helps clients find the right tools so they can thrive in their lives. She offers clients a unique, spiritual focus to build new coping skills.
- Psychedelics and Non-Ordinary States for treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Emerging Trends and Advances in Treatment
Date: Friday October 6, 2023
CE Hours: 5.0
Location: Online Via Zoom
Trauma is a more common experience than many people realize. People who have experienced acute and ongoing traumatic events may develop symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). About 6 out of every 100 people will have PTSD at some point in their lives. This means that about 15 million adults have PTSD during any given year. Given these statistics, most clinicians will work with patients with PTSD.
PTSD is a serious public experience it. PTSD is characterized by a combination of three types of symptoms:
- Hyperarousal symptoms, such as hypervigilance, anxiety, and sleep disturbance
- Intrusive re-experiencing of traumatic experiences, such as intrusive memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
- Avoidance symptoms, including emotional numbing and withdrawal
While many people with PTSD are helped by therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, others are not. These clients may continue to experience disturbing symptoms and to seek other ways to manage them, including the use of illegal substances and development of eating disorders. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts are also possible. Traditional medication options, such as antidepressants and low dose antipsychotics, also vary in effectiveness and side effect profiles. Estimates show that only 40-60% of people respond to currently available treatments. One avenue that has shown promise is the use of psychedelic medications, administered by licensed physicians. Early research has shown that psychedelic medications can help break the trauma cycle experienced by patients with PTSD, including reduction of anxiety and psychological distress. While therapists cannot administer psychedelics, they can support better outcomes and help clients fully integrate their psychedelic sessions. This course will provide an overview of psychedelics, historical and current research, and ethics and provide guidelines for non-directive counseling. We will also discuss other practices that induce non-ordinary states can and enhance support psychedelic work (breathwork, Internal Family Systems, etc.) or can be standalone starting points of the trauma work.
Upon completion of this course participants will:
- List common psychedelics used in treatment of PTSD
- Discuss why PTSD is helped by psychedelic medications
- Describe pros, cons and ethics of psychedelic approaches
- List the components of integration therapy
Heidi J. Dalzell, PsyD, is a Licensed Psychologist, and the Clinical Director of the Bucks LGBTQ Center and Bucks Eating Support Collaborative. Dr. Dalzell has been in practice 25+ years and supervises and mentors clinicians who are newer to practice. Her busy private practice specializes in eating disorders, trauma, working with the LGBTQ community, mindfulness and spirituality. Particular areas of interest include gender/gender identity as it relates to body image and mid-life eating disorders. Dr. Dalzell is co-author of A Clinician’s Guide to Gender Identity and Body Image, as well as a contributor to professional and consumer publications including Tiny Buddha, Yahoo Style and Fatherly, and is a teacher on Insight Timer. Dr. Dalzell is a former educator, and has presented nationally and internationally on topics connected to mental health and wellness.
- Mental Health and Race Meets Sports
Date: Friday October 20, 2023
CE Hours: 3.0
Location: Online Via Zoom
This training will discuss how athletes, as a group, are generally a more vulnerable and susceptible population who are more prone to mental health issues whether by injury or environmental factors and have more prevalent social work-related needs. Also, how athletes traditionally have not received proper social work or mental health treatment because they are deemed to be “healthy” individuals that are “free of mental health challenges and social problems.” Training will further discuss implicit bias, and the differences between equality and equity, what do equitable practices look like. Strategies to help improve game management and vulnerabilities that exist at the various levels of sports and further explore the vulnerabilities of athletes.
- By the end of the training, participants will explore the role of social work in sports
- By the end of the training, participants will understand the psychological needs in athletes
- By the end of the training, Participants to Identify that physical and mental health are interlinked
- By the end of the training, participants will understand the psychological impact that race has on people
- By the end of the training, participants will better understand the how to deal with the problems associated with race in sports
Deshawn Hawkins, MSW, has dedicated himself to the nurturing and development of youth talent and character on the basketball court. A graduate of Capital Community College in 2002 where he scored over 1,200 points in two seasons, Deshawn was nominated as a Junior College All- American basketball player. He continued his career at Elms College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, and played from 2002 to 2004 where he was named an All- Conference basketball player and participated in the 2004 New England Senior All- Star Game. Deshawn went on to earn his MSW from the University of Saint Joseph and has over 10 years of experience as a child protection social worker, the last three years as a supervisor, where he has been able to fulfill his passion of protecting and providing children with opportunities that they might not otherwise have due to life circumstances. Deshawn works to instill discipline, and sportsmanship while teaching resilience and teamwork in conjunction with teaching the basic fundamentals of basketball, as he believes in teaching life lessons through the game that he loves so much.
Qur-an Webb, MSW has been in the social work field for over 20 years. Qur-an is Vice President of the Association of Black Sports Officials where he advocates for Black Officials and provides training and programming to related to athletics. Qur-an is also the Director of Operations at Welcome 2 Reality, LLC. In this role, he oversees all aspects of Welcome 2 Reality's daily operations including, but not limited to training, consultation, etc. Qur-an along with his partners at Welcome 2 Reality played an instrumental role in getting Substitute Senate Bill No. 962, Public Act No. 15-94 passed in Connecticut which in part mandates education on the safe use of social media and computer programming instruction in the public school system and the passing of Senate Bill No. 949, Public Act 17-67 which now an advisory council must be created related to digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy. Qur-an is the Connecticut Chapter Lead for Media Literacy Now which focuses on education around media literacy. He also works as an independent contractor and is an Assistance Professor at Western Connecticut State University. Qur-an is a graduate of the Elm City Fellowship for Children and Families sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Lastly, Qur-an is a proud father and husband which two are his most important roles to date.
CE On-Demand Courses
Continuing education can now be taken on your schedule! Topics include: Ethics, suicide prevention and intervention, anti-racist social work practice, LGBTQIA+ populations, and many more! All at the click of a mouse, at your own pace, and designed to fit your busy schedule! Check out our recorded self-paced CE programs now!
Introduction to the Hearing Voices Movement and Allied Approaches