Current Trainings

 

woman speaking into a microphone

Fall 2022 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.

Conflictual Conversations: Skills for Managing Clashes in Workplace (In Person Training)

Date: Friday September 30, 2022

Time: 9:00AM-4:00PM

CE Hours: 6.0

Location: 2017 Cathedral of Learning 4200 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Course Description:
Conflict is an inevitable aspect in our lives, providing both opportunities and challenges. Increasing our own awareness and skills around conflict dynamics can lead to increased confidence and capacity in both our personal and professional relationships. As we become more comfortable with conflict, we naturally work more effectively, engage skillfully with a wider range of people, and model tools for our clients.
This workshop will introduce and engage the core knowledge and skills required for managing conflicts effectively. Participants will be invited to reflect on their own experiences with conflict and offer examples around which we can collectively sharpen our skills.

Course Objectives:
Participants will learn to:

  • Identify signs of escalation in themselves and others
  • Name and utilize steps toward de-escalation
  • Identify obstacles to communication when conflict arises, and strategies to mitigate these
  • Identify and express needs and feelings arising in conflict situations
  • Name the stages in a conflict resolution process and apply this to situations as they arise
  • Articulate personal instincts, skills, and values to consider when handling conflict

Instructor: 

Dawn Lehman, BASW, MA, has worked for well over fifteen years in the fields of Restorative Justice and Conflict Transformation. Dawn developed and piloted a restorative justice program through the Pittsburgh Mediation Center in three area schools. She served as the Restorative Justice Coordinator at Center for Victims, overseeing a victim-sensitive dialogue program, which diverted young people from Allegheny County Juvenile Court. More recently, Dawn has worked with the training center of PA?s Juvenile Court Judges Commission to develop a consistent training format for restorative

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Advanced Motivational Interviewing (In Person Training) 

Date: Wednesday October 5, 2022

Time: 9:00AM-4:00PM

CE Hours: 6.0

Location: Center for Victims, 3433 E. Carson St. Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Course Description:
This training provides the opportunity to practice the skills and strategies of Motivational Interviewing (MI). Participants will have the opportunity to practice MI skills with the support of the trainer, using “role-play”, “real play” and experiential exercises. Using presentations, videos and demonstrations, the trainer will guide participants in practicing the important components of the spirit and skills for effective use of MI.

Course Objectives:
In this workshop, participants will:

  • Explore the behaviors and language when exhibiting the aspects of the spirit
  • Practice and demonstrate high-level MI skills, including complex reflections
  • Explore intentionality and the use of skills as they relate to the four processes

Instructor(s): 

Amy Shanahan, MS, CADC is the owner of Compass Consulting & Training, LLC, an organization that provides consultation, workshops and trainings. Compass helps individuals, teams & agencies enhance tools for engaging people in the process of change.
Recently Amy also served as the Organizational Development & Consultative Specialist in the Education & Consultative Services at Western Psychiatric Hospital of UPMC (WPH). Drawing on 25 years-experience in addiction medicine, first as a clinician, then supervisor and ultimately administrator, Amy provides evidence-based behavioral health consultation and training to peers, professionals, criminal justice personnel, providers and others. Amy has conducted workshops and delivered presentations across the US and internationally on diverse subject matter including Leadership, Clinical Supervision, Motivational Interviewing (MI), LGBTQAI, Contingency Management & Creative Problem Solving. Amy’s focus on adult learning principles and the use of multi-media has been integral in engaging participants in collaborative learning initiatives and has facilitated the transfer and adoption by participants of the myriad skills necessary to succeed in the behavioral field. Amy has been a member of the international Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers since 2016.


Billie Jo Smith, MS, LPC currently serves as the Program Manager for Addiction Medicine’s Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh’s Western Psychiatric Hospital (WPH). Billie Jo has worked in the addiction treatment field for over 10 years, first as a clinician, and later supervisor in various clinical settings including, residential and outpatient treatment facilities. In addition to her role, Ms. Smith is also a trainer and consultant in the behavioral and physical health field throughout the United States. Ms. Smith has conducted all levels of Motivational Interviewing (MI) training, MIA-STEP (Motivational Interviewing Assessment: Supervisory Tools for Enhancing Proficiency), SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment), Technology-Based Clinical Supervision and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).

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Letter writing, advocacy opportunities, and gatekeeping pitfalls: An ethical approach to providing affirmative care to transgender, nonbinary, and intersex clients

Date: Friday October 7, 2022

Time: 1:00PM-4:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Course Description:
In this presentation, we will review the principles associated with trauma-informed care, naming the organizational and systemic impacts of this approach. We will describe the goal of healing-centered care, as well as how both TIC and HCC impact the TNBI population specifically.
Documentation will be provided to address the current literature surrounding gatekeeping and letter-writing for the transgender, nonbinary, and intersex community. Discussion will highlight how to sift through the literature to determine if the source is credible or designed to delegitimize the TNBI community. Additionally, clinical content surrounding trauma-informed care, healing-centered care, gender minority stressors, and the impact of transphobia on mental health care will be grounded within current best practice and evidence-based care. Of note, not all evidence-based methods will be applicable as we are only including those studies that included TNBI people within their research process.
 

Course Objectives:
As a result of attending this training, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the current barriers to affirmative mental health care experienced by the transgender, nonbinary, and intersex (TNBI) community;
  • Identify and describe three common pitfalls associated with gatekeeping within the mental health community;
  • Assess current practices to determine areas of improvement needed to provide gender affirming care with minimal gatekeeping; and
  • Develop a process for meeting with TNBI clients for advocacy-based letter writing to support access to gender affirming interventions.

Instructor(s): 


Kayti Protos is a queer, white, cisgender woman. She is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, with over 15 years of clinical experience working with and advocating on behalf of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. Kayti is a doctor of social work (DSW), completing her degree at Rutgers School of Social Work with a focus on the intersectional experience of transgender and nonbinary clients navigating eating disorder(s), identity-based trauma, and gender dysphoria. She received her master of social work from Tennessee State University and her bachelor’s degree in women’s & gender studies and communication studies from Vanderbilt University. Kayti is the founder of Rainbow Resiliency, a small private practice dedicated to helping queer and trans clients navigate a world that is all-too-frequently hostile to their communities, as well as helping 2SLGBTQQIA+ clients explore paths to recovery from eating disorder and trauma. Kayti is passionate about providing accessible and gender affirming care, anti-oppressive and anti-racist practice, and social justice advocacy. Additionally, Kayti is the co-author of A clinician’s guide to gender identity and body image: Practical support for working with transgender and nonbinary clients. She is an adjunct faculty member within the Graduate Counseling Psychology program at Holy Family University and the School of Social Work at Rutgers. Outside of the professional world, Kayti can be found engaging in the high fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons as both a player and a game master. She is a certified "Geek Therapist". She dabbles in creative writing, enjoys organizing board game nights with her friends, and enjoys hanging out with her favorite felines, Aya and Saffi.

 

M Reim Ifrach REAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LPC, NCC, CLAT, LCMHC, TPMH, LPCC (They/Them/Theirs) 

M is a trans/non-binary art therapist, fat activist and artist whose work focuses on body justice, intersectional social justice and eating disorder treatment equity access. They are the Director for Walden Behavioral Care’s Rainbow Road, the country’s first virtual Eating Disorder 2slgbtqia+ IOP & PHP, which is proud to announce having over 90% Queer Staffing (as of February 2022). They also co-own and operate Rainbow Recovery where they support people through the gender affirmation process, complex trauma recovery, eating disorder recovery and body image issues. M is committed to the mission that all bodies deserve recovery and that marginalized bodies need to be amplified in the eating disorder landscape to eradicate the stereotypes surrounding eating disorders and gender. To that end M had the honor to participate in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Artful Practices for Well-being, presented at national and international conferences on the use of HAES, Intuitive Eating and Intersectional Social Justice in mental health care and teaches multicultural and diversity practice in Master’s Level Art Therapy programs. When M isn’t working they enjoy raising many animals including Pinball Wizard, their blind dog, watching all things Horror on repeat, obsessing over all things Elton John, and enjoying time with their partner.

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Ethics in Practice: Music, Mindfulness and Movement for Clinician Self-Care (In Person Training)

Date: Saturday October 15, 2022

Time: 1:00PM-4:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Location: 2017 Cathedral of Learning 4200 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Course Description:
In the 2021 revisions to the NASW Code of Ethics, self care was added as an aspirational element of social workers’ integrity and purpose. The Code states: “Professional self-care is paramount for competent and ethical social work practice. Professional demands, challenging workplace climates, and exposure to trauma warrant that social workers maintain personal and professional health, safety, and integrity.” ... “Social workers should take measures to care for themselves professionally and personally.” In this workshop, I share a self care practice that helps to manage and relieve stress and trauma: Dancing Mindfulness ™ was developed by Dr. Jamie Marich, an internationally renowned expert on the treatment of trauma and dissociation.
Dancing Mindfulness ™ uses the art form of dance as the primary medium of discovering mindful awareness. Dancing with a respect to the attitudes of mindfulness, participants tap into their body’s own healing resources. Further, I will teach key concepts and skills of mindfulness, trauma and trauma-informed instruction that will enable participants to understand their own experience, and will increase their knowledge and skills as clinicians. Lastly, I will provide participants with the opportunity to debrief from what is often an intense emotional experience. Participants will leave with the tools to incorporate aspects of this practice into their own self care plan.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn and understand 2021 revisions to NASW Code of Ethics pertaining to self care
  • Learn/utilize of at least 2 mindfulness concepts
  • Experience music as a means of accessing, titrating and pendulating affect
  • Experience bottom-up strategies such as breath, somatic awareness and mindful movement as a means of managing and relieving vicarious trauma
  • Introduction to Dancing Mindfulness (™) as a self care tool and a tool to share with clients.
  • Identify at least one way to incorporate Dancing Mindfulness (™) into a personal self care plan.

Instructor: 

Paula Soto LCSW, ERYT,YACEP is a licensed clinical social worker, Certified EMDR therapist, and experienced registered yoga teacher with over two decades of experience empowering individuals and communities toward wellness. Paula founded Intersections Wellness in 2012, to improve awareness and accessibility of body/mind healing practices. Paula balances her time between her private psychotherapy practice, developing and implementing yoga and wellness programs for trauma-impacted populations, and educating the general public, yoga teachers, and health professionals on trauma, stress management, and body/mind practices. Paula is an advanced topics trainer with the Institute for Creative Mindfulness, an EMDRIA-approved Consultant in Training, a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider, a Dancing Mindfulness facilitator, an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, and a member of EMDRIA and NASW.

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Mental Health and the Black Family

Date: Friday, October 21, 2022

Time: 9:00AM-12:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Course Description:

Systemic racism impacts African American families higher than any other ethnic group. What has become evident is how systemic racism impacts African Americans mental health and how the increase in depression and anxiety among families is not only impacted by daily living but exacerbated by systems that are designed to keep African Americans in poverty, uneducated and quiet. The goal of this presentation is to recognize how in particular, systemic racism impact African Americans, how clinicians can work to change the counseling profession to be more inclusive and to understand how white clinicians can become aware of their own biases.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand how systemic racism impacts African Americans' mental health.
  • Recognize how systemic racism has affected the counseling profession, historically.
  • Learn how non-minorities can become aware of their own biases.

Instructor: 

Ashley D. Gilmore, is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and National Board Certified Counselor. She is the founder of Gilmore Counseling and Consulting Services, PLLC.. Ashley works to educate, inspire and elevate individuals, families, groups and organizations toward emotional and mental wellness. She has obtained degrees from Purdue, Indiana and Capella University. She is currently a Doctoral Student at Hampton University in the Counseling Education and Supervision. She is a wife and mother, daughter and friend and an advocate for self care and the uplifting of the African American Community.

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Using Peak Experiences to Heal Trauma

Date: Friday October 28, 2022

Time: 9:00AM-12:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Course Description:
Peak experiences are often described as transcendent moments of pure joy and bliss. The memory of these experiences is lasting and creates an inner sense of meaning, like having received a “message” or life direction. This training investigates the connections, similarities, and differences between shock trauma and peak experiences. Peak moments contain resources of energy and ego strength which can help reframe traumatic experiences as positive, life-changing events. This course will teach tools for identifying peak experiences and using them in therapy with survivors of traumatic events. It will explore how to create peak experiences through practicing the process of flow. Participants will learn ways to transform clients’ traumatic experiences into meaningful events which can help define their life purpose.

Course Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to list the characteristics of peak experiences.
  • Participants will be able to identify a peak experience from their own life.
  • Participants will understand the similarities and differences between trauma and peak experiences and between peak experiences and flow.
  • Participants will learn tools to heal trauma using peak experiences.

Instructor: 

Tory Butterworth, PhD, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in treating emotional eaters. Based on her training in the Bodynamics body-mind psychotherapy program, Tory has created the STOP Eating Your Feelings treatment model which identifies four different developmental patterns underlying binge eating disorder. She has presented this model at The 26th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference and the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy Conference. She currently uses this model in individual psychotherapy as well as in therapy groups and workshops. Tory has also co-led groups in Mindfulness for Depression and Mindful Eating through Mercy Behavioral Health, where she worked as a therapist for three years and in Training and Development for five years. After receiving her PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan, Tory conducted research in medical decision making for ten years at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and The University of Pittsburgh. She has authored articles in academic journals, written book chapters, presented at academic conferences, and was the co-investigator on two grants funded through the National Institutes of Health.

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Ethics in Treating Trauma 

Date: Friday November 4, 2022

Time: 9:00AM-12:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Course Description:
When working with trauma survivors, oftentimes a client's traumatic experiences can be so overwhelming for both the patient and the clinician that professional and ethical boundaries may become endangered. As social workers, it is essential to develop strong personal and professional ethics to complement professional standards, relevant laws, and formal codes of ethics. These ethics need to be clear yet flexible to effectively manage the challenges associated with these treatments and address the needs of both client and social workers. This workshop will review issues regarding mindful application of ethics, which could be further described as the therapist's self-reflection on his or her ability to treat traumatized individuals while maintaining awareness of the challenges and risks involved. It will emphasize the anticipation of common pitfalls, and willingness to learn from mistakes and seek consultation as necessary. We will address issues associated with the treatment frame, the most common ethical dilemmas in trauma treatment, and the importance of maintaining professional boundaries, particularly during crises resulting from attachment and trauma-based relational challenges.

Course Objectives:

  • List at least five risks associated with trauma treatment;
  • Describe several common ethical challenges of treating traumatized individuals
  • Utilize several strategies for self-reflection and self-care in the event that ethical dilemmas arise;
  • Identify several treatment frame issues that should be in place for the treatment of traumatized people.
  • Identity ethical decision making in social work

Statement of relevance to social work (skills, values, knowledge, and/or ethics considerations)
NASW’s purpose is to improve social workers’ professional development and advancement, be innovative in guidelines for social workers and advance sound social policies (NASW, 2020). In an effort to advance the profession of social workers this presentation can offer knowledge and guidance in managing a variety of disparities, diversity, patterns, and interventions. This presentation can aid social workers to understand best practices/strategies, and ethics to enrich client support and create a diverse, culturally responsive experience. Lastly, this presentation can aid social workers in distinguishing and reinforcing endeavors toward addressing trauma-informed care practices and managing ethical dilemmas in practice.

Instructor:

Kenyuatia L. Gash, DSW, LCSW, BCD, MAC has been working in the field of social work and social services for the past 17 years. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of Virginia, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania she specializes in trauma and PTSD disorders. Her clinical expertise also spans the treatment of a wide range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, substance use, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. In conjunction Dr. Gash has a passion for serving Woman who suffer from absentee fathers, rejection, low self-esteem, and abandonment issues. Dr. Gash states that she did not choose social work as a profession BUT that social work chose her! While completing her first masters degree in criminal justice she was first introduce to the field of mental health serving severely traumatized, underserved young adolescents in residential settings. This is when she knew she wanted to continue to serve in this capacity. She then went on to complete her second masters in social work with a concentration in direct practice in mental health from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. She has a Doctorate in Social Work with a concentration in Advanced Public Service Leadership.

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Veterans and Mental Health Awareness

Date: Friday November 11, 2022

Time: 1:00PM-4:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Course Description:

This presentation will focus on helping professionals, caregivers, and military families develop a better understanding of the military members and their daily struggles and obstacles to reentering civilian life. The tools and expertise presented will give the participant's the skills needed to help bridge the gap after military service. Our peer presenter will help give an inside look into military culture and values. This presentation will help military members and their families no matter length of time in service. 

Target: Social Workers, Psychologist, Mental Health Providers, Teachers, Administrators, Veterans, and Veteran’s family  

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, participants will learn: 

  • Branches of the military and related traumas 
  • Different ways to build rapport and engage Veterans returning home 
  • Military stressors and risk factors related to mental health and suicide 
  • Coping strategies and resources for Veterans and their families 

Instructor(s):

Jessica Gurley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and therapist with over a decade of mental health experience. Jessica is the owner of Social Work Consulting and Counseling (SWCC) LLC which provides therapy, clinical supervision, consulting, and career and therapeutic coaching services for both individuals and organizations. Through SWCC alone, Jessica has presented to several universities, small and large size businesses, and non-profit organizations around the world. Jessica always communicates in a way that is culturally sensitive, and she is confident when presenting to expert professionals and skilled at including new professionals. Jessica has competent and direct experience providing clinical services to diverse populations of children, adults, older adults, families, and Veterans with mild to severe mental illness, addictions, and intellectual disabilities; including those on the autism spectrum. She has advanced knowledge in the range of specialized interventions, theories, and treatment modalities used to treat individuals with complex dual illnesses. Lastly, Jessica embarked on a journey to normalize therapy and reduce stigma and the suicide rate by creating a mental health t-shirt line called Mental Health Ts, that has been very successful worldwide. In a nutshell, Jessica’s and SWCC mission is to H.E.L.P.: Heal, Enlighten, Liberate, and Plan with every person served. Check out www.mht-shirts.com

David Kendrick is a Purple Heart veteran and mental health advocate from Rochester, Ny. While serving as a Cavalry Scout in the Army, he was shot by a sniper in 2007. After his medical retirement he began to advocate for veterans living with disabilities and mental illness. Today he serves as the Co-Vice President of Nami DeKalb in Atlanta, Ga. He is also the Georgia representative for Nami’s Service Members, Veteran’s, and Families Council. In this role he advocates for veteran’s mental health issues throughout the state of Georgia. He uses his own experiences to identify mental health challenges and provide resources. He wrote a book “Cavalry” about his military experience and its impact on his friends and family. In his spare time, he likes to shoot pool and cheer on his favorite football team The Buffalo Bills. You can find out more about David at his website www.dkendrickjr.com.

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Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment

Date: Friday November 18, 2022

Time: 9:00AM-12:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Course Description:

The Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT) model is an evidence-based practice that improves the quality of life for people with co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorders. IDDT is a harm reduction model.

In this training, participants will review the importance of utilizing integrated treatment, understanding stages of change and stages of treatment, and developing stage-appropriate interventions.  Additionally, participants should expect to interact with each other as we practice staging together.

Course Objectives:

  • The participant will understand the Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment Model and the importance of providing stage-appropriate interventions.
  • The participant will demonstrate the ability to match the clients’ stage of change with stage-appropriate interventions.

Instructor:

Kelly Burda Kelly has an unwavering stance in helping others achieve independence and personal recovery goals. Her behavioral health background includes 11 years as a Clinician and Administrator for both Mayview State Hospital and Torrance State Hospital. Kelly had the privilege of helping hundreds of individuals’ transition back into the community when Mayview closed in 2008. She continues to make a positive impact by continuing to help individuals live their lives in the community. She now focuses on providing consultation, training, and technical assistance that directly support individuals on their recovery journey. Kelly provides training in the following Evidence-Based Practices: Motivational Interviewing, Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment, and Assertive Community Treatment. Kelly is a Member of Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).

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Suicide Risk and Borderline Personality Disorder: A Concise Review of Diagnostic Criteria, Suicide Risk Assessment, and Intervention

Date: Friday December 2, 2022

Time: 1:00PM-3:00PM

CE Hours: 2.0

Course Description:

According to the NIMH, upward to 90% of individuals with borderline personality disorder will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, and upward to 10% die by suicide; some of this level of lethailty is because , traditional methods of suicide prevention and hospitalization are ineffective. In this two hour course, participants will learn and discuss eye-opening conceptualizations of borderline personality from the pre-eminent experts on the subject: John Gunderson, Lois Choi-Khan, Marsha Linehan, and others. Participants will develop a more nuanced understanding of the intersection between suicidal behavior and borderline personality disorder. Finally, this course will review general suicide risk prevention, risk and protective factors, formulating crisis plans, and diversion to higher levels of care.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this training, participants will :

  • Review and refresh knowledge of the diagnostic criteria for BPD and its relationship with suicidal behavior.
  • Explore case examples that illustrate different presentations of borderline traits and their interaction with suicide risk.
  • Learn psychodynamic, Behavioral, and trauma informed conceptualizations of the etiology and presentation BPD.
  • Review the critical elements of a suicide-risk assessment.
  • Review crisis planning, crisis intervention, and diversion to higher levels of care.

Instructor:

Cory Coppersmith was raised in rural Utah. He got a bachelors in speech and rhetoric from Penn State in 2008, worked in wilderness therapy under exceptional LCSW mentors, and decided to pursue a career in social work. He attended Pitt, was in the first cohort of cannon fellows and graduated from the MSW program in 2016. He has worked in outpatient, partial hospitalization, and primary care settings with a diverse array of populations. Cory now primarily works with transgender and nonbinary adults at Alliance Therapy Center, a private group practice in Point Breeze, Pittsburgh.

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When Helping Hurts:Understanding the Impact of Compassion Fatigue

Date: Friday December 9, 2022

Time: 9:00AM-12:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Course Description:

When Helping Hurts: Understanding the Impact of Compassion Fatigue training is an overview designed to bring awareness to the systematic impact of STS, offer a safe space for helping and healthcare professionals to learn strategies for staying present with the suffering of clients, and to assist healers in providing from a full well of compassion rejuvenation.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the workshop, participants will learn to:

  • Identify the signs and contributing factors to compassion satisfaction and secondary traumatic stress/compassion fatigue and (zoom) burn-out.
  • Identify and implement the parallel process of healthy boundary setting and self-advocacy from staff to student, practitioner to client or caregiver to loved one.
  • Identify and implement strategies for managing themselves in highly emotionally charged interactions with clients and/or loved ones.
  • Evaluate and balance experiences as a helper and as a person, ensuring career does not alter their world view in a negative manner.
  • Incorporate Trauma informed practices (Cognitive Processing, Grounding, Deep Breathing/Relaxation and Mindfulness exercises) in their daily regimen.
  • Find renewal in their work.

Instructor:

Sharise Nance is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Trauma Specialist, Workshop Facilitator, Global Speaker, Serial Author and Entrepreneur. She is the co-owner and founder of HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC and has over 20 years of experience assisting individuals, couples and families see beyond energy depletion, hopelessness, panic, guilt and feeling overwhelmed and assists them in making a shift to a place of peace, joy, clarity and satisfaction. Sharise also dedicates her efforts to running Vitamin C Healing, LLC an organization designed to promote life balance, satisfaction and fulfillment among those throughout the helping profession and beyond. With considerable experience speaking at keynotes, workshops, and seminars for young professionals, helping professionals, caregivers, and entrepreneurs across the globe, she strives to equip individuals with the tools to prevent compassion fatigue and burnout in order to live happy, fulfilled lives and careers. With her depth of experience of working with a diverse population of people from all walks of life, Sharise is eager to share all that she’s learned. Most recently, Sharise created the S.W.A.G. Awards: Social Worker Appreciation of Greatness Awards, to honor the “heart work” of local social workers in the Greater Pittsburgh area who often go unappreciated and unrecognized. She resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband William Nance. 

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Sensory Integration and Emotional Regulation Interventions for School-Aged Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)

Date: Friday December 16, 2022

Time: 9:00AM-4:00PM

CE Hours: 6.0

Course Description:

Sensory Integration and Emotional Regulation Interventions for School-Aged Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) is a live, six-hour webinar training with interactive videos, case studies, breakout sessions, and expert panelists. Throughout this course, participants will discover the early indicators of ASDs, define and categorize the most notable characteristics of ASDs, promote the effectiveness of social and emotional competence and social skills, and unlock the evidence and benefits of sensory integration therapy for both school-aged children and adolescents.

Course Objectives:

  • After this course, participants will be able to identify early indicators of autism spectrum disorders.
  • After this course, participants will be able to define autism spectrum disorders for school-aged children and adolescents.
  • After this course, participants will be able to support school-aged children and adolescents with developing social and emotional competence.
  • After this course, participants will be able to support school-aged children and adolescents with enhancing social and emotional communication.
  • After this course, participants will be able to support school-aged children and adolescents with increasing social and emotional reciprocity.
  • After this course, participants will be able to recognize sensory symptoms and challenges and prepare sensory diets.
  • After this course, participants will be able to define sensory integration and sensory processing.
  • After this course, participants will be able to apply sensory integration therapy techniques
  • After this course, participants will be able to identify repetitive and restrictive behaviors and apply evidence-based interventions.
  • After this course, participants will be able to incorporate emotional regulation and self-regulation strategies into home, school, and community environments

Instructor:

Tanika Johnson, Ed.D., M.A., LPC-MHSP, LMHC, NCC, BC-TMH, CCTP, Dr. Tanika Johnson is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Contributing Faculty Member, Continuing Education Presenter, and Education Consultant. She has a Doctor of Education and Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership with a specialization in leadership, curriculum and instruction, and social and emotional development. Furthermore, she has a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. Previously, she completed a special education teacher education program and was granted special education and psychology endorsements.

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The Clinical Setting and Transpersonal Experience in Healing Individual and Collective Trauma (In Person Training)

Date: Friday January 13, 2023

Time: 9:00AM-4:00PM

CE Hours: 6.0

Location: 2017 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Course Description:

As clinicians we draw upon various modalities and theories of psychotherapy in our work with clients.  This workshop will point participants toward the presence we bring to these modalities and theories, and toward that which is already present.  There is ample research evidencing our innate interconnectedness through our neurobiology and biofields.  This relatedness is central in our experiences of trauma and healing from trauma.  We are natural ‘resonators’ in how we impact and are affected by others.  How we orient ourselves in our work and what resources we draw upon have various effects on our clients.  

An approach to our work and our clients that integrates what might be called the transpersonal, the spiritual, the mystical, or higher consciousness can offer increased awareness, access to information that is otherwise out-of-range, the emergence of healing images or memories, an enhanced or re-established sense of connection to self and others, increased trust in one’s capacities to meet their needs and goals, greater meaning and life-purpose, and other phenomena.  Healing trauma is more than a cognitive enterprise.  As Einstein said, We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Transforming trauma is embodied, resonant, relational, and occurs within a pervasive web of consciousness.  

This training draws upon research and theories in neurobiology, physics, and Gestalt therapy, includes writings and approaches from mysticism, and integrates this information with self-reflection, small and large group exercises.  Time will be allotted for clinically-oriented questions and applications of the material to clinical practice. Come prepared to participate, learn, and experience!

Course Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to define the meaning of ‘transpersonal’ and explain its relevance to clinical work. 
  • Participants will learn the neurobiological basis for resonance and the relational field.
  • Participants will learn two embodied practices to use clinically for expanding awareness.
  • Participants will identify their own approach to addressing trauma as it arises in the clinical setting.
  • Participants will discuss clinical applications of material presented in this workshop.
  • Participants will discuss how to dialogue about transpersonal experiences with their clients.

Instructor:

Renee Jennings, MA MSW, LCSW, is a somatic and energy arts practitioner, teacher/trainer and consultant in Pittsburgh, offering an embodied, integrative approach to healing and transformation. Renee is faculty at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, a certified EMDR therapist and hypnotherapist, meditation teacher and Reiki master/teacher, and Energy Psychology practitioner. In addition to working with individuals, couples and groups, Renee has presented workshops and trainings at numerous conferences and organizations, including the Esalen Institute, the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy, The Ohio State University, and the National Association of Social Workers.

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What's New in Social Work Ethics (In Person Training) 

Date: Saturday January 21, 2023

Time: 9:00AM-12:00PM

CE Hours: 3.0

Location: 2017 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Course Description:

Faced with new and unique challenges for social work professionals brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial/social justice crises in our country, NASW has revised the NASW Code of Ethics to address the real time needs of the social work profession. This presentation will review those amendments to the document approved on 11.06.2020 and 02.19.2021 and how they inform social work practice. Self-care and cultural competence, the two areas of focus in the document revisions, will be further considered.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand how the ethical principles and standards found in the Social Work Code of Ethics document respond to social change and needs of the profession
  • Review recent revisions to the NASW Code of Ethics and consider how they inform ethical practice
  • Explore emerging and timely issues of self-care and cultural competence/humility as defined in the new revisions and how they impact personal and professional practice

Instructor:

Ginny Vayda, LCSW, BCD, is a well-known speaker and workshop presenter locally, statewide, and nationally. She has presented on a wide variety of subjects spanning topics from social work productivity, competency based staff development to social health determinants, social work safety and ethics. She has been part of the adjunct social work faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and several other Pennsylvania universities. For the past 18 years she has been an NASW trainer in Pennsylvania for the social work licensure preparatory class. Currently Ginny is the Social Work Executive at a VA Medical Center in Pennsylvania where she oversees the professional practice of more than 60 licensed social workers.

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Understanding and Addressing Suicidal Ideation in the Clinical Setting

Date: Friday January 27, 2023

Time: 9:00AM-11:00 AM

CE Hours: 2.0

Course Description:

In this workshop, participants will explore the variables at play in addressing suicidal ideation in the clinical setting. After a brief review of the common factors associated with suicidal ideation and attempts, we will delve into the nuance involved in suicide assessment and prevention. Macro-level challenges will be explored, identifying factors associated with increased risk as well as pitfalls that create barriers to care. Participants will have the chance to interact with various case scenarios that exemplify these challenges. Additionally, we will discuss opportunities to connect with clients from diverse backgrounds to assist in reducing the risk of death by suicide. Finally, we will discuss provider self-care as we manage the vicarious trauma associated with suicidal clients and identify supports for ourselves as well as loved ones of those who have died by suicide.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify and explain at the common factors associated with increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.
  • Describe the difference between clients who have moderate risk, serious risk, and imminent danger for suicide, including both warning signs and clinical actions steps to prevent death by suicide.
  • Identify population-specific interventions to assist in preventing suicide, with a focus on working with diverse clients.
  • Discuss the impact of macro-level challenges associated with increased suicide risk and successful suicide prevention.

Instructor: 


Kayti Protos is a queer, white, cisgender woman. She is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, with over 15 years of clinical experience working with and advocating on behalf of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. Kayti is a doctor of social work (DSW), completing her degree at Rutgers School of Social Work with a focus on the intersectional experience of transgender and nonbinary clients navigating eating disorder(s), identity-based trauma, and gender dysphoria. She received her master of social work from Tennessee State University and her bachelor’s degree in women’s & gender studies and communication studies from Vanderbilt University. Kayti is the founder of Rainbow Resiliency, a small private practice dedicated to helping queer and trans clients navigate a world that is all-too-frequently hostile to their communities, as well as helping 2SLGBTQQIA+ clients explore paths to recovery from eating disorder and trauma. Kayti is passionate about providing accessible and gender affirming care, anti-oppressive and anti-racist practice, and social justice advocacy. Additionally, Kayti is the co-author of A clinician’s guide to gender identity and body image: Practical support for working with transgender and nonbinary clients. She is an adjunct faculty member within the Graduate Counseling Psychology program at Holy Family University and the School of Social Work at Rutgers. Outside of the professional world, Kayti can be found engaging in the high fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons as both a player and a game master. She is a certified "Geek Therapist". She dabbles in creative writing, enjoys organizing board game nights with her friends, and enjoys hanging out with her favorite felines, Aya and Saffi.

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Psychosocial and Therapeutic Approaches to Psychosis: Overview of the Field

Date: Friday Febraury 10, 2023

Time: 9:00AM-11:30 AM

CE Hours: 2.5

Course Description:

This training will introduce participants to contemporary, state of the science approaches to working with psychosis, with a primary focus on psychotherapeutic models, including cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis (CBTp), relating therapy for distressing voices, compassion focused therapy (CFTp) and experience-focused counseling (EFC).  An underlying goal is to familiarize participants with tools and strategies for working and engaging directly with clients' experiences of psychosis, including distressing voices and beliefs.

Course Objectives:​

  • Describe general underlying principles of recovery-oriented therapy for psychosis
  • Name and describe at a high level three specific psychosis-focused therapies
  • Explain three strategies for working with distressing voices

Instructor(s): 

Nev Jones PhD is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and a mental health services researcher with specific expertise in psychosis.  In addition to her academic work, Dr. Jones previously co-founded and co-directed Chicago Hearing Voices and the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network, and has many years of experience leading peer support groups, providing 1:1 support for youth and adults experiencing psychosis and consulting with community-based providers to improve psychosis-focused services.  She has published widely on engagement and outcomes in SMI, and developed and led trainings on service implementation and quality improvement across the US. 

Helen Wood (she/her/hers) is the clinical psychologist for the Comprehensive Recovery Services (CRS) outpatient services, including STEP (Services for the Treatment of Early Psychosis) at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital (WPH). She is leading the implementation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) for CRS. She was previously Program Director for the adult psychosis inpatient unit at UPMC WPH. Helen chairs the North American CBTp Network’s First Episode Psychosis working group and has co-authored publications on group teletherapy, Cognitive Remediation Therapy and peer support for people experiencing psychosis. Helen obtained her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the UK (2011). Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she worked for the UK National Health Service in outpatient mental health services in and around London.

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Young Survivors Grief a 3 Part Series 

Date(s): February 10, February 17 & February 24, 2023

Time(s): 1:00PM-4:00PM per session

CE Hours Per Session: 3.0

Total CE Hours: 9.0

Course Topic One (2/10/2023): Childhood Grief and Tragic Loss: Too Young to Say Goodbye
Childhood Grief: Too Young to Say Goodbye is Part I of the Young Survivors Traumatic Grief Series. In the wake of losing a beloved parent or family member, friend or classmate, or school administrator, teacher, or support staff, children may develop more questions than answers as they grow to understand the permanence of death. A traumatic loss arising from a suicide, homicide, or school violence can evoke a child’s trauma symptoms and feelings of fearfulness, panic, and terror. Throughout this training, participants will discover the power of collaborative support and best practices for talking to children about an unexpected loss. Additionally, participants will acquire best practices for recognizing and regulating trauma symptoms and triggers and incorporating resilience-building stress management techniques with a grieving child. Moreover, participants will develop strategies for actively listening and validating the child’s experience as well as offering reassurance, validation, and emotional support. Following, participants will develop an in-depth awareness of suicide prevention techniques: decreasing risk factors, increasing protective factors, promoting positive relationship-building with parents, families, and caregivers, enhancing life skills, and fostering healthy social and emotional school and home environments.

Learning Outcomes:

  • After this course, participants will be able to use evidence-based strategies for discussing childhood grief, traumatic grief, and trauma loss with grieving children.
  • After this course, participants will be able to recognize a child’s social and emotional regression, behavioral challenges, and maladaptive cognitions while grieving a loss.
  • After this course, participants will be able to identify best practices for recognizing and regulating trauma symptoms and triggers and incorporating resilience-building stress management techniques with a grieving child.
  • After this course, participants will be able to apply comprehensive suicide prevention and crisis intervention techniques to combat risk factors, warning signs and symptoms, and suicide plans and attempts.
Course Topic Two (2/17/2023): Adolescent Grief and Tragic Loss: Too Young to Say Goodbye
Adolescent Grief: Too Young to Say Goodbye is Part II of the Young Survivors Traumatic Grief Series. In the aftermath of a suicidal death, school or community shooting, or related tragic event, adolescents are likely to receive the news via a media outlet, social media, friend, or family member. They are seeking answers to better cope with emotional distress and the unforgettable loss of a neighbor, friend, school faculty or staff, or loved one. For adolescents, there may be greater implications for more detailed discussions about school and community safety and security, law enforcement and legislators enacting laws to protect school districts, and effectively regulating post-traumatic stress and developing a new normal after a crisis. Participants will gain effective strategies for responding to the following: How could I have prevented the traumatic event? Am I to blame for the tragedy? How is this tragic event going to impact my life? Participants will recognize signs of traumatic grief and assess for functional impairment, physical health, and suicidal ideations. Following, participants will increase their awareness of suicide prevention techniques by recognizing warning signs and reducing risk factors while learning the feelings, actions, changes, threats, and situations (FACTS). Additionally, participants will enhance their screening techniques for administering the Columbia Community Card for Teens and Columbia Community Card for Teachers.

Learning Outcomes

  • After this course, participants will be able to recognize an adolescent’s traumatic symptoms relating to hyperarousal, unhealthy cognitions, and recurring reminders or avoidance of unpleasant memories.
  • After this course, participants will be able to apply evidence-based strategies for discussing adolescent grief, adolescent traumatic grief, and tragic events.
  • After this course, participants will be able to identify best practices for helping adolescents cope with an unforgettable and traumatic loss, regain emotional regulation, and recover a sense of safety and security.
  • After this course, participants will be able to use the Columbia Card for Teens, Columbia Card for Teachers, and FACTS to effectively screen for risk factors, warning signs and symptoms, and suicide plans and attempts along with executing evidence-based techniques for suicide prevention and crisis intervention.
Course Topic Three (2/24/2023): Gun Violence and Tragic Loss: Grief Support for Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults
Gun Violence and Tragic Loss: Grief Support for Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults is Part III of the Young Survivors Traumatic Grief Series. Following the days of a traumatic event, our most vulnerable populations may struggle with reliving the trauma and recalling the painful cries for help, fears of an untimely rescue, and surviving the guilt of losing a beloved friend, peer, or school-based professional. Grief Support for Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults expands upon part I and II of this three-part training series and deepens the practitioner’s real-world application for treating acute stress, grief, and trauma. While facing undesirable emotions and physiological symptoms, practitioners will introduce trauma narratives and exposure strategies to help young survivors alleviate cognitive distortions and emotional distress. Alongside trauma narratives and exposure strategies, participants will identify cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and evidence-based practices for modeling, role playing, and teaching young survivors stress relaxation management, grounding exercises, and mindfulness strategies.

Learning Outcomes

  • After this course, participants will be able to identify cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and evidence-based practices for modeling, role playing, and teaching young survivors stress relaxation management, grounding exercises, and mindfulness strategies.
  • After this course, participants will be able to apply trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for psychoeducation, trauma narration, and cognitive processing of the traumatic experiences.
  • After this course, participants will be able to define stuck points that impede the healing and recovery process and apply Socratic dialogue to challenge cognitive distortions

Instructor:


Tanika Johnson, Ed.D., M.A., LPC-MHSP, LMHC, NCC, BC-TMH, CCTP, Dr. Tanika Johnson is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Contributing Faculty Member, Continuing Education Presenter, and Education Consultant. She has a Doctor of Education and Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership with a specialization in leadership, curriculum and instruction, and social and emotional development. Furthermore, she has a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. Previously, she completed a special education teacher education program and was granted special education and psychology endorsements.

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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!