2019 Conference Breakouts Brief Description

This is a brief description of each breakout session. For a full description with learning objectives and biographies of the presenters Breakouts (full) >>

DAY ONE: Thursday, May 16, 2019

7:30 am – 8:15 am: Registration/Breakfast
8:15 am – 8:30 am: Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:30 am – 11:45 am Breakout Session #1

1A: Promoting Social and Racial Justice: The Impact of Institutionalized Racism on Youth and Families

Duration: 3 hours, 3 CE Hours

Presenters: Stefania M. Agliano, LMSW and Bryan Hall II, LCSW

Program Description: Often those in the helping system fail to see the rich beauty in marginalized and oppressed communities, fail to see the strengths of families who are fighting to survive and by extension further marginalize the families that we aim to serve, protect, and heal. This workshop is designed to enhance participantsunderstanding of the ways and means by which race, ethnicity, or both, can influence behaviors and outcomes for youth, disparities in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and how to enhance case practice in a manner that promotes advocacy, equality, and social change. This commanding presentation provides insight into facilitating discussions on how both racism as a systemic, institutional problem of power and personal prejudice, continues to create issues around the disparate treatment of marginalized and oppressed groups among several social service and mental health agencies. Participants will experience first-hand I AM Training Group’s effective use of self for facilitating productive conversations about race and gain a greater understanding of how to connect with children and families on a much deeper level.

1B: A Principle Centered Approach to Couples Therapy: A multi-dimensional framework, ten practical habits within a principle centered approach

Duration: 3 hours, 3 CE Hours

Presenter: Donald Gilbert MS, Ph.D., LMHC, BCPC

Program Description: The lack of ‘intimacy’ has been shown to be a contributing factor in divorce. Additionally, numerous research studies point to the idea that the intimate couple bond has a major impact on the individual, the family, and society.  My research has shown that a multi-dimensional approach to couples therapy is helpful to creating the structure for couples to conceptualize change as growth, while teaching them the principles and skills necessary to build positive habits that are necessary for ‘intimacy’ development.  This is a practical adaptation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques to couples therapy.

1C: The Heart of Addiction: An Emerging Paradigm for Understanding Addiction

Duration: 3 hours, 3 CE Hours

Presenters:Jack Perkins, D.Min, M.Div, LADC

Program Description: Emerging research, especially brain research and human development research, is advancing co-occurring counseling to a place where clients will have a better opportunity to thrive.  In the past, clinicians who worked with clients with substance abuse issues focused primarily on cognitive and behavioral issues related to “addictive patterns of thinking”, recovery skills, relapse planning, and the twelve steps.  Based upon my studies and experience, I have come to believe we must address the underlying issues of addiction which are often attachment disorders. The work of Louis Cozolino, Philip Flores, Larry Crabb, and many others, stress the importance of healthy relationships as a significant key to a meaningful life. The moralistic model regarding addiction asks, “What is wrong with you?”  A better question, one that will help us understand the heart of addiction is, “What happened to you?”  This question invariably is answered by talking about deep wounds caused by unhealthy relationships.

1:15 pm – 2:45 pm Breakout Session #2

2A: You Don’t Know Me: Therapeutic Alliance with Challenging Youth

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenters: Casey Baker, EdD, LMHC, RPT, NCC, Nathan Otten, MS, LMHC, Lynn O’Brien, MS, Licensed School Counselor, Hannah Appleseth BA

Program Description: Through an interactive and discussion-based lecture, this active workshop identifies the clinical implications for working with a challenging adolescent client in psychotherapy. Further, this presentation will provide keystrategies for clinicians to implement when building a therapeutic alliance with this population in practice. It is designed for clinicians who work predominately with youth populations either in the school or in the community. This workshop is based on current outcome and process research that investigates the therapeutic alliance within adolescent psychotherapy. All too commonly, the adolescent client is not self-referred, which means that they frequently enter into therapy with a precontemplativestage of change. This results in a potentially resistant, unaware, and unaccepting adolescent, who will also bring with them an array of mental health issues. Negative client expectations paired with problematic behaviors can inhibit treatment progress. An exhaustive list of existing studies and publications will be included, as well as data from personal experience with this population.

2B: Trauma and Addiction

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenters:Jennifer D. Gauerke, tLMHC, CADC, CCTP, Cora Drew, LMFT, CADC

Program Description: Trauma and addiction are challenging issues to address with our clients. Knowing how these patterns of thought and behaviors interact to perpetuate pain and dysfunction is a core requirement in general practice. This workshop will provide a clinical synopsis of the experience of addiction and trauma, how they intertwine psychologically and neurologically, review ethics and safety, and provide treatment recommendations, including mindfulness.

2C: Connections!! Using Neuroscience in Counseling and Supervision

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenter: Darcie Davis-Gage Ph.D., LMHC

Program Description:Neuroscience is becoming an inevitable aspect of counseling practice; thus, counselor and supervisors must become knowledgeable in this area and able to integrate the findings into practice. Echterling (2015) illustrates how findings in neuroscience support the creation of strong therapeutic relationships, which positively impacts the outcomes of counseling. Neuroscience has informed clinical best practices, augments wellness, and increase counselors self-awareness and abilities to self-regulate. In order to train highly effective counselors, training must include these basic neuroscience concepts as well as understanding how neuroplasticity, neural connectivity and integration, and the process of emotional arousal and regulation may impact counseling. This presentation will contribute to the process of integrating such important information into counseling and supervision practices.

2:45 pm – 3:00 pm Break

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Breakout Session #3

3A: Why We Play and What It Means

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenter: Susin Bredice, LISW

Program Description: Presentation will focus on attachment injuries and the use of play and experiential therapy in attachment with opportunity for discussion and questions. Topics covered will include: Why we play and what it means, the attachment continuum and developmental tasks in healthy attachment, recognition of attachment injuries and techniques to aid healing, the engagement of the primary care giver and addressing blocked parenting, recognition of hypo and hyper arousal in session and when and how to intervene, and incorporation of mixed models in session.

3B: Inclusivity in Tough Environments

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenters: Breanne Ward, CRC, LMHC, JaCarie Owens, MS, LMHC

Program Description: Do you ever wonder why culturally diverse individuals don’t appear present in your offices or classrooms? Do you think your space where you administer services is inclusive enough? The purpose of this training is to equip participants with facilitation skills that will provide inclusiveness, cultural awareness, and create organic human exchanges without pity or patronization. By the end of the presentation, participants will collectively learn more about how microaggressions can impact groups, explore the research around the origin of microaggressions, perform a personal inventory of our experiences, and learn the four concepts of assertive caring to better address biases in our places of service delivery.

3C:Behavioral Health Interventions for the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenter: Carol Hinman, Ph.D., LMHC

Program Description: With the opioid crisis, a great deal of focus has shifted to behavioral treatment of pain. Interventions such as cognitive therapy, brain re-training, relaxation, mindfulness, etc. can work effectively to reduce a client’s physical pain.  This presentation will review and practice interventions. Several programs will be reviewed to identify how interventions are put together. A resource list will be provided for counselors to use in working with their own client’s pain experiences.


DAY TWO: Friday, May 17, 2019

8:30 am – 11:45 am Breakout Session #4 (Break: 9:45 am – 10:00 am)

4A: Emotionally Intelligent Counseling: Transforming Emotional Energy into Meaningful Action

Duration: 3 hours, 3 CE Hours

Presenters: Warren Phillips, Ph.D., Kimberly Phillips, BS.

Program Description: This workshop presents the Six Seconds Model of Emotional Intelligence, based on research and theory by Peter Salovey, Ph.D. and John Mayer, Ph.D.  The purpose of the Six Seconds model of Emotional Intelligence is to integrate leading thinking and research into a practical structure that promotes problem solving, decision making, and creativity/invention. The ultimate goal is to assist people to be wise, compassionate, and accountable. Participants in this workshop will gain first-hand experience connecting to their own emotions, in a safe atmosphere, through creative, experiential activities that can be readily used with clients as part of the counseling process. This workshop utilizes multiple teaching styles including didactic presentation and hands-on deep experiential exercises.

4B: Helping Couples Overcome Infidelity

Duration: 3 hours, 3 CE Hours

Presenter: Angela Skurtu, M.Ed., LMFT, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist

Program Description: In her presentation, Angela Skurtu teaches in-depth treatment strategies for couples getting through infidelity. Most therapists report this is the most difficult situation to treat in counseling. When a person betrays their partner’s trust, they feel completely overwhelmed and hurt. Many questions linger, and the truth is that there aren’t always easy answers. However, our clients are counting on us to guide them in the right direction. Using a series of milestones, Skurtu teaches various skills that clinicians can use to help couples during this high crisis time. These milestones include rebuilding trust, choosing to stay or leave, redefining the relationship, improving the sexual spark, and preventing future hurt. Skurtu’s teaching style includes interactive engagement with audience members, stories, humor, and useful skills/interventions that can be used the next day in therapy sessions.

4C:Why are you really here?Identifying and working through transference in psychotherapy

Duration: 3 hours, 3 CE Hours

Presenters:Carlos Canales, Psy.D., CGP., SEP; Deana Schuplin, LMHC., IADC.; Michelle Pfeifer, LIMHP

Program Description: It is well known that the working alliance is the most fundamental and prevailing factor across all relevant therapies. And, within the same relationship, the phenomena of transference lives omnipresent and dominant. This workshop aims to address transference in a phenomenological manner, an alive entity in the clinical arena. It will include didactic and experiential components.

The attendee will be able to, define the concept of transference and counter-transference, identify several ways in which transference is expressed and experienced in therapy, describe the process of actively working with transference within the treatment, list two personal challenges or areas of growth when addressing transference clinically, and name three interventions that would help improve addressing transference between therapist and client.

12:45 pm – 2:15 pm Breakout Session #5

5A: The Mirror of Social Media: Ethical Reflections

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenters:John Wadsworth, Ph.D., CRC, Noel Estrada-Hernández, Ph.D., CRC, Jennifer Sánchez, Ph.D., CRC

Program Description: Social media reflects you.  Your social media presence, whether you directly participate through active accounts or not, reflects your abilities, personality, interests, values, and ethics. This presentation will focus on managing your reflection on social media to reflect best ethical practice and ACA/AMHCA Codes of Ethics.  You will learn about managing boundaries on-line, developing technical competence, and reducing risk online.  Because social media presence is inevitable, through deliberate, accidental, or unavoidable presence, we will discuss considerations in using social media as a work tool and responding to employers, clients, and professionals through social media.

5B: Twice Exceptionality: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenters:Tracie Self, MA, LMHC, Casey Shulte, BS, Kelvin Mackey, BA

Program Description: Twice exceptionality (2e) occurs when a client has a co-occurring disability, such as ADHD, Autism, or Anxiety and is additionally recognized as gifted or talented. This combination of abilities and difficulties can be in one or more areas of learning.  In many cases, teachers, parents, and clinicians are unaware these things are co-occurring, leaving children vulnerable when they are not appropriately diagnosed.  Frequently, clients who seek out counseling for 2e are labeled as “lazy”, unmotivated, or intelligent and would be fine if they only “applied” themselves. Mental health counselors are increasingly tasked with working with children with disabilities who may not have received appropriate educational or psychological evaluations pinpointing their needs. Children may be inappropriately labeled and receive incorrect treatment due to not being accurately identified. This presentation explores basic understanding of what twice-exceptionality is and how to identify children or adolescents who show signs of twice-exceptionality with various disabilities.

5C: Making the Most of Your Temporary License

Duration:90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenters: Amy Hawcott, LMFT, Kristten Buttermore, LMHC

Program Description:

This presentation is designed for new counselors. Presenters will identify common struggles of new counselors and ways to work through those struggles (including clinical challenges, utilizing supervision, documentation, insurance, and professional boundaries).  Participants will be challenged to identify his/her own personal areas of professional struggle. The presentation will use case study, lecture, and role play to illustrate the information and engage participants. 

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Breakout Session #6

6A: Ethics! Ethics! Read All About It!

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenter:Susan Meyerle, Ph.D., LIMHP, CEAP

Program Description: This ethics presentation is taken straight from the headlines regarding counselors’ behaviors and is based on the Code of Ethics relevant to our profession, namely the ACA Code of Ethics and AMHCA Code of Ethics.  The session begins with an overview of licensure portability for counselors and the plans which professional organizations have proposed.  Following this, a wide variety of vital and contemporary ethical issues will be addressed, and specific, real-life examples of ethical violations will be used as opportunities to learn. At the end, the learner will be able to identify five key areas of ethical violations by counselors, articulate how they measure their own professional competency, create connections between their own practice and the headlines discussed, formulate a personalized professional ethics plan, and enrich their own practice with a review of ethical issues straight from the headlines. 

6B: The Health at Every Size Paradigm to Prevent and Treat Eating Disorders

Duration:90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenter: Catherine Wilson Gillespie, Ph.D., Corinne Harvey BA

Program Description: Eating disorders are complex and can be life threatening. Treating clients with eating disorders and disordered eating can also be complex, and is also a notoriously difficult task. A foundational way to be a more effective clinician around issues of food, eating, body, and weight is to become familiar with The Health at Every Size Paradigm. Health at Every Size provides an opportunity for clinicians to become more supportive and compassionate and less triggering on a daily basis. The Health at Every Size paradigm includes three components: (1) eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of huger, satiety, and appetite; (2) finding joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital, and (3) accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes. The third component will be the focus of this 90-minute presentation. Presenters will suggest ways to avoid and combat weight stigma, and will engage participants in contributing their own ideas about effective ways of practicing weight neutrality in their personal and professional lives. Finally, presenters will provide resources for participants to pursue after the conference on the first two components of the Health at Every Size paradigm.

6C:Do Communication Patterns About Mental Health Affect the Likelihood of College-Aged Individuals to Seek Out Mental Health Care?

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenters: Casey Baker, EdD, LMHC, RPT, NCC, Hannah Appleseth BA

Program Description: This presentation is based on research that is being conducted at Buena Vista University. The current research aims to examine how college-aged individuals communicate, or would communicate, about their mental health in comparison to how they communicate, or would communicate, about physical health, and if this affected their likelihood to seek out help if needed. It was hypothesized that the known stigma surrounding mental health is created by the way people communicate about mental health. This presentation will review information about relevant theories (e.g. Self-disclosure theory, social constructionism, dynamic social impact theory, planned behavior theory) used to guide this research. Then the research conducted will be reviewed and discussed. Implications from the research will be identified and examined interactively with the group. Discussion questions will be asked to facilitate a conversation about experiences with college-aged populations, ways to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health amongst this population, and increase beneficial communication.