2019 Conference Breakouts Full Description

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

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 (Break: 9:45 am – 10:00 am)

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

Biographies:Stefania M. Agliano, LMSW received her graduate degree at Fordham University and has worked in child welfare services and child protection for over twenty-five years.  Ms. Agliano is co-founder of I AM Training and Consultation Group LLC and currently works in the field of child welfare in a supervisory capacity.  Bryan Hall II, LCSW received his graduate degree from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and has worked in higher education, child welfare, and adult probation for over seventeen years. Mr. Hall is the co-founder of I AM Training and Consultation Group LLC and currently provides counseling services in a higher education setting.

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’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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • To deepen understanding of the dynamics of structural and institutional racism at the individual, family, community, and societal level
  • To enhance awareness of the impact of racism and oppression on ourselves as practitioners in the helping system and the clients we serve
  • To recognize the narrative and disadvantage that has been created for oppressed and marginalized groups in the child welfare and juvenile systems

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

Biography:Dr. Gilbert owns and operates New Life Counseling PC.  He is a board member of IBBS, IMHCA and AMHCA.  He has been in practice since graduating with an MS (91) from Drake.  He was licensed (MHC/1994), received a Ph.D. (1994), and is an author, certified speaker, teacher, trainer, supervisor, entrepreneur, business coach, and consultant. Don Is an avid Husker fan and enjoys golfing, bicycle riding, reading, working, and spending time with his wife (Deb) and family.

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:


  • Will be able to define the idea of ‘intimacy’ in couples’ relationship
  • Will be exposed to the idea of a principle centered approach in couples’ therapy
  • Will be able to understand the framework of a multi-dimensional approach to developing intimacy in a couple’s relationship
  • Will be given practical concepts that can be used in everyday life to build an atmosphere of mutual respect and satisfaction in a couple’s relationship
  • Will be able to identify habits that can be developed and taught to couples within this framework

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

Biographies: Jack Perkins is the founder of Psuche Education, Counseling & Coaching Services.  He is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) Supervisor, a certified life coach and sexual addiction counselor. Jack has worked in residential settings since 2007, specifically with women with co-occurring issues in a 48-bed trauma specific residential facility.

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.

The foundation for this presentation has grown out of personal experience.  Since 2007, I have worked in residential facilities for those struggling with co-occurring issues, mostly with women.  Invariably, at least 95% of those served present with abandonment issues, family systems void of emotional bonding, trauma that has destroyed trust, major losses, and a host of other issues that often result in self-medication. While serving as the Admissions Director at Rose Rock Recovery Center (Vinita, OK, USA), a trauma focused residential facility for women, I developed a loss and relationship group to address underlying issues to addiction and mental health issues.  Each time there was a schedule change, staff and clients insisted we keep the Loss and Relationship group. Co-joined to findings from my field experience, was a growing desire to seek supportive evidence.  Philip Flores has worked extensively with this model.  He references his clinical experience and research which demonstrates the efficacy of attachment theory’s role in maximizing the potential for treatment for substance abuse disorders.  (2006). When reviewing books and research articles related to the correlation between attachment disorders and substance abuse disorders, it becomes clear that this warrants special attention by treatment providers.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Describe the epistemology of the brain as a social organ
  • Analyze the ramifications of attachment disorders on addiction as an underlying factor
  • Apply information learned to the field of counseling by reviewing a model the presenter has found effective

11:45 pm – 1:15 pm Lunch and Board Meeting

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

Biographies: Dr. Baker has worked in the mental health field in a variety of settings including private practice, community mental health, and on college campuses. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Minnesota, as well as a licensed mental health counselor in Iowa. Additionally, Baker is a registered play therapist and a nationally certified counselor.Casey received her Doctorate in Education in counselor education and supervision, her Masters of Science in mental health counseling, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Minnesota State University. Nate Otten is the Director of Counseling Services at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA. With over 12 years of experience, he has worked with individuals, couples, and families facing a number of different mental health issues. Nate earned his Masters of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from John Brown University in Arkansas and has earned professional licensure in the state of Arkansas (LPC) and Iowa (LMHC). Lynn O’Brien is the Program Director for Master of Science in Education- Professional School Counseling. With more than 20 years of experience working in the field of education, Lynn O’Brien holds a professional school counseling license from the state of Minnesota.O’Brien received her Masters of Science in community counseling, and her bachelor’s in psychology, minoring in special education from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She will receive her Doctorate in Education from MSU, Mankato in counselor education and supervision.Hannah Appleseth graduated with honors from Buena Vista University in three years, majoring in psychology and minoring in communication studies. Hannah is currently enrolled in her first year of BVU’s Masters of Science program for mental health counseling.

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. An exhaustive list of existing studies and publications will be included, as well as data from personal experience with this population.

Key Points: All too commonly, the adolescent client is not self-referred, which means that they frequently enter into therapy with a precontemplativestage of change (Diguiseppe, Linscott, & Jilton, 1996; Prochaska & DiClemente, 1988). 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. This can lead to premature termination and can leave the clinician feeling distressedand discouraged, which ruptures the therapeutic alliance. The therapeutic alliance as an intervention is still growing in the psychotherapy process research as an invaluable factor in successful treatment outcomes (Shirk & Karver, 2003). Existing studies are limited but warrant the investigation of the contributing factors to a therapeutic alliance that foster client participation in therapy and demonstrate effective practices (Karver et al., 2008).

Outline:This presentation will briefly describe the clinical adolescent population, examine therapeutic alliance factors, identify implications in adolescentpsychotherapy, and summarize existing literature on the topic. Further, this workshop will provide therapeutic alliance building strategies for clinicians to implement in their clinical work with challenging adolescents. Active learning, discussion, and lecture will engage the attendees in this educational presentation.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Identify and describe the challenging youth population
  • Explain the operational definition of therapeutic alliance
  • Examine the associations of therapeutic alliance variables with treatment outcomes
  • Generalize the implications of working with difficult, defiant, and high-risk youth to clinical practice
  • Evaluate existing multimodal strategies for building a therapeutic alliance with adolescents
  • Propose therapeutic alliance building strategies for clinical work with difficult, defiant, and high-risk youth

2B: Trauma and Addiction

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

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

Biographies: Jennifer D. Gauerke is a graduate of BYU and Drake University, a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and provisionally licensed LMHC. She provided substance abuse counseling at House of Mercy and is currently in private practice at Vida Counseling. She enjoys hiking and spending time with her family of eight. Cora Drew is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Her focus is treating dual-diagnosis clients in an outpatient setting at House of Mercy. She utilizes trauma-informed treatment methods within individual and group settings to include cognitive behavioral therapy, mental health counseling, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques.

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

Participants will:

  • Define addiction and trauma
  • Describe the brain’s role in trauma and addiction – “brain disease”
  • Explain the trauma and addiction loop
  • Recognize crisis and need for referral as ethical best practice: continued use/OD, withdrawals, suicidality
  • Demonstrate treatment recommendations and interventions, including mindfulness

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

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

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

Biography:Darcie Davis-Gage earned her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Iowa. She is currently the Program Coordinator of the Counseling Program at the University of Northern Iowa.  She has recently completed certificates in Compassion Fatigue and Integrated Behavioral Health.

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. Miller and Jones (2015) note the emerging trend of neuroscience into counseling as evidenced by an increase in journal and textbook publications, a regular column in Counseling Today, and the creation of Neuroscience Interest Networks within the American Counseling Association, the Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, and the American Mental Health Counseling Associations. 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 (Chapin & Russell-Chapin, 2013; Ivey & Zalaquett, 2011). 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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Attendees will understand why neuroscience should be integrated into the counseling and self-care practices
  • Attendees will learn how to integrate aspects of basic neuroscience into counseling and self-care practices
  • Attendees will also learn how to apply some neuroscience in clinical supervision
  • Attendees will increase awareness of potential challenges and difficulties associated with the neuroscience integration process

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

Biography: Susin Bredice has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Art and Design from Iowa State University, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa. Susin is licensed through the Iowa Social Work Board of Examiners. Susin works with children, adolescents, and adults, providing individual and family therapy Experience includes PMIC and residential care, child welfare, attachment, foster care and adoption, couples counseling, as well as specific individual mental health issues.

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • 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
  • Incorporation of mixed models in session
  • Packed with activities and intervention to practice play


3B: Inclusivity in Tough Environments

Duration: 90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

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

Biographies:Breanne Ward is a nationally recognized certified rehabilitation counselor with the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).  In 2014, she founded ForWard Consulting, LLC to provide culturally relevant speaking engagements for community change. Ward has her license to provide mental health counseling for the state of Iowa. She has great faith that she will continue to be a vessel to carry out the work of her community and welcomes new opportunities to strengthen and empower others. JaCarie Owens is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She works with children and families on a vast of mental health issues including complex trauma histories, depressions, anxiety, ADHD and child-parent relationships.  JaCarie is a Certified EMDR Clinician, Certified FirstPlay® Practitioner, Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), and Trauma Focused CBT.

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

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
  • 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

Biography: Carol Hinman holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and has been an Iowa LMHC since 1994. She currently works for the Robert Young Center as an Integrated Therapist at Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC). CHC is a federally funded health clinic and has a clientele of people who are extremely poor and living with complex presentations of physical and mental illnesses. Dr. Hinman works with medical providers to help with meeting the mental health needs of these patients.

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:  

  • Participants will be able to identify and explain at least four types of behavioral health interventions for pain
  • Participants will be able to identify how the types of interactions interact to build an effective intervention for
  • Participants will practice at least one brain retraining skill during the session

4:30 pm Networking Event


DAY TWO: Friday, May 17, 2019

7:45 am – 8:15 am: Registration/Breakfast
8:15 am – 8:30 am: Welcome & Opening Remarks


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.

Biographies:Warren Phillips, Ph.D. is an Iowa Licensed Psychologist and owner of Central Iowa Psychological Services, a group mental health practice in Ames, Ankeny, and West Des Moines.  Warren is also a Senior Lecturer in the Psychology Department at ISU and is co-owner of an organizational consulting firm, Transformative Workplace Solutions. Kimberly Phillips, BS is the Chief Operating Officer and co-owner at Transformative Workplace Solutions. She has a background in professional training and development and human resources and is a Certified Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessor.

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Describe the 3 primary components of the Six Seconds Model (Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, Give Yourself)
  • Understand the “What”, “How”, and “Why” of our responses to emotions
  • Identify connections between enhanced Emotional Intelligence and 4 Key Outcomes (Wellbeing, Relationships, Quality of Life, and Effectiveness)
  • Deepen intra-personal Emotional Literacy, Emotional Navigation, and Pursuit of Values
  • Apply powerful experiential methods of accessing and working with emotions with clients

4B: Helping Couples Overcome Infidelity

Duration: 3 hours, 3 CE Hours

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

Biography:Angela Skurtu owns her own Private Practice called St. Louis Marriage Therapy, LLC. She is a speaker, author, Missouri Licensed Marriage Therapist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. She is author of two books, “Helping Couples Overcome Infidelity: A Therapist’s Manual,” and “Pre-Marital Counseling: A Guide for Clinicians.” She runs a YouTube channel and also is the host of www.aboutsexpodcast.comwhich offers free sexual and relationship health information to its listeners.

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 such as “Should I stay or go?”, “Can we ever get over this problem?”, and “Will we ever get back to the way we were?” 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 writes about in her book, 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.

As part of a three-hour presentation, Skurtu will cover several chapters of her book in more depth. For example, in the first milestone of managing the crisis, Skurtu will explain various ways clinicians can help couples manage their conversations, begin initial trust building, and become more honest about the choices made during the affair. Skurtu offers confidentiality ideas and even covers ethical concerns that may come up as a result of infidelity treatment. Her most important contribution with this training includes helping clinicians begin to identify their personal counter-transference issues that may impact treatment. Infidelity is an issue that has touched most people’s lives. Clinicians need to be able to recognize when they are experiencing counter-transference so they are able to help each partner effectively.

Finally, Skurtu attempts to offer hope for the clinicians guiding their clients through infidelity. These cases can be painfully tough to work through. However, there are many beautiful outcomes that can be achieved if clinicians know a few helpful skills to guide their clients towards change. Most couples stay together after an infidelity because it is difficult to change one’s entire life. With these tools, clinicians can help their clients develop deeper, loving, and very honest relationships going forward.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Explore common myths and realities regarding infidelity
  • Cover at least 3 treatment milestones in depth including rebuilding trust, keeping a strong sex life, and managing the initial crisis
  • Identify at least 3 interventions/skills that can be utilized in therapy sessions the next day
  • Address ethical issues, confidentiality issues, and counter-transference issues relevant to infidelity treatment

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

Biographies:Dr. Carlos Canales is a licensed clinical psychologist, Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP), and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) in private practice in West Des Moines, IA. He received his graduate degree from Rosemead School of Psychology in 2007. His interests include affect-regulation, attachment-based treatments, somatic psychotherapy, psychodynamic conceptualization, and attending to co-creative spaces in clinical practice. Deana Schuplin is a licensed mental health counselor and board-certified psychoanalyst. She’s worked in the field of addictions and mental health since 1982. Having focused on working with difficult cases, she sought postgraduate training in Gestalt technique, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis. She obtained her graduate degree from Cleveland State University in 1993 and graduated from the Greater Kansas City Psychoanalytic Institute (GKCPI) in 2012. Currently she is clinical director for Everest Institute, an outpatient substance-abuse treatment facility, is on faculty for GKCPI, and has a private practice in West Des Moines. Michelle Pfeifer is a licensed independent mental health professional in Omaha, NE.  She earned her graduate degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha in 1996. After becoming increasingly curious about analytic ideas, Michelle pursued postgraduate training in Object Relations psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.  Michelle is currently a psychoanalytic candidate at the Greater Kansas City Psychoanalytic Institute.  She also serves as program faculty for the Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center’s Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program.

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

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
  • Name three interventions that would help improve addressing transference between therapist and client

11:45 pm – 12:45 pm Lunch

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

Biographies: Dr. Wadsworth has over 20 years of experience as a rehabilitation counselor, educator, and researcher.  He is Chair of the University of Iowa Human Subjects Institutional Review Board, a member of the University of Iowa Judicial Review Panel, and was a Psychologist at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Dr. Estrada-Hernández is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education at The University of Iowa.  His research interests include the areas of psychosocial adaptation to disability, consumer participation and ethical decision making, employment outcomes on persons with visual impairments, and assistive technology. Dr. Sánchez is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at The University of Iowa.  She has over 10 years of experience working with individuals with neuropsychiatric (e.g., SMI, SUD) disorders in a variety of settings (e.g., inpatient psychiatric facilities, VA, state hospitals/agencies, community MH centers).

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Participants will learn how to manage their personal social media presence
  • Participants will learn relevant ACA/AMHCA codes of ethics related to social media presence
  • Participants will learn a social constructivist decision-making model to use to apply the ACA/AMHCA codes of ethics

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

Biographies: Tracie Self is an instructor at the University of Northern Iowa where she teaches assessment.  She will complete her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in Counselor Education and Supervision in 2019.  Tracie maintains a small private practice where she works with clients who are twice exceptional. Casey Schulte is a second-year mental health counseling graduate student at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his B.S. in Psychology at Northwest Missouri State University in 2017. His interests include school-based mental health counseling and how mental health impacts our relationships and society. Kelvin Mackey is a second- year graduate student in the clinical mental health counseling program at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his BA in Psychology at UNI. Kelvin works as a graduate assistant at UNI. His interest includes teaching children life skills in BD rooms.

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 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. One possible reason these children are not identified because they do not fall in the top 3% of children due to their difficulties in specific areas.  Instead, their disabilities may moderate their high ability level, making them appear more typical to practitioners who are unaware of the inherent challenges that accompany students who are 2e.   This is especially true for those children who show unique skills and knowledge but also experience having a profound disability.

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. These characteristics and behaviors are broken down into 3 sub-categories: social, language and communication, and behavioral characteristics. The process of identifying individuals with 2e is a complex process which requires a comprehensive assessment that is tailored to the student’s specific presenting issues. By evaluating these individuals, it allows for accurate review of the individuals strengths and weakness so they get the appropriate diagnosis and best possible treatment. Teachers, parents, and clinicians should be aware of the characteristics and behaviors which are displayed by individuals with 2e.

This presentation will provide case studies to work through for clinicians to become familiar with examples of what to look for with individuals who are twice exceptional. While gifted children excel in various aspects academically, these children are challenged with various aspects socially. Social stories is an intervention that introduces potentially challenging or confusing topics and situations to children by presenting the information from the perspective of the child or adolescent. The purpose of social stories is to help students learn appropriate ways to reach the social situations or to highlight positive achievements. These can be done individually or in groups to practice using directive materials. The presenters will guide individuals through how social stories will be effective in teaching children appropriate reactions to social situations.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Explore twice-exceptionality (2e) among children and adolescents, as well as the basic social, language, communication, and behavioral characteristics necessary for a differential diagnosis
  • Discuss assessment of 2e, including the use of intelligence tests in collaboration with other professionals as a tool to identify children and adolescents who are twice exceptional
  • Review treatment of twice-exceptionality in the context of co-occurring disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Anxiety, and Depression.  Case studies will be utilized to provide in depth discussion and further learning opportunities

5C: Making the Most of Your Temporary License

Duration:90 minutes, 1.5 CE Hours

Presenters: Amy Hawcott, LMFT, Kristten Buttermore, LMHC,

Biographies:Amy Hawcottgraduated with her Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Bethel Seminary. She’s been working since 2004 and became a LMFT in 2012. Her experience includes Functional Family Therapy, adolescent substance abuse, adolescent sex offender, and marriage/family therapy. Amy has supervised new counselors at Creative Counseling Services since 2013. Kristten Buttermore graduated from Drake University’s Community Counseling program. She’s worked in the field since 2000 and became a LMHC in 2005. Kristten’s experience includes victim services, substance abuse, PMIC, child welfare, EAP, and founder/therapists at Creative Counseling Services (CCS). She’s been supervising new counselors at CCS since 2008.

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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Identify common struggles of new counselors
  • Identify personal struggles
  • Understand importance of gaining supervision
  • Basic knowledge of the “behind the scenes” of a counseling practice

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm Break

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

Biography: Dr. Susan Meyerle is a trendsetter in ethics.  Her professional involvement includes: AASCB Former President, FARB Board Member, and Chair of the NE BMHP. With her experience as an educator, regulatory board member, therapist, author, and inspirational speaker, she makes reviewing ethical protocols interesting, engaging, and relevant.

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.  A discussion of counselor identity is included along with a brief discussion of how the counseling professional is similar and different from other behavioral health professions.

This discussion segues into the next section addressing scope of practice. Areas of focus here include the scope of practice for counselors, the art of diagnosing, and the role of behavior analysts.  Following this section, we address the area of continuing competency.  Within the last few years, the State of Colorado ceased requiring continuing education for their licensed nurses.  This decision was based on the growing body of research which indicates no correlation between continuing education and competency to practice.  We will review how a counselor determines their own self-competence.  An area of specific focus is in the growing field of technology, from recommending computer applications to providing teletherapy. The ethical counselor is obligated to be knowledgeable of technology and how it can be appropriately incorporated into the therapeutic relationship.

Counselors will be encouraged to engage in professional networking, mentoring, and supervisory relationships in order to develop, sustain, and enhance their therapeutic skills. No ethics presentation would be complete without a review of client-counselor boundaries particularly including the mandate of no sexual contact with clients.  Other hallmarks of the client-counselor therapeutic relationship will be included as well. Another area addressed through the presentation is the client’s fiscal obligations.  Adequate recordkeeping and appropriate billing protocols will be addressed. Fraudulent activities by counselors will be reviewed as well as “lessons learned” for other counselors based on those experiences. Wrapping up the presentation, is the area of the internet and the counselor.  While Codes of Ethics are clear about social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and others), professionals continue to find themselves faced with the challenges of Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades, to name a few.

The session will conclude with a discussion of the counselor’s ability to bracket their values and a challenge to each counselor to develop a personalized professional ethics plan. Throughout the session, and one of the key elements of the session, will be the opportunity for attendees to pose questions to the presenter and to one another.  The session is structured to provide participants the experience of discussion with their peers and the presented real-life challenges they face.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

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
  • 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

Biography: Catherine Wilson Gillespie, Ph.D. is Professor and Associate Dean at Drake University School of Education. In 2018, she published a book entitled Putting Together the Puzzle Pieces of Full Eating Disorder Recoverybased on her own experiences of eating disorder recovery as well as the latest scholarship in the field. Corinne Harvey is a graduate student in clinical mental health counseling at Drake University. Corinne has special interests in eating disorder recovery and trauma informed care. Corinne worked for The Project, advocating for people living with HIV. Currently she is a Social Worker III for the Department of Human Services.

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 review the third module of the (free) Health at Every Size Curriculum (available at https://haescurriculum.com). Participants will engage in activities that invite them to examine internalized weight stigma as well as the weight stigma present in our culture (past and present). Weight stigma will be discussed through both the lens of self-compassion and the lens of social justice. Weight stigma is an issue for clinicians themselves as well as clients, so both clinicians and clients (and family, friends, and colleagues) will be considered during this discussion. 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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Learn the three components of the Health at Every Size paradigm
  • Become familiar with the (free) Health at Every Size Curriculum
  • Engage in an in-depth examination of personally- and culturally-held weight stigma as a self-compassion and social justice issue
  • Identify resources of interest to pursue after the conference

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

Biographies:Dr. Baker has worked in the mental health field in a variety of settings including private practice, community mental health, and on college campuses. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Minnesota, as well as a licensed mental health counselor in Iowa. Additionally, Baker is a registered play therapist and a nationally certified counselor.Casey received her Doctorate in Education in counselor education and supervision, her Masters of Science in mental health counseling, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Minnesota State University. Hannah Appleseth graduated with honors from Buena Vista University in three years, majoring in psychology and minoring in communication studies. Hannah is currently enrolled in her first year of BVU’s Master’s program for mental health counseling.

Program Description: The purpose of the current research is to explore how college-aged individuals at a small, Midwestern university communicate about their mental health in comparison to their physical health, and if this affects their likelihood to seek out help if needed. It is hypothesized in the current research project that the known stigma surrounding mental health is created by the way people communicate about mental health.

College-aged participants will be sought out for this study because research conducted in the United States found that approximately half of life long mental disorders start by age 14, and beyond that, 75% at age 24. This is why it is so important for adolescents and young adults to seek the health care they need in order to take preventative action. However, this same age group is the least likely to seek mental health care treatment.

The current research aims to examine how college-aged individuals at Buena Vista University communicate, or would communicate, about their mental health in comparison to how they communicate, or would communicate, about physical health. Participants will be recruited from various classes on campus. The participants will be administered a survey that contains the Social Accessibility Scale (Rickers-Ovsianka, 1965) to measure self-disclosure. This scale was chosen because it is geared towards college aged individuals and asks what a person would disclose, not what they have already disclosed. Participants will be asked who they would communicate with about the health issue and what form of communication they would be comfortable with using (e.g. in person, or via technology). The participants will also receive a survey asking about their intent to seek help for mental health problems versus physical health problems. This survey uses the planned behavior theory to guide its questions because the researcher wants to look at how communication levels may affect how likely a person is to seek out help. In order to measure the variables for the planned behavior theory (e.g. how likely someone would be to seek out mental health/physical health treatment if they needed help) an amended version of Ajzen and Madden’s (1986) scale will be used. A multiple regression analysis will be used to measure the collected data since all of the variables are continuous.

Key Points: Communication was chosen as a main component because communication forms the culture humans live in. Culture is defined as something shared among people who communicate with each other through some common language, and which is further communicated to immigrants, children, and other new members of society, (Triandis, 1994). Language, which we use to communicate, represents shared values, history, beliefs, and customs. The intense connection between culture and language influences humans of that culture to act and think certain ways, (Conway & Schaller, 109). Communication and culture are relevant to this experiment because, if people begin to increase the frequency and the ways they communicate about mental health, there is a possibility that more people would seek out different resources that could help them, which could lower the amount of people affected by mental health issues, or at least reduce the severity of symptoms. This concept is based on the Dynamic Social Impact Theory. This theory suggests that social influence and persuasion work through interpersonal communication. The strength, immediacy, and number of sources are the variables that impact social influence that arises from communication, (Latane, 1981).

Outline: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.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

  • Identify, examine, and describe communication patterns about mental health and physical health occurring among college-aged individuals
  • Examine the connection between communication about mental health and seeking out mental health care resources
  • Participants will be able to utilize the information learned from this research to understand the current communication patterns about mental health at a small, rural university
  • Participants will be able to utilize this information to connect with college-aged individuals and encourage beneficial communication about mental health among this population
  • Propose ways to increase beneficial communication about mental health among college-aged individuals

4:00 pm End of Conference