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2020-2021 Seminars

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October 2021

Death and Grieving

October 28, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructor: Frank Greenagel, MPAP, MSW, LCSW, LCADC, ACSW, ICADC, CJC, CCS

A large percentage of people with a substance misuse disorders have untreated trauma and unresolved grief. Professionals that work in the substance misuse field are continually exposed to grieving individuals – that is called a cumulative stress. SUD professionals are likely to know a client, co-worker, friend, or family member that completed suicide. That is direct stress. In 2018, Frank Greenagel lost his friend and close colleague, Eric Arauz. He wrote about grief and how he processed it. This class melds the personal and professional into a series of lessons on how we can deal with tragedy and loss. And come out of it. And how we can help clients do the same.

CE Credits: 6 clinical


November 2021

Integrating the Pursuit of Happiness in SUD Treatment

November 3, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructor: Andrew Walsh, MSW, LCSW

Research indicates that up to 60% of the substance use disorder population has experienced at least one two-week depressive episode. Depression is one of the leading causes of relapse in addiction. Additionally, approximately 25% of substance abuse counselors experience burnout. There are many misconceptions about happiness. Research shows three important themes with happiness. Many people are unhappy. They think they know what will make them happy. They are wrong. This course explores the science behind happiness. It identifies fallacies about happiness, what actually makes people happy, and how substance abuse counselors can integrate the intentional pursuit of happiness into their practice as a front-line treatment to reduce depression. Finally, this course will explore how the appropriate pursuit of happiness can reduce the level of burnout among substance abuse counselors.

CE Credits: 3

The Opioid Crisis: Where do we go from here?

November 4, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructor: Frank Greenagel, MPAP, MSW, LCSW, LCADC, ACSW, ICADC, CJC, CCS

This course will retrace the history of opiate use from opium to prescription drugs and track the long history of heroin use. We will delve into Medical Industrial Complex and look at how Big Pharma, doctors, insurance companies, marketers, the FDA, governmental policies, and consumers each hold some responsibility for the current epidemic. Professor Greenagel will reference the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, NBC News, the CDC, a number of professional journals, and scores of local papers.  We will explore the Federal response and evaluate the positive actions that have been taken by local, county, city, and state governments. Additionally, we will review data and discuss indicators of measurable outcomes. This course is steeped in public policy, and the information provided here will be helpful to clinicians and clinical directors for use in individual and group sessions, as well as program design (improvement) and evaluation.  Fair warning: it will be extremely difficult to leave this course and not be angry.

CE Credits: 6

Participatory Cinema: Sleep Disorders

November 10, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructor: Anthony Tobia, MD

Doctor Sleep is a supernatural horror film and sequel to King’s novel, The Shining, which was adapted to film by Stanley Kubrick. The film follows Dan, son of The Shining’s quintessential antagonist, Jack Torrance, who is trying to adapt to his gift/curse that gives him premonitions of the future. The film allows for an examination into the realms of sleep as well as the physiology, pathology, and treatments of mental disorders that occur during and around the time of sleep.
Movies have long been utilized to highlight varied areas in the field of psychiatry including the role of the psychiatrist, issues in medical ethics, and the stigma toward people with mental illness. At Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, comprehensive curricula have been created utilizing films as fictional case accounts of mental disorders. At the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, facilitated discussion of a selected film is achieved via social media as well as traditional PowerPoint didactic. Each seminar will show a feature-length film with a live Twitter feed on the screen that will transform the movie into an educational didactic.

CE Credits: 6

The Nurtured Heart Approach ®: Transforming substance use prevention, treatment and recovery outcomes

November 11, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructor: Crystal Wytenus, LPC, LCADC, NCC, ACS, Nurtured Heart Approach ®Advanced Trainer

The Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA) is a relationship-focused methodology that is an effective tool for creating healthy relationships and repairing strained relationships. Founded strategically in “The 3 Stands™” for helping individuals build Inner Wealth ™ and assisting individuals to use their intensity in successful ways. In children, strong Inner Wealth is corelated to successful prevention practices. In addition, individuals struggling with substance use can benefit from developing a strong Inner Wealth to build resiliency and rebuild relationships with their support networks.  The utilization of the Nurtured Heart Approach ® with this population can promote prevention, compliment treatment efforts and enhance sustained recovery from substances.

 CE Credits: 6 clinical

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: How Behavioral Healthcare Workers Can Help

November 12, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructor: Emily J. Cook, LCSW 

The COVID pandemic has made more people anxious about their social and economic future as well as their health and emotional life.  With such uncertainty it is not surprising that benzodiazepine (also called tranquilizer or anxiolytic) prescriptions have markedly increased since the pandemic began.  Although doctors find this drug class provides effective relief of their patients’ complaints, many of those who take them experience serious and sometimes disabling physical and psychological symptoms especially if discontinuing or tapering off of them.  Just as opioids once were, the overprescribing and abuse of benzodiazepines remains an overlooked and potentially deadly epidemic since this class of drug remains largely accepted as benign by doctors and even the public.  Additionally, the lethal combination of benzodiazepines, opioids and alcohol must be considered since the consumption of these are also on the rise. The purpose of this workshop is to educate clinical social workers and related behavioral health workers about how they can support clients who choose to discontinue their benzodiazepines safely.  Terminology associated with side effects of benzo use including  “tolerance”, “interdose withdrawal” and “kindling” will be covered. Participants will learn how to provide awareness for clients using non-medical advice on informed tapers as described in withdrawal literature on this class of drug.  Since the benzodiazepine recovery community is ever increasing, resources will be identified for participants to assist them with methods of cessation and other support for clients.

3 Clinical CE’s

Outreach and Advocacy for Peers

November 17, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructor: Regina Ford, MA

Many direct-service professionals struggle with performing outreach and promoting peer advocacy to connect with their target audience. For direct service providers, outreach is particularly challenging when budgets are tight. How do you create an outreach message that your consumer (and potential funders) will understand? How do you perform outreach with a tight budget and limited staff? Which community organizations are adversaries or allies? Effective outreach has more to do with strategy and less to do with budgets. The purpose of this workshop is for attendees to learn the fundamentals and explain the differences of outreach, marketing, advocacy, and peer certification distinctions, describe outreach and advocacy guidelines for peer organizations, and identify characteristics of successful and challenging community partnerships. Attendees will also create a simplified outreach plan with measurable goals that are effective in reaching consumers.

CE Credits: 3

Connection Through Self-Compassion and Compassion for Others: Reaching and Teaching the Minds and Hearts of Those We Serve

November 18, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructor:  Roseann Cervelli, MS, LCADC, CCS, CPS

Research in Neuroscience and the application of Compassion Focused Therapies have provided us with the information that the practice of Mindful Self-Compassion and Compassion for others has far-reaching effects on one’s physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual health. In her book, “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself,” Kristen Neff details how self -kindness, mindfulness and a sense of common humanity, can replace the negative and diminishing self-criticism and self-judgment that so many engage in. Compassion therapies help to minimize destructive patterns of fear, anxiety, self-criticism and isolation, which if left untreated, can often lead to such at-risk behaviors as the experimentation, use and abuse of alcohol/drugs, eating disorders, suicidal ideation etc. Mindful Self-Compassion practice has been shown to aid in managing stress and trauma as well as the grieving processes which so many experience in their lives. In addition to exploring the principles of Self-Compassion, this course will focus on how and why developing Self- Compassion can assist many populations, including and not limited to Adolescents, Substance Abuse/Mental Health/Behavioral Disorders, Service Providers in the Caring Professions. Mindful Self-Compassion training can positively enhance and work hand in hand with whatever clinical modalities and approaches we currently employ in our care and treatment of our clients. In addition to helping our clients, we also promote our own physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. Personally and professionally, we bring benefit to our own lives, as we mindfully enhance our own intentions, motivations, willingness and desire to enhance the lives of those we serve.

CE Credits: 6 Clinical

December 2021

Motivational Interviewing: The Basics

December 1, 2021, 10:00 am - February 2, 2022, 3:00 pm

Instructor: David Prescott, LICSW and Stephen Andrew, LCSW, LADC, CCS, CGP

Wednesday and Thursday, December 1 – 2, 2021   –  10:00AM to 3:00PM
Friday, December 10, 2021   –  2:00PM to 3:00PM
Friday, December 17, 2021   – 2:00PM to 3:00PM

This introductory two-day workshop offers practitioners in alcohol and other drugs prevention, criminal justice, health care and social services the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and to begin to incorporate them into their work. This two-day training will discuss this effective approach in the care of challenging clients, and provide participants with an opportunity to explore creative ways of integrating these approaches into an effective therapeutic intervention with an understanding about when to use MI. Motivational Interviewing is a client/ patient centered, evidence-based practice and guiding method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence. During this two-day workshop, participants will learn the basics of Motivational Interviewing; explore ways of integrating Motivational Interviewing theories into other types of care approaches, and practice Motivational Interviewing on “challenging” client/ patient through real (as opposed to role) playing and discussion. In the subsequent four weeks the course will meet for one hour each Wednesday to discuss and practice motivational interviewing skills.


CE Credits total: 11  clinical

12/1/21 to 12/2/21
:00 am – 3:00 pm
4.5 ce each day

1 ce

1 ce

Multi-Family Therapy

December 9, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructors: Frank Greenagel, MPAP, MSW, LCSW, LCADC, ACSW, ICADC, CJC, CCS  and   Steve Seibelts, LCSW

Ongoing multi-family therapy groups are not often seen in treatment programs, despite the family being a critical element for individuals in early recovery.  We will discuss the three integral parts of a multi-family therapy program: more curative power, additional avenues for learning with less resistance, and therapist ease and economy; these factors work together to enhance the therapeutic effectiveness of the group.  We will review the four key components that should be utilized at the start of a multi-family group. Specific interventions for working with families will be discussed along with the benefits of multi-family therapy. We will review techniques and answer questions about working with parents, spouses, siblings, children and close friends. Boundaries and resources will also be discussed.

CE Credits: 6 Clinical

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