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SSAS Course Descriptions


103: A Counselor’s “How-To” on Integrating Medication Assisted Treatment into Recovery

Instructor: Brian Colangelo, LCSW, CADC
The purpose of this course is to help substance use treatment providers understand the implementation of medications used to treat substance use disorder and how to integrate therapeutic interventions by developing direct clinical skills such as assessment, analysis and documentation. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of prescribed medications to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions. Evidence has shown that both MAT and substance abuse counseling are highly effective in the various stages of treating substance use disorders. However, these two interventions are often polarized away from each other rather than integrated successfully together. This course will help practitioners learn direct and specific clinical skills how to assimilate the benefits into their practice.

104: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: What do you Need to Know?

Instructor: Nathalie Edmond, PsyD
Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) addressing a variety of presenting problems that are related to emotion dysregulation.  There have been adaptations made to the original model that was designed to treat borderline personality disorder to address the treatment of co-occurring substance use disorders.  This workshop will review the foundations of DBT such as the biosocial theory, dialectical abstinence, mindfulness, and the importance of balancing acceptance and change techniques.

107: New and Innovative Approaches to Treatment By Providing Multiple Pathways to Recovery

Instructor: Bob Lynn, EdD, LPC
The focus of this course is to provide a fresh view of treatment based on current research and challenges facing the field today.  This course will provide the necessary framework for delivering patient centered treatment and will examine therapeutic protocols from early engagement to continuing care. The focus will be on inclusivity utilizing a behavioral health umbrella that includes Harm Reduction, Medication, Abstinence and community stakeholders. The role of case managers, peer counselors, community service workers, interventionists, psychiatrists and therapists will be closely examined. The entire course will be presented with a significant sensitivity to cultural humility, LGBTQ populations, race, religion, age, socio-economic challenges and geography. Many of the entrenched concepts, assumptions and protocols in the field will be examined through a scholarly lens. Finally, this course will reach far beyond levels of care, policy, and worn theories by examining multiple pathways to patient driven recovery.   The need to provide treatment based on science and outcomes with a strong   patient focus wrapped in compassion will underscore the entire course.

108: Motivational Interviewing in Clinical Supervision: A parallel process

Instructor: Alan Lyme, LISW, MAC, CCS
Clinical supervision provides the most important resource available for training and oversight of evidence based practices. This 9 hour workshop will highlight concrete steps to take in implementing quality supervision with a Motivational Interviewing focus, enhancing client outcome and employee satisfaction. In The Blended Model of Supervision, Dr. David Powell highlighted the Parallel Process effect, which suggests that if you are not demonstrating the skills in supervision, your supervisees are less likely to use them with clients. This informative seminar will help you map out your journey towards this EBP proficiency.

109: Trauma Focused Addiction Treatment: The Why, The What and The How

Instructor: Debra Rusiard, DSW, LCSW, LCADC
This course will provide evidence and the rational for the provision of trauma informed addiction treatment, examine the trauma focused knowledge, clinical skills and professional characteristics of effective addiction counselors, and explore how to utilize and adapt cognitive, psychodynamic and somatic trauma interventions in substance use treatment.


201: Managing Triggers and Cravings in Early Recovery Using Cognitive-Behavioral and Acceptance Commitment Therapies

Instructor: Claudia Blackburn, MS, PsyD
This course provides an overview of cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and acceptance commitment (ACT) therapies in managing triggers and craving in early recovery from substance-use disorders. It is dedicated to specific techniques that correspond to individual patterns of triggers. Interventions are centered on lessening the distress often associated with cravings. This course is intended to provide participants significant opportunities to build and apply CBT and ACT skills through hands-on exercises. It will incorporate specific skills that address individual barriers to recovery that are generated from beliefs and previous experiences with triggers and cravings. This course will demonstrate a sample of these interventions, and participants will have the opportunity to learn from an experiential, skill-based, relational, and science-informed training approach.

204: Best Practices in Behavioral Health Assessment among Criminal Justice Populations

Instructor: Albert Kopak, PhD
There are many methods available to assess behavioral health needs among criminal justice populations, but best practices must consider the context in which these methods are applied.  This course will introduce several of these methods and provide information about which ones might be best in certain situations, beginning with a comparison of screening tools and assessment instruments.  Integral to these approaches is a thorough understanding of how some of these tools are more appropriate for certain situations, while others demand the use of comprehensive instruments.  The course will also cover the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches, and the importance of using timely behavioral health information to guide decision-making as it relates to service delivery.  The course will conclude by addressing empirically supported practices in assessment techniques for criminal justice populations.

208: Creating a Culture of Trauma Informed Care

Instructor: Alan Lyme, LISW, MAC, CCS
In a trauma-informed system of care we have come to understand that many of our clients are affected by violence and abuse.  Traumatic events are all too common and affect people in many areas of their lives.  Trauma causes people to have difficulty controlling their emotions, many develop addictions and compulsions, and they may also develop medical issues.  We also realize that it becomes the experience around which they organize the rest of their life. It shapes the way the act and the way they react.

209: Social Media: Depression, Anxiety, and Suicide

Instructor: Andrew Walsh MSW, MHRM, LSW
Rates of depression, loneliness, and anxiety are increasing in youth in the United States. Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults. These increases have occurred in a very short period of time. Teens exhibiting depressive symptoms increased 52% between 2005 and 2017. Suicidal ideation, attempts, and death among young adults increased by 47% between 2009 and 2017. During the 2018-2018 academic school year approximately 180,000 students received services at college counseling centers. Researchers have determined that one factor contributing to the dramatic decrease in the overall emotional well-being of youth in the United States is social media.  This workshop will explore the history of the social media industry, starting with “Six Degrees” in 1997 to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. A historical analysis helps shed light on explaining the complicated relationship between social media and the world overall. This workshop will conclude with best practice recommendations for dealing with clients who struggle with social media use. Recommendations will also be made for best practices for family therapy for those who have a loved one negatively impacted by social media. Finally, this workshop will provide guidance to social workers on how they can effectively educate the public about the negative impact of social media and how to mitigate it. Overall the objectives of this workshop is to inform social workers on the impact that social media has already had and will continue to have in years to come.