Author: Beth Sharkey, MSW

The Foundation for Understanding Mental Health

Qur-an Webb, MSW and colleagues from Welcome2Reality
Register for CE programs now
Wed, Oct 20, 2021
2 pm – 4 pm
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

This webinar was created to provide a base level understanding of mental health challenges and disorders from stigma to trauma to treatment and more. The training will be delivered in an interactive format by including activities, promoting discussion and creating a safe space for to engage in critical conversations around mental health and what we can do to promote better mental health wellbeing and functioning.

We will discuss the factors that puts someone at risk or protects them from developing a mental illness, including the influence of trauma. We will examine the effect of stigma on the perception of mental illness on the individual and societal levels, including how this is often internalized. We will explore some of the most common mental health disorders and then bridge into discussing treatment methods, how to identify signs versus symptoms, barriers to treatment and ways in which we can work to eliminate stigma, promote treatment engagement and emphasize the importance of self-care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the prevalence of mental health challenges and disorders
  • Explore risk and protective factors for developing a mental illness
  • Discuss the impact of trauma and the physiological manifestation of signs and symptoms as they influence mental health
  • Discuss the impact that stigma has on the perception of mental illnesses on the societal, communal and personal level
  • Learn some tips for eliminating stigma, engaging in treatment and the importance of self-care

Marijuana: Miracle Drug or The Devil’s Lettuce?

William C. Gilbert, PhD, LCSW, AADC
Friday, Oct 15, 2021
10:00 am – 12:00 pmRegister for CE programs now
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete

With the increasing number of states legalizing recreation marijuana and other states approving the drug for medical purposes, the use of marijuana is becoming more popular. With this increasing popularity, the facts about marijuana and the effects on the brain and body are often misrepresented. Marijuana in neither the panacea that some claim, nor will its use lead to the downfall of our country. This webinar will present an unbiased discussion about the facts and myths about marijuana. The pharmacology of the drug will be reviewed as well as its benefits and negative consequences.

By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

• describe the effects of marijuana on the brain and body
• distinguish between the myths and facts about marijuana
• describe the validated medical use of marijuana
• describe the cultural and societal effects of marijuana use

The Clinical Interview

Jennifer Berton, PhD, LICSW, CADC-IIRegister for CE programs now

Thurs, Oct 21, 2021
10 am – 12 pm
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Trainings on assessment and diagnosis typically focus on client symptoms and psychopathology, and examine existing diagnostic assessment tools. This training has the actual clinical interview at its focus, exploring how to gather the information you need from each client. Participants will learn how to prepare, what skills are needed, and where to focus each section of the interview.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gather all the needed questions to conduct a solid clinical interview
  • Learn the components of motivational interviewing
  • Explore how to direct and redirect the path of the clinical interview
  • Practice clinical interviewing skills; identify strengths and challenges

Making Sense of the DSM 5

Jennifer Berton, PhD, LICSW, CADC-IIRegister for CE programs now

Thurs, Oct 14, 2021
10 am – 12 pm
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

The 5th edition of the DSM brings with it some of the most significant changes between editions. In addition to changes in the disorders themselves and how they are grouped, the diagnostic system has been revamped. Are you prepared to incorporate the changes into your practice and to diagnose your clients accurately? This training shows you how to use the DSM5 to enhance your assessment skills.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the major philosophical changes to the diagnosis process in the DSM 5
  • Learn the categorical and disorder changes and additions introduced in the DSM 5
  • Examine the assessment tools published with the DSM 5
  • Practice diagnosis using the DSM 5 through numerous clinical vignettes

Art of Diagnosis

Register for CE programs nowJennifer Berton, PhD, LICSW, CADC-II

Thurs, October 7, 2021
10 am – 12 pm
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

Although a large component of the daily work of social workers is to diagnose psychiatric illnesses, there is little education on how to do that well. This training teaches how to differentially diagnose using specific questions and provides distinct tools that clinicians can use in sessions.

In this live webinar, you will:

  • Explore common diagnostic mistakes clinicians make
  • Learn to accurately use the Mental Status Exam as a diagnostic tool
  • Gather the assessment tools available in the DSM 5 and elsewhere
  • Practice differential diagnosis by disorder type through vignettes

Who is Thich Nhat Hanh and How do I do His “One Stone” Meditation with Clients?

Donald F. deGraffenried, LCSW
Thurs, Sept 30, 2021, 10 am – 12 pmRegister for CE programs now
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

This two-hour online training will explore the teachings of Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Participants will learn about his history with mindfulness, his advocacy for peace and social justice, and his connection to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Trainer deGraffenried will explain the origin of the “One Stone Meditation” and demonstrate how to use this powerful, yet simple experience of mindfulness to use with clients or for yourself. This is a gentle introduction to the process of mindfulness and enhancing the greater ability to be fully in the moment.

Participants are requested to have a small stone available to use during the webinar. The stone should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.

Finding and Improving a Trauma-Informed Workplace Using Brain Science

Patricia D Wilcox, LCSW

Register for CE programs now

Friday, Sept 24, 2021
10 am – 12 pm
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

Our growing awareness of the importance of trauma-informed care goes beyond clinical work with individuals. It includes the organization and practices of the whole agency system. Helpers cannot treat their clients any better than they themselves are treated. In addition, as we consider the high toll that working with trauma survivors can take on treaters, it is increasingly clear that self-care practices are not enough. In  this era of staff shortages and high turnover, the agency must take action to sustain the hope and energy of its workers. What are these actions?

When staff feel they are connected with each other and the agency, and are using and developing their best selves, they are calmer and more effective. Trauma-informed care means using the relationship as the primary vehicle of change. Staff cannot have open-hearted relationships with clients unless they feel safe and connected. We will share strategies for developing a protective social environment.

Participants will be able to:

  • Define a trauma-informed workplace and list five components.
  • Develop a list of questions to ask in a job interview to learn more about organizational practices.
  • Critique their current organization through a polyvagal and trauma-informed lens.
  • Appraise and discuss their own personal contributions to a culture to sustain employees and develop a plan for future action.
  • Utilize polyvagal theory to examine staff reactions to safety and danger and develop an action plan to increase staff connectedness and safety either as an employee or as a supervisor.

More details about the webinar:

This webinar will first address the process of seeking a job in an agency that takes care of its workers. What should the interviewee look for? What questions should they ask?

The webinar will then address the role of the individual employee in creating and enhancing a trauma-informed system. What can one person do? The new field of polyvagal theory will help participants understand how safety and danger affect their own behavior and that of their co-workers, including the role of implicit bias. A tool to develop insight into one’s own experiences of safety at work will be introduced. A sense of safety is greatly enhanced by connectedness. Participants will also examine how the racist climate influences our sense of safety and danger, and how self-awareness and specific strategies can help us bring anti-racism into our treatment. Other areas that have been shown to be essential for worker job satisfaction are voice and choice and a sense of purpose and efficacy. Participants will explore actions they personally can take to evaluate and improve these factors in their work settings.

The webinar will also address the role of supervisors and leaders in creating a sustaining workplace, including a checklist of possible action steps.

How Our COVID and Re-entry Experience Can Help Us Be More Powerful Healers

Patricia D. Wilcox, LCSWRegister for CE programs now

Wed, July 14, 2021
9 am – 11 am
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

We have all had to endure many changes and stressors during the pandemic crisis. How can we use our experiences to enhance our clinical compassion? Participants will examine their experiences during this crisis and consider what they can learn from them in areas such as:

  • Living with a sense of constant danger
  • Being cut off from loved ones
  • Ever-changing and difficult to understand rules and advice
  • Loneliness
  • Loss
  • Being unable to access resources
  • Handling multiple stressors at once
  • Lack of resources
  • Uncertainty and fear of the future
  • The complexities of returning to the world

Now, we are re-entering our worlds and moving towards our new normal. What have we learned that we want to keep? How can we observe our own responses in trying to achieve a sense of safety, and learn from them about the journeys that our clients take? How can we translate this new awareness into changed practices for our work and our lives?

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will identify and explore their own COVID19 experiences.
  2. Participants will connect these experiences to events that are common for their clients, and explore how clients manifest these stressors in ways that now makes more sense.
  3. Participants will identify the features of their own reactions to the loosening of restrictions and to assurances of greater safety, and through this gain a greater understanding of the body’s mechanism of danger and connection.
  4. Participants will translate this new understanding into changes they will make in their practice.

Social Justice Issues in Supervision

This webinar provides at least one hour of content on cultural competence

Register for CE programs now

Patricia D. Wilcox, LCSW and Aminah Ali, MSW
Mon, June 28, 2021
1 pm – 3 pm
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

This webinar focuses on trauma-informed supervision through a social justice lens, an approach to supervision that begins with the personal and extends to the professional. Personal histories, identities, characteristics and psychological experiences of supervisors, as well as structural and environmental conditions of the organization, are considered in supervision. This perspective promotes the role of the supervisor as a leader in establishing a culture within their team that is responsive to and inclusive of the positionalities and unique experiences of clients and colleagues. Supervisors are encouraged to remain vigilant in their commitment to social justice by leading their teams and organizations in achieving truly inclusive diversity.

Participants will be able to:

  • Define their social work values and create a plan to promote social justice in their roles as leaders within the organization
  • Find how to improve their interactions with supervisees by identifying the positionalities and unique experiences of supervisor and supervisee
  • Critique the culture of the organization by partnering with their supervisees
    Appraise and discuss implicit bias and how it impacts the supervisory relationship and work with clients
  • Discuss with supervisees the applications of racism and inter-generational trauma-informed perspectives in supervision and practice and prepare a plan to utilize this knowledge within their practice

 Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete

Providing Inclusive, Affirming Care to the Trans and Gender Expansive Communities

This program provides at least 1 hour of content on cultural competence.Register for CE programs now

Sarah A. Gilbert, LCSW

Thurs, February 17, 2022
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
(Two 10-minute breaks at 9:50 am and 11:20 am)
4 CECs

$80 –  UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$100 – All Others

The goal of this webinar is to increase participants’ cultural competence in serving gender diverse clients by gaining a greater understanding of the unique micro and macro issues this population experiences. Sarah Gilbert LCSW, founder of Transitions Therapy LLC; will share her practice experience and passion for creating more trans-affirming clinical spaces for trans and gender-questioning teens, adults, and the people who love them.

Ample time will be provided for questions and answers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand gender identity, expression as existing on spectrum rather than a binary
  • Clarity on diagnostic DSM 5 Diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria for kids, adults
  • Understanding the concepts of cisnormativity and implicit bias as they pertain to personal, societal challenges including barriers to treatment and access to resources
  • Exploration of transition options and our role as providers in supporting clients through them

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.