Continuing Education Subject Catalogue

Compassion fatigue is a chronic issue among social service practitioners. Too often professionals become burned-out and unable to consistently empathize with clients. Many do not realize caring too much can hurt them physically, mentally, and emotionally until it is too late.

The American Institute of Stress defines compassion fatigue as ‘vicarious traumatization’ that can lead to sleep disturbance, impaired judgement, loss of self-worth, and an increase in angry outbursts. With this, behavioral health professionals have realized that self-care is one of the best ways to prevent the onset of compassion fatigue when working with trauma victims.

Sufferers can exhibit several symptoms including hopelessness, a decrease in experiences of pleasure, constant stress and anxiety, sleeplessness or nightmares, and a pervasive negative attitude. We find in the behavioral health arena it has a significant presence and can lead to negative outcomes for the helpers.

Mindful self-Care is all about learning how to take care of yourself and identify those issues that trigger you to act in a negative manner. This is where the real work begins. Self-care helps individuals recharge and refocus so they can continue on with their tasks. Fortunately, there are ways to personalize and fit a good self-care practice into one’s schedule such as taking more breaks, writing in a journal, training for a marathon or spending more time with loved ones, just to name a few.

After this session, attendees will be able to:

1. Define compassion fatigue. 
2. Recognize signs and the physical symptoms associated with compassion fatigue.
3. Make a self-assessment, identify, and discuss both positive and negative coping skills.
4. Get tips and additional resources on methods of self-care related to compassion fatigue.

Ethical Decision-Making in the Digital Age is designed to provide an overview of ethical standards. In today's world, healthcare professionals and counselors are facing ethical dilemmas in a high technology and social media world.

Additionally, this training will review counselor self-disclosure and self-disclosures in the age of the internet, privacy, security, clinical supervision and technology, and ethical reasoning. An overview of the moral concepts of goodness, right, and obligation, and the ways in which they operate in society, religion, and law.

These concepts are further enhanced during the classroom discussions and group work. During this class, participants will:

1. Define ethics and values.
2. Review the various codes of ethics.
3. Discuss the major ethical principals.
4. Review cases and theoretical instances featuring unprofessional conduct in various settings.
5. List the steps of ethical decision-making, apply these concepts to the scenarios during class discussions.

You may know CPR. You can call 911. But can you administer first aid in a mental health crisis?

Mental Health First Aid is an 6 hour course where you will learn how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. You will learn to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and addictions.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will be able to identify people experiencing a mental health problem.
2. Participants will learn how to respond to provide initial help to people experiencing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and substance use disorders.

Motivational Interviewing Foundations is a collaborative, goal-oriented method of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is intended to strengthen personal motivation for & commitment to a change goal by eliciting and exploring an individual’s own arguments for change.

This evidenced-based practice is used in numerous settings including: addictions & mental health care, primary care, emergency rooms, public health care, criminal justice, street outreach & shelters, and child welfare.

This seminar is tailored for individuals who might be unfamiliar with Motivational Interviewing techniques and philosophies. During this two-part seminar, attendees will:

1. Learn when, where and how Motivational Interviewing techniques can be used.
2. Describe three communication styles and common “roadblocks."
3. Identify instances of “change-talk” (things people might say about engaging in behavior change). 
4. Get an introduction to the "OARS (Open questions, Affirmation, Reflective listening, and Summary reflections) technique."

Suicide is a major public health concern indiscriminate of one’s age, gender, or socioeconomic status.

In 2017 alone, the Centers for Disease Control reported over 45,400 suicides in the United States. This course will discuss ways individuals can become more comfortable with the topic of suicide, as well as educate and empower citizens to connect those in need to lifesaving services. Additionally, this course will delve into the difference between suicidal ideation and suicide itself. The National Suicide Hotline – 1-800-273-Talk(8255). Start by programing that in your phone today and tell others to do the same.

During this session participants will:

1) Discuss the prevalence of suicide nationally and locally.
2) Learn relevant nomencalture surrounding suicide and self-harm.
3) Learn about screening for depression, suicidal ideation, and non-suicidal self-injury.
4) Differentiate between potentially lethal suicidal ideation and non-suicidal self-injury.
5) Identify evidence-based practices to address self-harm and suicidal ideation.
6) Receive community resources that are appropriate and relevant to patient needs.

Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) & Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) explores the integrative organizational approach to engaging individuals with histories of traumatic experiences.

According to the SAMHSA Gains Center, whose mission is to “educate criminal justice professionals about the impact of trauma and how to develop trauma-informed responses,” the following definition of trauma-informed care is provided within the framework of the criminal justice and behavioral health system.

We will also address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which according to the CDC, "have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity."

After this session, attendees will:

1) Discuss the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma.
2) Learn how TIC is integrated into current best practice used by treatment providers.
3) Identify strategies for integrating TIC into participants' everyday practices.
4) Receive an overview of Compassion Fatigue and Self-Care.

Verbal De-Escalation and Effective Communication is a type of communication intervention.

It can be used for people who may be at risk for aggressive or emotional behaviors. By using a calm language, along with other communication techniques, to diffuse, re-direct, or de-escalate a conflict situation. It is important for the helper to have good communication skills and a strong sense of self-awareness to manage any personal provocation, emotionally challenges and professional deprecation that often accompany such emotionally charged encounters.

Learning Objectives:

1) Discuss and define the concept of verbal de-escalation.
2) Learn strategies to reduce the risk of situations becoming dangerous.
3) Apply verbal de-escalation techniques and resolution strategies by using effective communication skills.


Elizabeth Athens
Director of Continuing Education

Toni Peters
Project Manager