full day workshops

Anti-Racism / Anti-Oppression
Most social service organizations have already undergone some form of anti-oppression training. If your agency is looking to go deeper and explore tensions and intersections of power and privilege as they play out in your workplace, a tailored training can be developed for you. Concepts that can be covered include: social determinants of health, the specifics of what power & privilege look like, oppression and what it can look like in various communities, microaggressions, the myth of meritocracy, equity vs. equality, experiences of erasure, affirmative action and risks of tokenism, and more. Teams will also participate in application-based exercises to consider what AR/AO principles can look like in their work.

Motivational Interviewing and CBT Skills
There is an increasing demand for front line staff—beyond psychotherapists—to draw on MI and CBT skills in their work. This workshop will begin with a conversation around the context and appropriate use of motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques. This full day workshop will equip participants with basic knowledge of each modality and concrete tools they can use with clients who are considering behaviour change, working through ambivalence, interested in behavioural strategies to manage depression, and those who need support restructuring unhelpful thinking styles.

Working with Strong Emotions
Part 1: Understanding Anger, Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore common client presentations of strong emotion in group and service settings
  • Examine anger, its underlying drivers, and common activators
  • Consider the connections between anger style and potential interpersonal goals for more effective communication
  • Review rules for ‘fighting fairly’ and collectively identify team protocol for de-escalation (along with role play)
  • Discuss tools that can be used with service users: e.g. temperature scale, CBT anger cycle, hassle logs, anger decision chart, script for accountability and apologies, mindfulness-based techniques

Part 2: Complex Trauma & Self Harm, Learning Outcomes:

  • Discuss the spectrum of suicidality and provider attitudes towards crisis presentations
  • Unpack “cluster B” personality disorders: conceptualizations, the role of trauma histories
  • Explore the functions of “self-harm” for people
  • Practice and reflect on common suicide risk assessment questions/practices
  • Discuss safety planning tools and critically reflect on appropriate use

Practicing & Reflecting on Counselling Skills
This training will begin by examining specific engagement skill in depth. Participants will then be organized into groups and each group will “tag-team” in engaging “service users” in a simulation exercise while other participants observe. After each 30 minute simulated encounter, we will debrief as a larger group. This group discussion will not be used to give feedback about skills of simulators. Rather, it will be used to identify which concrete skills were used, to ask the actors what stood out for them in the interaction, and then to reflect on tone, flow, affect, and social location of the service user and provider. Skill areas to be examined include (Bogo, 2006):

  • Engagement
    • Greeting / “pitch”
    • Service user story / narrative
    • Finding an ‘opening’
  • Open-Ended Questions
    • Prompts
    • Intentional direction
    • Emotion-focused
    • Exploration of feelings
    • Internal thought process
  • Closed-Ended Questions
    • Considerations in the Use of Questions
  • Seeking Concreteness & Asking for Clarification 

  • Attending & Active Listening
    • Transference & countertransference
  • Restatement or paraphrasing
  • Reflection of feelings
  • Silence
  • Summarizing
  • Reframing
  • Interpretations & Explanations
  • Elicit & Respond to Feedback
  • Sharing Impressions
  • Presenting a Challenge
  • Offering Support & Information
    • Information about the services
    • Psychoeducation
    • Normalization
    • Providing suggestions