PhD, LPC, CRC, NCC, ACS
Mention you are attending the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Annual Conference and receive a special room rate of
Eric is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program with
the Family Institute at Northwestern University and is currently serving as President of the
American Mental Health Counselors Association for the 2019-2020 Term. Eric’s Nueroscience
began as an undergraduate studying BioPsychology and evolved through his lived experience
of traumatic brain injury and substance abuse disorder.
During his 10 years of clinical practice, Eric has worked in a variety of settings including community mental health and addiction treatment centers, private practices, schools, and even a few nuerofeedback clinics. Eris is an accomplished researcher and author with several peer-reviewed journal articles, clinical practice briefs, and books focusing on the ethical integration of nueroscience in counseling practice. Additionally, he commissioned the first ever task force focusing on the integration of nueroscience in counseling, founded the brainstorm nuerocounseling community, and co-founded the “Nuerocounseling” section of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling.
In his spare time, Eric enjoys cooking, spending time outdoors, playing sports, and watching a healthy dose of Netflix entertainment.
What do you think about the integration of neuroscience in counseling? Does neuroscience draw us closer or push us further away from our professional identity? Should we be enthusiastic or concerned about the integration of neuroscience in counseling? Will we have to become neuroscientists to infuse neuroscience in our practice?
Regardless of your answers to these questions, the popularity of neuroscience has surged in popular press, academic communities, and the counseling profession; however, the enthusiasm for integrating neuroscience in counseling has sometimes lacked clear theoretical and empirical guidelines leading to a myriad of ethical concerns, and many questions still exist regarding what it means to integrate neuroscience in counseling.
This workshop will unpack these questions and many more as we review the history of neuroscience research in the counseling field, explore the theoretical and empirical basis for integrating neuroscience in counseling, identify key neuroscience concepts that can be useful to all counselors, and practice applying these concepts through experiential activities.
Attendees will be able to:
1) Describe the theoretical and empirical justification for integrating neuroscience principles in counseling practice.
2) Identify ethical principles guiding the integration of neuroscience in counseling.
3) Explain at least 1 neuroscience principle to apply to their counseling practice.
4) Identify and evaluate neuroscience-informed counseling skills/techniques in relation to current practice.
5) Demonstrate at least 1 new neuroscience-informed counseling skill/technique.
Mention you are attending the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Annual Conference and receive a special room rate of $109.00 (Standard King or Double Room). Special room rates are available until March 5, 2020. Call 800-222-8733 to make reservations.
Registrations, cancelled before seven days prior to the workshop, can be refunded minus There is a $20 cancellation fee. No refunds can be made seven days prior to the workshop. Workshops may be cancelled or rescheduled due to circumstances beyond our control. IMHCA is not responsible for any loss or damage as a result of substitution, alteration, or cancellation of an event. IMHCA shall assume no liability whatsoever in the event that a workshop is cancelled, rescheduled or postponed due to a fortuitous event, Act of God, unforeseen occurrences or any other event that renders performance of this conference impracticable, illegal or impossible. For purposes of this clause, a fortuitous event shall include, but not be limited to: war, fire, labor strike, extreme weather or other emergency. IMHCA will make every effort to offer a substitution event in the case IMHCA cancels because of a fortuitous event or Act of God.
Proof of IMHCA Membership: To receive the member discount you need to be a current member of ICA and the IMHCA division. If you are unsure, please call and we can verify your membership status.
DoubleTree Skokie. Mention you are attending the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Annual Conference and receive a special room rate of $109.00 (Standard King or Double Room). Special room rates are available until March 5, 2020. Call 800-222-8733 to make reservations.
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Empowering the African American Client: Demystifying Mental HealthAngela D Jackson, Ph.D., LCPC, NCC
Bio: Angela Jackson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor experienced working with diverse youth, adults, couples, and families. A graduate of Virginia Tech, she has a Ph.D. in Counselor Education with a concentration in Race & Social Policy. She focuses on building rapport with clients from their cultural context and clarifying the basis for their presenting issues. As a Core Faculty member in the Townsend Institute Master’s Counseling Program, Dr. Jackson enjoy empowering students to recognize their strengths and utilize their God-given gifts purposefully. She has gained a unique cultural awareness of the family dynamics and cultural dispositions, particularly with the African American population.
Workshop Description: Client Welfare, Informed Consent, and Avoiding Harm and Imposing Values are ethical standards to consider when empowering the African American client!! Culturally responsive techniques such as cultural sensitivity, building rapport, and clarifying counseling expectations will be explored via visual media. Tips for demystifying mental health will be highlighted.
Examining How Clinicians Integrate Mindfulness Practices with High-Risk AdolescentsLili Burciaga, EdD, LCPC
Bio: Dr. Lili Burciaga is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with 14 years of experience in the field in hospitals, community mental health, corrections, and integrative care. Dr. Burciaga is also assistant professor and core faculty in the child and adolescent track of the clinical mental health counseling graduate program at Lewis University. She teaches in the Undergraduate Psychology Program as well. Her areas of expertise and interest include mindfulness, trauma, family dynamics, and clinical supervision.
Workshop Description: This workshop looks at a study that explored the lived experiences of clinicians who have integrated mindfulness practices into their clinical work with high-risk adolescents. The study aimed to explore specific mindfulness integration strategies that are beneficial to high-risk adolescents, based on the experiences of the individuals who participated in the study. The participants of the study discussed their challenges, successes, and their perception of effective mindfulness techniques with this population. Three superordinate and 11 subordinate themes and four categories were identified. The essence of the participant’s experiences provided knowledge and considerations for other clinicians interested in using mindfulness in therapy with high-risk adolescents.
Couple Counseling When Divorce is ImminentGwendolyn Sterk, Attorney at Law
Bio: Gwendolyn J. Sterk has been practicing family law since 1989 and successfully started her own law firm, Sterk Family Law Group, P.C., in 2015. Gwendolyn and her team believe in a holistic approach to the practice of family law and strive to not only service a client’s legal needs, but also help manage a client’s emotional and over-all well-being. Ms. Sterk and the Family Law team work hard to establish connections with a vast network of counselors, support groups, and various other non-traditional service providers, who the team regularly partners with to assist clients on a case by case basis. Sterk Family Law Group strives to provide clients with the tools they need to be empowered by their life changes, and be encouraged to move on with integrity and dignity.
Workshop Description: This presentation will include the following:
A. Highlights of Illinois Divorce Law and recent changes in the Law
B. Tips for Couples from the Perspective of a Divorce Lawyer
C. Standards of Behavior to maintain good relations with your children
D. Special considerations for a “grey” divorce
E. Unique issues for parents of a child with special needs
What your mother never told you about ageing: What every practitioner needs to know about counseling clients in later-life.Brenda Ross, LPC and Assistant Professor in Counselor Education and Supervision; Dr. Kathy Bonnar
Bio: Brenda Ross currently serves as Assistant Professor of Counselor Education & Supervision at Concordia University Chicago and has ten years of collegiate teaching and clinical supervisory experience. Additionally, Ross develops and maintains working relationships with local mental health boards and agencies to involve community individuals and groups with the on-campus Community Counseling Center, which is a training center for practicum students and provides free services to the public, including workshops on Meaningful Living for Older Adults.
Kathy Bonnar currently serves as Assistant Professor of Human Services at Concordia University Chicago and has 15 years of collegiate teaching and supervising plus 12 years experience as a diadactic counseling consultant with large corporations. Dr. Bonnar has presented numerous papers and workshops around the country on human services and ageing.
Workshop Description: How can we support and advance change that combats ageism and offers dignity to older adult clients? Join us as we consider what it means to counsel older adults and debunk ageist myths and misconceptions common in society. Come away with a new language to empower people who are ageing and techniques to improve essential counseling skills as you work with adults. This presentation will include statistics concerning older adults as an under-served population, how the cultural narrative around ageing undermines and disempowers people at all stages of the lifespan, and will help you reframe the conversation about what it means to be mentally healthy into old age. The number of people 65 and older in the U.S. is expected to increase to 55 million in 2020 will comprise 20% of the population by 2050. How will you address this in your own practice?
Trauma Response to ViolenceLinda Robinson, PsyD, LCPC; Sandra Siegel, PsyD, LCPC; Tyrell McGhee and Steven Ostergaard are students in the Counseling Psychology Program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Bio: Linda Robinson, Psy.D., is a graduate of The Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She holds a license in the State of Illinois as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and is board certified via The National Board for Certified Counselors
Dr. Robinson’s clinical experience includes 25 years working in the field of community mental health providing both direct counseling services and administrative direction to various clinical programs. Dr. Robinson has served as Assistant Director of the Child and Adolescent Program for The Community Mental Health Council in Chicago. She has also held the position of Administrative Program Director at The Bobby E. Wright Mental Health Center in Chicago where she provided administrative direction to their adult programs for the mentally ill. Her academic experience includes 11 years as an Associate Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She also operates a private practice in the Chicago area treating adults who have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and/or depression. Her special interests include cultural competence in the clinical setting.
Sandra Siegel, PsyD, LCPC received her doctoral degree from the Adler School of Professional Psychology and attended Northwestern University for her undergraduate studies. She is a certified Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist and is licensed as a registered nurse, LCPC, as well as a clinical psychologist. Dr. Siegel’s areas of interest are community mental health, addictions, and the jail and prison systems. She has an APA published book chapter on Group Therapy with Dually-Diagnosed Individuals. Dr. Siegel has been the director of a large, inner-city community mental health center for more than ten years, director of a large long-term care facility for the severely mentally ill, as well as working in the criminal justice system for Thresholds Justice Program, the Cook County Public Defender’s office, and the Cook County Jail Women’s Justice Program. Dr. Siegel has taught at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology for ten years in the Master in Counseling Program and is the coordinator of the IAODAPCA advanced accreditation addiction concentration.
Tyrrell McGhee and Steven Ostergaard are students in the Counseling Psychology Program at the Chicago School. They both have extensive experience working with youth who have been exposed to violence.
Workshop Description: According the 2017 Chicago annual police report, there were 83,598 arrests in Chicago, and 74% were African Americans, although African Americans make up only 31% of the population (U.S. Census Bureau). Most were young men from poverty-ridden, segregated communities. There are multiple studies (Busby, 2013; Motley, 2017) that indicate exposure to community violence is connected to increased aggressive behavior, depression, anxiety, substance use, and poor academic performance. The Heartland Alliance report on the Cycle of risk: The intersection of poverty, trauma, and violence (2017) similarly demonstrates the connection of poverty, trauma, race, and violence in Illinois.
Participants will be informed relative to the impact of community violence on African American youth.
Participants will be informed regarding the relationship between societal factors such as racism, discrimination and poverty and its impact on the development of African American male youth.
Participants will be informed of the recent research regarding epigenetics and how historical trauma can be passed down via DNA.
Participants will be able to identify the risk and resiliency factors when working with traumatized African American youth.
Participants will be able informed of culturally sensitive intervention strategies in order to assist African American youth who have been impacted by traumatic events.
Embracing Strength Based Principle: Effective Strategies For Treatment PlanningJoann Preston, PhD. LCSW MAC CADC ACSW
Bio: Dr Preston is a licensed clinical social worker with the Chicago Public School system. She has been employed in this position for 28 years. Her position with the Chicago Public Schools has rewarded her with the opportunity to mentor many students. She has held numerous positions in social work during her summer hiatus from CPS.
Most notably in geriatrics and social work with the LGBTQ population. She has
specialized training in sex trafficking, drug addiction and dementia support.
Dr Preston was clinically trained at Loyola University receiving her master’s in social work and her doctorate in family therapy from the Institute of Clinical Social Work.
Dr Preston also has a certificate in drug counseling from South Suburban College. Dr Preston has published articles on African American adolescent females and Aids, Urban LGBTQ population and Crisis Intervention. Dr Preston leads the dementia ministry at Hill Crest Baptist church.
She loves working with adolescents, families and children and assisting them to grow socially, academically, spiritually and emotionally. Dr Preston states she has never met a kid she did not like.
Workshop Description: This workshop will assist you to apply the strength based principles in your work with children, adolescents and their families to improve treatment outcomes. Participants will learn practical strategies that can be used effectively in any clinical setting to help clients uncover their coping skills, build new relationships, and identify inner resources. Participants will gain a better understanding of the challenges many clinicians face when working with multi stressed families and how the strength based approach can reduce therapist burn out, encourage the client to take a proactive role in treatment and therapeutic benefits will be identified.
IMHCA Annual Conference - SundaySunday - March 29, 2020
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday, March 29, 20209:00 am - 12:00 pm
Medical Cannabis & Mental HealthAnne Shragal, MA, LCPC, PEL-SC, ACS; none
With Illinois legalizing marijuana January 2020, mental health counselors may have clients receiving counseling while also
using cannabis legally. Many clients are finding therapeutic benefits with the use of medical-grade cannabis when monitored and used properly. Emerging research indicates patients are reporting a reduction in symptoms such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, etc. This, in turn, allows the clinician to work on maladaptive behaviors and cognitive distortions.
Medical Cannabis & Mental Health is an introductory presentation on the uses of medical cannabis and its implications in Clinical Counseling. Attendees will learn the details surrounding medical cannabis including endocannabinoid and phytocannabinoid systems, strains, and absorptions methods. In addition, participants will get an in-depth look at the implications of medical cannabis on mental health and the emerging research pertaining to this topic. The objective of this presentation is to provide and create dialogue and information surrounding the medicinal use of cannabis in the practice of clinical counseling.
Underpressure: Anxiety in AdolescentsKelsey Quade, LCPC, NCC
Bio: I graduated from McKendree University with a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling, and I am a Nationally Certified Counselor. I serve adolescents, adults, and families and utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques, including cognitive-behavioral, rational emotive, and person-centered. I have worked primarily with adolescents and their families in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I previously served teens who had experienced grief and loss, neglect, abuse, and trauma, and I am trained in the SPARCS therapeutic technique, which focuses on the physical and emotional effects of trauma and chronic stress in adolescents by teaching mindfulness and self-regulating skills.
I currently work with individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, anger, and stress to help them learn to modify behaviors and learn healthy coping strategies, improve anger management skills, increase stress tolerance, cope with grief and loss, and improve interpersonal and self-care strategies. My past professional experiences include direct care and therapy at United Methodist Children's Home in Mt. Vernon, Illinois and Catholic Family Services in St. Louis, Missouri
Discussion of the factors affecting the ever-increasing cases of high social and generalized anxiety among today's adolescents, including the influence of social media, friends and familial relationships, school, sports, and community, as well as discssion of treatment methods and the roles of parents/guardians, teachers, coaches, and other adults in adolescents' mental health.
Sunday, March 29, 20209:00 am - 12:00 pm
Supporting those that Protect and Serve: A Clinician's Guide to Improving Officer Wellness
Bio:Jackie Wallen, LCPC, earned degrees from Cedarville University and Chicago State University. As a resident of Cicero she is passionate about helping the community support youth and families. During her tenure at Youth Crossroads she helped start and build the school based counseling program at the local high school district.
Jackie is very involved in helping the local communities become more trauma informed, focusing on school systems and law enforcement. She has trained all of the Cicero Police Department Personnel on Trauma Informed Policing. She help start a Peer Support Program with the Department and is the Clinician for their Peer Support Program. She has trained thousands of school personnel on best practices of trauma informed schools and has helped collect data and advocate for trauma informed practices within the school system and law enforcement community.
Jackie finds herself often in the role of bridge builder finding great meaning in helping marginalized individuals/groups and systems work together for the betterment of all. When she isn’t working, Jackie loves having adventures with her husband, Joel, and their children, Justus and Deacon.
Deputy Vincent C. Acevez is a twenty plus year veteran of the Cicero, Illinois Police Department. Up until his recent promotion to Deputy of the Cicero Police Department’s Patrol Division, Vince worked nearly his entire career in the service of the Gang Crimes Tactical Unit. Before becoming Commander of the Gang Crimes Tactical Unit, Deputy Acevez worked as a Sergeant in the unit, overseeing complex gang-related investigations as well as the development of officers assigned to the unit. Prior to his promotion to Sergeant, Acevez worked as a Gang Officer for twelve years, the highlight of which was receiving the Cicero Police Department Medal of Honor, which is the department’s highest award for bravery in the line of duty.
Deputy Acevez additionally serves as Chairman of the Cicero P.D. Community Outreach Committee, the Cicero P.D. Wellness Committee, and also serves on the Board of the Town of Cicero Neighborhood Watch Program. Deputy Acevez frequently speaks at public events on behalf of the Cicero Police Department, and regularly gives presentations to other Law Enforcement personnel and civilian audiences on the topic of Street Gang Awareness.
Deputy Acevez is married and has two beautiful daughters, serves on the board of a local not-for-profit, teaches Spin classes at a local gym. Deputy Acevez
received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Lewis University.
Dr. Meghan Meyer is proud to be a school psychologist of Morton High School District 201 in Cicero, Illinois. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at University of Illinois, educational specialist degree at National Louis University and doctorate degree in school psychology/mental health from Loyola University. Meghan has been practicing as a school psychologist for the past eleven years and is dedicated to supporting and advocating for youth and families.
Through her work as a school psychologist, she has developed a passion for building trauma-informed schools and communities because she has directly witnessed the significant impact trauma has on the lives of her students. Meghan has extended this work into the community as she serves on board for Youth Crossroads as well as the health and safety committee of the Cicero Community Collaborative. Meghan is personally invigorated to see the spark and momentum build behind trauma and honored to be part of the driving force to create a trauma-informed community.
Clinicians will walk away from the workshop with a model for a collaborative approach to improving officer wellness through building a trauma informed police department. Presenters including a Cicero Police Commander, School Psychologist, and Community Counselor will share their experience of partnering together to address officer mental health and wellness in this urban, immigrant community surrounded by Chicago. The team will walk participants through steps they took to get their foot in the door, lay the groundwork, build relationships, provide mental health trainings, obtain data and establish long term partnerships to improve the mental health of the community and the police officers. The workshop will demonstrate how this grassroots approach has ignited a spark both in the police department and in the community creating a desire and willingness to become more trauma informed and focus attention on improving mental health. Participants will leave feeling inspired and challenged to consider how they can use their sphere of influence to bring about positive change in their own departments and communities.
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Taking the R.E.I.N.S. Of A Sensitive Life: Supporting the Highly Sensitive PersonGelana McCloud, MS, LCPC, CCTP, MS in Mental Health Counseling MS in Human Services; Denise Peters, MA Coach/Consultant
Bio: Gelana is the founder of Lifeline Counseling, Coaching & Consulting in Pekin, IL and author of the R.E.I.N.S System. She has been trained by, demonstrated competency and listed on Dr. Elaine Arona’s website (hsperson.com) as a trained psychotherapist knowledgeable of highly sensitive people. Gelana provides psychotherapy and coaching to adults, children and families on a variety of topics including HSP/SPS. Additionally, Gelana provides consultation within educational systems to assist in creating HSP friendly classrooms and programs.
Denise is a contributor to the R.E.I.N.S System as well as being trained and demonstrated competency by Dr Aron. She is a Coach/Consultant at Lifeline Holistic Center providing education and coaching support to adults, children & families. She also provides consultation to educational systems.
This workshop introduces the professional to the scientifically proven trait of the highly sensitive person (HSP) otherwise officially named Sensory Processing Sensitivity. 20% of people in the world are born with the sensitivity processing trait and tend to struggle more with anxiety and depression making up at least 50% of therapeutic caseloads. The R.E.I.N.S. Systems is introduced as an effective collection of psycho education, personal environment management, self-awareness, HSP specific coping mechanisms, and emotional regulation that helps the sensitive person thrive in an ordinarily overwhelming world.
Sunday, March 29, 2020
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Couples Counseling: The Essential FrameworksSara Schwarzbaum, Ed.D, LCPC, LMFT;
Bio: Sara Schwarzbaum, EdD, LCPC, LMFT is the founder of Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago where she works with couples who want to improve their relationship. She provides couples counseling consultation, supervision and training for counselors, private practices and agencies. Dr. Schwarzbaum is Professor Emerita at NEIU, where she was a faculty member in the Counselor Education Department and the Coordinator of its Master’s in Family Counseling Program.
Couples counseling is a complex and challenging activity even for the most experienced counselors. Counselors who wish to enhance their skills for working with couples have a variety of models to choose from. This workshop will present an overview the most commonly used frameworks for couples counseling, including EFT, Gottman, Imago, Solutions Focused, and psychodynamic models. The advantages and limitations of the major frameworks will also be addressed, along with treatment sequencing and practical interventions derived from the models.
Sunday, March 29, 2020
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Conceptualizing and Treating Harm OCD: What Counselors Need to KnowDonna Mahoney, Ph.D.
Bio: Donna Mahoney, PhD., is a current member of the supervising faculty at the Family Institute/Northwestern University’s online Counseling program. Her clinical work spans almost 30-years, focusing on anxiety disorders. Phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She taught for 16 years at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, teaching courses entitled Treatment of Anxiety Disorders, Psychoanalytic Theories and Psychotherapy, Self Psychology, child and adult development, and psychopathology. Additionally, she served as the Director of Clinical Training for the Clinical Mental Health program for 1½ years. She received her PhD in Clinical Social Work from the Institute for Clinical Social Work and advanced training at the Institute for Psychoanalysis. Among presentations on topics related to anxiety and trauma, she co-presented at the Society for Psychotherapy Integration on an integrative model for PTSD and complex trauma. A version of her published article, Panic Disorder and Self States: Clinical and Research Illustrations was presented at the International Conference for the Psychology of the Self. She also has published book reviews and scholarly articles in The Journal of
Counseling in Illinois and The Psychoanalytic Social Work Journal where she is on the editorial board.
This workshop will address harm obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a form of OCD that is primarily exhibited by intrusive thoughts, urges, and feelings about behaving in a way that causes harm to oneself or others. Counselors may be alarmed by the content of the harm obsessions because the images and doubts may involve pushing an innocent bystander into traffic or images of loved ones in horrible accidents. But participants will learn that persons with harm OCD are perhaps less likely to commit acts of violence due to the enormous sense of guilt and shame that the thoughts engender. Obsessions about harming are among the most intolerable for sufferers to experience. The focus of the presentation will be on explaining why people have violent and harmful thoughts, why the thoughts are so persistent, and factors related to assessment and diagnosis. Differentiating harm obsessions from suicidal/homicidal ideation, impulse control problems, and personality disturbances will also be included, along with ethical concerns that counselors need to consider. Counseling interventions will revolve around identifying and modifying common cognitive distortions, utilizing Exposure and Response Prevention (ER/P) strategies, and creating and using acceptance and motivation scripts. Ways for counselors to gain comfort in utilizing these behavioral strategies will be explored. The counselor’s need to examine the role of shame associated with OCD in the therapy is also discussed. Finally, ways to prevent symptom relapse are explored.
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