Skip to main content

Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Milton campus  Milton

Counselling is not one-size-fits-all. As a therapist, counsellor or social worker, you understand that each client has their own unique strengths and experiences. You want to be able to meet each client where they’re at, allowing them to draw on those strengths and experiences to help them move forward and thrive.

Held in our Milton location, this skill-based certificate will provide you with a broad overview of the various counselling approaches that can help you build a therapeutic toolbox to address the needs of most clients. This certificate will allow you to explore various therapeutic modalities in depth and provide you with opportunities to practice the skills you are learning with peers in the classroom so you’ll be able to confidently begin using the skills with your clients. 

Completion Requirements

To complete the Counselling Techniques Certificate, you must select a minimum of seven workshops from the list below. You can complete this certificate in as little as one year or take up to seven years. You do not have to be working toward the Counselling Techniques Certificate to take any of these courses. These workshops can be taken in any order.

Becoming a Therapist

Completing this Counselling Techniques Certificate will not qualify you to practice therapy or register with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers or the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Please visit those websites for information on becoming a therapist in Ontario.


Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

  • Dates: Next offering 2020/2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Milton
  • Instructor: Angela Rolleman, MSW
  • Hours: 12

Motivational interviewing (MI), developed by clinical psychologists William Miller and Stephen Rollnick, is a directive, client-centered approach used to strengthen clients’ motivation for positive behaviour change by exploring and resolving feelings of ambivalence. Research has shown that the MI approach, first developed for work with problem drinkers, is effective in activating positive behaviour change for a wide range of concerns including substance abuse, mental health problems, unhealthy relationships, diabetes management, smoking cessation, weight loss, unemployment and health care improvement.

This two-day interactive workshop will introduce participants to the fundamental principles and techniques of motivational interviewing. Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the basic concepts of motivational interviewing, including its spirit and essential strategies.
  • Describe the stages of change model and explain the relationship between motivational interventions and stages of change.
  • Assess clients’ readiness for change.
  • Implement motivational interviewing strategies to explore and resolve clients' feelings of ambivalence or resistance to change including eight different strategies for responding to resistance.
  • Identify and facilitate "change talk" in their clients including nine different strategies for eliciting “change talk.”
  • Strengthen empathic engaging skills (described by the OARS acronym).
  • Practice applying MI to address difficult situations.

Mental Health 101

This two-day workshop will overview mental health for professionals in the fields of health, education, social services and justice. This course is also open to paraprofessionals who are seeking a basic overview of mental health knowledge and understanding. This training will cover the definitions of mental health and illness, its prevalence, symptoms and treatment approaches for mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, concurrent disorder using an integrated model approach, suicide and parasuicide and finally, the role of health promotion as a means to working towards mental wellness strategies and resiliency.

Learning Objectives
  • Review the definitions of mental health and illness.
  • Statistical impact of mental health in Canada.
  • Gain knowledge on the signs and symptoms of a mood disorders, anxiety disorders and
  • schizophrenia.
  • Review the components of a mental status examination.
  • The power of 'connection' as a means to wellness.
  • Provide an overview of concurrent disorders and an integrated approach.
  • Foreseeability versus predictability of suicide.
  • Review the risk factors to the pathway of suicide.
  • Gain knowledge and understanding to parasuicidal (cutting, burning and other self-harming acts) behaviours and how to respond.
  • Effective safety planning for suicidal risk.
  • Multi-systemic assessment of threat making behaviour.
  • Health promotion, mental wellness approaches and resiliency.

Applications of Solution Focused Therapy

This two-day workshop will provide an overview of solution focused brief therapy, an evidence-based gold standard of therapy that will elevate your practice, and also provide you with strategies to feel confident to apply in short interactions with clients to employ change at every opportunity. Participants will have the opportunity for practice and apply strategies in both case studies and role play format.

Exploration of Storied Lives: Narrative Therapy

Used in a variety of settings, from psychotherapy to community-based work to policy and research, narrative therapy has established itself as a critical and reflexive contributor to modern approaches to social work and other counselling fields. In this two-day workshop, we will explore narrative therapy with the goal that participants will walk away with increased knowledge and practical skills of its use applicable to a variety of settings.

Starting with its backstory, this workshop will explore the underlying philosophy of narrative therapy – the ‘why’ of the approach – and what this means for the practitioner. We will discuss the unique posture of a narrative therapist as a collaborator, curious explorer, and keen listener for the storied experiences of clients. Then the workshop will address the ‘how’ of the approach by focusing on the use of narrative conversational maps used to guide the therapeutic process. Participants will learn about conversation maps that explore problem saturated storylines as well as a framework for creating space for alternative stories that may hidden from current ways of knowing. Integrating experiential techniques and demonstration, at the end of this workshop participants will have the foundational knowledge to begin to integrate narrative practices into their work and extend their practice.

Learning Objectives

  • Developing narrative informed listening for stories of resistance and exceptions.
  • Adopting an increasingly critical lens of socio-cultural-political influences and discourses within clinical work.
  • Integration of a narrative posture of curiosity, reflexivity, and collaboration.
  • Gaining an understanding of narrative conversation maps and their use for exploring the problems brought to therapy and the opportunities for change that may be hiding in the shadows.
  • Practice narrative stance and narrative techniques within small group activities.
  • Gaining knowledge of different ways what we can close therapy from closing conversation, practices and therapeutic documents, such as letter writing.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Model, the Application, the Practice

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychotherapy model considered to be a more modern version of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and one of the “third wave” of behavioural therapies. ACT encourages us to let go of emotional struggles and live our lives according to our values, regardless of unwanted or uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, memories or physical sensations. Its goal is the development of psychological flexibility, achieved through the use of mindfulness, metaphors and experiential exercises. It is an interactive treatment approach that can be creative and inspiring!

This two-day workshop will be suitable for those who are new to the model, those who have only had some preliminary exposure to ACT as well as to those who are better versed in the model and are looking to expand their confidence in its clinical application. We will begin with a brief overview of the model, its six processes and its interventions to ensure we are all on the same page. We will then place a greater focus on practical application and honing of skills. To reflect the interactive spirit of ACT, this workshop will move beyond PowerPoint, to the demonstration, experience and rehearsal of ACT strategies with ample time for skill-building feedback. Come prepared to deepen your understanding, expand and polish your clinical repertoire and become enthused by a user-friendly, down to earth model that speaks to us all.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Practice

Discover and begin using some of the most evidence-based interventions in the field of psychotherapy. In this workshop you will learn why cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely recognized and highly reputable psychotherapy models, and you will leave prepared to use a few of the most core and life changing interventions this model offers. Additionally, you will be equipped with several tools to help clients immediately begin seeing a shift and alleviation of symptoms of depression and anxiety, in both adult and child populations. This workshop will use a variety of adult learning methods including the use of lecture, live and video demonstrations, handouts and live coaching for competencies practice.

Coaching Skills for Clinicians and Therapists

What is the difference between therapy and coaching? What are the objectives, tools and scopes of practice for both? Can I hold myself out as a coach if I’m a regulated mental health professional?

A good many trends are at work in the field of mental health care, and one of them is that therapy is becoming a “go to” for just about everything. While this has created a robust and growing field for those of that practice, it has also introduced complications that muddy the waters of the therapy room. We must grow a toolkit of great clinical skills, but we must also know when to get out of those skills because something else is required. Your clients already possess incredible wisdom and intuition, where sometimes less is more from their therapist. In this two-day workshop we’ll learn:

  • The scope, tools and differences between coaching and therapy.
  • The difference between a “therapy” client and a “coaching” client.
  • Methods, skills and tools that help the coaching process occur.
  • Helpful exercises that facilitate application to your own context.
  • Knowledge of coaching certification, regulation and its role in contemporary workplaces.

Brief Single Session Therapy

  • Dates: Next offering 2020/2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Milton
  • Instructor: Scot Cooper, RP
  • Hours: 12

Brief therapeutic services have emerged as a core component of an agency's modern diverse service menu. As such, single session therapy, often provided through walk-in clinic or call ahead appointment, provides a viable alternative to long waitlists, offering a venue for people to address various life problems at their time of need. This two-day workshop will immerse participants in the thinking and skill set of brief single session therapeutic practice.

Drawing from contemporary 'brief therapies' we will explore concepts and practices that support a collaborative, competency-based, person-centred approach that builds pathways forward drawing from people’s lived experience. You will learn to hear several 'entry points' to possibility that foreground people’s preferences for life and the many skills of living they bring with them to these conversations. A structure for conceptualizing the single session conversation will be provided.

The application of brief therapies theory will be grounded in practical skills that you can use the very next day. Ideas will be explored through didactic presentation, group discussion, skills exercise and video review of conversations with children, and adults. This workshop is well suited to all service providers, beginning and experienced, working in time-constrained contexts with people describing various problems.

Together we will explore:
  • Ways of thinking about people, problems and change that relate well to exploring possibility and outline an ethic of practice.
  • A design for single session therapy sessions that brings focus, coherence and completion to the process.
  • How to listen with a 'brief ear' to quickly hear entry points to possibility.
  • Several questions to elicit difference and possibility that foreground competency.
  • Practices for co-crafting various 'take-home' documents.
  • Ways to co-develop culturally and contextually relevant 'next steps' and extend the conversation well past the session into everyday living.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT): An Overview

  • Dates: Next offering 2020/2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Milton
  • Instructor: Karma Guindon
  • Hours: 12

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan for people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. More recently, DBT has been used to help people manage anxiety and depression and improve relationships. DBT is focused on skill development in the areas of mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance. DBT also provides generative ways of thinking about our judgments and expectations, our relationships and our emotions. It is a versatile therapeutic model that can be integrated into a complex, nuanced and theoretically consistent approach to therapy practice.At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Explain the main theories that inform DBT.
  • Describe a common way of structuring DBT.
  • Explain selected skills from the four groups of DBT skills.
  • Consider ways DBT can be integrated with other models of therapy, such as CBT, narrative therapy, and attachment-based therapies.
  • Critically examine some of the model’s assumptions (for example, what ideas about people, problems, solutions, and the world does DBT perpetuate and/or challenge?).
  • Consider issues pertaining to the therapist’s use-of-self when using DBT with clients.

Towards or Away? Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Tools to Move Towards Valued Living

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) reflects one of the more contemporary, transdiagnostic models of psychotherapy that explores the function of a client’s issue in a specific context, and helps clients to observe whether ongoing engagement with that particular issue is moving them towards or away from a life that reflects what truly matters to them.

This two-day workshop will assume participants have some familiarity with the six processes of the ACT Hexaflex (acceptance, defusion, present-moment contact, self as context, values and committed action). Building on that perspective, this workshop will aim to expand your clinical repertoire by introducing and reviewing two primary ACT tools for use with clients: the ACT matrix (developed by Polk, Hambright & Webster) and the choice point (adapted by Harris, 2017). As ACT is an interactive and experiential model, the workshop will include experimentation and practice time along with skill-building feedback in addition to PowerPoint and demonstration. Assuming you already have a preliminary understanding of ACT, or have experimented with it in practice but wish to strengthen your skills and confidence in applying the model in a simple, effective and powerful way, then the matrix and/or the choice point are the tools for you.

In other words, if you value acting like an effective, compassionate and creative clinician who can access and apply cutting-edge therapies with your clients, then if you register for this workshop, will that be moving you towards or away from who and what matters to you?

Creating Secure Relationships: An Introduction to Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) integrates experiential and systemic theories under the umbrella of attachment theory. It offers a unique combination of empirically supported change processes and techniques informed by an explicit theory of adult love.

An overview of emotionally focused therapy will be presented with a particular emphasis on working with couples. Lecture and discussion will demonstrate how the approach explores both the intra-psychic and the interpersonal worlds of the couple in distress.

As partners engage in typical, reactive ways (the negative cycle) we look to slow down and deepen emotional experience and begin to frame these reactions as understandable, predictable responses to attachment related fears and needs. The aim of this seminar is to offer an overview of the interventions used by EFT therapists that deepen the exploration of underlying, previously unexpressed attachment-related emotions, in order to help couples to develop more secure and deeply satisfying connections.

Emotionally focused individual therapy (EFIT) and emotionally focused family therapy (EFFT) models will also be touched upon. In her new book, Attachment Theory in Practice, Sue Johnson states the EFT tango is the basic intervention that the therapist employs again and again in all stages and forms (individual, couple, family) of EFT (Johnson – 2019).

Learning Objectives

This workshop is designed to help you:
  • Explain the emotionally focused couples therapy model, including the basic assumptions and theoretical foundations.
  • View relational distress from an attachment perspective.
  • Select and assess clients/patients appropriate for EFT.
  • Identify the clinical techniques and skills used in EFT.
  • Recognize how the EFT therapist elicits and deepens clients attachment longings and fears to create change.
  • Identify how EFT shapes new interactions and key bonding events.
  • Learn the key intervention in all modalities of EFT: the Tango.

Contact Us:

Lynne Jordan, Manager, FSW Professional Development

T: 519.884.0710 x5265


We see you are accessing our website on IE8. We recommend you view in Chrome, Safari, Firefox or IE9+ instead.