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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.


You don't need to enrol in a certificate course to take advantage of the engaging professional development opportunities available through the Faculty of Social Work. We offer a wide range of workshops to suit a variety of fields and interests.

Interested in a topic not covered by one of our workshops? Customized training is also available.

Advancing Single Session Therapy

  • Dates: June 10 and 11, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $275 plus HST
  • Instructor: Scot Cooper, RP
  • Hours: 12

This workshop provides a venue for you to further extend your therapeutic skills for single session therapeutic contexts. We begin with exploration of our practice ethics and ways to navigate the tensions and pulls in working in such time constraint – when must we 'lean in,' how do we resist colonizing practices? Working with segments of transcript, scenario discussions and video review we will explore options for proceeding amidst various levels of complexity. Specifically, participants will have the time to practice conversation options amidst trauma conversations and through a re-conceptualization of 'crisis.' The practice of counter-storying will be introduced as a means to address the effects of negative identity conclusions that keep people mired in their distress. We will also explore a quality assurance/outcome measure that holds us accountable to our practice intentions and further informs our own professional growth.

Learning Objectives

  • Extending our listening for the range of entry points to 'stories in the making' and counter stories.
  • Ways to resist replicating the politics of culture in session.
  • Ways to proceed amidst stories of the experience of trauma that shore up safety and infuse possibility.
  • A re-conceptualization of crisis that opens new possibilities for people and infuses a sense of hope.
  • The practice of counter-storying pathology.
  • Various uses of 'take-away documentation' to support a counter story.
It is required that participants have completed the Brief Single Session Therapy workshop (or similar) and have experience at walk-in clinics or other time-constrained contexts.

Brief Single Session Therapy

  • Dates: May 27 and 28, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $275 plus HST
  • Instructor: Scot Cooper, RP
  • Hours: 12

Brief 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 services, provides a viable alternative to long wait lists, 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: Assessment and Individual Therapy

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive treatment approach for chronically suicidal clients. However, in the last decade DBT has received empirical support to treat other populations including eating disorders, addiction, anger problems and other mood disorders. Additionally, it has been adapted for adolescent mental health populations, inpatient, residential and forensic settings. DBT clients are taught more skillful ways to regulate their emotions, effectively manage the distressing situations in their lives, and improve and maintain relationships with the people around them. These skills are taught within a caring treatment relationship that accepts the client for who and where they are, while maintaining a movement towards creating "a life worth living."

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to conceptualize a case based on the principles and theory guiding DBT.
  • Identify how to structure the individual therapy session.
  • Describe and use commitment, dialectical and stylistic strategies common to DBT.
  • Identify core treatment strategies for managing difficult in session behaviour and avoiding therapeutic impasses.

Note: This is an advanced level workshop that requires a basic understanding of DBT. Participants must have completed a foundational DBT workshop (such as An Introduction to DBT) before registering. The instructor will assume participants are familiar with:

  • The four areas of DBT (mindfulness, individual therapy, group and coaching), and the function of each
  • Bio-social theory of DBT and invalidating environment.
  • Seeking validation before seeking for change.
  • Dialectics and what that means for the therapist and the client.

Certificate Courses

You can take any of the courses associated with our certificates without working towards the full program. Learn more about the certificates we offer.

Customized Training

We also provide customized training solutions delivered right to you, saving your organization time and money. We will work with your agency, organization or association to provide your staff or members with a professional development program that meets your unique needs.

Contact Lynne Jordan in the Professional Development office.

Contact Us:

Lynne Jordan, Coordinator, Professional Development

E: ljordan@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x5265

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