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Training & 


Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

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.  MI is used hand-in-hand with the “Stages of Change” model (also known as the Transtheoretical Model), and different motivational interviewing techniques are recommended depending on the client’s stage of readiness for change.

Presented by Dr. Gordon Neufeld

Website: Mission: Empowerment

Bullies: Their Making and Unmaking

In this workshop, led by best-selling author and developmental psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld, participants will learn about the “bully syndrome” and its deep instinctive roots in the dynamics of attachment and vulnerability.  They will also learn why this behaviour is so immune to conventional means of intervention. The key to the bully’s unmaking is to first understand how bullies are made. Once we understand this, our attempts to unmake them can be truly effective and long-lasting.

The information from this workshop can be used to glean insight into particular bullies, to create plans for treatment or intervention, and/or to create prevention and intervention programs for schools and districts.

Presented by Dr. Gordon Neufeld

Website: Mission: Empowerment 

Emotion-Focused School Support

This interactive workshop will introduce participants to the fundamental principles and techniques of EFSS.  Through discussions, case examples, demonstrations, and group exercises, participants will also have an opportunity for hands-on practice and skill-building if desired.

Informed by emotion and learning theory, Emotion-Focused School Support (EFSS) was developed based on this feedback from educators and school support staff.  It is a simple and efficient model for increasing the capacity of school staff to effectively respond to the emotion of students (and their parents) in order to facilitate a “return to learning”. EFSS can be applied to all students from kindergarten through to grade 12, with adjustments made to implementation according to developmental age. It is designed to support students while still respecting the primary mandates of teachers, aides, school counsellors and support staff – and without adding to the already high demands of the school day.

Presented by Dr. Adele Lafrance, Developer of EFSS

Website: Mission: Empowerment

Self-Compassion in Clinical Practice

This two-part interactive workshop will offer clinicians core skills and practices to cultivate self-compassion as a foundation for therapeutic relationships, self-care and to teach to clients.

Many helping professionals have been introduced to the concept of self-compassion, but they may not have been taught how to explicitly integrate this knowledge into clinical practice. Self-compassion can be integrated into clinical work by (1) how clinicians relate to themselves (compassionate presence), (2) how clinicians relate to their clients (compassionate relationship), and (3) how clients relate to themselves (home practice).

In addition to helping clients increase resilience, self-compassion is a powerful resource for clinicians. It enables clinicians to maintain emotional balance in the midst of challenging clinical work, to enjoy their work and their clients more fully, to be fully present and attuned with their clients, and to prevent caregiver fatigue.

Presented by Dr. Christopher Germer & Dr. Shari Geller

Website: Mission: Empowerment 

Making Sense of Attachment: Neufeld’s Comprehensive Model for all Ages and Applications

The science of relationship currently exists in fragmented bits and pieces all over the empirical map: biology, sociology, embryology, ethology, epigenetics, neuroscience, psychology, medicine, psychology, and so on. The irony is that we have never known more about the relational context required for parenting, teaching and treatment, and yet this knowledge is failing to inform our everyday practice and policy. According to Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a leader in the field of developmental psychology, this failure of implementation may stem from the current lack of theoretical coherence as well as the esoteric language typical to these fields of inquiry. Neufeld’s unique contribution is to put the puzzle pieces together to create a coherent model of attachment, using language that is accessible to all.

Presented by Dr. Gordon Neufeld

Website: Mission: Empowerment

Fostering Resilience (in Children & Youth) in a Stressed Culture

In this workshop, led by best-selling author Dr. Gabor Maté, participants will learn about the causes and underlying dynamics of the challenges faced by today’s children and adolescents — and therefore, by the adults tasked with nurturing and educating them. According to Dr. Maté, the most important feature of any approach to resilience needs to be the attachment relationship between children and the adults responsible for their care.

The concepts, principles and practical advice articulated in this workshop will empower parents, teachers and other adults who play a nurturing role, to be for children what nature intended: the true source of contact, security and warmth. This, in turn, will increase resilience in children by protecting them from becoming lost in the emotionally barren and culturally backward world of peer orientation.

The workshop is based on Dr. Maté’s books, including Hold on to Your Kids and Scattered Minds.  In addition to didactic teaching, there will be generous time given for interactive dialogue with participants.

Presented by Dr. Gabor Maté

Website: Mission: Empowerment

Compassion Fatigue: Caring for Ourselves while Caring for Others

In this 3-hour workshop, based on the book, When the Body Says No, Dr. Maté will present this different view of the condition known as compassion fatigue.  He will also teach practices to prevent it, and to restore our energies if we have been affected by it.

Presented by Dr. Gabor Maté

Website: Mission: Empowerment 

Family Therapy Training Program

The Family Therapy Seminar is an 11-session program that provides in-depth knowledge of theory and practice in family therapy.  The program will focus on developing core competencies in assessment, formulation and treatment of families. Aspects of the theory of families and the craft of practice will be taught with the goal of developing an integrative framework. Emphasis will be given to the development of concrete, applicable skills which participants will have an opportunity to observe with live family work.  Observations of live sessions will occur for the duration of the seminar. The seminar will also include required readings, group discussions and experiential exercises.

Website: George Hull Center

Play Therapy Training – Part 2

Course runs from June 13 – 24, 2022.

Training will be presented on-line in one or two-day trainings with individual instructors over a period of six weeks. Each day offers 6 educational units toward the 180 educational units required for Foundation Play Therapy Training for Certification as a Play Therapist.

Website: Canadian Association for Play Therapy

Play Therapy Training – Part 3

Course runs August 1 – 12, 2022.

Training will be presented on-line in one or two-day trainings with individual instructors over a period of six weeks. Each day offers 6 educational units toward the 180 educational units required for Foundation Play Therapy Training for Certification as a Play Therapist.

Website: Canadian Association for Play Therapy

Inspired Parenting: Parenting from an Attachment/Trauma Perspective

Parenthood often brings otherwise competent people to their knees as they try to deal with the frustrating behaviors or strained relationship with their child. There is nothing more painful than feeling resentful, hopeless, helpless or depressed when it comes to your parent identity. In these instances, it is helpful to take time to look at the dynamics from an attachment and trauma perspective. From these perspectives, you can find new insights and techniques that will help to understand yourself and your child better, so that you can have a more peaceful and connected relationship.

This monthly workshop will help you pause, ground yourself, and focus on taking constructive action.

Website: Trauma Research Foundation

Reconnect Training: An 8-week virtual course for K-12 mental health professionals

You will learn alongside passionate, like-minded mental health professionals, seeking to address the significant challenges faced by our students and educators. Our teaching team is made up of registered clinicians with specialized training in trauma-informed, relationship-focused practice. They have worked with kids, youth, and families, and have a particular passion for supporting teachers, school staff, and administrators in their most important work. These experienced professionals are here to guide discussions, foster peer connection, and provide feedback on your assignments.

Website: Dr. Jody Carrington

Exploring Attachment: The Power of Relationship

n this 3.5 hour course, attendees will learn about the foundational history of attachment research, develop a better understand attachment styles in both children and adults and outcomes related to each style, how the brain’s development is contingent on the quality of care a child receives, and interventions that promote a more secure attachment style in children. Parents and caregivers will walk away with a holistic and comprehensive view of attachment, and understand to be more intentional in their day to day interactions with their child.

Website: Institute of Child Psychology