• October 2022 Symposium Schedule

     Coming Soon!

    Symposium Class Descriptions

    Presenter Dr. Bridgette Chase, LPC, LMFT, MAC,SAP


    Co-occurring & Trauma                                                                    Number of CEs: 2.0

    This workshop discusses the prevalence and complexities of treating clients with trauma as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnoses. The session targets students and practitioners interested in working with individuals who have survived trauma and have substance use disorders. It outlines a trauma recovery and treatment model, which is supported by the 6 Principles of Trauma-Informed Care developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Drawing on cognitive restructuring, skills training, psychoeducational and peer support to address recovery and healing from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, therapy is focused on empowerment, self-comfort, and accurate self- monitoring, as well as ways to establish safe physical and emotional boundaries.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Understand substance use and trauma as co-occurring disorders.

    2. Examine the effects of trauma on individuals, families, and interpersonal relationships.

    3. Discuss the 6 Principles of Trauma-Informed Care developed by the SAMHSA.



    Spirituality Techniques in Counseling                                                            Number of CEs: 2.0

    The benefits of spiritual counseling have been recognized and documented for years. At the most rudimentary level, researchers show that a religious belief system results in longer life. In the past decade, theologians mostly of Christian faiths, are writing more about the association and positive benefits that religion or spirituality has on mental health outcomes. This workshop discusses this emerging trend and explores the positive and protective effects of Christian or Spiritual counseling and treatment strategies on various behavioral and mental health diagnoses. Learning Objectives 1. Define spirituality using the many different meanings it has for individuals and their cultures. 2. Discuss the benefits or consequence of spirituality on primary mental health diagnosis. 3. Understand the mechanisms through which potential benefits between spirituality and mental health may occur. 4. Examine research demonstrating the benefit and consequence of spirituality effects on mental health.



    Presenter Dr. Sophia A.Ogunlana

    Posturing and Positioning During the Time of Uncertainty                               Number of CEs: 2.0

    The COVID Pandemic has forced many to come to terms with one simple fact – the reality of uncertainties and the lack of ultimate control. There is no such thing as work-life balance. We can either push ahead in every direction, fight through walls of confusion, become explorers, submit to forces around us and trust ourselves and the choices we make. This means that we must integrate or otherwise fail miserable at one of them. It is time to replace the term ‘work-life balance’ with ‘work-life integration.’ This workshop appeals to the student leader who is willing to use adversity to find new and creative ways to achieve their goals. It emphasizes the principles of remaining positive and confident in our ability to solve the problems confronting us and working smart by finding the most efficient and effective way to reach goals. This includes leveraging other people or resources and utilizing self-awareness to build on strengths and delegate when appropriate. The more self-awareness you gain about your work style, the more you can find ways to work smarter, not harder.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Identifying abnormal behavior and signs of mental illness

    2. The causes and impact of stress and burnout

    3. To learn and practice strategies for self-care and wellness

    4. To gain access to mental health resources

    Utilizing Ethical Decision Making When Faced with Dilemmas                                Number of CEs: 2.0

    We all have an image of our better selves-of how we are when we act ethically or are "at our best." We probably also have an image of what an ethical community, an ethical business, an ethical government, or an ethical society should be. Ethics really has to do with all these levels: Acting ethically as individuals, creating ethical organizations and governments, and making our society ethical in the way it treats everyone. What is Ethics? Simply stated, ethics refers to standards of behavior that tell us how human beings ought to act in the many situations in which they find themselves-as friends, parents, children, citizens, businesspeople, teachers, professionals, and so on. Learning Objectives 1. To identify the steps of ethical decision-making models 2. To work through interactive case scenarios 3. To apply and gain ethical decision-making resources 4. To improve students’ ability to address ethical dilemmas and identify opportunities to apply what they have learned.



    Presenter Dr. Rhonda Jeter


    Up, Up & Away: How to Find Wellness, Achieve Wellness & Keep it Going                 Number of CEs: 2.0

    As our Nation and the World evolves and becomes more diverse culturally, technologically, and geopolitically, it is essential to rethink our traditional ways of being, doing and living. As adults, we must routinely interact with individuals, institutions, and groups in navigating our way through life's up sand downs.  There are unlimited opportunities and challenges that can result in uncertainties and anxieties. For the graduate-level counselor who has committed him/herself to helping others, s/he must prepare for these uncertainties, establish a working philosophy with principles and strategies to overcome the changing cultural dynamics in order to help self and clients. The above workshops are significant as they introduce the concept of wellness as a parameter and barometer for chartering through life transitions. The sessions further highlight the importance of human interdependence and that growing is a life-long process, with ebbs and tides, through which one can transcend. Wellness is a concept that encompasses many areas, such as physical health, psychological health, financial health, social health, and relationship health. This workshop will help you look at your overall wellness, assess where you are, understand what healthy looks life, identify where it can fall apart, plan to improve your wellness, and learn how to prevent yourself from achieving optimal wellness.

    Learning Objectives

    1. To discuss and develop a definition of Wellness.
    2. To examine ways to assess Wellness and discuss the Wellness Wheel.
    3. To identify barriers to Wellness and develop a Wellness Plan
    4. Discuss prevention techniques - An ounce of prevention – the key to maintaining Wellness.


    Grown Before You Know It: Seventy is the New Fifty                              Number of CEs: 2.0  

    This workshop will look at development across the lifespan. At every age, there are expectations of what things you should be doing to successfully negotiate each stage, things that signal you are "on time" or "off time", and signs that you are having difficulty managing this stage. Barriers to managing each stage will be discussed, and the impact of "baggage" on successfully getting through a stage. Additional time will be spent on Middle Adulthood and Late Adulthood as these are stages that have shifted in the 21st century.

    Learning Objectives

    1. To define Human Growth & Development following a review of major theories of Human Growth & Development.
    2. Discuss the Family Life Cycle /Stages of Life from Birth to 18 months, Early Childhood to 3 years; Play ages 3- 5; School age 6-12; Adolescence 13-18, Young Adulthood 18-35; Middle Adulthood 35-55; and Late Adulthood 55- and beyond.
    3. Discuss transitions and dealing with crisis at every state; and
    4. Identify the impact of Baggage, if you get stuck, how to move to the next stage.


    How to Keep from Living a Lopsided Life                              Number of CEs: 2.0

    Life is made up of relationships at home and relationships at work. When one side of your life is not going well, it impacts the other side of your life. This can ultimately make you unhappy. What makes your work relationships go well? How do you manage difficult people and difficult supervisors? How do you get through the day? What is your work style? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your workstyle? How are your relationships at home with a significant other, children and friends? What are the strengths of your relationship style? How do you balance your work and home life? Tips for keeping your life from being lopsided will be covered in this workshop.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Discuss the significance of Work /Home Relationship balance.
    2. Identify barriers to finding a Work/ Home balance.
    3. Identify and explore your work style, strengths, and weakness.
    4. Explore, identify, and understand your relationship style, and your love language.
    5. Plan to balance work and home relationships better.


     Presenter Dr. Kilolo K. Ajanaku

    Cooperative Communication Skills: How to Have a Great Conversation                        Number of CEs: 2.0

    Communications influence all factors of our lives from daily interactions, with strangers on the street, at home, in the community, at work and in our personal social relationships. The way we communicate reflects who we are and the way we set up relationships with those around us. Effective communication skill building is designed to address the range of communications with a focus on meaning and reason, recognizing communications styles, naming barriers to communications and how to have a great conversation. Effective communication skills are critical in many walks of life including:

    • Developing and keeping friendships
    • Participating in the community
    • Being effective in educational settings
    • Parenting successfully
    • Finding a job
    • Succeeding in the workplace
    • Maintaining intimate relationships

    Learning Objectives

    1. To assist participants to become aware of and honest about their intentions.
    2. To provide participants the opportunity to demonstrate and develop their ability to listen and speak with meaning and reason.
    3. To provide participants with communications strategies designed for them to become more active listeners in sharing and striving to understand self and the speaker.
    4. To develop interpersonal skills to communicate with others under different circumstances.


    Health & Wellness Self-Care Skills                                   Number of CEs: 3.0

    Wellness is not the absence of disease, illness, and stress but the presence of:

    • Purpose in life
    • Active involvement in satisfying work and play,
    • Joyful relationships
    • A healthy body and living environment, and
    • --The presence of happiness

    Wellness is a conscious, deliberate process that requires a person to become aware of and make choices for a more satisfying lifestyle. A wellness lifestyle includes a self-defined balance of health habits such as adequate sleep and rest, participation in meaningful, productive activity, good nutrition and physical activity, social contact, and supportive relationships. It is important to note that this balance is self-defined because everyone has individual needs and preferences, and the balance of activity, social contact, and sleep varies from person to person. Wellness is the process of creating and adapting patterns of behavior that lead to improved health in all the wellness dimensions.

    Learning Objectives

    1. To increase participant's knowledge in taking time for self-care and the importance of establishing a supportive community.
    2. 2 To introduce participants to strategies for coping with routine life stressors and taking things in stride.
    3. To engage participants in learning meal planning and preparation, maintaining a positive mindset, and practicing mindfulness, Yoga, and self-reflection techniques.
    4. To guide consumers in assessing their personal risk and resiliency traits and discuss the role each plays in coping with daily stresses.


    Anger Management Coping Skills in Time of Pandemic                Number of CEs: 3.0

    The overall aim of the Anger Management Coping Skills Workshop is to assist participants understand, recognize, and accept responsibility for his/her anger and develop relevant and effective alternatives. This group deals with separate bits of anger, all of which are linked together to provide information about anger and how to cope and overcome anger triggers and challenges. The definition of anger used in the workshop is: Anger is an emotional response to a perceived threat, loss, injustice/unfairness, and/or frustration.

    Learning Objectives

    1. To define what anger is, recognize the physical effects of anger on the body, and how to exercise quick control of angry feelings.
    2. To discuss the causes and triggers of anger and reach an objective view on how they are seen when they are angry.
    3. To express present feelings of anger, identify coping strategies and develop a plan to change or overcome anger.
    4. To learn how to regulate their emotion and better cope with situations of change and acceptance.


    Presenter Dr. Nickelson “Nick” Battle


    Ethics and Advocacy: Working with Homeless LGBT Clients                 Number of CEs:1.0

    Legal and ethical issues are often disregarded when working with the homeless population. Treatment is often started without authorization, and due to the need to engage clients with services, confidentiality presents issues when working with untrained shelters’ staff. This presentation will review legal, ethical and advocacy issues when working with the homeless population and the staff of shelters.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Participants will be able to identify legal concerns of homeless LGBTQIA clients.
    2. Participants will examine ACA Code of Ethics.
    3. Participants will develop skills to address shelter staff.


    The Impact of Trauma within the African American Population                              Number of CEs: 3.0

    Diversity is seen within traumatic experiences. This impacts the community on multiple levels. As counseling professionals, it is important that the counseling community is aware of cultural factors that are present and how it effects the work that we do with differing populations, including that of African Americans. Trauma in the African American population is embedded with social dissonance and compounded with historical factors. Johnson and Williams (2015) indicate the minority population in the United States (U.S.) is on the rise, but most counselors are Caucasian and English-speaking resulting in cross- racial/cross-cultural therapeutic relationships. It is believed that 50% of the U.S. population will be comprised of minorities by the year 2050 (Johnson & Williams, 2015). The increased minority population will require an increase in multicultural counseling competency among therapists if they are going to provide effective therapeutic interventions to an increasingly more diverse population (Johnson & Williams, 2015). Understanding the perceptual lens of the African American population, can increase effectiveness with working with differing cultures.

    Learning Objective:

    1. The counseling profession will be able to comprehend the factors that define trauma.
    2. Counselors will display increase understanding as to how trauma manifest itself within the African American population.
    3. Counselors will have increased knowledge regarding therapeutic interventions when working with the African American population.


    Presenters Dr. Nickelson “Nick” Battle & Dr. Latonia Laffitte


    Hyper Sexualization of Women of Color                                  Number of CEs: 3.0

    The relationship between women of color and the United States has been tenuous at best. Dominant representations of Latin and Black women focus on and emphasize their breasts, hips, and buttocks (Guzman, Valdina, 2004). Since the arrival of the first slaves in the United States, women of color have been viewed as desired, but not desirable. During the colonial period, slave owners as a means of justifying their rape of Black women described them as having insatiable appetites for sex (Pilgrim, 2002). In his writings, abolitionist James Redpath (1859) wrote of female slaves, “slave women were gratified by the criminal advances of the Saxons”. It was also believed that as slaves were considered property, legally they could not be raped (Pilgrim, 2002).

    For women of color, their understanding and view of their own femininity are in relation to the dominant constructions of Whiteness and femininity, constructs that deem women of color as being beyond the margins of socially acceptable femininity and beauty (Guzman, Valdina, 2004).

    According to the ACA code of ethics (2014) counselors are not to condone or engage in discrimination we are also mandated to communicate information in ways that are both developmentally and culturally appropriate. Understanding that decisions are made based on the options one has and the options they perceive they have (Pilgrim, 2002); prostitutes, sluts, and whores examines the role that the hyper sexualization of women of color has played in how they are perceived by the world, how they perceive themselves, and how they perceive themselves in the world. This knowledge is important because many women of color often wish to be lighter because of the perception that women of a lighter hue have more and better access to social, professional, and educational opportunities, these beliefs based on the color of their skin, have a direct impact on their psychological well-being (Stephens & Thomas, 2014).

    Learning Objectives

    1. Participants will gain an understanding of the role that the hyper-sexualization of women of color has played in how they are perceived by the world, how they perceive themselves, and how they perceive themselves in the world.
    2. Participants will enhance their cultural awareness with regards to the complexities that women of color deal with daily in navigating society, caring for themselves, their families, and defining themselves as women in a society that perceives them as being desired, but not desirable, due to the constructs of Whiteness and femininity, constructs that deem women of color as being beyond the margins of socially acceptable femininity and beauty.
    3. Participants will develop skills to assist them in working and empowering this population in therapy.


    Presenter Dr. Latonia Laffitte 


    Common Challenges: Military to Civilian Life                                       Number of CEs: 3.0

    Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs prioritizes the transitional process of service members/veteran as high as many service members/veterans may experience stress related challenges and disorders during this time. This presentation will highlight key areas that impacts the transitional process and contributes to the ongoing difficulties of adjusting to civilian life.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Participants will understand the challenges of transitioning service members/veterans.
    2. Participants will gain insight on working with this population from a holistic approach.
    3. Participants will be able to identify resources to supports transition service members/veterans.

                                                                            De-Andrea Blaylock-Solar, LCSW-S, CST                                                                                                                                

    Holy Sex: Incorporating Spirituality into Sexuality through the Lens of the Black Church   Number of CEs:1.5

    Often when we think of sexuality, spirituality is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, it’s quite possible to incorporate the two. In this workshop, we’ll explore this concept within the context of the Black Church and learn ways to incorporate spirituality into sexual practices. Finally, participants will be given the tools to create rituals for intimacy and closeness.  

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Examine ways in which spirituality, specifically Christianity, has been separated from sexuality and further explore how it affects those influenced by the Black Church

    2. Explore three ways to incorporate spirituality into sexual practices

    3. Learn a tool to create rituals for intimacy and closeness

    Dr. Alexis Speight


    Mindful Living: A guided approach for Clinicians and their Clients              Number of CEs: 2

    This training will help you to become more aware of yourself, others, and the world around you. The goal of mindfulness is to become more present in your life so that you can be the author and creator of your life story. You do not have to sit and wait for things to happen to you, instead you can create meaning, new thoughts, and new experiences with the practice of Mindfulness. 

    Learning Objectives 

    1. Define Mindfulness

    2. Identify a target population to use Mindfulness with

    3. Apply at least 2-3 Mindfulness Exercises into their lives and/or practice


    Shannarese Sims MA, LGPC

    Mindfulness of Emotions and the Body                                     Number of CEs: 2

    Describe the program content: 

    Our bodies cannot distinguish the difference between emotional and physical pain or danger. When the sympathetic nervous system is constantly activated, it creates a psychological domino effect impacting the cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular systems. Prolonged effects can take a toll on one's health. After intense emotional or traumatic experiences, one must recalibrate the alarm system by refocusing on the body and becoming present and self-aware about one's feelings. According to Price and Hooven (2018), mindfulness increases tolerance of one's thoughts and feelings and facilitates the unlinking of uncomfortable observations from scripted unregulated responses. This workshop will explore ways to increase sensitivity to internal states that can shape self-understanding, decision-making processes, and behavior that underlie regulation.

    Learning Objectives 

        1. Participants will learn about the ways in which trauma interrupts the interaction of bodily systems.
        2. Participants will gain an understanding of the immediate and long-term effects of somatic symptoms of emotional experiences.
        3. Participants will explore ways to connect to the centeredness of their existence by way of Interoceptive Awareness.
        4. Participants will review mindfulness techniques and interventions to learn how to tolerate intense feelings and release emotions appropriately.


    Click here for class descriptions