Details of Trainings

Anger Management

This training examines the root causes of anger and offers positive means of anger expression. The participants explore their own anger history, their current "performance" of anger, the idea of "owning" their anger, dangers in hidden anger, and the cultural components of anger expression. Understanding anger assists the caregiver in responding to client anger and provides teaching moments in client interface.

Art Therapy: A Tool for Recovery

Various art therapy activities are highlighted to discuss their beneficial effect for those in recovery.

Breaking Free From Negative Learned Behaviors

This training will assist caregivers in guiding their clients to an understanding of what constitutes "old behavior." Core Work is emphasized as a necessary tool to advance recovery. This training further explores the use of twelve-step programs to identify dysfunctional thinking, having clients journal how it affects life situations and choices, and how to promote group relationships and group sharing to break free of destructive patterns.

Boundaries in the Workplace

Participants are given the opportunity to explore the differences between being a care provider and "taking care of." Such topics as transference/counter-transference, codependency, and confidentiality are discussed using case studies presented by the participants. Although the title is in the workplace, those who can successfully set boundaries in one area of their life can use effective methods in other aspects of their lives.


Where is the line that separates caring, love and support from co-dependency? There is no diagnosis for co-dependency yet we know that untreated, this condition can be fatal. Participants in this training learn how their clients can self-assess for co-dependency, learn the cardinal characteristics of co-dependence and learn to support clients who are working through co-dependence.

Co-occurring Disorders (and Aftercare)

Attendees will learn about the frequent co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental health conditions – the many common symptoms as well as common recovery strategies that both share. The workshop allows counselors to learn the supportive function they play in the recovery of those with a dual diagnosis and the need to address co-occurring disorders as we do other chronic diseases. Elements of the critical and effective Aftercare program are examined in the context of a case study and sharing of resources.

Communication; Key to Reunification

An activity is used (throwing a koosh ball in a circle) to emphasize give and take, reciprocity, needs and wants. Parents listening to children, counselors to clients. Is the treatment plan based on our goals, or the clients' goals? Objective is to raise awareness of our own communication styles. Goal (counselor) is to deliver strength-based services. Partial video showing. (The Other Sister)

Confidentiality including HIPAA

CFR 42.2 mandates that no patient-identifying information may be given out about past, present, future or prospective clients in an AOD program. The fines and penalties have been increased under HIPAA. There is more to the law than just the letter. The spirit of the law has therapeutic implications as well. This training explores the letter of the law, including the difference between a subpoena and a court order as well as what to do when the police come knocking.

Conflict Resolution

There are several models for resolving conflict that share widely held approaches to getting what we want. We want to deepen our understanding of what conflict actually is, how conflict can be used to learn more about ourselves and about others, and whether resolving conflict can be both tool and result in helping human relationships evolve to a higher level.

Crisis Intervention

The first part of this training is familiarizing participants with crisis and emergency plans already in place at this agency. If no such plans exist or are sketchy, the participants step through the process of creating a high-level emergency plan which includes the first line of decision making that must be made, identification of the crisis intervention team, and support roles for all else. If the agency has emergency plans with which staff is familiar, we can look at the role of members of the crisis intervention team, the need for post-crisis debriefing and care, and the skills each staff members needs in order to support the efforts of the CIT and the agency during the crisis and afterwards.

Cultural Competency or Valuing Differences

This training explores the richness that comes from recognizing and valuing differences across cultures. Additionally, it seeks to define culture from a historical as well as a current social perspective. There is a discussion on self-defining our own culture and learning to develop a sensitivity to clients and other staff to effect the most positive recovery possible for those we serve.

Developmental Age vs. Chronological Age

We know that our clients may have ceased to develop emotionally at an early age. Being reared by parents who may have had an addiction may have created attachment disorders that even today inform the clients' inability to recognize or form supportive relationships. We will discuss where the client is emotionally, based on psychological theory and how to meet the client on that level.

Documentation for Results

There are both therapeutic reasons as well as recordkeeping requirements that mandate accurate and sufficiently descriptive progress notes. What information must be included in client files and how can it best be phrased? How can an agency maintain excellent quality in its records and who are the "point people" within an agency to ensure ongoing integrity of client files? Specific suggestions regarding progress notes and quality assurance are key topics in this training.

Domestic Violence

Every 15 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted by a partner. The abuse can happen without leaving any visible physical marks and yet we know that the damage is deep and pervasive. How can we tell who these domestic violence survivors are? What resources are available to them? What are the reporting requirements should a client threaten a partner, child or elder? These and other important questions will be addressed in this training on this continuing social problem.


This is about the limits presented by the scope of practice by AOD professionals. It is important to know why we make the ethical decisions we do, as well as how we make the ethical decisions we do. We look at some real case studies that force us to reason through the effectiveness of our counseling posture with our clients.

Ethics and Boundaries

The participants in this performance-related training will examine some of the foundations of grief and loss that linger in our lives and color our ability to create and maintain supportive relationships. This training studies whether a family is functional and supportive or dysfunctional, the stages of grief and the best intervention for each stage, and how being powerful in our own lives can help us heal and reclaim parts of ourselves that may have been lost or in pain.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Other Substance Exposure Issues

Will provide background information on possible effects of substance abuse on brain development and early parent-child bonding. Considerations in providing parent-to-parent support will be explored, including differences between supporting birth parents and adoptive parents of children who suffered prenatal exposure.

Grief and Loss I & Grief and Loss II

The participants in this performance-related training will examine some of the foundations of grief and loss that linger in our lives and color our ability to create and maintain supportive relationships. This training studies whether a family is functional and supportive or dysfunctional, the stages of grief and the best intervention for each stage, and how being powerful in our own lives can help us heal and reclaim parts of ourselves that may have been lost or in pain.

Group Facilitation Techniques

Those leading/facilitating groups come into the group with one set of expectations whether it is behavior or attitude change or information giving. Our clients may arrive not knowing what to expect and certainly bringing their survival skills to use against you, the authority figure, and other group members. This training addresses using this most dynamic of psychological and social tools to effect positive changes in clients. Participants are encouraged to first define the type of group they want: is the emphasis on education or process? Participants also explore the power of groups in teaching relationship building.

HIV & Substance Abuse and Living with HIV & Substance Abuse

The pandemic of HIV infections has taught us a great deal about how disease is not just physical: it is emotional, political, cultural, social and spiritual. The first training is HIV 101: an overview of HIV basics, i.e. how HIV is transmitted, how HIV replicates, and some common HIV prevention strategies. The second training looks at the effects of HIV on an individual, especially related to substance abuse recovery, from the moment s/he learns of the infection until a treatment strategy is devised - and that treatment strategy must address the whole individual, not just his or her CD4 cell count.

Health Relationship in Recovery

We would all love to know the "secrets" to having healthy relationships.  Participants work to examine the existing paradigms about intimate relationships to determine their validity and/or harm they do our clients.  Participants can also learn to help clients identify and focus on their primary relationships in the stabilization and early recovery phases of treatment.

Parenting Support

A certified parenting trainer will share how effective parenting is taught to those in recovery and how recovery staff can best support parents who may be parenting sober for the first time.

Positive Behavior Interventions

This training is totally adapted to the specific needs of the audience. Objective is to give parents or teachers, childcare, anyone dealing with children, better tools in their toolkit. Goals are to decrease behavior problems with children (home, school, etc.) This training requires audience participation.

Relapse Prevention

It has been said that relapse is a process - a road rather than a destination. During this training we put relapse dynamics into context both in terms of the user's current situation as well as a broader social placement. We look at the theories about relapse as well as the user's own fear of it and devise strategies based on actual clients whom participants have encountered.

Self-Esteem Strategies

Mass media projects constant images of who we are and who we "should" be. This impacts everyone and creates a filter through which we see others and ourselves. During this training we will examine exactly what self-esteem is, what factors from birth affect self-esteem and how this affects our decision-making, and begin to look at strategies to increase self-esteem - both in the participants and the clients they serve.

Sexual Harassment

This training provides information on what activities constitute sexual harassment and which actions on the part of an agency are "actionable". In addition to the legalities, participants will discuss factors that contribute to sexual harassment and discuss actual case studies and work towards resolution of the scenarios presented.

Sexual Orientation and Substance Abuse

There are a great many myths and stereotypes surrounding the lesbigay communities. This training takes a concrete look the realities of lesbians, gays and bisexuals, debunks some of the myths, and examines some of the factors that contribute to substance abuse. Additionally, caregiver attitudes and strategies that influence the success of a recovery program are discussed using case studies.

Stress & Staff Burnout

Participants in this training will learn the magic of C=L+W. The signs of symptoms of stress, burnout and workaholism are all explored in this training as well as opportunities to learn to de-stress, begin a regular regimen of self-care, and re-learning the fine art of play!

Substance Abuse

More than a list of signs and symptoms of substance abuse, this training looks at the various contributors to substance abuse. Such topics as addiction, recovery, relapse, classifications of drugs, and evidence of physical dependency will be explored. Those with working knowledge of substance abuse and addictions are asked to come prepared to share as well as learn.

Team Building

No two teams operate in the exact same way. And team members may behave differently on different teams. This training looks at some standard roles that team members are called on to play in order for the team to function; additionally, specific team needs are discussed as well as ways for team members to use their strengths and find support for their weaknesses to make any team more effective.

Telling Your Story

An opportunity for the audience to"tell their story". By this oral expression, participants have their own unique experiences and the accompanying emotions validated. The goal is to empower the participants to create change within their own system of work, support or family. This training can be for clients, or integrated into other trainings for counselors.

Trauma and Addiction

Participants will learn the importance of recognizing a history of trauma in their clients, the impact of a trauma history in recovery and access to services. In addition to learning signs and symptoms of trauma as they may present in a client, there will also be a discussion of the impact of trauma on the recovery process, promising practices in the continuum of services for co-occurring disorders, and an opportunity for each participant to assess how trauma-informed her/his agency is.

Working with Difficult Clients

Some basic tenets of motivational interviewing are introduced here to look at "resistant" behavior in clients. Participants learn techniques to use and "traps" to avoid to produce the most developmental and therapeutic results for their clients. Case studies provide insight into the cultural components of client behavior and counselor/caregiver response.

Women from Criminal Justice

Many substance abuse agencies must deal with clients who have convictions and therefore a relationship with the criminal justice system. This training examines the inner workings of the prison, probation and parole systems and participants are able to develop or hone programs that address the grief, loss and anger of clients who have been incarcerated as well as developing the resilience these same clients embody.