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The British Columbia School-Focused Mental Health Conference

Presented by Meghan Barlow,Ph.D. and Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP and Christine Dargon, Ph.D. and Jay Berk,Ph.D. and Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed. and Eboni Webb, Psy.D. and Randy Paterson, Ph.D. and Jeanette Gallus, RYT, MSE

Monday, November 20, 2017 – Wednesday, November 22, 2017  |  Langley, bc

Workshop Description

I am pleased to announce the British Columbia School-Focused Mental Health Conference will be hosted in Langley, British Columbia on November 20-22, 2017. Over the past five years, our school-focused conferences have trained over 3,000 education professionals. Whether you are attending for the first time or take part in this conference every year, all of us here at Jack Hirose and Associates would like to extend a warm welcome!

We have assembled your feedback and introduced a variety of exciting new topics including: anxiety disorders, oppositional and defiant behaviors, emotional disorders, eating disorders, high functioning autism, yoga and mindfulness, LGBT 101, strengthening executive skills, the neuropsychology of reading and written language disorders and more!  We always strive to improve our training with the goal of our participants meeting or exceeding their personal learning objectives. This conference promises to offer you new skills, new techniques and new strategies to help keep you motivated and excel with your students. Please mark this event on your calendar, and I look forward to seeing you at the conference!


Conference Testimonials 

“The workshops/presentations gave a lot of valuable and important information. The momentum of presentations kept interest.”

“Excellent and well-planned day! Well done.”

“Loved that speakers in the morning were also in the afternoon so we could make an informed choice plus get a total of 4 + hours with that person for enhanced learning.”

“Wonderful, helpful and interesting information. Wish I could have done all 3 days!”

“The topics were relevant to the work that I do everyday.”

“Well organized conference. Great speakers. Food/snacks.”

“Love the variety of having two keynotes before having to choose pm session.”

“Very helpful to add to my work as a school counsellor.”

“Thank you so much for the experience! Everyone was very accommodating and efficient!”

Workshop Topics:

Agenda & Learning Objectives

Please note: there is no pre-registration for afternoon sessions. For more information, click here.

DAY 1 – Monday, November 20, 2017

» 1st Keynote – 8:30am – 9:45am

The Neuropsychology of Emotion Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions

Presented by Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., NCSP

This keynote will explore the neural architecture of emotional behaviour by examining various brain structures laying the foundation for higher level social skill functioning. Specific biological factors related to the development of social competence and emotional self-regulation will be explored.

» 2nd Keynote – 9:45am – 10:45am

Anxiety Disorders in Children & Adolescents

Presented by Christine Dargon, Ph.D.

Dr. Christine Dargon will teach you how and why anxiety develops in children and adolescents. She will present practical treatment strategies that can be applied immediately. The seven key anxiety disorders along with case examples: Separation Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Overanxious Disorder, Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Phobias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

» 3rd Keynote – 11:00am – 12:00pm

Practical Strategies for Oppositional and Defiant Children & Adolescents

Presented by Jay Berk, Ph.D.

Children diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) can present a monumental challenge to therapists, teachers, parents and siblings. ODD and other conduct problems are the single greatest reasons for referrals to outpatient and inpatient mental health settings for children, accounting for at least half of all referrals.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session Options – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

Ⓐ The Neuropsychology of Reading & Written Language Disorders: A Framework for Effective Interventions

Presented by Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., NCSP

We will examine reading from a brain-based educational perspective. Steven will discuss the Feifer Assessment of Reading battery, a comprehensive and innovative new reading test designed to examine the underlying cognitive and linguistic processes that supports proficient reading skills. Steven will also explore the neuropsychological underpinnings of the writing process.

Ⓑ Anxiety Disorders in Children & Adolescents

Presented by Christine Dargon, Ph.D.

Practical techniques you can use with your client or student immediately. Other co-occurring disorders (e.g. behaviour problems, medical conditions, depression, ADHD, learning disabilities, selective mutism) will also be discussed. Emphasis will be on creative interventions involving insight-oriented, cognitive-behavioural, biological, mindfulness, expressive arts and family systems approaches.

Ⓒ Practical Strategies for Oppositional and Defiant Children & Adolescents

Presented by Jay Berk, Ph.D.

This dynamic workshop will address a full range of behavioural disturbances, from mild to severe, in order to identify the therapeutic techniques that have proven effective. Participants will review and discuss strategies which can be immediately applied across a variety of settings. Participants will leave this workshop with a much improved diagnostic and treatment approach to ODD and other behavioural disorders.

Ⓓ Yoga & Mindfulness in the Classroom: Tools to Improve Self-Regulation, Learning, and Climate

Presented by Jeanette Gallus, RYT, MSE, MA

In this experiential workshop, you will be introduced to developmentally appropriate, safe, and simple yoga and mindfulness tools that can be integrated, as needed, throughout the school day. You will recognize signs of imbalance, and will gain the confidence and skills to effectively implement mind-body strategies that have been chosen for their suitability for the typical classroom space and schedule.

DAY 2 – Tuesday, November 21, 2017

» 1st Keynote – 8:30am – 9:45am

Neurological Strategies for Building Students’ Emotional Self-Management, Motivation & Perseverance

Presented by Judy Willis, M.D., M.Ed.

Stressors in the classroom, including boredom and frustration, can block input from reaching the prefrontal cortex to become memory. You’ll learn new strategies to promote the understanding necessary for students to construct neural networks of long-term, transferrable concept memory.

» 2nd Keynote – 9:45am – 10:45am

Rescuing the Dysregulated Child: Dialectical Behaviour Skills Training for Children, Adolescents & Parents

Presented by Eboni Webb, Psy.D.

Working with emotionally dysregulated children is an often overwhelming and exhausting endeavor. Many teachers and counselors feel the pull of being “saviors” for dysregulated children and their parents. How to intervene and steps that can be taken by teachers and administrators will be presented.

» 3rd Keynote – 11:00am – 12:00pm

Eating Disorders

Presented by Christine Dargon, Ph.D.

This keynote will be an introduction into eating disorders in order to assist in creating greater awareness among school professionals and steps that can be taken to assist students. We will review the symptoms and criteria for the various eating disorders. How to intervene and steps that can be taken by teachers and administrators will be presented.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session Options – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

Ⓐ Using Brain Research to Help Students Develop Their Executive Functions

Presented by Judy Willis, M.D., M.Ed.

The information age in which today’s students live in is one where information and validity needs to be critically analyzed. The demands of the accelerated quantity of information incorporated into each grade level and the temptations of immediate gratification from video games and social media, mean today’s students need their executive functions to be at top efficiency. You will learn new strategies and recognize the ones you are already using that are most effective for activating the neuroplastic growth of the executive function networks during their peak of responsiveness. You’ll come away with plans ready to put into action.

Ⓑ Rescuing the Dysregulated Child: Dialectical Behaviour Skills Training for Children, Adolescents & Parents

Presented by Eboni Webb, Psy.D.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of treatment that has a robust amount of evidence that reveals its effectiveness in working with some of the most challenging students and family structures. This training will enable participants to employ strategies in which teacher, counselor, child and parent can experience success through learning to re-establish structure, create a validating and secure environment and increase compassion for all family members and care providers.

Ⓒ Eating Disorders

Presented by Christine Dargon, Ph.D.

This workshop will introduce attendees to the fundamentals to the treatment of eating disorders but will also address the key first steps and the core areas that need to be addressed by teachers, school counselors and psychologists. Eating disorders are a very unique category of disorders to treat although there are components that resemble other disorders. This will also be addressed and how individuals can, with time, commitment and dedication, conquer their struggle with such issues. The grades most at risk are between five through twelve. The rate at which eating disorders is being diagnosed is on the rise with cases reported in individuals as young as age 10.

DAY 3 – Wednesday, November 22, 2017

» 1st Keynote – 8:30am – 9:45am

LGBT 101: Sexual Orientation Issues for Educators

Presented by Randy Paterson, Ph.D.

What is sexual orientation, exactly? How does it develop? Are LGBT youth really at higher risk of self-harm? In this fast and good-natured sprint through the complicated field of human sexuality, Dr. Paterson presents some of what we know, some of what we thought we knew but don’t, and some of what we’d like to know but until now have been too afraid to ask.

» 2nd Keynote – 9:45am – 10:45am

High Functioning Autism: Proven and Practical Interventions for Challenging Behaviours in Children & Adolescents

Presented by Meghan Barlow, Ph.D.

This keynote provides proven intervention strategies, essential treatment tools, and behavioural techniques to help you analyze behaviours and actions, identify consequences for behaviours, and teach new skills to children, adolescents and young adults with high-functioning autism.

» 3rd Keynote – 11:00am – 12:00pm

Dialectical Behaviour Skills Training for Children, Adolescents & Parents

Presented by Eboni Webb, Psy.D.

Apply Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to the most prevalent child and adolescent disorders including: ADHD, attachment disorder, oppositional disorders, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session Options – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

Ⓐ How Not to Create a Miserable Kid: Emotional Resilience in the Classroom Setting

Presented by Randy Paterson, Ph.D.

Part of the function of education is the preparation of the individual for adult, independent life – a life in which self-discipline, perseverance, tolerance for failure, and emotional resilience in the face of adversity are central. How do we prepare youth for the difficulties of adulthood and avoid the temptations of fantasy? Adapting the core exercise from his popular book How to be Miserable, Paterson asks what we would do if our goal was to create dependent, depressed young adults – then uses this to guide recommendations for the opposite.

Ⓑ High Functioning Autism: Proven and Practical Interventions for Challenging Behaviours in Children & Adolescents

Presented by Meghan Barlow, Ph.D.

Gain valuable insight into how information processing, communication, and social skills deficits lead to difficulty in the home, school, occupational, and social settings. Learn how to prioritize a plan for intervention and implement strategies in order to improve functioning across all areas. You will leave this workshop with an improved understanding of HFA and the confidence to develop and implement effective treatment plans. Don’t just manage these individuals; provide interventions that lead to successful independence into their adult years!

Ⓒ Dialectical Behaviour Skills Training for Children, Adolescents & Parents

Presented by Eboni Webb, Psy.D.

Dr. Webb will additionally address key childhood disorders that left untreated can lead to maladaptive coping behaviours in adulthood. Dr. Webb will teach participants how to apply and adapt DBT skills training to reflect the language of children and how to establish a safe and loving structure in which children can learn and generalize these skills.

Continuing Education Credits

This workshop has been formally approved by the following associations:
  • Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF)
  • Canadian College of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (CCPCP)
  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)
  • Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA)
  • Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
  • Canadian Vocational Rehabilitation Association (VRA)
  • Employee Assistance Certification Commission (EACC)
  • Indigenous Certification Board of Canada (ICBOC)
  • Medical Psychotherapy Association Canada (MDPAC)
  • Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP)
  • Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association (OEATA)

† The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved CEUs.

* Participants will receive a certificate of completion after every workshop. Workshops are pre-approved for 5.5 or 6 credits per day unless otherwise specified.

Your Presenter(s)

Meghan Barlow, Ph.D.

Meghan Barlow, Ph.D., is a licensed pediatric psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum. She has developed trainings for parents, schools, and mental health providers.

Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP  is an internationally renowned speaker and author in the field of learning disabilities, and has authored seven books on learning and emotional disorders in children.  He was voted the Maryland School Psychologist of the Year in 2008, and awarded the 2009 National School Psychologist of the Year.  Dr. Feifer is a licensed psychologist currently employed at the Monocacy Neurodevelopmental Center in Frederick, MD, and also teaches in the ABSNP neuropsychology training program, as well as consults with numerous school districts.   Dr. Feifer has authored two tests on diagnosing learning disabilities in children.



“Thank you so much for an interesting workshop. I enjoyed the information because the neuropsychology aspect is so important to why and where we need to go with literacy interventions.”
– Tracie McDonald | Winnipeg, MB | December 3, 2015


“Very much enjoyed Steven Feifer’s ability to translate neuropsychology concepts into practical insights.”
– Dan Ross | Calgary, AB | October 29, 2015


“Very well informed, important information, great sense of humour, and love of his area of study and the audience. Great!”
– Robert Paulet | Winnipeg, MB | December 3, 2015


Christine Dargon, Ph.D.

Christine Dargon, Ph.D., having worked in clinical practice for over 20 years, now focusses her time on speaking and education. Her areas of clinical expertise include working with children and families for years in such areas as abuse, divorce and custody disputes, children of alcoholic/drug addicted parents and adopted children.  She also specialized in the treatment of eating disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and marriage counseling. Dr. Dargon did graduate research and her dissertation on rape-related PTSD and began working with rape survivors over 25 years ago. Currently, Dr. Dargon is an international speaker traveling throughout North America presenting seminars of numerous topics. Dr. Dargon has also been teaching on the undergraduate and graduate levels for over 20 years and is currently on faculty at Grand Canyon University serving students in the Masters’ of Counseling Psychology Program and Ashford University teaching undergraduate courses. Dr. Dargon received her Doctorate of Counseling Psychology from Seton Hall University with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, her Masters’ of Science in Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from Fordham University with a focus in School Counseling and her Bachelors’ in Psychology and Sociology from The University of Connecticut. She also has a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Legal Studies from Grand Canyon University.



“All three days were wonderfully informative. Your energy and enthusiasm was so welcoming. Your passion and depth of knowledge on all topics explored was clearly evident. I love all the practical take-away pieces, scripts and resource links + tools provided. Thanks so much.”
– Erica Mackinnon | Halifax, NS | June 7-8, 2017

“Christine is very engaging! By far the best workshop I’ve ever attended. She focuses on practical concept and not boring theories!”
– Ottawa, ON | June 5, 2017


“This workshop (especially the importance of play part) should be required to all school teachers/ staff to attend. Parents have to be reminded too of the importance of play through … media, school, church, etc. Super love it! Awesome Dr. Dargon!”
– Edmonton, AB | May 1-2, 2017


“Thank you for the excellent, insightful, entertaining presentation. The skills you touched on today will be very useful for my work with children and teens on the autism spectrum!”
– Michael | Kelowna, BC | April 20, 2017


Jay Berk, Ph.D.

Jay Berk, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and an internationally recognized expert in the child/adolescent behavioural field who brings both a clinical and education perspective to his work with children, adolescents and their families. For over 25 years, Dr. Berk has been treating clients with ODD, ADHD, autism, anxiety and stress, depression, learning disabilities, Tourette’s Syndrome and individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. He conducts 15 social skills/mental health groups for children and adolescents and works daily with school and community professionals, families and parents. Dr. Berk continually consults for several school districts. In his private practice, in Beachwood, Ohio, he provides therapy for children, adolescents, families, testing and evaluation, school consultation as well as designed and facilitates alternative educational program..

Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed

Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed., a board-certified neurologist combined her 15 years as a practicing neurologist with ten subsequent years as a classroom teacher to become a leading authority in the neuroscience of learning. With her unique background as both in neuroscience and education, she has written seven books about applying neuroscience research to classroom teaching strategies.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as the first woman graduate from Williams College, Willis attended UCLA School of Medicine where she was awarded her medical degree. She remained at UCLA and completed a medical residency and neurology residency, including chief residency. She practiced neurology for 15 years before returning to university to obtain her teaching credential and Master’s of Education degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then taught in elementary and middle school for 10 years.

Dr. Willis has served on the adjunct faculty of the University of California Santa Barbara Graduate School of Education and travels nationally and internationally giving presentations, workshops, and consulting about learning and the brain. She has been interviewed by USA Today, Euronews, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News Education Nation, ABC Australia Radio, Lateline Australia, Popular Mechanics, Neurology Today, USA Today, Education Week, Parenting Magazine among others, and writes staff expert blogs for NBC News Education Nation, Edutopia, Psychology Today, and The Guardian. In 2011 she was selected by Edutopia as a “Big Thinker on Education.”

Eboni Webb, Psy.D.

Eboni Webb, Psy.D., earned her doctorate of clinical psychology from the Minnesota school of Professional Psychology (Argosy University) and is the owner of Kairos Mental Health Cooperative, LLC, which offers diverse DBT programming to children and adults. She continues to serve as an advisor to the Dialectical Behavior Therapy National Certification and Accreditation Association (DBTNCAA) and a continuing education Dialectical Behavior Therapy trainer for PESI, inc.

More information: http://www.kairosmentalhealth.com/KMH/

Randy Paterson, Ph.D.

Randy Paterson, Ph.D, R.Psych. is the founder and owner of Changeways Clinic, one of Vancouver’s largest psychotherapy services. He has treated individuals experiencing difficulty at the transition to adulthood for over 20 years, and has lectured on the phenomenon in public presentations. Dr Paterson has presented numerous educational programs over the past 25 years on subjects ranging from diversity awareness to depression treatment to psychotherapy process. One of his primary interests is the intersection of existential and cognitive behavioural approaches to therapy. His research publications include papers on depression, stress, anxiety, attention, and attachment theory. He is the author of Private Practice Made Simple, How to be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use, The Assertiveness Workbook, and Your Depression Map.


More information: http://www.changeways.com/aboutus/staff/drpaterson/drpaterson.html

Jeanette Gallus, RYT, MSE, MA, LPC

Jeanette Gallus, RYT, MSE, MA, LPC, is a Yoga 4 Classrooms® Trainer, Certified ChildLight Yoga® Instructor and 200hr. Registered Yoga Teacher.  As a Certified School Counselor, Spanish teacher and Licensed Professional Counselor, she has worked in elementary, middle and high school in Wisconsin and Arizona. Presently, Jeanette counsels Special Education students and is an Adjunct University Professor incorporating yoga and mindfulness tools and strategies in her work, teaching self-regulation and stress management. She has served on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA)  governing board, president of Wisconsin School Counselor Association (WSCA) and Arizona School Counselors Association (AzSCA). Jeanette enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion as a trainer, counselor and teacher to support the Yoga 4 Classrooms® mission to “empower students and educators to create positive, peaceful, productive classrooms that support exceptional learning and a lifetime of health and wellness.” Jeanette resides in Tuscon, AZ.

Who Should Attend

Education and Clinical Professionals: All education and mental health or healthcare professionals who work with children or youth including, but not limited to K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors, Learning Assistance/Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers • All other professionals who support behavioural challenges and complex learning needs including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers and Community Police Officers.

Recommended Accommodation

Coast Hotel & Convention Centre Langley City

20393 Fraser Highway
Langley, BC

phone:  604.530.1500

fax:  604.539.4405

website:  www.coasthotels.com/hotels/bc/langley/coast-hotel-and-convention-centre-langley-city/

 Full map & directions

Our rates:

For November 6-7

Standard King $115 + Tax

Cut off date is October 7, 2017


For November 19-21

Standard King $115 + Tax

Cut off date is October 20, 2017


* Please ask for the Jack Hirose & Associates rate.

* Please note that the number of rooms at our corporate rates are limited. 

* If you require a double room please inquire at the time of booking as these rooms are first come first serve.

When booking hotel rooms, ask for the Jack Hirose and Associates corporate rate. To receive our corporate rate, rooms must be booked one month prior to the workshop date. Please keep in mind hotel rates may fluctuate.

Registration & Fees

Registration Early bird Fee Regular Fee
Individual 1 Day Enrollment $229 $249
Individual 2 Day Enrollment $419 $439
Individual 3 Day Enrollment $559 $579
Group 3-7 $539 $559
Group 8-14 $519 $539
Group 15+ $499 $519
Full-Time Student $499 $519

For more information on Student Rates, click here

For more information on Group Rates, click here

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions: no pre-registration required. For more information, click here

PLEASE NOTE: Multi-day registrations can NOT be shared. All registration fees are per person. Different individuals cannot be sent on different days under one registration fee. Name badges will be checked at the door.

Fees do not include applicable taxes (5% GST).

Early bird cutoff date: November 6, 2017
To receive the early bird rate, registration and payment must be received by Monday, November 6, 2017.

Please review our Registration Terms and Conditions for information on our cancellation policy, payment policies, rebates, and more. You must agree to our Terms and Conditions to register for a workshop or conference.

Register Online   Download Registration Form (.PDF)   Register your Group