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The Canadian Mental Health Summit

Advanced Interventions and Strategies For Frontline Professionals

Presented by Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D. and John P. Forsyth,Ph.D. and Jamie R. Forsyth,Ph.D. and Ronald Siegel, Psy.D. and Stan Tatkin, Psy.D. and Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP and Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW and Janina Fisher, Ph.D. and Jeff Riggenbach, Ph.D. and Roy D. Steinberg, Ph.D. and Gabor Maté, M.D. and Eric Gentry, Ph.D. and Alan S. Bloom, Ph.D.

Monday, November 26, 2018 – Wednesday, November 28, 2018  |  Richmond, bc

Download Brochure (.PDF)  

!  Important Notice:

Online registration is now CLOSED for this conference. You can arrive up to one hour early to register at the door.

Date & Location

Monday, November 26, 2018 – Wednesday, November 28, 2018

9:00 am – 4:00pm

Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport

7311 Westminster Hwy

Richmond, BC V6X 1A3

phone:  604.278.5555

website:  www.executivehotels.net/vancouver-airport-hotel/

 Full map & directions

New Conference Format

  • 13 Internationally Renown Experts
  • 12 Full Day Workshops
  • 12 Imperative Topics Relevant to Mental Health

A Letter from Jack Hirose


Dear Colleague,

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jack Hirose and Associates, we are launching our largest conference to date with an entirely new format. The Canadian Mental Health Summit: Advanced Interventions and Strategies for Frontline Professionals will be held in Richmond, BC, November 26 – 27, 2018. This conference will bring together 13 internationally renown experts, for 12 full day workshop options. This new evolution of our conferences is our most ambitious endeavour. We are sparing no expense to bring to you the leading industry professionals on the most relevant topics focusing on mental health.

Our conferences have trained over 10,000 frontline professionals. We have assembled your feedback and addressed the following concerns. Full day workshops allow in-depth training and more time to focus on strategies and techniques. You will have the option to select your presenter and topic for each day. By pre-selecting your workshop we can guarantee sufficient seating. Take advantage of our new super early bird pricing for our lowest individual 3-day rate. Register before June 15, 2018 to save up to $70 on your registration fees. Our goal is to bring to you a custom tailored 3 day conference experience unlike ever before.

We hope you will join us as we address imperative topics such as: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Depression, Compassion Fatigue, Psychopharmacology, Alzheimers and Dementias, Couples Therapy, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Addiction, Anxiety, Personality Disorders and Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatment. I look forward to seeing you the conference!


Jack Hirose, M.A.

Conference Director

Conference Overview

Day One: Monday, November 26, 2018

Depression Management Techniques
Workshop #1 – The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques by Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D., Curriculum Development Director for Candeo’s online Depression and Anxiety Program

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Workshop #2 – Harnessing the Transformative Power of Mindful Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) by Dr. John P. Forsyth, Ph.D., Anxiety Disorders Research Program at the University of Albany.  Dr. Jamie R. Forsyth, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, clinical supervisor and trainer

Workshop #3 – Psychopharmacology for Mental Health Professionals by Dr. Alan S. Bloom, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Compassion Fatigue
Workshop #4 – Compassion Fatigue and Burnout by Dr. Eric Gentry, Ph.D., Co-director of the International Traumatology Institute at the University of South Florida



Day Two: Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Workshop #5 – New Frontiers in Mindfulness in Psychotherapy: Tailoring the Practice to the Person by Dr. Ron Siegel, Psy.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, part-time, at Harvard Medical School and serves on the Board of Directors and faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy

Couples Therapy
Workshop #6 – A Psychological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) by Dr. Stan Tatkin, Psy.D., Clinical practice in Southern California, teaches at Kaiser Permanente, assistant clinical professor at UCLA, developer of Psychological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
Workshop #7 – Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Training for Mental Health Professionals by Dr. Eboni Webb, Psy.D., Owner Kairos Mental Health Cooperative, advisor to the Dialectical Behavior Therapy National Certification and Accreditation Association

Workshop #8 – Taming the Hungry Ghost by Dr. Gabor Mate, M.D., International speaker and bestselling author, co-founder of Compassion for Addiction, a new non-profit that focuses on addictions


Day Three: Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Workshop #9 – Help Your Anxious Clients: Concrete Strategies for Treating Anxiety in Adults by Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW, Internationally recognized psychotherapist, author and speaker


Workshop #10 – Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatment (TIST): A New Approach to Addictions, Eating Disorders, Suicidality, and Self-Injurious Behaviour by Dr. Janina Fisher, Ph.D., Clinical psychologist and instructor at the Trauma Centre in Boston; faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and former instructor Harvard Medical School


Personality Disorders
Workshop #11 –Treatment and Management of Personality Disorders: The Challenge of the Hidden Agenda by Dr. Jeff Riggenbach, Ph.D., Diplomat with the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and President of the CBT Institute of Oklahoma


Aging Brain
Workshop #12 – The Aging Brain: The Assessment, Treatment, and Interventions of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias by Dr. Roy D. Steinberg, Ph.D., Gero-psychologist, author and national lecturer on the assessment and treatment of individuals with Alzheimer’s


Important, please read carefully

  • Each workshop is a full day course from 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Space in each workshop is limited, please register early to reserve your seat
  • Changes to participant info provided during registration, including workshop selection, may be subject to an admin fee
  • Participants are permitted to change workshops on the day of the conference at no charge, subject to seating availablity
  • Seating availability will be determined 15 minutes after the session begins
  • Seat sharing is not allowed, muti-day options are for one workshop participant
  • Groups do not need to attend the same workshop to qualify for the group rate, must attend all 3 days
  • Please read the complete terms and conditions here

Who Should Attend

Clinical Professionals: All mental health professionals including, but not limited to Clinical Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Hospice and Palliative Care Workers, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Addiction Specialists, Marital & Family Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants, School Counsellors, Behaviour Specialists, Rehabilitation Consultants, Geriatric Specialists, and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

DAY 1 – November 26, 2018

Workshop #1: The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques
Presented by Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 26, 2018

Depression is painful. Ruminating thoughts, lethargy, and increasing alienation from others create a negative internal and external environment. Those symptoms actively interfere with carrying out basic demands of daily life. While depression is one of the most common mental health disorders, there are different causes. Treatment options run a gamut that includes new technologies to directly affect brain activity, advances in stress management, improved tools to relieve the impact of childhood trauma and focus on developing resilience.
How does a therapist know where to get started in the treatment? In this seminar, identifying four different kinds of depression, you will master 10 strategies to jump start therapy and provide immediate relief of symptoms. You will be able to set the stage for longer term recovery.

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  1. Immediately intervene on the specific type of depression
  2. Improve motivation and mobilize energy in depressed clients
  3. Change negative cognitive patterns to energize action
  4. Demonstrate the impact of neural networks and how to break out of negative neural networks that keep depression in place
  5. Utilize strategies from positive psychology and mindfulness to develop positive attitudes and cognitions
  6. Increase clients’ abilities to formulate new options for problems by replacing the narrowing cognitive themes of worthlessness and inadequacy


  1. A look at the interaction between neurochemistry and cognition function and lifestyle to explore the 4 types of depression. A specific look at how neural networking affects the development and recovery from depression.
  2. Identify triggers and respond differently to them. The underpinnings of depression as seen in four kinds of depression (endogenous, situation, PTSD and the outcome of early life adversity)
  3. Techniques that energize the lethargic mind and body of the depressed client. Identify and cool down burnout, including a look at work addiction.
  4. Ending isolation, balancing life activities, and preventing destructive behaviour.
  5. Broadening the perspective of the depressed mind and learning to live more fully. These techniques will focus on new ways to open the mind to possibility and will look at building positive circuitry in the brain that will enhance the long term recovery of depressed clients.
Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D.

Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist, author, and international trainer. She is a practicing psychotherapist and coaches professionals for anxiety management. Margaret has been a trainer of therapists for 25 years, and she is a sought-after speaker for continuing…

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More information: margaretwehrenberg.com

Workshop #2: Harnessing the Transformative Power of Mindful Acceptance & Commitment (ACT)
Presented by John P. Forsyth,Ph.D. and Jamie R. Forsyth,Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 26, 2018

Acceptance and mindfulness-based practices are rapidly making their way into mental health care, medicine, and society both to alleviate human suffering and nurture psychological health and wellness.  This body of work also offers a fresh perceptive on psychological suffering and a set of powerful clinical strategies that support meaningful life changes.   In this workshop, we will learn about one particular approach and set of practices based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT, said as one word).

 ACT is a newer third-generation evidence-based behaviour therapy that balances mindfulness and acceptance processes with commitment and behaviour change processes to (a) weaken the unhelpful influence of thoughts and emotional avoidance in guiding actions, while (b) promoting greater experiential and psychological flexibility in the service of (c) valued ends.  It is both a form of therapy and an approach to living well, with evidence showing that it is useful for many forms of psychological and emotional suffering.  In short, ACT teaches clients how to be with their hurts and do what works – to live well, richly, and meaningfully, without first having to defeat sources of emotional and psychological pain.

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 This 1-day workshop will introduce ACT, both as a model and intervention technology, and illustrate its use across a broad set of problem areas that are commonly seen in mental health settings (e.g., anxiety, depression, anger).  The workshop will include a rich mix of didactic teachings, live and video demonstrations, and practical experiential exercises that will be done individually, in dyads, and small groups. Clinical worksheets and other practical tools will be provided.


Participants will learn how to:

  1. Define the three pillars of ACT;
  2. Describe and identify each of the six hexaflex ACT processes that contribute to human suffering and link them with the six corresponding ACT intervention processes that are used to promote psychological flexibility;
  3. Conceptualized common clinical concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression, problem anger) within an ACT process-oriented approach;
  4. Define and identify “fusion” and “experiential avoidance” and describe mindful and compassionate alternative behaviors;
  5. Practice essential ACT intervention exercises to cultivate psychological flexibility;
  6. Deliver values clarification exercises in dyads and small groups;
  7. Apply and integrate mindfulness and acceptance processes with commitment and behavior change processes to assist clients in doing what matters to them;
  8. Describe strategies to foster the ongoing development of ACT consistent clinical competencies.
John P. Forsyth, Ph.D.

John P. Forsyth, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized author, speaker, researcher, and trainer in the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and practices that cultivate mindfulness, loving kindness, and compassion. For over 20 years, his work has focused on…

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More information: https://www.drjohnforsyth.com/

Jamie R. Forsyth, Ph.D.

Jamie R. Forsyth, Ph.D. is an active and gifted clinician and clinical supervisor, with extensive expertise in the use and application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with severe forms mental illness (e.g., psychosis and personality disorders) and forms of…

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More information: https://www.drjohnforsyth.com/

Workshop #3: Psychopharmacology for Mental Health Professionals
Presented by Alan S. Bloom, Ph.D. and Margaret Bloom, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 26, 2018

Most clients with DSM-5® diagnoses are being treated with a combination of psychological and pharmacological treatments. Newer drugs are being developed to treat mental disorders based on a better understanding of neurobiological contributions to mental disorders and the latest pharmacological research. To provide appropriate services, you are expected to have a thorough understanding of these common and complex issues. As a mental health professional, keeping up-to-date is essential.

This seminar will update and increase your knowledge of:
• Neurobiological underpinnings of major DSM-5® diagnoses
• Effects and side effects of drugs used to treat these diagnoses
• Responsibilities of the non-prescribing therapist to clients taking psychiatric medication

Specifics of the pharmacological treatment and drugs of choice for Depressive, Bipolar, Schizophrenia Spectrum, Anxiety, OCD, Sleep-Wake, ADHD and Neurocognitive disorders will be presented. Unique to this seminar is information on the common types of psychotherapeutic drugs and other drugs that are abused, and methods for prevention and early detection. Throughout the day, representative case studies will generate discussion and examination of the latest drug treatment for DSM-5® disorders. You will leave this seminar with knowledge and confidence regarding effective and safe application of pharmacological drugs.

Margaret L. Bloom, Ph.D. will provide a brief portion of the Psychopharmacology presentation regarding the role of prescribing and non-prescribing mental health professional.

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  1. Communicate the neurotransmitter systems and neuroanatomy underlying the biological basis for mental disorders and pharmacotherapy.
  2. Evaluate the role of mental health professionals with clients receiving both psychotherapeutic medications and psychotherapy.
  3. Analyze the major classes of drugs used to treat mental disorders and which mental disorders are appropriately treated with each class of drugs.
  4. Compare and contrast the effects/side effects of antipsychotics, antidepressants, benzodiazepines and other anti-anxiety agents, anticonvulsants and drugs used to treat other mental disorders including OCD, ADHD, and cognitive impairment.
  5. Determine the abuse liability of drugs used in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, pain and ADHD.
  6. Implement methods for prevention and early identification of prescription drug abuse.


Psychopharmacological Foundations

Neurobiology of Behavior, Mental Illness & Psychotherapeutic Drug Action

  • Brain structures & circuits involved in:
    • Emotional regulation
    • Executive function & inhibitory control
    • Reward & pleasure
    • Learning & memory
  • Neurotransmitters important in the actions of psychopharmacological agents
    • Biogenic amines
    • Excitatory & inhibitory neurotransmitters
    • Endorphins & endocannabinoids

Your role in combined psychological & pharmacological treatments

  • Collaboration & communication with prescribing professionals
  • Managing the combined treatments
    • Referrals for medication
    • Client psycho-education
    • Monitoring drug effects & side effects
    • Promoting adherence to combined treatments

Drugs Used in the Treatment of DSM-5® Mental Disorders

Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

  • Biological theories of schizophrenia
  • “Typical” & “atypical” antipsychotic drugs
    • Effects, side effects & cautions – similarities & differences
    • Latest evidence-based comparisonsDrugs for treatment-resistant schizophrenia
  • Other uses of antipsychotic drugs

Depressive Disorders

  • Neurobiology of depression
  • Drugs used to treat depressive disorders
    • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): effects, side effects & cautions including suicide risk & discontinuation syndrome
    • Serotonin syndrome
  • Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): effects, side effects & cautions
  • Atypical antidepressant agents: effects, side effects & cautions
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) – effect, side effects & cautions: Why were newer drugs needed
  • Choosing an antidepressant
  • What if first-line antidepressants do not work?
    • MAO Inhibitors
    • Augmentation with antipsychotics
    • Other physiological & pharmacological treatments
  • What about herbs like St. John’s Wort?

Bipolar Disorders

  • Biological theories for bipolar disorders
  • Drugs used to treat bipolar disorders
    • A prototype agent
    • Anticonvulsants – effects, side effects & cautions
    • Antipsychotics – approved agents
    • Combination drug therapy

Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive & Sleep-Wake Disorders

  • The neurobiology of anxiety-related disorders
    • The anxiety disorders
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • The structure of sleep
  • Drugs used in the treatment of anxiety & insomnia
    • Benzodiazepines & Benzodiazepine-like drugs
    • Misuse of these drugs in treatment
    • SSRI’s & other drugs used to treat anxiety
    • Drugs used to treat OCD (SSRIs etc.)

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder & Neurocognitive Disorders (Dementia)

  • ADHD
    • Psycho-stimulants – their effects, side effects & cautions
    • Antidepressants & Alpha-Adrenergic Agonists
  • Major neurocognitive disorders
    • Drugs used in the treatment of cognitive impairment
    • Future treatments

Prescription Drug Abuse

  • Mental disorders & risk of comorbid prescription drug abuse
  • Classes of drugs that are frequently abused
    • Stimulants
    • Sedative-hypnotics
    • Opiates
  • Prevention & early identification of prescription drug abuse
Alan S. Bloom, Ph.D.

Alan S. Bloom, Ph.D., is professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he teaches psychopharmacology to medical students and neuroscience graduate students. He earned a dual Ph.D. in psychology and pharmacology and consults regularly with psychiatrists…

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Margaret L. Bloom, Ph.D.

Margaret (Peggy) L. Bloom, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Counsellor Education and Counselling Psychology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a licensed psychologist, national certified counsellor (NCC) and elected fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. Peggy is…

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Workshop #4: Compassion Fatigue & Burnout
Presented by Eric Gentry, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 26, 2018

This seminar has been identified by hundreds of professionals as life changing, essential, and exhilarating, Join Dr. Eric Gentry, a recognized leader in the area of compassion fatigue, and learn evidence-based compassion resiliency and prevention skills drawn from the Accelerated Recovery Program for Compassion Fatigue and Burnout. Learn self-regulation-practical skills that are critical to your being maximally effective with your clients and improving treatment outcomes. For the past 30 years, research has been steadily accumulating to demonstrate that caring has its costs. We now know that working with others who suffer from mental illness, addiction, pain, abuse, social deprivation and trauma have negative effects on the caregivers many of which are potentially debilitating. Compassion fatigue has been identified as a cause for symptoms of depression, anxiety, chemical dependency, eating disorders, relation problems, psychological disorders, and suicide among professionals. If practitioners know how to effectively prevent and conquer stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue, they become more effective and productive.
In this workshop, you will learn powerful tools (the anti-bodies) that are critical for professional resiliency and integrate them into your practice immediately. Additionally, you will leave with techniques to teach and help your clients improve their lives. This seminar integrates the latest research and practice wisdom to help you reclaim the satisfaction, hope and inspiration for professional care giving.

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  • Understand the causes, treatment and prevention of compassion fatigue, burnout, secondary traumatic stress, caregiver stress, countertransference, and vicarious traumatization
  • Explain how compassion fatigue erodes professional resiliency
  • Implement skills for successful self-regulation
  • Demonstrate an increased capacity to remain comfortable and maximally effective regardless of external demands
  • Develop a personalized professional moral compass for the starting point for professional maturation and resiliency
  • Implement simple, yet powerful, strategies to prevent the symptoms of Compassion Fatigue
  • Create a self-directed, easy-to-use, personalized Professional Resiliency Plan
  • Describe the importance of Self- versus Other
  • Validate caregiving as integral component of professional resiliency


Welcome: Getting in tune with Compassion Fatigue – Opening Exercise

  • Active Ingredients for effective treatment of traumatic stress

The Problem: Compassion Fatigue Etiology & Symptoms

  • Stress = Perceived Threat
  • Ambient Secondary Traumatic Stress
  • Brain & Body
  • Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic Dominance
  • Compassion Fatigue Didactic
  • Secondary Traumatic Stress: Causes, Prevention, & Cure
  • Burnout: Causes, Prevention, & Cure

The Solution: Compassion Fatigue Resiliency

  • Intentionality
  • The Convenant
  • Didactic: Breaching Integrity & Sympathetic Dominance
  • Self-regulation
  • Instruction: Physiological Intervention for shifting from Sympathetic to Parasympathetic dominance
  • Self-Validation
  • Connection Self-Care
Eric Gentry, Ph.D.

Eric Gentry, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized leader in the field of disaster and clinical traumatology, having trained thousands of professionals and paraprofessionals worldwide in the treatment of traumatic stress. His doctorate is from Florida State University where he studied…

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Day 2 – November 27, 2018

Workshop #5: New Frontiers in Mindfulness in Psychotherapy: Tailoring the Practice to the Person
Presented by Ronald Siegel, Psy.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 27, 2018

Mindfulness-based psychotherapy is the most popular new treatment approach in the last decade—and for good reason. Mindfulness practices hold great promise not only for our own personal development, but also as remarkably powerful tools to augment virtually every form of psychotherapy. Mindfulness is not, however, a one-size-fits-all remedy. Researchers are now differentiating the effects of focused attention, open monitoring, loving-kindness, compassion, and equanimity practices. Practices need to be tailored to fit the needs of particular individuals—and this workshop will show you how.
We will explore seven important clinical decisions to consider when deciding when and if to introduce different practices into treatment of individuals with different needs. Once you understand the components of mindfulness practices and how they work to alleviate psychological distress, you’ll be able to creatively adapt them to meet the needs of diverse people and conditions, including those with unresolved trauma histories. You’ll learn how to use mindfulness practices to help resolve anxiety, depression, and other disorders, gaining practical knowledge and skills that will take your practice of mindfulness-based psychotherapy to the next level.

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  • Describe the three core elements of mindfulness practice
  • Identify common denominators in psychological difficulties
  • Specify seven ways that mindfulness practices can be tailored to the needs of particular types of clients
  • Describe the core attitude toward experience found in depression and how mindfulness practice can help to transform it.
  • Indicate the mechanisms that maintain anxiety disorders and how these can be altered using mindfulness practice.


Mindfulness: What Is It Really?

  • The three pillars of mindfulness
  • What mindfulness is and isn’t
  • How to cultivate mindfulness both inside and outside of the therapy hour

How Mindfulness Works

  • Identify the common factors in virtually all psychological disorders
  • Learn how to use mindfulness practices as their antidote
  • Discover how mindfulness can boost the effectiveness of all forms of treatment

Fit the Practice To The Person

  • Learn seven guidelines to tailor techniques to particular patients or clients
  • Discover special practices for trauma survivors, fragile individuals, and others for whom meditation can be difficult or dangerous

 Working with Depression: Entering the Dark Places Together

  • Understand what mindfulness reveals about the dynamics of depression
  • Use mindfulness to moving toward experience to wake up and come alive

Befriending Fear: Treating Anxiety Disorders

  • Use mindfulness practices to overcome anxiety by befriending fear
  • Practice CBT on steroids: embracing the wisdom of insecurity
Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D.

Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 35 years. He is a long-time student of mindfulness meditation and serves on the Board of Directors and faculty…

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Workshop #6: A Psychological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT)
Presented by Stan Tatkin, Psy.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 27, 2018

PACT helps couples move towards secure functioning by integrating early attachment theory, arousal regulation and neuroscience into intervention. A Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) is a new and innovative approach to couple work developed by Dr. Stan Tatkin, Clinical Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and is quickly gaining a reputation as a highly effective intervention for couples deemed as complex. PACT integrates attachment theory, arousal regulation and neuroscience into assessment and formulation of the couple relationship and interventions that help the couple move towards secure attachment functioning.
This workshop gives an overview of the PACT model and principles through a combined didactic and multimedia delivery of information, group discussion, experiential exercises, clinical video presentations, case consultation, and live case enactments.
We will explore how early attachment patterns are somatically imprinted onto the development of the brain and nervous system and how to interpret the consequent somatic responses. The PACT methodology utilizes a bottom-up versus a top-down approach to psychotherapy focusing on very fast, often surprising interventions in order to access implicit systems as revealed in micro- expressions and micro-movements in the face and body, respectively.

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  • Be able to distinguish between a deficit model and a conflict model of couple therapy
  • Be able to describe the three PACT domains (Attachment Theory, Arousal Regulation and Developmental Neuroscience).
  • Be able to name at least three principles of assessment for the three PACT domains.
  • Be able to distinguish between top-down and bottom-up interventions and basic PACT interviewing process.
  • Be able to articulate the PACT therapeutic stance of secure functioning: collaboration, mutually, fairness, justice, and sensitivity.


9:00am – 10:30am Secure functioning couples
Automatic brain (memory, state, perception, communication)
Arousal regulation & attachment
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 12:00pm Basic interview techniques
1:15pm – 3:00pm Interventions
3:00pm – 3:15pm Break
3:15pm – 4:00pm Demonstrations
Case examples from audience
Q & A
Stan Tatkin, Psy.D.

Stan Tatkin, Psy.D. is the author of Wired for Love and Your Brain on Love, and coauthor of Love and War in Intimate Relationships. He has a clinical practice in Southern California, teaches at Kaiser Permanente, and is an assistant clinical professor at UCL A. Tatkin developed a…

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Workshop #7: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Training for Mental Health Professionals
Presented by Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 27, 2018

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a highly effective form of treatment for clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  However, many of these individuals have rarely developed life skills to build a proactive and responsive life versus a defensive and reactive one.  Dr. Eboni Webb will introduce a holistic approach to treatment and will expand on key concepts including skills acquisition, daily practice, and generalization. These skills are critical for our clients to develop an effective interdependent adult life. Dr. Webb will provide a brief discussion of DBT and its relationship to the Biosocial model, the neurological impact of trauma on the developing brain and how to address specific diagnoses via the skills.  She will discuss the importance of integrating DBT skills at the earliest point of treatment and utilizing skills as a foundation for life

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  • Learn each standard DBT skills module and two supplemental modules.
  • Learn creative and innovative techniques to keep client’s engaged in today’s technology-centered world.
  • Explore the different modes of skills groups to set up the most effective program for your practice.
  • Set up skills group treatment expectations and behavioural contracts.


Neurobiological Building Blocks

  • Why DBT skills?
  • Trauma and Development
  • The benefit of top-down and bottom-up process learning

Creating the Learning Container

  • Importance of skills as a form of self-advocacy and consultation
  • Setting up a group
  • Establishing safety
  • Making the environment conducive for learning

The Foundational Skills: Mindfulness & Dialectics

  • Dialectical skills framework
  • States of Mind
  • WHAT skills
  • HOW skills

Naming to Tame: Emotion Regulation

  • How emotions work in the body
  • 10 Universal emotions
  • Emotion action decision tree
  • Opposite action
  • Caring for the body
  • Resourcing the body with positive experiences and building mastery

Thriving in a Crisis: Distress Tolerance & Self-Compassion

  • Grounding: Self-Soothe
  • Skillful Distractions: ACCEPTS
  • Crisis Integration: IMPROVE
  • Pros and Cons
  • Radical Acceptance
  • Letting go of toxic shame in a crisis: Self-Compassion

Connection in Community: Interpersonal Effectiveness

  • Wired for connection
  • FAST skills
  • GIVE skills
  • Validation (Self & Others)
  • Prioritizing Self and Others
Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP

Eboni Webb, Psy.D., HSP is a licensed psychologist and serves as an advisor to the Dialectical Behavior Therapy National Certification and Accreditation Association (DBTNCAA). She has practiced in numerous community settings including clinics that treat underserved communities of color, clients with…

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Workshop #8: Taming the Hungry Ghost: Science and Compassion in the Healing of Addictions
Presented by Gabor Maté, M.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 27, 2018

For twelve years Dr. Maté was the staff physician at a clinic for drug-addicted people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where he worked with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver Supervised Injection Site. In his most recent bestselling book In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts, he shows that their addictions do not represent a discrete set of medical disorders; rather, they merely reflect the extreme end of a continuum of addiction, mostly hidden, that runs throughout our society. In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts draws on cutting-edge science to illuminate where and how addictions originate and what they have in common.

Contrary to what is often claimed, the source of addictions is not to be found in genes, but in the early childhood environment where the neurobiology of the brain’s reward pathways develops and where the emotional patterns that lead to addiction are wired into the unconscious. Stress, both then and later in life, creates the predisposition for addictions, whether to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, or to behavioural addictions such as shopping or sex.
Helping the addicted individual requires that we appreciate the function of the addiction in his or her life. More than a disease, the addiction is a response to a distressing life history and life situation. Once we recognize the roots of addiction and the lack it strives (in vain) to fill, we can develop a compassionate approach toward the addict, one that stands the best chance of restoring him or her to wholeness and health.

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  1. What is the source of addictions?
  2. What happens chemically and physiologically in the brains of people with substance dependency or behaviour addiction?
  3. The false “blessings” of addiction as experienced by the addict (e.g., as emotional anaesthetic, as personality booster, as social lubricant, and so on;)
  4. The development of the addicted mind: how early childhood experiences shape the brain;
  5. The social basis of addiction in economic, cultural and political dislocation and disempowerment;
  6. How much choice does the addict really have, and how much responsibility?
  7. Developing a therapeutic relationship in which healing is possible;
  8. How to encourage the addict to take responsibility;
  9. The prevention of addiction, both in adolescence and before.
Gabor Maté, M.D.

Gabor Maté (pronunciation: GAH-bor MAH-tay) is a retired physician who, after 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. The…

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More information: drgabormate.com

Evening Session: Flow Yoga

6:30pm - 7:30pm   November 27, 2018

Led By Anita Cheung, Co-Founder and Brand Director at Moment Meditation

Anita is a yoga therapist and meditation teacher who has been teaching since 2012. She is passionate about mental health and helping you feel at home in your body. Expect 60 minutes of a gentle flow yoga class with good people and good music. Beginner-friendly. Please bring your own mat and towel.

This event is for conference attendees only. To register, please select the yoga session during registration. This session is complimentary, space is limited. Names will be checked at the door.

Day 3 – November 28, 2018

Workshop #9: Help Your Anxious Clients: Concrete Strategies for Treating Anxiety in Adults
Presented by Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 28, 2018

Anxiety disorders take a tremendous toll on individuals and families. By demanding certainty and comfort in rather dramatic fashion, anxiety grabs control in a way that interrupts lives, promotes avoidance, and leads to depression and physical issues. Anxiety runs in families, with children who are raised by a parent with an anxiety disorder being six to seven times more likely to develop anxiety themselves, thus interrupting this generational pattern of anxiety is critical.
This workshop will focus on concrete, strategic interventions that move clients out of the “content trap” of the anxiety disorder and toward a process that interrupts anxiety’s predictable cognitive, behavioural, and physiological patterns. Participants will learn how to immediately and actively engage clients in active treatment using psycho-education and strategic homework assignments that move clients toward uncertainty (a key to successful treatment), address the use of safety crutches and avoidance, and promote the skills of differentiation and problem solving to combat the global avoidance style of anxious people.

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  • Develop active assignments for families that correct the common cognitive traps that bolster both anxiety and depression.
  • Explain the difference between content-based and process-based interventions.
  • Create interventions that focus on interrupting the process of OCD in families rather than the content of the OCD.
  • Model role playing and active techniques in session with families.
  • Explain the common cognitive overlaps between anxiety and depression.
  • Teach the 7 puzzle pieces of a skill based plan for addressing anxiety.
  • Recognize avoidant and safety behaviors that strengthen anxiety.
Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW

Lynn Lyons, MSW, RSW, is an internationally recognized psychotherapist, author, and speaker with a special interest in interrupting the generational patterns of anxiety in families. Her skill-based approach to anxiety focuses on the need to teach families about HOW anxiety works…

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Workshop #10: Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatment (TIST): A New Approach to Addictions, Eating Disorder, Suicidality, & Self-Destructive Behaviour 
Presented by Janina Fisher, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 28, 2018

Childhood trauma, neglect, and disorganized attachment leave individuals with a legacy of overwhelming memories, a fragmented sense of self, and a compromised nervous system that impairs their capacity to experience and tolerate affect. Unaware that their intense feelings and reactions represent non-verbal implicit memories held by fragmented parts of the personality, they resort to desperate measures: addictive and self-harming behaviour to numb the body or increase hyper vigilance, suicidal ideation to restore a sense of control over their lives, and easily activated fight/flight responses to hurt, separation, or rejection.
The therapist is left with a quandary: how do we treat the underlying trauma when the client is unstable or unsafe, living from crisis to crisis, or caught in a revolving door of hospitals and treatment approaches? How do we acknowledge what has happened without opening up too much? The Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatment (TIST) model was developed to provide some hopeful answers to these challenges. Based on theoretical principles drawn from the neuroscience research on trauma and structural dissociation theory, TIST offers a treatment approach that combines mindfulness-based interventions, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Internal Family Systems techniques to address the challenges of treating clients with a wide range of diagnoses, including complex PTSD, borderline personality, bipolar disorder, addictive and eating disorders, and dissociative disorders.

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  • Describe the relationship between neurobiological-driven trauma responses and unsafe behaviour.
  • Differentiate two ways to separate trauma-related implicit memory from affective responses to
  • experience
  • Discuss the role of structural dissociation in trauma-related symptoms from self-destructive behaviour.
  • Identify two signs and symptoms of fragmentation and internal conflict.
  • Describe two ways the therapist may facilitate the patient’s ability to observe indications of fragmented parts of the self.
  • Integrate two somatic interventions for regulating autonomic arousal and affect dysregulation.
  • Integrate two interpersonal neurobiology and social engagement techniques into the treatment.
Janina Fisher, Ph.D.

Janina Fisher, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and a former instructor, Harvard Medical School.  An international expert on the treatment of trauma, she is an Advisory Board member of the Trauma Research Foundation.  Dr. Fisher is the author of…

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Workshop #11: Treatment & Management of Personality Disorders: The Challenge of the Hidden Agenda
Presented by Jeff Riggenbach, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 28, 2018

Individuals with personality disorders have long been considered the most challenging clients presenting in the clinical setting.  Many patients lack motivation, most begin with poor insight, and some have such deeply engrained dysfunctional beliefs, unhealthy coping skills, and destructive behavioral patterns that continue to frustrate providers, family members, and consumers alike. Many professionals even continue to view them as untreatable.
However, there is hope. Emerging research suggests this is simply not the case.  DBT, CBT, and Schema Therapy have paved the way in pioneering new attitudes and outcomes related to treating these conditions.
Join leading exert in the field of personality dysfunction Dr. Jeff Riggenbach for this enjoyable training chock full of the latest research, techniques, and practical strategies. This powerful workshop will give you a new ability to help struggling individuals deal with issues related to self-injurious behaviors, multiple suicide attempts, frequently hurt feelings, intense and unpredictable mood swings, substance use, angry outbursts, toxic relationships and other problems that impair their ability to function in society. Leave this day long training with an integrated DBT/CBT /Schema Informed approach to treating these cases and giving clients with even the most complex needs a life worth living.

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  1. Master the essential characteristics of each of the personality disorders in DSM 5
  2. Assess the treatability and prognosis of each disorder
  3. Evaluate the efficacy of various treatment methods including CBT, DBT, and Schema Therapy
  4. Learn Practical Application skills for management and treatment of each disorder
  5. Understand the 8 motivations for self-injurious behaviors and interventions for each
  6. Acquire case conceptualization skills useful for individualizing treatment planning and driving effective treatment
  7. Learn to actually like your Personality Disordered Patients! (or at least develop more frustration tolerance and increased empathy to work with them).


Intro/The Treatment Model                                                                                             

  • Personality Development
  • Etiology
  • Genetic Heritability Studies
  • Categorical vs. Dimensional Models of Personality
  • Overview of Evidence Based Treatment
  • Personality Disorder Symptom Management
  • Long-Term Treatment
  • To do phone coaching or not to do phone coaching?
  • Treatment Agreements

Personality Disorders in General/ Cluster A Disorders

  • Making a Personality Disorder Diagnosis
  • Paranoid PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies
  • Schizotypal PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies
  • Schizoid PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies

Cluster C Disorders

  • Obsessive Compulsive PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies
  • Avoidant PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies
  • Dependent PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies

Non Borderline Cluster B Disorders

  • Histrionic PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies
  • Antisocial PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies
  • Narcissistic PD
    • Prevalence rates
    • Gender distribution
    • Genetic concordance rate
    • Trait Continuum
    • Prognosis
    • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Video Case Study
    • Symptom-Targeted Interventions
    • Long-Term Treatment Strategies

Borderline Personality Disorder: Assessment & Diagnosis

  • Making a BPD Diagnosis
  • Reasons making an accurate Diagnosis Is Important
  • Talking to your Client about the Diagnosis
  • Video Case Study

 Borderline Personality Disorder:  DBT Treatment

  • Individual DBT
  • Group Skills Training
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills
  • Emotion Regulation Skills
  • Distress Tolerance Skills
  • Mindfulness

Borderline Personality Disorder:  CBT/Schema Based Treatment

  • Scaling
  • Continuum work
  • Modification protocol
  • Cognitive Behavioral Chain Analysis
  • Schema/Belief Reconstruction Work

 Relapse Prevention/Live Q&A

  • Monitoring Progress
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Maintaining Treatment Gains
  • Skills Generalization/Booster Sessions
Jeff Riggenbach, Ph.D.

Jeff Riggenbach, Ph.D. is a best-selling and award winning author who has earned a reputation as an international expert in CBT and personality disorders. Over the past 20 years he has developed and overseen CBT-based treatment programs for Mood disorders,…

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Workshop #12: The Aging Brain: The Assessment, Treatment, & Interventions of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias
Presented by Roy D. Steinberg, Ph.D.

9:00am - 4:00pm   November 28, 2018

How to better assess, treat and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

Dr. Steinberg’s dynamic and engaging workshop will inform you about the latest interventions, medications and preventative treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. Through his expertise, learn applicable strategies like how to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and how to treat, care for and inform adult patients and their caregivers. Understand the cognitive implications of the aging process and its effects. Gain insight into pathological changes and functional manifestations specific to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Learn how to differentiate between dementias including Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia.

Ultimately, return to your practice fully-informed and ready to apply interdisciplinary approaches in your evaluation and treatment of Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.

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  • Easy-to-apply assessment tools
  • Effective interventions for combativeness, depression and other dementia-related behaviours
  • Strategies for working with caregivers and families
  • Behavioral therapy interventions to incent patient participation
  • In-depth therapeutic approaches and strategies for ADL retraining and functional mobility
  • Strategies to strengthen report writing/results
  • Answers to patient and family concerns related to the aging brain
  • Tools to recognize underlying psychological conditions vs. dementia
  • Evaluation and development of treatment plans
  • Cognitive interventions


  1. Analyze the impact of dementia on brain structure and function, and determine the difference between ‘normal forgetfulness’ and cognitive impairment.
  2. Accurately diagnose dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, and understand how these differences impact prognosis.
  3. Articulate the difference between the Folstein Mini-Mental Status examination and SLUMS examination and utilize them as screening tools for cognitive impairment and dementia.
  4. Employ adaptable behavioural interventions to provide patients with individualized care and promote more effective participation in therapy.
  5. Investigate the concept of caregiver guilt and its implications for the client, clinicians and caregivers.
  6. Correlate patients’ strengths and limitations to potential therapeutic approaches when developing treatment plans.


Mental health evaluation

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol Abuse

Cognitive Disorder and ‘forgetfulness’

  • Transient Cognitive Decline
  • Pre-cursor to dementia
  • Mild Neuro-Cognitive Disorder

Diagnostics of dementing conditions

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Vascular
  • Parkinson’s
  • Lewy Body
  • Frontotemporal
  • Reversible Conditions

Cognitive assessment tools

  • Mini-Mental State Examination
  • Clinical applications
  • Administration and scoring
  • Objective and subjective interpretation
  • Therapy modalities

Differentiate dementia and depression

  • Clinical indicators of depression and anxiety
  • Practical application


  • Early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s – Acetylcholinesterace Inhibitors
  • Mid and late-stage Alzheimer’s – Neurotransmitter Glutamate
  • Alternate interventions

Behavioral Interventions

  • Intervention strategies for depression, poor appetite, verbal and physical

combativeness, refusing ADL care

  • Strategies for coping mechanisms for the caregiver and clinician

Working with Caregivers at Home

  • Caregiver guilt
  • Depression


  • Responsibility to patient
  • Reporting abuse
  • Power of Attorney
Roy D. Steinberg, Ph.D.

Roy D. Steinberg, PhD, a gero-psychologist with over 22 years of experience, concentrates his work on diagnosing and facilitating treatment of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. He has lectured nationally on the assessment and treatment of individuals…

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Registration & Fees

Registration Early bird Fee Regular Fee
Individual 1 Day Enrollment $229 $249
Individual 2 Day Enrollment $409 $429
Individual 3 Day Enrollment $599 $619
Group 3-7 $579 $599
Group 8-14 $559 $579
Group 15+ $539 $559
Full-Time Student $539 $559

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 22, 2018
The early bird date has passed. Regular rates apply.

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

Recommended Accommodation

Ramada Limited Vancouver Airport Hotel

7188 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X 1A1

phone:  604.207.9000

website:  https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/ramada/richmond-british-columbia/ramada-limited-vancouver-airport/overview?CID=LC:RA::GGL:RIO:National:10551&iata=00065402

 Full map & directions

Our rates:


To make a reservation, please call 604.207.9000.

Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC

phone:  604.331.1000

website:  https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/yvrws-sheraton-vancouver-wall-centre/

 Full map & directions

Our rates:

* Please check back at a later time as this information will be updated when corporate/group rates are secured.

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.

Continuing Education Credits

This workshop has been formally approved by the following associations:
  • Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF)
    CACCF is only pre-approved for the workshop Navigating Addictions by Carissa Muth, Psy.D., CCC, R.Psych
  • 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)
  • 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.

Please check back closer to the conference date for more information.