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The Saskatchewan School-Based Mental Health Conference

Presented by Ross Greene, Ph.D. and Christine Dargon, Ph.D. and Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed. and Lynn Lyons, MSW and Lisa Ferentz, LCSW, DAPA and Lynn Miller, Ph. D., R.Psych and Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 – Friday, May 12, 2017  |  Saskatoon, sk

!  Important Notice:

The Earlybird Deadline has been extended to May 8, 2017.

Date & Location

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 – Friday, May 12, 2017

8:30am – 4:00pm

TCU Place, Saskatoon’s Arts and Convention Centre

35 – 22nd Street East
Saskatoon, SK

 Full map & directions

Workshop Description



My non-profit, Lives in the Balance, is teaming up with Jack Hirose & Associates on The Saskatchewan School-Based Mental Health Conference. This conference will be taking place on May 10-12, 2017 in Saskatoon, SK.  We have put together what I think is an extremely dynamic and informative group of speakers, including Dr. Christine Dargon, Dr. Steven Feifer, Lisa Ferentz, LCSW, Lynn Lyons, MSW, Dr. Lynn Miller, and Dr. Judy Willis.

The goal, as always, is to do everything possible to ensure that all students – and especially those with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges – are understood and treated in the most humane, compassionate, and effective ways, and my goal for this conference is to continue moving things in that direction.  So I hope you will be able to join us for as many days of the conference as you possibly can.

Ross W. Greene, Ph,D., Founding Director

This event is co-sponsored by Lives in the Balance – A non-profit organization founded by Dr. Ross W. Greene





“I learned a lot of practical skills today which I will be bringing back with me to work to help others.” – Edmonton, AB | Fall 2016

“Ross Greene was fantastic. Easy to understand, clean, knowledgeable, open to questions and very practical.” – J. Al Adra | Edmonton, AB | Fall 2016

“I was very impressed with Dr. Greene. I am very excited to use what I have learned from him. This was an amazing experience. It has been extremely valuable and educational. Dr. Greene is bang on with his teachings.”Nicole Betker | Edmonton, AB | Fall 2016

“I will be able to utilize this model right away when dealing with students in my office and in my classroom. It was a good reminder to flip the framework and it is very doable. The model provides me with another tool in my back-to-back and fits well with co-creating criteria in learning as well.” – Nadine Lange | Edmonton, AB | Fall 2016

“Definitely a valuable conference. Changed my thinking in how I deal with unlucky students – makes so much sense. Thanks so much.” – Edmonton, AB | Fall 2016

Workshop Topics:

Agenda & Learning Objectives

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

DAY 1 – Wednesday, May 10, 2017

» 1st Keynote – 8:30am – 10:15am

Collaborative & Proactive Solutions: Fostering the More Positive Side of Human Nature

Presented by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.

Dr. Greene’s Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) model has historically been applied to kids with social, emotional, and behavioural challenges. But the model is equally applicable to less challenging kids, especially if caregivers are interested in teaching the skills that foster the more positive side of human nature.

» 2nd Keynote – 10:30am – 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 OPTION ONE – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

The Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems

Presented by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.

If you want to help solve the problems that are setting in motion challenging behaviour, identify the skills that are contributing to those problems, and stop focusing on a kid’s challenging behaviour (and modifying it), you’ll need to identify to those lagging skills and unsolved problems. Fortunately, there’s an instrument – the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems – to help you do it, and in this workshop, Dr. Greene teaches you how to use it.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session OPTION TWO – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

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 counsellors 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. Knowledge of eating disorders is crucial for all working in schools.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session OPTION THREE – 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, and classify developmental reading disorders into four distinct subtypes. 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 to assist educators and mental health professionals in both diagnosing and remediating written language disorders in children.


DAY 2 – Thursday, May 11, 2017

» 1st Keynote – 8:30am – 10:15am

Anxious Kids, Anxious Families

Presented by Lynn Lyons, MSW

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.

» 2nd Keynote – 10:30am – 12:00pm

The Impact of Trauma on Children

Presented by Lisa Ferentz, LCSW

In this keynote, we will explore the attachment styles that develop in dysfunctional and toxic families and the inherent challenge it creates for children when they are forced to stay connected to abusive caretakers. We will also process the long-term cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional impact of trauma, abuse, and neglect. Participants will learn about factors that exacerbate the symptoms as well as mitigating factors that can reduce the impact on a child’s evolving development. Videotapes, clients’ artwork and case scenarios will give participants a greater understanding.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session OPTION ONE – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

Introduction to Plan B

Presented by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.

When you’re solving problems collaboratively, you’re partnering with kids so solve the problems that affect their lives, improving communication, enhancing relationships, coming to solutions that are more durable and effective, and teaching lagging skills. In this workshop, Dr. Greene will review the basics.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session OPTION TWO – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

Anxious Kids, Anxious Families

Presented by Lynn Lyons, MSW

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.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session OPTION THREE – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

Understanding & Working with the Developmental Challenges of Adolescence

Presented by Lisa Ferentz, MSW

Parents, teachers, and helping professionals often struggle in their interactions with adolescents: misreading their moods and needs, and inadvertently communicating in ways that create tension and increase disconnection. This workshop will offer adults new insights into adolescent development and the adolescent brain, which will increase their understanding and empathy towards teenagers. We will reframe “difficult” adolescent behaviours, giving participants a new way to understand and work with “resistance” and “non-compliance.” Particular attention will be paid to fostering cooperation and improving communication with adolescents.


DAY 3 – Friday, May 12, 2017

» 1st Keynote – 8:30am – 10:15am

Mental Health Matters: Psychological Issues & Their Effect on Children’s Lives

Presented by Lynn Miller, Ph.D.

The mental health concerns of children and youth is emerging as an urgent problem in Canadian health and education systems. Mental health concerns in youth have been identified as the most pressing problem facing children and their families as the human, social and economic costs of the problem attract professional attention. Anxiety disorders are the most commonly occurring of all mental health issues, but by their nature of being internalizing disorders, are vastly under recognized, under reported, and under treated.

» 2nd Keynote – 10:30am – 12:00pm

Neurological Strategies for Building Students’ Emotional Self-Management, Motivation, Perseverance and Their Construction of Neural Networks of Long-Term Concept Memory

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 longterm, transferrable concept memory.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session OPTION ONE – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

Advanced Plan B

Presented by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.

If you’re clear on the basics, you’re ready for the more nuanced aspects of solving problems collaboratively, including strategies for gathering information about kids’ concerns, helping non-communicative kids express their concerns, dealing with defensiveness, and coming to realistic and mutually satisfactory solutions. Lots of sample videos in this workshop.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session OPTION TWO – 1:15pm – 4:00pm

Fun!damentals of CBT with Children & Youth

Presented by Lynn Miller, Ph.D.

Proven cognitive behavioural therapeutic activities can feel stiff and dull. This workshop will demonstrate innovative ways to implement CBT in interesting and engaging ways, with a focus on developmentally appropriate treatment approaches. Practical approaches to a wide array of presenting issues will be covered. The 5 major elements of CBT will be enhanced with skill development, generalization strategies, homework compliance, and student tailored interventions.

» Afternoon Concurrent Session OPTION THREE – 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 to activate these critical skill sets for all learners in all grade levels and subject areas.

Continuing Education Credits

This workshop has been formally approved by the following associations:
  • Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF)
  • 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 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)

Ross Greene, Ph.D.

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach (now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions), as described in his influential books The Explosive Child and Lost at School.  Having served on the teaching faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, he is currently adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and Director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance (www.livesinthebalance.org), which provides free, web-based resources on his model and advocates on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers.  He lectures widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids.


“The world is a better place because of your efforts to bring understanding to behaviourally challenged children. Thank you.”
-Edmonton, AB | April 14 – 16, 2014

“Amazing presentation and speaker! Best training I’ve been to since Grad School!”
-Oakville, ON | May 28 – 30, 2014

“Ross’s work is so excellent and so helpful. He always helps me to be a better psychologist for people with unsolved problems.”
-Dr. Allan | Oakville, ON | May 28 – 30, 2014


More information: www.livesinthebalance.org

Christine Dargon, Ph.D.

Christine Dargon, Ph.D., is a practicing psychologist with over 20 years of experience. She has been 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 currently has a private practice in Northern AZ where she offers a wide range of psychological services including play therapy, counseling for individuals of all ages, couples and family therapies. Dr. Dargon has also been teaching on the undergraduate and graduate levels for over 15 years specializing in Child Development and Counseling. She is currently on faculty at Grand Canyon University serving students in the Masters’ of Counseling Psychology Program and undergraduate programs. Dr. Dargon received her Doctorate of Counseling Psychology from Seton Hall University with a specialization in Family Therapy. Dr. Dargon is the Founder and Director of a Children’s’ Theater Company.

Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed.

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 the neuropsychology of learning and emotional disorders in children. He has 19 years of experience as a school psychologist, was voted the Maryland School Psychologist of the Year in 2008, and awarded the 2009 National School Psychologist of the Year. Dr. Feifer has authored two tests on diagnosing learning disabilities in children; the FAR and the FAM, both published by PAR.



“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


Lynn Lyons, M.S.W.

Lynn Lyons, MSW, has been a psychotherapist for over 23 years and specializes in the treatment of anxious children and their parents, with a special interest in interrupting the generational patterns of anxiety in families. She is the coauthor with Reid Wilson, Ph.D, of Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children and the companion book Playing with Anxiety: Casey’s Guide for Teens and Kids. She also created a self-help DVD program for parents entitled Decreasing Anxiety: How to Talk to Your Anxious Child. In addition to her private practice in Concord, Lynn presents internationally to professional organizations and school districts, offering workshops to mental health and medical providers, teachers, school nurses, and parents. She is known for her focus on providing concrete, usable skills and her integration of humor, homework, and clinical hypnosis.



“Very helpful insights and practical/applicable info! Thanks.”
– Saskatoon, SK | November 17, 2015

“Impressive Speaker. Informative. Real. Down to Earth. All ideas were so logical, and while probably really hard to do, doable! Thoroughly enjoyed this and learned so much both as an educator and as a parent, and as a spouse!”
– Maureen | Saskatoon, SK | November 17, 2015


“Very relevant and timely material to my practice. It is nice to have a professional/scholarly refresher on a subject that is becoming increasingly common. The co-presenters are excellent together and their deep knowledge and experience shows clearly.”
– Jarred M | Victoria, BC | April 16, 2014


Lisa Ferentz, LCSW, DAPA

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW, DAPA, is a recognized expert in the strengths based, de-pathologized treatment of trauma and self-harm and has been in private practice since 1984. She presents workshops and keynote addresses nationally and internationally, and is a clinical consultant to practitioners and mental health agencies in the United States, Canada, England and Ireland. She has been an adjunct faculty member at several universities, and in 2007 founded “The Ferentz Institute,” which provides continuing education and state of the art training in trauma treatment to mental health professionals.

In 2009 she was voted the “Social Worker of Year” by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work. Lisa is the author of “Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Traumatized Clients: A Clinician’s Guide” (Routledge), now in its second edition, “Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing” (Routledge), and “Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapists’ Couch.” (PESI)

Lisa hosted a weekly radio talk show, writes blogs and articles for websites on trauma, self-harm, and self-care, teaches on many webinars, and is a weekly contributor to Psychologytoday.com. You can follow Lisa’s work at www.theferentzinstitute.comFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Lynn Miller, Ph.D., R.Psych

Lynn D. Miller, Ph.D., Lic..Psych started her career as a classroom teacher, and then worked as a school counselor K-12 in the US and Canada. As the Myrne Nevison Prevention Research Professor at the University of British Columbia, she investigated anxiety at the entry to school in grades kindergarten and one. A noted leader in mental health issues of school aged children, she recently completed her term as President of the Anxiety Disorders Assoc. of Canada, 2010-2014, and served as the President of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (2004-2006).  Dr. Miller is known for her knowledge and clarity, sense of humor, compassion, and engaging speaking style.

Dr. Miller is a Licensed Psychologist,  Certified Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, and an Associate Professor Emeritus (retired) in the Education and Counseling Psychology and Special Education department at the University of British Columbia.  She has over 30 years of clinical experience in a variety of settings including hospitals, community mental health centers, schools, and private practice. She was a representative to Expert Round Table of BC Ministry of Child and Family Development on Mental Health, and helped plan how mental health services were offered in BC, with anxiety identification and service delivery to children and youth as the lead program. Her research team modified the evidence-based anxiety prevention curriculum (FRIENDS program) from its Australian form. This modified protocol is now in use across Canada, and endorsed by the World Health Organization.

She has trained hundreds of community mental health clinicians on anxiety identification and evidence-based interventions. She has given more than 400  presentations in North America, Scotland and Thailand, presenting research findings. She has written extensively about anxiety in youth from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals to local mental health newsletters. She has held several research grants, examining the effects of empirically supported approaches to child anxiety in the public school system. She has conducted research on other models of anxiety prevention programs in schools, including Taming Worry Dragons, Skills for Social and Academic Success, Cool Little Kids, as well as an enhanced program for Aboriginal children. In 2015, she received the Mid-level career awarded by the American Psychological Association for contributions to children’s and adolescents’ mental health.



“Thanks, Lynn. I feel like I can go back to my school with a lot of strategies/tools/confidence to deal with the numerous students who are struggling with anxiety!”
– Abbotsford, BC | April 22, 2016

“Lynn was phenomenal. I truly appreciate her applied approach to research based CBT techniques. They will be very useful in a school setting.
– Stephanie Leithead | Kelowna, BC | April 21, 2016


“Outstanding!!! The material was very practical and useful as a clinician. Lynn was an excellent presenter – very engaging, authentic, and enjoyable!
– Patti Fedar | Edmonton, AB | May 9, 2016


Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed

Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed., is a practicing neurologist with ten subsequent years as a classroom teacher. She is a leading authority in the neuroscience of learning and has written 7 books and more than 50 articles for professional journals applying neuroscience research to successful teaching strategies.

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.

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, Probation Officers, Police Officers, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

Recommended Accommodation

Hilton Garden Inn Saskatoon Downtown

90 22 St E, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3X6

phone:  (306) 244-2311

website:  http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/saskatchewan/hilton-garden-inn-saskatoon-downtown-YXESDGI/index.html

 Full map & directions

Our rates:

For May 9-12, 2017

Double Queen or King Guest Room – $144 + Tax

Cut-off Date: April 14, 2017

* Rates are subject to availability. Call and reference “Jack Hirose” to receive the corporate rate.

Holiday Inn Saskatoon Downtown

101 Pacific Ave, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3X6

phone:  306.986.5000

website:  https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/saskatoon/yxeid/hoteldetail

 Full map & directions

Our rates:

For May 9-12, 2017

Standard King Bedroom – $165 + Tax

Cut-off Date: April 10, 2017

* Rates are subject to availability. Call and reference “Jack Hirose” to receive the corporate rate.

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 Enrollment (1 Day) $229 $249
Individual Enrollment (2 Day) $399 $419
Individual Enrollment (3 Day) $579 $599
Group 3-7 $559 $579
Group 8-14 $539 $559
Group 15+ $519 $539
Full-Time Student $519 $539

For more information on Student Rates, click here

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

Early bird cutoff date: May 8, 2017
To receive the early bird rate, registration and payment must be received by Monday, May 8, 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


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Exhibitors are welcome at this event. We are pleased to offer sponsorship opportunities to businesses and organizations that provide services related to nursing, psychotherapy, addictions treatment, counselling, marriage & family therapy, psychology and other related fields.
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