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MCA's Annual Conference

Trauma-Informed Counseling in an Unequal World: Healing Through Social Justice

Breakout Session Topics

Breakout Session 1

Topic:  Workplace Mistreatment By Gender and Race: Best Practices for Counselors

Presenter: Stephanie Burns, Ph.D., LPC, NCC

Abstract: Gender and race are characteristics that can often lead to workplace mistreatment (WM). WM increases depression, anxiety, burnout, low self-esteem, and low life satisfaction, and decreases work productivity. Since WM claims have been sharply rising, counselors must understand how to counsel clients who have been the victims of WM.

Description:  In an ideal workplace, diversity is embraced rather than tolerated, and individuals are not required to hide characteristics of themselves. However, workplace diversity in the US is more of an aspirational goal than a reality. Gender, race, spirituality, political affiliations, childlessness, and sexual orientation are just some of the personal characteristics that can lead to workplace mistreatment perpetrated by supervisors, co-workers, as well as customers. Workplace mistreatment is defined as unsolicited, unwelcomed, and offensive behaviors that result in disrespectful treatment towards that individual, and includes several forms of conduct, including harassment, incivility, bullying, verbal aggression, physical aggression, disrespect, exclusion, isolation, threats, or bribes. Generalized harassment includes overt, verbal hostility, such as yelling or swearing; covert hostility, such as being ignored by co-workers; manipulation, which includes actions intended to control other employees; and physical hostility, which can be any form of physical aggression, such as hitting. Incivility and verbal aggression are more common than other legally forbidden forms of workplace mistreatment, such as physical aggression. The disparate impact doctrine recognizes that unconscious bias permeates workplace practices because assumptions are made about individuals based upon their multiple, and often uncontrollable, group affiliations (gender, race, sexual orientation, and religion) as a means to decide the allocation of resources at work. Stereotypes regarding gender and racial appropriateness of holding specific jobs often segregate women and minorities to less desirable and less powerful positions in the workplace. Examples include employers treating applicants differently, presuming job commitment and competency, as well as assigning specific employees to jobs based on their multiple group affiliations. Workplace mistreatment increases depression, anxiety, burnout, low self-esteem, low life satisfaction, and psychological distress, and decreases work productivity. Since workplace mistreatment claims have been rising, counselors must understand how to counsel clients who have been the victims of workplace mistreatment. Attendees of this workshop will understand the implications of workplace mistreatment for clients, as well as interventions that will make a positive impact for them. I will discuss the four clusters of workplace mistreatment, the fundamentals and outcomes of workplace mistreatment, the intersection of race and gender on workplace mistreatment, ways to address mistreatment in the workplace, and ways to counsel individuals experiencing workplace mistreatment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will understand the four clusters of workplace mistreatment
  • Attendees will understand the fundamentals and outcomes of workplace mistreatment
  • Attendees will understand the intersection of race and gender on workplace mistreatment
  • Attendees will be provided with ways to address mistreatment in the workplace
  • Attendees will be provided with ways to counsel individuals experiencing workplace mistreatment

      NBCC Content Area: Helping Relationship, Social and Cultural Foundations, Wellness and Prevention

      Presenter Information:

      The presenter has been a counselor educator for more than 14 years and a practicing clinical mental health counselor for 17 years. As a clinician, the presenter specializes and has published in the areas of workplace mistreatment, trauma/stress responses, guilt and shame responses, counseling outcomes, program evaluation, and supervision.

      Topic:  Prolonged Grief Disorder in African Americans and Grief Models That Support their Exploration of Grief and Healing

      Presenter: Jennifer Matthews, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS & Faith Lee, B.A.

      Abstract: This presentation will focus on Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) and its impact on African Americans. Specifically, the presenters will review the new diagnostic criteria for PGD, cultural implications for African Americans and research-based grief models that support their grief journey.

      Description: African Americans have historically and currently experienced disproportionate grief and loss. Due to systemic racism across various domains in life (e.g., education, healthcare, etc.), Black people in America have experienced race-based stress which also impacts overall mental health. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss what grief experiences may look like for African Americans within a cultural and historical context and how counselors can use grief and mourning models in a culturally appropriate manner.

      Learning Objectives:

      • Upon completion, participants will be able to describe Prolonged Grief Disorder and what it looks like for African Americans
      • Upon completion, participants will be able to apply grief models to African Americans
      • Upon completion, participants will be able to identify inappropriate interactions with African Americans who are grieving.

      NBCC Content Area: Helping Relationship, Social and Cultural Foundations
      Presenter Information:

      The presenter is an Associate Professor in Counselor Education She works with the bereaved in her private practice where she provides individual counseling and grief support to the community. The presenter's research focuses on grief & loss among African Americans and multicultural counseling. She actively presents at various conferences, and has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

      The second presenter is a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health program at Oakland University. She is a currently a graduate assistant for Undergraduate Admissions.

      Topic:  Becoming a Socially Responsible Provider

      Presenter: Charan Bashir, M.A., LPC & Tateanna Foster, LMSW

      Abstract: Elevate your clinical practice by focusing on how you show up in the therapeutic space, uncovering your clients’ cognitive resilience, and enhancing individualized treatment planning to support clients in facing an unequal world. Participants will engage in facilitated dialogue and psychoeducation to develop a greater socially responsible approach to counseling.

      Description:  The role of providers in cultivating resilience and offering individualized support to clients is paramount, in a world in which clients face inequities. This educational research presentation delves into a three-tiered processing and education model designed to enhance the practitioner's ability to support clients effectively. Our focus lies in developing a greater perspective on client engagement, facilitating the discovery of cognitive resilience, and enhancing the individualized nature of treatment planning.

      We begin by emphasizing self awareness when entering the therapeutic space by exploring personal biases, cultural competencies, and emotional regulation strategies for providers. We cultivate engaged dialogue infused with psychoeducation to support providers in fostering trust and rapport with clients of all identities.

      To build upon this practitioner self reflection, an emphasis on discovering clients capacity for resilience is created to develop a greater strengths based approach to counseling. We offer research-driven reflective exercises to equip providers with tools to empower their clients to recognize and harness their resilience resources.

      Recognizing the diverse needs and experiences of clients, the third tier of our model emphasizes the importance of individualized treatment planning. Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, practitioners are encouraged to tailor interventions to align with clients' unique strengths, preferences, and cultural backgrounds. This requires ongoing assessment, collaborative goal-setting, and flexibility in adapting therapeutic strategies to meet evolving needs. By prioritizing individualization, practitioners can enhance treatment efficacy and client satisfaction, ultimately fostering sustainable growth and well-being.

      Central to our presentation is the integration of resilience and acceptance as therapeutic tools in supporting clients facing the inequities of the world. By acknowledging and validating clients' lived experiences, practitioners create a safe and validating therapeutic environment conducive to healing and growth. Through the cultivation of resilience and acceptance, clients develop adaptive coping mechanisms and a sense of belonging, empowering them to navigate systemic barriers and advocate for social justice. "

      Learning Objectives:

      Upon completion, participants will be able to

      • develop greater perspective on how they show up for their clients in session
      • assess their client propensity towards resilience
      • increase the individualized nature of treatment planning

        NBCC Content Area: Human Growth and Development, Helping Relationship, Social and Cultural Foundations

        Presenter Information:

        Charan Bashir is a licensed professional counselor who supports clients with histories of complex and developmental trauma. As a certified clinical trauma professional, he cultivates spaces of acceptance, support, and healing for clients using an integrated toolkit of trauma-informed and mindfulness-based strategies.

        As a licensed master social worker, Tateanna Foster brings expertise in supervising BSW and MSW students, guiding them in developing clinical approaches for diverse clients. Committed to clinician support, she conducts mental health workshops for companies, fostering resilience in workplaces. Her passion lies in empowering both students, professionals and practitioners.

        Topic:  Survival of the unfittest: Trauma Experience Among African Refugees Living in the United States

        Presenters: Reuben Mwangi, PhD, LPC

        Abstract: African refugees living in the United States remain an invisible population that is deemed at-risk. Most refugees have experienced trauma prior to their arrival in the U.S but are unfamiliar with help-seeking for their mental health concerns. This presentation seeks to discuss pre-and post-migration trauma factors relevant to treatment.

        Description: This presentation brings awareness to the existing invisible refugee population that lives in the United States. Evidently, unlike most immigrants who leave their countries voluntarily to seek better opportunities, refugees flee their countries of origin involuntarily as a result of violent political and social unrest. Most refugees fleeing to seek asylum and stability are exposed to extreme disruptions, dislocation and loss of family, and mostly traumatized as they navigate the complex system of getting settled in foreign countries.

        The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan prioritized the health of refugees and migrants and noted that providing appropriate, early, and ongoing mental health care of refugees and asylum seekers benefits not only the individual but the host nation, as it improves the chances of successful reintegration. According to Fazel et al., (2005) a systematic and meta-analysis of refugees resettled in high-income countries, covering the period of 1986-2004, there was a prevalence of 9% for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 5% for major depressive disorder, and 4% for generalized anxiety disorder, involving a study of 200 participants.

        Consequently, mental health professionals will require to be well trained in trauma-informed interventions, active screening for trauma-related physical and mental health consequences, and collaborate with community resource centers to find better intervention strategies to adequately and authentically meeting the needs of refugees.

        Learning Objectives:

        • Describe social and political factors leading to dislocation, refugee and asylum seeking
        • Discuss trauma experience and exposure of individuals and families fleeing for safety
        • Explore authentic intervention strategies and resource mobilization

          NBCC Content Area: Human Growth and Development, Helping Relationship, Wellness and Prevention

          Presenter Information:

          The presenter is Assistant Professor and has worked extensively for over 18 years in a variety of settings providing a wide range of clinical mental health and substance use disorder treatment to diverse population within an interdisciplinary treatment team setting. Specifically, he facilitated group counseling sessions focusing on intimate partner violence and nurturing parenting education to clients referred through the probate court. He provided psycho-educational sessions for adolescents and led substance use relapse prevention groups.

          Breakout Session 2

          Topic:  Implicit Bias *

          Presenters: Mary Thomas, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS & Kristina Marshall, JD

          Abstract: This interactive session will explore implicit biases and how they shape our behavior and perceptions. In addition, we will discuss strategies and the impact that our implicit biases have on our experiences & the experiences of others.

          Description: This interactive session will explore implicit biases and how they shape our behavior and perceptions. In addition, we will discuss strategies and the impact that our implicit biases. The more we are aware of our biases, the more we can change the way they impact our decision making and our interactions with others. Once we examine and unpack our own implicit biases, we can begin to dismantle the larger system structures that hold inequality in place.

          Learning Objectives:

          • Upon completion participants will be able to define implicit bias
          • Upon completion participants will be able to identify their own implicit biases
          • Upon completion participants will be able to begin to identify strategies to reduce and eliminate these biases

            NBCC Content Area: Helping Relationship, Social and Cultural Foundations, Group Dynamics, Counselor Professional Identity and Ethical Issues

            Presenter Information:

            Dr. Mary Thomas has been a licensed counselor since 2003. She is also an approved clinical supervisor and nationally certified counselor. Mary and Kristina have provided this presentation for a range of populations including counselors, law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMS.

            Kristina Marshall is the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) at Oakland Community College (OCC). She has many years of training, professional development, administration and teaching experience. She is a national speaker and consultant, focusing on cultural competency and how to address the needs of diverse populations.

            *Approved for 1 hour of Implicit Bias Training in accordance with MI Admin Rule R 338.7004*

            Topic: Adulting is Hard When You’re a Kid; Recognizing and Eradicating Adultification

            Presenter: Destinee Smith, MA, LCPC (MD), LPC (DC), NCC, C-DBT

            Abstract: A case study will be presented, which highlights adultification and proposes effective solutions. Attendees can provide their input and collaborate with their peers using the case study as a basis for discussion. Additionally, the research overview will underscore the crucial role of strengthening relationships between children, their families, and society.


            "Adultification is a serious form of mistreatment that has been identified as a harmful bias in which adults project inappropriate levels of responsibility, knowledge, and intention onto children. This bias forces children to take on adult-level duties and responsibilities, which can have a detrimental effect on their mental and emotional well-being. While some cultures may consider taking on adult-like responsibilities as a protective factor, it is important to understand the context and environment in which this occurs.

            Research has shown that Mexican adolescents experience greater happiness when they are expected to provide daily assistance to their families. Similarly, Latina girls with strong family obligation values are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. However, outside of the home, black children experience harsher outcomes due to adultification bias. People perceive black children as angrier than white children, and as each year goes by, the perceived anger of black children increases. Additionally, people who see black children as more adult-like also view them as more deserving of police force. Black girls, in particular, are less likely to be viewed as victims, and as early as five years old, they are seen as less deserving of nurturance and protection.

            It is essential to recognize that adultification bias is not limited to the home environment. In educational, legal, and social service settings, children who are not assuming adult responsibilities within the family may still be at risk of adultification bias. To address adultification in schools, it is critical to utilize language that is appropriate for the child's age, embrace various communication styles, acknowledge implicit biases, and provide mentorship as a form of crisis intervention. Organizations should also adopt a social justice lens of intersectionality to examine both the micro and macro contexts in which a child may experience marginalization.

            When adultification occurs within a household, it is essential to facilitate healing within a familial structure that aligns with the child's developmental needs. Linda Burton outlines four levels of adultification: precocious knowledge, mentored adultification, peerification/spousification, and parentification. A gentle reversion to a healthy hierarchy is paramount to facilitate healing when a child is placed in a position of superiority. This approach enables the child to resume age-appropriate expectations and reduces the burden of responsibility.

            In conclusion, adultification is a harmful form of mistreatment that has no place in any setting. It is vital to identify and implement targeted solutions in every environment where adultification is present. By recognizing the context and environment in which adultification occurs, we can take the first steps toward eliminating this damaging bias and improving the lives of children."

            Learning Objectives:

            • Learn the difference between adultification as an abuse and adultification as a bias
            • Recognize adultification in various settings
            • Acquire concrete steps to begin eradicating adultification

              NBCC Content Area: Human Growth and Development, Social and Cultural Foundations, Wellness and Prevention

              Presenter Information:

              Presenter is a clinician, researcher, and yogi. Her research interests include adverse childhood experiences, adultification, and adverse community environments. She is a member of the research team on the Research Initiative on ACEs and Trauma. She has presented at conferences and been a guest speaker and trainer for various organizations.

              Topic:  Rest During Chaos

              Presenters: LaShonda Fuller, Ph.D., LPC, NCC & Jazmine Martin, B.S.

              Abstract: There is little research on rest in counseling literature. ACA (2023) published a blog post highlighting rest as wellness. Counseling Today published an article about how rest practices prevents burnout, but the term rest was not used (Govindu, 2023). This session shares research on rest as a treatment for healing.

              Description: Rest is not a frequently used concept or activity suggested as a coping or healing strategy in most clinical practices. In fact, research on the topic of rest in the counseling literature is scarce to none. Counseling has often and too long modeled after the medical framework, see a doctor and receive a prescription or treatment plan. This session shares research results from a pilot study-based group focusing on rest as the treatment plan. Considering that our world is continuing to move at a faster pace with increased technological advancements, for clinical workers it is imperative that we adjust our language and become comfortable with innovative strategies for our client’s healing and coping experiences as we enter into a new era of life.

              Learning Objectives:

              • Participants will be able to define different components of rest.
              • Participants will be able to determine the benefit of implementing rest with clients challenged by trauma experiences.
              • Participants will be able to identify similarities and differences between rest and mindfulness practices that impact trauma healing.

                NBCC Content Area: Wellness and Prevention

                Presenter Information:

                The primary presenter has served as a counselor educator and clinician for over 10 years, two years as a school counselor, a mentor, behavioral health and grief consultant, and a global speaker targeting rest management, workplace bullying, and reframing trauma.

                The second presenter is trained in CITI programs centered around research protocols including: Health Info Privacy and Security (HIPS) for social and behavioral researchers, conflicts of interest and human subjects research, and completed an independent study targeting school and clinical psychology training programs abilities to work with diverse and urban populations.

                Topic:  Cultivating Resilient Leaders: A Trauma-Informed Approach

                Presenters: Demarra West, M.A., LPC

                Abstract: Trauma-informed leadership amplifies one's ability to strengthen and sustain longevity in the field. Since everyone sometimes struggles with traumatic experiences, especially vicarious/secondary trauma, learning about the signs and ways to create an optimal environment so everyone can thrive is essential to counter burnout and make our work more enjoyable.

                Description: Working as a counselor, in part, means exposure to secondary/vicarious trauma. Not to mention many of the individuals who serve as counselors have also experienced their own trauma, which in part, led them to be part of this deeply sacred work. Understanding that exposure to trauma simply comes along with the territory, it's imperative we center trauma-informed practice to create an optimal work environment for everyone. Trauma informed leadership helps individuals embody greater empathy and compassion for their employees, and be proactive about supporting them. This is not just good for their wellbeing, but it's also critical for the organization. Research shows that the more supported staff feel, the more likely they are to stay with our organizations - which naturally equates to our bottom line. In this dynamic, multi-faceted session we will explore the tenets of a trauma informed leader and organization, the factors leaders will want to consider to ensure optimal psychological safety in the workplace, and essential practices that will create a transformational space for all.

                Learning Objectives:

                • Define trauma informed leadership and organizations
                • Explore how trauma-informed leadership makes it much easier to navigate challenges, foster resilience, among other impacts
                • Gain insight into the connection between trauma informed leadership and posttraumatic growth
                • Understand tangible trauma informed leadership strategies that can easily be implemented
                • Learn about resources that can support trauma informed leadership post the session

                  NBCC Content Area: Human Growth and Development, Wellness and Prevention

                  Presenter Information:

                  They are certified in trauma sensitive yoga and trained in the community trauma responsive model. Further they authored a book based on their lived experience with eight of ten ACEs to provide hope for survivors and encourage those privileged to help survivors do all they can to help them heal.

                  Breakout Session 3

                  Topic:  Snapshots of Mourning: Using Photography to Process Traumatic Loss

                  Presenter: Kailey Bradley, MA, LPCC-S, NCC, FT & Brad Imhoff, Phd, LPC

                  Abstract: Photography has historically been used to commemorate loss and as a creative way to cope with grief. In this training, participants will develop an in-depth understanding of how photography is a productive way for grieving individuals to honor a loved one and cope with the uncertainty of the grief process. Participants will also be given practical examples on integrating photography into clinical work working with grievers navigating traumatic loss.

                  Description: The COVID 19 pandemic has brought increased attention to the impact of bereavement as the more than one million COVID-19 deaths in the United States has shed a light on the unique and nuance challenges corresponding to traumatic loss (such as deaths caused by the pandemic). Grief looks different for every individual, and expressive art modalities in grief counseling are mindful that grief can transcend words and photography can be used to honor cultural considerations in grief. Photography examples will be gathered from diverse cultural representations to suggest that photography can be used with a wide range of grieving clients from a wide range of backgrounds. Moreover, this training will pay particular attention to the unique challenges faced by traumatic loss and how photography can be a means to craft and integrate meaning through the grief process.

                  Learning Objectives:

                  • Participants will be given an overview of how photography can facilitate commemorating a loved one.
                  • Participants will develop an understanding of how photography can be a helpful way to cope with grief.
                  • Participants will be shown examples of grief photography that both commemorates a loved one and can facilitate coping.
                  • Participants will be given practical suggestions on how to integrate photography in clinical work

                      NBCC Content Area: Helping Relationship

                      Presenter Information:

                      The primary presenter is a licensed professional counselor, nationally certified counselor, and fellow in thanatology. She has a background in hospice work and feels that companioning and advocating for grievers is her life’s passion. Currently, applicant is an adjunct professor at Ashland Theological seminary where she teaches grief counseling courses and Marian University where she teaches courses on Childhood Bereavement, Pediatric Hospice Care, and Expressive Arts in Counseling. Applicant is a doctoral student at Ohio University and co-owns Refuge Counseling, LLC a private practice specializing in the intersections of grief, sexuality, chronic illness and spirituality.

                      This proposal integrates applicants interests and skillset in advocating and supporting children and families. The applicant has a long history of advocacy and service to children and families, most recently being awarded as an emerging leader through the Association of Child and Adolescent Counseling.

                      The second presenter earned his Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Ohio University, where his dissertation focused on grief counseling. He currently serves as the Director of the MA in an Addiction Counseling program and is an Associate Professor in an department of Counselor Education & Family Studies. His clinical work has focused largely on addiction treatment as well as with adolescents with severe behavioral concerns—both predominantly in group counseling settings. Presenters scholarly interests currently include the understanding and treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder, substance and behavioral addictions, and also counselor well-being and self-care.

                      Topic: Providing Trauma and Culturally Informed Care when Counseling LGBTQ+ Clients

                      Presenters: Nikki Adams, QMHP, Mental Health Intern, CADC I Intern & Edward Ewe, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS

                      Abstract: There is significant research identifying the disparity of social stressors and negative mental health outcomes increasingly impacting the LGBTQ+ populations .This presentation will explore how counselors can approach and provide a therapeutic space for LGBTQ+ clients who struggle with social isolation and marginalization based on their identities.

                      Description: The LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/-sexual, questioning, and all subsects) community is a diverse population of at least 14 million individuals in the United States alone (Flores & Conron, 2023). LGBTQ+ clients experiencing homelessness, lack of access to basic needs, or living in a survival state may prevent the advancement of their sexual and gender identity development (Kia et al.,2021; Doyle, 2022). They are unable to afford basic necessity and mental readiness to seek gender affirming treatment and support (Verbeek et al., 2022). Additionally, LGBTQ+ population experience microaggressions and oppression in counseling spaces that may prevent them from seeking mental health services (Rowe et. al., 2017). These social stressors confound the ability of individuals to explore their identities and self-worth (Camp, Vitoratou & Rimes, 2020).

                      LGBTQ+ clients who find affirming and welcoming therapeutic care can significantly benefit their mental health wellness (Craig et. al., 2022). Counselors who broach and advocate for clients towards personal disclosures of pronouns and identities in safe environments, learning about the self, decreasing social isolation, increasing self-worth, increasing access to resources can positively impact mental and physical wellbeing (Moagi, Der Wath, Jiyane & Rikhotso, 2021; Lefevour & Williams, 2020). The efficacy of affirming care can promote client’s journeys towards self-realization and increased awareness encapsulated in safety, support and love.

                      Trauma-informed gender affirming care plays a significant role when LGBTQ clients seek counseling services (Craig et. al, 2022). LGBTQ+ population often experience social discrimination and lack of cultural competence when working with helping professionals (Goldsmith & Bell, 2022). Research has shown that graduate school alone may not fully prepare counselors in their work with LGBTQ+ clients. Hence, counselors must pursue continuing education and training to increase their competency working with LGBTQ+ clients (Bass, 2023). In this presentation, participants will learn cultural considerations when working with LGBTQ+ clients, ways to advocate and support LGBTQ+ clients dealing with social stress and disparity, and ways to increase social support for LGBTQ+ clients.

                      Additionally, clinical supervisors play a significant role in training and preparing counselors in their work with LGBTQ+ clients. Research has posited that many health providers lack the needed training and experience to provide affirmative therapy for LGBTQ+ clients (Vance et al., 2015). Clinical supervisors must broach, train, and mentor with their supervisees and other mental health providers about best practices and care with LBGTQ+ clients. In short, creating a clinical culture that promotes acceptance, advocacy, and affirmative care is trauma-informed counseling. 

                      Learning Objectives:

                      • In alignment with current literature regarding working with LGBTQ+ population, participants will learn best trauma informed practices.
                      • Participants will be able to learn how intersectionality of cultural identities can impact LGBTQ+ clients.
                      • Participants will learn ways to implement trauma informed supervision and support for clinicians who are providing services to LGBTQ+ clients.

                      NBCC Content Area: Human Growth and Development, Counseling Theory, Helping Relationship, Social and Cultural Foundations, Group Dynamics, Wellness and Prevention, Counselor Professional Identity and Ethical Issues

                      Presenter Information:

                      Nikki is a feminist, activist and advocate for gender and racial equality and justice. She is passionate about all things counseling and wellness conceptualizing mental health through a strengths-based approach as a compassion focused therapist.

                      Nikki is in her final year of the clinical mental health counseling program at OSU-Cascades in Bend, Oregon. At this time, Nikki is a Qualified Mental Health Professional Intern through Deschutes County Behavioral Health working on the adult outpatient integrated care team. Prior to her masters Nikki immersed herself in gender studies and identity politics; she received a degree in psychology with a hyperfocus in social anthropology at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. Nikki expresses deep passion for working alongside the 2SLGBTQIA+ population and currently facilitates a group that supports mental health, identity development, increasing knowledge on safe sex practices and resilience building. Nikki shares that she identifies within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community as a Queer cisgender woman and will continue working with this population experiencing homelessness, psychosis, and other socially marginalized intersectional identities post graduation.

                      The second presenter is an associate clinic professor and community clinic director at Oregon State University Cascades. He is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed mental health counselor in Washington and Oregon. He is a national certified counselor, approved clinical supervisor, and an approved Washington and Oregon state clinical supervisor. He has a private and group counseling practice in Bend, Oregon where he works with couples and individuals utilizing Emotional Focus Therapy. He trains and supervises associate counselors in his group practice. His research and clinical interests include professional identity development, gatekeeping, grief and loss, and clinical supervision. He has presented in various national and international conferences for the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors (ACES), the Oklahoma School Counselor Association (OSCA) and the Western Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors (WACES). Additionally, he has published several peer-reviewed articles in well-respected journals in the counselor education field . In 2021, he was awarded the WACES Outstanding Mentoring Award.

                      Topic:  Navigating incel identities and violence in counseling

                      Presenters: Quentin Hunter, PhD, LPC, NCC & Johnathan Platt, EMU Grad Student

                      Abstract: Counseling with incels (involuntary celibates) involves a process of de-radicalization requiring engagement and empathy. We describe the incel identity, focusing on examples from the presenters’ research and experience. We present implications for counselors who may encounter individuals who identify as incels and those who have experienced violence perpetrated by incels.

                      Description: Incels (Involuntary celibates) are individuals who desire to engage in sexual relationships but cannot due to non-conventional attractiveness, social anxiety, or lack of physical resources who maintain an overtly misogynist ideology (Donnelly et al., 2001). Recent media attention has brought the reality of incel violence to public awareness. The propensity for this ideology to spread in online spaces has shown to be a present concern for public health and safety. Counselors and other mental health and human services professionals are uniquely positioned to engage with incels as clients and begin a process of de-radicalization that requires long term engagement, emotional effort, and empathy. However, due to the inflammatory nature of incel ideology, professionals need to be especially aware of potential countertransference when engaging with incels. We present findings from initial research on the potential role of trauma in the process of ideological radicalization as applied to incels. Understanding misogynist hate as a symptom is advantageous in developing an effective and therapeutic relationship between mental health professionals and incel clients.

                      Learning Objectives

                      • Participants will be able to describe the incel identity and philosophy.
                      • Participants will review possible ethical and practice concerns when working with the incel population.
                      • Participants will examine examples of counseling with incels and clients impacted by incels.

                        NBCC Content Area: Helping Relationship, Counselor Professional Identity and Ethical Issues

                        Presenter Information:

                        The primary presenter has presented on this topic at regional, national, and global conferences. The presenter has also written on this topic and work in prevention and intervention counseling regarding the topic.

                        The second presenter has presented on this topic at regional, national, and global conferences. The presenter has also written on this topic, including instrument development and validation related to this population.

                        Topic:  Learn EFT Tapping for Self-Regulation and Trauma Work

                        Presenters: Tijana Coso, M.A., Master EFT, Trauma EFT

                        Abstract: In this skill development workshop, you will learn EFT Tapping. This evidence-based somatic self-regulation and brief therapy tool has been shown to calm the brain and body. Tapping aids with anxiety reduction; it helps with trauma recovery and other negative emotions by reducing unhelpful activation in the body and brain.

                        Description:  If living through COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we must be mentally and emotionally strong to function through times of crisis, immense stress, uncertainty, and fear of the future. Couple this with the pervasiveness of trauma and continuous human rights stressors; reaching one’s full potential is compromised. So, how can we equip ourselves and our clients with the tools to persevere through hard times like these?

                        The goal of this experiential skill development workshop is to introduce EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Tapping. This evidence-based somatic self-regulation and brief therapy tool appears to immediately calm the body’s stress response. Tapping incorporates elements of exposure, cognitive therapy, and somatic stimulation. Research suggests that it affects the body’s stress response (amygdala) and the brain's memory center (hippocampus).

                        EFT can address a range of complex emotional challenges, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, pain, phobias, and more. Clinical trials have shown that EFT lowers stress reactions in the body and reduces the emotional impact of traumatic memories while positively influencing gene expression.

                        It’s called Tapping because you tap on Acupuncture Meridian Points on your face and upper body. Tapping aids with anxiety reduction; it helps with trauma and other negative emotions by reducing unhelpful activation in the body and brain.

                        In addition to using somatic awareness, Tapping supports a faster resolution to anxiety and people's experience of trauma. Tapping is a great way to keep the body from shutting down or detaching and staying with what is even amid internal distressing experiences. It aids the client to process what you're saying by bringing the understanding part of the brain back online.

                        The ability to self-regulate emotions and calm anxiety, fears, and trauma activation is empowering and transformational for our clients and ourselves. The beauty of using Tapping is that it naturally integrates and enhances many of the techniques filling your toolbox.

                        Tapping for self-regulation is simple to learn and easily replicated, universally applicable and free to all. We all could benefit from learning EFT and add more ease, peace, and clarity to our lives. Tapping is a tool worth tapping into!

                        Learning Objectives:

                        • Explain the physiological effect of the stress response on critical thinking and behaviors
                        • Describe How Tapping helps with self-regulation
                        • Implement Functional Tapping (FT) for stress, anxiety, and grounding

                          NBCC Content Area: Counseling Theory, Helping Relationship, Wellness and Prevention

                          Presenter Information:

                          An EFT expert, educates organizations on Tapping for self-regulation, anxiety, trauma, bias, and addiction recovery. Her clients include mental health professionals, educators, caregivers, and medical staff. Affiliated with Bessel van der Kolk’s Therapeutic Alliance, she offers expertise in somatic tools for healing and growth.

                          Michigan Counseling Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 


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