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CLS-lecturerThe following are the workshops from the School of Social Work’s Clinical Lecture Series, where area practitioners, students, and faculty learn together from esteemed and innovative clinicians. The CLS offers monthly lectures enhance the clinical curriculum for students and offer continuing education for graduates and practitioners. It also aims to foster and strengthen relationships among clinically-oriented students and the wider clinical community. Selection of topics and speakers come from participant feedback.

All events took place in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Auditorium of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill located at 325 Pittsboro Street, and met on Mondays from 12 noon to 2:00 pm.

Schedule of Events

1. Monday, September 15, 2008
Mindfulness in clinical practice and daily life: Training attention, reducing emotional suffering, and developing intimacy
John Mader, MA, LMFT

This workshop focuses on practical applications of mindfulness-based skills that can be useful to our clients (and ourselves). John Mader will guide participants on how to focus and direct their attention as a way to become aware and effective as clinicians. He will also explore how core mindfulness skills (taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy) serve as a basis for regulating negative emotions and for reducing conflict and increasing intimacy in relationships. The workshop draws on the innovative work of Alan Wallace, Marsha Linehan, and Alan Fruzzetti, and will include experiential exercises and an introduction to the mindfulness practice of shamatha.

John Mader, MA, LMFT has more than twenty years experience as a therapist in community mental health centers and in private practice. His work includes more than ten years of teaching meditation, core mindfulness skills in DBT groups, and workshops on the parallels between Buddhist Psychology and DBT. He is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and provides family therapy supervision and training groups and teaches a graduate course on family therapy at North Carolina Central University. In 2005, the North Carolina Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Triangle Area DBT, and OPC Area Program recognized him for his contributions to the profession.

2. Monday, October 13, 2008
Integrating cognitive and behavioral techniques in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Jon Abramowitz, PhD

This workshop highlights the use of cognitive therapy and imaginal exposure therapy techniques in the treatment of clients with so-called “pure obsessions” (obsessions without compulsive rituals), who are considered to be poor candidates for traditional behavior therapy for OCD. Dr. Abramowitz describes strategies that focus on clients’ interpretations of, and responses to, otherwise normal intrusive thoughts, as a way to manage their obsessional problems. Throughout, Dr. Abramowitz draws on empirical research and his rich clinical experience, and will use video and interactive demonstrations to illustrate the therapeutic techniques.

Jonathan S. Abramowitz, PhD, ABPP is a Licensed Psychologist, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology, and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also Founder and Director of the UNC Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic. Dr. Abramowitz conducts research on obsessive-compulsive and other anxiety disorders and has authored/edited five books and published over 100 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters on these topics. He is Associate Editor of two scientific journals in the field of cognitive-behavior therapy, and has received awards for his scientific and professional contributions by the American Psychological Association, Mayo Clinic, Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, and the National Institute of Mental Health.

3. Monday, November 17, 2008
The crucial role of psychotherapy in treating SPMI adults: Creating new narratives
Marilyn Ghezzi, MSW, LCSW

This workshop emphasizes the crucial role of psychotherapy in the effective treatment of adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses (in the wake of recent policy changes to the contrary). Clients with SPMIs often view themselves as “failures” and to blame for their illness; and medical discourse is rife with pejorative terms, such as “resistance,” “non-compliance,” and “lack of insight.” This workshop focuses on strategies to help clients relinquish harmful frameworks and create new narratives of recovery and meaning that emphasize their own self worth. Marilyn Ghezzi explores central themes that arise with SPMI populations, including the effects of loss, stigma, challenges in employment and relationships, and crises of identity, as well as how to discuss medication. Throughout her presentation, Marilyn Ghezzi supplies illustrative examples from her extensive work with this population.

Marilyn Ghezzi, MSW, LCSW is on the faculty of the UNC-CH School of Social Work, working as a field advisor and clinical lecturer. She has more than 25 years of experience in community mental health in a variety of roles, including as hospital liaison, psychotherapist, community support supervisor, and clinical supervisor.

4. Monday, January 26, 2009 
Depression and suicide in children and adolescents
Jodi Flick, MSW, LCSW

Over the past 30 years, suicide has more than tripled among adolescents, and risk has also increased among younger children. In this workshop, Jodi Flick will identify the risk factors for suicide in young people and describe the practice standards most effective in prevention of suicide with at-risk children and their families. She will also discuss therapeutic guidelines for intervention in the aftermath of a suicide.

Jodi Flick, ACSW, LCSW is a clinical instructor with the UNC-CH School of Social Work and a crisis counselor with the Chapel Hill Police Department’s Crisis Unit. Ms. Flick has more than 25 years experience providing direct client services in out-patient and in-patient mental health, emergency poverty relief services and medical social work. She is actively involved in volunteer work and community organization around social justice and service issues.

5. Monday, February 23, 2009 
From the clinic to the real world: Empowering clients beyond the therapeutic session
Zach Rosenthal, PhD

Across psychotherapies, our primary aim is to help clients improve their lives, usually through the process of talking within the context of a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship. We wish to help clients change their lives outside the clinic setting, yet our involvement with them tends to be constrained by conventions and contingencies inside the clinic setting. How do the skills and insights that emerge in therapeutic discussions translate into changes in the messiness of the real world? What alternatives do we as clinicians have to waiting and hoping for change in between therapy sessions? This workshop will expose the frequent disconnect between discourse and action, and will explore traditional and cutting edge strategies for expanding the power of therapeutic tools.

Zach (M. Zachary) Rosenthal, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Duke University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is Director of both the E.M.B. Brout Sensory Processing and Emotion Regulation Program and the Duke Cognitive Behavioral Research and Treatment Program. He is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in CBT and DBT, who trains and supervises students in the Duke medical psychology internship program and provides professional trainings through a partnership with the North Carolina Evidence-Based Practices Center. He has published widely on emotional functioning and emotion regulation in borderline personality disorder, and is currently working on novel computer-based interventions for “treatment-resistant” populations.

6. Monday, March 23, 2009

Ethics in practice: Terminating therapeutic work with clients
Tina Souders, MSW, LCSW, JD

The NASW Code of Ethics charges social workers to conclude professional relationship with clients when services are no longer required or no longer serving clients’ needs or interests. Yet how do we make this determination? As ethical practitioners, it is important to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of our services. Yet, how do we distinguish between a bump in the road and our inability to provide effective services? What is our ethical obligation to clients who still have a need for assistance but the agency providing services ceases to operate? How can we recognize when our reluctance to terminate with clients may have more to do with our own needs than with their continued need for services? In this illuminating workshop, Tina Souders will explore these questions and provide practical guidance on how to respond in an ethical manner.

Tina Souders, MSW, LCSW, JD a clinical assistant professor and the Director of the Winston-Salem Distance Education MSW Program at the University of North Carolina, has more than 17 years experience of experience in mental health, as a supervisor, clinician, and administrator. She teaches several courses at UNC including Management and Community Practice and Social Work and the Law. Tina also serves on the NASW-NC Board of Directors as Treasurer and is a member of the NASW-NC Ethics Committee.

7. Monday, April 20, 2009
Engagement Interviewing: Increasing engagement and retention of clients in mental health services
Betsy Bledsoe-Mansori, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Too often clients who could benefit from mental health services either fail to follow through with referrals for treatment or drop out of services prematurely. In this presentation, Dr. Bledsoe-Mansori provides an overview of “engagement interviewing” that offers clients an opportunity to express the problems they are experiencing in their own words, explore and resolve barriers to entering mental health treatment – including their own ambivalence – and receive psychoeducation about their mental health diagnosis and treatment options. This approach incorporates ethnographic, motivational interviewing and psychoeducational techniques. Examples will focus on the use of this strategy with mothers of young children who are diagnosed with major depressive disorder, a population that has been historically difficult to engage in treatment.

Betsy (Sarah E.) Bledsoe-Mansori, PhD, MSW, LCSW is Assistant Professor at UNC-CH School of Social Work. Dr. Bledsoe-Mansori had worked in outpatient, primary health care, residential, and emergency shelter settings providing mental health and case management services for individuals and their families. Her current research is focused on the engagement and treatment of low-income adolescents with perinatal depression, engaging low-English proficiency Latina mothers in treatment for depression, and evidence-based practice.