• 23rd National Counseling Skills Conference

    October 11 - 13, 2017
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    This conference has ended, please see our Distance Learning options for recorded sessions from this conference.

    Contributing Sponsors

    Participating Sponsors

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    Pre-Conference ETHICS Workshop -6 Hours 

    A Multicultural Orientation in Clinical Practice: Current Issues

    Pamela H. Harmell, PhD

    Permanent Lecturer, Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology, Psychologist, Private Practice, Los Angeles CA. Past Chair, CA Psychological Association Ethics Committee, Former President, L.A. County Psychological Association.

    The provision of ethical and responsive treatment to clients of diverse cultural backgrounds is expected of all practicing health care providers. Cultural competence is mandated by professional ethics codes and will be the focus on attention in all topics addressed: (1) Child maltreatment and culture, (2)  Assessment of child maltreatment with immigrant families, (3) Therapist self-disclosure related to a variety of populations, (4) A range of multiple relationships in various cultures (small to large community settings), and, (5) suicide assessment, prevention and treatment.  Literature updates and current expert opinion will be included along with current research findings and practice knowledge that informs ethical and legal clinical work. Emphasis will be placed upon prevention of ethical violations.

    8:30–9:00 am

    Pre-Conference Workshop Registration

    9:00–11:00 am

    Multicultural orientation to child maltreatment; Treating clients fairly; Bias and stereotyping; Current statistics on abuse; Working with culturally diverse families; Respect and sensitivity; Multicultural orientation to child maltreatment (continued); Special problems related to immigrant families; Culture shock, isolation, keeping secrets, definitions; Suggestions for improving competence with interviewing immigrants; Assessing families for maltreatment; Special circumstances; Reasonable suspicion with diverse cultures; Lack of family cooperation; Structured decision making; Structured professional judgment model.

    11:15–1:15 pm

    Suicide Assessment, prevention and treatment (2 hours required for relicensure in certain states) Prevalence and statistics of suicide; Consideration of DSM-5 diagnoses; Risk factors and warning signs; Protective factors; At-risk populations and cultural competence; FOCUS: Teens and adolescents; Discussion of evidence-based techniques; Suicide and mental health issues; Risk and protective factors among diverse populations; Outline ethical and legal considerations; Discuss issues pertinent to suicide survivors.

    2:15–3:15 pm

    Multiple relationships; Cultural considerations; Sexual contact with clients, students, supervisees, former clients; Nonsexual multiple relationships; Rural and small communities.

    3:30-4:30 pm

    Working with vicarious traumatization; Compassion fatigue; Using the DOVE method of self care; Therapist impairment and self-care; Handling burnout; Wrap up and questions.

    8:50 am Opening and Welcome by Gary Seidler and Dan Barmettler US Journal Training Inc. 
    9:00–10:00 am 
    Effective Trauma Treatment: A Review of the Latest Evidence and Emerging Modalities  
    Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP
    Recently retired from Private Practice in Washington DC, Dr. Courtois had specialized in the treatment of trauma, particularly for adults experiencing the effects of childhood incest and other forms of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. She has worked with these issues for 30 years and has developed treatment approaches for complex post traumatic and dissociative conditions for which she has received international recognition. Past President of Division 56 (Psychological Trauma) of the American Psychological Association and a Founding Associate Editor of the Division’s journal, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy, she has recently served as Chair of the APA Clinical Practice Guidelines for PTSD in Adults and Professional Practice Guidelines for the treatment of Complex PTSD for the APA Division 56 and for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Co-author of The Treatment of Complex Trauma and co-editor of Treating Complex Trauma: Scientific Foundations and Therapeutic Models and Treating Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents, all with Dr. Julian Ford, and a number of other books on trauma treatment.
    No clinical area has undergone more rapid development or benefited more from new research than the field of psychological trauma. The veritable flood of information has made it virtually impossible for therapists to stay on top of all the current research and clinical writing, learn about newest findings and techniques, investigate controversies and debates, and sort out results that matter from those that don’t. This keynote is opportunity to examine the clinical implications of the latest evidence. It includes an overview of the recommendations of the Clinical Practice and Professional Practice Guidelines of various national and international organizations and discusses other issues in trauma treatment, including the role of clinical judgment, competence and client preference.

    10:00–10:30 am Refreshment Break 

    Refreshment breaks will be held each AM and PM in the Exhibit Area

    10:30–11:30 am

    Forgiveness: Part of the Therapeutic Process or Unfinished Business 
    Robert Ackerman, PhD
    Formerly Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort. Dr. Ackerman is a co-founder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and the Chair, Advisory Board of Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals. He has published numerous articles and research findings and is best known for writing the first book in the United States on children of alcoholics. Twelve books later, many television appearances, and countless speaking engagements, he has become internationally known for his work with families and children of all ages. His books have been translated into thirteen languages.
    No one should tell a client that he or she must forgive. Forgiveness is the most personal decision for any client and those who have been physically, emotionally or spiritually harmed. Rather each individual will decide how forgiving or not forgiving contributes to their growth and healing. This workshop will explore the dynamics of forgiveness and offer internal and external models of forgiveness for those who choose to address the process of forgiveness and those who still have unfinished business. Also, how to forgive someone who is still inflicting pain on others will be considered.
    11:30–12:30 pm
    On The Frontlines: The Critical Role of  Counselors in Navigating the Changing  Landscape of Addiction
    David M. Marlon, MBA, MS
    Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Solutions Recovery, Las Vegas, an alcohol and drug treatment center that is accredited by the Joint Commission and is part of the American Addiction Centers’ family of treatment centers.  He has formed several non-profit organizations, which combat substance abuse by providing education and awareness on addictive behavior, preventative methods, and the economic, physical, and social consequences of mental illness and substance abuse. He has served on the Governor’s Substance Abuse Working Group, the Governor’s Rural Meth Action Team, the Board of Directors for H.E.L.P. of Southern Nevada, and is the Community Partner for Roseman University’s Drug Abuse Survey Pilot Program. He has been honored with the Mayor’s Commendation and has received the Community Counseling Center of Southern Nevada’s Vanguard Award. 
    From the proposed American Health Care Act to a new focus on medication-assisted therapy, the landscape for treating those with addiction continues to evolve. No one understands this better than the presenter, who as an  addictionologist, has served as CEO of Solutions Recovery, an abstinence-based rehab in Las Vegas, for over ten years. He provides a compelling perspective on the future of the industry. During his presentation, Dave will draw from his own treatment experiences and his background in mental health counseling to educate and inform today’s counselors on how to navigate the changing landscape.
    2:00–3:30 pm CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS 

    Gambling is a Spirit That Talks in Your Ear So  That You Can’t Hear Your Heart 
    Sydney Smith, LPC, NCGC-II, LADC 
    She is a PhD Candidate, and is the founder of RISE Center for Recovery in Las Vegas, NV, an intensive outpatient treatment Program for problem gamblers and their families.  Devoting 15 years to the counseling field, she has spent the majority of her career working with co-occurring disorders as a substance abuse and gambling addiction therapist practicing in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Her expertise resides in the treatment of problem gamblers and their families. In collaboration with UCLA Psychiatry Department, she and her affiliates are conducting research focused on empirically based treatment of spouses and families of problem gamblers. 
    What do we really know about Problem Gambling? Gambling addiction is on the rise and with the current changes in gambling and in the gaming industry we can expect this to continue at a rapid pace. Problem gambling is a severe addiction, yet often the most underestimated, misunderstood, and hidden. This session with focus on problem gambling and basic treatment tools and resources clinicians or medical professionals can use to implement in their current practice to help improve their overall quality of patient care. In addition, we will look at current trends and changes in gambling, as well as current research, evidenced based treatments for problem gambling, and recovery. 
    Relational Healing for Relational Injury in the  Treatment of Complex Trauma
    Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP
    Individuals with histories of early, severe childhood abuse and neglect and those who suffer extreme and cumulative forms of interpersonal trauma experience a wide range of difficulties, now referred to as complex trauma. These difficulties often have their origins in disturbed and disrupted primary attachment relationships, abuse and neglect within these relationships, and the additive effects of multiple experiences of trauma. These, in turn, cause considerable psychological damage, both personally and interpersonally. A therapeutic relationship is a primary intervention and context for distress of this sort, offering a secure base from which to examine and rework attachment difficulties, process the trauma, learn essential life and relational skills, and increase the capacity necessary for constructive relationships; however, developing a therapeutic relationship with complex trauma patients offers numerous challenges. This presentation will identify relational issues that arise in the treatment of this population and strategies for their identification and management. Ethics within the therapy relationship, vicarious trauma and countertransference responses and post-traumatic growth in the therapist will be discussed.
    Pain and Addiction Treatment during the Opioid Epidemic Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM
    Nationally known and respected addiction specialist with 30 years of experience treating addiction and addiction related conditions. He is Medical Director of Las Vegas Recovery Center. A Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), Dr. Pohl is co-author of Pain Recovery and Pain Recovery for Families, and author of A Day Without Pain. His most recent title, with Katherine Ketcham, is The Pain Antidote.
    Over 16,000 people have died from overdose of prescription opioids in the United States in the past year. The prescription of, and the misuse and addiction to these drugs have surpassed marijuana and are decimating a generation of adolescents and young adults. Heroin use and overdose deaths are on the rise as well. This epidemic was born in another epidemic: Chronic Pain. This session will review how we got to this point, the nature of the epidemic, and explore solutions for changing course at this crucial time.
    Weapons of Mass Self-Destruction: Helping Clients Eliminate Self-Defeating Behaviors
    Robert Ackerman, PhD
    This workshop will focus on identifying and eliminating behaviors that cause defeat and harm to people. Many “self-defeating” behaviors often are behaviors that once helped a person survive a crisis. Once the crisis is over the behaviors, even though no longer needed, are maintained. Instead of helping the person, they now cause harm by limiting the potential to develop healthy behaviors. Some examples of self-defeating behaviors include procrastination, defensiveness, perfectionism, under—achievement, isolating yourself, taking too much control in relationships, workaholism and so on. Using a cognitive behavioral approach, eliminating self-defeating behaviors and replacing them with life enhancing skills will be the goal of the workshop


    Forensic Marijuana: The Science of Medical Cannabinoids 
    Merrill Norton PharmD, DPh, ICCDP-D
    Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy with his specialty areas to include psychopharmacology and addiction pharmacy. His area of specialty in addiction pharmacy is the management of chronic pain in the addicted patient. Recently, Dr. Norton received an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Southeastern Chapter for his work on the Spanish language documentary Prescription Drugs, Legally Dangerous.  He was honored by the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association in receiving the prestigious Distinguished Service Award for 2015. His book, The Pharmacology of Psychoactive Chemical Use, Abuse, and Dependence, and his DVD series, “The Hijacking of the Brain” have been used to train thousands of mental health professionals nationally.  His new books, The Pharmacology of Substance Use Disorders and The Pharmacist’s Guide to Opioid Use Disorders will be released in 2017.
    With the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in some states and a majority of US citizens advocating for the legal right to use marijuana, the use of marijuana will increase and impact the human brain in many ways. The human brain can experience multiple complications with regular use of cannabis and the long-term effects of these complications are unknown. Our understanding of marijuana’s long-term brain effects is limited. Research findings on how chronic cannabis use affects brain structure, for example, have been inconsistent. It may be that the effects are too subtle for reliable detection by current techniques. A similar challenge arises in studies of the effects of chronic marijuana use on brain function. Although imaging studies (functional MRI; fMRI) in chronic users do show some consistent alterations, the relation of these changes to cognitive functioning is less clear. This uncertainty may stem from confounding factors such as other drug use, residual drug effects (which can occur for at least 24 hours in chronic users), or withdrawal symptoms in long-term chronic users. This presentation is designed to help clear up some of the inconsistencies by taking a look at the latest neurobiology and pharmacology of marijuana and its impact on the human brain.

     Trauma, Addictions, and Substance Abuse:Recognizing the Overlap and Interaction  between the Two 
    Christine Courtois, PhD
    A history of trauma in childhood or later in adulthood (and especially from combat exposure), is found in many individuals with substance abuse and other addictive disorders. This history must be attended to during treatment to assist the client in understanding the interaction between the two and in relapse planning. Special attention will be given in this workshop to improving the practitioner’s ability to identify and understand symptoms of trauma and their interaction with addictions.

    Intimacy: Women, Men and Relationships
    Robert Ackerman, PhD
    Regardless of the issues that bring people to seeking help, relationship problems are often at the core. This presentation will focus on common relationship issues for women and men. Such topics as why people are attracted to high risk relationships, forms of intimacy, characteristics of healthy relationships, patterns of behaviors that destroy relationships, and suggestions for achieving positive emotional intimacy will be addressed.

    Mindfulness, Emotions and Pain Treatment
    Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM
    Chronic pain is a challenging condition resulting in disability, emotional upheaval and family dysfunction. People concerned about someone with chronic pain suffer from characteristic dysfunctional behaviors that must be addressed if the person with chronic pain is to recover. Often families wonder whether or not the pain is “real” or not, or believe that pain based in emotions is less “valid” than physical pain. This session will review the emotional aspects of pain and suffering from a physiological and psychological standpoint and explain the basis of meditative techniques and the fundamentals of mindfulness practice.

    9:00–10:00 am

    Deadly Persuasion: Advertising and Addiction

    Jean Kilbourne, EdD

    Her films, lectures, and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Recognized for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. Author of Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel which won the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology in 2000 and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do To Protect Their Kids. Creator of the Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series. In 2015 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

    This presentation exposes the manipulative marketing strategies and tactics used by the alcohol and tobacco industries to introduce to and keep young Americans hooked on their dangerous products and presents a compelling argument that these cynical industries have a clear and deep understanding of the psychology of addiction—an understanding they exploit to create and feed a life-threatening dependency on their products.


    10:30–11:30 am

    Slipping Through the Cracks: Intervention Strategies for Clients with Multiple Addictions and Disorders

    Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC 

    His most recent book is Slipping Through the Cracks: Intervention Strategies for Clients with Multiple Addictions and Disorders. He is a lecturer at the University of Chicago and conducts a private practice. Mark provides trainings nationwide to audiences of mental health clinicians and addiction counselors.

    Many chemically dependent clients have multiple addictions and disorders, which, if unaddressed, lead to chronic recidivism. They include hidden psychiatric disorders, unresolved trauma, unresolved grief, and process addictions, including sex, relationships, romance, gambling, shopping, and religion. In this presentation, participants will leave with strategies that will help them effectively address multiple addictions and disorders common among chemically dependent clients.

    Dual Plenary Presentation

    11:30–12:30 pm

    The Art and Science of Healing: Finding the Healing Self Inside

    Cardwell C. Nuckols, PhD

    Has been described as one of the most influential clinical and spiritual trainers in North America. He has  served the behavioral medicine field for over 35 years and for the last 20 years is considered one of the leading  experts in the world on addiction and recovery. Dr. Nuckols is widely published, having authored more than 60 journal articles, 30 books and workbooks, 50 DVDs, CDs and videos, and 25 audiotape series. His most recent books are Finding Freedom Through Illumination and The Ego-Less SELF: Achieving Peace and Tranquility Beyond All Understanding.

    Experience the awareness and awakening of your healing SELF in this powerful program for those who are seeking spiritual growth and enhanced healing potential. Become aware during this interactive process of your own true healing self and how your spiritual evolution enhances the spiritual, psychological and neurobiological healing of those you work with. This course of action will lead one to the truth about meditation—a space having no center, no direction and no time . . . only the silence of the eternal SELF.


    How Trauma and Addiction Reinforce Each Other Part 1

    Todd Langus, PsyD 

    Has dedicated the last 10 years to treating public safety personnel and their families. He has responded to national emergencies such as 9/11, treating hundreds of emergency responders. He has treated victims of Hurricane Katrina and military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan and has responded to countless officer-involved shootings, line-of-duty deaths and critical incidences. Private corporations have called on him to handle large-scale traumas. He served as a law enforcement officer for 20 years. Not only has he seen trauma from the front lines as a law enforcement officer, he is also a trauma survivor and provides training and lectures to agencies throughout the U.S. Todd is affiliated with Hemet Valley Recovery Center/Sage Retreat


    Participants will learn how trauma and addiction create a vicious cycle that impedes recovery. Ways to break that cycle will be presented and discussed.



    The Illusionists

    Jean Kilbourne, EdD

    Jean Kilbourne will show and discuss “The Illusionists,” a popular new film that examines how global advertising firms, mass media conglomerates, and the beauty, fashion, and cosmetic surgery industries are changing the way people around the world define beauty and see themselves. Taking us from the halls of Harvard to the galleries of the Louvre Museum, from a cosmetic surgeon’s office in Beirut to the heart of Tokyo’s Electric Town, the film explores how these industries saturate our lives with narrow, Westernized, consumer-driven images of beauty that show little to no respect for biological realities or cultural differences. Jean is interviewed in the film.

    Moving from Perfection to Excellence in the Clinical Relationship

    Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC

    This topic focuses on the fact that many clients have been given the message since childhood, through their family, school, religion, and the media, that you have to be perfect. They either numb themselves through self-harming behavior, drugs, etc., or procrastinate, because perfection is impossible. The workshop focuses on how to help clients move beyond perfection and offers suggestions for clinicians who also have a tendency toward perfection and who become frustrated if their clients do not progress quickly enough.

    Treating the Angry and Aggressive Client

    Cardwell C Nuckols, PhD

    Most of us have very strong reactions toward a client demonstrating angry emotion and potentially out-of-control behavior. Sometimes our reactions become part of the problem instead of the solution.  This presentation can help change these uncomfortable scenarios into potentially positive experiences. This presentation will look at anger as a symptom of numerous psychiatric disorders including addiction, as a learned coping survival strategy, as a manifestation of the ego, in relationship to self-esteem, etc. To enhance clinical skills, the latest scientific understanding of this group of clients will be addressed while placing emphasis on verbal management, behavioral and pharmacological stabilization along with the demonstration of empirically proven clinical strategies.


    Psychopharmacology of Substance Use Disorder

    Merrill Norton PharmD, DPh

    Medications have become an integrated component in the treatment of substance use disorders, so much so, that there is a new specialty in healthcare- Addiction Pharmacy. Addition Pharmacy is the “know how” of the use of antidepressants, anti-craving, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety, anti-manic, ADHD/ADD, and many others in the recovering patient. This workshop’s instructor has been involved with the development of addiction pharmacy for the last two decades and will bring to the participants a down to earth explanation of the how and why of these medications. You might also have a little fun too.



    15 Strategies for Engaging the Most Difficult-To-Reach Clients with Substance Use Disorders

    Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC

    Participants will leave this workshop with tools that will enable them to increase programmatic retention, decrease premature termination, and facilitate change more effectively with difficult-to-reach clients with substance use disorders. A partial list of topics includes: The Use of Naturally Therapeutic Qualities to Engage Difficult-to reach Clients in Treatment; 6 Strategies for Engaging Clients in the First Five Minutes of Contact; How to Turn a Mandated Client into a Voluntary Client; 15 Strategies for Engaging Clients with Substance Use Disorders in Counseling; Strategies to Ensure that Countertransference Does Not Impact Client Engagement; and much more.


    Using the UCLA Treatment Manual for Partners of Problem Gamblers 

    Sydney Smith, LPC, NCGC-II, LADC

    There is a paucity of research and clinical support tools related to how clinicians might help significant others in relationships with a partner/spouse who is a pathological gambler.  Anecdotal reports suggest that significant others experience distress caused by the negative consequences they encounter in lieu of a partners gambling behavior.  This presentation will highlight several components of treatment for significant others derived from UCLA Manual for Treating Partners of Problem Gamblers developed by the UCLA Gambling Studies Program and sponsored by the California Public Health Department. The content from the manual—specifically developed for counselors and clinicians—as well as the application in treatment setting, will be the focus of this presentation. Each chapter in the manual is based on empirically supported treatments for addressing common mental health issues (e.g. coping with stress, differentiation of the self, restoring trust/forgiveness, attachment ruptures, boundaries, etc...). Participants will also receive helpful information about clinical support tools that can be used in working with this population.


    Disgrace to Grace:  Trauma and Shame of Addiction: An Overview of Addiction, Shame, Trauma, and the Recovery Process

    Merrill Norton PharmD, DPh

    This presentation explores the recovery from the internalized shame of addiction, which triggers an instinctual “fight-flight-freeze” syndrome that creates the relapse syndrome. An overview of the Anger-Shame-Anxiety cycle, appropriate interventions necessary to avoid relapse from anger and shame, and practical applications of the Twelve Steps to the individual with anger and shame issues will be given.


    Psychology, Spirituality and True Happiness

    Cardwell C. Nuckols, PhD

    This personal and professional development skills training utilizes integrated multiple pathways leading one toward true happiness. This powerful approach incorporates current understandings of developmental psychology, neurobiology, and contemplative approaches to permanently dissolve aspects of the false-self (ego). This dissolution or emptying of self opens one up to spiritual healing. This realization is the key to serenity and selfless service—sources of true happiness.



    9:00–10:00 am

    Shift Happens: The Neuroscience of Learning to Cope with Disappointment, Difficulty, even  Disaster

    Linda Graham, MFT

    An experienced psychotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area and a teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion.  She integrates modern neuroscience, mindfulness practices, and relational psychology in her international trainings.  She is the author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being, winner of the 2013 Books for a Better Life award and the 2014 Better Books for a Better World award.  

    Resilience is the innate capacity to bounce back from any adversity.  Discoveries in modern brain science and the behavioral sciences help us integrate tools from relational psychology and mindfulness practice to efficiently harness the neuroplasticity of the brain to rewire old patterns of coping and more skillfully face and deal with life’s challenges and crises.

    10:30–11:30 amEvolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Origins, Where Have We Been, Where Are We Now and What is the Future?”

    Don Meichenbaum, PhD

    Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and Research Director, The Melissa Institute of Violence and Prevention and the Treatment of Victims of Violence, Miami, FL. He is considered one of the founders of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Author of Roadmap to Resilience and his most recent, Evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In a survey of clinicians reported in the American Psychologist, he was voted “one of the 10 most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century.”

    This presentation will trace the evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) from its origins to the present status as an evidence-based intervention. It will offer the “untold story” of the controversies concerning the development of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and highlight the contributors who developed CBT. The future of CBT using computer technology will be discussed.


    11:30–12:30 pm New Perspectives and Techniques for Managing Therapeutic Resistance: A Social Interaction Model

    Clifton Mitchell, PhD 

    He is an international clinical trainer and keynote speaker who has a love for teaching and over 23 years of training experience. Author of Effective Techniques for Dealing with Highly Resistant Clients, and has been published in many journals.  He has taught and written on legal and ethical issues for over 17 years and has trained thousands of mental health professionals in the management of difficult, perplexing legal and ethical issues. He is now introducing his latest training in an exciting, dynamic game show format. Dr. Mitchell is currently a professor Emeritus at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he received the Teacher of the year award in 2002.

    The successful management of resistance is the pivotal point of effective therapy. It is also a critical component in alleviating therapists’ stress. Although most therapists have been trained extensively in theoretical approaches, few have had extensive training in dealing with resistance. This plenary will review many aspects of therapeutic resistance including historic definitions and present a model for resistance that empowers therapists in managing the problem. This is followed by fundamental principles and techniques for avoiding and resolving resistance. The techniques presented are applicable across a wide array of clients and problems and can be integrated with all theoretical approaches.


     Healing the Trauma Patient During Recovery From Addiction Part 2

    Todd Langus, PsyD

    This presentation will discuss treatment techniques to use while treating patients on the path to recovery. Observe an experiential debriefing process demonstrating useful techniques and how to implement them into your practice.



    Brain Care as Self Care

    Linda Graham, MFT

    By tapping into the innate neuroplasticity of the brain to strengthen brain functioning, we can avoid compassion fatigue and burnout and recover the creativity and flow of our work.  In this experiential workshop, you will learn lifestyle choices to foster brain health and reduce brain fatigue, and empirically validated techniques to reduce stress and regain equilibrium, rewire the inner critic and heal toxic shame, revive a sense of competency and connection with others, come to clarity in decision making, and cultivate the courage to take growth-enhancing risks in your life. 


    Why are Some Psychotherapists Consistently More Effective than Others: An Analysis of the “Core Tasks” of Psychotherapy

    Don Meichenbaum, PhD

    Research indicates the equivalence of various psychotherapeutic interventions, but that some psychotherapists consistently obtain better treatment outcomes and more lasting changes in their patients. This presentation will consider the core psychotherapy tasks that contribute to differential treatment outcomes. A major focus will be on the role of establishing and monitoring the quality of the therapeutic alliance and other intervention strategies. The person of the psychotherapist is significantly more critical than the specific interventions in influencing treatment outcomes.

    Effective Techniques for Dealing with Highly Resistant Clients: Questions and “I don’t  know . . . ” Responses

    Clifton Mitchell, PhD

    Specifically, this follow-up training to the plenary will focus exclusively on two of the most critical junctures in the therapeutic interaction: Questions and the “I don’t know . . .” response. The underlying dynamics and pitfalls of excessive questioning will first be addressed followed by teaching of an alternate way of receiving information and promoting client exploration without and excessive questioning dialogue. The three most common words spoken in therapy—“I don’t know . . .”—will next be examined in detail and a number of techniques for managing the “I don’t know . . .” response will be offered. Upon completion of this training, participants will have a broad array of techniques to add to their repertoire and to aid in reducing the stress that accompanies their most frustrating clients.



    Recovering from Digital Addiction: Helping Clients Rediscover Real Life

    Linda Graham, MFT

    No question—the over-use of digital devices impacts the brain as well as relationships and identity. Learn to assess digital addiction in clients and use specific protocols for digital detoxes and electronic fasts that can reduce brain fog, mood swings, and withdrawal/isolation while promoting better focus and concentration, deepening empathy in social/intimate relationships, and recovering capacities for self-reflection and self-acceptance.


    The Neurobiology of Resilience: Implications for Psychotherapy

    Don Meichenbaum, PhD

    This presentation will consider the cumulative impact of acute and chronic traumatizing experiences on the developing brain of children, adolescents and adults and the implications for both preventative and psychotherapeutic interventions. The neuroplasticity of the brain and the neurobiological correlates of engaging in resilience-engendering behaviors will be reviewed and the practical procedural implications for conducting psychotherapy will be presented. Dr. Meichenbaum will also consider how cognitive behavioral interventions can be employed with individuals who have experienced Traumatic Brain injuries.


    Utilizing Reality Therapy: For Which Clients Does It Fit?

    Clifton Mitchell, PhD 

    The application of Reality Therapy in counseling situations is often misunderstood and, thus, it can be an underutilized approach to therapy. This presentation will first review the basic tenets of Reality Therapy with an emphasis on the unique, beneficial aspects to the approach and an explanation of common misunderstandings. This will be followed by a discussion of specific client types where Reality Therapy approaches can be utilized when more common approaches to therapy fail. This program is suitable for those with little to advanced knowledge of Reality Therapy theory.

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    Trauma Treatment 

    The Brain and Addiction

    Co-Occurring Disorders

    Opioid Epidemic

    Resistance and Resilience 

    Neuroscience and Psychotherapy


    Program Focus

    Join us as this conference returns to Las Vegas after a 2-year absence. This conference addresses the most relevant and cutting edge topics for today’s mental health, addiction and other helping professionals. It offers a comprehensive view and updates in a series of plenary sessions along with focusing in-depth workshops to provide participants with skill building in their areas of interest. 

    Just some of the topic areas include:  Complex Trauma Treatment; Forgiveness; Relational Healing; Weapons of Mass Self Destruction; Marijuana Dilemmas; Neurobiology of Addiction; Women, Men and Relationships; Advertising and Addiction; The Opioid Crisis; Reality Therapy;  Psychology, Spirituality & True Happiness; Trauma & Shame of Addiction; Evolution of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Coping with Disappointment and Disaster; Gambling Addiction; Resistance; Digital Addiction; Suicidality: Art & Science of Healing; Neurobiology of Resilience; Ethics and many more. 


    Conference Objectives 

    Participants will be able:

    1.To identify state of the art treatment approaches for successfully treating trauma, chemical dependence, co-occurring disorders, resistance and other psychological and behavioral issues.

    2.To discern symptoms and characteristics manifested in these disorders and to diminish/correct their negative impact on the client’s interpersonal and family relationships.

    3.To identify the key implications of neuroscience research as it applies to addictive disorders, trauma and other critical problem areas of psychotherapy.

    4.To describe the relationship of trauma, to addictive and compulsive processes with treatment considerations.


    Limited Number of Exhibit Spaces Available   
    For more information contact:
    Lorrie Keip Cositore  
    1-800-851-9100 x220

    Join Us in Las Vegas at the Tropicana Las Vegas

    Conference Site
    Tropicana Las Vegas
    3801 Las Vegas Blvd. South
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    Phone: 800-634-4000

    In the heart of the famed Las Vegas Strip, The Tropicana Las Vegas is redefining the expectations of today’s global travelers with a $180 million transformation. The South Beach-inspired changes include all new, best-in-class hotel rooms and suites, a new casino, newly remodeled conference center, more than four acres of tropical pool area, as well is new restaurants.

    The Tropicana Las Vegas offers our conference guests a very special rate of $95 for rooms Monday through Thursday nights,  October 9–12 and $145 for Friday and Saturday nights,  October 13 and 14 plus daily resort fee of $10 that includes in room internet, fitness center access, 2 for 1 show tickets to Laugh Factory (Sunday thru Thursday).

    For reservations call: 800-634-4000 (Request rooms for the National Counseling Skills Conference, SRP Code 803) or Reserve Online at https://aws.passkey.com/go/NCSC17 before September 27 to receive the conference rate. Each reservation requires one night’s deposit. Please be aware of hotel’s cancellation policy. 


    Robert Ackerman, PhD
    Professor Emeritus and the previous Director of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute. He is co-founder of the National Association for Children of Addiction. He is the previous Editor of Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction and Behavioral Health Professionals. As an author he
    Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP
    Recently retired from Private Practice in Washington DC, Dr. Courtois had specialized in the treatment of trauma, particularly for adults experiencing the effects of childhood incest and other forms of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. She has worked with these issues for 30 years and has de
    Linda Graham, MFT
    An experienced psychotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area who integrates modern neuroscience, mindfulness practices and relational psychology in her nationwide trainings and workshops. She is the author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being and The Resilience
    Pamela Harmell, PhD
    A permanent lecturer at Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology Dr. Harmell is a psychologist in private practice based in Los Angeles California. She is the Past Chair of the California Psychological Association Ethics Committee and former president of the Los Angeles County Psycho
    Jean Kilbourne, EdD
    Her films, lectures, and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Recognized for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. Author of Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel which
    Todd Langus, PsyD
    Has dedicated the last 10 years to treating public safety personnel and their families. He has responded to national emergencies such as 9/11, treating hundreds of emergency responders. He has treated victims of Hurricane Katrina and military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan and has responded to
    David Marlon, MS
    Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Solutions Recovery, Las Vegas, an alcohol and drug treatment center that is accredited by the Joint Commission and is part of the American Addiction Centers’ family of treatment centers.  He has formed several non-profit organizations, which combat subst
    Donald Meichenbaum, PhD
    Donald Meichenbaum, PhD, is a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, from which he took early retirement seventeen years ago. Dr. Meichenbaum is presently the research director of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention in Miami, Florida. He is one o
    Clifton Mitchell, PhD
    Clifton Mitchell, PhD, is an international clinical trainer, keynote speaker, and the author of Effective Techniques for Dealing with Highly Resistant Clients. For the past fifteen years he has trained thousands of mental health professionals on methods of managing resistance in therapy. He also cre
    Merrill Norton, PharmD, DPh, ICCDP-D
    Merrill Norton, PharmD, DPh, ICCDP-D, is clinical associate professor of addiction pharmacy practice at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. Dr. Norton has also been a faculty member of the Fairleigh-Dickinson University postdoctoral training program in the University of Georgia School of
    Cardwell Nuckols, PhD
    ‘CC’ Nuckols has been described as one of the most influential clinical trainers in North America. Widely published with more than 60 journal articles, 30 books and workbooks, 50 DVDs, CDs, and videos and 25 audio tapes series. His first book, Cocaine: Dependency to Recovery was a trade best seller.
    Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM
    A board certified family practitioner. He is the medical director of Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC). Dr. Pohl was a major force in developing LVRC’s Chronic Pain Recovery Program. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), and a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction
    Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC
    Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC, is an international speaker in the behavioral health field whose presentations have reached thousands throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands. He is coauthor of Recovery Management and author of Relationship Detox: How to Have Healthy Relatio
    Sydney Smith, MS, LPC
    She is a PhD Candidate, and is the founder of RISE Center for Recovery in Las Vegas, NV, an intensive outpatient treatment Program for problem gamblers and their families.  Devoting 15 years to the counseling field, she has spent the majority of her career working with co-occurring disorders as

    Board Approvals

    24 Contact Hours Available
    6 HOURS Pre-Conference ETHICS Workshop October 10, 2017
    18 HOURS Full Time Conference October 11 - 13, 2017

    American Psychological Association (APA)
    US Journal Training, Inc., is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor Continuing Education for psychologists. US Journal Training, Inc. maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 

    Association of Social Work Boards Approved Continuing Education (ACE)
    US Journal Training, Inc., #1143 is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. US Journal Training, Inc., maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB approval period: 12/5/16-12/5/19. Social Workers participating in this course will receive 24 continuing education clock hours.

    California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE)
    California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE). Provider #CP40932CH0821.

    California Board of Behavioral Sciences (CBBS)
    California Board of Behavioral Sciences for MFTs and/or LCSW's has deferred CE Course Approvals to APA and NASW for its Licensees. U.S. Journal Training, Inc., is an approved provider for both APA and NASW

    California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN)
    California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN). Provider #10512.

    California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP-E1)
    California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals, Provider approved by CCAPP-E1. Provider number OS-86-057-0518 FOR 24CEHs.

    Canadian Addiction Counselors Certification Federation (CACCF)
    Canadian Addiction Counselors Certification Federation (CACCF).

    Certification Board for Addiction Professionals of Florida (No. 17A)

    EAP Association/EACC Program
    EAP Association/EACC-Program Approved for 24 PDHs.

    Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage/Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling
    State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration for Mental Health Counselors, Clinical Social Workers and Marriage/Family Therapists. Provider #50-2076.

    National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)
    National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). Approved Education Provider Program #10069.

    National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
    National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Provider #886357585.

    National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), ACEP No. 5130
    U.S. Journal Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5130. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. US Journal Training Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

    Nevada Board of Examiners for Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers and Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Counselors
    Nevada-Board of Examiners for Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, and Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Counselors, Reciprocal with ASWB.

    Full-Time conference attendees who complete all required evaluation and attendance documentation are eligible to receive the maximum number of contact hours. Daily registrants can receive credit for each day in attendance.
    Note: If you are seeking continuing education credit for a specialty not listed above, it is your responsibility to contact your licensing/certification board directly to determine eligibility of this training to meet your CEU requirement.
    ADA accommodations will be made in accordance with the law. If you require ADA accommodations, please indicate your needs by September 6, 2017. We cannot ensure the availability of appropriate accommodations without prior notification.

    Full-Time Registration (October 11 - 13, 2017)
    up to 18 hours
    Tuition: $465.00
    Register Now Group Registration

    Daily Registration Wed., October 11, 2017
    6 core CEs
    Tuition: $170.00
    Register Now Group Registration

    Daily Registration Thur., October 12, 2017
    6 core CEs
    Tuition: $170.00
    Register Now Group Registration

    Daily Registration Fri., October 13, 2017
    6 core CEs
    Tuition: $170.00
    Register Now Group Registration

    Ethics Workshop, Tue., October 10, 2017
    6 core CEs
    Tuition: $135.00
    Register Now Group Registration

    Group Discount:
    Groups of TWO or MORE registrations, entered on one order, receive a 10% Discount per registration! This offer applies to conference registrations only and cannot be combined with other discounts/coupon offers.

    REGISTRATION POLICIES: Check, credit card information or agency purchase order must be attached to this registration form. All registration fees are refundable, less a $50.00 processing fee, when requests for cancellation are submitted in writing and postmarked by September 20, 2017. No refunds are available after September 20, 2017.
    Other ways to register:
    By Phone: 800-441-5569 or 954-360-0909. Please have your MC/Visa/AMEX number ready. (Business Hours are M-F, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm ET)

    By Fax: 954-360-0034. Registration by fax requires credit card information or agency purchase order accompanied by a completed registration form. Get Registration Form: Include MC/Visa, AMEX number, exp. date, security code and signature.

    By Mail: Registration by mail requires check, credit card information or agency purchase order accompanied by a completed registration form. Get Registration Form Please make checks payable to: U.S. Journal Training, Inc.

    Mail to:
    U .S. Journal Training/ Counseling Skills Conference
    3201 SW 15th St
    Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190

    When you provide a check for payment, you authorize us either to use information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction. When we use information from your check to make an electronic fund transfer, funds may be withdrawn from your account as soon as the same day you make your payment, and you will not receive your check back from your financial institution. For inquiries please call 800-441-5569.

    Your name and address will be added to our mailing list unless otherwise requested.

    ADA accommodation will be made in accordance with the law. If you require ADA accommodations, please indicate your needs by September 9, 2017. We cannot ensure the availability of appropriate accommodations without prior notification.

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