2018 Convention Information

Exploring Innovative Approaches in Counseling and Counselor Education

April 13-15th, 2018, Albany Marriott

Convention Schedule

Friday, April 13th

      ~    Registration & Check-in             11 AM 
     ~    Exhibits Open                                1 PM

     ~    Pre-convention Workshops:      3 - 6 PM
           -  Discovering & Strengthening Parts of Self through Mask Work and Enactment  
           -  Who Let the ANTS Out! Helping Children Manage Anxiety Using CBT and Play Therapy  
           -  Licensure 101 - Everything You Need to Know to Be Licensed  
           -  The Use of Creative Arts Therapies in Outpatient Mental Health: Non-Verbal 
                    Approaches to Recovery

      ~    State of the Profession Panel & Dessert Reception     7 - 9:30 pm

Saturday, April 14th

Sunday, April 15th

      ~  Mindful Meditation Session ______________________7 AM
      ~  Optional Continental Breakfast ___________________7 AM - 8:30 AM
      ~  Convention Morning Sessions Begin ______________9  AM
      ~  NYMHCA Business Meeting                                          _10:30 AM
      ~  Convention Closes                                                         _12 Noon 
Friday Evening Event

Dessert Reception and State of the Profession Panel Discussion   7-9:30 PM


          ~   Joel Miller, CEO/ED - American Mental Health Counselors Association 
          ~   State Sen. Pamela Helming - Sponsor of NYMHCA diagnosis bill
          ~   Heather Evans, Hinman-Straub Advisors
          ~   Denise Murphy McGraw,  Hill, Gosdeck & McGraw, LLC

        Moderated by NYMHCA President Diane Spizzirro
Pre-Convention Workshops:           (3-6 pm on Friday, April 13th)


  ~  Licensure 101 

         Presenter: Paul Schwartzman, LMHC & Diane Spizzirro, LMHC

         This seminar will provide a comprehensive overview to the licensure process. Topics will include: an historical perspective 
         on licensure, eligibility, supervision issues, exam preparation, the exam, and working with the NYS Office of Professions, and the new 
         continuing education requirement for licensed mental health counselors. Internship and job seeking will also be discussed.  Time will be 
         allocated for discussion and every effort will be made to address individual needs and circumstances.  

  ~ Who Let the ANTS Out! Helping Children Manage Anxiety Using CBT and Play Therapy   (3 CEU's for license renewal!)

      Presenter:  Sonia Hinds: APRN-PMH, BC, RPT - S

      Treating anxiety in children can be complex due to limited cognition. This workshop will provide a clear and concise guide
      to helping children and adolescents understand and use strategies to gain power and control over irrational thoughts. CBT and play 
      techniques involving movement and action rather than "talk therapy" will be demonstrated and practiced.    

  ~ The Use of Creative Arts Therapies in Outpatient Mental Health: Non-Verbal Approaches to Recovery   
                                                                                                                                                                                    (3 CEU's for license renewal!)

      Presenter:  Pamela Faith Lerman, MEd, LMHC, LCAT, BC-DMT

      This workshop will introduce participants to the use of creative arts, dance/movement therapy, and non-verbal approaches to recovery.     
      Participants will be taught self-care exercises for practitioners, as well as non-verbal, experiential techniques to assist clients in learning to 
      form safe connections with other people while modulating internal intensity.  

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Saturday Evening Social Event

     ~ Dinner, DJ & Dancing!

            Join us at 7 pm for 2 1/2 hours of good food (deli wraps with a pasta station!), good music and 
            dancing.  Door prizes, party favors, a cash bar, and assorted desserts will add to the fun!

     ~  We are pleased to announce that the DJ for the event will be:  DJ Bentley!

           He is one of the most sought after DJ's in the country! Professional, Unique & Captivating,.. The Crowd Motivator - Performs                      nationally & internationally.  He's been hired Globally by some of the most influential people in the world for his DJ Skills. This                  is a testament to his versatility, as he can creatively play anything from Bach to Bob Marley to Hendrix to Jay-Z & everything in 
           between! DJ Bentley is a world class DJ and can make any party a memorable one.

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Laura Wood

Keynote Address Title:  All the World’s a Stage: Infusing Drama and Embodiment into Clinical Practice, Supervision, and Counselor Education

   DJ Social Dinner Menu
Discovering & Strengthening Parts of Self through Mask Work and Enactment  (3 CEU's for license renewal!)

Presenter:  Dr. Laura Wood  

In this highly experiential workshop featuring enactment and mask work, participants will take their own journeys to work with a part of Self that they wish to understand better, then work toward strengthening Self in response. We will discuss using this process with various traumatized populations, including those with eating disorders, addictions, attachment issues, serious illness, or suffering from grief. Designed for professionals from a variety of disciplines. Interested others are also welcome.  

From past attendees:

"I always learn so much at the NYMHCA convention.  I could never miss it!"

"Loved the topics and themes and I would love to be a presenter at a future convention."

"Always a growth experience!"
Workshop Schedule  

If a workshop listing has "CEU" in the description it means that the workshop has been approved to provide CEU's for LMHC licensure renewal.  Others without that designation could provide CEU's for national certifications.

Saturday 9:00-10:15am:

Addressing Stigma and Inequity: An Innovative Toolkit for New Counselors
Tatiana A McLean, BA
Tiare P Martinez, BA
Tyce Nadrich, MSEd, LMHC, NCC
In today’s divisive climate, racism and discrimination are ubiquitous not only in the lives of people of color, but the media as well. We will discuss some effects of the current sociopolitical context, stigma, wellness counseling, and historical and systemic factors as it relates counseling professionals and clients of color.

Interactive and Multisensory Tools for CBT: The Reality Box
Advanced - CEU
Marsha Mandel, MA, LMHC
For counselors with a working knowledge of CBT, this workshop provides a broadly applicable tool which can be utilized in individual and group work. Combining the Socratic Method with visual, auditory, and imaginal/ experiential components, the Reality Box exercise offers clinicians a structured and clear approach to CBT, and provides clients with an engaging, interactive, and comprehensive experience.  

Trauma informed care: Innovative approaches to healing
Basic - CEU
Shannon Hodges, PhD, MS, Trauma Counseling Certificate
This active, practical workshop will blend theory and practice and provide concrete skills and interventions to apply in practice with clients. This workshop is recommended both for professional counselors and graduate students.

Mental Health Counselors in Schools: A New Frontier
Tami Sullivan, PhD, LMHC, NCC, RPT
Cory Brosch, MS, MHC, Limited Permit Holder
Mental health counselors and trainees partner with schools providing counseling services that support the social-emotional and mental health needs of children in a multi-tiered system of supports. This session will demonstrate the ins-and-outs of implementing an integrative evidence-based mental health practice in schools that holds great promise.

Incorporating Affirmative Therapy in Counseling Sessions with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Clients: Best Practices & Clinical Strategies
Joseph R Franco, PhD, LMHC, NCC
Linda Puci, MS Graduate Student
This presentation explores Affirmative Therapy with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and 
Transgender (LGBT) clients. A discussion of the most effective techniques and strategies associated with this particular modality of treatment will be explored. Its effectiveness with specific clinical diagnoses will be reviewed and demonstrated.

Bringing aesthetic education experiences into counselor education: An innovative approach
Faith Deveaux, PhD, Licensed Psychologist
Counselors must be prepared to work with diverse populations. In this presentation participants will be introduced to several aesthetic education experiences used in counselor education that involve the arts as a way to promote the counseling skills of empathic understanding, attending and observation behaviors, reflection, and appreciating multiple perspectives.

Saturday 10:30-11:45am:

Depression: Working with the Elderly
Basic - CEU
Christie E Weidenhamer, LMHC, NCC, BCPC, ACS
Depression is a common mental health diagnosis for the elderly that can be triggered or enhanced by contextual factors including physical, social, and personality aspects. These contextual factors will be explored. The participants will take part in a short group exercise. Lastly, types of research informed therapies will be discussed.

Mental Health Services for Underserved School-Age Children: Establishing a School, Family and Community Partnership for Treatment
Basic - CEU
Jennifer A Gullesserian, PhD
Two main types of mental health services exist for school-age children: school-based and community-based (Doll, Natasi, Cornell & Song, 2017). Systemic barriers continue to prevent the utilization of both of these service types for underserved school-age children. The school, family and community partnership can serve as a conduit for treatment utilization.

Helper, help thyself – understanding and combating Compassion Fatigue
Kimberly Johnson, PhD, LMHC
This workshop focuses on reminding counselors that self-care is an integral component of our profession. Building upon the construct of Compassion Fatigue set forth by Figley in 1995, this session will include information and group participation activities to support helper wellness.

The Empty Chair in Warming up the Group
Advanced - CEU
Rebecca Walters, MS, LMHC, LCAT, TEP
The Empty Chair can concretize anything or anybody. It brings the work into the here and now. Participants will learn both sociodramatic and psychodramatic use of the empty chair as a way to warm up the group to one another and to common issues and concerns.

Fabulous & Fifty: Adult CMHC Graduate Students Balancing it All & Having it All
Laura B Kestemberg, PhD
Lori McAndrew, BS
Little or no research exists on the strengths and needs of counseling graduate students who are 50 and older. Students and professors discuss issues they faced at this stage of life while balancing various demands. Ideas for self-care, time management, and effective communication for this resilient group will be reviewed.

Assessing Counseling Skills in Counselor Education Training Programs
Matt Maher, LMHC, LBA, BCBA, ABD
Melanie Hill, PhD
Adam Stephens, PhD
Insuring new Counselors-in-Training are highly competent is one of the most difficult gatekeeping tasks of Counselor Educators. Implementing consistent skill assessment program is one way to identify challenges early in Graduate Programs. This presentation will introduce one effective method, including a quantifiable assessment, integration in multiple courses, and outcome measurements.

Saturday 2:15-3:30pm:

Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Ramifications of Trauma Exposure Among Early Adolescents: A Primer
Advanced - CEU
Jason S Frydman, MA, RDT, LCAT
This didactic and experiential session will cover the ramifications of trauma exposure among an early adolescent population. Trauma exposure will be defined and discussed from both environmental and interpersonal orientations. Topics addressed will include social, emotional, and cognitive domains and include the latest trends in theory and research.

The Role of Language in Assessment and Counseling of Latino Clients
Advanced - CEU
Maren Westphal, PhD
Language barriers present a major reason for underutilization of mental health services among Latino groups in the United States. This workshop delineates the relationship between language and emotion in psychotherapy, presents strategies for culturally sensitive assessment, and illustrates cultural adaptations of evidence-based therapies for Latino patients with anxiety and depression.

Mental Health Needs of Female Jail Inmates
Robert Dobmeier, PhD, LMHC, CRC
Regina Howland, BS, MS Student
Ashli Bifulco, BS, MS Student
Women who are incarcerated often have a substance addiction and face anxiety and depression. To stop the cycle of crime, addiction, family dysfunction, and stigma the woman needs access to mental health counseling, case management, and psychiatric evaluation from clinicians trained to work in the jail and in the community.

Conceptualizing the Counseling Session: The STEPs for Progress Notes
Basic - CEU
Rhonda Sutton, PhD, LPC, LPC-S
Counselors appreciate the stories their clients share, but when it comes to determining information to include in progress notes, counselors are often wonder what to write. This program provides a way to conceptualize progress notes so that clients can better utilize their documentation to guide their clinical work.

Sexual Identity and Religious Values: Resolving Conflicts in Counselor Training and Supervision
Paul W Griffin, PhD
Ariel Maria, MS, LMHC
Jessica Caiola, MS
One of the most contentious issues facing the profession is the conflict between certain students’ and professionals’ religious values and the ethical mandate to provide affirmative treatment for LGB clients. This workshop will clarify ethical requirements in the event of such conflicts, and provide best practice recommendations.

Advocacy: It takes a Professional; You!
Heather G. Evans, Government Analyst at Hinman Straub Advisors, LLC. and NYMHCA’s State Lobbyist will explain NYMHCA’s 2018 Legislative Priorities and why it is important as licensed professionals to be involved in advocacy.  Anyone who is interested in learning more about how they can help move our profession forward should attend.

Saturday 3:45-5:00pm:

We Can’t “Just Stop”! The Experience and Treatment of Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors
Basic - CEU
Susan Price, MS, LMHC, NCC
Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs), such as Hair Pulling Disorder (Trichotillomania) and Excoriation Disorder (Skin Picking), remain poorly understood by clinicians. This workshop will cover basic information about BFRBs, an overview of BFRB research, effective treatments, and resources.

The Power of Metaphor: Using Metaphoric Stories to Facilitate the Navigation of Transitions
Advanced - CEU
Jason T Duffy, PhD, LMHC, NCC, ACS
This informative and experiential workshop will overview the use of metaphor in counseling and counselor training and engage the attendee in several innovative metaphor-based activities that can be used for counseling and training purposes. Additionally, two recent qualitative studies examining the efficacy of the approach will briefly be discussed.

Bringing Religion and Spirituality into Counseling: A Process Based Model for Pluralistic Practice
Basic - CEU
Paul J Deal, PhD, NCC
Interest in bringing spirituality and religion into counseling has increased, but not translated into changes in practice. This challenge stems from the lack of an inclusive, “how to”, process-based model for integration that embraces the complex nature of spirituality/religion. This presentation provides such a model for counselor education and practice.

Take a Breath, Take a Break: An Innovative Meditative Toolkit for Beginner Counselors to Use with Clients of All Ages
Lori McAndrew, BS
Laura B Kestemberg, PhD
Dayna White, BS
Counselors in training and new professionals might not feel confident when starting their field placements or private practice. Counselors will learn and practice innovative therapeutic techniques including deep breathing meditation, mandalas and desk yoga. These straightforward techniques are effective with clients across the lifespan and counselors’ self-care.

Promoting Resilient Attitudes and Hardiness in Mental Health Counselors
Jody A Resko, PhD
Aria Grillo, MPA, MHC
Moira Anthony, MHC
Attendees will learn: 1) current research findings on resiliency and hardiness in mental health professionals; 2) learn hands-on, practical ways of promoting resilience/hardiness as part of self-care; and 3) offer suggestions for using a resilient/hardiness model in clinical practice. Our current research project will also be described.

Counselors creating a Holistic Approach to Diversity Training
Dinai Robertson, BS
David Stone, PhD, LMHC
Diversity work is messy, often made messier by educators, trainers, and consultants who do not understand the importance of incorporating human emotion, personality, learning, change, motivation, resistance, identity and dissonance into diversity training. This workshop provides a format for diversity and intersectionality training that increases participants’ psychological safety and reduces defensiveness.

Sunday 9:00-10:15am:

Power of the Parallel: Using Culturally Appropriate Approaches to Create Positive Therapy Outcomes when Working with Service Members and Veterans
Advanced - CEU
Marco Bongioanni, LMHC
Having culturally appropriate approaches that parallel concepts clients are already familiar with can provide true “cultural opportunities” and address a client’s cultural identity. The goal of this workshop is to identify implicit military concepts that can be paralleled to psychological models in order to achieve more positive therapeutic goals and treatment outcomes.

The More the Merrier? Understanding Consensual Non Monogamy in our Work with Clients
Stephanie Zuber, Mental Health Counseling Permit Holder
Participants will gain a basic understanding of polyamory and learn to be aware of key issues when working with individuals and couples exploring alternatives to monogamy. Through discussion, this presentation will challenge our culturally based assumptions about monogamy and ask how these biases impact the way we practice therapy.

Meditation and Anxiety Reduction: The New Understanding and New Techniques
Advanced - CEU
Richard Schaub, PhD, LMHC
Anxiety is the world's number one mental health problem. The latest research shows how specific meditation techniques physiologically strengthen aspects of the brain that can then reduce anxiety. This experiential workshop gives you the understanding and skills that you can teach your clients to reduce anxiety and increase well-being. 

Trauma and Addiction
Advanced - CEU
Herb Cohen, LCAT, EMDR Certified, EMDR Consultant
Participants will learn how mis attachment and trauma can lead to addiction via implicit memory. This will explain why not everyone becomes addicted. The neurobiology of trauma will be explained and linked to addiction through the ACE study. Participants will be exposed to a new addiction theory, assessment and treatment paradigm.

“Old” is the Most Beautiful Word in the English Language: How Mental Health Counselors Can Promote Positive Aging
Ellen Cole, PhD
Sara Powers, PhD
Much of the current literature on aging dwells on its negative impact. The goal of this workshop is to help counselors promote a new vision, one that involves a positive approach toward engagement within the last third of life. As baby-boomers now enter their 8th decade, this is increasingly urgent.

Creative Strategies for Individual and Group Supervision
Claudia Lingertat-Putnam, PsyD
Elizabeth McGinn, MSEd, LMHC
Interested in updating your supervision strategies for working with individuals or groups. This interactive session will cover creative supervision strategies including using the expressive arts, metaphor, ecomapping and more! The use of a reflecting team in group supervision will also be discussed. Strategies will be modeled and multiple handouts provided.

Sunday 10:30-11:45am:

Couples Therapy: Using Techniques for Effective Treatment
Basic - CEU
Tabitha Gonzalez, LMHC
Therapists often find it hard to work effectively with couples. Furthermore, couples are generally seeking therapy when they are at their breaking point, and they are looking for immediate changes. Therapists will leave the workshop feeling prepared to implement techniques that will provide couples with immediate and lasting results.

Link Between Therapists’ Class Attributions and Their Clients From a Low Socioeconomic Status
Advanced - CEU
Dan Sharir, PhD, LMHC, NCC
Examining the way social class attributions of therapists may influence the manner in which they conceptualize their clients? problems and their relationships with their clients. Greater understanding of this issue can increase awareness of the impact of poverty on clients and reduce bias and misconceptions concerning the issue of poverty.

The Implications of Spiritual Abuse on LGBTQI+ Persons
Kara Cannelli, BA
Whitney Harnen, BA
Thomas Killian, PhD
Similarly, to physical and emotional abuse, spiritual abuse greatly impacts an individual’s sense of self and belongingness. The focus of this discussion is to present counselors with the necessary tools needed to provide ethical sound and multiculturally-relevant services to LGBTQIA clients with a history of spiritual abuse.

Difficult Conversations: Talking with Kids about Death and Loss
Basic - CEU
Carolyn Cullen, PhD
Broaching the issue of loss with children and adolescents can be difficult for counselors, parents, and school personnel. This workshop will explore the value and unique challenge of talking with kids about death and dying. We will cover developmental issues, use clinical vignettes, and discuss good children’s books on the topic.

Making Theories Fun? Using creative techniques in the Counseling Theories Classroom
Dawn Hudak, EdD, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, RPT
Best practices in counselor education challenge educators to allow students to develop experiential and transformational learning opportunities that they can take into their future clinical practice. Participants will explore and practice various creative and theoretically-based techniques to help counseling students learn various counseling theories be used with future clients.


Saturday 10:30-11:45am:

Native American and Transgender: Results of a Phenomenological Study
Lynda Lapertosa, EdD, LMHC, NCC, ACS
A Phenomenological study that looked at the experiences of the Native American Transgender population navigating through their coming out experiences and dealing with mental health clinicians. This will inform counselors of best practices when dealing with this specific population.

Client Psychotherapy Dropout
Kayla Marmaros, MS, LMHC
Paul Griffin, PhD
Among those who seek and receive psychotherapy services, client dropout is recognized as a long-standing dilemma. The following poster examines well-documented predictors of client dropout, as well as counselor practices to mitigate this occurrence. Included are identified best practices for counselors to retain psychotherapy clients who may not be ready to leave treatment.

Relationships and Mental Health: A Qualitative Perspective of Individuals within the Transgender Community
Amanda Horth, MS
This presentation will inform providers about the perspective of individuals that identify within transgender community as it relates to their relationships and what the impact is upon their mental health. In addition, the purpose is to increase counselor awareness and better serve this community.

Clinical Implications for Counselors to Enhance Quality of Life Among Cancer Survivors
Minerva Guerrero, LMHC
Cancer survivorship presents an array of psychosocial issues, specifically for young adult cancer survivors. This poster will review barriers associated with utilization of mental health services among survivors, evidence-based treatment and innovate approaches in working with cancer survivors and provide information regarding leading organizations that psycho-oncology counselors should familiarize themselves with.

Moving Past Lesbian Bed Death: A Critical Investigation of the Conceptualization and Treatment of Sexual-Minority Women
Bianca Barber, BA
This presentation will explore the treatment of sexual-minority women experiencing a decrease in sexual activity within a long-term partnership, discuss its implications within counseling training, expose the gaps within the realm of this research, and offer suggestions on how to bridge these with future scholarship.

Saturday 2:15-3:30pm:

Increasing Visibility of LMHCs in the Veterans Administration: Current & Future Directions
Nilton Castro, MS
Maren Westphal, PhD
In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) conferred eligibility to LMHCs to practice in VA clinics. However, due to stringent employment criteria, few LMHCs are currently working within the VA. This program intends to explore current data and future implications for the employment of LMHCS within the VA.

Innovative Conversations around Ethics: Recommendations for Professional Counselors Working with Child Custody Cases
Megan Hiscox, BA
Michele Rivas, PhD, LMHC, NCC
Counselors are sometimes subpoenaed by the court to share their confidential client records or appear in court. This poster will discuss the ethical issues when counselors are involved in child custody cases and will engage the audience with the information found in the research.

Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior: People’s Willingness to Intervene with a Suicidal Individual
Kellyanne Brady, MS, LMHC
Lauren Fuscaldo, MS
Angela M Legg, PhD
To assist mental health counselors in identifying young adults? willingness to intervene with suicidal individuals, we examined the key behavioral predictors within the Theory of Planned Behavior. Specifically, we discuss how people?s attitudes toward intervening, perceived behavioral control, and whether social networks value suicide intervention as predictors of intervention intentions.

Using video role plays to enhance theory development in mental health counseling students
Dawn Hudak, EdD, LMHC, CCMHC, NCC, RPT
Shaniece Robotham, BA
Counseling students learn various skills and techniques throughout their counseling programs, especially theoretical skills and techniques. These skills are often taught through role plays, videos, and cases. Outcomes of the innovativeness and effectiveness of using video role plays for theoretical skill development with counselors-in-training will be discussed in this session.
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