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Join us at Laurier

Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


You don't need to enrol in a certificate course to take advantage of the engaging professional development opportunites available through the Faculty of Social Work. We offer a wide range of workshops to suit a variety of fields and interests.

Interested in a topic not covered by one of our workshops? Customized training is also available.

Attachment in Adolescence: The Wonky Brain that Allows for Change

The latest research and understanding of the adolescent brain indicates that adolescence is an opportune time to help adolescents with insecure attachments make significant progress in developing secure attachments. Although by adolescence attachment styles are imbedded in personality and the brain, changes in the brains of adolescents allow for the adolescent to become cognizant of their attachment styles and the impact on their relationships. They are able to examine their relationships with parents, to reflect on their patterns in relationships with peers and other adults, to leave behind the harmful patterns of relating they learned from their families and to risk creating new patterns in their relationships.

This workshop will explore attachment in adolescents and examine the categories of attachment as they develop in adolescence. The workshop will present the latest information on brain development in adolescence and its implications for adolescent therapy. A model of treatment will be presented that focuses on helping adolescents have awareness of their early history and its influence on their present sense of self and patterns in relationships. The relationship with the therapist is the crucial vehicle for change. The model will incorporate helping the adolescent make changes in their present relationships so that they can enter adulthood with the capacity for secure adult attachments.

The workshop will include:

  • A brief review of attachment theory.
  • Categories of child attachment.
  • Attachment in adolescence.
  • The adolescent brain.
  • A model of treating the insecure adolescent.
  • The role of the therapist and understanding his/her own attachment.

Case examples, videos and exercises will be presented to demonstrate interventions.

An Introduction to Canine Assisted Interventions

This workshop is required training for all National Service Dog (NSD) Facility dog handlers.

Have you ever thought about incorporating your love for animals with your passion for the work that you do? Have you ever thought about involving a co-therapist with four legs? Join us for an experiential two days that will include case studies, video clips, group work, discussion, movement and cuddle time with Holly and Uley, facility dogs from National Service Dogs.

Upon completion of this workshop participants will:

  • Understand the benefits of the human-animal bond and the range of Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) with a focus on Canine Assisted Intervention (CAI).
  • Have the ability to highlight the variety of service animals and the differences between Animal Assisted Activities and Animal Assisted Therapies.
  • Have some concrete tools they need to incorporate AAI (both activities and therapies) into their work (with or without a live animal).
  • Attain the information to write a proposal for AAI within their work environment to apply for their own CAI dog.

Brief Single Session Therapy

  • June 8 and 9, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • $275
  • Instructor: Scot Cooper

Brief services have emerged as a core component of an agency's modern diverse service menu. As such single session therapy, often provided through walk-in clinic services, provides a viable alternative to long wait lists, offering a venue for people to address various life problems at their time of need. This two-day workshop will immerse participants in the thinking and skill set of brief single session therapeutic practice.

Drawing from contemporary 'brief therapies' we will explore concepts and practices that support a collaborative, competency-based, person-centred approach that builds pathways forward drawing from people’s lived experience. You will learn to hear several 'entry points' to possibility that foreground people’s preferences for life and the many skills of living they bring with them to these conversations. A structure for conceptualizing the single session conversation will be provided.

The application of brief therapies theory will be grounded in practical skills that you can use the very next day. Ideas will be explored through didactic presentation, group discussion, skills exercise and video review of conversations with children, and adults. This workshop is well suited to all service providers, beginning and experienced, working in time-constrained contexts with people describing various problems.

Together we will explore:

  • Ways of thinking about people, problems and change that relate well to exploring possibility and outline an ethic of practice.
  • A design for single session therapy sessions that brings focus, coherence and completion to the process.
  • How to listen with a 'brief ear' to quickly hear entry points to possibility.
  • Several questions to elicit difference and possibility that foreground competency.
  • Practices for co-crafting various 'take-home' documents.
  • Ways to co-develop culturally and contextually relevant 'next steps' and extend the conversation well past the session into everyday living.

Core Counselling Skills

Do you work in a role where counselling is not your primary focus, but where you are often required to assist, advise or counsel? This workshop is designed for people like you who find themselves assisting clients, students, patients, the public etc. with brief counselling and referral. The focus is on general counselling principles and skills and the integration of these into practice. The workshop will use lecture, role play and case studies as a way of engaging participants in the acquisition of practical skills. Participants can expect to actively participate in this course.

Throughout the day participants will:

  • Become familiar with a variety of individual counselling skills.
  • Practice those skills through role play, observation and coaching.
  • Gain an understanding about ethical and professional issues involved with the counselling process.

Specific aspects of the program include:

  • Principles and ethics of counselling.
  • Empathy and assessing needs.
  • Contracting and goal settings.
  • Solution focused interventions.
  • Diversity and cultural issues.
  • Crisis intervention.
  • Self-care and knowing when to refer.

This workshop will be of interest to those working in a variety of human services including healthcare providers, educators, social workers, social service workers, police and law enforcement personnel, residential staff and those considering careers in the helping professions.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: DBT Skills Group

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive treatment approach for chronically suicidal clients. However, in the last decade DBT has received empirical support to treat other populations including eating disorders, addiction, anger problems and other mood disorders. Additionally, it has been adapted for adolescent mental health populations, inpatient, residential and forensic settings. A core mode of intervention within DBT is the DBT Skills Group whereby clients are taught more skillful ways to regulate their emotions, effectively manage the distressing situations in their lives, and improve and maintain relationships with the people around them. These skills are taught in a weekly skills group for adults and in a multi-family skills group for the adolescent population. There is currently evidence that supports decreases in problematic behaviour and increase in adaptive coping by implementing skills group as a stand alone intervention; this has resulted even in the application of DBT skills within the education system.

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Have a clear understanding of the theory and principles behind DBT.
  • Understand the content within the 5 modules of DBT skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and walking the middle path.
  • Learn how to run a DBT skills group both in structure and guiding principles.
  • Understand how to deal with therapy interfering behaviour in a group setting.

Suicidal or Self-Harming? Assessment and Treatment of 'At Risk' Teens

Adolescence is a time where impulsivity can lead to risky behaviours in the average teen. When impulsivity is added to mental health issues and/or troubling familial, peer, academic or cultural environments, the stage can be set for the increase of additional risk in the form of either suicidal thinking or behaviours, or self-harming behaviours that are not intended to be fatal. In spite of that, these behaviours frequently raise alarm bells in those associated or working with these youth, be they family members or friends, school personnel, counsellors or social service staff, as examples.

This workshop will focus on how to:

  • Assess for safety risk when faced with a teen who is either suicidal or self-harming.
  • Distinguish between these.
  • Assess for protective factors as well as risk.
  • Engage and approach the adolescent client as well as his/her support network.
  • Implement crisis intervention strategies.
  • Approach treatment.
  • Implement self-care in the event of a suicide.

Certificate Courses

You can take any of the courses associated with our certificates without working towards the full program. Learn more about our Addictions certificate, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) certificate, Management and Leadership certificate, Trauma certificate and Therapeutic Models of Mindfulness certificate.

Customized Training

We also provide customized training solutions delivered right to you, saving your organization time and money. We will work with your agency, organization or association to provide your staff or members with a professional development program that meets your unique needs.

Contact Lynne Jordan in the Professional Development office.

Contact Us:

Lynne Jordan, Coordinator, Professional Development

E: ljordan@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x5265


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