Spring 2019 Programs

The Professional Development Program at SSA is a licensed State of Illinois provider of continuing education for social workers, clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors. License numbers: 159.000140; 168.000115; 268.000004. It is recommended that professionals review rules for their licensing board prior to registering for a workshop to ensure that the content meets their renewal requirements. 

Clinical Supervision: Tending the Professional Self
Date: Friday, February 22, 2019
Tuition: $160
CEUs: 6
Location: 933 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook
Instructor: Jill R. Gardner
Registration Deadline: Monday, February 18, 2019

This workshop satisfies six hours toward the State of Illinois clinical supervision requirement for professional counselors.

Professionals often advance to supervisory roles with little or no formal training in ways to conceptualize the supervisory process. In this workshop, we will approach clinical supervision as an activity focusing on the development, consolidation, and maintenance of the supervisee’s professional self. Emphasis will be on supervision as a relationship and on the importance of focusing on the inner experience of the trainee. Concepts from self psychology and other theoretical perspectives will be used to describe models of supervision.

Through a combination of lecture and large-group and small-group discussion, we will address how to do the following: manage supervisees’ anxiety and self-esteem, deal with defensiveness, balance administrative and clinical demands, integrate empathy with limit setting, and engage in effective feedback. Participants will be encouraged to share and examine their current supervisory experiences in the context of the conceptual frameworks presented.

This workshop will emphasize work with students and recent graduates; however, participants will find much of the conceptual material applicable to supervisory relationships with employees as well. The workshop is appropriate for both new and experienced supervisors.

This workshop is designed to help supervisors be able to:

• Create a collaborative supervisory alliance and structure.
• Reduce anxiety and defensiveness in the supervisee.
• Identify internal processes that lead to problematic clinical interventions.
• Provide effective feedback.
• Balance administrative and clinical demands.
• Set appropriate limits while maintaining a positive supervisory relationship.

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Mindfulness in Clinical Practice
Date: Friday, February 22, 2019
Tuition: $160
CEUs: 6
Location: 933 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook
Instructor: Brit Holmberg
Registration Deadline: Monday, February 18, 2019

The term mindfulness is everywhere these days – from the cover of Time Magazine to MBA courses to mental health settings.  Research shows that mindfulness practice can support therapeutic progress and benefit overall clinician well-being. In this interactive workshop, participants will have multiple opportunities to broaden their capacity to incorporate mindfulness into both their personal and professional lives.  It is designed to function as part retreat, part didactic forum in order to maximize the experimental component of mindfulness practice. Come to learn and be restored.

Key areas to be covered include:

  • the 7 core principles of mindfulness
  • current research on the value of mindfulness for recovery and symptom management
  • resources for deepening group discussions and practice
  • case examples of the power of mindfulness in clinical settings
  • Suggestions for how to use smart phone apps to support mindfulness practice

Learning Objectives: 

1) Learn about the evidence for including mindfulness in the therapeutic process.

2) Become familiar with the core principles of mindfulness and how to implement them into clinical settings.

3) Deepen participants’ understanding of mindfulness practices and how they can enhance personal, individual, and group clinical work.

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Attachment-Focused Therapy: Clinical Strategies for Working with Children/Adolescents and Their Families
Date: Friday, March 1, 2019
Tuition: $160
CEUs: 6
Location: 1818 Maple Ave, Evanston
Instructor: Gary Gilles
Registration Deadline: Monday, February 25, 2019

This workshop will help you to apply attachment principles in your work with children, adolescents and their families to improve treatment outcomes. You will learn practical strategies that can be used effectively in any clinical setting to help clients recover from early life wounds, build new attachments or repair ruptured relationships. You will review key attachment principles and explore the most common disruptions to healthy attachment. Most of the workshop will focus on practical application of strategies for working with parents, adolescents, children and the family system.

Learning outcomes

  • Discuss the foundational concepts and essential research pertaining to attachment theory
  • Describe how stress, trauma and adverse experiences affect child development
  • Explain generational transmission of attachment style
  • Demonstrate accurate attunement to verbal and non-verbal communication in children and adolescents
  • Examine the pivotal role emotion has in forming attached relationships
  • Demonstrate affective and reflective skill development in children
  • Discuss rapport building approaches with various parental responses to therapeutic engagement
  • Apply attachment principles in family therapy setting

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Skills-Based Interventions for Survivors of Interpersonal and Complex Trauma
Date: Friday, March 1, 2019
Tuition: $185
CEUs: 7
Location: 1818 Maple Ave, Evanston
Instructor: Kathryn Kelly Carroll


Adult survivors of interpersonal and complex traumas often present to treatment with difficulty managing the stressors that come with daily life.  While there are multiple effective evidenced-based trauma-focused treatments available to address PTSD, survivors often express a preference to address these day-to-day difficulties before engaging in a trauma-focused treatment, or struggle with skills deficits even after completing trauma-focused treatment.  Judith Herman’s 3-stage model of trauma recovery highlights the importance of safety-building and stabilization before engaging in trauma focused modalities. 

This full-day workshop will provide a rationale and overview of effective and evidenced-based skills-focused treatments for adult survivors of interpersonal and complex traumas.  Attendees will learn and practice implementing specific interventions with clients, and take home a conceptualization for integrating skills-based treatment into their current clinical practice with trauma survivors.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the rationale for utilizing skills-based interventions with survivors of interpersonal and complex trauma
  • Identify multiple evidenced-based treatment modalities that provide skills training for survivors of interpersonal trauma
  • Implement at least 3 skills-based interventions with survivors of interpersonal and complex trauma

The Rhoda G. Sarnat Lecture
Understanding Suicide's Allure: A Professional and Personal Perspective
Date: Thursday, March 7, 2019
Tuition: Free
CEUs: 1.5
Location: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago
Presenter: Stacey Freedenthal
Registration Deadline: Friday, March 1, 2019

Fears about client suicide and professional liability can impede an empathic, nonjudgmental understanding of a person's suicidal thought process. The presenter will describe the rationale and techniques for uncovering a suicidal person's narrative, including how the person came to view death as a potential solution to their problems. Dr. Freedenthal offers a unique perspective on suicide, both as a clinical suicidologist and as a suicide attempt survivor. She will explain how her lived experiences of suicidality have informed her clinical approach, and also address the limits and potential liabilities of personal history when striving to understand another person's wish to die.

After attending this lecture, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify common impediments to truly understanding a person’s suicidal wish.
  2. Explain 1-2 methods for uncovering how a suicidal person came to view suicide as a possible solution.

The Rhoda Sarnat Lecture is funded in part by the Rhoda G. Sarnat Lecture fund, founded at the University of Chicago. The lecture is delivered annually at the School of Social Service Administration by a prominent researcher or practitioner on a topic especially pertinent to clinical social work.

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Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals
Date: Friday, March 8, 2019
Tuition: $160*
CEUs: 6
Location: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago
Presenter: Stacey Freedenthal
Registration Deadline: Friday, March 1, 2019

It has been said that mental health professionals need to do more than help a suicidal person stay alive. They also need to help the person build a life worth living. This workshop will help professionals do both. Based on the presenter’s book by the same name, the workshop will provide tools for building a collaborative relationship with the suicidal person, assessing risk, tapping into ambivalence, inspiring hope, reducing psychological pain, addressing suicidal thoughts with cognitive behavioral and acceptance-based techniques, and reinforcing gains. The workshop synthesizes tips and techniques from a variety of evidence-based practices, including cognitive therapy for suicide prevention, dialectical behavior therapy, the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality, the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and problem-solving therapy.

After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe at least 3 techniques for eliciting sensitive information about suicidal thoughts and behavior.
  2.  Provide 2 questions that employ a narrative approach to understanding the suicidal person’s story.
  3.  Identify essential categories of information to gather for an informed risk assessment.
  4.  Apply at least 2 techniques for exploring a person’s ambivalence about suicide.
  5. Use at least 2 techniques for helping a suicidal person increase a sense of hope or options.
  6. Describe the steps involved in helping a client to reinforce new skills and knowledge after treatment for a suicidal crisis.

*Free to current SSA Field Instructors who register by the deadline.

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Social Work License: Preparation Review Course
Dates: Friday, March 8 & Saturday, March 9, 2019
9:00am-4:00pm (both days)
Tuition: $260*
CEUs: 12
Location: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago
Instructor: Sophia F. Dziegielewski
Registration Deadline: Friday, March 1, 2019

This comprehensive course covers test-taking strategies and relevant clinical content in order to prepare for the social worker or clinical social worker exams. Course materials are updated for new DSM-5™ content and will cover topics such as: test-taking strategies; social work values and ethics (three hours to satisfy the State of Illinois ethics CE requirement for social workers); human growth and development issues; assessment, diagnosis, and intervention strategies; models and methods of social work practice; and clinical supervision.

This course consistently fills to capacity. Early registration is encouraged.

This review course will cover:

  • Overview of test construction and test-taking strategies
  • Identify how to break down questions and identify key words
  • Practice how to take social work practice information and address it in a standardized format)
  • Social work values and ethics
  • Recite and synthesize the dynamics of abuse and neglect
  • Review and interpret the NASW Code of Ethics
  • Human growth and development issues
  • Summarize major theoretical approaches to understanding human development with individuals, groups, and families
  • Sketch the theories and stages of normal psychosocial, cognitive, moral, and behavioral development in the life cycle of individuals, families and groups
  • Assessment, diagnosis, and intervention strategies
  • Identify and interpret psychosocial history and collateral data, and how it relates in the social work practice setting
  • Assess client problems along with behavioral/psychosocial strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify diagnosis, assessment and practice intervention utilizing the DSM-5
  • Define the components of intervention strategies with individuals, groups, families and communities
  • Identify factors in the therapeutic relationship that facilitate building and retaining relationships
  • Models and methods of social work practice
  •  Recognize the major theoretical approaches, models and methods of practice in the social work profession
  • Cite the different types of research designs utilized in social work practice
  • Translate the most common policies and procedures that govern service delivery
  • Clinical supervision
  •  Restate the roles and functions related to professional supervision and educational expectations

*Tuition includes a review course manual with sample test questions and related materials, as well as the opportunity to contact the instructor with questions following the course.

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Gender-Responsive Care for Women with Substance Use Disorders
Date: Friday, March 15, 2019
Tuition: $160
CEUs: 6
Location: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago
Instructor: Gabriela Zapata-Alma
Registration Deadline Extended: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Credits for CADC-licensed professionals applied through the Illinois Certification Board.

Women often experience unique barriers to treatment, and present with specialized needs that go unmet within traditional treatment settings, including: histories of trauma, co-occurring health conditions, increased economic instability, and unique risk factors related to both gender and sex. This training defines what it means for services to be gender responsive for women, identifies issues to consider when working with women, explains how to apply gender-responsive care in the delivery of behavioral health treatment and recovery services in order to improve retention and recovery outcomes for women with substance use and co-occurring disorders.


  • Define the sex and gender differences that affect women’s experience of substance use, substance use disorder(s), treatment, and recovery.
  • Describe the core elements of gender-responsive services for women.
  • Increase the application of trauma-informed care as a core element of gender-responsive care.
  • Identify how to overlay gender-responsive principles onto behavioral health treatment and recovery processes to make them responsive to women’s issues.

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An Overview of the Innovative Role of Social Work in the Rapidly Changing World of Genetics in Healthcare
Date: Friday, March 22, 2019
Tuition: $160
CEUs: 6
Location: 10 E Grand Ave, Chicago
Instructors: Soo Shim & Anita Murad
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

This workshop satisfies the State of Illinois Ethics CE requirement for social workers and psychologists.

This workshop aims to provide an overview on the evolving work of genetics and precision medicine and the role of social work in these fields. There are several discrepancies between what we see in the media and the reality of what is occurring in a pediatric healthcare setting. Direct to consumer testing is readily available to many of our patients and clients, and we will provide strategies and resources to how to navigate through this as clinicians. There are several ethical dilemmas and legal issues that are faced in the field of genetic testing and precision medicine, which can be difficult to balance with our own moral compasses.

Participants will have the opportunity to view film clips, read excerpts from relevant literature as well as engage in interactive group discussions. 

Learning Objectives: Upon Completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Describe current trends in Genetics in healthcare and research
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the basics of common Social Work issues in Genetics
  3. Compare and Contrast Ethics Dilemmas that present in healthcare in Genetics
  4. Evaluate legal issues facing work in Genetics in healthcare
  5. Identify emerging opportunities for careers in the field of Genetics

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Integrating Psychotherapy and Spirituality: A Focus on Ethics and Cultural Competence
Date: Friday, April 5, 2019
Tuition: $160
CEUs: 6
Location: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago
Instructor: Mark Sanders
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

This workshop satisfies the State of Illinois cultural competence requirement for social workers, and the ethics requirement for clinical psychologists and social workers.

Two-thirds of Americans surveyed say they would prefer to work with a therapist who has a spiritual foundation. This interactive, skill-building workshop focuses on strategies to integrate spirituality and psychotherapy.  A partial list of topics includes: the differences between religion and spirituality; integrating religion and spirituality with traditional counseling approaches; ethics and spirituality; conducting a spiritual assessment; issues of diversity in spirituality; understanding the fuels of religious addiction—abandonment, toxic shame, and perfectionism; and addressing religious addiction in psychotherapy.

By the end of this workshop, participants will gain knowledge of:

  • The differences between religion and spirituality
  • Strategies for integrating spirituality into traditional counseling
  • How to conduct a spiritual assessment
  • The ethical principles that can guide the use of spirituality in addictions and psychotherapy
  • Three fuels of religious addiction
  • Seven strategies for addressing religious addiction in psychotherapy

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Making Meetings Effective
Date: Friday, April 5, 2019
Tuition: $160
CEUs: 6
Location: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago
Instructor: Arnie Aronoff
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Have you led meetings that went nowhere?  Have you participated in meetings that seem like a waste of time?  Do you feel that the only outcome of a meeting is another meeting?

If you resonate with any of the issues raised by these questions, then this three-hour experiential workshop will help you. We will approach making meetings effective from a number of perspectives, including those of the meeting leader, the head of a department (who may or may not be the same as the meeting leader), the interested participant, the uninterested participant, the project manager, and the outside visitor (such as an expert invited to the meeting).

This instructor will use experiential activities, brief lectures, and simulations to facilitate learning.

Topics include:

  • Creating an effective agenda and setting meeting ground rules;
  • Keeping meeting discussion focused and on-topic;
  • Separating idea generation from idea evaluation;
  • Making decisions;
  • Assigning work between meetings, as well as accountabilities and target dates for that work;
  • Dealing with interpersonal dynamics that impair progress, such as domineering or withdrawn participants; and
  • Using formal meeting procedures such as Robert's Rules or modified versions of Robert’s Rules

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The Ikuo Yamaguchi Memorial Seminar
Being Muslim: Race, Gender, and Islam in America
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Tuition: Free
CEUs 1.5
Location: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago
Presenter: Sylvia Chan-Malik
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Dr. Chan-Malik's talk offers a broad overview of Islam's history in the United States from the early twentieth-century to the present, with a specific focus on the lives, narratives, and representations of U.S. Muslim women. Through historical archives and images, she demonstrates how this history necessitates an understanding of the experiences of Black American Muslim women, who through the 1960s, constituted the majority of Muslim women in the U.S, and has thus, forcefully shaped the meanings and presence of Islam in the United States. From the stories that she gathers, Chan-Malik demonstrates the diversity and similarities of Black, Arab, South Asian, Latina, white, and multiracial Muslim women, and how American understandings of Islam and Muslims have shifted against the political and cultural landscapes of the past century. This lecture satisfies 1.5 hours toward the State of Illinois cultural competence requirement for social workers.

The Ikuo Yamaguchi Memorial Fund was established in 2000 in memory of Ikuo Yamaguchi, AM’60.  Mr. Yamaguchi (1927 – 1993) was one of the first Japanese students to attend SSA after World War II.  Born in Tokyo, he graduated from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in 1947. Receiving a stipend from the Salvation Army during his studies at SSA, Mr. Yamaguchi was required to work for the Salvation Army upon graduation for two years.  This began what would be a 30 year career with the agency as a family therapist.  He later rose to the position of executive director of the Family Service Division. Recognizing Mr. Yamaguchi’s strong belief in social workers’ continuous professional learning and growth, the annual Ikuo Yamaguchi Seminar was created by his wife Mari, friends and relatives of Ikuo and Mari from the U.S. and Japan, in tribute to celebrate his life.

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Bridging the Couple Chasm: Gottman Couples Therapy Level 1 Certification
Dates: Friday, May 3 & Saturday, May 4, 2019
9:00am-5:00pm (both dates)
Tuition: $510*
CEUs: 14
Location: 10 E Grand Ave, Chicago
Instructor: Michael McNulty
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 24, 2019

This two-day workshop is an intensive overview of The Gottman Method, an evidenced-based approach to couples therapy. Participants will learn to identify key points in couples’ interactions when interventions will be most effective; strategies to help partners shift from attack to connection; methods to help couples solve their own problems; skills to empower couples to dialogue about their worst gridlocked issues; and tools to support couples’ friendship and intimacy.

Upon conclusion of this workshop, participants will learn:

  • How couples really sustain their marriages–in contrast to common myths and misconceptions.
  • How the quality of relationships affects the immune system, physical health and well-being.
  • How marital problems change over time, but never go away–even in happy couples.
  • Proven strategies and tools to help couples successfully manage conflict
  • Skills that empower partners to dialogue about their worst gridlocked issues
  • Methods to help couples process their fights and heal their hurts
  • Techniques for couples to deepen their intimacy and minimize relapse

*Tuition includes a 300-page manual

CEUs will be provided by SSA. Certificates for completing Level I will be awarded through The Gottman Relationship Institute. 

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The Opioid Crisis and Older Adults: Prescription to Addiction
Date: Friday, May 17, 2019
9:00am-2:00pm (lunch included)
Tuition: Free
CEUs 3.75*
Location: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, May 8, 2019

*Credits for CADC-licensed professionals applied through the Illinois Certification Board.

The devastation of the opioid epidemic is increasingly well known, with an estimated 47,600 fatal overdoses in 2017(CDC, 2018). From 2016-17, fatal opioid overdoses increased over 95% in Chicagoans over 65 while decreasing for younger people. Older adults are prescribed opioids at higher rates than other age groups, and often become a conduit through which others acquire these drugs. Also, the normal physiology of aging makes older adults more vulnerable to the risks associated with opioids. Nonetheless a common misperception exists that opioid misuse is a largely not an older adult issue.

Each life lost to opioid misuse is not just a tragedy for families, friends, and communities, but also represents a failure of healthcare, social services, law enforcement and other sectors to provide adequate and appropriate treatment for individuals living with opioid addiction. Often, service providers do not intervene in the right way or at the right time because of a lack of resources and training. This is especially true in under-resourced neighborhoods on the South and West Side.

At this event, a multidisciplinary panel will discuss the opioid crisis and its impact on older adults from a range of perspectives from the societal to individual level. Topics will include the origins and the scale of the opioid epidemic nationwide, an examination of policy responses, how healthcare providers are rethinking pain management, and practical steps front line staff can take to identify and respond to older individuals, whether they be at risk for opioid misuse themselves, or connected to someone who is.

After attending this event, participants will be able to:
• Identify factors that place older adults at risk for opioid use disorder.
• Identify specific resources available to aid older adults affected by opioid use disorder.
• Recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose.
• Administer naloxone to potentially reverse an opioid overdose.

Register HERE

This program is sponsored by:

The South Side Healthy Aging Resource Exchange (SHARE) Network at the University of Chicago Medical Center.