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Annual Conference

Minnesota Counseling Association

“Best in Counseling Practice”

2016 Annual Conference

Shoreview Community Center

4580 Victoria St N

Shoreview, MN, 55126

Morning Keynote Speaker

Dr. Lane Pederson, PsyD, LP, DBTC

MnCA is excited to announce that Dr. Lane Pederson & Dr. Bradley Nevins will be joining our annual Best Practices Conference for 2016.  This year’s conference focus will be on the topic of Resiliency, one’s ability to remain engaged in relationships amidst the ups and downs that life throws our way.  From our clients, to ourselves as professionals, this is an essential topic as we continue to provide the best level of care we can for those we support and for our own self-care.

Dr. Pederson has conducted hundreds of DBT seminars for PESI and TATRA Corporate and Allied Health Training Services in addition to creating customized trainings for private organizations and professional events. As a DBT therapist, author, and trainer who understands the challenges and opportunities of implementing DBT in real-word settings, Dr. Pederson’s passion is in bridging research and practice.  He has trained over 8000 people in DBT techniques and skills in the US, Australia, Canada, and Mexico.  Dr. Pederson is recognized as understanding the realities we face on a day to day basis as therapists, and he has real-world solutions to the problems we encounter in an actual practice environment.  His sense of humor and attention to ensuring he meets the needs of his audience, makes him a phenomenal educator and trainer that will leave a lasting impact on those who experience his presentations.

View Conference Brochure

Registration Now Open!


Thank you to all those who supported
MnCA’s 2015 Annual Conference
on 9/25/15 at Shoreview Community Center.

Thank you to our keynote speaker:

William J. Doherty, Ph.D.

who spoke on the topic of

“Bad and Good Couples Counseling:
What They Don’t Teach You in Graduate School”


William J. Doherty, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, where he directs the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project and the Citizen Professional Center.  He earned his Ph.D. in family studies from the University of Connecticut in 1978 and subsequently taught in the family medicine departments at the University of Iowa and University of Oklahoma.  He is Past-President of the National Council on Family Relations, the oldest interdisciplinary family studies organization in North America. He has received the Significant Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy Award from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.  He was the first recipient of the Margaret E Arcus Award for Outstanding Contribution to Family Life Education.  And he won the University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Award.  He has authored 11 professional books on family studies and family therapy, many scholarly publications in variety of journals and books, and four books for the lay public.  His current interests focus on community engagement to strengthen families, and on healthy marriage relationships and the prevention of unnecessary divorce.  In 2013 he cofounded The Doherty Relationship Institute with his daughter Elizabeth Doherty Thomas.

Thank you to the
2015 Breakouts & Presenters:

1) Q&A with the BBHT (Board of Behavioral Health & Therapy)

This is an informal time for you to ask questions to the BBHT and get a better understanding of licensure process, supervision, CEUs, and everything in between.

2) Self-Publishing with the Beaver Pond Press
Presenter: Hanna Kjeldbjerg
Job Title: Editor and Publishing Mentor

3) Enakshi Choudhuri, Ph.D., LPCC and Wes Erwin, Ph.D., LPCC
Job Title: Therapist
Practice/Organization: Associated Clinic of Psychology

Controlled Burn or Forest Fire?  The Issue of Counselor Burnout

The heavy emotional investment that is required in the work we do as counselors is not without its challenges. As Thomas Skovholt so eloquently asks, “How do you enter the world of the other person without losing yourself?”  In this presentation we will wrestle with this dilemma by identifying contributing factors to counselor burnout (both individual and organizational), recognizing common signs and symptoms, understanding the potential consequences, and exploring prevention and recovery strategies. We will complete a burnout self-test and discuss the importance of supervision, self-care and resilience training as mitigating factors for managing counselor burnout.

4) Matthew Lindberg MA, LPCC
Job Title: Trainer
Practice/Organization: U of M MN Center for Chemical and Mental Health

Co-occurring Skills You Can Use Right Away In Your Practice

Reviewing Co-occurring principles: Intregrative assessment, treatment planning, utilizing stage of change/treatment to assess readiness for change for mental health, substance use, and physical health. Practicing ways to explore ambivalence.

5) Rebecca Lund, MA, LPCC, RPT
Job Title: Therapist
Practice/Organization: Tranquility Counseling LLC/The Family Partnership

Supervision, Licensure & NCMHCE: What You Probably Did Not Learn in Grad School

Discussion of post-graduate requirements towards licensure within Minnesota; clinical supervision needs and expectations, and basic suggestions and strategies for taking the NCMHCE.

6) Todd Monger, MA, LPCC, NCC, ACS
Job Title: Director of the Student Success Center
Practice/Organization: North Central University

Creative Interventions for Clients and Groups

This interactive and practical workshop will give you 5 specific, useful ideas to utilize in your practice. Practical five minute lessons that we can all take home and apply tomorrow with our clients.  From metaphors to visual aids, we all have our “go to” material and Todd Monger will be sharing some of his, and he hopes to hear some of yours.

7) Birgit Olsen Kelly, MSW LICSW
Job Title: Associate Director of Clinical Services – Mental Health
Practice/Organization: Tubman

Strategies for Recognizing and Working with Complex Trauma and Dissociation

This presentation will give an overview of complex trauma and dissociation as it relates to the Defensive Action system, as well as a brief review of how trauma manifests in the body, awareness and in defensive responses to an environment that is perceived as threatening. The presentation will include seal strategies to resource and reduce activation of the nervous system in response to cues in the environment and strategies for clinicians to create safety, assist clients in recognizing safety and responding more effectively to their environment. Finally, a brief overview will be given of the use of Mindfulness, the concepts of Structural Dissociation of the Personality and the Action Systems/Action tendencies and the Window of Tolerance in working with individuals with complex trauma.

8) David Zill, LPC-IT
Practice/Organization: Mount Mary University

Cultural Considerations for Counseling Men

In spite of an increased diligence in understanding multicultural identities, multicultural literature and education has often overlooked masculinity and counseling considerations specifically for men. It is important for female and male clinicians alike to have an awareness and understanding of the dichotomies and parallelisms that exist when counseling men. This presentation takes a multicultural approach to examine masculine ideology that contributes to the unique barriers men face accessing and receiving counseling. It also explores accommodations and considerations to make counseling a more effective, beneficial, and satisfying experience for men.

9) Ron Zuchora, MA, LPCC
Job Title: Behavior Analyst
Practice/Organization: State of Minnesota

Person-Centered Thinking Processes and Tools: Beneficial for Any Therapeutic Relationship

The Person-Centered approach has gained momentum in recent years – and for good reason.  This presentation will include a brief history and evolution of person-centered therapy models, as well as its implementation with the State of Minnesota.  We will also focus on person-centered tools and interventions, as well as how and why to use them in various clinical settings.

We look forward to seeing you in 2016!
Become a member so that you can be notified when registration for the 2016 conference is open.


In-Review: 2014 Annual MnCA Conference

Keynote Speaker

Susan Witterholt, MD
“The Behavior Chain- A Roadmap for the Clinician”

Suzanne Witterholt, M.D., has worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services since 1994. For over six years, she directed a DBT inpatient unit at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center. Subsequently, she turned her attention to the development of the community’s capacity to effectively treat people with Borderline Personality Disorder and related conditions

Since February, 2006, she has been working with treatment developer, Marsha Linehan, PhD; to implement DBT certification of clinicians and programs based on the evidenced based fidelity standards of the model. Currently, she is a on the Board of Directors of the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification.

Having consulted extensively in Minnesota and throughout the United States, she is actively involved in the teaching and implementation of DBT in the public mental health sector. In recognition of her work, she has been named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

 2014 Breakouts & Presenters

“Healing the Relationship Bond”
Todd Burntson, MA, LPC

Attachment relationships form the foundation of who are as individuals.  As children, these relationships with our caregivers shape our sense of self, whether we feel valued and safe, and how we engage the world.  As adults, these attachment relationships are different, but no less critical to overall emotional and psychological well-being.  In this workshop, we will explore the role of the adult attachment bond in committed relationships in either reducing or exacerbating anxiety, stress, and depression within the individuals.  A discussion of the difference in approaches between individual and couple therapy will follow as well as a review of the current literature in couple therapy.

“Using Body and Movement to Work with Emotions in Clinical Practice”
Paul Sevett, MA, BC-DMT, LICSW

Participants will learn how the body and movement can be used to access and understand underlying/ unconscious psychological material. They will also be introduced to specific body and movement-based techniques that can be used with clients. Understanding how the body’s movement patterns express inner experiences and emotions is an important skill facilitating therapeutic healing and growth.

“Being the Balance”
Todd Monger, MA, LPCC, ACS, NCC

“The Vision Instrument” is a visual, interactive tool that can be used in the therapist’s office, support group, classroom or educational setting.  The apparatus is designed to bring a visual image to a theoretical concept that the individual can see, process, and internalize to produce change. “The Vision Instrument” can take one’s therapeutic interventions one step further, by illustrating the client’s current crisis by means of visually displaying how a system can be out of balance.  It can be used from an individual perspective of the client or the overall perspective of the system.  The Vision Instrument can show projective affects of a choice made or not made, and can illustrate what needs to be done to produce a healthy family or individual system. Theoretical implication and integration include: system theory, Bowenian theory, Minuchins Structural Family Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Solution Focused.

“The Intersection of Creativity and Mental Health”
Sarah Johnson, M.Ed., LPC

At McNally Smith College of Music, the student population reports higher incidences of issues like anxiety, depression, and substance abuse as well as a greater desire for support services like counseling than the national averages in higher education. This leads to questions and discussions that shape how our institution approaches support services: Are the needs for support higher with creative individuals? How does the creative mind and process impact wellness? How can we, as therapists and institutions, assess and recognize the needs of our students? What should support services for creative individuals entail? The Director of Counseling at McNally Smith will present data from the annual wellness survey, outline research on the personalities and tendencies of musicians and “creatives” as well as the implications of this on day-to-day functioning, and lead a discussion of how to assess and support student creative individuals.

“Neuroscience and Psychotherapy”
Theresa Crawford, MA, LMFT

An introduction to how the findings of neuroscience can be integrated into psychotherapy, including tools and techniques for helping your clients understand how their hemispheric and mind/body connection and integration can be used for optimal healing and health. This is based on the work of Louis Cozolino and Daniel Siegel.

“Theoretical Approaches Guiding Treatment of Adult Trauma Survivors”
Linda Valerian, MA, LPCC

In order to be effective, clinical treatment of adult trauma survivors must be tailored to the unique characteristics of each survivor’s experiences.  This is no small task, given the almost infinite range of trauma experiences, contexts in which trauma can occur, and meanings survivors may attach to their trauma experiences.  Therapists may find it challenging to conceptualize and prioritize treatment in the face of such heterogeneity. This workshop will provide attendees with a survey of theoretical approaches the presenter has found useful to guide her treatment of adult trauma survivors, including case conceptualization, a phased approach to trauma treatment, a broadened understanding of post-traumatic stress symptoms, and the necessity of preparing for transference/counter-transference dynamics.  Taken together, these theoretical approaches address the needs of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – that have been shaken or shattered by trauma.

“Strategies in Supervision”
Wes Erwin, Ph.D, LPCC & Enakshi Choudhuri, Ph.D, LPC

Counselor supervision is a field of study with its own body of supporting research. This presentation will review a useful theoretical model of counselor supervision and provide practical strategies and techniques to add to your “supervision toolbox.” Attendees will discuss supervision case vignettes, supervisee conceptualization, and supervisor interventions. A handout will be provided.

“Relational Hunger: Attachment Issues in Clients with Eating Disorders”
Suzanne Morgan, MFA, MSW, LICSW

A relational approach to exploring issues of attachment is crucial to the treatment of eating disorders. That’s because each of an eating disorder’s symptoms (restricting, bingeing, purging, abusing laxatives and over-exercising) can be symbolic of dysfunction or fractures in the relationships clients formed with caregivers. And, when exploring attachment history, the therapeutic relationship can provide an even more powerful symbol, standing in for past and current attachment issues. By modeling safe, healthy attachment, the therapist provides a corrective emotional experience. Case studies illustrate how psychodynamic, feminist and attachment theories help to explore the symbolic nature of eating disorders. They also show the way clients move toward a more integrated ego state, so that they feel safe to identify and express emotions, to navigate their own hunger and satiation cues, to explore past trauma and, ultimately, to form healthier attachments.

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