Topics for educational programs include:
Programs are custom designed to address the goals and specific needs of the agency and/or community being trained. Trainings are facilitated by Beth Venart individually or in collaboration with other professionals. All programs include an experiential component and a variety of teaching modalities in recognition of the multiple ways that people learn. Programs are continually being evaluated in order to improve their effectiveness and applicability across a variety of helping professions.
Counseling trauma survivors: Many of those who seek counseling have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual trauma. Even clients who pursue therapy for seemingly unrelated concerns often have unresolved trauma that makes progress more difficult. This training provides participants with information about a relational trauma model and practical tools for working effectively with traumatized clients. This approach stresses that symptoms are adaptations and that clinical relationships are most therapeutic when the counselor demonstrates respect, provides information, connects with the client through empathic understanding, and conveys hope. Illustrations of this model are shared, and participants are given opportunities for small group discussion and experiential learning.
Counselor wellness and resiliency: Stressful life events and personal/professional circumstances can create distress in the lives of counselors. It is critical that helpers continually evaluate their wellness and identify areas for intervention as well as concrete strategies for improvement. In this program, results from several national studies by the Task Force on Counselor Wellness and Impairment are presented to stimulate discussion about ways to support counselor wellness. Participants learn practical tools for promoting resiliency and engage in experiential activities to promote well-being.
Stress management: Educational programs on the topic of stress management are presented with a combination of didactic, interactive, and experiential approaches. The workshop begins with an individual assessment of health across all life domains: physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, social, leisure, and career/workplace. The program then provides an overview of effective strategies for maintaining wellness in each domain and encourages participants to develop and implement plans for positive change in their wellness routines. Special attention is given to the area of workplace wellness, and participants work together to devise practical solutions to the ongoing and pervasive difficulties helpers face in setting limits and care-taking themselves while in the career of care-taking others.
Creativity and enhanced problem-solving: Educational programs on creativity are primarily experiential in nature. The focus is on providing participants with activities that will allow them to step outside of traditional, linear thinking and gain alternative perspectives on their work and ongoing challenges. These workshops draw upon the work of Carl Jung, Natalie Rogers, a person-centered expressive arts therapist, and Nancy Napier. Programs are designed to help participants develop greater self-awareness, practice spontaneity and mindfulness, and move towards greater trust of self and others. Participants will learn leave with expressive arts tools that they can use personally, to enhance their self-care practices, or professionally, to facilitate healing with clients.
Transforming vicarious trauma: Bearing witness to the pain, violence and emotional trauma of clients can deplete the resources of even the most skilled professional. This workshop increases participants’ understanding of the concept of vicarious trauma and facilitates both verbal and nonverbal activities to help mediate the negative impact of this work. Using music, artwork and collective story-telling, participants will increase their capacity for creativity, spontaneity and meaningful connection with peers. Educational programs on vicarious trauma provide a combination of didactic, interactive, and experiential teaching methods.
Team building: Trainings on team-building are interactive and experiential in nature and are custom-designed for each organization or community group. Team-building programs are ideal for enhancing effective communication within a group or between work groups in an organization. Program activities include opportunities to play, find creative solutions together, and participate in safe and fun trust-building exercises with colleagues.
Agency retreats: Those who commit themselves to helping others work hard and deserve to take time to replenish themselves through play, laughter, and meaningful dialogue. Agency retreats are designed in collaboration with agency leaders and workshop participants so that they can best meet the present-day needs of the group.
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