In August 2011, QBH initiated the first in a series of professional development seminars. These seminars were designed to provide staff with the latest and most effective evidence-based strategies and techniques to ensure that clients would receive the highest quality of behavioral health care. Since that inaugural date the series has evolved into an annual schedule of four seminars in collaboration with South Coast Educational Collaborative. Continuing education credits (CEU’s) are provided under an agreement with the Rhode Island Mental Health Counselors Association.
The first seminar was conducted by Brenda Westberry, an independent consultant and former Chief Probation Officer for the state of Connecticut. Brenda presented four brief workshops on Motivational Interviewing, emphasizing the importance of an empathic, supportive, yet directive therapeutic style that provides conditions under which change can occur.
In September 2011 Dr. Phillip Kendall of the Child and Adolescent Clinic at Temple University in Philadelphia, and an international expert on child anxiety, presented a full-day seminar on Coping Cat, a 16-session manualized treatment program and its computer-based counterpart Camp-Cope-A-Lot. The program provided a description of the theory that guides intervention for treating anxiety in youth, and an overview of the nature, symptoms, and experience of anxiety in youth.
Daniel Beck, of The Beck Institute in Philadelphia, presented four individual full-day workshops on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy beginning in March of 2012. The sessions were all held at The Squantum Club on the bay in East Providence . Workshop one focused on the cognitive model, and various standard treatment techniques: case conceptualization, therapeutic goal setting, session structure, and agenda setting. The second session focused on conceptualizing the depressed client according to the cognitive model. Workshop three dealt with the socially anxious client, and techniques such as graded exposure, problem solving, and the modification of unhelpful cognitions. The focus of the final session was on panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, according to the cognitive model. Subtopics symptoms were also addressed: tolerance, decatastrophizing, worry control strategies, and the restructuring of threat appraisals.
On March 29, 2013, our own Dr. Kisch delighted QBH staff with a half-day workshop on Medications in the Management of ADHD at the Warwick Public Library.
Dr. Kenneth Barish of the Weill Medical College, Cornell University, and author of Pride and Joy presented the first of two sessions, in April of 2013, on Understanding Children’s Emotions and Solving Family Problems. The first program took place at the Sprague Mansion, the second at The Children’s Museum in Cranston. Dr. Barish discussed the value of preserving and strengthening feeling of joyfulness and pride in in parents’ relationships with their children. He also emphasized the need to nurture children’s optimism and resilience in the face of life’s inevitable disappointments.
At the Squantum Club on August 9, Dr. Sally Satel of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. delivered a presentation based on her recent publication Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience. Among other related topics Dr. Satel discussed the concept of “neurocentrism”, the tendency to view the neurobiological level of analysis of behavior as the most truthful or accurate. There are limits to what the brain can reveal about the mind.
A recent staff development program, in October of this year, was prompted by the publication of DSM-V and the need to familiarize employees with the many changes in the manual. The presentation was held at Save The Bay and was made by Dr. Katharine Phillips of the Brown Medical School who was a member of the DSM-V Task Force and Chair of the DSM-V Workgroup on Anxiety Disorders.
On the 23rd and 27th of May 2014 Dr. Nadine Mastroleo of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University presented workshops on Assessment and Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders.
Patricia Wilcox and Dr. Steven Brown of Klingberg Family Institutes delivered two workshops in November of November of 2014 and February of 2015 on Being a Trauma Informed Practitioner, describing the whole system transformation to trauma-informed care.
On May 29, 2015, Kristen Jacobsen, certified speech-language pathologist and co-director of Cognitive Connections Executive Function Practice, delivered a presentation entitled Future Thinkers: an Introduction to Executive Functioning Skills. Held at the Ray Conference Center on the Butler Hospital Campus, Kristen helped QBH and SCEC participants realize the effect of EF skills working together to enable children to create goals, form a plan, and self-monitor through tasks in a timely manner and efficient manner.
The second of this two-part program was presented offered October 2, 2015, also by Kristen Jacobsen. The two Executive Functioning workshops were very informative in the development of the innovative, state-of-the-art, Executive Functioning/ADHD program at QBH.
Workshops were presented in May and March of 2016 on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy by Jennifer Kittler and Natalie Zervas of Bradley Hospital. The sessions focused on evidence-based interventions that combine CBT strategies with Zen Practices including multiple treatment modalities.
Emotional Regulation: Understanding and Enhancing Social Emotional Abilities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, was the first of two sessions presented at the Ray Conference Center at Butler Hospital by Amy C. Laurent. EdM, OTR/L, in September, 2016. Amy introduced the SCERTS curriculum, outlining various stages of treatment: Social Partner, Language Partner, and Conversational partner. The second session took place on October 20, 2016 at the Ray Conference Center.
On March 24, 2017 Mark B. Moss, PhD, Waterhouse Professor and Chair, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, presented the first of two workshops, Stress and Brain Health: Memory, Myths, and Mysteries. Dr. Moss discussed parts of the brain, the major domains of cognitive functioning, and the mechanism of stress mediation. He also discussed methods of promoting healthy brains in aging, looking into the future of brain science in promoting healthy brains.
The first workshop was held at the Squantum Club, the second at the Ray Conference Center at Butler Hospital.
On November 17, 2017 Staff at QBH and South Coast Educational Collaborative were treated to Food for Thought, How Nutrients affect Inflammation and Mental Health, by Merrily Kuhn, PhD, ND, RN, CCRN. The course addressed neurotransmitters, their actions and how they are affected by food. Inflammation was reviewed as to how it develops and is affected by spices, phytochemicals, and our choices of food.
Joining us for his third presentation on March 16, Mark Barry Moss, PhD Waterhouse Professor and Chair, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, presented Remembering, Forgetting, and Protecting the Aging Brain. Topics covered by Dr. Moss: Mood Disorders Associated with Abnormal Brain Development, Metabolic Syndrome, and Inflammation of the Brain, Brains at Risk, Short and Long-Term Memories, and Habit-Based Memories.
On August 3, 2018 Chris Dorval, Project Coordinator of the SBIRT Center at Rhode Island College presented Adolescent Substance Abuse: Detecting, Deterring, Delaying, Deterring, and Diminishing Use of Drugs by Adolescents. Attendees were introduced to SBIRT: Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referral to Treatment, and to therapeutic interventions for treating adolescents at risk for substance abuse.
As QBH grows, and positions itself as the leading provider of outpatient behavioral health services we feel that it is important to provide ongoing education and professional development to add to your current expertise. We also believe that all clinical and medical staff should have access to the most recent scientific research and therapeutic techniques, and that there is great value sharing best practices, augmenting both your clinical skills and contributing to those of your colleagues. QBH will continue to meet your professional and educational expectations with ongoing scheduling of these programs.