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Psychotherapy Training: Essential Skills and Beyond

Part 1: Essential Skills in Psychotherapy

Effective psychotherapy is grounded by a strong, flexible therapeutic alliance that facilitates attaining treatment goals and helping clients to make lasting change. Effective psychotherapists actively engage in the development of clinical competencies to meet the needs of their clients as well as the demands of a complex and diverse mental health field.

This workshop delivers competency-based training designed to enhance therapeutic efficacy. Through didactic and experiential methods attendees will acquire the essential skills, foundation knowledge, and therapeutic stance essential to effective practice. This workshop will help participants to develop skills in developing rapport, observation and assessment, case formulation, diagnosis and treatment planning, intervention, motivating clients, and managing crises. There will be an emphasis on practical application in daily clinical practice.

In addition to the essential elements of the professional practice of psychotherapy, practitioners will be invited to explore and develop their individual evidence-based approach to the therapeutic task.

The goal of the workshop is to foster a safe and stimulating learning environment that welcomes multiple perspectives and experiences.

Who should attend?

This workshop is designed to inform and enhance the practice of psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists, medical doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, addictions counselors, faith-based counselors and others.

We encourage you to register early as there is limited space available for this workshop.

About the instructor:
Dr. West holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Dr. West began providing psychological services in 2007 and has worked in private practice, community mental health, and higher education settings. She currently works with adolescents, adults, couples and families, addressing a variety of concerns and psychological difficulties. In addition to her general practice, she is a member of the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy team at OPCS. Dr. West is listed as a mental health provider with Veterans Affairs Canada. In addition, she is a member of the Ontario Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, and American Psychological Association.

Date: Friday April 8, 2016 from 2:00pm — 9:00pm & Saturday April 9, 2016 from 9:00am — 5:00pm

Part 2: Application of Brief Therapy
Prerequisites:  Part 1 or equivalent
In clinical practice, we often face the challenge of providing effective psychotherapy within limitations of time and resources. This two-day workshop will provide practitioners with the means to apply the core skills presented in Part 1 in a brief and pragmatic framework. The model of brief therapy presented in this workshop integrates several therapeutic modalities including: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Emotional Focused Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. The workshop focuses on case formulation and interventions presented and explored via discussion on current research & practice, instructor demonstration of specific techniques, role play, and analysis and critique of DVDs of expert clinicians demonstrating a variety of psychotherapy interventions.

There is limited number of spaces available for this workshop so we encourage you to register early and avoid being disappointed.

Date: TBA


About the instructor
Dr. Kwan is the Founder and Executive Director of Oshawa Psychological & Counselling Services serving Oshawa and surrounding communities in Durham Region, and of Woodbine Psychological & Counselling Services serving Markham and surrounding communities in York Region. He recently spearheaded the successful launch of the Oshawa Psychotherapy Training Institute (OPTI), a unique training division of Oshawa Psychological & Counselling Services that focuses on providing mental health clinicians with both professional and personal quality learning as well as peer and clinical support.

Dr. Kwan is a registered psychologist in clinical and counselling psychology with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families as his primary client groups. During more than 20 years of clinical counselling experience, Dr. Kwan has held various clinical positions and leadership roles including Clinical Director of Family Services York Region. Through his private practice, Dr.Kwan provides clinical consultation to practicing mental health clinician and psychologists. Currently, he provides clinical consultation to social workers on the community health team of Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services, Toronto and to the Pathways for Children, Youth and Families of York Region.

Dr. Kwan was first registered as a chartered psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists in 1988 and with the College of Psychologists of Ontario in 2003. He is also a registered marriage and family therapist, clinical member and approved supervisor with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and a registered sex therapist and approved supervisor with the Board of Examiners in Sex Therapy & Counselling in Ontario (BESTCO). Dr. Kwan received his Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Toronto in 2002. He also completed additional post-doctoral training for his registration in Clinical and Counselling psychology with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Prior to that, Dr. Kwan completed his M.Ed. in Educational Psychology in Special Education with a minor in Counselling Psychology and his M.Ed. in Educational Foundations in inter-Cultural Education, at the University of Alberta (1986 and 1981, respectively).

Dr. Kwan has worked with clients on issues that include anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, ADHD, conduct and school problems, family relationship conflicts, couple relationship difficulties, coping with chronic illness and injuries, domestic violence and child abuse, and sexual dysfunctions. He uses a variety of therapeutic modalities including emotionally-focused therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, structural family therapy, and narrative therapy. Dr. Kwan is fluent in English and Chinese (Cantonese), and can offer services in either language.

In addition, Dr. Kwan has provided extensive clinical training within the academic arena both as a lecturer and clinical supervisor. Dr. Kwan has been a session lecturer, an associate graduate faculty member, and clinical supervisor with both the Counseling Psychology, and School and Clinical Child Psychology programs at OISE, University of Toronto, and an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. Finally, for two terms he was a part-time faculty member with the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, York University.

Dr. Kwan is also active in community service. He is the volunteer clinical consultant for the peer consultation group, Southeast York Regional Chinese Mental Health Initiative Planning Committee.

Oshawa Psychological & Counselling Services serving Oshawa and surrounding communities in Durham Region including Ajax, Whitby, Brooklin, and Courtice.
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