Saturday, January 25, 2014

Training: DeTURtm Addictions Protocol - Vancouver

DeTURtm Addictions Protocol
(Desensitize Triggers Urge Reprocessing)
with Dr. Arnold (AJ) Popky
Friday March 7th & Saturday 8th 2014
Vancouver, BC.
Arnold (AJ) Popky has a Ph.D., in Counseling Psychology, was instrumental in the founding of the EMDR Institute, is certified in Ericksonian Hypnosis and is a Master Modeler Practitioner of NLP. Dr. Popky specializes in PTSD and addiction. He developed the DeTUR Protocol, which he has presented over the last 20 years. His work experience includes Santa Clara County Drug & Alcohol, Haight-Ashbury Free Drug Clinic, Catholic Charities, (MRI) Mental Health Research Institute. He presently has a private practice in Sherman Oaks, CA and also trains and consults therapists at military bases around the globe as well as with several drug rehabilitation centers. Dr. Popky is a charter member of DIV. 1277 of the Marine Corps League.

Pre-requisite: Participants must have completed an EMDRIA Approved Basic Training in EMDR (Part I and Part II).

Tuition: $325.00 before January 31, 2014. $375.00 after January 31, 2014. 

Cheque or money order payable to “Crystal Arber” email money transfer:
Send payment to: Suite 914 - 1641 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver, BC. V7M 2J5.

For more information view the Brochure or go to .

Click here to Register

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Media Images of Social Workers & the Profession

Positive social work stories are not hard to tell. Those of us working in the field could rattle off many positive stories about ways we have helped and served individuals, families and communities and effectively advocated for systemic and structural changes that have improved access to services.

I can tell you from personal experience that media outlets, even at a community level, are simply not interested in stories about social work, or expanding the public narrative and perception of social work. I have attempted to pitch stories highlighting inspirational stories about social workers, to no avail, even though I have now been published in more media outlets across Canada than most paid journalists, so I know it's not my writing that was lacking. We live in a "if it bleeds it leads" culture of journalism and media.

A recent study from J-Source, a journalism site in Canada found that the majority of newspaper columnist are middle aged males. They did not include ethnicity, but they should have, as there is a notable lack of ethnic diversity. White privilege continues to reign supreme in media - writing, publishing, editing etc..

When we have such limited sources of news (and don't even get me started on media concentration in Canada, the worst of most places on the planet), it really shouldn't be a surprise that few new, fresh, or different voices are allowed into the exclusive club to create opportunities to highlight more positive stories about the diversity, importance and effectiveness of the work of social workers in our communities.

On that note, I've long been interested in writing stories about social workers who are interested in being featured on this blog. There are many of us who are doing inspiring and excellent work out there. If you are interested in being featured, contact me @, or if you know someone who you think should be featured, let me know. 


Social work needs positive news stories – why are they so hard to tell? (UK)

Negative media coverage causes high staff turnover and a barrier of mistrust – it's time to change public perceptions

It seems that most people only think about social work when the media runs another story about a child dying at the hands of their neglectful or abusive parents. Every time, the authorities are judged to have failed and the social worker is usually at the front of the queue as the blame is assigned.

Public services absolutely need to be held to account and we should never tolerate poor practice, but these tragedies make easy headlines and it is too simplistic to lay the fault at the foot of individual incompetence. Lack of inter-agency co-operation, absence of leadership, workload pressures, the distraction of bureaucratic processes and inadequate training all play their part in a complex system that will never be free of error.

How does this negative media coverage impact on the profession and subsequently the vulnerable children and families we are trying to protect and support? I have worked in statutory children's social work for fifteen years and have noticed the following trends. The first and most obvious is high turnover of staff. When frontline practitioners leave they take all their expertise with them, and the critical job of child protection is left to some of the least experienced staff.

Secondly, the negative perception of social services and presumption of incompetence creates a barrier of distrust and fuels hostility towards social workers. This has to be overcome before a productive relationship can be developed with a family.

Thirdly, working in a culture of criticism and blame creates anxiety. Of course no one wants to make mistakes, we join the profession to help, not harm. But the fear of being subjected to the kind of vitriolic abuse that Sharon Shoesmith endured is omnipresent and can distort the ability to make careful, balanced risk assessments.

Risk has to be managed and is rarely eliminated, sometimes decisions about risk of harm to children becomes entangled with reputational risk to the organisation. This can lead to risk averse practice which is not in children's best interests. Good practice cannot thrive in a culture of blame and fear.

One of the challenges facing the profession is how to improve its image. An experience from my own career helps to illustrate this point. Some years ago I changed from statutory child protection to do a similar job at the NSPCC. Working for a voluntary agency with a positive image automatically afforded me a professional respect and assumed expertise that I had never previously experienced. Service users were more willing to engage and colleagues in other agencies were more responsive: this enabled me to be a much more effective practitioner.

So how does statutory social work improve its image and why is it so difficult, when other helping professions and the voluntary sector do it successfully? We need to educate people about what social workers really do. Only a small proportion of the work involves removing children. Every day we support thousands of isolated families in poverty and on the margins of society. We prevent violence in the home, enable people to parent safely while they manage drugs, alcohol misuse, mental and physical health difficulties and much more.

We also need more varied and accurate representations of social work, positive storylines in the soaps with characters that are compassionate and capable. The profession needs to promote its success stories, but social workers are not forthcoming about sharing examples of good practice. Perhaps it's just modesty, but I suspect it's because they don't want to draw attention to themselves, only to risk falling from a greater height if something on their next case goes wrong.

Positive stories are more difficult to tell in social work than they might be in health and education. Our involvement carries a stigma and it's natural that people don't want it to be public knowledge. In social work we make judgements that we believe to be in children's best interests. Sometimes it doesn't feel like that to the child, and the family does not always agree. It may be a good outcome to place a child with foster carers where they then thrive, but for every child removed there will be parents who lost the care of their child. We have to respect these are not good news stories for everyone involved.

The relatively new College of Social Work (TCSW) has a leading role in improving the image of the profession, but it can't do it alone. Individual social workers and employers can do more, by continuing to strive to deliver good practice, and share these examples with each other and TCSW. This won't be an easy task, but we owe it to the profession and to our communities to take this opportunity in 2014 and start changing public perceptions.

Lucie Heyes, the College of Social Work's Professional Assembly member and media spokesperson, was awarded an MBE in the new year honours list

Training: Social Work and the DSM 5, Clinical Hypnosis & Emotionally Focused Family Therapy - Vancouver

Social Work and the DSM 5
Presented by UBC School of Social Work Professional Development Program

Co-sponsored by BCASW

Date: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014
Time: 9 am – 4:30 pm (no lunch provided)

Location: UBC School of Social Work, Room 200, 2080 West Mall

Workshop Presenter: Bob Shebib, M.S.W., M.B.A

Bob Shebib has conducted workshops nationally and internationally. A best selling author and educator, his books have been widely adopted and translated for use by universities throughout Canada and internationally.

He is the coordinator of the Community Social Service Work Department at Douglas College. As well, he has worked as a sessional instructor for UBC’s School of Social Work.

Cost: Community Members: $100.00
UBC School of Social Work students: Free

Capacity: 20 community members; 20 UBC SOWK students

This workshop is an introduction to the recently released DSM 5 and its implications for practice. It is designed to assist social workers and other professionals to acquire a working knowledge of this diagnostic system including significant changes from DSM-IV to DSM 5.

To register: 

Community Members:

UBC Social Work Students:


Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BC Div)Two Day Clinical Hypnosis Training Workshop 2014

This workshop will provide the basic skills of clinical hypnosis, including demonstrations and practice sessions for those who wish to add hypnosis to their repertoire of therapeutic skills. Simultaneously, intermediate/advanced skills in hypnosis utilization will be provided to the experienced hypnotherapist in areas such as hypnosis for traumatic experiences, relationships, stress, pain, visualization techniques to enhance hypnosis, rapid induction techniques for emergency medicine and dentistry, and much more. The faculty has extensive experience in various areas in the field of hypnotherapy and each will be present on one or both of the days of the workshop.
BONUS HYPNOSIS DVD provided to all registrants: Clinical Hypnosis Inductions, Deepening and Strategies for Psychological, Medical and Dental Applications
Demonstrated by the Faculty


  • History & Types of Trance; How to Introduce Hypnosis; Diagnosis
  • Neuroplasticity and the Use of Metaphors
  • Rapid Induction Techniques for Health Professionals
  • Former Personalities and Reincarnational Memories
  • Acute and Chronic Pain Management
  • Hypnosis for Traumatic Experiences
  • Better Sex through Hypnosis
  • Age Regression and Progression
  • Women’s Health - Common Conditions and Hypnotic Treatments
  • Mind – Vagal Interaction in Chronic Medical Conditions: Latest Findings
  • Teaching Self-Hypnosis to Clients to Improve the Outcome of Therapy
  • Consolidating Hypnosis In Your Professional Practice
Date: Saturday & Sunday February 8 and 9, 2014

Registration- 8:30 am: Workshop 9 am – 5:00Location: UBC Robson Square - 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC(HSBC Hall – Room C680)

                                  CSCH Member $300 (Early Bird) $375 (after Jan 8th)Non-Member $400 (Early Bird) $475 (after Jan 8th)Student $200 (Early Bird) $225 (after Jan 8th)

Cancellation Policy: Registration fee includes a $50 nonrefundable deposit.

Student Eligibility: Registrants must be a full time student enrolled in a graduate or professional program in active pursuit of a doctorate in Medicine, Dentistry, or Psychology, or a Master’s degree in counseling psychology, social work or a diploma or degree in one of the disciplines listed above or a diploma or degree in dental hygiene . The program must be held in a university accredited by its appropriate regional accrediting body.

To register and for more information visit our website:
Email: admin@hypnosis.bc.caPhone: (604) 688-1714

PLEASE VISIT WWW.HYPNOSIS.BC.CA for more details and registration form.

Emotionally Focused Family Therapy Workshop: Restoring Family Bonds

Date: April 4 - 5, 2014

Workshop description:

Use the power of emotion and attachment to understand the systems in which your clients live. Four dynamic, experienced EFT trainers bring EFFT to life. Instruction, video examples and experiential exercises.

Don't work directly with families?

Your individuals and couples are strongly impacted both by their past and present family life. Regardless of the population you work with, this systematic and attachment-based workshop will enrich your clinical work.

For more information and to register, click on the link below

Co-sponsored by:

Vancouver Couple & Family Institute & SFU, Clinical Psychology Centre

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Training: Mental Health & Satir

Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute Inc.
presents the following workshops in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Kamloops.

For detailed information on our workshops please go to

Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Strategies

Critical Incident Group Debriefing

Motivating Change – Strategies for Approaching Resistance

Gender and Sexual Identity in Youth

Mindfulness Counselling Strategies Activating Compassion and Regulation

Anxiety – Practical Intervention Strategies

Depression – Practical Intervention Strategies

Understanding Mental Illness

DSM-5 – What’s New…What’s Different

De-escalating Potentially Violent SituationsTM

Crisis Response Planning

Addictions and Mental Illness – Working with Co-occurring Disorders

Substance Abuse and Youth – Creating Opportunities for Change

Violence Threat Assessment – Planning and Response

Counselling Skills – An Introduction and Overview

For more information:
Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute Inc.
                                            Beyond Depression:

Healing Using the Satir Model

with Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC Individual, Couple and Family Therapist
Satir Institute of the Pacific Director of Training

March 21, 22, 2014 - 9:00 am to 5:00

Cost $300 per person (SIP Member and Early Bird Rates Available)

where: Phoenix Center 13686-94A Avenue, Surrey, BC
Depression is sometimes considered to be a modern epidemic. As the stresses of everday life increase in the modern world, people's inability to cope with the overwhelming impacts of stress may result in depression. Depression is a condition that can significantly affect one's ability to enjoy a life of meaning and contribution. The treatments for depression ofen result in a reduction of symptoms and therapy often focuses on managing one's depression. Many practitioners look to behavioral or pharmaceutical means to counter depression, but find that their interventions have limited success. in the Satir Model, depression is explained in terms of a sympton intended to be the solution to internal pain and chaos. It is possible, through a deeply experiential, transformational therapeutic process, to greatly reduce the impact of the pain and chaos, and help the client to re-choose life so that she can grow in a positively directional way towards peace, joy and empowerment.

Registration or contact:

Cindi Mueller, Administrator
Satir Institute of the Pacific

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Canadian Social Work: Winnipeg library's in-house social worker offers help to any who need it

                             Bruce Fiske
Bruce Fiske is the social worker on staff at the Winnipeg Public Library, with his office inside the Millennium Library in the city's downtown. (Alana Cole/CBC)

  Winnipeg library's in-house social worker offers help
  CBC News, (2013). See Video on the website. 

The Millennium Library in downtown Winnipeg offers more than just books, movies and computers — it has a social worker on staff who can provide support to anyone who needs it.
Bruce Fiske is the social worker on staff with the Winnipeg Public Library, with his office inside the downtown branch. His clientele consists of anyone who visits the library and is in need of help.
"Sometimes I see people more than once during the week," he told CBC News on Thursday.
"People are coming to see me [and] in many cases, they're in situations where they're not stable; they're in crisis, they're in survival mode. I try and assist them."
Those who see him include the homeless, people with mental health issues, teenagers needing advice, and new Canadians trying to navigate a new city.
"It's quite an immense, difficult situation when you are experienced with a whole new environment. It's quite stressful for many," Fiske said of a newcomer's experience.
While Fiske's office is downtown, he can be called out to other Winnipeg Public Library branches.
The idea of having a social worker on staff at a library has taken off in other cities, but it was introduced in Winnipeg just last year.
A big part of the job, Fiske said, is connecting people to the resources and programs they are seeking in the city.
Being in a neutral environment like a library can make it easier for people to ask for help, he added.

Social Work Universally Struggles for an Identity with the Public

Instigating Change: The Public Perception of Social Work

Moseley, V. (2014). 

Over 25 years as an Australian social worker, my experience is that a good proportion of the population relate “social worker” to someone who removes children or someone who butts their nose into other people’s business. Often, it’s perceived that we practice our “stuff” in a government department, hospital to find elderly people nursing homes, or in a child welfare setting to assess family functioning.

How well do we as social workers educate our target groups about the services we provide? What do the general public perceive a “social worker” to be, and whose responsibility is it to promote our profession? Making the choice to create a career out of being a social worker has its disadvantages. After graduation it really didn’t take me long to stop calling myself a social worker. I found it to be a great conversation stopper at social gatherings. “So what do you do?” “I’m a social worker”. Responses ranged from  “oh okay, so you work with dole bludgers” to “oh you’re one of those do-gooders” to “ oh that’s interesting, so what is it that you actually do?”

Social work is a profession. Yet as a profession, it is still battling recognition in both the allied health sector and in the public arena. Historically, we were the charity workers, literally the “do-gooders”, those who gave up their time to help the disadvantaged. Our work was viewed as practical, bandaid, prescriptive, and often linked to churches who traditionally established programs to assist the poor.

Thankfully by the time I attended university in the early eighties, some semblance of a professional identity had been established, albeit still vague to the masses. “Change Agent” was one of the most apt descriptions to me at the time, and one that I use frequently today when explaining what it is that social workers actually do. Also, I was taught the term ”change agent” crosses the boundaries of the three distinct areas which consist of casework, group work. and community work.

No, I did not learn how to hand out a welfare cheque to a client. Casework meant one on one counselling intervention to help an individual or family function better. No, I did not learn how to ladle the soup into bowls, and tuck people in at the local homeless shelter. I learnt how to facilitate groups, empower participants, foster mutual goals and maintain enthusiasm. And finally no, I did not learn how to partake in the local Neighbourhood Watch meetings to ensure the safety of the local community. I learnt to focus on community assets as opposed to disadvantages, inspire community participation with action towards change, and advocate on behalf of groups whose disadvantages place obstacles in the way of being heard.

When social workers are viewed as “agents of change”, it does more than just clarify our role to the public. It actually places an obligation back to the profession to ensure positive change happens for our clients. It isn’t enough to sit in the geriatric ward of the local hospital and simply look after the practicalities of a nursing home booking without checking on coping skills. Or to hand someone a food voucher without exploring ways to improve their situation in the long term.  It doesn’t cut it to sit in the office at a community centre booking external hirers and stating boldly you’re achieving something for your community. It’s not enough to sit at the head of the table at a group session and be the perceived expert whilst using psychological jargon only another professional would understand. These methods simply maintain the status quo – they do not inspire change, nor do they empower people to carry out change in order to reach their full potential.

So perhaps we need to look at our own profession and ask ourselves, what is it that we as a group are doing to maximize our profession’s full potential? Why is it that the public perception of our role is still not accurate, let alone widely known?  How do we achieve a better “branding” of the words social work and social worker?

“The general public” are our clients. They’re our target group(s).  There are a whole team of professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, social scientists and welfare workers, who aim to empower them to lead more fulfilling lives.   Yet Mr and Mrs Public don’t understand the differences in our qualifications. Our “consumers” actually don’t understand the “service” they’re purchasing, nor the good, the bad and the relevant. They just want “help” or “therapy” or “representation” and more often than not, the term “psychologist” will come to their minds. How do we change this to ensure our clients will understand their choices?

It’s time to make change to the public perception of social work. Clarify our skills in simple, layman’s terms. What is our core business? How do you describe “social work” to your family and friends?  How would you make a visit to a social worker sound appealing or helpful if you had to make a poster to promote our profession?