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Webinar Description

When clients are not interested in working with a mental health professional, it can be hard to create a therapeutic relationship with them. This training is designed to help experienced practitioners build on their current approach to working with clients who are difficult to engage. Attendees will learn new ways of applying supportive techniques to improve outcomes with this population.


During this class, the definition and basic principles of Motivational Interviewing will be reviewed. Strengths Based Theory will be applied to creating a therapeutic alliance with mandated or ambivalent clients. Motivational challenges on the individual and systemic levels will be identified and explored for how they impact treatment. The training will incorporate group practice exercises to allow participants to combine their new knowledge with what they already practice.  A segment on coaching supervisees and non-clinical staff will be included.

(Trainer: Lissa Ramsepaul, LICSW, LCSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker in MD and DC. She currently works as a nonprofit management consultant after years of working in the homeless services and mental health sectors in DC. She has a passion for working with clients that are mandated, ambivalent about services, and report a history of bad experiences with mental health services in the past.)

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    Introduction of topic

        Definition of “challenging clients”
        Polling the group: In what types of settings do participants practice? How many see mandated clients?  How many see adolescent clients? How many see clients with a history of developmental trauma? How many see clients who have different cultural beliefs and experiences than themselves?
        Application of how the answer to each question can qualify clients for this approach.

(5 minutes)

    Review of Motivational Interviewing
        What is it?
        History of the development of MI
        Where is it applicable?
        Defining success

(15 minutes)

    What is Strengths Based Theory Really?
        Original definition from Denis Saleeby’s work
        How do we already use it?
        What are the ways that we deviate from implementing this approach?

(15 minutes)

    Engaging Challenging Clients

        Approaches to relationship building with mandated or reluctant clients
        Overcoming cultural competency issues
        Setting up the client as the expert
        Joint goal setting
        Challenges to implementation of this approach & ethical considerations

(30 minutes)

    Role Play Demo: Bringing it al together (5 minutes)
    Group Exercise: Role Plays & Debrief (20 minutes)
    Supporting staff into operationalizing this approach in your setting (20 minutes)
    Questions, Summary, and Wrap up (10 minutes)

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will identify challenges faced by marginalized and mandated client populations
  • Participants will develop a skilled approach to applying Strengths Based Theory and Motivational Interviewing to mandated and reluctant clients
  • Participants will practice new knowledge to develop comfort level with new techniques
This presentation is open to:
  • Social Workers
  • Professional Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Licensed Mental Health Practitioners
  • Other professionals interacting with populations engaged in mental health based services
This online class is offered at an intermediate level ,and is beneficial for an intermediate level clinician:
  • New practitioners who wish to gain enhanced insight surrounding the topic
  • Experienced practitioners who seek to increase and expand fundamental knowledge surrounding the subject matter
  • Advanced practitioners seeking to review concepts and reinforce practice skills and/or access additional consultation
  • Managers seeking to broaden micro and/or macro perspectives

Course Length: 3 Hours

This Webinar Offers 3 Live Interactive Continuing Education Credits

    • CE You! is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. CE You! maintains responsibility for this program..
    • CE You LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0437

Official information:

Refunds: Registrants who are unable to attend a Thrapy Express seminar or live webinars may ask for, and will receive, a credit or refund (your choice). Refund requests will be processed within 3 business days. When an attendee knows in advance that they are unable to attend we ask that they inform Thrapy Express ahead of time by emailing [email protected] or by calling or texting (631) 202-1010 this allows us to free up the spot in the training in the event that a training is at or near capacity.
Disability Access: If you require ADA accommodations, please contact our office 30 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification.
Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often, and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.
The grievance policy for trainings provided by the NEFESH INTERNATIONAL is available here
Satisfactory Completion: Participants must have paid the tuition fee, logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate (If this is a pre-recorded program, a post-test with a passing grade of 80% to receive a certificate.) Failure to log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available after satisfactory course completion by clicking here
Participants will receive their certificate electronically upon completion of the webinar and course evaluation form.
There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.
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