Winter Conference

Join 150+ local School and Professional Counselors for the VIRTUAL 2021 Winter Conference.

By attending WMCA Winter Conference you will gain a better understanding of a variety of social and emotional struggles facing our youth, their families and our communities at large. We will also spend time exploring counseling methodology, and you will be empowered to more efficiently establish, renew and maintain networking contacts within your profession.

February 10, 2021
8:00am – 2:30pm

For School Counselors,  SCECHs will be available for all sessions.

Diane Schroeder
, WMCA President
Keynote | Saving Superman | Rhondo M. Cooper – MSW
Breakout Session #1 9:15-10:15– Counseling Tools for Teens – Addressing Anxiety and Depression
– An overview of Eating Disorders in adolescents
– Supporting Grieving Children
– Understanding the Brain’s Role in Self-Regulation
– Using Mindful Self Compassion with Teens
10:15-10:30BREAK: Please visit our Sponsors & Exhibitors
Breakout Session #2 10:30-11:30– Mindful Moments
– College Access Programming and Resources
– Strategies for Supporting Student Mental Health
– Self-Care and Mental Health Well-being for Counselors
Breakout Session #3
– Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls: Counselor Considerations for Telehealth
– Trauma Informed Care: Compassion from the Inside Out
– Navigating Mental Health Referrals
– How to talk with our kids about Anxiety: Identifying 7 tools to help understand and manage worry
– LGBTQ Inclusivity
12:35-1:00LUNCH BREAK
Supporting Gender Non-Conforming Kids: A Parent and Educator Perspective | Danielle Hendry, Director of Human Resources
2:00-2:15Wrap Up & Door Prizes….. You MUST be present to win.

Keynote Sessions

Saving Superman | Rhondo M. Cooper – MSW
When a crisis arrives, you get called to “step in”. You don your superhero cape to sort out the situation, to manage the crisis, to resolve problems, and create balance in situations that are way out of balance. There is no mistake about it, you were born for this moment. You are a Superhero.
It’s time for the Lasso of Truth (you knew that was coming, right??): counselors are superheroes. And superheroes, by definition, are extraordinary, hyper-focused and extremely skilled at saving others. Self-care does not come easy for counselors, but in order to be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, we need to make sure we are attending to ourselves. This discussion will be focused on the neglected parts of the superhero in all of us. But of course, you already knew this was coming as well, right?? It’s time to save yourself.
Very often, when you “step in” to help, you’re “stepping out” of other important roles in your life. Never more than ever, today the superhero’s challenge is not just to resolve a crisis situation. Their real challenge is to keep themselves and the rest of their lives on an even keel. This talk is designed to examine the importance of “Self-Care” in the lives of modern day superheroes.

Supporting Gender Non-Conforming Kids: A Parent and Educator Perspective | Danielle Hendry, Director of Human Resources

As a former secondary principal and teacher Danielle Hendry had some experience supporting gender non-conforming students but didn’t truly grasp the struggles they face until her own child was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Danielle shares her story and her struggle to find support for her students and her own child. Learn tips, strategies, and best practices including not only resources for mental health providers but also resources to share with parents and educators who may be supporting a transgender student for the first time.

Breakout Session #1

Counseling Tools for Teens – Addressing Anxiety and Depression | Alena Grieser, LPC

Students that were anxious or depressed prior to COVID continue to experience such feelings, and those that were not experiencing anxiety or depression began to.
Just like all of us our students have experienced loss while their worlds have turned upside down. The dreams they had of playing a sport, winning the spelling bee, going on that class trip, or experiencing a dance for the first time all fell out from under them. Their school and bedroom all became one. Their schedule and routine became more unpredictable than ever before.
This session will provide 10 brief interventions to help you as you work with students over the coming months.

An overview of Eating Disorders in adolescents | Kelly Boprie, LMSW, CEDS

Eating Disorders are complex and involve both emotional, sociocultural and medical factors. Understanding the contributing factors to developing and maintaining an ED, as well as understanding the various eating disorders that exist (ARFID, AN, BN, BED, OSFED), as well as the medical aspects of EDs will be reviewed. Recognizing signs and symptoms of an ED will be discussed as well as basic assessment. Participants will also learn about the role of a treatment provider, the importance of referring out to a provider who specializes in treating EDs, and the need to team with family, PCP, and a nutritionist. Providers will also be introduced to family based treatment (FBT) to treat EDs in adolescents.

Supporting Grieving Children | Karen Ketterer

This presentation will provide information on the characteristics of children’s grief, developmental considerations, vocabulary to use with children, and specific ways to support grieving children and teens.
Skills gained will include use of reflective listening with bereaved children, specific language to use and avoid when supporting grieving children, and how to determine if children or teens may need additional support.
Participants will be led through a hands-on grief activity.
Supplies needed: Plain paper and writing utensils or markers.

Understanding the Brain’s Role in Self-Regulation | Anna Psaute, LPC

The brain is a powerful organ that is a regulatory system. Learn more about the brain’s role in self-regulation as well as how neurofeedback is used to work directly with the brain to promote this. Understand the benefits of this tool and how neurofeedback is a useful technique to promote further healing for clients. Also learn about Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and its impact on self-regulation.

Using Mindful Self Compassion with Teens | Cheryl Blackington

The middle school and high school years present their own unique set of challenges. Teens are growing and changing so much, it can be a very confusing time for them. Today’s teens have many more pressures and expectations creating a great deal of stress. Mindfulness gives them the skills to bring awareness to their stressors, and then Self Compassion teaches them how they can learn to take care of themselves in a healthy way- just as they would a good friend. We will look at brain development and also work through some actual practices taught to teens.

Breakout Session #2 | 10:30-11:30

Mindful Moments |Cheryl Redner, School Counselor/ Certified Mindful Classroom Teacher

This session will cover the basics of Mindfulness. Together we will gain an understanding of the practice, knowledge of the science behind mindfulness, and we’ll have an opportunity to practice

College Access Programming and Resources | Jamie Jacobs & Jordan Baah-Sackey

At Michigan College Access Network, we support college access through several statewide initiatives. We aim to help students in Michigan access and attain college degrees so that they can achieve a lifetime of their own goals, both economically and intellectually. Each of our initiatives works to achieve at least one of four priorities; college affordability, credential completion, college-going culture, and pathways and transitions. In this session, representatives from Michigan College Access Network’s High School Innovation Department will provide attendees with in-depth information on MCAN’s extensive high school programming and will connect counselors with opportunities and resources to implement at their schools. Participants will learn about College Bound Michigan, MCAN’s professional development opportunities, and MCAN’s wide range of resources.

Strategies for Supporting Student Mental Health | Kristin Douma, Wellness Coach/LLMSW

This session will discuss practical strategies and resources for Counselors/Student Services Professionals to use in supporting student mental health needs in the school setting, including direct support, advocating on behalf of students, and supporting classroom teachers. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate, share ideas with colleagues, and ask questions. While emphasis will be placed on older (grades 7-12) student populations, there will be some discussion and resources for supporting younger students as well.

Self-Care and Mental Health Well-being for Counselors Jettie Velthouse, LLP

This session will focus heavily on how to develop and maintain healthy self-care rhythms for counselors and helping professionals. Topics that will be covered include: signs of burnout; definition of self-care; ideas for creative self-care; the need for personal mental health monitoring; self-care based on your personality; and lastly some time for Q&A.
As counselors and mental health practitioners, we devote so much of our education and career toward helping others, and it is crucial to take care of our own selves while doing so. Join this breakout session if you want to improve your own self-care rhythms, and/or encourage others to do the same.

Breakout Session #3 | 11:35-12:35

Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls: Counselor Considerations for Telehealth | Dr. Kendra Jackson and Dr. Jenny Chien

Participants in this session will gain knowledge of the current ethical considerations for the use of telehealth counseling. The current standards regarding distance counseling in the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) and the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors (2016) will be reviewed. Effective strategies and procedures to mitigate potential ethical dilemmas will be explored. The aim of this session is to increase knowledge on ethical compliance in order to decrease potential client harm while also mitigating issues that could lead to litigation and malpractice. Counselors will have the opportunity to engage this topic through case studies highlighting realistic telehealth challenges and potential pitfalls.

Trauma Informed Care: Compassion from the Inside Out | Shayne McNichols, LMSW

Attendees will learn about the fundamentals of trauma (psycho-education), i.e. the definition and types of trauma, statistics around various types of trauma experienced by adults, children, and families; common symptoms associated with one who has experienced a traumatic experience and PTSD diagnosing requirements. Additionally, attendees will listen to and process and case vignette(s) in an individualized and group context. During this time, this will insight one’s empathy response as they process the subject’s to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral experience while experiencing complex trauma. Attendees will learn how to respond to the individuals that experience trauma in a trauma-informed care fashion. Following, attendees will assess themselves for compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress; learn how to recognize said symptoms (proactive and reactive) and create a plan for self-care.

Navigating Mental Health Referrals | Lindsay Wieland Capel, LMSW

You’ve identified a kid who needs mental health treatment, now what? Lindsay Wieland Capel, LMSW from Pine Rest will talk about the levels of care that insurance typically pays for and what that care looks like. Attendees will also learn the nuts and bolts about how to refer a patient to the care that they need.

How to talk with our kids about Anxiety: Identifying 7 tools to help understand and manage worry | Melissa VanderZyden, LMSW

Based on the work of, and book, “Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents”, by Lynn Lyons, LICSW, you will be introduced to the 7 tools to understand and manage worry. We will also highlight resources and supportive materials to practice and reinforce concepts. The goal is to leave with a deeper understanding of how to talk with our kids about anxiety and to have additional resources in your toolkit to reinforce each of the 7 tools.

LGBTQ Inclusivity |Jazz McKinney, MA, LLP | Paradigm Shifts Consulting

“This workshop will help participants center support, education, and community building for 2-SLGBTQ+ folk. Disproportionately affected by mental illness and minority stress, 2-SLGBTQ+ folks are also disproportionately excluded from traditional sources of mental health care. Come learn how to advocate and make collaborative efforts with and for the 2-SLGBTQ+ community.

Participants will expand their knowledge around 2-SLGBTQ+ terminology and Gender neutral language and understand why it is important to have. Participants will gain awareness of what are microaggressions and oppression and how these can be experienced from 2-SLGBTQ folk. Participants will learn about how to advocate for 2-SLGBTQ individuals and what can be done to address the systemic oppression that they experience.

Thank you to all of our Winter Conference Sponsors!