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Annual Conference Speaker Details

Jess Costaldi

Jess Costaldi, LPC

Jess Costaldi, LPC

Speaker Bio

Jess Costaldi, LPC, is currently serving as President of the Arkansas Mental Health Counselors Association (ArMHCA). A native of Northwest Arkansas and an unrelenting advocate for accessible and affordable mental health care, Jess has worked in a variety of therapeutic settings since 2008 and now sees clients in her private practice in Fayetteville. She is currently writing a book that combines clinical knowledge of grief processes with lessons learned from personal loss experiences.

Presentation Details

We’re All Grief Counselors Now: Emerging Challenges in Grief Work

Under “normal” circumstances, working with clients who are experiencing significant loss and grief is challenging enough, as counselors empathically hold space for the client or family’s rollercoaster of emotions. In the face of an unprecedented global pandemic and sociopolitical unrest in the United States during the last year, however, both counselors and clients have been thrown into a whole new world of collective loss and grief. With specific insights from Narrative and Existential theories, this presentation will provide an overview of various models for making sense of grief responses, and participants will learn about diagnostic considerations, possible complications of certain types of losses, and practical tools for helping clients understand and move through grief process, with consideration of how the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has created a necessity for all counselors to be grief counselors.

Steve Seward, LMFT-S, LPC-S

rkansas Christian Counseling Center

Speaker Bio

Steve and his wife Nancy have two daughters and eight grandchildren, two great grandchildren and have lived in Fayetteville for 40 years. Steve has been in private practice for 18 years, a board approved supervisor for 23 years. He, along with his co-presenter, Joe Young, worked on a volunteer committee to develop the current ABEOC six month evaluation forms.

 

Presentation Details

Supervision Ethics with Joe Young and Steve Seward

We will be discussing the ethical use of the counseling supervision evaluation. Both ethics and how to use the guidelines will be discussed.

Joe Young LMFT-S, LPC-S

rkansas Christian Counseling Center

Speaker Bio

Joe has been a counselor for over 30 years and a licensed supervisor for 15 years. He supervises both LAC and LAMFT. He was a part of around 15 counselor supervisors who developed the current supervision evaluation, and the accompanying guide for its use.

 

Presentation Details

Supervision Ethics with Joe Young and Steve Seward

We will be discussing the ethical use of the counseling supervision evaluation. Both ethics and how to use the guidelines will be discussed.

 

Nikki Penn, LPC-S, LMFT-S, EMDR AC

Nikki Penn Counseling & Consulting, PLLC

Speaker Bio

Nikki Penn has been a LPC and LMFT for over 20 years. She is dually licensed in Arkansas and New York. She is a counseling supervisor, specialized law enforcement instructor, certified EMDR therapist/consultant, has a special focus in criminology, was an EMT for 20 years, and now enjoys counseling and consulting with law enforcement, EMS, and fire departments across the state. She teaches classes to therapists across the nation about trauma-informed counseling and becoming more culturally competent when working with first responders. She is married to a paramedic who is a sergeant at their police department and an assistant fire chief. Nikki is a part of the ladies’ auxiliary for both the police and fire departments in her home town and volunteers for the Wives of Armor (WOA).

Presentation Details

What’s the Difference? Treating First Responders

First responders pose unique challenges in the counseling office. However, working with this population can be extremely rewarding as the counselor helps those who help others. Develop an understanding of the cultural differences. Think about whether you should treat or refer. Finally, learn how to better relate, communicate, identify issues, and treat effectively when working with police, fire, EMS, and dispatch.

Nikki Weatherly, LPC, NCC

Riverstone Wellness Center

Speaker Bio

Nikki Weatherly is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health. Nikki is a Board Certified Therapist by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and is also a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™, the first in Arkansas. As a DBT certified clinician, Nikki seeks to serve those who are struggling with complex issues. She specializes in treating Borderline Personality Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, including chronic suicidality.

While clinically trained in several evidence-based treatments, DBT is Nikki’s primary focus in treatment. She helps her clients, through balancing acceptance and change, build a life they experience was worth living. Through individual therapy, she assists clients as they track target behaviors and develop healthy ways of coping with life’s daily problems. Group skills training offers helpful strategies to empower clients to make the changes they desire in their lives by mindfully learning to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships.

After nearly ten years in an agency setting, Nikki made the shift to private practice three years ago and now operates one of the few adherent comprehensive DBT programs in the central Arkansas area.

Presentation Details

DBT Basics: An Introductory Workshop

This introductory training will provide an overview of the DBT model, highlighting populations for whom the treatment is beneficial, required components of the treatment, and the process and implications of upcoming certification and accreditation requirements.

At the end of this training the mindful participant will be able to:

  1. Identify general inclusionary criteria for this treatment as a basis for making appropriate referral.
  2. Have the resources necessary to evaluate if a program is “comprehensive”.
  3. Demonstrate a basic understanding of each component of the DBT model.