Skills-Based Training

In addition to teaching as an adjunct professor for the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver and the Center for Human Services at UC Davis, I also provide training services to community-based organizations and private corporations on issues related to mindfulness, self-compassion, trauma-informed practice, and increasing psychological resilience to compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. I am currently offering the following courses:

1.  Mindfulness-Based Strategies to Increase Psychological Resilience to Compassion Fatigue & Vicarious Trauma for Community-based Helping Professionals

This multi-modal workshop is designed to assist helping professionals in two distinct ways: (1) The content and experiential exercises will increase participants’ active awareness of the “signs and symptoms” of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma often present in high- stress human service work; (2) The content and experiential exercises will provide participants with a clear and practical process to identify and apply specific coping strategies to prevent the problem of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

2.  Mindfulness-Based Strategies to Increase Psychological Resilience to Compassion Fatigue & Vicarious Trauma for Online “Trust & Safety” Professionals
This multi-modal mindfulness-based educational workshop is designed to assist the online professional in two distinct ways: (1) The research-based content, reflective discussion, and experiential exercises will increase the participants’ active awareness of the “signs and symptoms” of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma often seen in trust & safety roles; (2) The research-based content, reflective discussion, and experiential exercises will provide the online professional with a clear and practical process to identify and apply adaptive coping strategies to address current work-related stress and proactive coping strategies to prevent the development of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

3. Cultivating Compassion with Challenging Behaviors in Mental Health
This multi-modal workshop is skills-based and designed for human service professionals who are interested in learning new tools and techniques for working with challenging behaviors that emerge from a client’s ambivalence to change such as oppositional-defiance, inconsistent attendance, and a lack of motivation to actively participate in mental health services, which can lead to various unintended consequences for helpers such as avoidance of “hard-to-treat” clients, an over reliance on referrals to outside agencies, an increase in countertransference, professional self-doubt, compassion fatigue, and burnout. Therapeutic techniques taught in this course are based on several treatment modalities including: Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Self- Compassion, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Health Coaching.

4. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Trauma/PTSD

Mindfulness is a meditative practice that involves training one’s ability to pay attention to what is happening in the moment without reacting to elaborate mental stories about the experience and without reacting to distressing thoughts or emotions that may be present; instead, the experience is accepted without judgment or avoidance. Similarly, mindfulness is associated with improvements in concentration and awareness of thoughts and feelings as transient mental and physical events, not as factual representations of reality that demand a response. In this way, people trained in mindfulness can learn to witness distressing trauma-related memories, feelings, and body sensations from a more distanced and less personal perspective, which may allow for more reflective, intentional action and less impulsive, “automatic” emotional reactivity.

This evidence-based workshop teaches practical applications of mindfulness meditation and cognitive therapy with psychotherapy clients who wish to alleviate symptoms of trauma while improving quality-of-life. It demonstrates the skills to help clients develop a new and radical way of relating to difficult emotions.

Training abstracts are available upon request.

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What People Are Saying…

“Our office asked Tony to provide a 4-hour training to our direct services staff on vicarious trauma / compassion fatigue and the training was absolutely perfect. Participants shared how helpful the training was, giving them not only an understanding of what vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue was, but actually providing them the tools they needed to help address some of the challenges they faced in their day-to-day work. Tony created an environment that allowed our staff to be vulnerable and share very personal stories about client stories and even personal trauma they’ve experienced. Overall our direct services team of 50 staff were very grateful and hope to continue trainings like the one we received from Tony in the future.”

–Nasim Khansari, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Los Angeles office

“I found Tony to be thorough, organized, and helpful when preparing for the training and the delivery of continuing education units for our licensed staff. Tony is not only a respectful, dedicated and caring trainer; he truly lives what he teaches. The entire experience was a positive one, and we are looking forward to having him back soon.”

–Susan Mayer-Zeitlin, MFT Wrap-around Services Supervisor, San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center

“Everyone on my team who participated in Tony’s vicarious trauma prevention training
found it quite valuable. It’s been interesting to see the majority of my teammates
applying the concepts covered in the training to situations other than simply
interacting with challenging content and behaviors. For example, I’ve personally
found the breathing exercises to be very helpful when conducting difficult
conversations with colleagues. While a couple of folks previously felt as though
they had a complete handle on work-related stress, the training helped them realize
that there are indeed aspects of the job that have a greater impact on their lives
than they realized. This is a really nice revelation to have and a great mindset to
be in coming out of the training!”

–David Watkis, Trust & Safety Lead for Automattic, Inc.