The Ninth Annual Summer Institute consisted of four days of presentations around the pertinent topic.

by Stephen Levine

For the past nine years, social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors, psychiatric nurses and educators have come to Adelphi University for the School of Social Work Department of Continuing Education and Professional Development’s Annual Summer Institute to advance their professional skills and earn postgraduate certificates. The institute consists of four days of presentations centered around a pertinent topic in the field.

This year’s theme was cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has become the method of choice to deliver evidence-based treatment for a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse and trauma. The institute was held from Monday, July 14–Thursday, July 17, 2014, at the Garden City campus.

The institute kicked off on Monday with the presentation by Deborah Melamed, Ph.D., “An Overview of CBT for Psychodynamic Professionals.” Dr. Melamed demonstrated how to determine what a cognitive model is, how to work with automatic thoughts, cognitive case conceptualizations, the role of protocols and techniques and how to move forward with CBT in an individual’s practices.

Dr. Melamed explained how CBT’s history was rich and dated back to as early as the year 135, when Epictetus said, “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things.” Her presentation also included an interactive session in which she called upon an audience member to role-play as a patient with insomnia. At this time, members of the audience were encouraged to fill out a worksheet with different intervention points for therapy, including the situation, automatic thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

On Tuesday, Dena Rabinowitz, Ph.D., presented “CBT and Anxiety Disorders.” Attendees learned techniques for treating a range of anxiety disorders, which affect more than 40 million adults a year.

Wednesday’s session featured a presentation by Bill Knaus, Ed.D., on “Cognitive, Emotive and Behavior Therapy for Depression and Co-Occurring Conditions.” Dr. Knaus, author of several books, including End Procrastination Now! Get It Done with a Proven Psychological Approach, addressed 12 steps to end clinical depression, including avoiding depression thinking traps, exercising, eating healthily and getting adequate rest and sleep. Dr. Knaus provided some help in the area of procrastination as well, and also examined methods of overcoming procrastination, a common occurrence among those who struggle with depression.

The institute concluded on Thursday with “An Overview of CBT and Trauma Treatment: Which Approach to Use and When?” with Mandy Habib, Psy.D., and Victor Labruna, Ph.D., and “How Am I Doing? Using the CTRs to Evaluate Therapist Competency and Improve Clinical Practice” with Noah Clyman, LCSW.

With the addition of Moodle courses and this conference, participants were able to receive postgraduate certificates in the Fundamentals of CBT.

Audrey Freshman, Ph.D., director of continuing education and professional development, said the program “was very well received and imparted an enormous amount of information in the fundamentals of cognitive behavioral treatment. Each day increased our knowledge around the application of CBT, treatment of anxiety and mood disorders as well as traumatic conditions. As a clinician in private practice, I could not wait to see my clients and incorporate CBT principles with my clients. That is the beauty of continuing education—benefiting the treatment of others.

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