Group Work Series 2023

Illustration of Group Work

Group work education and training is essential to learning the best ways of facilitating diverse groups, but as the complexity of group practice has increased, the opportunities to learn effective ways of facilitation, both in the field and classroom, has decreased.

To address these challenges we have developed 4 workshops to provide a framework for understanding group work and how it is practiced with different populations. Although each session supports work with a specific population, the knowledge and skills learned can be adapted to a variety of groups. Whether you are an experienced group practitioner or new to the practice, we invite you to join us to explore group work in today’s practice world.

Here’s what people are saying:

  • “It was a very informative training, and helpful to reconnect with the fundamentals of group work.”
  • “Facilitator was wonderful – very engaging, professional, and shared so many tips from her vast experience.”
  • “Had a great time. Learned a lot. Felt very comfortable and grounded. Thank you for a great day.”
  • “I came into the training very apprehensive as I have been doing groups for a while. I was very happy to be able to reconnect with the process as well as learn form other awesome practitioners in the field. Just awesome, and thank you.”

Workshops – Register for 1, 2, 3 or all 4 programs. Discount available when registering for more than one workshop or when 3 or more agency staff register.

Group Work with Older Individuals – Imagine the Possibilities – Fri, September 29, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, 5 CECs
The population of older adults in the USA is growing rapidly. The global pandemic threatened individual and familial economic security, increased social isolation, and negatively affected individual physical and mental health, as well as social well-being. For many older adults this has led to increased anxiety and depression, and ongoing grief due to the loss of loved ones. Group Work provides connection, a space for sharing of experience, and feelings of inclusion in a community of people. Active engagement, very effective when working with older adults, is an important part of this process. Learn more.

Group Work with Children in School Settings – Date TBA
This workshop will emphasize the use of trauma informed practice within small groups and classroom settings. Practitioners will learn specific school-based strategies to encourage the development of connection and mutual aid within the groups.

Group Work Then and Now – Completed
Review of the principles and practices of group work, using a group development model that provides a framework for assessing the needs of the members and group at each stage and the specific leader skills that will promote optimal member participation and group cohesion.

Group Work with Involuntary Clients: Addressing Challenges with the Group and within OurselvesCompleted
It can often feel intimidating and even create dread for a group worker to be tasked with a mandated group. You might wonder, “what if no one wants to be here and what am I going to do with that?” This workshop will focus on how we can shift from an experience of anxiety and dread to a confident approach that engages our curiosity and creativity. Learn more and register for this workshop.

More details coming soon. Questions? Contact

Using Implementation Science to Enhance Practice Changes

Patricia D. Wilcox, LCSWRegister Now for CE programs now
Friday, April 28, 2023
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
3 CECs

$60 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$75 – All Others

Social workers are often leaders in implementing practice changes within their programs. Whether the change is starting an evidence-based practice, transforming towards trauma-informed care, becoming more anti-racist, involving families in a new way, scaling up a pilot project to an entire agency, or something else, change is hard. Even when staff agree in theory, it is often difficult to alter daily practice. 75% of change efforts fail because organizations or communities weren’t ready for the change.

Luckily, there’s actually a science of how we can create change. Implementation Science is about using strategies to change people’s behavior. It’s going beyond just awareness and knowledge to really change behavior. Implementation Science is the study of methods to promote the adoption and integration of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into routine health care and public health settings to improve the impact on population health.
We can use this knowledge to become more skillful in our own change efforts. Underlying the practice of implementation is a science of implementation that addresses:

• What are the best strategies to change people’s behavior?
• What kind of implementation supports might you need to support people to actually use those strategies?
• What are the different contextual factors that can affect implementation?
• What predicts sustainability?

Participants are urged to bring ideas about a change effort in which you are currently immersed or one you are contemplating. You will leave with an implementation plan and some tools to use with your initiative. Teams who are working together will benefit by attending this training together and working collaboratively on their plan.

We will use the theory and tools of Implementation Science to look at the core components of implementing, including:

Forming and maintaining relationships
Defining the why
Selecting the intervention
Defining who will be doing what differently
Assessing barriers and facilitators
Selecting and enacting strategies
Planning for sustainability

As a bonus, the seminar will include an optional virtual follow-up session during which participants can share their progress with each other and learn from each other’s experiences.

At the conclusion of this seminar, participants will be able to:

1. define Implementation Science and list its primary components
2. create an implementation plan which includes the why, who, and how of a change
3. analyze the barriers and facilitators for their proposed change
4. develop a specific plan of strategies to address the barriers they face
5. develop and plan to measure their efforts and increase sustainability


The seminar will be informed by materials adapted from The Center for Implementation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, notably:

Moore, J.E., Khan, S. (2020). Implementation, Spread, and Scale Course and Workbook. The Center for Implementation: Ontario, Canada.
Moore, J. E. & Khan, S. (2022). StrategEase: The HOW of Creating Sustainable Change Course and Workbook. The Center for Implementation: Ontario, Canada.

Understanding Grief in Children/Teens in Foster/Residential Care

Ruth Pearlman, LCSW, LICSW, M.ED
Wed, March 29, 2023Register Now for CE programs now
10 am – 12 pm (ET)
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

As social workers, we tend to have limited training in the grief of children. How they cognitively and psychologically understand loss is often omitted from our core learning objectives. For children in foster or residential or alternative care, the research is even more limited. This webinar will focus on the specific bereavement and grief experiences of children in alternative care. We will explore how a child, to even “be” in alternative care, is to be a griever. Any alternative care for a child, by its very definition, requires that the child in care has either lost a family member(s) to actual death or another form of loss that often feels like a death.

How have we systemically viewed these grieving children? Are we more likely to diagnose their expressions of grief as negative behaviors? Can the most oppositional child we treat be among the most bereaved children we have encountered?

This webinar will examine children in alternative care as disenfranchised grievers. We will address the bereavement needs that so often, and unintentionally, go untreated. We will also explore why this grief has been systemically undertreated due to a system that was never given adequate resources to address the bereavement needs of these children.

Participants will:

  • be able to identify the common symptoms of grief experienced by children in care
  • be able to identify how grief manifests in behavioral symptoms
  • learn positive interventions to address grief and loss issues of children in alternative care

Developing Comfort and Confidence with Tapping (EFT)

Catherine Ewing, LCSW, MDivRegister Now for CE programs now
Monday, March 27, 2023
10 am – 12 pm (ET)
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete

This webinar is a great follow up for those who have taken Fundamentals of Emotional Freedom Technique: Care for Clients and Practitioners, other Entry Level EFT classes, or practicing on their own. Based on feedback from prior participants, this follow up class has proven helpful in deepening understanding and developing confidence in using EFT.

Getting comfortable using EFT comes with practicing on yourself and with clients who are generally well-functioning but may be struggling with anxiety, physical pain, intrusive thoughts, self-limiting beliefs or life changes. The more you use EFT and see the consistent positive results, the less strange it will feel and the more opportunities you will find to use it for your clients and your own self-care.

This webinar will include a review of the Basic Recipe for tapping, including tapping points, set-up phrase and basic tapping protocol. Additional topics to be introduced and further explored will be the Personal Peace Procedure, Tapping to Install Positive Beliefs, Borrowing Benefits, and how EFT dovetails with the Law of Attraction. There will be ample time for group tapping, demonstration, and Q&A.

Participants in this interactive webinar will:

  • Develop more comfort and confidence using EFT for self and with clients
  • Understand the Personal Peace Procedure and its appropriate use
  • Learn protocol for Tapping in Positive Beliefs
  • Learn about the power of Borrowing Benefits in group settings
  • Understand the energetic integration of EFT and the LOA

The Clinical Interview

Jennifer Berton, PhD, LICSW, CADC-IIRegister for CE programs now

Thurs, Nov 9, 2023
10 am – 12 pm (ET)
2 CECs

Registration Fee: $50
10% discount for UConn SSW Alumni and current SSW Field Instructors

Trainings on assessment and diagnosis typically focus on client symptoms and psychopathology, and examine existing diagnostic assessment tools. This training has the actual clinical interview at its focus, exploring how to gather the information you need from each client. Participants will learn how to prepare, what skills are needed, and where to focus each section of the interview.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gather all the needed questions to conduct a solid clinical interview
  • Learn the components of motivational interviewing
  • Explore how to direct and redirect the path of the clinical interview
  • Practice clinical interviewing skills; identify strengths and challenges

Making Sense of the DSM 5

Jennifer Berton, PhD, LICSW, CADC-IIRegister for CE programs now

Thurs, Oct 26, 2023
10 am – 12 pm (ET)
2 CECs

Registration Fee: $50
10% discount for UConn SSW Alumni and current SSW Field Instructors

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

The 5th edition of the DSM brings with it some of the most significant changes between editions. In addition to changes in the disorders themselves and how they are grouped, the diagnostic system has been revamped. Are you prepared to incorporate the changes into your practice and to diagnose your clients accurately? This training shows you how to use the DSM5 to enhance your assessment skills.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the major philosophical changes to the diagnosis process in the DSM 5
  • Learn the categorical and disorder changes and additions introduced in the DSM 5
  • Examine the assessment tools published with the DSM 5
  • Practice diagnosis using the DSM 5 through numerous clinical vignettes

Racial Justice and Implicit Bias: Fostering Authentic Engagement

Provides 2 hours of content on cultural competence.

Qur-an Webb, MSW and colleagues from Welcome 2 RealRegister Now for CE programsity

Tuesday, October 24, 2023
6:00 – 8:00 pm
2 CECs

Registration Fee: $50
10% discount for UConn SSW Alumni and current SSW Field Instructors

The webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

This webinar will examine implicit bias, the differences between equality and equity, and how to recognize equitable practices. Participants will learn to talk about race constructively within their workplace, with colleague organizations, and with their clients by having conversations about racial justice work to help foster authentic engagement. The training will enable participants to apply what they know about racial justice and equity to build a further understanding and agreement. Participants will learn which facilitation tools to use when faced with hot button issues and how to lead conversations about race with presence, grace, and authority.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss how biases and discriminatory practices effects clients and their families
  • Explore strategies to help improve our work with the children and families we serve
  • Explore next steps for applying concepts and strategies to advance racial equity

Why the DSM 5 Doesn’t Acknowledge Sensory Integration Symptoms and How that Harms Our Clients

Register for CE programs nowRuth Pearlman, LCSW, LICSW, M.ED

Wed, Oct 4, 2023
10 am – 12 pm
2 CECs

Registration Fee: $50
10% discount for UConn SSW Alumni and current SSW Field Instructors

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition where a person has difficulties regulating their senses within their environment. These are our clients who can experience the world as being “too loud” or “too intense”. They can experience the world as being so sensory over-whelming that their bodies go into a defensive “fight, flight or freeze” stance. For many people with SPD, their constant need to re-regulate their senses to adapt to the stimuli around them, creates symptoms of distractibility, irritability, anxiety, and depression.

So where is SPD in the DSM 5? It isn’t. Although more than half of all the diagnostic criteria of disorders in the DSM 5 describe symptoms of SPD, the APA refuses to acknowledge SPD as a disorder. Therefore, DSM 5 conditions such as ADHD, PTSD, Tourette’s, ASD, ODD, the Anxiety Disorders as well as Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, are never understood or treated through the lens of sensory integration. Yet all of the above disorders are, in large part, sensory-based disorders. Imagine trying to treat a client with ASD or PTSD and not teaching the client about their sensory system reactions?

In this interactive webinar, participants will:

  • Explore the long-delayed need to incorporate sensory integration issues into our working knowledge of the DSM 5
  • Recognize that negative behaviors of are better de-escalated when sensory overload can be quieted (calmed down), similar to “sensory rooms” and “sensory placed” used in schools
  • Consider the clinical cost of these misinterpretations for both children and adults

Marijuana: Miracle Drug or the Devil’s Lettuce?

William C. Gilbert, PhD, LCSW, AADCRegister Now for CE programs

Wednesday, Sept 20, 2023
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2 CECs
Also approved for 2 CEUs by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) for Alcohol and Drug Counselors

Registration Fee: $50
10% discount for UConn SSW Alumni and current SSW Field Instructors

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete

With the increasing number of states legalizing recreation marijuana and other states approving the drug for medical purposes, the use of marijuana is becoming more popular. With this increasing popularity, the facts about marijuana and the effects on the brain and body are often misrepresented. Marijuana in neither the panacea that some claim, nor will its use lead to the downfall of our country. This webinar will present an unbiased discussion about the facts and myths about marijuana. The pharmacology of the drug will be reviewed as well as its benefits and negative consequences.

By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

• describe the effects of marijuana on the brain and body
• distinguish between the myths and facts about marijuana
• describe the validated medical use of marijuana
• describe the cultural and societal effects of marijuana use

Who is Thich Nhat Hanh and How do I do His “One Stone” Meditation with Clients?

Donald F. deGraffenried, LCSW
Fri, Sept 23, 2022, 10 am – 12 pmRegister for CE programs now
2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Webinar link will be emailed when your registration is complete.

This two-hour online training will explore the teachings of Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Participants will learn about his history with mindfulness, his advocacy for peace and social justice, and his connection to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Trainer deGraffenried will explain the origin of the “One Stone Meditation” and demonstrate how to use this powerful, yet simple experience of mindfulness to use with clients or for yourself. This is a gentle introduction to the process of mindfulness and enhancing the greater ability to be fully in the moment.

Participants are requested to have a small stone available to use during the webinar. The stone should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.

In this webinar, you will:

  • Understand how Thich Nhat Hanh’s history with mindfulness and his advocacy for peace and social justice conforms to social work practice
  • Learn about the origin of the “One Stone Meditation” and how to use this powerful, yet simple experience of mindfulness, with clients or yourself