Other Workshops


Medical & Legal Marijuana in NJ: Practice and Policy Issues (NEW for 2018)

The goal of this interactive workshop is to identify the changes that have occurred in the NJ Medical Marijuana Program. The history of marijuana legalization and major events that have shaped this history are discussed. Known scientific research on the benefits of medical marijuana and the risks associated with marijuana usage are covered, as well as the continued barriers to better scientific research on this topic. Interactive exercises are incorporated in order to have participants analyze child custody issues for clients who are on the NJ medical marijuana program. Other exercises include the participants discussing how treatment is impacted by medical marijuana and participants will analyze under what conditions there would be a “duty to report” a coworker on medical marijuana.



This interactive workshop focuses on the major elements of using the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Upon completion of this course, participants will have a greater understanding of the DSM-5 and how to use this tool for the objective, evidenced-based assessment of a client. They will be able to recognize the difference between use, abuse and dependence that existed in the DSM-IV-TR, and the ability to understand and consistently utilize the new diagnostic criteria of substance use disorders (mild, moderate and severe). Covering more common diagnoses through experiential exercises in order to obtain good inner rater reliability utilizing the DSM-5 criteria. Medication-assisted treatments will be covered as they relate to diagnosing substance use disorders.

Emerging Drugs of Abuse

Many new drugs are making local and national headlines such as K2/Spice and Bath Salts. This interactive workshop will discuss the latest developments and information regarding synthetic cannabinoids, MDPV, Mephedrone, Kratom, Salvia and other designer drugs that have been emerging over the past few years. Workshop participants will be introduced to the physiology of these drugs and how they can possibly impact, mimic and exacerbate mental health disorders such as anxiety and depressive disorders. Epidemiologic trends in drug abuse in both youth and adults will be discussed as will the latest trends for 2010 from the New Jersey Division of Addiction Services. Workshop participants will participate in interactive discussions and exercises in differential diagnosis of similar symptoms produced by these emerging drugs of abuse and other mental health disorders. Patterns of use, abilities for urine detection, and other legal aspects regarding these emerging drugs will be discussed.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Substance Use Counseling

This interactive workshop focuses on the major elements of legal and ethical issues surrounding counselors in behavioral health settings. In this workshop, participants will learn about the different areas of legal and ethical concern for today’s counselors working with substance using clients. Legal areas include scope of clinical practice, malpractice, duty to warn, direct and vicarious liability, informed consent, confidentiality, and the ADA. Ethical areas covered include workplace harassment and dual relationships. Teaching methods include lecture, interactive exercises and group participation/discussion.

Motivational Interviewing

This interactive workshop focuses on Motivational Interviewing (MI) and provides an introductory structure for clinicians to begin to use this style of counseling when working with clients. Topics covered in this workshop include the principles and spirit of MI. Stages of change and how this impacts working with clients in different stages of readiness are discussed. Recovery vs. discovery strategies and which clients should receive which strategies. Incorporating empathic communication skills when working with clients. Common pitfalls associated with counseling and how they are handled with MI are discussed. How MI handles resistance and how this differs from other models of working with clients. Interactive exercises throughout the day will help clinicians begin to use some of these strategies and help brainstorm potential complications when working with clients.

Working with Angry and Aggressive Clients

This interactive workshop focuses on many aspects of working with others who have issues handling their anger. Topics include defining anger and differentiating anger with other related concepts such as irritability, hostility, aggression, and violence. This lecture will help participants understand key differences between proactive and reactive aggressors. How the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies anger. The history of treating anger disorders along with myths about dealing with anger will be discussed. Duty to Warn and Protect laws specific to the state where the lecture is being presented is also discussed. Finally strategies and tools for working with and de-escalating clients who are expressing anger are discussed.