Below are a list of upcoming workshops from the Department of Counselor Education at University of Montana. You can register and pay online by following the instructions below. If you have specific questions regarding course content, please contact the Department of Counselor Education directly.
Counseling Veterans and Their Families Workshop Series
Session I: Friday, October 25 – Saturday, October 26, 2019, 9:00 – 5:00
The Challenges of Military Experience for Children and Families, presented by Jo Hittner, PhD
This workshop will look at how military experience affects families, particularly children. Included will be topics on how children respond to having a parent(s) in the military, the effect on their cognitive processing and brain development, particularly when living under stressful and/or fearful conditions. Ways of dealing with these situations as a counselor, teacher or other adult in the lives of these children and their families will be discussed.
Session II: Friday, November 8 – Saturday, November 9, 2019, 9:00 – 5:00
Soldiers’ Heart: Counseling Combat Veterans at End of Life, presented by Cyndi Briggs, PhD
Counselors may feel unequipped to address the personal, spiritual and trauma needs of veterans at end- of-life, but must develop fluidity, adaptability and courage for these important final conversations. Research on this topic has largely been conducted in the medical community, but counselors play a significant role in supporting veterans in making peaceful transitions from life to death. This presentation draws on interviews with over 100 veterans to identify insight and knowledge about their end-of-life needs.
Participants will learn about the historical context of war and its impact on veterans’ mental health; protective and liability factors; warrior archetypes in society; the benefits of ceremony at end-of-life; and specific steps counselors can take to support veterans as they transition from life to death. Throughout the workshop, oral history interviews and storytelling will be utilized to demonstrate the lingering concerns, moral injuries, and triumphs of veterans at end-of-life.
Session III: Friday, November 22 – Saturday, November 23, 2019, 9:00 – 5:00
Military Life Transitions: Understanding and Supporting Military Personnel through Deployment and Separation/Retirement, presented by Alissa Engel, MS, LCPC, LMFT
Military personnel and their families live in a unique culture, and have experiences that can be difficult for civilian helping professionals to understand. Military culture has its own customs, language, rules and regulations, and social norms. Studies show that a lack of cultural competence among helping professionals may result in servicemembers and veterans dropping out of care, being misdiagnosed, or seeking care only when their stressors and symptoms reach an advanced stage or when they are mandated to seek care. Two of the most significant transitions in a military career are deployment and separation/retirement.
Day 1 will focus on the challenges military members and their families experience before, during, and after deployment. Participants will learn how to effectively support and promote resilience among military members as they navigate the deployment cycle. Day 2 will focus on the transition from military to civilian employment and lifestyle. This workshop will utilize case studies, videos, and audio clips to examine the deployment cycle and recent retirement and separation experiences of military personnel. Participants will gain skills to better support and assist military personnel through this important life transition. The unique experiences of women military members and veterans will be highlighted both days.