Day 1 Presenter Panel

Day 1 Presenter Panel

Day 2 Presenter Panel


Dates & Times

Thursday & Friday, September 24 & 25, 2020

9am-4:30pm Each Day

Online Training

Live, Real-Time, Interactive
**Earn the same credits as in-person trainings!**

Zoom Training Platform


  • $299 Early Registration through Aug 31
  • $275 Groups Registration for Groups of 3+
  • $325 Late Registration after Aug 31

CEU Credits

14 Maryland and DC Social Work Category 1 CEUs – INCLUDES 3 ETHICS CREDITS

**See below for more details and credit acceptance for other mental health professionals.**

This year has been difficult for a variety of reasons. While everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another, helping professionals have been uniquely impacted. The seemingly overnight shift from traditional in-office counseling to tele-mental health has placed an additional burden on mental health practitioners. This new way of doing things, combined with the increased demands of clients who are now struggling with issues like: job loss, economic insecurity, isolation and balancing kids at home while still working has led to the need for mental health professionals to reconsider how they can renew and reinvent their practice. 

Now, more than ever, we need to renew and reimagine many aspects of our clinical work. What we need at this time is more than a “pep talk;” we need real-world, hands-on strategies in order to not only make it through these difficult times, but to emerge with resilience, personal empowerment and renewed passion.

This interactive and timely conference will provide helping professionals with a professional recharge so that they can renew their passion for helping others while also getting the credits they need on a practical level to keep their licensure in good standing.

Over the course of two days clinicians will get 14 Category I CEU credits which includes 3 Ethics Credits.  This training is online, live, real-time, and interactive.  It will take place on Zoom which past attendees have found easy to use and enjoyable from the comfort of home.


Keynote Speaker
Day 1 – Morning

Rita Milios, LCSW, “The Mind Mentor” is a psychotherapist in private practice, a FL Qualified Supervisor and a former DOT Substance Abuse Professional. Her practice and her seminars for clinicians combine DSM-5 related strategies with unique “mind-tools” psycho-education techniques that bridge the gap between traditional psychotherapy and holistic approaches gleaned from Ancient Wisdom traditions. Rita has been a teacher of meditation, mindfulness and other mind-training techniques for more than twenty-five years, as well as a researcher and writer on cutting edge topics related to mind and behavior, including the use of brain-based science and neurobiology techniques for PESI Seminars.

Rita is an internationally published author of more than forty books (for both adults and children) plus hundreds of articles for print and web, as well as a management training video on positive thinking. Her book and seminar topics include mind/body wellness, personal transformation, creativity, recovery and bereavement. Rita has been featured on radio & TV as an expert on the mind and positive thinking and has worked with psychologists and other clinicians to produce training materials for use with clients and teachers.

Mindfulness & Meditation
Day 1 – Afternoon

Adele Martelle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. She has a Master’s in Social Work, with a specialization in mental health treatment, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She has a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Southern Maine. Adele has extensive history working with unique populations to include trauma survivors, the incarcerated, and couples seeking reconciliation. She is a public speaker and writer on topics such as trauma, attachment, intimacy, and mindfulness. Adele seeks to be creative in her practice and speaking engagements by sharing practical examples and tangible skills to utilize. She attempts to meet other’s where they are and journey with them as they recognize their own potential. Adele strongly believes an important part of her job is to help people heal and empower them to have a healthy relationships with others, themselves, and the Divine. Adele and her family are activists for marginalized groups and volunteer with a local non-profit organization. In 2017 she and her husband founded Second Mile Marriage an event based organization that utilizes multi media experiences to help couples go beyond common communication skills and develop radical intimacy.

DBT Skills to Renew Your Clinical Toolbox
Day 1 – Concluding Speaker

Grace Nyblade is the Owner/Clinical Director of A New Leaf Therapy.  They run both psychotherapy and a comprehensive DBT program for 6th grade through Young Adults in their mid 20s.  Her clinic is located in upper Montgomery County easily reachable from Howard County, Anne Arundel County and Prince George’s County.  She got her MSW from University of Maryland, Baltimore and took her first post-Master’s job at Child and Family Services Agency in DC.  Despite extensive training by the agency she did not feel prepared for the disclosures and pain that clients would share.  She sought further training in working with Trauma and received a post-master’s certificate in Trauma Symptom Management from UMD.  She also received training in Domestic Violence, TF-CBT, Trichotilliomania, Sexual Addiction and Offender work and then extensive training and eventual certification in Dialectic Behavior Therapy.  Grace is also Intensively Trained in Radical Openness – Dialectic Behavior Therapy.

Diversity, Inclusion, & Ethics
Day 2 Morning Presenter

Alida D. Gibson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor for the state of Maryland specializing in PTSD, grief and loss, esteem and self worth issues. She began her journey in the mental health world as the Trainer for the crisis/ suicide hotline, followed by face to face work as the weekend shelter manager of the domestic violence shelter, both in Frederick, MD.
Currently, she is a full time lecturer at Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA in the Psychology department where she teaches upper level intensive courses among which are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychology of Death, and Human Relations Psychological Perspective. Alida also sees clients part time in her virtual practice, Pursuing Betterment Counseling.

Addressing Racism in Mental Health
Day 2 – Afternoon Presenter

Shardae Washington is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state of Virginia. She received her Master’s in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA and her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. She has a wealth of experience within the mental health field but more importantly, my specialty is working with underserved families of color with recognizing, identifying and addressing the contextual factors that impact families that have been barriers to obtaining the education and the success that they desire. Ms. Washington works in the Prince George School District as a supervisor for the Therapeutic Day Treatment and Community Based Counseling Program for almost 8 ½ years.

Ms. Washington also provides trainings on various topics including racism within the Black community, providing therapy for people of color and Person of the Therapist issues to a multitude of agencies including Norfolk Department of Social Services, the VALPCA, etc.

She has a vibrant and energetic personality uses her great gifts to facilitating trainings for various agencies and platforms. Ms. Washington has a great passion for families and couples but in addition to that, she has dedicated her focus on social and racial issues as well as exploring the needs and growth of the African American community. She is a caring and compassionate therapist who works diligently to support and guide her clients through their journeys through life.

 Suicide Prevention During COVID-19
Day 2 – Concluding Presentation

Juli Murray is passionate about mental wellness and education – luckily, she has a lot of ways to use that in her life. She is the founder and Lead Trainer of Inquiring Minds LLC and is an adjunct professor for three colleges. Juli is currently working towards her PhD in Educational Psychology. Previously, Juli and her team won awards for their work with teens with severe mental health issues, and she was a Crisis Text Line counselor. In her free time, she serves as the Education Chair for the Board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, buys too many plants, and plays frisbee with her dogs. She loves to meet new people, so please feel free to connect!


Click on agenda to view full size

Day 1 Morning Keynote Agenda

Coming Soon

Day 1 Afternoon Session Agenda

Day 1 Afternoon Concluding Session Agenda
  • 2:30 Introductions and my five favorite DBT skills
  • 3:35 Skills to incorporate worksheets and acronyms into sessions
  • 4:00 How to use our technology to find new worksheets and use the Net live in sessions
Day 2 Morning Ethics Session Agenda

Day 2 Afternoon Session Agenda

Day 2 Afternoon Concluding Session Agenda

CEU Credit Info

How many CEU credits will I receive for attending this event?

A total of 14 Social Work Category 1 CEU credits are offered for full attendance to this live, real-time, interactive online event. This includes 3 Ethics CEU credits. These are the same credits that we provide for in-person trainings.

**Anyone who is not present for a portion of any workshop will have credits deducted from their CEU certificate. **

**Please note: There is no additional charge for these CEU Credits – the cost is already included in the registration fee.**

What type of CE Credits are offered for attending this event?

You will receive Maryland Social Work Category I CEU Credits and DC Social Work Credits when you attend this event. Although this is an online training, these are the same credits that you would receive for attending an in-person training.  Sign-in each day of the training, full attendance, participation, and workshop evaluation are required to receive CEU credits.

What if I am licensed in another jurisdiction?

Maryland CEU Institute/Optimal Life Solutions, LLC is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits (Category 1 CEUs) for licensed social workers in Maryland. MD CEU Institute has also received written approval from the DC Board of Social Work for all workshops.  These credits are accepted for many other mental health professionals in the region (see below for list).  

If you are licensed in another jurisdiction or are unsure your board accepts our credits, we suggest that you check with your licensing board to determine if they will accept Maryland or DC Social Work CEU credits.  Many states have reciprocity to accept credits that have been approved by  another state board.  With changing laws and regulations due to COVID-19, including the number of credits that may be earned online, we strongly encourage attendees to double check with their own board to be sure they will accept the credits we offer.

Our MD & DC Social Work Category 1 CEU credits are accepted for:

  • Maryland Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Maryland Social Workers
  • Maryland Psychologists
  • Maryland Substance Abuse Counselors
  • Maryland Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Maryland Residential Child Care Professionals
  • DC Social Workers
  • DC Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Virginia Social Workers
  • West Virginia Social Workers
  • Don’t see your licensure listed here? It is always best to check with your licensing board to be sure the credits we offer will be accepted by them.

Maryland CEU Institute/Optimal Life Solutions, LLC is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners (under the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) for continuing education credits (Category 1 CEUs). Our workshops are also approved for credit through the DC Board of Social Work.  For more information please visit our FAQ page.

Day 1 Overviews and Objectives


Renewing and Reinventing Your Practice: Helping Others During Challenging Times

Presenter: Rita Milios, LCSW
The Mind Mentor

As mental health professionals we have all recently faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 and are still reeling from the ongoing changes the pandemic has brought. With school starting and kids still at home in many places, now more than ever, we need to renew and re-energize our own professional energies to keep moving forward. What we need at this time is more than a “pep talk;” we need real-world discussions and hands-on strategies that are scientifically-based, in order to not only make it through these difficult times, but to emerge along with our clients with resilience, empowerment and renewed passion.
This presentation will begin with a discussion of the impacts of the pandemic on mental health professionals and our clients. Interaction and discussions among participants will be an integral part of the session in order to gain much-needed insight and feedback from peers. Next we will cover ways to renew and transform your skills to meet the challenges of today. Methods of connecting better with clients and adding additional strategies and techniques to your “mind tools” toolbox will be covered. A final summit will conclude the session to renew our professional selves and recommit to our calling as mental health professionals.
  • Describe how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected mental health clinicians
  • Describe how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected clients
  • Describe 2 or more ways therapists can adapt their work strategies and transform their clinical skills in order to meet current challenges
  • Describe 2 or more reasons given by mental health researchers for a reported increase in anxiety and depression symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Describe 2 or more techniques for addressing the current increase in anxiety and depression symptoms related to the pandemic
  • Describe 2 or more differences between professional burnout/compassion fatigue and a feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Compare professional renewal strategies that clinicians can use to combat either     burnout/compassion fatigue or feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Discuss motivations and commitments to your calling as a mental health professional
  • Identify 1 or more new goals for your practice, based on experiences gained while adjusting to changes necessitated by the pandemic
  • Identify 2 or more strategies to meet goals and overcome potential obstacles



Mindfulness Techniques to Help Your Clients Thrive During Challenging Times

Presenter: Adele Martelle, LCSW-C


Have you noticed that your clients seem to be experiencing an increased loss of control, stress, and fear of the unknown? Anxiety, trauma, grief and depression are on the rise. A pandemic, political tensions, and numerous battles for social justice are just a few of the pressing issues creating mental health challenges. And these challenges do not discriminate. As healing professionals we may be finding ourselves with similar overwhelming emotions, unsure of how to help ourselves while navigating this season with our clients. Now more  than ever, with so many unknowns, it is imperative that we practice and model the art of being fully present. One moment at a time.

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with awareness and compassion. Thereby, we learn to live fully in our current experiences instead of resisting them. It is the practice of engaging the moment with curiosity, a sense of compassion, and a centeredness. The benefits of a mindfulness practice are researched and vast ranging from improved physical health, emotion regulation, relational satisfaction, focus, and stress reduction.

Attendees will learn the basics of mindfulness and mediation. They will learn strategies for proactive and real-time mindfulness techniques that decrease stress and anxiety. Attendees will gain the tools to add a sense of peace to their client’s daily routines as well as their own. In a time when our sense of security, coupled with the stress of the unknown is ever present, mindfulness is a hope filled way through.


Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the core components of a mindfulness practice and foundations of meditation
  • Explain how awareness and acceptance strategies increase mood and emotion regulation
  • Discuss the role of breath in connecting the mind and body for stress reduction
  • Apply tools for increasing compassion towards self and others



Renewing Your Clinical Practice with Everyday DBT Skills

Presenter: Grace Nyblade, LCSW-C 

DBT skills are a great way to build rapport and help even low risk clients handle distress tolerance, emotional regulation and learn mindfulness.  Ten years into DBT, I am a little biased but use the skill in my day to day life personally and with my own teenagers.  Come learn the DBT skills that apply to all of your therapy clients and will help them get the most out of their psychiatric medications.


  • Learn five DBT skills that apply to all clients
  • Understand how to use these skills in session and for yourself
  • Learn how to find new DBT skills and worksheets to use
  • Learn how worksheets and acronyms bridge clients in between sessions

Day 2 Overviews and Objectives


 Diversity, Inclusion and Ethics in the Practice of Mental Health

Presenter: Alida Gibson, MA, MS, LCPC


Diversity and Inclusion are both hot topic and hot button issues in our society at this time. We, as helpers, have an opportunity to be available, accessible and able to help our clients express their concerns and their perspectives openly and honestly without judgement. We can also serve as a sounding board to assist other clients in how to move to a greater level of understanding as to how to communicate and interact with those who are in diverse populations by becoming more culturally sensitive and aware.

This workshop will also touch on how to be a more inclusive and culturally competent helper and striving to have a Multicultural Perspective in your clinical work. Creating space, as helpers, on our own time, to work through our own biases/ hot button issues in order to be more competent and transparent in our clinical work. And to create an environment that will allow for positive healthy growth for all populations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe what diversity and inclusion means in the therapeutic world
  • Describe ethical issues from a Multicultural Perspective
  • Explain what inclusion, openness and transparency looks like in the therapeutic relationship
  • Describe how to remain ethically and socially competent in Diversity and Inclusion situations
  • Demonstrate how to maintain skills of being available, accessible and able by reducing counselor/ helper stress and burnout.

Addressing Racism in the Practice of Mental Health

Presenter: Shardae Washington, LMFT


This training will focus on the racial tensions and trauma that impact people of color within the mental health. The training will identify how racial trauma is incurred and expressed within therapy and how to appropriately and sensitively address it within session.

Learning Objectives:

  • To briefly explore race relations within America’s history between POC (People of Color)
  • To define Racial Trauma and to explore its impact on client’s mental health and how it will impact treatment within therapy
  • To discuss mental health provider’s role to addressing the racial tension and trauma
  • To evoke respectful but open and honest dialogue regarding the mistreatment of People of Color and to address the mistrust for mental health providers
  • To provide education around how to attempt to create strong therapeutic relationships and address cultural differences in the context of therapy of AA families

Suicide Prevention in times of COVID-19 and Civil Unrest

Presenter: Juli Murray, MS


Ever feel unprepared to work with a client with suicidal thoughts or behaviors? Have you been to a training and felt like it ended too soon, and you don’t know how to facilitate an intervention? Worried about the current climate and the impact on suicide prevention? This workshop will provide you with the most up to date information about suicide prevention including the importance of language, the statistics, the leading theory of suicide, how to build your crisis intervention skills, and what impact the current climate is having on mental health and suicide prevention. Come with questions!


Learning Objectives:

  • Describe current national trends of suicide across age groups and ethnicities
  • Explain the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide
  • Describe the impact of the current times on mental health
  • Explain the ‘safety for now’ model and concept of a ‘turning point’
  • Use self-care plan to develop personal self-care practices

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