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Online Training – Trauma Informed Assessments: An Ethical Approach

September 10 Login to Zoom 8:30pm ; Training 8:45pm-12:00pm (EDT) $79, 3 Ethics CEUs Presenter: Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C DAPA Zoom.us, MD + Google Map

Please Note: This workshop is NOT eligible for the “Bring a Friend” discount.

Although many mental health agencies and organizations are legitimately expressing the need for clinicians to be “trauma informed,” the reality is, the definition of that phrase is open to much interpretation. In this workshop we will explore what “trauma informed” really means, and we will address the importance of applying trauma informed concepts in the earliest phases of treatment.  This includes doing an intake without doing harm as well as understanding the safest way to gather important historical and family or origin information throughout the fluid assessment phase of treatment. We will weave in the contributions of neuroscience to better understand the impact that trauma has on clients’ emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and somatic presentations.  This will also help participants understand the cognitive and emotional conditions that need to be in place in order for clients to answer assessment questions with greater accuracy.

We will explore the necessity of weaving strengths-based questions into the assessment process, what to do when inadvertent triggering occurs, and how to re-ground and resource clients thus increasing the likelihood that they commit to staying in treatment. In addition, we will examine the counter-transferential dynamics that emerge for clinicians during the assessment phase and the impact they can have on successfully establishing a therapeutic alliance. Participants will leave feeling more empowered about how to gather important information in ways that are reparative rather than retraumatizing.

The Ferentz Institute, Inc. is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. CEU approval for all trainings is also granted to Psychologists, LCPC’s and MFT’s and approved by the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists and the Board of Examiners for Psychologists in Maryland. Reciprocity has also been granted for clinicians in Washington, DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, and Massachusetts. The Institute also maintains full responsibility for all programming.
In order to provide Category 1 CEUs for all of our trainings, the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners requires online workshops to be live, interactive, and experienced in real time. Therefore, none of our trainings are recorded for later viewing.


Learning Objectives

  1. Identify and implement at least six questions that offer an indirect, safer, and less triggering approach to gathering trauma-based information
  2. Identify and implement at least four clinical questions designed to focus on clients’ strengths while heightening safety and trust in the therapeutic relationship.
  3. Describe how to slow down and safely pace the gathering of trauma material when clients don’t have the ability to pace themselves.
  4. Explain the impact that counter-transference can have on the assessment phase of treatment.


8:45 am – 10:30 am

  • The challenges involved in assessing for trauma
  • Client video- how it feels to go to therapy
  • Defining Trauma- informed assessments
  • Creating external safety
  • Helping Clients with emotional safety with breath work

10:30 am – 10:40 am     BREAK

10:40 am – 12:00 pm

  • Using mirror neurons and addressing flashbacks
  • Using somatization and tracking micro-expressions
  • Starting with less threatening assessment questions
  • Pacing disclosures to keep the work ethical
  • The challenges of working with traumatized clients
Black Therapist Counseling a Client
"I like the way Lisa shares intervention techniques in a way that encourages the participants to put this in to practice. She explains both the theory behind the technique and how to do the technique in a way that demystifies it. After a presentation, I have a multitude of strategies to offer my clients." ~Lois Sheeler, LCSW-C

"Lisa was knowledgeable, interactive and engaging. I would highly recommend taking her courses! ~Brittany Edie, LCPC

"Even online Lisa is so engaging! Hands down the BEST online training I have taken since COVID hit and we have been forced online for everything. Thought, engaging, and fun!" ~Maryan, Elbalghiti-Williams, LCSW-C

"Lisa is an excellent presenter. I always come away feeling like I have learned a lot! She certainly given me skills to enhance the way I work with my trauma clients." ~Vicki Rahenkamp, LCPC, CCTP

"Lisa has an incredible sensitivity to the needs of clients and therapists alike. Her presentation style is delightful, engaging, and above all, relevant." ~Carin Kirikos, LCSW-C

"The workshop was excellent...I have been able to modify some of the trauma contents, using them to assist the 40+ clinicians I supervise, who are working in nursing home & senior living communities, by looking at the COVID-19 crisis thru the lens of trauma-informed care. Thank you." ~Francis S., Licensed Psychologist

"This training was excellent. Lisa provided a solid foundation for better understanding trauma informed assessments and practical grounding techniques to utilize with our clients. She fostered an open and engaging discussion and took the time to ensure we understood the material." ~Chelsea R., MSW, LMSW

"This workshop not only provided me with new information and insight into the lives of those effected by trauma but it also provided direct strategies I can begin using immediately." ~Nicole R., LCSW-C

"Very open, kind, and knowledgeable about the subject matter. Lisa was able to bring the concept of trauma informed care and work into how we and our clients are impacted, cope with, and manage trauma." ~Neisha P., LCPC

"Lisa Ferentz is a FABULOUS presenter; she really knows the information, is totally prepared and shares with enthusiasm, warmth and humor. I always look forward to signing up and participating in her workshops." ~Anita P., LCSW-C

"I thought Lisa did a great job giving clinically sound information. Plus, she did it over a platform that many of us were not used to participating on, and did it will skill and good-nature. She's classy!" ~MaryAnn N., LCSW-C, RYT, AYS

"This was my first training with Lisa and she is great. She is a dynamic and engaging speaker and offered valuable information as well as tangible tools and strategies." ~Melissa G., LCADC

"With humor, kindness and her unfailingly warm presence, Lisa distills years of experience into cogent, intelligent and practical tools for all of us to use. I will continue to attend her workshops." ~Cynthia E., LCSW-C

"This was my first live tele-training conference. Even though I am a people person, the tele training went very well... I was so happy with Lisa’s amazing personality who’s humor & keeping the tech problems at minimal. I appreciate the handouts & other materials sent in advance. In my opinion, Lisa was able to continue to deliver the material with her extreme knowledge & encouragement for us all to continue in this field." ~Barbara C., LMSW

"This was my first workshop at the Ferentz Institute and it exceeded all of my expectations! It was highly interactive and offered practical application for ensuring my clinical practice meets the highest ethical standards." -Sean Cavanaugh, LCSW-C"

This was a very interesting training and I learned so much. Definitely one of the best trainings I have ever been to." -Karen Kochen Silverman, LCSW-C" The Trauma Informed Assessments and Treatment training was nearly life changing for me as a clinician. Lisa was empowering, direct and willing to answer any question thrown her way. I took information from this training that I started using in my own practice immediately." -Katie Lukehart, LCPC

"This was a rewarding workshop with a more macro view on ethical treatment of clients. Like all of Lisa's work (and trauma work in general) the workshop emphasizes the importance of relationship and pacing to ensure the safety of the client. The workshop provided specific ways to give clients a safe intake and assessment experience that does not trigger the client and is still informative for the therapist." -TJ Matton, LCSW-C"

This conference was wonderful in terms of really considering the effects of trauma and how to identify the respond to them in the therapy session. Lisa's knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm keep me motivated in my growth as a clinician. -Andrea Regenberg, LCSW-C"

This workshop overall was well organized and useful. I found much of the presentation had a clinical focus and much less emphasis on the ethical considerations and dilemmas we face in practice. Most of us know that it's our ethical responsibility to provide trauma informed care, but how that plays out in group practices and agencies can be very challenging to navigate and effectively advocate." -Karen Ross Taylor, LCSW-C"

It is truly an honor and privilege to attend Lisa Ferentz’s workshops.Lisa is a dynamic and masterful presenter and therapist specifically trained in trauma therapy.Her trauma workshop provides a high level of education with up to date practical application of assessments, treatments and creative techniques. This workshop provides guaranteed take home tools will enhance your clinical practice. I am always inspired by her enthusiasm and dedication to trauma therapy. I walk away with renewed energy and excitement." -Ina Schwob, LCSW-C

"The presenter was awesome. I have been to ethics trainings and it made your mind wonder away to other areas and all you could think about is leaving. Lisa is a passionate presenter and she keeps you interested. She was very respectful to the people asking questions. I really love her." -Nicole Tolson, LGPC

"As always, Lisa's preparation, information, and presentation was superb. She delivers material and sources in a way that keeps participants interested and engaged. Her ethics workshops are never boring and always informative." —Brenda May, LCSW-C, BCD, Llc

"I appreciated the focus on caring for patient, pacing, and the ethics of the work. I am interested in other trainings." —Will Perks, LCSW

"...Trauma Informed Treatment, Ethical considerations workshop was interesting, clear, informative and useful throughout. Lisa's authenticity is refreshing, her genuine dedication and advocacy for both the client and practitioner are unparalleled. I am glad I had the chance to attend this unique workshop." —Elizabeth Doonan, LCSW-C

"I have been practicing for 42 years and I work with individuals who have been plaqued with the suffering and consequences of trauma. I do consider myself “trauma informed. I have not experienced such clarity and integration of traumatic clinical processes and treatment. In addition to strategic interventions offered to manage the journey without re-traumatization. Lisa Ferentz is a very gifted clinician and my wish is for younger professionals to be trained and influence their skills forever." —Patti Amsel, LCSW-C

"Lisa Ferentz offers light to all counselors who place their client's first & foremost, in a field that has become mired and one, which I barely recognize after 35 years. Given that grief & trauma encapsulate our daily lives and most definitely, in the lives of our clients, I remain befuddled as to why grief & trauma education is not placed at the foremost and a basic requirement of any counseling/social work program." —Sharon Hart, LCPC"

Lisa is an extraordinarily skilled presenter, who combines personal warmth with refined clinical acumen, and a great capacity for inclusion and compassion." —Hillel Zeitlin, LCSW-C"

Lisa is well informed on the subject of trauma informed treatment and was able to offer great insight as well as real world examples. I left the workshop with concrete ideas that I could implement right away." —Rosemary Klapac, LMSW".

"..After taking the Trauma Informed Assessment and Treatment training, I feel more confident in how to ask questions about a history of trauma that are properly paced and that will not re-traumatize the victim. As an art therapist, I see more creative ways to ground clients using aromatherapy, tactile objects, sand tray, and visual imagery to support the trauma assessment process. I recommend this training to all therapist." —Liza Baker, MAAT

"Once again, Lisa facilitated a top notch and very relevant seminar. The presentation was very engaging and time flew by quickly." —Wayne Evans, Ph.D."

[This] training has enlightened my perspective on being able to gather imperative information in a safe matter that does not harm or re-traumatized a survivor. Her [Lisa] assessment questions are designed to allocate the client’s ability to tell their story without partaking in a reenactment phenomenon. Great information for anyone who works with traumatized population. —Barbara Crawford, LMSW

"The facilitator [Lisa] was incredibly knowledgeable. The information given was relatable, concrete examples of how to apply in our daily jobs." —Ayxa Kalai, LCSW-C

"The session was very informative. Lisa always does an outstanding job making it fun and interesting." —Jill Minsky, LCSW-C"Training was well paced and delivered in a good conversational manner." —Ryan Malphrus, LCSW-C

"Very helpful. Material relevant and has broad application. Physical environment was comfortable. Audience was engaged and conversant with material." —Joseph Rollo, LCSW-C