Natalia Estassi, PsyD


Changing Harmful Behaviors: Interventions & Guidelines 4 CA BBS CEUs    CL# SD725 
Children and adolescents living in foster care are a vulnerable population. Most have emotional, behavioral, developmental, and health problems that have their roots in the difficult family and environmental circumstances they came from before entering the foster care system. Many have challenging behaviors that if changed, would benefit the youth. Explore one of the best-known approaches to change, known as the "Stages of Change" model. Study: techniques for changing harmful behavior, what counts as harmful behavior, reasons why youth may hurt themselves; the effects of self-harm behavior; and how it can be addictive in nature. Explore effective communication techniques; how appropriate role modeling and self-disclosure can affect our work; the importance of positive attention for youth; and how to consistently provide this to youth. Discuss behavior contracts and the positive impact it can have to set limits for youth's behavior and to send a clear message that there are consistent consequences to the choices they make, good or bad.

Depression, Anxiety, & Suicide Prevention  4 CA BBS CEUs   CL# SD100j        
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for people 10-24 years old. Suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death for college-age youth and youth 12-18 years old. Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs. These alarming statistics remind us of our crucial role as providers to assess and address suicide with all our youth. Explore the misconceptions about suicide; how to address them; and common suicide risk factors for children and teens. Review the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety; how to recognize these warning signs; and how they are directly linked to suicide. Discuss tips on preventing suicide; assessing the suicide risk level; and problems that may trigger a suicide attempt in children and teens. Learn how you can make a difference!

Eating Disorders 4 CA BBS CEUs    CL# ED100j      
It is estimated that 75 million people worldwide suffer from eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia. While most are women, about 10% - 15% are men. Teenagers and young adults are most likely to have eating disorders, but people of all ages, including young children, can have these conditions. Unfortunately, many suffer in silence, ashamed or embarrassed to seek help, or unaware that help is even out there. Eating disorders can be deadly. What can you do as a provider to help? Review various eating disorder diagnoses, including their effects and causes. Learn to recognize the warning signs of eating disorders and what to do if you suspect a youth you are working with may have one. Explore how to prevent and treat eating disorders. Learn how to put yourself in the shoes of someone with an eating disorder to truly be empathetic in our work. What's it like? Review the impact of positive self-esteem and body image and influencing factors including social, cultural, and biological influences. Study the treatment, impact, and recovery process and how to prevent eating disorders and promote health. Review some commonly asked questions and alarming statistics.

When New Losses Occur & Old Losses Resurface
6 CA BBS CEUs    Cl # GR100

Explore reoccurring losses that happen to children, youth, and their caregivers and effective methods to manage these.  What is Grief & Loss and how are they related to Trauma? Examine the effects of grief, loss, and trauma on brain functioning, behavior, and thinking. Review attachment theory and the impact this has on reoccurring losses. Discuss triggers such as anniversary dates, smells, counter-transference; how to anticipate and manage these; and childhood traumatic grief and loss symptoms related to grief.  Study genetic and environmental statistical correlations between mental health, trauma, and loss.  Focus on their impact; understanding this reminds us of the underlying reasons why the youth we work with may exhibit such challenging behaviors. Explore the impact of Holidays for our youth. Review several strength-based techniques used to work with reoccurring loss that allow us to be effective in our professional roles, including  the importance of self-care and self-awareness to avoid burn-out and experiencing secondary trauma. Discuss specific losses your youth and families may be experience and receive the necessary tools and support to manage these occurrences.

Infant & Child Mental Health Issues  4 CA BBS CEUs  Cl# SW730
Mental health is an essential part of children's overall health; there is a complex interactive relationship with their physical health and their ability to succeed in school, at work, and in society.. Contrary to common belief, infants and toddlers can suffer from mental health issues; unfortunately they are unlikely to receive treatment that could prevent long-lasting detrimental developmental effects. Study the optimal social and emotional development of infants and their families in the first three years of life. Learn how cognitive development and motor skills development is part of the infant mental health picture. Discuss these issues, the importance of healthy attachments, and how the effects of trauma result in mental health issues. Explore Child Parent Psychotherapy, play, and art therapy and other best practices to work with children.

Replacement Behaviors  4 CA BBS CEUs    CL# SW715
Explore the challenges that surface when working with youth and the most effective methods providers can use to change harmful behaviors.  Review: what replacement behaviors are; useful techniques to identify and teach appropriate behaviors; what behavior is; its roots; and the genetic and environmental effects of behavior. Study the impact of trauma on behavior and the underlying reasons why the youth we work with may exhibit such challenging behaviors. Examine various techniques used to change harmful behavior that allow us to be effective in our roles as professionals, including what youth need to embrace change and several strength-based approaches.  Discuss specific challenges and traps to avoid when working with challenging youth and receive tools and support on managing them.  

The Impact of Trauma on Youth 4 CA BBS CEUs  Cl# SW720j
Trauma affects everyone. As providers, we need to know how to work with trauma because it is all around us.  Consider the importance of understanding trauma, what is considered a traumatic event, and what is commonly overlooked.  Explore research on trauma: its importance, its relevance, how to understand it, and how to work with it.   Examine how to diagnose and understand the underlying issues of PTSD, trauma’s effects on youth, their brain, and their ability to learn.  Discuss trauma’s effects on youth behavior, including the emotional, physical, and long term symptoms of trauma. Explore strength-based interventions, trauma focused CBT, and the best ways to engage, facilitate, and empower our youth and families to facilitate change.  Review the importance of self-awareness and self-care in avoiding vicarious trauma.

Working with Spanish-Speaking Families: Cultural & Language Considerations  4 CA BBS CEUs    Cl# SW710       

Working with Latino families requires an understanding of different worldviews that may impact how individuals communicate with professionals and their own children; these worldviews shape expectations for development. Explore statistics, etiquette, family values, rituals, religion, teaching styles, and learning implications helpful to those working with Latino Families. Discuss general family beliefs regarding mental health and disabilities and other important concepts in the Latino culture. What is acculturation and how do we best understand and help Latino families through their process? Review cultural sensitivity& competence and the importance of effective professional and personal boundaries.  Learn clinical terminology and vocabulary relevant to our field.  Examine the importance of your own triggers and how to have intentional interaction vs. reactions.  Discuss the best way to manage these and create awareness for ourselves as providers making us truly effective in our roles.

ADHD vs. Acting Out Behaviors
ADHD, ODD and Conduct Disorders
Anger Management: Managing Anger & Aggression
Attachment Theory
Avoiding Power Struggles with Youth
Behavior and Emotional Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Bereavement and Grief
Bullying & Cyber-Bullying
Changing Harmful Behaviors: Interventions & Guidelines
Communication Skills Working with Staff
Communication Skills Working with Youth
Counter-transference: Self-Awareness in Working with Youth
Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity
Cultural Competence
Depression, Anxiety, & Suicide Prevention
Domestic Violence: its Impact on Children, Families & the Community
Early Childhood Development  (0-5)
Eating Disorders
Effective Communication Techniques with Acting-Out Youth & Families
Encopresis & Enuresis
Facilitating Groups for Youth
Family Therapy
Grief & Loss: Helping Youth Cope
Group Therapy
Impact of Trauma on Youth
Infant & Child Mental HealthLaw and Ethics
Learning Disorders
Mental Health for Young Children (0-5)
Placement: Impact of Multiple Placements
Professional Boundaries
PTSD, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety
Replacement Behaviors
Safety in Home-Visiting
Safety Planning
Self Awareness in Working with Youth
Self-Care in Avoiding Burn Out
Sexually Acting Out Foster Youth-Signs, Symptoms, and Interventions.
Strength Based Evidence-Based Interventions When Working With Families
Strengths-Based Approaches with Youth
Successfully Parenting an Infant
Team Building for the Staff of Foster Care Providers
Trauma: Its Impact on Youth
Vicarious Traumatization
Violence/Trauma: Its Effects on Children and Families
Working with Spanish-Speaking Families: Cultural & Language Considerations
Working with Youth in Residential Treatment