2019 CCA Spring Conference
This event is now closed.

Event Date: 2/2/2019 - 2/2/2019

Event Overview

In partnership

The Colorado Counseling Association Presents

2019 Colorado Counseling Association Spring Conference

Develop as a counselor. Advocate for our field. Serve our communities.

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019, from 8-5pm

Host sponsor: Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, CO

Proposals: proposals will be accepted from October 30th - December 7th. Presentation offers will be sent to those whose proposals were accepted by December 17th. Offers must be confirmed by December 22nd. 

The Colorado Counseling Association is pleased to host a full-day conference for the Colorado mental health community.

The day will include one featured speaker and several presenters chosen from among the counseling community in Colorado through an academic proposal process.

Conference Presentation Tracks

  • Addictions
  • Suicide and Crisis: Prevention and Intervention
  • Counselor Education and Supervision
  • General Mental Health Practice

Registration Tiers

Super Early Bird Pricing, September 22nd - November 30th, 2018- Professional/Affiliate: $75, Student: $45, Non-members: $95

Earlier Bird Pricing, December 1st - December 31st, 2018- Professional/Affiliate: $85, Student: $55, Non-members: $105

Early Bird Pricing, January 1st - January 31st, 2019- Professional/Affiliate: $100, Student: $70, Non-members: $120

Full Pricing, February 1st - February 9th, 2019- Professional/Affiliate: $125, Student: $95, Non-members: $145




Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificates will be made available for those in attendance which are good for state licensure requirements. 

Please note our Refund/Return Policy: Refunds will be honored within 60 calendar days of the registration date and include a $25 admin fee. Please allow 12-14 business days for processing. No refunds will be given outside the 60 days or after February 2nd, 2019. Registrations are non-transferable.



2019 Spring Conference Keynote Speakers

Combating Human Trafficking in Colorado
Amanda Finger, MA, is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Denver-based non-profit, Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking,which has focused on anti-trafficking efforts since 2005.In Fall 2014, she was appointed to the Governor’s Colorado Human Trafficking Council to represent LCHT and the Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking and chairs the Data & Research Task Force. She was an Adjunct Professor for two years with the Institute for Women’s Studies and Services at Metropolitan State University of Denver, teaching Human Trafficking and Women’s Health Issues. Her professional background includes health advocacy in Washington, DC, Congressional campaign organizing, serving as a Legislative Aide for the Colorado General Assembly, and field research on human trafficking and forced migration in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ms. Finger holds a Master of Arts degree in International Human Rights with a Certificate in Global Health Affairs from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.Ms. Finger holds Bachelors in Arts degrees from Kansas State University in Political Science and French; a Secondary Major in International Studies; and a minor in Women’s Studies.

When Sex Happens on the Couch
Heather McPherson, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST is the Executive Director/Founder of Sexual Health Alliance (www.sexualhealthalliance.com) and also maintains a boutique group practice (respark.co) that serves Denver, Colorado where she currently lives, as well as Austin, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts specializing in sexuality and relationships. She is published in the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Playboy Magazine as well as Playboy Online, and has been featured on CNN, Parent Harald, TeenSafe and more. Heather McPherson has lectured at prestigious Universities including University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University and Governors State University in Chicago. She has appeared on several podcasts and has been invited to speak for numerous events and organizations including Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling Annual Conference, Austin Association for Marriage & Family Therapy and NerdNite to speak about relationships and sexuality. Heather's work includes compulsive sexuality, sexual orientations, sexual dysfunction, non-traditional sexuality and relationships. She helps clients gain confidence, rebuild trust, increase playfulness, and find passion and meaning in their relationships. Heather graduated from Texas State University with a MA in Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy; a CACREP Accredited Program. She is an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Supervisor (LMFT-S) and a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S).

The Comprehensive Resource Model
Lisa Schwarz, M.Ed. is a licensed psychologist, consultant, and international educator working in private practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the developer of The Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)®, a trauma therapy model that employs brain-based physiological safety as the foundation for healing and is the primary author of The Comprehensive Resource Model®: Effective therapeutic techniques for the healing of complex trauma.
Lisa has, for the past 28 years, been dedicated to creating innovative methods for working with severe dissociative disorders (Complex PTSD, DID, DDNOS), attachment disorders, and gestational trauma. She has also developed cutting edge conceptualizations for working with sports performance (The Sports Dissociation Model, 2008) and Military PTSD. Her work bridges neuroscience and consciousness in trauma healing through a combination of traditional psychotherapy, somatic therapy, and indigenous healing methods. She is a certified practitioner of Colin Ross’s Trauma Model and Robert Schrei’s Source Point therapy. She is trained in Usui Reiki, transpersonal psychology and has studied the breathwork and somatic concepts of Richard Brown, MD, Jeremy Youst, and Barbara Barnett.



Confirmed 2019 CCA Spring Conference Presenters

Counselor Education and Supervision Track

Corrective Feedback and Self-Efficacy: Practical Implications for Supervisors
Dr. Vasti Holstun, PhD, LPC, LSC, NCC, NCSC

Presentation Description: Counselors receive feedback very early in their training, and throughout their career. Feedback impacts self-efficacy, which is a significant component in counselor effectiveness. Corrective feedback is a major aspect of counselor supervision. The focus of this presentation will be on new research on corrective feedback, and practical modalities of providing adequate feedback in supervision. Implications for supervisors and counselor educators will be discussed.
Presenter Bio: Prior to becoming a counselor educator, Dr. Vasti Holstun was a school counselor for 16 years in Tennessee and in Colorado, where she continues to be licensed. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Colorado Springs, CO, working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Dr. Holstun has a passion for teaching and supervising counselors. She teaches as affiliate/adjunct faculty in three accredited counseling programs and has served as on-site supervisor for numerous practicum students and interns.
Dr. Holstun has been a member of many professional organizations including the American Counseling Association (ACA), American School Counselor Association (ASCA), Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), Rocky Mountains Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (RMACES), Colorado Counseling Association (CCA), and Colorado School Counseling Association (CSCA). She is also a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a National Certified School Counselor (NCSC).

Trauma Informed Model of Student Development: An Ounce of Prevention
Dr. Candace M. McLain EdD; LPC, ACS, BC-TMH

Presentation Description: In the field of counseling, many students report that the reason they have chosen to enter the field is to help others due to their own personal trauma. Per CACREP and the ACA, CES have an ethical obligation to assess, support and challenge CITs in developing skills, knowledge and counselor dispositions which include ongoing growth and emotional stability. This is despite CIT's having their own trauma background. This presentation offers CES a trauma focused model of education and supervision.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Candace McLain currently serves at Walden University as a Core Faculty in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She has over 20 years of clinical mental health counseling experience and 12 years of university teaching expertise 6 of which serving in multiple administrative leadership roles. Dr. McLain’s clinical work includes adolescent residential treatment, substance abuse counselling, elementary education and private practice with a focus on complex trauma and complicated grief. In addition, Dr. McLain has served in multiple teaching and administrative roles including student remediation and development. Her areas of passion in counselor education supervision are online adult education and technology, trauma informed education and supervision, spirituality in counseling. She is dedicated to her community volunteering at her girls’ schools teaching and mentoring and supporting first responders and military families in any way she can. In addition, she serves on the ACES Technology Interest Network and has recently co-published a Counselor Developmental book entitled Professional Behaviors and Dispositions “Counseling Competencies and Life long Growth” in its 1st Edition. She is licensed as a professional Counselor in Colorado and Michigan, and is an Approved Clinical Supervisor and also has her BC-TMH. When she is not teaching, researching or writing, she is seen with her family hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, nature and art.

Clinical Supervision: A Metaphor is Worth A Thousand Words
Dr. Lisa Forbes, Ph.D., NCC
Dr. Troyann Gentile, Ph.D., LPC

Presentation Description: The complex nature of counseling can leave supervisees feeling lost in a sea of ambiguity and grasping for concrete answers. The use of metaphors within clinical supervision provides a cognitive symbol to reduce the ambiguity of new concepts and can transcend cultural boundaries. Metaphors allow supervisees to integrate new concepts through familiar frames of reference such as images and stories. Attendees will be given concrete examples of metaphors as an effective supervisory intervention.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Forbes is an assistant clinical professor in the Counseling Program at the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Forbes also works with clients at an inpatient psychiatric unit at a nearby medical facility.
Presenter Bio:
Dr. Gentile is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Clinical Coordinator in the Counseling Program at the University of Colorado Denver.

Addictions Track

The Truth About the Opioid Crisis in Colorado
Dr. Mita Johnson, Ed.D, NCC, LPC, LMFT, LAC, MAC, SAP, ACS, AAMFT-approved Clinical Supervisor
Dr. Deborah Fenton-Nichols, EdD, LPC, LAC, MAC, NCC

Presentation Description:
Opiates can have devastating and long-reaching consequences. Clinicians need a clear understanding of the forms of opioids most abused in Colorado (i.e., heroin, oxycodone); combination opioids on the streets (i.e., fentanyl and carfentanil); and substances with opioid-like effects (i.e., kratom) including their actions on the brain and body. Clinicians will explore medication-assisted treatment options and innovative clinical tools that are most effective when working with opioid use disorders.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Mita Johnson has degrees in biology, counseling, and counselor education and supervision. Dr. Johnson is a faculty member at Walden University’s School of Counseling MS program. Mita teaches, trains, and speaks nationally. and internationally on psychopharmacology and the science of addictions. She became interested in the field of addictions when she realized that most of her clients were dealing with co-occurring mental health and substance misuse or other behavioral addictions. Mita is passionate about understanding how drugs influence the body homeostasis systemically. Dr. Johnson is an Executive Committee member and President-Elect of NAADAC and NAADAC’s Ethics Committee Chair. She is a member of the Colorado Association of Addiction Professionals and Colorado Counseling Association. Mita has been working as a clinician for 29 years, and currently maintains a thriving private practice where she is providing clinical supervision and consultation.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Nichols has fourteen years of clinical practice focusing on addictions, criminal conduct, and mental health issues. Dr. Nichols' dissertation research focused on the Supervisory Working Alliance within Community Corrections treatment programs. Additionally, she maintains a current private practice providing counseling and clinical supervision.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Nichols strives to encourage, educate, and develop students to become competent and ethical counselors as well as advocates in the field. She presented at the 2016 ACA Conference in Montreal, Quebec Canada and presents at state conferences such as CCA and CAAP. Dr. Nichols has served on the Executive Committee of the Colorado Association of Addiction Professionals from 2012 to the present. Dr. Nichols is the recipient of the Colorado Counseling Association Outstanding Advocacy Award 2014-2015 in recognition of her leadership, advocacy, contributions, and sustained commitment to the community and CCA. Dr.Nichols is an Associate Professor at Colorado Christian University.

Addiction Counselor Specialization: Why and How to Become a CAC/LAC in Colorado
Ryan Kennedy, PsyD, LAC, LMFT, LPC, RN, ACS

Presentation Description: Recognizing, understanding, and effectively working with substance use issues and problematic, ritualized comfort-seeking behaviors takes specialized training and is not something adequately addressed by most graduate-level counselor training programs. For that reason, it is imperative that counselors working with people who present with these problems receive the tools, experience, and supervision they need so that they can effectively support and guide their clients on the road to recovery.
Presenter Bio: Ryan Kennedy, PsyD, LAC, LMFT, LPC, RN, ACS is the Founder and Executive Director of Noeticus Counseling Center and Training Institute® and also serves as the Training and Education Director of the Noeticus Addiction Counselor Clinical Training Program™ (NACCTP). He has been a psychotherapist since 1993, a counselor educator and clinical supervisor since 1996, and has been on the faculty of many graduate-level counseling programs. He has worked in addiction recovery since 1990 and has in-depth experience in a variety of treatment settings across the continuum of care including self-help, support groups, detox, residential, inpatient, critical care, and outpatient care. In addition, Dr. Kennedy is an approved by the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) as an Addiction Counselor Trainer and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). He loves to bring his passion for adult learning and experiential education into all of his classes.

Ethical Practice in the Treatment of Addictions
Dr. Mita Johnson, Ed.D, NCC, LPC, LMFT, LAC, MAC, SAP, ACS, AAMFT-approved Clinical Supervisor
Dr. Deborah Fenton-Nichols, EdD, LPC, LAC, MAC, NCC

Presentation Description: Clinicians face complex dilemmas when working with addictions. This workshop will be an interactive discussion between the facilitators and audience - using real cases - to explore current & emerging dilemmas that clinicians need to be mindful of. Because of the highly charged, emotional nature of our work with clients struggling with addictions, providers need tools to explore ethical dilemmas objectively, including guidance from resources like the NAADAC Code of Ethics and Ethics Committee.
Presenter Bios: See Above

Suicide and Crisis: Prevention and Intervention Track

Providing Clinical Supervision on Suicidal Clients
Dr. Gregory M. Elliott, Ph.D., LPC
Dr. Liz Wiggins, Ph.D., LPC, LSC

Presentation Description: This presentation covers best practices in providing clinical supervision for supervisees who are working with suicidal clients. Utilizing the Discrimination Model of Supervision (Bernard & Goodyear, 2014), the presenters cover critical supervision competencies, strategies, recent research, and resources for both clinical mental health and school counseling supervisees who are working with suicidal clients.
Presenter Bio: Gregg Elliott is a licensed professional counselor who holds a PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Adams State University. He is an assistant professor at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, CO. His research interests are in exploring the ways counselors are prepared to work with suicidal clients and in the efficacy of online teaching modalities in Counselor Education.
Presenter Bio: Liz Wiggins is a licensed school counselor and licensed professional counselor who completed her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Adams State University. Liz is passionate about helping others find emotional healing through holistic inventions. Her experience as a school counselor provides her with unique insight into the suicidal trends of today's youth.

App Advancement: Exploring and Evaluating Technology Use in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Khara Croswaite Brindle, MA, LPC, ACS

Presentation Description: As technology evolves, so do our hopes for its use in connecting people in crisis to support, resources, and positive coping skills. This presentation explores popular mental health Apps in their use by both professionals and people in crisis to empower meaningful change and connection within their communities. This presentation will provide a grading rubric for mental health professionals to evaluate Apps they may recommend to clients, including being best-practice and user-friendly.
Presenter Bio: Khara Croswaite Brindle, MA, LPC, ACS is passionate about giving people aha moments that create goosebumps and catalyze powerful action. Khara is honored to serve young adult professionals in her work in mental health and higher education with an emphasis on healing trauma and supporting personal growth. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Approved Clinical Supervisor, and owner of Catalyst, Counseling, PLLC, a group private practice in Denver, Colorado. She enjoys inspiring innovation in shared communities through her CACS Suicide Risk App as well as being the Founder of Catalyst Collective, a Colorado non-profit cultivating community connections in suicide prevention to support meaningful change.

An Evaluation of Gender Specific Addiction Treatment for Women Experiencing Trauma
Dr. Barbara Flood PhD, LCSW

Presentation Description: Recent generations of women have experienced an increase rather than a decrease in sexual violence. 50% of women with PTSD meet criteria for alcohol dependence or substance abuse Co-occurring mental health disorders including PTSD often accompany alcohol and drug use in women using substances to cope. This has become more evident over time as women have had to negotiate changing cultural expectations around sex, success, and popular-ism. This workshop will explore the intersection of trauma and continuum of women’s MH and trauma history as it intersects with substance use and the subsequent impact on treatment philosophy, design and implementation.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Barbara Flood received her PhD in 2004 in Transpersonal Psychology. She also holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and has experience as a researcher, author, trainer, professor, and international speaker and trainer. Dr. Flood has been a clinician for over 30 years and has extensive experience working with Trauma reduction, Substance Use, Co-dependency, and Aging. She has designed and facilitated several post graduate training programs for therapists. Dr. Flood is certified in EMDR and Emotional Intelligence with the Institute of Social and Emotional Intelligence and has completed the PIT Training with Pia Melody. In addition, she has completed all course work for her LAC. She has numerous publications in the field of aging as well as forgiveness and codependency. She has served as faculty at University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University and Naropa University. Presently she brings the depth of her experience to Rose Transition House, a 3-month residential treatment center for women struggling with substance use. Dr. Flood is passionate about the ongoing transformational process of personal growth and recovery.

General Mental Health Practice Track

What is Medicine? Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Psychedelics and Psychopharmaceuticals
Dr. Shannon Hughes, MSW, PhD
Dr. Rob Colbert, MA, PhD

Presentation Description: We examine the rapidly shifting landscape of psychopharmaceutical and psychedelic medicine, and roles and responsibilities for working with clients considering using psychoactive substances of any kind. While prescribed drugs (e.g., antidepressants) are increasingly criticized for inefficacy and withdrawal problems, formerly illicit drugs, like MDMA and psilocybin, are now breakthrough treatments for PTSD and depression. Counselors are encouraged to reflect: What is medicine, and how do we know?
Presenter Bio: Dr. Shannon Hughes teaches, consults, and conducts research on how we use drugs and medicines in our society today. She is a community organizer and leader in articulating the shifting paradigms around our relationships with Self and medicines/drugs. She has developed and delivered education and training to professional social workers, counselors, and researchers, and to young people trying to make sense of their distress and struggles. Dr. Hughes earned her doctorate in Social Work in 2010 and is an Assistant Professor in Social Work at Colorado State University and in the Colorado School of Public Health.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Rob Colbert earned his Masters degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in 2012 and his doctorate at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2018. Dr. Colbert's research explores the experiences of adult couples who use MDMA recreationally and the perceived benefits of MDMA use on their relationships. The cognitive-relational model of MDMA use that emerged from this research suggests that individuals can make healthful choices about their drug use in recreational contexts and experience sustained benefits to relationships in their lives. Dr. Colbert specializes in working with young adults, persons experiencing major life transitions, non-ordinary states of consciousness such as hearing voices or having visions, and psychedelic integration.

Group Therapy 101: Increasing Engagement and Deepening the Process of Your Groups
Marc Azoulay LPC, LAC, CGP
Marian Salley LCSW, LAC, CGP, ACS

Presentation Description:
In this presentation we will cover the basics of group therapy including: the rationale for group work, client's appropriateness for group and stages of group development. The leaders will provide a demo group with volunteers from the audience to demonstrate the technique. Finally, the presenters will provide tips and tricks for opening and marketing your own group in private practice. This presentation is sponsored by the Four Corners Group Psychotherapy Society.
Presenter Bio: Marc is a psychotherapist in private practice in Boulder, CO and the current President of the Four Corners Group Psychotherapy Society. He blends his backgrounds in Neuroscience and Eastern Religion to help clients that have a harmful relationship to their inherent aggression. Many of his clients struggle with addiction, trauma, and self-harm. He helps people uncover and destroy the unconscious barriers that cripple them by using a blend of the Modern Psychoanalytic and Contemplative Psychotherapy. His therapeutic style can best be described as irreverent with surprising moments of profound depth.
Presenter Bio: Marian was as an unlikely convert to a belief in the transformative powers of group therapy until her experience in a two-year-long experiential group training program during her clinical studies. Evolving as a group therapist from that nascent experience, Marian holds process groups, teaches group process, and spreads the wonders of group work. As a group facilitator, Marian seeks to awaken group members' curiosity about themselves, others, and the world around them such that they may make choices in their lives relative to all those relationships. Marian studies Modern Psychoanalytic Group Process with the Center for Group Studies in New York and facilitates process groups integrating modern, contemplative, relational and feminist approaches to group work.

Understanding Teletherapy
Robert A. Lees
Kerry M. Broman, LCSW
Peter Barber

Presentation Description: Robert A. Lees & Associates devotes a large part of our practice to serving the unique needs of mental health professionals and organizations. This presentation will focus on understanding the challenges of teletherapy in Colorado.
Presenter Bio: A seasoned attorney with forty years of experience practicing law in the areas of administrative, regulatory and governmental law, litigation, arbitration, mediation, appellate actions in all state and federal courts in Colorado, regulatory boards and agencies; arbitration and mediation; asset protection, constitutional litigation, and regulatory (administrative) law. Mr. Lees appears regularly before the State of Colorado regulatory boards and has litigated cases with the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and numerous administrative law proceedings. Mr. Lees has engaged in general counsel and investment advisement, including regulatory law and securities analysis.
Mr. Lees’ admissions to the bar include Colorado (1977); U.S. District Court (1977); and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (1978). He is a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, the National District Attorneys Association, and the Arapahoe and Colorado Bar Associations. Mr. Lees has assisted in the drafting and presenting numerous statutory amendments to the Colorado Code for use by Colorado’s legislature. Mr. Lees appears in the Martindale-Hubbell Register of Preeminent Attorneys and Who’s Who in American Law. He is rated to be in the upper 2% of the nation’s lawyers. Mr. Lees was consulted by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies for sunset review and was requested to present opinions and suggestions on modification of the current laws to assist in the re-enactment of those laws. Mr. Lees authored five regulatory law publications for reference and training purposes.
Presenter Bio: Kerry M. Broman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. Kerry has been treating individuals, couples and families in Colorado since 1999. Kerry has worked in public and parochial school settings as well as adolescent day treatment and residential treatment facilities. Additionally, Kerry spent the last 5 years at Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Graduate Social Work program as an Affiliate Faculty Member. Kerry is also the former President of Colorado Society for Clinical Social Work (CSCSW).CS CSCSW is a collegial association that advances the profession by providing opportunities for education, setting practice standards, promoting public recognition of the profession and advocating for protection of clinical social workers and their clientele. Kerry served two terms as president for CSCSW from 2010-2014.
Kerry Broman began a private practice in the Denver Tech Center, where she specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their families. Kerry has been providing formal presentations and training on treating self-harming behaviors in adolescents since 2010. She has also presented on working with high risk youth, assessing and treating domestic violence, and tips for starting a private practice.
Presenter Bio: Peter is an organizational consultant with a fine-tuned sense for building culture and weathering adaptive change. He has led staff teams as a direct supervisor and as a peer, and has worked extensively with volunteer teams. He is an engaging speaker who is comfortable in a variety of settings. He possesses a clear and concise presentation style that ensures no one in the audience is left behind. Peter also currently is an Associate Faculty member at Denver Seminary, where he teaches the capstone thesis-level class to graduating M.A. students in the Leadership Degree program which teaches students how to use the Action Research Method to consult with a live organization. In this role, he coaches, mentors, and consults with the students as they implement the Action Research Method within these organizations to provide innovative solutions to the problems the organizations are facing. Peter also has deep experience in the mental health field, where for seven years he served as the primary vision-caster and program administrator for a counseling center. He was responsible for the conception and launch of this center, and oversaw its growth from a start-up phase to a fully-operational center.



Host Sponsor

Colorado Christian University

 Platinum Sponsor

-Still Available-

Gold Sponsors

Robert A. Lees & Associates

Simple Practice

 Silver Sponsors

Denver Springs Hospital

Peer Assistance

EMDR Center of the Rockies

Centennial Peaks Hospital

Cedar Springs Hospital

People House

Johnson & Wales University - MS in Addictions Counseling Program

 Bronze Sponsors

WINGS Foundation

Mount St. Vincent

Project Helping

Urban Balance

Divorce Matters