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Full Day First Friday Forum: President's Conference
Friday, October 07, 2022, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST
Category: First Friday Forum (CE)

Virtual Full Day First Friday Forum: How Are the Kids? Critical and Current Issues in Children's Mental Health

Program: Friday, October 7, 2022 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. CT 

This full day conference will focus on three important topics in children’s mental health. Dr. Peg Dawson will discuss how to use the Smart but Scattered model in helping children and adolescents who struggle with disorganization, missed assignments, forgetfulness, and poor time management. Drs. Gearity and Nathan will present on the immediate and long term clinical mental health impacts on children and families. Drs. Kodalen and Hart will discuss best practices when working with divorcing and separating families.   

Friday Forums are cosponsored with the Metropolitan State University Psychology Department.

This program qualifies for 6.5 continuing education credits.

Level: Intermediate: Assumes post-doctoral education status and general familiarity with topic. It is designed for psychologists and other mental health professionals.

Location: Registrants will be sent a Zoom link for the program the day before (10/6).

Click here to register.

About the Program:

9:00 a.m.
Smart but Scattered: Improving Executive Skills to Promote School Success
Youngsters with poor executive skills are disorganized or forgetful, have trouble getting started on tasks, get distracted easily, lose papers or assignments, forget to bring home the materials to complete homework, or forget to hand homework in. They may rush through work or dawdle and they make careless mistakes that they fail to catch. They don’t know where to begin on long-term assignments. They put the assignment off until the last minute, in part because they have trouble judging the magnitude of the task and how long it will take to complete it. Their workspaces are disorganized, and teachers may refer to their desks, backpacks, and notebooks as “black holes.” Students with executive skill deficits present tremendous challenges to both parents and teachers, who often find themselves frustrated by children whose problems in school seem to have little to do with how smart they are or how easily they learn. This session will give participants a comprehensive overview of the Smart but Scattered model for understanding, assessing, and treating executive skill challenges.

Participants will be able to:
1. Describe the brain processes involved in executive skill development, both in typically developing children and those with executive dysfunction (such as ADHD).
2. Identify how executive skills impact school performance and daily living.
3. Apply how to make environmental modifications to support weak executive skills.
4. Explain the steps for designing a “child-centered” intervention targeting problem situations
associated with executive skill challenges.

About the Presenter:
Peg Dawson, Ed.D., LP, received a Doctorate in Education from the University of Virginia in School/Child Clinical Psychology. In over 40 years of clinical practice, Dr. Peg Dawson has worked with thousands of children and teens who struggle at home and in school. At the center of their struggles are often weak executive skills. Along with her colleague, Dr. Richard Guare, she has written numerous books on this topic for educators, mental health professionals, and parents, including Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, and Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits. Dr. Dawson is also a past president of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and the International School Psychology Association and is a recipient of NASP’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The presenter has indicated the following conflict of interest: I will reference the books that I have published and for which I receive royalties.

12:00 p.m. Break (no credit awarded)

12:15 p.m.
Repairing from COVID: Realities, Developmental Challenges and Even Opportunities for Children and Families.
This session will review what we know about the impact of COVID restrictions for children, teens and their families— and what we must imagine clinically, if we are to be helpful. While there is significant evidence that this pandemic exacerbated already stressed mental health (increased depression, anxiety, suicidality, learning challenges), we also suspect the subtle and longer term effects on children’s development remain under-recognized. Yet for some children, teens and families, COVID also interrupted patterns and expectations that caused stress and provided opportunity for mastery. As with any trauma, the effects cannot be fully assessed until the danger is passed, yet as mental health providers we are being asked to help now. In addition to what we know, we will explore what we must learn to be effective and supportive of resilience in the face of this significant community crisis. Drs. Gearity and Nathan will initiate this conversation and encourage active audience participation.

Participants will be able to:
1. Identify what we know and what we have learned about the psychological and social impact of COVID, COVID restrictions, and COVID fears. Describe these emerging data using a stress/ trauma lens.
2. Use case material to examine the complexity of reactions and expand our thinking about diagnostic and adaptive manifestations of managing during this time.
3. Apply a developmental framework to experiences to build COVID response models that recognize significant adversity and loss, as well as integrate strengths and accommodations that have had psychological benefits.

About the Presenters:
Anne R Gearity, Ph.D., LICSW, earned her Ph.D. from the Institute for Clinical Social Work, Chicago. Dr. Gearity uses developmental knowledge to understand and support how children, teens, and their families experience stress, adversity, and traumas. Thinking of COVID as a community crisis permits her to have appreciation of what was so hard for both individuals and groups—and why children already vulnerable have responded with significant mental distress. Because of her extensive experience, she is committed to a long view: realizing that even as the threatening virus recedes, the impact of these times must be respected for youth to become resilient and for mental health care to be effective.
David Nathan, Psy.D., LP, received his Psy.D. from the University of Saint Thomas Graduate School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Nathan is a trauma-informed, organizational/developmental psychologist who works with children, teenagers, young adults, and their families. His areas of interest include working with patients coping with adoption, ADHD, ASD, screen addiction, and PTSD. Dr. Nathan is honored to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the youth and families of our state with Dr. Gearity and other mental health professionals.
The presenters have indicated no conflicts of interest.

2:15 p.m. Break (no CE)

2:30 p.m.
Working with Divorcing and Separating Families: What Psychologists Need to Know
As divorce rates have increased, mental health professionals are increasingly finding themselves being asked to work with children struggling from the impact of separation and divorce. Working with families under stress and in high conflict can create specific challenges for practitioners. The presenters will help clinicians understand the importance of maintaining boundaries and discuss best practices when/if there is court involvement. Attendees will understand the roles of various other professionals involved with these families, such as parenting consultants, custody evaluators, and guardians ad litem.

Participants will be able to:
1. Apply best practices (e.g., defining roles and maintaining boundaries) when working with high conflict families.
2. Describe the various professionals often involved in high conflict cases and explain their roles.
3. Recognize the importance of consultation when working on complicated or court-involved cases.

About the Presenters:
Jordan Hart, Ph.D., LP, has been a practicing licensed psychologist since 1999. She has a B.A. from Macalester College and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota with a joint degree in Child Development and Clinical Psychology. The majority of her practice is devoted to working with families in conflict. She is a Parenting Consultant and mediator and also provides court referred assessments. Dr. Hart also offers parent coaching and divorce coaching. She has been on the Board of Directors of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and also currently serves on the American Arbitration Association Ethics Board and the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.  

Kent Kodalen, Ph.D., LP, received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (with a specialization in Neuropsychology), from the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia. Dr. Kodalen is a clinical psychologist in private practice. He offers therapy and assessment services for children, adolescents, and families, both in and out of the high conflict arena. As a child specialist and Qualified Neutral under Rule 114, Dr. Kodalen serves as a Parenting Consultant and provides Child Inclusive Mediation, Brief Focused Evaluations, and Parent Coaching.
The presenters have indicated no conflicts of interest.

4:00 p.m. Adjourn

This program qualifies for 6.5 continuing education credits. Attendees must attend full-day program to gain continuing education or academic credit.

The Minnesota Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Minnesota Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

ACCESSIBILITY ACCOMMODATIONS:  If you need disability related accommodations to make this event accessible, please contact the Metropolitan State University Center for Accessibility Resources, 651-793-1549, or [email protected]

Type MPA Member Non-Member Student Retired Member (no CE credit)*  Non Member (no CE credit)
  $149.00 $169.00 $30.00 $30.00 $75.00 
*Retired members have the option to pay the regular member rate to receive CE credit or take advantage of the discounted price with no CE.

MPA wants all members to have access to quality CE opportunities. If you are an MPA member and due to COVID-19 you are unable to work full time and can’t pay the full registration fee, please contact [email protected] to make other arrangements with staff.

Registration is now closed.

Click here to view/download a PDF version of the program flyer & registration form.

CONFIRMATION/CANCELLATION: You will receive an emailed confirmation of your registration. You will be notified by mail, e-mail or telephone if your selection is filled or cancelled.
REFUND POLICY: A 100% refund will be made if the event is cancelled. Refunds, less a $5 handling fee, will be given if a written cancellation is received at least two working days before the scheduled program begins. No refund or transfer is given the day of the program.