Humans are multi-faceted creatures with a vast array of interests and needs. What we each have in common is the desire to feel connected to others. Three issues that create both unity and divisiveness are sex, religion and death. The ways in which we were educated about these topics in our childhood homes have tremendous impact on how we grow as healthy, functioning adults. Left unexamined, they can develop into pathology and violence.

We are sexual beings with sensory apparatus that take in the world around us. A healthy sexual identity and practice enhances our lives and it is useful to be familiar with ourselves and our values around sexuality. Many people are at the effect of abuse, neglect, trauma, grief, sexual confusion, and relationship conflicts because they don’t have the skills to elegantly explore and process these three core issues When they are not faced, they fester and contribute to ongoing damage and conflict.

Each of us was born and one day, each of us will die. Everyone we know and love will one day die and yet, we are often unprepared to manage the emotions that surround this inevitability, since it is not openly discussed. Long standing grief can devastate and prevent moving forward in life. Healthy expression of bereavement can allow for honoring the deceased while celebrating their lives and serve as an example to the survivors.

Religious belief and practice is a personal, familial and societal issue and one that can either unite or divide. Exploration of the nature of creation and sustenance of life in the context of spirituality may provide answers for ongoing questions of the how, what and why of our existence

Participants will have opportunities to examine their own beliefs about sex, religion and death; a ‘fearless and searching inventory’ as it were. They will be broken down into three segments initially and then woven together into a tapestry.


PURPOSE OF PRESENTATION (GOALS): DEATH: This program is designed for professional caregivers who may work with individuals, families and groups facing major life losses, particularly those experienced during and after illness and death. Participants will learn information related to the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of loss and grief that they can put to practical use in their personal and professional lives.

SEX: This program is designed for clinicians who work with clients (not necessarily those deemed having sexual dysfunction) who have an interest in discovering how sexuality impacts on their lives and relationships. Participants will learn about the range of interests and practices that are part of the scope of human experience so that they can create a framework for their clients to integrate a healthy sense of sexuality for themselves.

RELIGION: This program is designed for professionals (therapeutic and clergical) who work with clients questioning their connection with the (to use a 12 step term) ‘God of their understanding.’ This comes into play with the questions that arise in a therapeutic setting, such as “Why did God let my child die? “ “Why was I abused?” Our clients come from various religious/spiritual backgrounds and it is helpful to have a grasp on the ways in which they integrate spiritual awareness and practice into their daily lives. What is the benefit of prayer and faith in recovery?

Students will learn about issues central to loss and grief as they pertain to illness, the dying process and the aftermath of death, whether it stems from a chronic or acute illness or a traumatic incident. They will explore methods for being of assistance to those they serve while they allow for a deeper experience of their own perceptions and values around the issues of loss and grief. Subjects such as anticipatory grief, vicarious traumatization and caregiver burnout will be addressed.

Students will learn about issues central to human sexuality, to serve clients. Healing through abuse history, discovering sexual/gender identity, exploring relationship parameters and boundaries.

Students will learn about issues central to the vast range of spiritual beliefs and practices and the ways in which clients can integrate them into their recovery. They will learn how to assist clients in determining a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.

DEATH: Participants will have acquired knowledge and skills relevant to grief and loss particularly as they relate to death and dying. They will explore the various cultural perspectives connected to the loss and grief process, as well as the impact death and loss has on the physical, emotional and spiritual components of their clientele’s lives.

They will identify expected dynamics incurred during the dying process as experienced by the individual and his/her significant others in order to provide support to those involved. They will be able to clarify their own values with regard to choices of the individual who is in the dying process to provide an environment that is free of bias and personal issues.

Students will integrate a strong foundation of knowledge if what to expect during the dying process, the moment of death and after death for the individual and the significant others.Participants will be able to facilitate a ‘life review’ with the person who is in the dying process.

Special areas of concern: explaining illness and death to children, coping with suicide, the loss of a child, and multiple traumatic losses in the family will be explored. In addition, participants will learn about living wills and organ donation as they relate to the grief process.

SEX: Participants will have acquired knowledge and skills relevant to the exploration of human sexuality. They will explore information on the various practices in which their clients may indulge and the impact they have on the person’s identity and relationship structure.

They will complete a personal inventory for themselves and their own use (not needed to be shared with class). Attendees will learn techniques to assist clients in healing through sexual abuse issues and open to a sense of healthy sexual expression. Students will gain knowledge of treatment of sexual addiction.

RELIGION: Attendees will learn about the paradigm shift that is occurring in therapeutic intervention with regard to psycho-spiritual dynamics. Participants will derive an understanding of the ways in which client’s various spiritual practices impact on treatment. They will learn how to complete a religious/spiritual assessment with clients. Students will learn the impact of forgiveness and compassion in therapy.

Weinstein, EdiePresenter: Rev. Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW is a Pennsylvania Licensed Social Worker who graduated from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) in Glassboro, NJ in 1981 and with an MSW from Rutgers University in Camden, NJ in 1985. She was ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 1999, graduating from The New Seminary in New York City. She has worked in a variety of physical and mental health care settings, including hospitals, home care, nursing homes, addiction counseling group practice, out-patient community mental health and in-patient acute psychiatric hospital. Edie has also been a family caregiver with direct experience of the death, dying, loss and grief process. She is an internationally recognized free- lance journalist, motivational speaker, coach, author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary and radio show host: It’s All About Relationships on Vivid Life Radio Her website is

“NASW-PA Chapter is a co-sponsor of this workshop. 6 CEs will be awarded for completion of this course. NASW has been designated as a pre-approved provider of professional continuing education for social workers (Section 47.36), Marriage and Family Therapist (Section 48.36) and Professional Counselors (Section 49.36) by the PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.”

Date: May 16, 2016
Time: 8:30am registration, workshop: 9am to 4pm (1 hour lunch break)
Location: Belmont Behavioral Health, 4200 Monument Road, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Credits: 6 CEU’s for PA Social Workers; MFT’s and PC’s

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SUMMARY: Social work staff in many areas of practice often find themselves working with clients who did not choose social work services and are very resistant to them. Required nevertheless to provide assistance, staff can become understandably frustrated and challenged by these resistant or sometimes quite hostile clients. Participants in this workshop will learn how to recognize clients’ “normal patterns of reactance” to involuntary social work and to develop successful service contracts that are honest and non-coercive, thereby affording the client a range of thoughtful, potential choices. The social worker’s effective use of language, ways of deescalating anger and the skill of reframing problematic issues are all illustrated, along with attitudes of genuine respect. Ethical considerations and social work values are carefully considered as well.

GOAL: Participants will learn to recognize and better understand clinically a variety of common reactant, resistant, and/or hostile behaviors of clients and how to engage such clients respectfully and effectively.

OBJECTIVES: To recognize specific types of reactance to involuntary social work.—To learn and to practice effective ways of speaking to such reactant hostility.—To identify the most common forms of “clinical resistance” (vs. “reactance”) and how to respond to these.—To learn and to practice four strategies for effective, ethical engagement of involuntary clients.—To understand and respond well to race, gender, age or religion, if they become “issues” for clients.

Presenter: Vic Compher

Vic CompherVic Compher is a licensed, clinical social worker who has practiced for a number of years in child welfare, adult and aging, and hospice services. His workshops address such subjects as working with resistant and hostile clients, coping with secondary trauma when tragedy occurs on one’s caseload, understanding adult psychopathology, and supervising social workers and students. Among various articles and books he has written, Vic is the author of, “Family-Centered Practice: The Interactional Dance Beyond the Family System” (NY: Human Sciences/Plenum Press, 1989). He has produced and directed 3 films, including an intergenerational documentary called, “I Cannot Be Silent: Testimonies of Peacemaking”. His current and new documentary project, “Caregivers”, addresses the personal and professional impact upon helping professionals of their work with traumatic cases.

Date: June 10, 2016
Time: 8:30am registration, workshop: 9am to 4pm (1 hour lunch break)
Location: Belmont Behavioral Health, 4200 Monument Road, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Approved Credits: 6 CEU’s for PA Social Workers; MFT’s and PC’s

RSVP by paying for the workshop on-line below

Add to Cart