• Wellness Education Programs

The F&CS Community & Continuing Education program offers mental and emotional wellness resources for everyone in the community.

We have programs and workshops designed for individuals seeking to manage mental health conditions; family members who support people with mental health conditions; mental health professionals seeking career development and enrichment;  & anyone who wishes to learn more about mental wellness to improve psychological health and overall quality of life. 


THIRD TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH, 2017 | 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Caregiver Support Group

FREE | 0 CONTACT HOURS

Caregiver Support Group offers a FREE educational and supportive group for caregivers helping an older adult family member. The group is facilitated by a Family & Children’s Service therapist and addresses issues faced by caregivers. There is no charge for this group and participants need not be existing clients of Family & Children’s Service in order to attend the group sessions. Especially for Caregivers of Older Adults. Meets on the third Tuesday of each month.

  • Dates: 1/17/2017, 2/21/2017, 3/21/2017, 4/18/2017, 5/16/2017,6/20/2017,7/18/2017, 8/15/2017, 9/19/2017, 10/17/2017, 11/21/2017, 12 TBD/2017
  • Contact Hours: None
  • Instructor: Ann Dolan
  • Location: Pamela & Robert Swieringa Education Center, Family & Children’s  Service 127 West State Street, Ithaca
  • Questions: 607-273-7494
  • Register: Call Ann Dolan at 607-273-749

THIRD or forth Monday OF EACH MONTH, 2017 | 6:30 PM – 8:30PM

Grandparents Support Group

FREE | 0 CONTACT HOURS

Free support groups meet every month.  Newcomers are always welcome and you do not have to be a current Family & Children's Service client to attend!

This supportive, educational support group is for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. The service is offered FREE of charge.  Child care can also be provided if requested in advance. Facilitated by a Family & Children’s Service therapist, the group addresses unique challenges, issues, and solutions for grandparents. The sessions do not require a mental health diagnosis for participation nor must participants be clients at the agency. 

  • Date: 1/23/2017, 2/27/2017, 3/27/2017, 4/24/2017, 5/22/2017
  • Contact Hours: None
  • Instructor: Claudia Lewenstein
  • Location: Pamela & Robert Swieringa Education Center, Family & Children’s Service, 127 West State Street, Ithaca
  • Questions: 607 273-7494
  • Register: Call Claudia Lewenstein, 607 273-7494 ext. 110

March 31 and April 1, 2017 | 8 AM – 4:30 PM

Healing Through Listening: The Therapeutic and Transformative Practice of Compassionate, Nonviolent Communication

early Bird special $297/regular $347 | 13 CONTACT HOURS

It is through being heard that we gain insight, understanding, empathy, compassion, and renewed internal resources to better navigate our own needs and the feelings and needs of others.

In the two-day exploration of Compassionate, Nonviolent Communication, we will experience firsthand the profound impact of being completely and empathically present to others and ourselves and how to integrate empathic listening (including somatic-based empathy) in our healing work. The workshop format will include stories, role-play and experiential exercises and games, humor, fun, and kinesthetic and somatic practices of NVC, focused specifically on integrating the model in therapeutic and coaching settings. The program will include training in Somatic-Based Empathy, specific empathy-based practices developed by Kian Killian integrating NVC with somatic awareness.

  • Date: Friday, 3/31/2017 and Saturday, 4/1/2017
  • Contact Hours: 13 contact hours for NY State Licensed Master Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Mental Health Counselors; Licensed Mental Health Counselors & Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Instructors: Dian Killian, PhD, Certified Trainer, CNVC
  • Location: BorgWarner Room, Tompkins County Public Library
  • Questions: lbryan@fcsith.org, 607-273-7494

April 22, 2017 | 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Open Hearted Awareness Ithaca, NY - Daylong Retreat

$70 pre-REGISTRATION/$80 at the door plus $25 for CEU Certificate (optional) | 5 CONTACT HOURS

    Please join us for a day of retreat and inquiry. Awakening is not something only a few spiritually evolved humans can achieve: it is part of everyone's natural potential. Rather than meditating to calm and focus your mind, we will learn to intentionally shift into open-hearted awareness, which is already calm, stable, and able to effortlessly focus. It is possible to discover a deep sense of well-being, creativity and unconditional love that is our true nature.

    Loch will draw from the ancient wisdom of Sutra Mahamudra and other nondual traditions, as well as current neuroscientific and psychological research to point us beyond our ego-centered identity in order to live from an open-hearted awareness.

    We will learn how to shift out of our chattering mind through contemporary versions of ancient wisdom practices such as effortless mindfulness, nondual awareness, embodied presence and open-hearted awareness. We will discover that ignorance and confusion will begin to liberate and all experiences and emotions are welcomed.

    • Date: Saturday, 4/22/2017
    • Contact Hours: 5 contact hours for NY State Licensed Master Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Mental Health Counselors; Licensed Mental Health Counselors & Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists
    • Instructors: Loch Kelly, PhD
    • Location: Treman Center, 60 Woodard Rd., Newfield, NY 14867
    • Questions: lbryan@fcsith.org, 607-273-7494

    May 8,  2017 | 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    Anxiety Camp: A Workshop for Therapists Treating Fears, Phobias and Anxiety Disorders

    $145 | 6.5 CONTACT HOURS

    Anxiety Camp was designed in 2009 as a low-cost, community-based psycho-educational program to teach anxiety sufferers and their families how to become their own anxiety therapists, combining principles from cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindful-awareness, physical relaxation and assertive communications skills. It has been a very effective intervention, leading to consistent reductions of 50-60% in measured participant anxiety levels in as little as one weekend.

    This intensive one-day workshop will teach therapists how to incorporate the principles of Anxiety Camp into their own practices. It will teach participants strategies for:

    ·         Changing the way clients think about feared situations.

    ·         Developing mindful awareness of your thoughts and reactions.

    ·         Learning to cue your body to relax physically in any situation.

    ·         Facing your fears in a gradual, logical way.

    ·         Managing social anxiety with assertive communications skills.

    The learning objectives of the workshop are:

    ·         Learn to run a short-term group psycho-educational program for anxiety sufferers and family members.

    ·         Review four key evidence-based strategies for treating fears and phobias: physical relaxation and mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral therapy, gradual exposure, and assertive communications skills.

    ·         Learn techniques for effectively engaging a group of anxiety sufferers.

    ·         Explore how to integrate a brief group psycho-educational program for anxiety into your own psychotherapy practice.

    • Date: May 8, 2017
    • Contact Hours: 6.5 contact hours for NY State Licensed Master Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Mental Health Counselors; Licensed Mental Health Counselors & Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists
    • Instructors: Richard Gallagher
    • Location: Borg Warner Room, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, NY
    • Questions: lbryan@fcsith.org, 607-273-7494

    June 5,  2017 | 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

    Birth as Initiation: Dar a Luz

    $50 plus $25 for ny state continuing education  |  4 CONTACT HOURS

    The experience of giving birth has been for millennia an experience of female initiation, moving the birthing woman and members of her family from one state, one status in life, into another. “To give birth” is expressed in Spanish as dar a luz, “to give light.” This is one simple example of how cultures infuse childbirth with symbolic meaning. Our contemporary tendency is to polarize childbirth into opposites, like natural vs. medicated birth, home vs. hospital birth, the midwifery vs. the medical model, a good vs. a traumatic birth. In this workshop, we will take a step back to explore birth rituals through historic, cross-cultural, psychological, religious, and mythological perspectives, using film clips, poetry, family stories, images, and art. The goal of the workshop is to support women and men, therapists, analysts, midwives and doulas, childbirth educators, obstetricians, and grandparents in becoming conscious of our community roles as “holders” of the initiatory birth container.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Identify the differences between a polarized, either-or view of childbirth practices and a broader, cross-cultural view.

    2. Understand four ways to support a pregnant woman, or members of her family, in determining the particular birth model that most aligns with her values.

    3. Understand how to help women reframe past birth experiences by differentiating personal choices from systemic and cultural forces beyond their control.

    • Date: June 5, 2017
    • Contact Hours: 4 contact hours for NY State Licensed Master Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Mental Health Counselors; Licensed Mental Health Counselors & Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists
    • Instructors: Jane Margaret Hunt, LCSW-R, IAAP
    • Location: Borg Warner Room, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, NY
    • Questions: lbryan@fcsith.org, 607-273-7494

    June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2017 | 6:00  – 8:00 PM

    Restoring the Connection

    $4oo per couple  

    This 4-week educational workshop will help couples enhance their communicaiton by understanding their journey through relationship. From Romantic Love to the Power Struggle, from Re-Commitment to Re-Visioning, participants  will discover the purpose of their relationship. They will learn and practice new communication skills to enhance greater  compassion and form a deeper connection.  
    Session 1: Restoring Romantic Love – Creating positive, intentional communication
    Session 2: Understanding What Went Wrong – Learning a new way to dialogue
    Session 3: Bridging the Gap – Exploring a deeper connection through validation and empathy
    Session 4: Looking to the Future – Keeping the energy alive in the relationship

    • Dates: June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2017
    • Instructors: Dwight Myers
    • Location: Pamela & Robert Swieringa Education Center, Family & Children’s Service, 127 West State Street, Ithaca
    • Questions and Registration: dmyers@fcsith.org , 607-273-7494

    June 14 & 15 | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

    Parenting the Second Time Around Faciliator Training

    $180 | 14 CONTACT HOURS

    This workshop is designed for people who wish to lead workshops for relative caregivers who are not the biological parents of the children in their care.   PASTA consists of eight sessions that focus on topics including child development, discipline and guidance, caring for oneself as a caregiver, rebuilding a family, living with teens, legal issues and advocacy. The program provides grandparents and other kinship caregivers with information, skills and resources designed to enhance their ability to provide effective care for the young relatives they are parenting.

    • Date: June 14 & 15, 2017
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Contact Hours: 14 contact hours  for NY State Licensed Master Social Workers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Licensed Mental Health Counselors.
    • Instructors: DenyseVariano
    • Location: Pamela & Robert Swieringa Education Center, Family & Children’s Service, 127 West State Street, Ithaca
    • Questions: lbryan@fcsith.org, 607-273-7494

    July 17 2017 | 9 AM - Noon 

    Applications of Bowen Family Systems Theory in Clinical Practice

    $145 | 6.5 CONTACT HOURS

    Client-centered, trauma-informed approach:

    This workshop offers an opportunity for exploration and dialogue about conflict vs. abuse, which is much needed in the field.  Providers can feel overwhelmed by the stories and needs they encounter, and are at risk of secondary trauma.  The differences between conflict and abuse can become conflated, resulting in misinformation and poor responses to those asking for help.  High conflict relationships are difficult and confusing, abusive relationships can be dangerous and cause lasting trauma.  Providers need a deeper understanding of the nuances of conflict vs. abuse, and an ability to assess relational power dynamics in order to effectively address conflict resolution and reduce the traumatic impact of abuse.  The primary emotional responses of those experiencing conflict or abuse, as well as the different levels of risk, isolation, and options for support that exist, all help to inform the provider of the most appropriate safety planning and resources for those seeking help. 

    Measurable learning objectives:

    1. Participants will be better able to articulate the differences between an abusive relationship and a conflictual one.
    2. Participants will have an understanding of elements such as context, motive, impact, agency, pattern, and privilege when assessing for abuse, rather than just gender and behavior.
    3. Participants will be able to identify differential power dynamics such as power-sharing, power-struggling, and power-over.
    • Date: Fall 2017 TBA
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Contact Hours: 6.5 contact hours  for NY State Licensed Master Social Workers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Licensed Mental Health Counselors.
    • Instructors: Arpi Hovaguimian 
    • Location: Ithaca, NY - Specific location and directions to be announced
    • Questions: lbryan@fcsith.org, 607-273-7494
    •  

    FALL 2017 | 8 AM - 4:30 PM 

    Applications of Bowen Family Systems Theory in Clinical Practice

    $145 | 6.5 CONTACT HOURS

    Learning how to work with clients to tolerate the anxiety of being independent yet connected to the system, or defining the self in the system, is the subject of this workshop. Participants will use the context of Bowen Family Systems to explore the function of the therapist’s role in relation to the person or people present for therapy. Bowen Family Systems Theory assumes that a clinical problem originates and is perpetuated by the system, e.g., the family.

    Participants can expect to:
      * Learn to use family diagrams to trace family emotional and behavioral patterns.
      * Exercise thinking about relational problems and clinical symptoms in accordance with the Bowen Theory.
      * Learn to develop, alongside the client(s), contracts for change that are consistent with a systems model of thinking.
      * Understand the role and function of the therapist in relation to the client(s).

    • Date: Fall 2017 TBA
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Contact Hours: 6.5 contact hours  for NY State Licensed Master Social Workers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Licensed Mental Health Counselors.
    • Instructors: Arpi Hovaguimian 
    • Location: Ithaca, NY - Specific location and directions to be announced
    • Questions: lbryan@fcsith.org, 607-273-7494

    FALL 2017 | 9:30 - 4:30

    Using Traditional Folk and Fairy Tales to Elicit Peronal Stories and Coping Strategies

    $120 | 6 CONTACT HOURS

    In this interactive session, participants will learn how to utilize a traditional story in an engageing way in order to:

    1. Elicit stories about the client's personal experiences.
    2. Help clinets identify and clarify conflicts, feelings and self-defeating beliefs.
    3. Offer coping solutions for a clinet.
    4. Identify action steps taht lead to desired outcomes adn goals. 
    • Date: Fall 2017 TBA
    • Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • Contact Hours: 6 contact hours  for NY State Licensed Master Social Workers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Licensed Mental Health Counselors.
    • Instructors: Regi Carpenter 
    • Location: Ithaca, NY - Specific location and directions to be announced
    • Questions: lbryan@fcsith.org, 607-273-7494

    Where are the program locations?

    We are excited and proud to announce the recent opening of the new Pamela & Robert Swieringa Education Room, where many of our course offerings will be held. Some larger programs will be held at the Tompkins County Public Library or in alternate locations. Check the program listing for specific information on course location.

    How do I obtain Continuing Education Credits?

    Family & Children’s Service provides quality educational activities that are available for professional continuing education credit.

    New York State LMSW & LCSW Contact Hours:  Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca is recognized by the New York StaFamily & Children’s Service of Ithaca is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0293.

    Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Provider Approval Number #MFT-0001.

    Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca is recognizedby the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Menth Health Counselors, Provider Number #MHC-0003. Participation: To qualify for continuing education credit, you must be registered in the workshop, pay all fees in full, attend all sessions, and fully and actively participate in the program. You must pre-register for CE credit; please be sure to include all related fees when you register.

    Fees: There is a $25 fee for CE credit, unless stated otherwise in the course description. There will be an additional $25 fee for certificates that need to be reissued.

    Procedures: To receive accreditation, you must attend the course in full and sign in each day at your workshop. At the end of your workshop, you leave the evaluation form with the instructor. The CEU certificate will be provided at the end of the workshop. In some cases, the certificate may be mailed within one week after the last session. Failure to submit all fees and paperwork at the conclusion of the workshop will disqualify you from receiving CUE credit.

    What is the cancellation policy?

    Requests for refunds will only be honored in cases where 48-hours notice is given prior to the start of a workshop. At times a workshop may be cancelled due to inclement weather or other issues. If this occurs, we will post the cancellation on our website, email all registered participants, and refund any prepaid fees. If you plan to walk-in, please check our website for the most up-to-date information prior to attending.

    When is payment due?

    Payment in full is expected at time of registration. Mail a check made out to Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca to 127 W. State St./Martin Luther King Jr./State St., Ithaca, NY 14850 or call 607-273-7494 ext 506 to pay by credit card. Those registering at the door may pay by either method. Agencies may be invoiced.