VASGW Group-A-Rama
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 Export to Your Calendar 3/27/2020
When: March 27, 2020
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Where: Northern Virginia Community College
Ernst Community Cultural Center
8333 Little River Turnpike
Annandale, Virginia  22003
United States
Contact: Terri Mason

Online registration is available until: 3/21/2020
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2020 Group-A-Rama


8:00 - 8:45 am  Check-In, Pantry Item Collection, Breakfast & Coffee, Visit with Vendors, and Raffle Tickets for Sale


8:45 - 8:55 am  Opening Remarks


8:55 - 10:00 am  Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Mary Alvord, Psychologist and Director of Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC.  Dr. Mary K. Alvord, Director of Alvord, Baker & Associates is a psychologist with more than 35 years of clinical experience.  She will share specific and evidence-based recommendations on empowering youth to bounce back from the challenges in their lives by increasing confidence, sense of self-mastery, self-control, and applying coping strategies.  Featured on NPR, she contributes to national and international media including Time Magazine, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and others. She has also written chapters and articles on resilience, stress, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.   Her publications on resilience, relaxation and self-regulation, and challenging negative thinking have been widely circulated.  They include: Resilience Builder Program for Children and Adolescents (Research Press); CD:  Relaxation and Self-Regulation Techniques for Children and Teens; CD: Relaxation and Wellness Techniques (adults) Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens: A Workbook to Break the Nine Thought Habits That Are Holding You Back  (New Harbinger)

Recently, she founded a 501 C3 non-profit, Resilience Across Borders, Inc. with a mission to promote mental health.  The non-profit is currently providing group intervention in five high-poverty schools in the DC metro area.


To help support the NOVA Annandale community we are asking all attendees to bring an item for their food pantry.  These are items of need; Non-Perishable Canned Protein (Cans of tuna, chicken and beans, jarred peanut and almond butter), Non-Perishable Canned Meals (Canned Soups, Chili, Stew, Pasta Sauce, Mac & Cheese), Canned Fruits & Vegetables, Dry Goods, Granola Bars, Cereals, Crackers, Pasta, Rice, Grab-and-Go Food (Cups/Bowls of Soup/Mac and Cheese, Granola Bars, Packets of Oatmeal, Plastic/paper plates, bowls, utensils.  Toiletries: Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Soap, Menstrual Products, Shampoo, and Conditioner, Laundry Products, Diapers


10:15 - 11:15 am            Session A

A-1  A Bullying Prevention Partnership:  Collaborating with Parents/Guardians

Presenter:  Anaid Shaver

Intended Audience: ES, MS, HS, Private Practice, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary:  This experiential session will provide participants with information and ideas on how to develop an effective and engaging bullying prevention presentation/workshop to educate parents/guardians on the role of counselors’ in bullying prevention and intervention.  Information will be provided on what to include and how to deliver the presentation/workshop.

Participants will:  1) Learn how to identify specific needs for parent/guardian presentations.
2) How to define counselor’s role in bullying prevention/intervention partnerships.
3) What to include in a parent/guardian presentation.


A-2  George Mason University Resilience Badge:  How Badging Can Work

Presenter:  Lewis E. Forrest, II

Intended Audience: MS, HS, Private Practice, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary:  One of the most innovative ways Mason is advancing its Well-Being initiative is through its Resilience Badge Workshop, which started in the spring of 2016. To date, over 200 students have completed the workshop and earned the digital credential (badge).
This workshop will be designed to help participants understand the development of the 5-week hybrid Resilience workshop; and learn how the workshops helps student and staff acquire and demonstrate key skills toward building resilience. Participants will: 1) Define resilience.  2) Discuss badge workshops design and impact.  3) Discuss factors and strategies for building resilience.


A-3  Expressive Outlets of the Adolescent: Music Therapy Techniques

Presenter:  Skye Bennett, MT-BC

Intended Audience: ES, MS, HS, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary:  Many adolescents describe their relationship with music to be validating, supportive, understanding, personal, even life-saving. Through creative outlets like music, adolescents find opportunity for authentic expression. This experiential music- based session will provide participants with techniques for supporting and nurturing the intimate relationship between their students and music, within a group setting. Participants will:  1) Discuss the efficacy of music therapy in the field of mental health.  2) Explore creative techniques for promoting self-expression and group cohesion.  3) Engage in group music therapy experiential to promote self-expression.


A-4  Self-Care for School Counselors and Other Helping Professionals

Presenter:  Michael Jones

Intended Audience: All

Summary:  Oftentimes school counselors and other helping professionals are so preoccupied with caring for their students and clients that they fail to adequately care for themselves.  In instances where the absence of self-care is acute, a school counselor and/or helping professionals’ personal well-being and the effectiveness of their professional practice may suffer.  The Self-Care for School Counselors and Other Helping Professionals workshop is designed to help school counselors and other helping professionals understand self-care, why self-care is important, and how to regularly practice self-care.  Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to develop a Personal Self-Care Plan and explore Group-Work as a form of self-care.  Participants will:  (1) Learn what is self-care for school counselors and helping professionals; (2) Why self-care for school counselors and helping professionals is important for their personal well-being and professional practice as a school counselor and/or helping professional; and (3) How to apply physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, professional and workplace, relationship, and overall self-care techniques to enhance their personal well-being and professional practice as a school counselor and/or helping professional.  Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to develop a Personal Self-Care Plan and explore Group-Work as a form of self-care.


11:30 am - 12:30 pm      Session B

B-1  Special Needs and Inclusive Programming

Presenters: Melissa Hochberg, MEd and Arlene Lechner, MEd

Intended Audience: ES, MS, HS, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary:  In this session you will learn about classes, social clubs, strategies and curriculum to address the needs of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  Participants will: 1) Learn strategies to address the needs of your students and clients.  2) Learn about resources to address the needs of your students, clients and families.  3) Gain familiarity with local programs and increase your comfort level when speaking with students, clients and families.


B-2  Think on Your Feet!: Utilizing Odyssey of the Mind Activities to Increase Cognitive Flexibility & Creative Problem Solving

Presenter:  Rebecca O’Neil, MSW

Intended Audience: MS, HS, Graduate Students, College, Private Practice

Summary:  Odyssey of the Mind is an academic extra-curricular activity that teaches children to think on their feet creatively and spontaneously through fun and challenging group activities that perfectly translate to social skills groups!  Come learn exciting brain challenge activities you can use in your social skills groups to improve the 4 C's of a great team: cognitive flexibility, communication, collaboration, and creative thinking.  You will walk away with ideas for adding Odyssey principles of teamwork and creative problem solving to group process, as well as numerous concrete activities for use in your groups.  Participants will:  1) Explore how specific training in the 4 Cs of effective teams positively impacts Social Skills.  2) Be provided introduction to Odyssey of the Mind concepts to strengthen Executive Functioning Skills.  3) Be provide a few specific fun activities i.e. ‘spontaneous problems’ to strengthen Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills.


B-3   School Counselors: Guiding Your Students to be Self-Determined Graduates

Presenters:  Nancy Anderson, I’m Determined Coordinator, Region 4, Debra McCauley-Tokach, School Counselor, Kim Bledsoe, School Counselor Endorsement/Transition Coordinator, Middle-High School and (TBD) I’m Determined Youth Leader

Intended Audience: ES, Private Practice, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary:  The I’m Determined project, a state-directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger.  This presentation will share what the I'm Determined project is about and how we support and guide schools, educators, parents, and youths to implement the tools and other I'm Determined resources county/district wide, in schools or a classroom.  Learn how two school counselors infuse their school counselor curriculum/goals with the I'm Determined elements of self-determination tools.  An I'm Determined Youth Leader will present how and why the I'm Determined project can make a difference in the lives of a youth with a disability. Find out what the popular I'm Determined Youth and Parent Summit is all about!  Participants will:  1) How to incorporate your School Counselor Developmental curriculum with the I’m Determined Tools and resources.  2) How the VDOE Portrait of a Virginia Graduate can be infused with the I’m Determined resources and initiatives.  3)How the use of the I’m Determined tools and philosophy a can be integrated to enhance inclusive environments.  4)How a school counselor can help a student in developing their “grit.”


B-4   Peer Process Social Skills Groups: Promoting Health, Happiness, and Success in our Children

Presenter: Scott F. Miller, MSW, LCSW

Intended Audience: ES, Private Practice, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary:  This session will educate attendees on the methods and interventions utilized in the Peer Process Social Skills Group Model created by Dr. Christopher Haley. This session will be helpful to counselors, teachers, and parents who need further resources to teach or reinforce essential social skills needed to aid students to create and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. Participants will:  1) Have an understanding of the Peer Process Social Skills Group Model and the interventions utilized to help children and adolescents decrease anxiety, improve self-esteem, communicate clearly and resolve conflicts.
2) Attendees will be able to identify candidates for the Peer Process Social Skills Group model and how to refer students to the program. 3) Attendees will be informed of modifications to implement intervention in the home and school setting.


12:30-1:30pm             Lunch, VASGW Business Meeting, and Visit with Vendors


1:45 - 2:45 pm               Session C

C-1    Walk In My Shoes” Program

Presenter:  Margaret Behrns

Intended Audience: ES, MS, HS, Private Practice, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary: Learn about an interactive empathy-building program that helps schools create a more inclusive environment by teaching kids what it can be like to have developmental and other challenges. The program can be run like an event or used in small group work. Participants will:  1) Learn key elements to creating a successful school-based program.  2) How the Walk In My Shoes program builds "empathy muscles."  3) How to tailor the program to meet their specific needs.


C-2   Mental Health Provider Self Care:  Taking care of you too

Presenters:  Laura Granato, and Tracey Lee

Intended Audience: ES, MS, HS, Private Practice, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary:  With the addition of telehealth services and the use of email communications with clients, it is even more important for mental health providers to practice self-care and establish boundaries.  The additional demands technology is placing upon mental health practitioners make is imperative for provider self-care. Participants will:  1) Learn to balance work and self-care.  2) To establish and enforce boundaries with clients. 3) Guidelines for communications with clients outside of therapy sessions.


C-3   Waka Waka Bam Boom! A drum circle in my office? Rhythm based interventions for individual, family, and group therapy for the non-music therapist.

Presenter:  Melissa Deaton Cook

Intended Audience: ES, MS, HS, Private Practice, General Population, Graduate Students

Summary:  Welcome to a fun experiential hands-on session that will demonstrate ways that rhythm-based interventions can have a positive effect in reducing symptoms, enhance communication, and aid in teaching developmental skills in the context of therapy. Case examples will be presented throughout the experience. Learn simple interventions for your clinical tool box. Have fun and walk away feeling energized! No experience necessary! Participants will:  1) Through case studies, clinicians will learn how rhythm and music making interventions have been used successfully in individual, family, and group therapy.  2) Learn about evidence-based research regarding rhythm and music making interventions.  3) Learn at least three simple interventions for their clinical tool box.  4)  Through experiential learning, clinicians will develop a deeper personal understanding of some benefits of these interventions.
5) Gain access to resources for further study.


C-4   Working with Military Students

Presenter: Teresa Chapman, ES School Counselor and Tatjana Gainey

Intended Audience: ES, Graduate Students, Private Practice

Summary: This is an opportunity to gain information and expertise in working with students from military families.  Participants will: 1) Be provided with materials to run, a four-week small group counseling group. 2) Also receive a list of resources on Fort Belvoir, the installation, and participate in a discussion of the services that they provide.  3) Discuss how to support military students who are having difficulty transitioning to their new environments.


3:00 - 3:30 pm   Raffle, Drop Off Evaluations to Receive a Confirmation of Attendance


*Participants will receive a certificate of participation for 4 hours.


Complaint PolicyIf you have a complaint or dispute regarding this event, please write a letter and include the following:  Your name, address, telephone number, email, name of event, date and location of the event, complaint and desired resolution to Dr. Terri Mason, VASGW President 10328 Collingham Drive Fairfax, VA 22032 or send an email You will receive a reply in 30 days from the date you submitted the complaint/dispute.

Cancellation PolicyTo receive a full refund, minus a $15 cancellation fee, registrants must cancel at least 72 hours (3 days) prior to the start of the workshop.  Cancellations and/or no shows with less than a 72 hour (3 days) notice will be reviewed after all expenses have been paid, a determination will be made regarding the ability to honor the request minus cost of guaranteed meals/special events. An administrative fee of $10.00 will be assessed for any refund. Submit cancellations/refund requests to Vicky Wheeler VCA Director, Member Services & Operations, Virginia Counselors Association, 316 Hodges Cove Road, Yorktown, VA  23692 Main: (757) 766-5466 Toll Free:  (800) 225-8103 Fax: (757) 766-5467


Ernst Community Cultural Center

8333 Little River Turnpike · Annandale, VA 22003

Office (703) 323-3159 · Fax (703) 323-2185 ·    Email  

PARKING at NOVA Annandale:  Group-A-Rama parking is included with registration in Lots B12, B13 & B14


FROM THE BELTWAY (495): Take 236 West (Little River Turnpike). Turn left at Wakefield Chapel Road.  Turn left into the large parking lot behind the college (it is the third left turn).

FROM WEST ON 236: Right turn at the light at Wakefield Chapel Road.  Turn left into the large parking lot behind the college (it is the third left turn).

FROM BRADDOCK ROAD: Turn right onto Wakefield Chapel Road.  Drive 1.3 miles and turn right into the second entrance of the NOVA Community College parking lot.



VASGW has reserved a block of hotel rooms at Tysons Corner Marriott, located at 8028 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA  22182, (703)734-3200.   The hotel is 6.9 miles from the NOVA campus and just off Interstate 495.

The Hotel is offering a special group rate of $189 for the evening of March 6th.    The Hotel’s room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 12%) in effect at the time of check out.  The group room rates listed above are net non-commissonable.

If you would like to reserve a room call Marriott Reservations directly at 1(800) 228-9290 or (703) 734-3200 on or before Thursday, March 19, 2020, (the “Cutoff Date”) to make your room reservations.  Please identify yourself as part of the Virginia Counselors Association VASGW group staying at the Tysons Corner Marriott, located at 8028 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA  22182-2719 or reserve a room online at 


All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card. The hotel will not hold any reservations unless secured by credit card.  Individual VASGW conference attendees are to pay all guest room charges including applicable taxes.


Virginia Counselors Association agrees that neither the Group nor attendees of the Event shall be authorized to resell room reservations made pursuant to this offer.


This offer is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including health and safety codes, alcoholic beverage control laws, disability laws, federal anti-terrorism laws and regulations, and the like. Hotel and Virginia Counselors Association SGW attendees agree to comply with such laws.



Information for the On-Line Registration:



Current Work Location:


Session A Choice:

Session B Choice:

Session C Choice:



Until February 12

VCA/VASGW Members: $60

Non-VASGW Members: $75

Graduate Students: $45 (please note which school)

Retired Counselors: $45


From February 13 - 29

VCA/VASGW Members: $70

Non-VASGW Members: $85

Graduate Students: $55 (please note which school)

Retired Counselors: $55


From March 1 - 21

VCA/VASGW Members: $80

Non-VASGW Members: $95

Graduate Students: $55 (please note which school)

Retired Counselors: $55




MENU - If you observe, please know this event takes place on Friday during Lent

Breakfast: Pastries, fruit, coffee and water
Lunch: Firehouse Sub, Chips, water, and Cookie

Please choose one:





Please list any dietary restrictions/allergies:


Virginia Counselors Association
316 Hodges Cove Road, Yorktown, VA 23692 | Ph: 757.766.5466 | Fax: 757.766.5467 |