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7th Annual Co-Occurring Disorders Symposium "Celebrating a Tradition of Change"

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 5:00 PM - Friday, January 25, 2019 at 12:00 PM (CST)

7th Annual Co-Occurring Disorders Symposium...

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Event Details


Seventh Annual

Co-Occurring Disorders Symposium

“Celebrating a Tradition of Change”

January 23-25, 2019



    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 Pre-Conference Institute 5:30 -7:30

                   “Ethics and Practice: A Co-Occurring Perspective                              

Scott Westbrock, MSW, LICSW
Clinical Supervisor, Behavioral Health Home and Adult Mental Health Case Management
South Central Human Relations Center Owatonna, Minnesota

David Wright, MSW, LICSW
Treatment Director
Dual Recovery Program, South Central Human Relations Center Owatonna, Minnesota

In working with clients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, situations will arise whereby ethical practice and decision-making needs to be first and foremost. Unfortunately, there are often situations which become difficult and those decisions become more challenging given the needs of the clients we serve. Although most practitioners adhere to ethical practices, there are situations which range from inadvertent to blatant violations of ethical practice.   In this interactive workshop, the presenters will outline common and uncommon ethical practice areas of concern and discuss ways to avoid future situations.


Thursday, January 24, 2019 

               “Keeping the Horse in Front of the Cart: Matching Interventions

         with a Client’s Readiness to Change ”

Carl Isenhart, Psy.D., ABPP, LP

Licensed Psychologist

Phoenix VA Health Care System Phoenix, Arizona

This presentation will demonstrate how the Transtheoretical Model of Change (i.e., Stages and Process of Change) and related clinical interventions can be used to address a client’s assessed Readiness to Change (Dimension 4) as defined by the 2018 MN Statute 245G of Chemical Dependency Licensed Treatment Facilities.


“Effective Intervention in the Lives of Substance Using Women and their Unborn”

Ann M. Lansing MPH, BSN, RN, CARN

Medical Director

EmPower CTC Rochester, Minnesota

Caitlin Callahan, MSW, LGSW

CRAFT Program Manager

EmPower CTC Rochester, Minnesota

As clinicians we are required to provide integrated treatment for mental health and substance use issues in our adult clients. It often seems like an impossible task to meet even those needs and clients typically have needs that extend into relationships, housing, employment, transportation, funding and education. CRAFT (Community in Recovery Aiding Families in Transition) is not a treatment program, it is considered a program of support. However partnered with treatment programs it can and does extend outside of groups and helps meet some extended client needs that can improve treatment outcomes. This program will discuss the work of CRAFT as well as some of the negative impacts of substance use during pregnancy that the program works to prevent.

“Therapeutic Cannabis: Helping or Harming the Recovery of Co-Occurring Disorders”  

Thad Shunkwiler, LMFT, LPCC 

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Science

Minnesota State University, Mankato 

This workshop will examine the Minnesota Therapeutic Cannabis Program and its potential impact on treating co-occurring disorders. Participants will review current empirical research on the use of cannabis while discussing potential benefits and consequences with patients. An emphasis will be placed on practical application of the research into clinical practice

“New Year and New Resources with The Opportunities for the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Services to Assist Co-Occurring Clients”

Darren Reed B.S.

Certified Prevention Professional, Certified Peer Recovery Support Trainer

Strategic Prevention Framework Project Director

Minnesota Department of Human Services

Michael Mahoney LADC

Treatment Director

MN Adult/Teen Challenge Lakeside Academy Buffalo, Minnesota

Ronald Amdahl M.S., Licensed Psychologist

Empower CTC Rochester Minnesota

This presentation will give us all a chance to understand the key elements in the certified peer support recovery specialist services legislation and how DHS is currently rolling out this resource. The concept of additional support at critical periods in a person's recovery to assist with barriers, finding sober housing, introducing individuals to the power of the recovery community. The peer recovery specialist will be able to introduce participants to different community resources, develop individualized recovery action plans and hope for the future with educational and skill introductions/problem-solving.

Friday, January 25, 2019

“The Best You Leads to Better Outcomes for Those You Serve. Narcissism or Truth?

An integrated understanding of addiction, recovery, alliance and mindful practice to hone and strengthen ourselves, our teams and those we serve.

Honorable Shaun R. Floerke, J.D
State of Minnesota
6th Judicial District
Duluth, Minnesota

Nothing is ultimately effective without healthy human connection. The dark side of the same truth is that hurt people hurt people. We can move towards deeper understanding of and attunement to the path that has brought folks to need our help and be agents of alliance in healing and progress. But won’t that connection/ alliance come at great cost? Do we run the risk of watching our passion fade and losing track of the purpose in our work? Or, is there a mindful path we can create that will both renew us and sustain us in our work?

Judge Floerke will share a vision of an integrated understanding of ad-diction, recovery, alliance, and mindful practice. Explore real-world strategies for effective living AND effective work practice to nourish ourselves and to hone and strengthen ourselves and our teams

“Tools for Trauma-Informed Care”

Tracy Ronning, MA, LMFT

Clinical Director

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Minneapolis, Minnesota

The presentation focuses on the ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and the  various ways it impacts people with addiction and mental health. ACE’s is a screening tool that any addiction counselor can incorporate into their work. The presentation is an educational approach of viewing the clients through a trauma-informed lens rather than a behavioral lens. Treatment approach, methods, and application overview will be included.



2018 Conference Faculty


Scott Westbrock, MSW, LICSW 

Scott Westbrock, MSW, LICSW has been a social worker for over 22 years. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Social Work from St. John’s University and his Master’s in Social Work from the University of St. Thomas. He is presently the Adult Mental Health Program Manager and Clinical Supervisor for the Adult Mental Health Case Management Department at South Central Human Relations Center in Owatonna, Minnesota where he also serves as the Team Leader for SCHRC’s Behavioral Health Home. He has been with SCHRC for the past 16 years. In addition, Scott has worked as a Social Worker on a locked-behavior unit of a psychiatric nursing home in South Minneapolis as well as an Adult Mental Health Case Manager in Kansas City, Missouri and at SCHRC. He also is past Clinical Director of the ACTIONS program working with students grades 7-12.


David Wright, MSW, LICSW

David Wright, MSW, L.I.C.S.W. has been employed in human services for the past 34 years. He is currently the Treatment Director and psychotherapist at the Dual Recovery Program, South Central Human Relations Center in Owatonna, Minnesota. David received his A.A. degree from the University of Maryland, European Division and is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento where he completed both his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in Social Work. In 1989 David was employed as a Clinical Social Worker under the late Dr. Richard Heilmann at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, Drug Dependency Treatment Program. In 1993, he was assigned as a supervisor for the newly-created Addictive Disorders Section of Psychiatry at that facility. It was during this time in which his interest increased with regard to substance use treatment for special populations and co-existing disorders. He currently serves as the Mental Health Professional on the Steele-Waseca Drug Court Teams. David has presented regularly at various state and regional conferences on the treating of co-occurring disorders. He is a United States Air Force veteran, and a member of the American Legion and lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.


Carl Isenhart, Psy.D., ABPP, LP

Carl Isenhart, Psy.D., ABPP, has been a psychologist with the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 35 years, and he is currently a licensed psychologist at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System. His Psy.D. is from the University of Denver, and he is licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Arizona. He holds a Specialty Board Certification in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology, he is a Fellow in the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, and he is a Member of the Motivational Interviewing (MI) Network of Trainers (MINT). He has been and is currently involved with research to study the use of MI with substance abusers with Hepatitis C and also with combining MI with Prolonged Exposure to treat veterans with PTSD. He has had faculty appointments in the Department of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, and he has also been an Adjunct Professor at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota

M. Lansing MPH, BSN, RN, CARN

Ann M. Lansing has been working as a registered nurse since 1972. She has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinic and outpatient chemical dependency. Ann graduated from a diploma nursing program and worked as a registered nurse for 18 years before returning to school to obtain a bachelor's in science in nursing degree from Viterbo College in LaCrosse,Wisconsin. She completed a Master of Public Health in community health education program at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse in 1999. Ann has worked with chemically dependent adults for over 15 years and first attained her certification as an addiction registered nurse - advanced practice in 2004. Within her current scope of practice, she is the prime clinician addressing the physical, chemical and mental health issues, how those issues interact and how to design treatment that looks at the whole person and their needs. She is the co-owner, with her husband Steve, of EmPower CTC and is the medical director at that facility.

Caitlin Callahan, MSW, LGSW

Caitlin began her career while working towards her Bachelor's in Criminal Justice at the Minnesota School of Business and completed an internship with Family Promise of Rochester. Joining the Family Promise staff after graduation, Caitlin worked as a Case Manager and worked with homeless families from when they were in shelters until they established permanent housing. While at Family Promise, Caitlin began her graduate work at Walden University. As part of working towards her Master's in Social Work, Caitlin completed internships at

the Women's Shelter and Support Center and the Bluestem Center. Caitlin joined CRAFT as a Case Manager in October of 2016, completed her Master's in Social Work in February of 2017, and became the CRAFT Program Manager in July of 2017. Caitlin says her favorite parts of her work with CRAFT are seeing families stay together and witnessing how the mothers in the program change and grow in a number of areas of their lives with the support of the entire CRAFT Team.


Thad Shunkwiler, LMFT, LPCC, ACS, CCMHC

Thad Shunkwiler is a licensed mental health professional and works as an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Professor Shunkwiler was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Research in 2016. His research interests include how chemical use impacts mental health symptomology and substance use prevention. Professor Shunkwiler has spoken at numerous national conferences and is well-known for his engaging and dynamic presentation style. 


Darren Reed, BS

Darren is a nationally recognized public speaker with a strong understanding of Peer-to-peer support services and has been involved in nonprofits for 20 years. He has provided services in Southern MN during much of that time. His current responsibilities include the strategies for rolling out this resource for the recovery community. He will be able to assist in shaping the implementation and improvements to meet the needs of our clients.  


Mike Mahoney, LADC

Mike has developed many programs and administered several programs with his current adolescent program for young men. He has experience in the inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. As his role of treatment director, he has the responsibilities to hire, train and monitor recovery coaches primarily in the residential setting. Mike is an excellent speaker and noted joke master.


Ron Amdahl, MS, LP

Ron has been a Correction Center Director, school teacher/Clinical Supervisor for Day Treatment programs, fulltime faculty member of a University and private practice. He has trained many peer support programs and Recovery Coaches.  


                                               Honorable Shaun R. Floerke, J.D

Judge Floerke is a district court judge of the 6th Judicial District of Minnesota, chambered in Duluth. He was appointed to the bench July 2004. Before taking the bench, he served as a lead prosecutor, litigation attorney in a private practice law firm, and as a senior attorney in government civil litigation. Judge Floerke founded and presides over a DWI problem-solving court, serves as Co-Chair of the Minnesota Drug Court Initiative and is past member of the Minnesota Judicial Council, the governing body of the judiciary in Minnesota. He trains judges and other professionals on domestic violence issues nationally with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and also with the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DIAP). He is a faculty member and trainer for the National Center for DWI Courts. He was awarded a judicial Leadership award by Minnesota Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2011 for his work addressing drunk driving.


Tracy Ronning, MA, LMFT

Tracy Ronning is the Director of Outpatient Clinical Services at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. She is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University where she received her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist and has practiced exclusively in Co-Occurring settings. Tracy has extensive experience in working with complex trauma and the addiction interplay. She is also a Board Approved Supervisor and enjoys training and developing new clinicians.



















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Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 5:00 PM - Friday, January 25, 2019 at 12:00 PM (CST)

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