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Online registrations are now OPEN!

Take advantage of early bird rates and register today

The NASW Massachusetts Chapter invites you to register for our joint event Social Work Symposium 2022, on Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29, 2022, with the theme “Focusing on the Future: From Social Change to Climate Change”. 

Earn up to 13.5 social workers CEs (general, professional ethics, and cross cultural CEs); CEs approved by NASW-RI! 

Participate in the largest gathering of social workers in New England, bringing together approximately 600+ social workers, mental health practitioners, and influential community members to a two-day conference with more than 50 workshop offerings. All attendees will have the opportunity to connect with experts in the field, be inspired by highly regarded speakers, and gain new skills at innovative workshops.

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To register online:

  1. Click on register.
  2. Create or loging to your account through our registration site, and filling out your information.
  3. Confirm your registration type (i.e., member or non-member), and select the admission type (Both Days, Thursday only, or Friday only).
  4. Choose your workshop selections.
  5. Complete and submit your registration.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Renée Lertzman will explore the complex dimensions of climate change and how we can best support ourselves and each other, as we confront climate crisis as a new kind of challenge, particularly for those on the front lines of helping professions, in her keynote address “From Anxiety to Aspirations: Enabling Change from the Inside Out”. Dr. Lertzman is a pioneer and leader at the intersection of psychology, climate, and environment whose TED Talk on climate anxiety has been viewed more than two million times. The keynote address will be followed by a Panel Discussion on the “Intersection Of Social Work And Environmental Justice” moderated by Dawn Belkin Martinez, PhD, MSW, and with speakers Dimitra-Dora Teloni, PhD, MA, Tara Venkatraman, LCSW, and Monica Huertas.

For questions, please email us at 

Sponsorship opportunities available! Scroll below for more information.

Program Fees:

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Early bird rates closing on Friday, March 25.

Cancellation Policy: No refunds will be made for cancellations received after Monday, April 11, 2022. For changes to your registration, email Angie Almeida at


Become a Symposium exhibitor today and receive brand exposure through our conference's website, email campaigns, social media, e-newsletter, and more! Your package includes free registrations, with up to 13.5 social work continuing credits available for staff members. 

All exhibitors will have the opportunity to chat live with participants through their profile at our Virtual Exhibit Hall. These profiles include information about your brand (logo, ads, videos, websites links of your choice, and more). Our Virtual Exhibit Hall will be gamified with prizes to incentivize participants to visit your booth throughout both days of the conference.

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To register online:

  1. Click on register, and create an account through our registration site by filling out your information.
  2. Select one of our Exhibitor levels (Premier or Standard) or Advertising options.
  3. Complete your payment. After finalizing your registration, our Symposium team will reach out to collect your materials and start your promotion our media channels soon.

Exhibitor levels: 

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Purchase an ad in Symposium’s 2022 Program E-book:

you can also participate as an advertiser by placing an ad on our event’s program e-book, viewed by all conference attendees.

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You can also submit your payment by mailing a check to our officeNASW Rhode Island Chapter, 260 West Exchange Street, Suite 005, Providence, RI 02903

For questions, please email Angie Almeida at


Earn up to 13.5 social workers CEs (general, professional ethics, and cross cultural CEs)

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9:00 - 11:00 AM | Keynote Session with Dr. Renée Lertzman (1.5 CEs)

From Anxiety to Aspirations: Enabling Change from the Inside Out: Confronting the climate crisis is a new kind of challenge, particularly for those on the front lines of helping professions. How can we stay grounded and resilient, while enabling change at the individual, social, and collective levels? In this interactive session, we will explore the complex dimensions of climate change and how we can best support ourselves and each other, as well as: 

  • Understand the unique psychological dimensions of climate change.
  • Apply motivational interviewing techniques to climate change.
  • Gain awareness of the growing field of climate psychology.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Renée Lertzman, a pioneer and leader at the intersection of psychology, climate, and environment whose TED Talk on climate anxiety has been viewed more than two million times.

11:30 - 1:00 PM | Panel Discussion (1.5 CEs) 

The Intersection Of Social Work And Environmental Justice: a 90-minute panel discussion focused on the disproportionate impact of climate change on communities of color and the role of social workers in rooting out systems of oppression that contribute to this. This panel will be moderated by Dawn Belkin Martinez, PhD, MSW, with speakers Dimitra-Dora Teloni, PhD, MA, Tara Venkatraman, LCSW, and Monica Huertas. More information is coming soon. 

2:00 - 3:30 PM | Session 1 Workshops (select one) (1.5 CEs)

2: Social Work And The Medical Model: This presentation reviews the emergence and controversy of the medical model and argues for the use of a biopsychosocial medical model that facilitates interdisciplinary teamwork for best treatment outcomes. Speaker: Amanda Nieliwocki, LCSW, DSW-c, 2022. (General CEs)

3: Embodying A Coaching Mindset For Social Workers: Coaching is one of the fastest ways to improve client-centered care. Are you interested in coaching but want to do it ethically? Are you ready to expand your skills and keep up with current trends to meet client needs? A foundation of being a good coach is being able to embody a coaching mindset. Speaker: Elizabeth Lasky, PhD, MSW.  (General CEs)

5: Getting The Whole Story: How To Take A Comprehensive Sexual History: Comprehensive sexual histories are not just about sex!  They are about helping to understand the whole person.  Learn the ins/outs of taking a sex history to develop a full picture. Speaker: Elliott Kronenfeld, PhD, LICSW, CSTS. (General CEs)

11: Navigating The Challenges Of Remarriage And Stepfamilies: The tips and tools Terry Gaspard offers have directed countless remarried couples and stepfamilies toward lasting happiness. Her presentation will highlight the common blunders of remarried couples and teach clinicians how to help them develop realistic expectations and manage the flames of conflict. Individual, couples, and family therapists, will find crucial insights for helping their clients. Speaker: Terry Gaspard, LICSW, ISW01254. (General CEs)

16: From Racial Oligarchy To Abolition Democracy: This presentation will invite participants to explore social work as Abolition and implications for health justice. This will include understanding racial oligarchy, racial capitalism and how to disrupt, dismantle and replace them. Speaker: Phillipe Copeland, PhD. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

36: Women Growing Older: Our Bodies Ourselves: With increased longevity diverse, women over 60 are facing new opportunities and challenges. This presentation will explore some of the aspects that affect women's health, sexual, social and emotional well being and the need for planning and living fully in the second half of life. Speaker: Joan Ditzion, BA, MA, MSW. (General CEs)

41: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder - The Common Disability You Know Nothing About: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is more prevalent than is commonly known. Are your clients misdiagnosed with other mental health disorders? Become educated about the often-invisible FASD and promising interventions. Speaker: Leslie S. Leff, MSS, LICSW, and Enid Watson, MDiv. (General CEs)

42: Managing Shared Trauma In The Hospital Within The COVID-19 Pandemic: This presentation will seek to explore the complex factors in both provider and patient/family experience of trauma secondary to this pandemic and how these impacts linger on. The goal of this presentation is ultimately to characterize the impact of this trauma and future interventions that will be necessary to enhance patient and provider recovery moving forward. Speaker: Jaclyn French, LICSW. (General CEs)

58: Mothers Of Gay Sons In The Advancement Of LGBTQ+ Acceptance: Mothers of Gay Sons have been overlooked and misrepresented regarding the role they play in the wellbeing of their sons. This moving workshop provides models of resiliency for LGBTQ+ acceptance from a multicultural and multi-racial perspective. Lectures and videos from an upcoming documentary will be shared. Bring Kleenex!. Speaker: Rick Miller, LICSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

4:00 - 5:30 PM | Session 2 Workshops (select one) (1.5 CEs)

4: Demystifying The Process Of Professional Writing: Social work practitioners have much to contribute to the professional knowledge base. This workshop describes the process of writing for publication and suggests practical steps for aspiring writers. Speaker: Ashley Davis, MSW, EdD. (General CEs)

9: Social Work And Cancer Care: The Essentials: Given the pervasiveness of cancer, we’re all oncology social workers sometimes. We explore this role, along with interventions to mitigate distress in those we serve. Speaker: Lauren DeMarco, MSW, LICSW, ACHP-SW. (General CEs)

22: Avoiding Client Criminalization For Self-Managed Abortion: Social workers seek to support the reproductive autonomy of clients. This presentation will use reproductive justice and harm reduction frameworks to explore social workers' role and practice around self-managed abortion. Speaker: Susan Yanow, LICSW, and Lauren Paulk, JD. (Ethics CEs)

24: Child Trauma In Context: An Integrative Treatment Model: A tight focus on trauma alone, rather than the whole of a child's difficulties and circumstances, constrains current treatments. Interventions should incorporate contextual factors that influence traumatic responses and resilience. Speaker: Karen Zilberstein, LICSW. (General CEs) 

32: Are You Ready To Become An Anti-Racist Organization?: This workshop presents a model of developing a Racial Justice Council within an organization to document evidence of racial/ethnic injustices and provide data-driven recommendations for change and racial justice. Speaker: Susan Yi-Millette, ABD, MSW, BSW, and Taylor Hall, PhD. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

34: Divorce And Family Mediation 101: Helping Families Divorce And Resolve Conflicts: Mediation is an effective and complementary intervention to therapy that social workers are uniquely qualified to practice. This session provides an introduction to the practice of family and divorce mediation. Speaker: Ben Stich, MSW, M.Ed. (General CEs)

50: Beyond Self-Care Clichés: Integrating Self-Compassion Into Social Work Practice: As Kristen Neff shares, "with self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we'd give to a good friend. Let's operationalize self-care; nurturing ourselves and the community together. Speaker: Jenn Reed, MSW, LICSW, IMH-E. (General CEs)

54: Treating Perinatal Distress And Supporting The Motherhood Journey: Pregnancy and childbirth should be a joyous, blissful event. But what if it's not? Learn about what influences, and what protects, maternal mental health. Speaker: Danielle Kenney, LICSW. (General CEs)

57: Why Men Stop Sex After 60-Couple Sexuality And Aging: This workshop explores why men stop sex after 60 and promotes a new model of male and couple sexuality with aging. A psychobiosocial model is utilized to assess and treat sexuality in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Speaker: Barry McCarthy, Ph.D. (General CEs)

6:00 - 7:30 PM | Free Workshop (1.5 General CEs) 

The Impact of Stigmatization on Substance Use Treatment: This online training will provide participants with an introduction to the principles of harm reduction both as a philosophy and a practical approach to our work, focusing particularly on its role in helping understand the impact and consequences of drug related stigma. Recognizing that not everyone is ready or able to stop risky behavior, harm reduction focuses on promoting ways to reduce the health risks associated with drug use and other high risk behaviors. Speaker: Tanagra M. Melgarejo, MSW, and Joe Pereira, LICSW, CAS. This workshop is sponsored by RIZE and the Harm Reduction Coalition. 


8:30 - 10:00 AM | Session 3 Workshops (select one) (1.5 CEs)

12: Misery Or Mastery: Progress Notes That Maintain Quality Of Care And Protect Your Practice: This workshop will help participants translate clinical intuition and skill into insurance friendly and clinically relevant documentation. Write effective progress notes that protect income, avoid legal nightmares, and reduce anxiety. Speaker: Beth Rontal, LICSW. (General CEs)

20: Never Too Old: Sexuality, Intimacy, And Aging: There is sex after 60!  We’ll explore the role social workers play in preserving the right to sexuality and intimacy for all older adults, including those in the LGBTQ community. Speaker: Jessica,  Rowe, MSW, BA, LCSW-C. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

23: Adapting CBT For BIPOC Clients: This workshop seeks to highlight the inherent biases in CBT and demonstrate how to make cultural adaptations.  Integration of religious beliefs and alternatives to traditional homework will be provided. Speaker: Beth Craft, LICSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

28: Intuition: The Inner Wisdom Of Social Work Practice: With fascinating case examples, this experiential workshop will explore creative uses of intuition in social work practice as it pertains to differential use of self. Speaker: Bette Freedson, LCSW, LICSW, CGP. (General CEs)

37: Improving Outcomes: Listening To “War On Drugs” Survivors: Stigma, influenced by “War on Drugs” rhetoric, harms therapeutic relationships. Gender Responsive Care allows Social Workers to support women, while improving outcomes and reducing burnout. Speaker: Danielle Owen, LICSW, LADCI. (General CEs)

43: Facilitating Transitioning And Guardianship For Families Of Neurodiverse Young Adults: This presentation will help social workers to be an effective resource for neurodiverse young adults and their families while negotiating the challenges and opportunities posed by turning 18. Speaker: Adam Geyer, MSW, and Kayla McOsker, LICSW. (General CEs)

44: How To Support Clients Through Divorce: Support clients before, during and after divorce. We will review the emotional and legal impact of divorce, explain divorce process options and resources, and describe common parenting and financial decisions.  This will be done by a combination of presenter lecture, small group exercises, and large group discussion. Speaker: Beth Aarons, JD/MSW, BBO/LCSW and Ben Stich, Med, LICSW. (General CEs)

48: A Body/Mind Journey: Depression & Anxiety To Vitality: Addressing both body and mind in bioenergetic therapy, offers a highly effective approach to anxiety and depression, with restoring vitality as an aim for therapy. Speaker: Laurie Ure, LICSW, Certified Bioenergetic Therapist. (General CEs)

56: A Trauma-Informed Approach To Working With Individuals With Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors: Trauma is a risk factor for suicidality. This presentation will use SAMHSA’s trauma-informed principles to describe trauma-informed strategies, approaches, and techniques for suicide assessment and intervention. Speaker: Rebecca G. Mirick, PhD, LICSW, Jim McCauley, LICSW, and Joanna Bridger, LICSW. (General CEs)

10:30 - 12:00 PM | Session 4 Workshops (select one) (1.5 CEs)

10: Assisted Reproductive Technology And Women's Body Image: This presentation will examine the relationship between Assisted Reproductive Technology and women's body image, given existing messages that women already receive about their bodies in the broader culture. Speaker: Katherine Walbam, PhD, LICSW. (General CEs)

13: Bridging The Gap: Substance Use Disorders In Hospitals: We advocate for informed, compassionate and strategic treatment for patients with SUDs. Includes overview of treatment and obstacles to interventions, with focus on BIPOC. Speaker: Johnna, Marcus LICSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

17: Culturally Responsive Acute Care For Transgender Patients: Workshop will define best practices for working with transgender individuals at higher levels of care and provide tools for mitigating risk and discursive experiences. Speaker: Meghan Joyce-Anderson, LICSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

19: Our Federal And State Budgets: Good Or Bad News?: This presentation explores our Federal and State budgets and their impact on services. Does a Democratic President really make a difference? Funding priorities,  concerns and solutions will be discussed. Useful Internet Policy websites will also be shared. Speaker: Jeff Schrenzel, PhD, LICSW. (General CEs)

26: The Unspoken Word: Preventing Incest And Amplifying Survivor Voices: This presentation will explore the incest abuse dynamic in families and its unique and long-term impact on survivors. She will discuss effective ways to support incest survivors, as well as prevention strategies to reduce victimization and create sexually safe homes. Speaker: Suzanne Isaza, MS. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

33: Strengthening The Social Care Toolbox With Legal Education: A conversation with DULCE and Housing Rx about why and how legal rights education is animating care redesign in communities across the country! Speaker: Kate Gannon, JD, Azieb Ermias, MPH, and Allison Bovell-Ammon, Mdiv. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

47: Supporting Emotional Regulation In The Classroom And Beyond: A multi-faceted, wrap-around approach to better support neurodiverse students, including those with complex trauma histories, in accessing their academics and increasing their peer and adult relationships. The approach is grounded in multiple therapeutic frameworks. Speaker: Kate Kelley, MSW. (General CEs)

51: No Voice, No Choice: Ageism In Everyday Life: A common occurrence contributing to social injustice is the disregard for older voices and autonomy. Participants will learn how social work both supports ageism & holds the tools to dismantle. Speaker: Makieya Kamara, MSW, MNL, LCSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

1:00 - 2:30 PM | Session 5 Workshops (select one) (1.5 CEs)

1: Men, Infidelity, and Disenfranchised Grief (part 2): Disenfranchised grief is unacknowledged or deemed unsupportable grief.  Such grief is often present for men in recovery for infidelity.  Learn how to identify and treat it for better outcomes. Speaker: Elliott Kronenfeld, PhD, LICSW, CSTS. Please note that you must attend part 2 in session 6 to receive full credit. (General CEs)

21: Phoenix Project: Institutionally Based Re-entry Program For Currently Incarcerated Individuals: The doors slam behind you, the static intercom announces class, inmates stagger in, Correctional Officers leave the room, the pathway to freedom begins. The Phoenix Project re-entry prison program. Speaker: Kathleen Carty, PhD, MSW, ISW01152, and Stacey Wildenhain, BS. (Ethics CEs)

30: The Neurobiological Treatment Of Trauma: Trauma is structured and cleared in layers. It has neurobiological underpinnings that need to be accurately mapped to be successfully treated. Participants will learn the structure of trauma and an evidence-based technique from the field of Energy Psychology for rapidly clearing trauma from the conscious mind, unconscious mind and body. Speaker: Judith Swack, PhD, and Wendy Rawlings. (General CEs)

38: Yoga-CBT: A Mind Body Solution for Anxiety: Yoga Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Yoga-CBT) is a research based 6 session group treatment model that blends traditional CBT strategies to target the content of thought, with the ancient practices of yoga and meditation, which offers calming effects on both the physical states and thought processes. Speaker: Julie Greiner-Ferris, MSW, LICSW,  and Jacqueline Vorphal, PhD, and Manjit Khalsa, EdD. (General CEs)

40: Practicing Social Justice In An Era Of Racial Reckoning: In this era of racial justice reckoning, social workers are called into action as social justice practitioners not just advocates: Shifting our racial justice paradigm. Speaker: Jibril Solomon, PhD. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

45: Now We Are All Grief And Loss Practitioners: After Covid, we and our clients are grieving. Let’s get comfortable talking about diverse forms of loss since we’re all now specializing in grief. Speaker: Ruth Pearlman, MEd, LICSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

52: The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Mental And Emotional Health Of Students In Racially Diverse Communities: COVID-19 has greatly impacted the mental and emotional health of both students and educators.  School disengagement and an increase in anxiety and depressive symptoms have been well documented. Racial inequities have been exposed. This presentation will share information on how we learn and engage us in a conversation regarding mental and emotional health. How to get it. How to keep it. Speaker: Denise  Howley PhD, LICSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

53: Expanding Diversity To Actively Include Those Differently Abled: This presentation will explore conscious and unconscious reactions to disability and will broaden our understanding of both diversity and what it means to be human. Speaker: Fanny Chalfin, BA, AM, LICSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

59: Making Private Practice Finances Work For You – Candid Strategies and Ethical Implications: Choosing to be empaneled with health insurance companies and public insurance provides advantages and yet significant financial drawbacks. We will be discussing some of the realistic financial implications of these decisions as well as the ethical implications of our current and potential clients. Speaker: Kozin Kevin, LICSW, Jen Erbe-Leggett. (Ethics CEs)

3:00 - 4:30 PM | Session 6 Workshops (select one) (1.5 CEs)

1: Men, Infidelity, and Disenfranchised Grief (part 2): Disenfranchised grief is unacknowledged or deemed unsupportable grief.  Such grief is often present for men in recovery for infidelity.  Learn how to identify and treat it for better outcomes. Speaker: Elliott Kronenfeld, PhD, LICSW, CSTS. Please note that you must attend part 1 in session 5 to receive full credit. (General CEs)

27: Radical Mind-Body-Spirit Self Care For Social Workers: A deep commitment to self-care is inextricably linked to the profession's social justice mission, as it encourages resiliency in the face of trauma and pervasive structural oppression. Speaker: Pamela Szczygiel, DSW, LICSW. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

31: Generating And Utilizing Evidence In Social Work Practice: Have concerns about “evidence-based” practice requirements? This workshop covers how to build and utilize evidence in order to provide the most impactful programs and policies for your clients and communities. Speaker: Laina Sonterblum, MSW, LCSW, and Kimberly Dadisman, PhD. (General CEs)

39: Voting Is The Vaccine: Integrating Voter Recruitment And Engagement Into Social Work Practice With Vot-ER: What is the connection between voting and health? Come learn about how healthy communities empower healthy democracies. Then, we'll learn about tools from Vot-ER to increase voter participation and engagement. Speaker: Alberto Cifuentes, Jr., MSW, LMSW, and Courtney White, MA, Leigh Hardy, LICSW. (General CEs)

46: IRL Self Care In The Age Of Instagram: A good self-care practice is a helpful foundation for all therapy work that comes afterwards. We will also discuss the importance of teaching these 4 categories to our clients, and will give some tips on where to begin in creating a sustainable and useful self-care practice with our clients. Speaker: Jessie Odegard, LICSW. (General CEs)

49: Helping Clients And Colleagues Confront Cultural Bias Against People With Disabilities: This presentation serves as an introduction to disability as it relates to social work. Speaker: Diana Ventura, PhD. (Cross-Cultural Practice CEs)

55: Got Conflict? Tools For Your Toolbox To Manage Difficult Conversations Effectively: This interactive workshop will improve your skills at handling conflict and managing difficult conversations, relevant for all aspects of social work practice, including staff management and client interaction. Speaker: Gail S. Packer, MSW. (General CEs)

60: Words Matter: Substance Use Disorders And The Importance Of Non-Stigmatizing Language: Terms like "addict" or "alcoholic" reflect implicit bias, perpetuate stigma, and impede people from seeking treatment, this workshop explores strategies for teaching and modeling the use of non-stigmatizing language. Speaker: Jess Lareau, LICSW, and Mary Rose Kline. (General CEs)

61: Motivational Interviewing: Motivational Interviewing has proven effective with clients who have become ‘stuck’ around behavior change such as substance misuse, eating disorders, smoking cessation, or weight management. This workshop will provide instruction, demonstration, and invite participants to pose case examples/questions in order to provide the technical skills needed to facilitate a therapeutic alliance that enables clients to identify and work through ambivalence about change.  Speaker: April Berry-Fletcher, LICSW, MSW, EdD. (General CEs)

For questions, please email us at

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Thursday, April 28

7:45am - Conference Begins

8:00 - 9:00am - Sponsored Breakfast 

9:00 - 11:00am - Keynote Session

11:00 - 11:30am - Visit Virtual Exhibit Hall

11:30 - 1:00pm - Panel Discussion 

1:00 - 2:00pm - Sponsored Lunch 

2:00 - 3:30pm - Session 1 workshops

3:30 - 4:00pm - Visit Virtual Exhibit Hall

4:00 - 5:30pm - Session 2 workshops

5:30pm - Conference ends

6:00 - 8:00pm - Free evening intensive (sponsored by RIZE)

Friday, April 29

7:30am - Conference Begins

7:30 - 8:30am - Sponsored Breakfast 

8:30 - 10:00am - Session 3 workshops

10:00 - 10:30am - Visit Virtual Exhibit Hall

10:30 - 12:00pm - Session 4 workshops

12:00 - 1:00pm - Sponsored Lunch 

1:00 - 2:30pm - Session 5 workshops

2:30 - 3:00pm - Visit Virtual Exhibit Hall

3:00 - 4:30pm - Session 6 workshops

5:00pm - Conference ends