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Events and Happenings
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Thursday, May 11th 2017 - Friday, May 12th 2017

Psychopharmacology: What Every Mental Health Practitioner Needs to Know

Sharon M. Freeman Clevenger, MSN, MA, PMHCNS-BC
presented by Leading Edge Seminars

Location: Multi-faith Centre/Koffler House (569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto)
Time: 9:00 am to 4:40 pm
Fee: $430 + HST (before April 6, 2016); $450 + HST (after April 6, 2016)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Joe Wegman’s workshop “Psychopharmacology: Straight Talk for the Non-Medically Trained” has been replaced with the following workshop led by Sharon Clevenger:

Increasingly, clients seen in mental health settings are on some kind of a medication; therefore, it is of great importance for all healthcare professionals — particularly those who are not medically trained — to have a working knowledge of psychiatric medications. This workshop will not only explore the most up-to-date information regarding the most commonly prescribed medications for mental health; it will also address new, up-and-coming medications that you may see prescribed, and as a bonus, complementary integrative/alternative medications and treatments that are used in mental health.

Practicing clinician and prescribing practitioner Sharon Freeman Clevenger will begin with an overview of our body’s ability to manufacture chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and others. From there you will learn how these chemicals act differently on brain structures compared to the rest of our body. Sharon will simplify how supplementing with certain foods or nutrients, supplements can help your client feel better, function better and think more clearly. If pharmaceutical medication choices are made, she will review each of the categories, types and reasons why certain medications may be chosen.

Diagnoses and treatment of the most common psychiatric disorders will take you through the fascinating world of clinical uses, mechanisms of action, differences between medications, side effects as well as adverse effects, how to communicate with clients about their medications and what is important to communicate to the prescribers.

Topics to be covered include treatment choices for depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, insomnia, cyclical disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other diagnoses in the psychotic spectrum, attention-deficit disorder, substance abuse/addiction and cognitive decline such as dementia. Pearls will be included for children, elderly, hormonal influences, genetic influences and pregnancy. Other pearls include ideas about resolving medication challenges, your client on multiple medications (polypharmacy) and common reasons and resolutions for non-compliance issues. Increasingly clients are requesting genetic assays for information on their risk factors for specific diseases and the biochemistry of their own bodies and they need support before and after receiving the results. To help translate common questions about these genetic tests, Sharon will do a very basic broad brush overview regarding genetic testing and provide information on the reality of what they can and can’t do in a realistic, understandable way.

Throughout the workshop, we will interpret controversial aspects of medication prescribing and examine why sometimes the best treatment is not a prescription!

At the end of this two-day workshop, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the most frequently prescribed psychotropic medications, greater confidence about discussing medication with your clients, and most of all provide you with novel ways to improve client outcomes.

Sharon is a dynamic and entertaining presenter that will make this workshop enjoyable, as well as educational, by using real world examples of challenges from her own psychiatric practice. Her expertise as a psychopharmacologist and cognitive behavior therapist blends the best of both worlds with basic nutritional components to simplify and demystify psychiatric medication management for the non-medically trained as well as medical professionals who would like a refresher on psychiatric medications.

Learning Objectives:

You will learn —

• How common nutritional deficiencies can present as mental health symptoms
• The differences between supplements, prescriptions and complementary integrative or alternative medications and treatments
• How and why medications are prescribed, and how to resolve common medication challenges
• The primary differences between major psychotropic medication classes: antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety agents, antipsychotics, and psychostimulants — how they work, common side effects and how to communicate about them with your client
• How the DSM-5 may influence prescribing practices for psychotropic medication
• About the benefits, risks, safety factors, and controversies associated with psychotropic medication use in children, adolescents, elderly, pregnancy and more!
• What works and what doesn’t work, or makes things worse for bipolar mania, anxiety, insomnia and depression

About the Presenter:

Sharon Freeman Clevenger, MSN, MA, PMHCNS-BC, is the Founder and CEO of the Indiana Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has national certification as an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist with prescriptive authority, was a member of the board of directors for the International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy for more than 10 years and is former president of NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals. Sharon was a Field Trial Collaborating Clinical Investigator for the DSM-5©. She is an adjunct professor for the Continuing Studies department at Indiana and Purdue Universities at Fort Wayne.

Sharon has lectured to professional and military/law enforcement audiences worldwide. She has authored more than 50 chapters and articles and has been a guest expert on the TV show, “The Doctors”. She is the co-editor for both the therapist manual and patient handbook of Overcoming Depression: A Cognitive Behavior Approach (Oxford University Press, 2009 and 2016), senior editor and author of Living and Surviving in Harm’s Way: The Psychological Treatment Manual for Pre-and Post-Deployment of Military Members (Routledge, 2008), Behind the Badge: A Psychological Treatment Handbook for Law Enforcement Officers (Routledge, 2014), and senior editor and author of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Nursing Practice (Springer Publishers, 2005).

Mrs. Clevenger has a Master of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in Advance Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling in Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. She is currently a doctoral candidate for the Doctor of Science degree through Huntington College of Health Sciences in Knoxville, TN.


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