Al Forthan Trainings

We began the Al Forthan Scholarship Training Series to provide current information to those who are serving marginalized populations. Through our training series, we raise a significant amount of money for the Al Forthan Scholarship. We charge a fee for the trainings, but all of the proceeds go towards the Al Forthan Scholarship. By attending these trainings you are able to learn from informative and influential people in the social work field, while also helping raise money for students to attend college. Take a look at this year’s Training Series below and see which trainings interest you.

If you work for an agency, you and your agency partner with us in co-presenting an Al Forthan training to raise funds for the Al Forthan Scholarship. What we would ask of your agency is to commit to sending several of your staff to the training and assist us in advertising the training with your partner agencies and contacts. It is a great way for your agency to learn current and useful information while also helping to raise money for the Scholarship.  Email Greg Stone at if your agency is interested in partnering with us to offer a training.

2017 – 2018 Training Series

Unless otherwise noted, all trainings are 8:30am-12:00pm at the New Song Church Community Center.  Registration cost is  $60 and 3 CEUs are awarded to all participants.  Email Alex Rice at to register for any future training.

September 27th at 8:30am to 12pm —Using DBT with Addiction and Dual Diagnosis Clients

With Cathy Moonshine, PhD, MSCP, MAC, CADC III

This seminar will have an emphasis on developing a foundation and broad understanding of the philosophy and skills of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) when working with adult clients with addiction, mental health and dual diagnosis difficulties. We will learn how the four areas of emphasis, Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness, along with the Meta Skills can help clients with addictions and dual diagnosis establish and sustain recovery.

October 25th at 8:30am to 12pm— The ACT Matrix: A Powerful Tool for Relapse Prevention


This training is designed to provide attendees with an opportunity to learn how to use the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Matrix as a tool for teaching relapse prevention skills. ACT is an evidence-based treatment model that has been shown to be effective for treating addictions and many other behavioral health problems. The Matrix was developed by Kevin Polk, PhD and his associates. For clinicians, the Matrix is an easy-to-learn entryway to using the ACT approach. The class will be an experiential exercise where the ACT Matrix will be presented to attendees as it would be to clients in a treatment group.

November 29th at 8:30am to 12pm —From Pronouns to Practice: An Exploration of Trans affirming Language and Action for Counselors

With Deanna Cor, PhD, LPC, NCC

This training is designed to provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about and enhance their cultural competency for working with clients identifying as trans and gender nonconforming. Attendees will learn about important terminology that must be incorporated in clinical work with people identifying as transgender, including the use of more inclusive terminology. Attendees will also explore the impact of discrimination on trans folks and ways to navigate microaggressions experienced in session.

January 10th at 8:30am to 12pm —Practicing Allyship, Applying Privilege

With Steve Joiner and Casey Layton

The work of social and racial justice needs everyone’s active participation. One strategy to help achieve this ideal is developing employees who practice strong, anti-racist allyship. A key part of anti-racist allyship is acknowledging where you have privilege–your advantages and opportunities based on institutional and systemic favoritism–and understanding how daily choices can bring about inclusive change in your agencies and communities. Practicing allyship requires cultural humility, active listening, continual learning, and a willingness to stop being complicit in systems that actively disadvantage groups of people. This half-day workshop explores: 1. How privilege shows up in the systems that make up our workplaces, our communities, and our society at large. 2. The role of intersectionality–the multifaceted characteristics that make us each unique–as it applies to privilege. 3. Cultural humility as a way to be guided by others as to how to best apply your privilege. what they need for support, justice, and opportunity. 4. The practice of allyship, from the never-ending personal work to showing up in solidarity and support on behalf of diverse communities.

February 14th at 8:30am to 12pm — Effective Strategies for Treating Individuals with Criminal Behavior and Addiction

With Felesia Otis B.S., CADCII

This training is to help gain an understanding of the research on what puts people at risk of being involved in criminal activity. The audience will learn how risk and protective factors can assist helpers in targeting appropriate interventions for change. We will also discuss and the audience will obtain the latest information about best practices currently being used with the criminal justice populations.

March 14th (8:30a – 12p) —Understanding Anti-Oppressive Practice: Looking at Power and Intersecting Identities

With Michael Hulshof-Schmidt, MSW

The purpose of this training is to understand how power works and how power is normalized. We will look at positional privilege of the helper and the client/service user. This course is about understanding systems of oppression and where we are implicated in how these systems sustain themselves. With a clearer understanding of our own positions of privilege around our own held identities, we can make more space for and remove barriers for those service users/clients who have to navigate very differently because of those held identities

March 14th (1p – 4:30p) — Behavioral Health Policy in Oregon’s Communities of Color

With April Johnson

This training unpacks trends in behavioral health system outcomes for Oregon’s communities of color; looks at past strategies for culturally competent system development; and discusses bi-lateral models of community based cooperation in building culturally competent behavioral health systems of care.

April 11th (8:30a – 12p) — Addressing White Fragility: Intersectional Identity in Practice

With Eddie May, MSW, LCSW

This workshop will explore the impact of power and privilege in our practice, and the ongoing cost experienced by delaying, avoiding, or minimizing direct dialogue centering identity. Critical dynamics of White Fragility and Intersectional Identity will be framed within our current sociopolitical climate, and reference national challenges in how unprepared our world is to discuss difference in our day-to-day life.  Attendees will have the opportunity to examine their own identities, develop shared language, participate in shared-identity caucus group discussions, and learn strategies for increasing practice and supervision techniques.

April 11th  (1p – 4:30p)— Valuing our Collective Worth: Exploring Race, Power, and Privilege in the Workplace

With Cimone Schwoeffermann, LCSW and Marina Barcelo, MSW, MA

This introductory level training is designed to provide attendees with skills to navigate and interrupt challenging conversations regarding race and identity in the workplace, as well as a baseline of learning and understanding of key concepts related to power and privilege. Attendees will also have an opportunity for guided group discussion regarding the strengths and challenges experienced in relation to the above topics in the social services.


June 13th — Diagnosis with Integrity: A critical framework supporting the ethical use of diagnosis

With Stella Beatríz Kerl-McClain, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

This training will help participants develop awareness of their own ethical/moral perspective towards diagnosis and identify areas of ambivalence towards the process. They will learn about critical and hermeneutic approaches that see the diagnostic process as a relationship of power in which ambivalence can result in acquiescence, with the subsequent disempowerment of both counselor and client. Counselors will learn the importance of contextual and transparent diagnostic processes with clients in order to empower clients and to challenge current hierarchies regarding diagnosis

June 13th at 1:45pm to 4:00pm — Assertive Engagement Training

With Tash Shatz

The Assertive Engagement Initiative at Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services is a social service approach to working with people that honors them as the experts in their own lives. Assertive Engagement (AE) training draws from Strength Based Practice, Assertive Community Treatment, and Motivational Interviewing. AE is informed by program models of many local agencies and can apply holistically to clients, service providers, supervisors, agencies, and systems by helping us navigate power dynamics and use empathy in our interactions. Participants will leave with the ability to explain to others the basics of Assertive Engagement, more effectively use active listening, reflections, and other tools to support those you work with, identify opportunities in your daily work to address judgement, cultivate hope, and maintain empathy; apply Assertive Engagement practices to your own unique work areas; and create connections with other training participants