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Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Join us for a Lunch & Learn (noon-1pm) virtually or on the Atlanta or Chattanooga Campus for 1 FREE NBCC clock hour of Continuing Education! No Registration required. Questions?- contact Martha Busby at We encourage confirming the date prior to arriving on campus as there are last-minute cancellations from time to time.


Monday, August 30, 2021 / 12-1PM

Our Work is Child’s Play: Exploring the Path to Becoming a Registered Play Therapist

Presenter: Renee Holdo, MA, LMFT, RPT

Presenter Bio: “Miss Renee,” as she is known to her clients, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist. She specializes in Child-centered Play Therapy, Child-Parent Relationship Therapy, Activity Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, TruamaPlay, AutPlay (certified provider), Sandplay Therapy, Drama Therapy, and Family Play Therapy. Renee serves as the Director for the Richmont Center for Play Therapy Education and Training at Richmont Graduate University, an Association of Play Therapy Approved Center. She is an Adjunct Faculty teaching in the Child and Adolescent Counseling certificate program.

Renee received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and earned her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Richmont Graduate University. Her post-masters training in Child-centered Play Therapy was done at the renowned Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas. Currently, Renee is completing a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy specializing in Children and Adolescents.

Renee’s clinical experience includes work with victims, families, and survivors of Child Sexual Abuse at the Children’s Center for Hope and Healing, was the Resident Play Therapist at Richmont Trauma creating the centers play therapy program, and private practice as a Play Therapist at Perspectives Psychological. She has served as the Executive Director and an Educational Consultant for RMH Educational Consulting and College Counseling. Renee holds a certificate in Christian Sex Therapy focusing on Sexual Abuse and Trauma and helping individuals and families navigating Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation issues. Renee regularly presents on topics surrounding play therapy, child development, and parent education.

Workshop Description: Please join Renee Holdo, LMFT, RPT  for an overview of how to become a  Registered Play Therapist (RPT) through the Association of Play Therapy.  We will go over the increasing demand for RPT’s throughout the United States, the importance of credentialing, the RPT sequential three phase approach to credentialing, RPT standards and criteria, and application process.

Learning Objective: As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to explain the process and list the criteria necessary to become a Registered Play Therapist through the Association of Play Therapy.


Monday, September 13, 2021 / 12-1PM

Virtue Ethics: Practicing Virtue Ethics and Building Character

Presenter: William F. Doverspike, Ph.D.

Presenter Bio: William F. Doverspike, Ph.D. is Senior Adjunct Professor at Richmont. He is the author of Risk Management (2015), the first edition of which evolved out of his 12 years of experience as a member of the Ethics Committee of the Georgia Psychological Association (GPA). Dr. Doverspike is a former President of GPA and he is currently a member of the state licensing board for psychologists. He holds board certification Diplomates in Clinical Psychology (ABPP) and Neuropsychology (ABPN). He maintains a private practice at the Atlanta Counseling Center.

Workshop Description: This presentation will include differentiation between principle ethics and virtue ethics. The presenter will share a simple approach to assist participants in improving their ethical self-awareness.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to:

• Summarize two complementary approaches to the study of ethics.
• Identify five character defects that can cause ethical problems.
• Name three virtues that can strengthen our character.
• Explain how one moral principle can cause harm.
• Apply virtue ethics to a real-life situation.

Disclaimer: Dr. Doverspike will not be discussing any rules, regulations, adjudications, or other matters
related to the state licensing board for psychologists.

Ethics Code: This activity will include discussion of aspirational principles and enforceable standards of the
ACA (2014) ACA Code of Ethics and the APA (2017) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and
Code of Conduct.

VIRTUAL *Email the Director of Alumni Services for the Zoom link prior to the Lunch & Learn.

Grounding Techniques to Help Clients Self-Regulate

Monday, October 4, 2021 / 12-1PM

Presenter: LeNaya Smith Crawford

Presenter Bio: LeNaya Smith Crawford, The Holistic MFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist(MFT) , Holistic Healer, Wellness Expert and Entrepreneur. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Spelman College and her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy with a Certification in Trauma Counseling. In addition to her degrees, she is an advanced certified Yoga, Breath Work and
Meditation Guide ( ERYT-500) Sound Healer media contributor, teacher and speaker. As the Holistic MFT, LeNaya specializes in Holistic Healing, which she defines as the return to wholeness through the blending of practices of the mind, body and soul. LeNaya takes a Science and Soul approach to healing, helping people protect their peace, cultivate joy, improve relationships, and embrace self love.

With over 10 years of experience, LeNaya helps therapists, counselors, coaches, healers and wellness entrepreneurs ethically and confidently Integrate evidence based practices from psychology with Mind-Body-Spirit medicine, to help clients experience deep life long healing ,while building thriving businesses centered in holistic health.

LeNaya is a sought after Mental Health and Wellness Expert and has been featured on several platforms including the New York Times, the Huffington Post and Health line. She is the creator of Affirmation is Power ™, a Holistic Healing Line for Women ready to love, heal and manifest the lives they want. LeNaya is the Founder and Clinical Director of Kaleidoscope Family Therapy, Co-Owner of Seviin Yoga and Co- Founder of Therapy For Black Families Inc, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Workshop Description:

Have your clients  stress or anxiety levels been high since the pandemic? Does the idea of going back to “normal” make your clients feel worried, anxious or trigger trauma responses?

Join us in a safe space to learn how to help clients reduce anxiety and trauma triggers and self regulate to cultivate peace and calm with evidence based holistic mental health tools.

Learning Objective: As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to apply the grounding techniques taught with clients experiencing dysregulation.

VIRTUAL *Email the Director of Alumni Services for the Zoom link prior to the Lunch & Learn.

Foundations of EMDR

Thursday, October 14, 2021 / 12-1PM

Presenter: Laura Salazar

Presenter Bio:

Laura Salazar is a licensed MFT and graduate of RGU. She has worked in a hospital, community mental health, group practice, and solo private practice settings. She is married and had her first baby this year. She currently owns her practice, Relationship Enhancement Counseling and specializes in working with women who have had traumatic birth experiences and women afraid of childbirth. She is certified in EMDR and hopes to become an EMDR consultant soon.

Workshop Description: Learn how EMDR works to treat trauma

Learning Objective: As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to summarize the eight phases of EMDR, and explain how traumatic memories are stored in the brain.

VIRTUAL *Email the Director of Alumni Services for the Zoom link prior to the Lunch & Learn.

Recognizing and Supporting Brain Differences in Therapy: An Intro to Neurodiversity 

Monday, October 25, 2021 / 12-1PM

Presenter: Kelli Willard, LMFT

Presenter Bio: Kelli Willard, LMFT is a late-diagnosed ADHDer. She has been a staff therapist at Building Intimate Marriages, Inc in Suwanee, Georgia since completing a M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy with Specialization in Christian Sex Therapy from Richmont Graduate University in 2010. She believes nurturing a healthy relationship with your own brain is the foundation for all other healthy relationships. To this end, she is in the process of writing a therapeutic workbook for adults entitled, Neurodivergent? A Self-Discovery Guidebook. Her article, “Neurodivergent Identity Formation: Are We Listening?” was recently featured in AAMFT’s Family Therapy Magazine. She can be reached via e-mail at

Workshop Description:

Neurodiversity refers to the natural occurrence of a wide range of brain variations and their associated qualities among humans. Neurodiversity is not a social construct – it’s a biological reality backed by science. This presentation will discuss:

  • What neurodiversity is
  • What neurodiversity isn’t
  • Brief history of the Neurodiversity Movement
  • Definition of key terms: Neurotype, neurodivergent (ND), neurodiverse, Neurodiversity Movement, neurotypical (NT), allistic, ableism, person-first language (PFL) vs. identity-first language (IFL)

Neurodiverse couples and neurodivergent individuals represent a large but underserved population. In accordance with the ethical guidelines of our profession, counselors should work to increase their confidence, competence, and compassion when working with neurodiverse couples and neurodivergent individuals. This presentation will cover:

  • Recognizing neurodivergence from the moment of the client’s initial contact to your office
  • Supporting neurodivergence in session via simple accommodations to the therapy environment and therapy interventions
  • Knowing when to refer

Each counselor should also work to examine their own neurodivergent identity narrative, if applicable, as well as to recognize any knowledge gaps regarding neurodiversity. This is an important measure to avoid perpetuating explicit or implicit ableism in case conceptualization, treatment planning, or the therapy room. This presentation will discuss:

  • How to explore your own neurodivergent  identity narrative (if applicable)
  • How to make space in the therapy room to explore client neurodivergent identity narratives

Learning Objectives: As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to:

1) Discuss possible brain characteristics and interpersonal dynamics relevant to neurodivergent adult clients

2) Apply this understanding to non-ableist case conceptualization and treatment planning within a private practice therapy setting.

Richmont Graduate University has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4534. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Richmont Graduate University is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Lunch & Learns