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Lunch & Learn
Join us for a Lunch & Learn (noon-1pm) 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.
Dealing with Ambivalence in Psychotherapy: How to Be on Your Client’s Side Without Taking a Side
Presenter: Dr. Linda Buchanan
Monday, February 4, 2019 / 12-1PM / Room 103
Learning Objectives:
As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to:
1) describe resistance as Pathological Ambivalence (PA) and list common expressions of ambivalence in psychotherapy
2) utilize strategies for sidestepping power struggles to empower clients to resolve ambivalence from within.
Presentation Description:

This workshop will focus on relabeling resistance to treatment as Pathological Ambivalence

(PA).  PA is generally related to the narratives or schemas which individuals form throughout their life that result in the development of strong but conflicting needs and that when operating, can slow down, confuse or even halt the therapeutic process. If the therapist takes a side when a client is struggling with ambivalence, then the other side of the ambivalence is naturally invalidated such as when a therapist is trying to help the client recover thus siding with the part of the client that wants to recover. The therapist will be most effective when utilizing skills that promote a sense of being on the client’s side without taking any side. These skills empower the change to occur from within and minimize the likelihood that the therapist will become the target of the ambivalence, prematurely discount the client’s beliefs, unknowingly participate in the client’s previously formed scripts or perceive the client as resistant. Skills from many theoretical perspectives such as MI, Gestalt, ACT and DBT will be presented which enable the therapist to avoid these common pitfalls focusing instead on facilitating a resolution of pathological ambivalence and helping the client re-evaluate and change their narratives.

Brief Bio:

Dr. Linda Buchanan is an alumni of PSI, now Richmont University and received a Ph.D. from Georgia State University in Counseling Psychology. She founded the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders which she sold to Walden Behavioral Care in 2017 and now serves as Senior Director of Clinical Services. She has published two chapters on her model of treatment of eating disorders which have been used as texts in a local doctoral program for Clinical Psychology students. Additionally, she has published four research articles on the treatment of eating disorders. She has written a book entitled Pathological Ambivalence: How to be on Your Client’s Side Without Taking a Side which is slated for publication with TPI Press later in 2018. She has been married for over 30 years and has two teenage boys.


Foundations of EMDR

Presenter: Laura Kemp, LMFT

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / 12-1PM / Finley Hall

Learning Objectives: As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to 1) describe the theory behind EMDRY – the Adaptive Information Processing System and 2) identify the 8 phases of EMDR.

Brief Bio:

Laura is a fully trained EMDR therapist and Licensed Marital and Family Therapist. She is a 2016 Richmont grad and now works at Henegar Counseling Center. The majority of her caseload is made up of children but she works with a few adults as well. Whether with kids or adults, she loves working with childhood trauma. Her favorite part of EMDR is helping clients to realize and build on their own mental and psychological resources.


Exploring Unprocessed Anger and Its Effects on Relationships and Health

Presenter: Kevin Morton, MA

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 / 12-1PM / Room 103

Learning Objectives: As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to 1) analyze the identifying triggers and underlying causes of irrational anger and 2) discuss with clients four salient ingredients of anger.

Presentation Description:

Unprocessed or excessive anger can be costly to one’s relationship, emotional well-being, and physical health. Unprocessed anger can have short-term and long-term affects on people’s health. For example, short-term anger can cause chest pains, aches, migraines, and headaches. Long-term anger can potentially complicate pre-existing health conditions a client may have. Other risks include depression, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular issues. Anger exploration helps clients identify triggers and underlying causes, establishes a plan of action; learn problem solving techniques and conflict management skills. Exploration of this emotion also help clients turn their anger into new attitudes; learn effective coping behaviors, which leads to productive healthy behaviors.

Brief Bio:

Kevin completed his undergraduate work at Georgia Southern University before earning a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Richmont Graduate University. He is certified in anger management from the National Anger Management Association (NAMA). Kevin’s own life experiences have deepened his belief in the importance of healthy families and relationships. Kevin says, “We find ourselves at points where we feel unseen, unheard, or overwhelmed by life. Therapy offers a space where your story takes center stage, your voice is valued, and hope can grow.” He seeks to support those struggling with anger issues, addiction, marital, or relationship challenges on the journey to hope and healing.


An Introduction to Spiritual Direction

Presenter: Brenda Golden, AC, SD & Marlayne Whitlock, LPC, SD

Monday, March 11, 2019 / 12-1PM / Room 103

Learning Objectives: As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to 1) discuss the practice of spiritual direction and how it is an important tool in spiritual formation 2) explain how spiritual direction differs from counseling and why training is important.

Presentation Description:

Would you like to learn more about the discipline of spiritual direction?  This presentation will give you information about this ancient practice as well as differentiating some differences between spiritual direction and counseling. Christian spiritual direction is a ministry of holy listening in which one person helps another notice the Triune God’s active presence and perceive the Holy Spirit’s movement in their ordinary life. Spiritual directors journey with directees, assisting as they deepen their lived intimacy with Christ, the One True Director.

Brief Bio:

Marlayne Whitlock, LPC, SD and Brenda Golden, AC, SD are both graduates of the Richmont/PSI counseling program and were also in the first cohort of spiritual direction training at RGU.  They both completed training in spiritual direction supervision at North Park University in October of 2018.

Brenda launched the Agape Center for Spiritual Formation upon completing her spiritual direction training and meets with directees there.  She is a member of both SDI and ESDA.

Marlayne leads spiritual formation groups at the Agape Center for Spiritual Formation. She completed course work through Renovaré Institute, Boston Cohort last June.   Marlayne is a member of SDI.

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.

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Lunch & Learn