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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.


Teaching Couples About Healthy Sexuality

Presenter: Andrea Farnham, LMFT, CST

Monday, March 18, 2019 / 12-1PM / Room 103

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

1) Describe the basic tenets of healthy sexual relationships.

2) Explain the distinction between free and unfree sexual relationships.

3) Articulate an overview of techniques for teaching couples about ethical relationships.

Presentation Description:

This presentation will provide an overview and basic outline of healthy sexuality in marriage relationships and how to teach couples the foundations of a healthy sexual relationship. This topic will cover a basic sexual theology, relationships grounded in ethical union, and the fundamental elements of healthy whole relationships. The final portion will cover psycho-educational therapeutic interventions for couples therapy.

Brief Bio:

Andrea Farnham is a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist who owns a private practice in Athens, GA. She graduate with a B.A. in psychology from Asbury University in 2006, and an M.A. in marriage and family therapy from Richmont Graduate University in 2012. She has worked in in-patient residential hospitals, community mental health, and private practice settings.

She opened her own practice in 2018, called Just Relationships LLC. She primarily works with couples  on relationship and sexual issues. Currently, she lectures in classes at UGA, conducts workshops, and speaking engagements at local Athens churches and provides relationship education in the community. Andrea lives in Athens, GA with her husband Aaron, who teaches high school Spanish, and their two daughters Gabriela and Nora who are 6 yo and 4 yo respectively.


Counseling Third Culture Kids: Further Considerations for Treatment

Presenter: Laura Ward, MA, LMFT, LPC-MHSP

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 / 12-1PM / Finely Hall

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

1) Define Third Culture Kids and Cross Culture Kids.

2) Identify at least two common presenting problems for Third Culture Kids and Cross Culture Kids.

Identify at least two effective treatment strategies for this population.

Presentation Description:

This presentation will provide a deeper look at treatment considerations for Third Culture Kids and Cross Cultural Kids. It will review the definition of Third Culture Kids and Cross Cultural Kids and the factors influencing their development. Common presenting problems will be identified, along with suggestions for effective treatment.

Brief Bio:

Laura Ward, M.A., is an Adult Third Culture Kid who grew up in East and Southern Africa. She is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor at Henegar Counseling Center, specializing in working with those from cross-cultural backgrounds.


Preserving the Family, One Divorce at a Time

Presenter: Marti Kitchens Cobb, MFT, LPC & Georgia Geiger, LPC

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 / 12-1PM / Room 103

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

1) Prepare their clients for the steps of divorce from start to finish

2) Explain the value of a mediated divorce for preserving their family even though ending the marriage

Presentation Description:

A traditional method of divorcing is for each party to retain an attorney who will then handle the divorce proceedings without the couple discussing any details together. It encourages                “win/lose” negotiations, because each attorney represents, or fights for their client.

The process of mediation allows the couple to sit down with a mediator and work out the details of their divorce together rather than hiring two attorneys who will speak for them. This process gives a couple more control over their post-divorce life, as well as helps them engage in a problem solving model which is much more effective for families. The mediator is neutral, not advocating for either party but rather facilitating a settlement that is fair to both parties.

Brief Bio:

Marti Kitchens Cobb, MFT and LPC, and Georgia Geiger, LPC, are both therapists and mediators who are committed to helping families navigate a divorce without blame or acrimony through mediation not litigation. Their company, Above and Beyond Conflict, LLC, is dedicated to preserving the family.

Marti Kitchens Cobb, M.A., LMFT, LPC recently retired from full time private practice as a Marriage and Family therapist after 35 years. She now focuses on helping families mediate relationship issues. She is a state registered neutral and has been mediating for 35 years as well. She co-authored Children of Divorce, a four hour seminar that is court ordered for all divorcing parents of minor children. Marti maintains both her therapy licenses.

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