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Tue, Mar 03


Fred Finch -Training Center

Strength-Based Diagnosis: What the Heck is this and How do I do it?

Learn why this has become such an important mantra in our field!

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Strength-Based Diagnosis: What the Heck is this and How do I do it?
Strength-Based Diagnosis: What the Heck is this and How do I do it?

Time & Location

Mar 03, 2020, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Fred Finch -Training Center, 3800 Coolidge Ave, Oakland, CA 94602, USA

About the Event

Pamela Parkinson, Ph.D., LCSW  

Training Description

Strength-based, strength-based, strength-based!  Wow, this seems to be an important mantra in our field!  This is NOT a training on how to use the DSM 5 and, since all of us diagnose in our own ways, I hope that anyone working with youth and their families will attend (this is not only for clinicians)!  This training is about how we can remain strength-based when we have to use pathologizing and stigmatizing labels in order to get paid.  While I hope that we are all advocating (in our own ways) for important changes in our field that will allow us to be more strength-based and client-directed, what do we do NOW?  This training is meant to help us see the difference between DSM disorders and actual diagnosis and how they go together; the significant importance of diagnosis and how we can do it; and, ways that we can decrease the negativity of labels on our clients and still get paid!  If we can get better at this, it will be a win-win for our clients and our organizations with better outcomes that can come through allowing our diagnoses to guide our treatment/service delivery to our youth in our continuum of care! 

Learning Objectives

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe and understand what strength-based does and does NOT mean and to articulate at least 3 principles of strength-based work.
  • Identify what diagnosis is and how it is different from DSM Disorders that list symptoms. Learn how these work together and the history behind this confusion! 
  • Apply our diagnosing in a meaningful way by integrating/honoring the role played by environmental risk factors related to stress and trauma and the role played by Cultural Relativism.


9:45      Sign In


10:00      Defining and understanding what strength-based and diagnosing are.

10:45     Group work and brainstorming on specific DSM disorders what they tell us.

11:45    BREAK (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

12:00     Identifying what the DSM is really trying to communicate albeit in a confusing kind 

             of way.

1:00     LUNCH (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

1:30      Culture and Environmental factors in diagnosing:  Applying these as the core factor.

2:00       Group work on identifying reducing the use of stigmatizing labels.

3:00      BREAK (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

3:15      Review of theory and what this actually is?  I almost never hear anyone discussing 

             theory in depth.  It can’t guide our interventions if we don’t know what it is!   

3:30      Final group work on applying theory to guide out services/treatment.  Let’s do this!


Meet Our Trainer

PAMELA PARKINSON, PHD, LCSW, is a clinical psychologist and clinical social worker, whose specialty area is working with youth and their families who are being served by our continuums of care.  Dr. Parkinson’s emphasis is on the importance of family engagement and the healing of traumatic attachment ruptures.  Pamela is also a certified PCOMS evidence-based practice trainer.  She currently works as a child/family consultant to CBO’s in the Bay Area and Pamela has worked in level 14 residential, NPS, hospitals, and a variety of community-based settings including outpatient clinics, schools, diversion, kinship, etc.

This course meets the qualifications for (5.5) BBS CEUs for LCSWs and MFTs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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