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Hopeful TEARS Institute Workshops


The mission of the Hopeful TEARS Institute is to provide educational programming to schools, corporations, licensed professionals and community members.  The Institute was founded with the philosophy that ALL grieving children deserve a safe place to heal.   The Institute is proud to offer CEU's to LMHC, LMFT & LCSW's.  To schedule a training at your location or for information on upcoming workshops, contact Marla Berger at


Rainbow Connection: Support Grief in Disenfranchised Populations

(½ day workshop)


Tomorrow's Rainbow Hopeful TEARS Institute is proud to offer the Rainbow Connection: Supporting Grief & Loss in Disenfranchised Populations on February 11th, 2016 at SunServe.  Through the generosity of the John C. Graves Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, we are able to offer this training free of charge with 4 CEU's for LMHC, LMFT & LCSW's.  This hands-on workshop will highlight how grief is different in two disenfranchised populations - LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS survivors.


Childhood Grief & Loss

(½ day workshop)


Teachers, therapists and counselors are often the first line of defense for a grieving child, yet there is little information on how to support grieving children.  In Broward County alone, 20,000 children are grieving the loss of a parent.  Participants will benefit from learning new skills that can be utilized for children, adolescents and adults for any type of change or loss.  Children in the community will benefit from an increased knowledge base from service professionals.  By increasing awareness & understanding of grief & loss, child-serving individuals and agencies will be empowered to provide support that will reduce the need for clinical, judicial & institutional interventions.  Cultural awareness during the training in regards to eye contact & touch, stigmatic deaths (HIV/AIDS, suicide, illness and overdose). Cultural differences in mourning practices will be reviewed.


The Other Side of Grief: Divorce, Incarceration & Removal

(½ day to full day workshop)


Grief and loss resulting from divorce, incarceration and removal can alter a child or teen's trajectory - leading to emotional, behavioral, scholastic and legal issues.  Participants will engage in a hands-on, interactive workshop that teaches how to support youth dealing with grief and loss due to divorce, incarceration and removal.  Participants will receive an art-based journal and activities to address alternatively bereaved youth.  Cultural differences will be processed as they relate to grief & loss, art & play, and talking about death with children.


Art & Play Therapy for Grief & Loss

(½ day workshop)


Grief and loss permeates a client’s core issues and impacts their ability to maintain in their familial, scholastic and peer settings.  Therapists would benefit from an in-depth understanding of ages & stages of grief, the DSM V signs and symptoms, and how to support grieving children and teens through art making and play therapy techniques.  This hands-on, interactive training engages therapists in learning new techniques and activities for grieving children and teens.  Issues of divorce, incarceration, death and other losses will be addressed.   


Compassion Fatigue & Vicarious Trauma

(½ day workshop)


This interactive, art-based workshop leads participants through identifying internal and external resources and needs to reduce compassion fatigue & vicarious trauma. Mental health professionals, Victim Advocates, teachers, doctors, nurses & other professions that provide support and guidance during difficult times often suffer from compassion fatigue & vicarious trauma.  Our community benefits from the reduction of compassion fatigue & vicarious trauma in our serving professionals by ensuring that providers maintain the high level of care they provide to their clients. Participants will leave with a better understanding of their needs and inner resources in addressing their compassion fatigue & vicarious trauma.  Participants will participate in a culturally sensitive discussion on ways to address stress, distress, compassion fatigue & vicarious trauma. 


Help! There's a Coffin in My Sandtray!

(½ day workshop)


Sandtray therapy services allow children and teens to process in a safe, non-threatening manner.  Difficult subjects are projected, but therapists can be overwhelmed by how to discuss difficult subjects.  Death, divorce, substance abuse, bullying, suicidal thoughts - these are just a few metaphors that can be addressed using sandtray therapy techniques.  Participants will learn how to elicit and process these subjects.  Clients can also feel "stuck" in their situation or behaviors.  Sandtray therapy techniques are a Best Practice model for children and teens dealing with a variety of issues and concerns. 


Supporting Grief In Your Setting: Advanced Training

(3 Day Training)


Children & teens in a variety of settings have experienced grief and loss, which has often resulted in out of home removal, scholastic decline, legal involvement, emotional and behavioral interventions.  Grieving children need to be supported through these difficult times.  While therapy is helpful, grief requires a different model of services in order to facilitate the bereavement process.  This three-day intensive would train therapists, counselors, group home staff and other service providers to create a supportive environment at their specific program.  Children and adolescents who are supported in their grief are 5 times less likely to complete suicide, 9 times less likely to drop out of high school, 10 times less likely to use substances.  Cultural awareness during the training in regards to eye contact & touch, stigmatic deaths (HIV/AIDS, suicide, illness and overdose). Cultural differences in mourning practices will be reviewed.


From the Horse's Mouth: Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Learning

(½ day to full day workshop)


Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Learning is an up and coming treatment modality.  Clinicians will leave with an understanding of ethics, practices and certifications that will ensure safety & growth. Participants will learn how equine assisted psychotherapy & learning can engage children, adolescents and adults in addressing underlying issues through an exciting, insightful modality. This training provides an understanding of how Equine Assisted Psychotherapy/Learning can be utilized with a variety of clients and populations.  Participants will learn techniques through hands-on, experiential activities and classroom teaching.  Participants will leave with the knowledge of how they can incorporate equine modalities into their existing practice for an innovative, effective therapeutic result. 


Intro to Art Therapy

(½ day workshop)


Therapists need a wide variety of tools in their therapeutic tool belt.  Art Therapy techniques allow counselors to explore core issues in a safe, non-threatening manner.  Participants will learn the basics of art materials, ages and stages of art making, and linking treatment plan goals to specific art making activities.   The training is hands-on to highlight how art making can be introduced into a variety of therapeutic situations.  Children, adolescents and adults frequently have difficulty expressing themselves verbally, however by using art materials they are able to express difficult issues, traumas and concerns. 


Let's Not Talk - Experiential Activities for Family Therapy Services

(½ day workshop)


Family therapy sessions are often rife with disagreements, conflict and tension.  By engaging in experiential activities, practitioners are able to bypass conflict and work towards resolution by having fun. Talking can often lead to arguing, which hinders effective services.  Practitioners need a toolbox filled with activities, games and ideas that will engage families in deeper processing of issues in a non-judgmental and safe manner.  When families laugh and play together, healing can occur.  The training is based on best practice services and an understanding of various types of family systems. Adults often engage children in therapy to make changes, however change does not occur in a vacuum. By engaging a family together in experiential activities, greater growth and resilience occurs. Cultural differences will be processed as they relate to family systems, roles in the family, resistance to engaging in play or games. 


Trauma & Children: Sandtray Therapy

(½ day workshop)


Therapists often struggle to understand the inner life of their clients.  Sandtray Therapy services reveal the inner workings of our client’s thoughts, feelings and identity.  This training focuses on creating a safe, non-threatening atmosphere for healing utilizing Sandtray Therapy techniques.  Clients who have experienced trauma in their lives often have difficulty processing and expressing the overwhelming thoughts and feelings associated with the traumatic event.  Sandtray can provide a therapeutic avenue to address these treatment issues.  Deep issues, including trauma and loss can be processed through this technique. Therapists will be able to use this technique to safely and effectively process trauma using Sandtray Therapy techniques.  Cultural differences will be processed as they relate to trauma, family systems and sandtray therapy techniques.


Yikes! I Have a Child On My Caseload!

(½ day workshop)


Art and play are the language of childhood.  Learn how to engage children in age appropriate, interesting activities that will increase involvement and growth in services.  This hands-on, interactive training engages therapists in learning new techniques and activities for young children.  Participants will leave with an understanding of art and play therapy activities that increase rapport, processing, treatment goals and termination. Children, adolescents and adults frequently have difficulty expressing themselves verbally, however by using art and play based activities they can fully engage in the therapeutic process.  Cultural differences in regards to explaining the role of art & play to guardians will be addressed. Culturally sensitive discussion of the role of children in the family and how therapy services are perceived will be addressed.


Art Therapy Techniques for Difficult to Engage Clients

(½ day workshop)


Art Therapy techniques allow therapists to engage clients in age appropriate, interesting activities that will increase involvement and engagement in services. This art-based, interactive training engages therapists in learning new techniques and activities for difficult to engage children, teens and adults.  Participants will leave with an understanding of art therapy activities that increase rapport, processing treatment goals and termination.


Addiction and Recovery: In Color

(½ day workshop)


Teen substance abuse affects scholastic, familial and societal success.  By engaging teens in experiential art making, insight into core issues resulting in their addiction

is highlighted & addressed.  As cited by the Office of Adolescent Health, 39% Florida adolescents have used marijuana and 37% used alcohol.  The number of adolescents with substance abuse issues in the state of Florida is staggering.  The prevalence of prescription medication, cheap street drugs and drug culture all increase the risk for youth to engage in substance abuse.  Participants will learn art therapy techniques to help engage adolescents in addressing core issues that fuel substance abuse.