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Counseling Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities Training Program

Counseling Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities Training Program

Join us for a 2-day Live Webinar event on May 25 and May 26, 2023 from:
10am - 5pm Eastern Daylight Time BOTH days
12 CE Credits available for behavioral health clinicians
The Intellectual Disabilities Counseling Certificate (IDCC) is included with course completion

People with intellectual disability (ID) have been a marginalized group in the United States for the past 200 years. Despite being more prone to abuse, neglect, and trauma, mental health concerns for people with ID were underestimated or ignored until late into the 20th Century. While comprising an estimated 2.5-3.0% of the US population, this group of people remains markedly underrepresented as participants in mental health supports. Providers of mental health counseling services have an affirmative duty to serve all members of their communities but, unfortunately, many practitioners may feel ill-equipped to understand or adjust their practice to meet the particular needs of this population.

In this extensive training, Dr. Buckles will help participants understand how they may expand their skill sets and practices to address the mental health needs of people with ID. Beginning with an exploration of the often disturbing history of the treatment of people with ID, participants will then participate in discussions about the social construction of disability, current concepts and definitions of ID, and related systems of supports. Specific attention is given to ways in which co-occurring mental health conditions may present differently in this population. Following these foundational topics, specific ways in which assessment and counseling methodologies can be adjusted are illustrated from both the literature and Dr. Buckles’ 20+ years of personal practice experience. Aspects of trauma-informed care, cognitive-behavior therapy, autism specific considerations, bereavement counseling, supportive counseling, experiential methodologies, and ancillary supports are all addressed in detail.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain historical and current concepts of disability and intellectual disability (ID).
  • List the current definitional requirements for ID.
  • Explore the historical mistreatment and current misconceptions of ID in US service systems.
  • Discuss the concept of social construction as applied to disability.
  • List the areas of the Americans with Disabilities Act as they apply to counseling all community members.
  • Explain differences in how co-occurring mental health conditions may present in people with ID.
  • Discuss potentially useful adjustments to initial psychosocial assessment procedures and mental status exam components.
  • Explain how enlistment of other supporters and providers may aid the counseling process with this population.
  • Discuss current literature on the efficacy of counseling for people with ID.
  • Explore methods of adjusting typical counseling practices such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
  • Explore alternate counseling models for this population, such as autism-specific considerations, bereavement counseling, and experiential counseling.
Dr. Jason Buckles headshot

Jason Buckles

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Jason earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology at New York University in 1996. While there he worked on diagnostic projects at Bellevue Hospital and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He earned his Master’s in Counseling at The University of New Mexico in 2001 and PhD in Special Education at The University of New Mexico in 2016. His dissertation focused on the experiences of direct support professionals who support people with sexually challenging behavior. Since 2002 Jason has been owner of Talkabout Inc., a Behavior Consultation agency specializing in supports for people with intellectual disability and concurrent mental health diagnoses. From 2012 through 2016 Jason was the Statewide Clinical Director of the New Mexico Department of Health – Bureau of Behavioral Support overseeing statewide systems of behavioral support consultation. From 2016-2019 Jason was the Executive Director of A Better Way of Living, a CQL accredited agency that provides life-wide supports for people with intellectual disability. He is currently a contracting consultant with the New Mexico Department of Health where he supervises the sexual risk screening program, the ongoing development of behavior support systems, and provides statewide trainings on co-occurring mental health conditions for people with intellectual disability among other topics. For several years Jason has also served as the Program Manager for the Developmental Disability/Mental Illness project with the University of New Mexico. For most of the past 20 years he was a part time instructor at both The University of New Mexico teaching Introduction to Intellectual Disability and at New Mexico Highlands University teaching DSM Assessment for Counselors.

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