Clinical Skills Spotlight

Throughout May, the Center for Deployment Psychology will be offering special training events and resources in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month. Our Clinical Skills Team has selected topics and planned events around the theme, Skills to Deepen the Clinical Connection. Our goal is to provide innovative, practical clinical skills to advance clinician efforts to treat military-connected clients.

Click on any of the links below to jump right to that section of the page.

We hope you'll join us for special weekly 90-minute live webinars through our Center for Deployment Psychology Presents (CDPP) series. By attending the CDPP series, you can earn free CEs while also building upon your knowledge of topics relevant to your clinical practice. The CDPP Team and Dr. Erin Frick recently met to discuss the series; listen to the Bottom Line Up Front (B.L.U.F.) here.

CDP Presents: Unmasking Microaggressions in a Clinical Setting: An Interactive Discussion Online via Zoom

Description: Oftentimes, we make snap judgments of people we interact with, categorizing them according to gender, social, and other characteristics. This may unintentionally lead to microaggressions, which are subtle, covert forms of discrimination. Microaggressions may impact your interactions with clients, co-workers, and contribute to detrimental impacts. During this presentation, participants will learn practical strategies to help identify microaggressions in a clinical setting and discuss the actions you can take to mitigate them. Together we will engage in dialogue and focus on how we can create more inclusive clinical settings.

CDP Presents: Motivational Interviewing and its Synergy with other Evidence-Based Practices Online via Zoom

Description: Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based, person-centered style of communicating that is designed to facilitate engagement in helping relationships, address ambivalence toward behavior change, and evoke and strengthen a person’s own motivation for behavior change (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). This session will describe the fundamental, guiding style and spirit of Motivational Interviewing and its core skills. The session will include a demonstration of MI and clinical examples blending MI with other evidence-based interventions to support the therapeutic relationship and promote behavior change. 

CDP Presents: Optimizing Mental Health Treatment with Military-Connected Patients Online via Zoom

18 May, Noon to 1:30 p.m. Eastern

Description: In this 90-minute webinar, participants will learn strategies to enhance mental health counseling services for military-connected patients. Utilizing the concept of optimization, interventions to promote clinical efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction will be examined. The session will describe how clinical optimization can be accomplished in each of the three phases of treatment (initial, intermediate, and end). Participants will leave with knowledge about the potential benefits of focusing on optimizing clinical care when providing treatment to military-connected patients, and practical action steps to optimize mental health treatment.

CDP Presents: Technology and Telehealth: Maximizing Treatment Quality and Accessibility across the Virtual Divide Online via Zoom

25 May, Noon to 1:30 p.m. Eastern

Description: In this 90-minute webinar, participants will briefly review the advantages of offering telehealth options for patients receiving psychotherapy, as well as additional concerns that are unique to the telehealth environment.

The presenters will describe and demonstrate a variety of strategies to strengthen rapport, improve efficiency and maintain fidelity when using EBP protocols to treat patients via telehealth.

Our existing Clinical Skills Resources webpage is dedicated to providing resources and information on common clinical skills necessary when working with military-connected clients. Throughout May we will highlight additional resources, including infographics and blogs centered around our weekly themes: diversity and inclusion, motivational interviewing, optimizing mental health treatment, and technology and telehealth.


Click on the links or images below to view or download the full-sized graphics!

Core Skills of Motivational Interviewing Provider Telehealth Checklist Patient Telehealth Checklist

By the Numbers:

4.7 Million
The number of veterans that have returned to and reside in rural areas. The rates of PTSD for veterans from the OIF/OEF, Gulf War and Vietnam era range from 11-20% and just over 50% of rural veterans are connected with the VA Health Care System, making community mental health resources a critical need for rural veterans. Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 83% of the population growth in rural areas from 2000 to 2010, emphasizing the importance of diversity training. Rural areas generally have a high rate of addiction and lack access to basic substance use treatment. Read more...

The percent increase of telemental health appointments in the VA Health Care System from January to April of 2020. Although this level has likely fallen off as in-person appointments become more available, it’s clear that telemental health will be a much larger part of mental health care than it has been. In a recent study consumer openness to telehealth jumped from 11% pre-COIVD to 76% post-COVID. This acceptance and utilization for telehealth can be critical for individuals in traditionally underserved populations. Read more...


5 May: From Racial Ignorance to Striving for Cultural Humility: My Story by Dr. Erin Frick

12 May: Motivational Interviewing: Just Good Clinical Skills by Dr. Diana Dolan

19 May: Optimizing Treatment by Dr. Jeff Mann

26 May: Technology in Treatment by Dr. Sharon Birman

31 May: Clinical Skills and PTSD by Dr. Kelly Chrestman

Clinical Skills Spotlight | Center for Deployment Psychology


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