Clinical Corner: Clinicians share expertise with staff in monthly seminar

Clinicians at Latham Centers have been sharing their knowledge with colleagues through an interactive professional development seminar series. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Our Children’s Program Clinical Team members lead the monthly workshop to provide information and answer questions from staff about the clinical diagnoses and needs of our diverse student body. Each session offers the opportunity for staff across components to come together to learn and brainstorm new ideas about how to work with students who display the clinical need being discussed.

The seminar series includes topics such as trauma; anxiety disorders; mood disorders; OCD and related disorders; autism spectrum disorder; Prader-Willi syndrome; and more. Presentations include the definition of each diagnosis, details about the specific diagnosis or clinical challenge, and how the information can be applied to a case. Participants do activities together that mimic clinical activities used with the students, talk in small groups about how the information is reflected in students we serve, and share insights and experiences with each other.

The goals of the seminars include:

  • to increase awareness of various psychiatric diagnoses and clusters of clinical issues we encounter daily at Latham;

  • to facilitate thoughtful conversation about common techniques for addressing symptoms students may exhibit; and

  • to offer time to consult and ask questions of clinical staff.

One presenter said that Latham staff members find the information and material useful in their jobs and their work with our population. Staff also appreciate the time they get to spend brainstorming and talking with staff and administrators from across departments about the topic at hand. Presenters have heard staff members say things like, ‘When I was dealing with *student*, I remembered what you said about…’  The seminars have been a great opportunity to reinforce the information we’ve learned in our work at Latham, but also to encourage staff to think about a problem or issue in a different way.

Latham’s Clinical Seminar Series has been invaluable. There have been nine presentations to date, and the monthly workshop is something our staff members are really excited about. Staff gain a better understanding of specific diagnoses and how they impact our students; learn more about the work of our clinicians; have an opportunity to connect with one another; and gain additional tools to help our students and be more effective. Special thanks to Clinicians Samantha Cronin and Chelsea Crowe for their skillful presenting – they educate and energize us all!  


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