Instructor: Dr. Lawrence Shulman, MSW, Ed.D
Location: BEST WESTERN PLUS The Arden Park Hotel, 552 Ontario Street, Stratford, ON
Early Bird Cost: $199 CAD + 13% HST (=$224.87) by April 16, 2018
Regular Cost: $219 CAD + 13% HST (=$247.47) after April 16, 2018
Includes lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments

​**All prices are in CAD$. American Patrons - your dollar goes further! $1 CAD = $0.77 USD (as of March 7, 2018 - check online for current exchange rate) 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 13, 2018  at 4pm

* For information about Group Rates and Discounts 
click here.

1) To register online and pay with credit or debit,
click here **

Engaging & Working with Hard-to-Reach Clients

May 17, 2018, 9:00am - 4:30pm

2) To register and pay with cheque or email money transfer, click here ​to download the registration form and follow the instructions on the form.

To download the poster, click here

 **Please note that an Eventbrite fee is added when registering online  and paying by credit/debit/paypal.  To avoid this fee, register using one of the below options

Cancellation Policy

An administrative fee of $50 will be charged for all cancellations.  Cancellation 14 or more days prior to the workshop date – receive a refund, less $50 administration fee. Cancellation less than 14 days prior to the workshop date – receive a credit, less $50 administration fee, to be applied to a future workshop. No credit or refund will be issued if you do not notify us in advance of the workshop date. You may transfer your registration to another person without prior notice.  The organizers reserve the right to cancel the event due to under-enrollment, instructor illness or inclement weather.  If a workshop is cancelled, any payment will be returned in full.

About the Presenter

Lawrence Shulman is a retired Professor and former Dean at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. He has been a social work practice educator for over forty years and a social worker for over fifty years.

Dr. Shulman has done extensive research on the core helping skills in social work practice, supervision, and child welfare. He is a sought-after international consultant and trainer on direct practice, child welfare practice, school social work, family work, group work, supervision, field instruction, classroom teaching, administration, residential treatment and the skills of working with other professionals.

Dr. Shulman has published numerous articles and monographs on direct practice and is the author or co-editor of ten books including
Dynamics and Skills of Group Counseling; The Skills of Helping Individuals, Families, Groups and Communities; Mutual Aid Groups, Vulnerable and Resilient Populations and the Life Cycle; and Supervision in Counseling. He has authored the section on supervision and consultation in the last three editions of the Social Work Encyclopedia published by the NASW Press.

Currently, Dr. Shulman has been leading his own pro-bono direct group work practice, usually with single parents, married couples, students suspended from school for violence, and persons with AIDS in early recovery.


The BEST WESTERN PLUS The Arden Park Hotel is pleased to offer preferred rates for Mission: Empowerment guests. Rooms start at $119 + taxes.  A block of rooms has been set aside for this event, up until April 16, 2018. For reservations, call 1-877-788-8818 or 519-275-2936 and quote "Mission Empowerment Block".  For other accommodation options, visit www.visitstratford.ca

​​​​​Workshop Description

As helping professionals we all encounter clients who are “harder-to-reach” and who present with challenges that make it more difficult for us to do good therapeutic work with them. These may include mandated clients; clients in the pre-contemplative stage of change; clients who seem to just want to “visit” rather than do any therapeutic “work”; clients who don’t follow through on assigned tasks; clients with personal histories that have resulted in difficulties with trust; and clients with multiple barriers/challenges.

In this interactive workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn fundamental skills and strategies for engaging and working with hard-to-reach clients from an expert in the field with over 50 years of experience as a social worker, professor, researcher, supervisor, and consultant.  Participants will also be invited to share case examples and clinical issues, which Dr. Shulman will use to tie in to the theoretical material so that it is relevant to the daily experiences of those attending.

Core skills to facilitate dealing with these practice issues will be discussed, including "tuning in," contracting, elaborating, empathizing, sharing one's own feelings, providing data, and making a demand for work. A premium will be placed upon honesty in relating to clients, the genuineness of the worker's empathy, the worker's capacity to integrate the personal and professional self, and the importance of confrontation and demand.

Topics Covered:

  • Dealing with denial in the beginning phase of work;
  • Confronting authority issues with mandated (or semi-voluntary) clients;
  • Creating conditions of trust and safety which allow clients to lower their defenses;
  • Challenging the "illusion of work";
  • Understanding resistance and responding to it constructively;
  • Dealing with taboo subjects (such as physical and substance abuse, sex, death and violence);
  • Issues involved in working inter-culturally (working with differences of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc) and intra-culturally (working with persons who are like us);
  • Integrating elements of evidenced-based practice without becoming overly prescriptive and losing individual artistry.