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TLPCA Counseling and Therapy Summit


Ethics Looking Backwards and Forwards - Friday, June 10, 9-12pm

Presented by Dr. Mark Loftis, LPC-MHSP; Dessie Avila M.A., LPC-MHSP license eligible; Tabitha Schlatter, Ed. S., LPC-MHSP, PSC; and Mason Hale, M.A., M.S., Temp. LPC-MHSP, NCC, BCCC.

This workshop will present ethical and professional practices from historical, current, and future perspectives. Jurisprudence as it relates to professional practice will be covered in this workshop as well. Data examining ethical violations reported to various mental health licensing boards in TN will be presented to examine historical trends in ethical and/or professional misconduct by licensed professionals. Participants will engage in reviewing and discussing an established ethical decision-making model. Case studies and interactive activities will be used to practice the ethical decision-making model endorsed by the American Counseling Association.


  • Describe historical and current trends in violations in ethical/professional practice standards in TN.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply an ethical decision-making process in examining potentially
    ethical/professional dilemma scenarios.
  • Design and implement strategies for programs, agencies, and practices to develop and maintain a strong culture of professional and ethical practices.

Dr. Mark Loftis

Dr. Mark Loftis is an Associate Professor at Tennessee Tech University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider, Senior Psychological Examiner-Health Service Provider, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor II, and Master Addiction Counselor. Dr. Loftis provides counseling, supervision, consultation, and other mental health services through his private practice within the Upper Cumberland region.

Dessie Avila

Dessie Avila, M.A., LPC-MHSP license eligible, and is currently a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling and Supervision program from Tennessee Tech University. Dessie has worked in community mental health agencies in the Upper Cumberland area for four years. She has worked with children and adolescents who were at-risk of placement out of home by providing intensive in-home counseling. Dessie has also worked as a Crisis Responder for youth and adults by responding to individuals in the community who may be experiencing psychosis, suicidal, and/or homicidal thoughts.

Tabitha Schlatter

Tabitha Schlatter, Ed. S., LPC-MHSP, PSC, is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling and Supervision Program at Tennessee Tech University. She has been a licensed professional counselor with mental health service provider designation since 2015 and a licensed professional school counselor since 1995. She has served schools and worked with stakeholders as a school counselor in Kentucky and in Tennessee. She has completed first-level training in EMDR for treatment of trauma and is currently working toward the next level of EMDIRA Certification. She operates a private clinical practice and has experience as a staff therapist for an acute dual diagnosis inpatient setting as well as a behavioral health consultant in a family medical practice. She provided volunteer services for a three-year term to launch a faith-based recovery program, trained group facilitators serving in the program, and provided mental health consultation. She has engaged in advocacy since 2018 for professional counselors in the Upper Cumberland region as a Regional Representative with the TLPCA.

Mason Hale, M.A., M.S., Temp. LPC-MHSP, NCC, BCCC

Mason Hale, M.A., M.S., Temp. LPC-MHSP, NCC, BCCC, is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling and Supervision program at Tennessee Technological University. He has completed master’s degrees in Pastoral Care & Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Mason has worked in church and community agency settings around the Nashville area for six years. He is a counselor at the Harpeth Hills Counseling Center in Brentwood.

The Promise of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Paradigm Shift in Mental Health - Friday, June 10, 9-12pm

Presented by Tom Neilson, Psy.D., and David Yarian, Ph.D.

Epidemiological evidence indicates depression has reached epidemic levels in the United States and elsewhere, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) remains one of the most intractable psychiatric disorders. SSRI and SNRI antidepressants are among the first-line treatments for both of these conditions. Recent evidence, however, indicates that traditional antidepressants often lose efficacy over time and can, in some cases, cause an iatrogenic, severe, treatment-resistant depression called Tardive Dysphoria. New treatments for both depression and PTSD are urgently needed. Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy—the use of psychedelics such as MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine in psychological treatment—is a focus of much recent promising research and practice. Research results to date have been so encouraging that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted breaththrough therapy status to both MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD and to Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy for clinical depression and end-of-life-anxiety. (Breakthrough therapy status is granted by the FDA when early research suggests that a new treatment is significantly more effective than existing treatments). Ketamine, which is already in wide use, has also been found effective in treating some cases of severe depression. This presentation will review the research supporting the efficacy of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy, and it will describe typical practices and procedures. Models of the therapeutic action of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy will be presented, including an in-depth exploration of the current neuroscience and the groundbreaking concept of Pivotal Mental States (PiMS). The role of “mystical experiences” in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy and their strong correlation with treatment outcome will also be discussed. Finally, a holistic model for Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy will be presented.


  • Participants will be able to define Tardive Dysphoria and the likely neurobiological mechanisms involved.
  • Participants will be able to describe 5-6 common practices and procedures in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy.
  • Participants will be able to describe putative models of the therapeutic action of Psilocybin-Assisted, MDMA-Assisted, and Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy.
  • Participants will be able to cite research showing the safety and efficacy of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy.

Tom Neilson, Psy.D.

Tom Neilson, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Nashville, TN. He received a Doctor of Psychology degree in clinical psychology from Florida Institute of Technology in 1987. He has worked in the community mental health field, he has been Director of Training of an APA-accredited internship for psychologists, and he has been in private practice for 24 years. In May 2021, Dr. Neilson completed the year-long California Institute of Integral Studies’ Certificate Program in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy and Research.

David Yarian, PhD

David Yarian, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist in private practice in Nashville since 1983. He received his degree from the University of Michigan in 1982. He has been Adjunct Faculty in Vanderbilt’s Medical School, the old Peabody College Transactional-Ecological Psychology doctoral program, and Vanderbilt’s Human Development Counseling graduate program. He has attended multiple CE trainings in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy for the past three years.

Countertransference: The Use of Self in Supervision - Friday, June 10, 1:30-4:30pm

Presented by Susan Lahey, PhD, LMFT; Tabetha Dirla, MA, NCC, LPC-MHSP (temp); William Feck, Ed.S., NCC; and April Lamoreaux, MA, LPCC-S (Ohio)

Post-master’s supervision is an integral part of counselor training. Often the focus of supervision is on counselors’ clients to protect and support them while in therapy. However, this can often leave counselors unsupported regarding the counselor as a person. This session will address creating a balance of the foci of supervision: protecting/supporting clients and supporting the counselor as a person. By creating a stronger focus on the counselor within supervision, clients can continue to be supported by addressing possible countertransference by the counselor through assessment tools (e.g., Person-of-the-Therapist Supervision Instrument; Aponte & Carlsen, 2007). Additionally, activities that support the counselor as a person during supervision will be discussed.


  • Describe the two foci of supervision: protecting clients and supporting counselors
  • Demonstrate person-of-the-therapist supporting activities (e.g., mindfulness and family-of-origin dynamics) within supervision
  • Implement assessment tools within supervision to help counselors learn about countertransference

Susan Lahey, PhD

Susan Lahey, PhD is the Director of Graduate Counseling Trevecca Nazarene University, where she has served as full-time faculty since 2007 and director since 2017. In her various roles at Trevecca, Susan has provided leadership in her role as the Doctoral Program Coordinator since 2009 as well as CACREP liaison during the accreditation process. She is also the co-faculty sponsor for Theta Nu Upsilon, the program Chi Sigma Iota honor society. Dr. Lahey previously served as secretary and Middle TN representative within the TN Marriage and Family Therapy Association for 6 years. Dr. Lahey has also trained supervisors for many years through the TLPCA and AAMFT organizations. She is a licensed marital and family therapist with a private practice. Dr. Lahey is committed to the mentoring and development of counselors, supervisors, and educators. In her work as dissertation chair over the last 13 years, her desire to serve her students’ pursuit of counselor identity has only deepened. Dr. Lahey’s research interests involve, but are not limited to, clinical supervision, counselor educator training, marital crisis, family cohesion, and leadership skills.

Tabetha Dirla, MA, LPC-MHSP (temp)

Tabetha Dirla is a temporary licensed LPC-MHSP and is currently a full-time counselor at StrongWell addiction treatment center. Tabetha has a Master of Arts in Counseling and is currently pursuing a doctorate in counseling supervision and teaching at Trevecca University. Tabetha is a National Certified Counselor and holds memberships with APA, ACA, TCA, ACES, SACES, TLPCA, and Chi Sigma Iota Theta Nu Upsilon division. Tabetha is an advocate for human trafficking victims and has spoken at several educational platforms for advocacy.

William Feck, Ed.S., NCC

William Feck graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with an Education Specialist Degree in Professional Counseling. He served as a professional school counselor for five years. He now is a full-time lecturer at MTSU providing supervision for practicum and school counseling internship students. Concurrently, he is a therapist at Integrative Life Center. William is in the doctoral program at Trevecca for clinical counseling. He is trained in Brainspotting Phase I and II and Gottman Level I, and he is a nationally certified counselor (NCC).

April Lamoreaux, MA, LPCC-S (Ohio)

April L. Lamoreaux graduate from Cincinnati Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Bible and Psychology and a Master of Arts in Counseling. April has worked in the mental health field for the past eleven years training counselors as an adjunct professor and overseeing a college counseling training center. April conducted individual and group supervision for master’s practicum students. April is currently pursuing a PhD at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Assessing Suicidality: Emerging Trends and Avoiding Malpractice - Friday, June 10, 1:30-4:30pm

Presented by Dr. Jason McGlothlin

This presentation will describe the current state of suicidality in the U.S. and specific trends to be aware of in clinical practice. Comprehensive suicide assessment practices will be discussed to avoid malpractice. Furthermore, an evidenced based, practical, and counselor friendly model of suicide assessment (i.e., the SIMPLE STEPS Model) will be described and demonstrated.


  • Attendees will learn the current state of suicidality in the United States including demographics, trends, and statistics. Furthermore, unique trends that are typically overlooked by counselors will be presented that contribute to client suicidal ideation and behavior. Discussion will take place regarding what trends (if any) counselors are seeing in the field related to suicidal ideation.
  • Attendees will learn the basics of the SIMPLE STEPS Model of Suicide Assessment. A basic understanding of the psychometrics of this assessment will be presented along with information on how this data thus far has been collected and on whom (i.e., over 100,000 callers to suicide prevention hotlines, over 300 suicidal clients in private practice settings, and over 250 students in K-12 settings).
  • Attendees will be able to integrate the SIMPLE STEPS Model of Suicide Assessment into practice. The presenters will present information on the overall construct and genomic of the SIMPLE STEPS Model. Furthermore, the presenters will demonstrate how to conduct a diagnostic interview using the SIMPLE STEPS Model along with practical ways to document the Model.

Dr. Jason McGothlin

Dr. Jason McGlothlin has been providing mental health services since 1993 and has been a faculty member since 2000. Currently, he is an Associate Professor at Kent State University in the Counselor Education and Supervision program and owns his own private practice (McGlothlin Counseling and Consultation, LLC) where he focuses on the assessment and treatment of suicidality across the lifespan. Throughout his career, he has held various leadership positions and most recently is the President of the Ohio Counseling Association. However, he is known mostly for his work with suicidal individuals. Related to assessing and treating suicidal clients, he has written books and articles and has presented and consulted nationally and internationally. Most recently, he has studied nearly 100,000 suicidal individuals who contact suicide prevention hotlines. As a result of his research, he has validated his model titled the SIMPLE STEPS Model of Suicide Assessment which accounts for nearly 70% of high levels of suicide lethality.