A Continuing Education Program

Interested in courses currently available on line only? Click here.

Ready to register to attend a class in the future? Click here.

CEU Class at WCRCThe landscape of cancer and illness often leaves clients and their families feeling overwhelmed, uncertain and afraid. To support them, psychotherapists benefit from becoming more familiar with the emotional and logistical terrain as well as having more confidence in our own ability to negotiate that terrain. If we’re already familiar with the issues facing our clients, we benefit from support, community and continued educational opportunities.

The WCRC’s Continuing Education Program explores a diverse range of issues that affect the well being of clients and their families living with life changing illnesses. Our goal is to enhance and increase our therapeutic competence, confidence and community.

Completion of ten approved workshops (online or in person) qualifies participant for the WCRC Cancer and Illness Trained Clinician Certificate. Click here for curriculum certificate requirements. Demonstrated competency through experience will be considered to fulfill the required courses and specific courses can be substituted for required courses (for example an oncology nurse will not be required to take Cancer 101 but will need to take another course in its place, totaling 10 courses). Please email experience substitution requests to  .

These sessions are available to health care professionals and psychotherapists of all orientations, genders and all degrees. These courses meet the qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.


Women’s Cancer Resource Center

5741 Telegraph Avenue

Oakland, CA 94609

or online at the time of the workshop or at any time after.

In-person registration for all classes is $80 at the door, on the day of the class.

Cancellation policy: if you are unable to attend we will give you credit towards another course if you let us know 24 hours in advance by email to .

Questions? Please contact the CEU program at  .

Women’s Cancer Resource Center
BBS Continuing Education Provider #5722

Register to attend an upcoming class below:

The End of Life Option Act – Ethical and Therapeutic Issues for Psychotherapists
September 24, 2016

California’s End of Life Option Act was passed on October 5, 2015 and entered into effect June 9, 2016. The law allows mentally capable, terminally ill patients to request “Aid-in-Dying” — a prescription for a medication that will end their life at their own chosen time. As therapists, it is essential that we be prepared to work with clients who consider accessing aid in dying. But are we prepared?

Attend class in person – $70.

Improvements in Treatment for Cancer and Other Illnesses: Impacts on Mental Health
October 15, 2016

As treatments for cancer improve, patients are living longer with a less predictable outcome. Even with metastatic illness, doctors are less and less able to offer accurate prognoses. This leaves patients standing on shifting sand, living in a state of emotional uncertainty. Often, recommended treatments have a short history of evaluation, making it harder to predict how any one patient’s body will respond. Patients are encouraged to undergo intense therapy, so they will live until “something better comes along.” Add to these emerging factors the fear of recurrence for those who have undergone successful treatment and medical advances often lead patients to feel a high level of anxiety. How do we, as therapists, support our clients to adapt to this new territory?

Attend class in person – $70.

Group Work with Cancer Patients
November 19, 2016

Cancer support groups have come to be seen as a primary form of support for people facing a cancer diagnosis. What is the purpose of such a group and how is it designed to help its participants? With greater knowledge, we can support our clients to make use of this resource even when they may initially question what they might get from hearing many other stories from people facing cancer.

Attend class in person – $70.

Depression in the Family: Caregivers and Mental Health
December 10, 2016

Caregivers are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as the ill person. What accounts for this stunning statistic? Often caregivers are overworked, de-prioritize their own well being and face loss of income. They are also less likely to be asked by their family and friends how they are doing, since the priority for them and everyone else is the person who is ill. However, there are many people who discover that caring for themselves is elemental if they are to be effective caregivers. The consequence of lower self care often becomes abundantly clear, making caregiving, ultimately, a doorway to better self care.

Attend class in person – $70.

Intersection of Palliative Care, Hospice and Psychotherapy
January 14, 2016

When our clients reach the point where they are employing palliative and hospice care, it serves them if we as mental health workers can continue to engage with and support them in their process. Our goal is to help them with the inevitable outcome with honesty, openness and dignity.

Attend class in person – $70.

Advance Directives and Five Wishes
February 11, 2017

Although it’s recommended that every adult create documents outlining their end of life preferences, most of us wait until crisis makes it essential. Therefore, ill clients must often confront making these choices under conditions where the possibility of them being used is very real. Each step brings up feelings as well as decision points. Our job is to support the client and help them face both the decisions and the emotions they evoke.

Attend class in person – $70.

Grief: Supporting Families and Communities After a Death
March 11, 2017

Working with cancer and illness will, without a doubt, mean working with grief. In the broadest sense, illness is a grief experience, in which clients and their families experience numerous losses. It is also a territory full of life threat and death. Most clients with cancer will be confronted by loss even if they undergo successful treatment. As therapists, it’s crucial that we have basic knowledge about how to support grievers in our office.

Attend class in person – $70.

Illness in the LGBTQ Community
April 8, 2017

Although illness hits all communities, the effects of illness are impacted by belonging to certain subgroups. LGBTQ clients may experience reduced access to care, may encounter homophobia or stereotype in the medical community, and in some cases are more likely to be diagnosed with certain illnesses. Having a working knowledge of these differences leads to more empathy from us and better ability to support LGBTQ clients through their illnesses.

Attend class in person – $70.

Alternative, Complementary and Integrative Health Decisions
May 13, 2017

While treatment for cancer and other illnesses used to be limited to a strictly Western medical approach, patients are increasing engaging in alternative, complementary and integrative approaches. What are some of these approaches? How can we support our clients to differentiate between useless, possibly dangerous treatments and productive, effective additions to their health care landscape? We must evaluate our own beliefs about treatment to better support our clients as they find the answers that are best for them.

Attend class in person – $70.

Expressive Arts as a Window to Meaning
June 10, 2017

Creative expression brings hope, solace and outlet to people with cancer and those around them. Introducing the arts to our clients and discovering which form of art empowers them is a valuable tool in therapy, leading to greater self knowledge and improved adjustment to the cancer and illness landscape. Further, when we as therapists use our own creative outlets to process our experiences, we come to our work fresher and more useful.

Attend class in person – $70.

These courses are available online:

Cancer & Cultural Humility in the Therapeutic Relationship
As therapists, developing a capacity to reflect on our beliefs and assumptions contributes to greater cultural humility. We develop a more active curiosity about our clients’ contexts and what we may miss because of our own life experiences. This awareness is important in all our therapeutic relationships. However, when our clients are facing cancer and other illness, this humility is vital, since illness increases client vulnerability, therefore requiring a deeper curiosity and questioning of ourselves. This workshop will explore the complex intersection of cultural understandings and knowledge with what we bring to the table through our social and cultural identity history, experience and world view.
4 CEU Credits.


Body Image, Sexuality, and Cancer
How does cancer impact a client’s relationship to her body and to her sexuality? Can we, as therapists, support our clients to redefine that relationship so that clients are once again positively embodied?
4 CEU Units.


The CALM Protocol: Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully
The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada has developed a short term, in depth protocol to work with the end of life. It also has implications for working with earlier stages of illness. This workshop presents the protocol for use with all clients who are facing illness.
4 CEU Credits.


Cancer 101 for Therapists
A comprehensive overview of the types and science of cancer, paying particular attention to the aspects of diagnosis, treatment, and subsequent adjustments which most impact the psychological world of our clients.
4 CEU Units.


Continuity of Care: Emotional and Ethical Issues in End of Life Treatment
The boundaries of typical therapy are often challenging to maintain with severely ill and dying clients. How do we differentiate a healthy relaxing of boundaries required by the new situation of the client from inadequate detachment? What is now needed to protect the therapeutic alliance?
4 CEU Units.


Crisis and Grief Fatigue in the Therapist: Working with Cancer and Other Life-Threatening Illnesses
As therapists, we are affected by our clients even when we are trained to create a boundary between our experience and theirs. This workshop trains participants to recognize their own responses to working with clients who are ill, so that we can better serve ourselves and our clients. We will also discuss the impact of our personal loss experiences on our work with ill and grieving clients.
4 CEU Units.


The Family Facing Cancer: Critical Issues
Discussion of the nature of illness from a family perspective, and how illness differentially affects spouses, children, and the extended family and community. Participants will also learn how to guide the client, family, and community to create support structures that work.
4 CEU Units.


Healing Versus Cure: Spiritual Aspects of Clinical Work with Ill Patients
Although not everyone will cure their cancer, there is the potential for healing which is sometimes inspired by the threat of losing life. How do we as therapists support an exploration of a client’s perceived spiritual landscape, guiding them through questions of meaning, belief, and transformation, regardless of our own beliefs? How do we define these issues for ourselves, yet remain open to the many ways our clients will define them?
4 CEU Units.


Illness as Loss: Grieving the Loss of Health – 2014 Version
Examination of the losses resulting from illness; loss of health, loss of the certainty of future, fear of recurrence, often loss of income and financial stability, and facing the potential loss of life.
4 CEU Units.


Illness as Loss: Grieving the Loss of Health – 2015 Version
Examination of the losses resulting from illness; loss of health, loss of the certainty of future, fear of recurrence, often loss of income and financial stability, and facing the potential loss of life. We will hear from people who have been there.
4 CEU Credits.


Illness, Grief, Loss, and Holidays
How do illnesses impact the experience of cultural events? What is the potential for alienation, isolation, and loneliness? How can we, as therapists, support clients to normalize their emotional responses and reclaim whatever meaning is possible for them during celebration times?
4 CEU Units.


Post Traumatic Growth and the Cancer Experience
A new field defines the change that sometimes happens after trauma. Post Traumatic Growth defines five areas of change common to those who ‘bounce forward’ – instead of bouncing back. When therapists remain aware of the potential for growth, not just survival, we can better support that growth.
4 CEU Units.


The Science of Cancer and its Impact on Mental Health
An understanding of the diagnosis, treatment and lasting side effects of cancer allows us to better meet the psycho-social needs of our clients. This course offers an in-depth overview of the science of cancer with particular attention to how clients respond to the physical experience of cancer and how we can best support them.
4 CEU Credits.


Supporting the Caregiver in Therapy
The influence of illness on primary caregivers can be life changing and deeply difficult. We examine the impacts on caregivers of that role, and the accommodations therapists may need to make to serve this population.
4 CEU Units.


The Arts as Intervention: Working with Illness (available in person only)
The arts allow our clients to express the experience of cancer and other illness, giving them valuable ways to process the intensity of the experience. This workshop will give us tools we can use with clients to invite the arts, and creative process, into our work with them.
4 CEU Credits.


Working with Ill Children and Their Families
When a child is ill, parents often feel a sense of failure at the job of keeping them safe. They also must manage an increased demand, possibly preventing them from addressing the needs of other children in the family or of their own lives. This workshop helps us to support families to weave their way through this most demanding of illness landscapes.
4 CEU Credits.


Cancer and Emerging Adulthood
Added to the burden of living with illness is the isolation that young people with cancer experience, often not knowing anyone else facing the things they are facing. This creates unique challenges of development and response, which requires of the therapist a flexibility about how the journey into adulthood is altered by illness.
4 CEU Credits.