Events/Joint Ventures

Get Professional Training or Mental Health Education for Your Group

Robyn’s presentations address addiction treatment, domestic violence treatment, perinatal mental health and trauma therapy. See a list of presentations on Robyn’s CV, or contact Robyn about a program for your professional or community group.

Upcoming Presentations

2018 events forthcoming.


Previous Presentations

Treating Postpartum Depression from a Trauma Informed Perspective (October 20, 2017)


See training info at Ferentz Insititute


Of all women with postpartum depression, only 15% ever receive treatment, says Postpartum Progress. But the bigger shock is this: the CDC doesn’t count women who miscarry or whose babies are stillborn. Yet these women are just as susceptible as new mothers to maternal mental illness, if not more.

The medical and mental health community may not know the real story behind the numbers. The CDC data only counts women who self-report symptoms. Women with anxiety or post partum mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) try desperately to make it look like they’re okay. They’re terrified to admit they’re in crisis. But their silent struggle puts the healthy development of children, and long-term wellbeing of all family members at great risk.

Even more troubling, screening for maternal mental illness is not currently a routine practice, reports author and expert Karen Kleiman in her 2017 book The Art of Holding in Therapy.

It’s time to raise awareness of the prevalence and the type of treatment needed for PMADs. More of us working in mental health professionally need to bring a trauma-informed approach to maternal mental health issues.

Why? A trauma-informed approach provides the greatest benefit to the countless women, children and families who need it. Women overcome with anxiety, depression, and other debilitating moods are by definition experiencing trauma. In addition, women who have a prior trauma history are more at risk for developing PMADs. When we understand that perinatal mental health issues are indeed traumatic experiences, we can give more women and families the help they so critically need.

As more health professionals become proactive with evaluation and diagnosis of PMADS, more women will need trauma-informed therapies to heal. As therapists, we need to empower ourselves with a trauma-informed approach tailored to maternal mental health, to give women with postpartum trauma the support they need.

Objectives –

  • Define and understand the uniqueness of Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)
  • Define the differential diagnoses of PMADs and gain an understanding of postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (P-PTSD)
  • Identify screening tools and understand their importance in identifying and diagnosing PMADs
  • Understand and learn ways to treat PMAD’s from a stage oriented, systems based, trauma-informed model

Register to attend at the Ferentz Insititute

Treating Trauma (November 4, 2016)

Presenter: Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT
Date: Friday, November 4, 2016 12:00pm-1:00pm, immediately following MAD-AAMFT bi-monthly Board Meetings
Lunch and Learn at University of MD, College Park, a presentation for MAD-AAMFT.

This event is entitled: Trauma Roundtable: Adding to Your Trauma Toolbox. Lunch & Learn sessions are free to attend, but space is limited so please make sure to RSVP to or call 301-892-MAD0 (6230)

Understanding and Treating Trauma (February 17 and 24, 2017)

Presenter: Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT
Dates: Fridays, February 17th and 24th, 2017 presentation “Understanding and Treating Trauma” for the Mental Health Association, Rockville, MD.

Treating Adolescent Substance Abuse and Trauma (October 7, 2016)

Date: Friday, October 7, 2016, 8:30AM to 4PM with breakfast
Presenters: Denise Tordella, MA, LPC and Robyn Brickel, LA ,LMFT
Fee: $159
Credits: 6 CEU’s

Clinicians may sometimes feel stymied when working with adolescents and young adults about how to engage them and their families and support systems in treatment. This workshop will provide clinicians with specific tools, techniques and strategies to engage adolescents and their families in treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues. We will explore treatment strategies, using a strengths-based, trauma informed, systems model of care that highlights and incorporates the impact of trauma on adolescents and young adults.

Please Note: If you are a Level II participant, please register and indicate that you will pay by check so that you will not be charged the full fee.

Click here for details & registration for this training.

Working with Adolescents and Substance Abuse from a Trauma Informed, Strengths Based Systems Model of Therapy (December 11, 2015)

Presenter: Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT
Date: Friday, Dec 11, 2015, 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM EST
Location: Office of Jonah Green and Associates, LLC,
3930 Knowles Avenue, Suite 206, in Kensington, MD.
1726 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208

Refreshments and networking will begin at 8:00 AM. Participants who are eligible will receive 2.0 Category One Continuing Education credits through the Maryland Board of Social Work.

#1 Health Problem in US: Adolescent Substance Abuse

A June 2011 study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University identified adolescent substance abuse as “America’s Number 1 Health Problem”, clearly validating what we as clinicians experience in our work.

Adolescents Are More Vulnerable to Substance Abuse Behavior

Adolescents are especially vulnerable to the neurobiological effects of substance abuse because the parts of their brain responsible for judgment, decision-making, emotion and impulse control are not yet fully developed.  As a result, adolescents may engage in dangerous and risky behavior while under the influence and they are more likely to experience physiological consequences. Exposure to distressing or traumatic experiences increases the likelihood that adolescents will use substances to self-regulate the effects of trauma on the nervous system.

Challenges to Treatment

As clinicians we may feel stymied in our attempts to work with adolescents and engage the adolescent and their family in treatment.  This workshop will assume that clinicians understand substance abuse across the continuum of use (e.g., experimentation, integrated use, risky use and addiction) and provide clinicians with the beginnings of learning specific tools, techniques and strategies to engage adolescents and their families in treatment for substance abuse.

Workshop For Therapists Dec 11

At the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to:

1) Identify factors that contribute to the increased use of substances and alcohol, past experimentation in adolescents and assess for it in your clients,

2)  Begin to look at, so that you can learn to better understand the neurobiology of substance abuse and the impact of alcohol and drug use on adolescent brain development.

3)  Develop effective individual and family therapy interventions to help engage families and adolescents in treatment to work collaboratively and begin to assess for trauma and other co-occurring disorders, including establishing safety and stability in the treatment, and

4) Identify techniques and resources to engage the adolescent and family in treatment toward the goal of reducing substance abuse and increasing more adaptive ways of coping.

The workshop will take place on Friday, December 11, 2015 from 8:30 -10:30 am at the office of Jonah Green and Associates, LLC, 3930 Knowles Avenue, Suite 206, in Kensington, MD. Refreshments and networking will begin at 8:00 AM. Participants who are eligible will receive 2.0 Category One Continuing Education credits through the Maryland Board of Social Work.

Want to Hold this Workshop?

Contact Robyn Brickel to for information about holding this workshop.

Making the Connection: An Integrated Approach for the Treatment of Adolescent and Adult Substance Abuse and Trauma

Presenters: Denise Tordella, MA, LPC and Robyn Brickel, MA, LMFT
Date: Thursday, October 15, 2015, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
Location: The Pikesville Hilton Hotel
1726 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208

This workshop will focus on the impact of traumatic stress on adolescent development and behavior, while offering assessment and treatment strategies to implement healthier ways of coping and to better manage affect arousal in teens who have historically turned to substances as a way to self-soothe.

Click here for more information and to register for this training.

Guest Faculty at the Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education, Inc.

Brickel and Associates, LLC is pleased to announce that Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT was named guest faculty by the President and Founder of The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education, Inc., Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA.

Robyn teamed with Denise Tordella, MA, LPC in 2014 to present a one day workshop, “Working with Adolescents and Their Families: a Collaborative Approach to Treating Substance Abuse.” The workshop provided clinicians with specific tools, techniques and strategies to engage adolescents and their families in treatment for substance abuse.

Robyn rejoined Denise Tordella, MA, LPC in Spring of 2015 to present a one day workshop, “Understanding and Treating the Impact of Trauma, Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse in Adolescents.” This workshop provided clinicians with specific tools, techniques, and strategies to work collaboratively with adolescents and their families to cope with the impact of trauma, domestic violence and/or substance abuse and how it influences their lives and ability to emotionally regulate.

Robyn’s Tips for Parents Healthy Relationships in The Washington Post 


As parents and caregivers, what do you do to help set the groundwork at home to help your children learn about healthy relationships so that when friendship turns into dating and “love is in the air” you have some tools — check out my feature in the Washington Post on ways to teach and support safe and loving relationships. The premise is to start talking about it early!