Maryland School 
 Psychologists' Association

MSPA Spring Conference 2020

  • 15 May 2020
  • 8:15 AM - 4:00 PM
  • The Hotel at Arundel Preserves, 7795 Arundel Mills Blvd, Hanover, MD 21076
  • 283


  • 1 table, includes 1 meal


Spring Conference 2020                 

Putting Motivational Interviewing (MI)

& Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills to Work in Schools


Gerald Strait, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, Licensed

Psychologist (Missouri & Texas), Licensed School Psychology Specialist, Nationally

Certified School Psychologist, published author, national speaker


Magda Rodriguez Gonzalez, Psy.D.

Licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, OCD and related disorders utilizing Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) - specifically Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)


Friday, May 15, 2020


The Hotel at Arundel Preserves

7795 Arundel Mills Blvd.

Hanover, MD 21076


Mail in- REGISTRATION DEADLINE postmarked April 25

Late Fee applied beginning April 10, 2020






Program Overview:

8:15 - 9:00      Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 12:00    School-Based Motivational Interviewing: Using OARS to Evoke Change Talk

12:00 - 1:30    Buffet Lunch, MSPA General Meeting and MSPA Awards

1:30 - 4:00      Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skill Training in Schools


Morning Program Description:

This 3-hour workshop on School-Based Motivational Interviewing (SBMI) is an evidence-based client-centered conversational style approach, useful in consultation with teachers and direct services with adolescents (Frey et al., 2013; Lee et al., 2014; Reinke et al., 2008; Strait et al., 2012). School mental health professionals can use SBMI to promote students’ academic performance and teachers’ use of evidence-based programs. In this workshop, attendees will learn and practice the core interpersonal skills (i.e., OARS) associated with SBMI. In addition, attendees will learn to use these skills to guide teachers, parents, and students through the four processes of MI: Engage, Focus, Evoke, and Plan. Finally, attendees will have the opportunity to form on-going MI practice groups with their peers. This workshop addresses NASP Practice Domains I (Consultation and Collaboration) and IV (Interventions and Mental Health Services).

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

1.      Learn and practice using Open Ended Questions, Affirmations, Reflections, and Summaries (OARS).

2.      Learn how to help teachers, parents, and students clarify their core goals and values.

3.      Practice focusing conversations on areas of change.

4.      Learn and practice strategies to evoke change talk from teachers, parents, and students.

Afternoon Program Description:

This 2.5-hour workshop covers the fundamentals of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills: Core Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Participants learn how to set up a group, the group goals and guidelines, begin to teach skills, be a co-leader, and identify and solve common problems in skills groups, and make skills lectures come alive.  This course is designed for all mental health professionals who want to learn to teach or improve their teaching of DBT skills to clients.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

1.      Describe how DBT skills fit in the larger context of DBT.

2.      Describe the function of skills training.

3.      Identify the goals of DBT Mindfulness skills.

4.      Describe how Core Mindfulness skills are key (core) to all skills taught in DBT.

5.      Identify the goals of DBT Distress Tolerance skills.

6.      Identify the goals of DBT Emotion Regulation skills.

7.      Describe the functions of emotions.

8.      Identify the goals of DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness skills.

9.      Explain the progression from skills acquisition and strengthening to generalization.


Gerald Strait, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He earned his Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Strait is a Licensed Psychologist (Missouri  & Texas), Licensed School Psychology Specialist, and a Nationally Credentialed School Psychologist. Prior to becoming an assistant professor, Dr. Strait worked as a school psychologist in Texas and Missouri schools where he provided consultation, assessment, and intervention services. He has published numerous articles and studies on School-Based Motivational Interviewing and he regularly conducts workshops, trainings, symposiums, mini-skills, and paper presentations on the topic.


Magda Rodriguez Gonzalez, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, OCD and related disorders such as body repetitive behaviors, and problems with ineffective coping strategies and emotion dysregulation. Dr. Rodriguez’s expertise is in evidenced based treatments including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) - specifically Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). CBT and/or DBT is effective for those who suffer with anxiety, OCD, treatment resistant depression, bipolar disorder, chronic illness, and general emotional dysregulation.

During her work as a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Rodriguez was supervised by and trained under Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D. who established Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). While at the University of Washington, Dr. Rodriguez contributed to the development of the DBT training curriculum and has trained other practitioners in the DBT approach. In addition to researching and publishing journal articles on DBT, she has developed training materials and trained mental health professionals in DBT and OCD treatment. Her practice includes 1:1 therapy, group therapy, social skills groups, as well as, the four levels provided (comprehensive) in DBT work.


 Download Conference Brochure here MSPA Spring Conference 2020.pdf


Important Information: 

The conference will be held at The Hotel at Arundel Preserves, 7795 Arundel Mills Boulevard, Hanover, Maryland 21076. Attendees can book a room at the hotel the night before the conference at a special MSPA rate of $152.00. Call 1-888-624-4011 and identify yourself as an MSPA conference attendee or reserve your room online using the group code 200515MSPY. The room block will be released to general hotel room registrations on April 15, 2020. 

Documentation of attendance for 5.5 hours of Continuing Professional Development/Continuing Education (CPD/CE) credit will be provided to certified school psychologists and licensed psychologists who complete the entire workshop. Partial credit cannot be awarded. In order to receive CPD/CE credit, attendees must arrive no later than 15 minutes after the start, and may not leave prior to 15 minutes before the end of the program. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and hence the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists recognize MSPA as an approved provider of CPD/CE for psychologists (NASP APS #1002). MSPA maintains responsibility for the program. 

Go to to register and pay online or download the full brochure to mail in your registration form and check to: MSPA Spring Conference, P.O. Box 1859, Westminster, MD 21158. 

Mail-in registrations must be postmarked by April 25, 2020.  There is a $25.00 additional fee for late registrants. The late fee goes into effect beginning April 10, 2020. There is an ONLINE REGISTRATION DEADLINE of May 1, 2020 and there will be NO WALK-IN REGISTRATIONS. If you want confirmation of your registration, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. Your attendance certificate acts as your receipt (monetary receipts are available at the conference upon request). Registration is limited and accepted on a first come, first served basis. Reimbursement requests for registration cancellations will be honored until May 1, 2020. Reimbursement requests after that date cannot be guaranteed

MSPA does not offer a group registration rate however, employers who register a group of 10 or more will receive 1 complimentary registration. Email the list of names as well as registration forms for each registrant to Amy Jagoda at She will give you the total cost for the registrations.

The required annual MSPA general membership meeting will be held during the luncheon. Meeting rooms are wheelchair accessible and any participant that requires any special services (such as an interpreter), should note this requirement on the registration form at least one month in advance of the conference. Persons with questions or special needs should contact: Amy Jagoda at (410) 386-1818 or .

The MSPA Program Committee recognizes the commitment of time and resources to attend professional conferences. Due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed, as well as the professional setting of our activities, we cannot accommodate children at our conferences. We will however, make efforts at each conference to accommodate the privacy needs of nursing mothers. Thank you for understanding.




Vision: All students will thrive in school, at home, and throughout their lives.

Mission: MSPA promotes and advocates for best practices in school psychology to improve learning, behavior, and mental health for all students, families, and schools.

Direct website related questions to Direct other questions to the appropriate board member at Executive Board or Officers.

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