For individual trainings, certificate programs, as well as training collaborations, here is a selection of testimonials about our services.
I learned a great deal by having the chance to attend workshops and gain exposure to the material ... Participants were made up of professionals from many different agencies that have different missions but similar needs and problems. I valued the opportunity to have met these individuals and participate in the conversations, lecture and classroom discussion ... I have a much greater appreciation for the concept of lifelong learning and continuing education. In the future I know that I will advocate for myself and my co-workers when it comes to being given opportunities for continuing education experiences ... I see the importance of staying current on emerging trends in the field and see it as invaluable to receive this instruction by the experts, as is done in the UB School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education.
- Thomas Kirst, MSW, graduate of the Financial Management Certificate Program
Lesa has the ability to understand the current plus future needs of human services agencies, find the trainers and consultants who have the best skills to fill those needs and bring together an educational learning program that benefits the Human Services Agencies, the trainer and the University at Buffalo.
As a trainer and consultant I work with many people, and I was a bit hesitant about working with a large university program. But Lesa's ability to organize, connect people, market, promote, edit and proofread then make changes that lead to greater results for all parties has me wanting to do more work with both the University at Buffalo School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education and Lesa.
She has a great ability to identify trends and create programs to fill those needs -- that is what impresses me most about her work. From the beginning of our time together to today, Lesa has shown competence, courtesy and kindness. I highly recommend her and her work.
- Michael Cardus, principal consultant of Create-Learning Team Building & Leadership, Inc. in Buffalo, New York
We knew there was great trauma training out there, but we could not find trauma training that would address homelessness and helping women stabilize in housing. Therefore, we reached out to Lesa Fichte to see if the University at Buffalo would be willing to tailor a training for the YWCA, recognizing that we wanted to improve housing outcomes for women.
Lesa and her team developed a comprehensive curriculum that was intended to help housing staff learn skills that would help them become better equipped to recognize trauma, how our environment can exasperate the trauma a woman or child experiences, and how to make simple changes (such as intake practices) to create better relationship building while helping to develop trust. I was very impressed that there were different facilitators for each topic. This meant we had experts with the best knowledge on the topic training us. We were particularly impressed and moved by having a facilitator that used some of her own experiences to illustrate how harmful providers can be if they don't recognize trauma. That testimony made it much more real and really got us to think about how our practices needed a lot of work.
The training created the platform for the YWCA to take being trauma-informed to the next level. We are working with women who live at the YWCA to revamp and significantly reduce intake procedures, develop policy, identify measures and quality indicators so we know that we are being trauma-informed, and help us with continuous improvement. We will take the next couple of years to strategically make changes to our physical environment and change the "culture" of the YWCA. We also hope to share our experiences with the community so we can make broader, systemic changes. An example of this would be to help inform our community strategic efforts to create a coordinated response to homelessness so trauma survivors only have to tell their story once.
Our staff responded favorably to the training and are actually pointing out examples of things we do that are not trauma-informed. We are learning from our own past experiences and are celebrating when we make informed decision about changing our practices to be more trauma-informed. I would HIGHLY recommend this curriculum for other supportive housing providers.
- Carrie Michel-Wynne, director of housing, YWCA Rochester and Monroe County, Rochester, New York
We wanted to write to you to express our gratitude for the generous assistance you provided Headway, and Elisabeth Mann, in marketing our training on the topic of brain injuries. The response to the training announcement has been gratifying and encouraging, so much that we will be trying to run a second training opportunity in the fall on the same topic. Your help was invaluable, and Elisabeth tells us that you have gone above and beyond in helping her understand how to make this all work ... Headway could not be more pleased with the results.
- William Bergmann, executive director, and Diana Landwehr, director of support and advocacy, Headway of Western New York
Now I am more observant of trauma indicators, more compassionate to those who self-medicate to avoid trauma issues ... These classes were a booster shot, re-energizing me in my service delivery and personal commitment to learning and professional growth. Thank you!
- D. A., LMSW, Tonawanda, New York
I have the great pleasure of presenting clinical workshops for social workers who take continuing education courses through Lesa's program at Buffalo. Lesa and her team are wonderful to work with: totally professional, reliable, accommodating, and well-organized. In addition, Lesa has terrific instincts. She genuinely understands what social workers are looking for and what they need to enhance their professional efficacy. She is open-minded, creative, flexible and a person with great vision-willing to take the right kind of risks to keep her organization on the cutting edge of mental health education. She goes out of her way to make me feel welcome and appreciated whenever I present for her. Her organization is very fortunate to have her!
- Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, founding director and president, The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland
I took the social work licensing exam prep class with you in June, and took the clinical exam for the first time yesterday. I passed! I needed to the take the exam due to my plan to move out of New York State, because the exam did not exist when I was originally licensed in New York in 1994. I was terrified regarding the need to learn and memorize new information and to recall information from 20 years ago. The test anxiety, as the instructors spoke of during the class, was in full bloom for me. I am extremely thankful for the review class because it helped me to understand the exam format and gave me the mindset I needed to sit for the exam. While the test anxiety was not absent, it was under control -- tolerable. I kept telling myself prior to the exam, “It is measuring ‘minimal competence’ for ‘any social worker’ in the country.” Thank you so much for the guidance! It was beneficial, greatly appreciated and a very nice review!
- Naomi Douglas Davis, MSSA, LCSW‐R
I have to tell you what a rewarding experience it has been for me to participate in the Trauma Certificate Program. I look not only at social work but also at the world in a whole new way as a result of what I've learned, and I find myself sharing this new knowledge, this new perspective, with others. Thanks to you and to everyone in Continuing Education and the School of Social Work for the opportunity and for all the hard work that goes into delivering this programming.
- Janice Carello, LMSW
I am currently enrolled in the course Overview of the Nature and Treatment of Trauma. I have learned so much from watching the online teachings. The assessments at the end of each module have also been very helpful as a way to pull everything together. I just wanted to let you know that I am finding this training to be very beneficial.