Continuing Education

Looking for opportunities to earn contact hours (CEs) for maintaining your professional license?

The Columbia School of Social Work is committed to the kind of lifelong learning that expands your thinking, strengthens your practice, and helps to shape social work and related professions to meet the needs of the 21st century. Throughout the academic year, we offer:

  • Continuing education workshops on the latest mental health practices as well as pressing social issues that affect social work clients and agencies, hosted by the Social Work Office of Professional Excellence (SWOPE).
  • Trainings in prolonged grief disorder therapy, hosted by the Center for Prolonged Grief.

SWOPE Workshops

The Social Work Office of Professional Excellence (SWOPE) is committed to shaping the social work profession to meet the needs of the 21st century. We are an approved provider of continuing education credits (CEs) to social workers in most states and to mental health counselors in the State of New York. We design workshops that encourage social workers and professionals in related fields to think creatively about the problems confronting their clients and the delivery of effective services, while also earning continuing education (CE) credits.

  • Check our event calendar for upcoming workshops and other program offerings.
  • Sign up for our mailing list (below) to stay updated and informed.
  • Email us with any questions, including whether we can offer CEs in your state.

For information on special accommodations and our grievance policy, click here.

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Prolonged Grief Trainings

The Center for Prolonged Grief was established by Dr. M. Katherine Shear, the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry in Social Work at the Columbia School of Social Work, who is globally renowned for her work in treating people with persistent, intense grief—known as prolonged grief. Housed within the School of Social Work, the Center for Prolonged Grief offers intensive training workshops for mental health care providers looking to pick up qualifications in Prolonged Grief Disorder Therapy (PGDT), a targeted psychotherapy developed by Dr. Shear that has proven efficacious in three National Institute of Mental Health-funded randomized controlled trials. The Center is an approved provider of continuing education credits to social workers in most states, and to mental health counselors in the State of New York.

  • Check our event calendar for Level 1 and Level 2 trainings and related workshops.
  • Sign up for the Center’s newsletter to stay updated and informed.
  • Email or call (+1 212-851-2107) the Center with any questions.

Online Learning Opportunities

The Columbia School of Social Work is constantly exploring ways to offer continuing education in an online, location-independent format. Already, we have several offerings:

  • 10-video series on the core techniques of complicated grief treatment: Watch online at your own pace, for four CEs. There is also a forum to share comments and ask questions. Ordering information here.
  • NEW: Registration is now open for Professor Robertson’s Coursera MOOC on social policy, which he talks about in this episode of the School’s Social Work LIVE program on Facebook:

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    Hear from Continuing Education Presenters and Participants

    Listen to interviews with presenters and participants at recent continuing education workshops, and watch a couple of sample programs that offered CEs.

    White Opioids: Race in the War on Drugs That Wasn't
    America's War on Drugs has played a profound role in reinforcing racial hierarchies. Although Black Americans are no more likely than Whites to use illicit drugs, they are 6–10 times more likely to be incarcerated for drug offenses. In a recent journal article co-authored for Biosocieties, Helena B. Hansen (bio), an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University, examines the recent history of White opioids to show how a very different system for responding to the drug use of Whites has emerged, in which addiction is treated primarily as a biomedical disease. Meanwhile, more punitive systems that govern the drug use of people of color have remained intact. At this seminar, Dr. Hansen will argue that public concern about White opioid deaths creates an opportunity to reorient U.S. drug policy toward public health for all—and make proven harm reduction strategies widely available.
    Supreme Indignity: How Mental Health Professionals Can Respond to the Brett Kavanaugh Hearings
    Many social workers and other mental health professionals have reported increased distress in their clients, their communities, and even themselves during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination process. This panel, consisting of four experienced practitioners—top to bottom: Verena Salvi (bio; lead discussant), Danielle Elleman (bio), Danielle Murphy (bio), and Kristen Slesar (bio)—will address the issues that came up during that contentious time. Their focus will be on strategies for supporting your clients while also taking care of yourself. The panel will also speak to the difficulties survivors of sexual abuse have in coming forward and the messages their experiences of telling their stories can send to other victims.
    Impressions of Complicated Grief Treatment Training Workshop, Held at CSSW
    In this video, a hospice social worker from North Carolina, Laura Bradbury, talks about what she learned from the Introduction to Complicated Grief Workshop, which was led by Dr. Katherine Shear, Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry in Social Work at CSSW and the director of the Center for Complicated Grief. She says she plans to return for the next workshop, on Advanced Complicated Grief Treatment, on Feb. 6-7: //
    The Learning Process for Complicated Grief Treatment, with Trainer Bonnie Gorscak
    "I've met many people in your chair, and I've seen them go a different way." When clinicians are empowered to help clients suffering from complicated grief, they feel renewed energy and hope, says Bonnie Gorscak, a clinical psychologist and a trainer in the Complicated Grief Treatment developed by Dr. M. Katherine Shear of the Columbia School of Social Work.
    Motivational Interviewing: A Dialogue with the Practice's Co-founder William R. Miller
    CSSW Faculty member Allen Zweben sits down with Prof. William R. Miller to discuss the origins of Motivation Interviewing, the philosophy behind it, and its achievements.
    Laurie Leonard, Executive Director of End of Life Choices NY
    "This is a field that's universal... Everybody's going to die." Dr. Laurie Leonard discusses the many career opportunities available in the end-of-life field, including medical social work, hospice work, and geriatric social work. She also points out the rewards inherent in this field, which offers exposure to a rich variety of clients as well as a deep sense of meaning and purpose. Dr. Leonard has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MSW from Fordham University. She worked for Cabrini Hospice in New York City and has a private practice in bereavement counseling. Learn more about her organization at She was interviewed by Natasha Dachos, LMSW.