New Hampshire
Occupational Therapy Association

NHOTA Spring Event: Drug Free Interventions for Challenging Behaviors

  • 13 Apr 2013
  • 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Whittemore Center Arena, Skybox Lounge, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH


  • For OTRs and OTAs who are not NHOTA members, or for others who are non-members.
  • Must present student ID at registration table.

Registration is closed
NHOTA SPRING EVENT WORKSHOP: Drug Free Interventions for Challenging Behaviors
Presented by Heather Goodwin MS, OTR/L
Date: Saturday, April 13, 2013
TIME: 8:30-11:30; Registration and continental breakfast 8-8:30

3 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) will be awarded to all participants.
Location: Skybox Lounge
Whittemore Center Area 
University of New Hampshire
Durham NH 03824 
Directions can be found at
Parking: Free parking available in Lots A, H or D surrounding the Whittemore Center

Registration Fees: NHOTA members: $50.00 
non-NHOTA members: $75.00 
Student members: $45.00 
Students non-members: $50.00

Drug Free Interventions for Challenging Behaviors (3 Hour Course)

Course Description:

Insurance companies are following the lead of Obama and the American Alzheimer’s Association initiatives to reduce the use of chemical restraints and other pharmacological interventions for behavioral disturbance in adult care. Insurance companies are reducing coverage for antipsychotic use in long term care as well as home settings. Before long, these initiatives will branch into other practice settings and age groups. Without medical intervention and increased caregiver/patient ratios, behaviors will increase with the reduction of mood stabilizing medications. Research shows that activities reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, aggression and passivity. Psychiatric care needs occupational therapists and their knowledge base once again! This course will cover psychosocial models associated with behaviors as well as case by case intervention and prevention strategies for adults and children that OTs can bring back to work the next day.


Review Psychosocial and Cognitive Performance Models to assist in skilled observation, assessment and treatment of behaviors.

Complete a case study of a client by simulating a team meeting and completing a behavioral analysis worksheet.

Learn tricks of the trade for managing common behavioral issues with clients who present with psychological or cognitive impairment.

Discover what it may feel like to grieve loss of routine, independence and daily occupations.

Observe antecedents to aggressive behaviors and role play intervention.


Participants will be able to write short term behavioral objectives to collect independent outcomes measures.

Participants will be able to articulate potential intentions behind behaviors in order to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team for intervention.

Participants will be able to create an intervention as well as a prevention goal for behaviors such as hoarding, passivity, aggression, refusal, fight/flight response, yelling, perseveration, wandering, and excessive emotions.

Participants will understand and intervene with psychological impairment such as processing delays, low arousal states, delusions and hallucinations.

About the speaker:

Heather Goodwin, MS, OTR/L,
is an Occupational Therapist with over a decade of experience working with geriatrics, specializing in dementia care in Home Health, Sub-Acute Rehab and Long-Term Care settings. She is the director of Vital Spark, LLC, a consulting and training company to encourage quality outcomes/interventions for health care professionals and caregivers of, and clients living with, cognitive disability. She earned her BS in Occupational Therapy from UNH Durham and Post-Professional MS in Occupational Therapy from SJSU. She interned at Edith Norse Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA. Heather was trained by the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Association through Train the Trainer. Heather has written several books including Not Just Alzheimer’s: A Strategic Guide for ALL Dementias and Five Dementia Care Courses for Nurse Assistants in Skilled Nursing Facilities. She is currently on the board for the Allen Cognitive Network and a staff member of Vita Cura based in Michigan and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

New Hampshire Occupational Therapy Association   

Office: 1 Simons Lane, Suite 2, Newmarket, NH 03857
Mail: P.O. Box 842, Durham, NH 03824 
Phone: (603) 868-7475

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