Strategies for Staying Sane Through Stress and Uncertainty



VIRTUAL SEMINAR | December 14, 2020 at 2 - 4 p.m. ET
Instructor: Jessica Gifford, LICSW

CEs: 2 CEs for social workers and psychologists are available for $5 fee
Level: Intermediate

Most people find it difficult to tolerate uncertainty. In fact, we are better at adjusting to bad news than we are at adjusting to uncertainty. Continuous change and uncertainty cause a great deal of stress because we lack something concrete to adapt to. In times of upheaval, it is more important than ever to help our clients and ourselves attend to our own health and well-being and that of our communities. 

This workshop will provide an overview of the science behind why individuals find uncertainty so difficult. Participants will learn to differentiate between the source of stress and the physiological stress response, and how to address each separately. The workshop is highly interactive and experiential. Seven evidence-based strategies to manage stress and uncertainty will be introduced and practiced by participants, including:
  • breathing in synchrony
  • adopting a new perspective on stress and uncertainty
  • developing self-compassion
  • scheduling time for stress and worry
  • acknowledging accomplishments
  • engaging in practices that replenish energy
  • goal-setting  

Finally, participants will discuss how to teach these skills to the individuals they serve and apply these skills in their clinical practice.

Target Audience: 

Social workers and other social service providers

Course Delivery Method and Format:

Synchronous, interactive virtual seminar with discussion

Registration Fees and Deadlines:

Early bird registration by October 16: $40 

Regular registration  by December 11: $50 

CEs: 2 CEs for social workers and pyschologists are available for $5 fee

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the impact that uncertainty and agency have on mental health and well-being
  2. Explain seven evidence-based strategies to manage stress 
  3. Identify how to incorporate strategies for managing uncertainty into your clinical work 


  • Introductions and overview - 10 mi
  • Why we hate uncertainty: the science - 20 min
  • Strategies to manage stress and uncertainty - 60 min
  • Application to clinical practice - 10 min
  • Developing an implementation plan - 10 min
  • Closing - 10 min 

Instructor Biography:

Jessica Gifford, LICSW received her master's degree in social work from Smith College School for Social Work and has provided individual and group counseling in a variety of clinical settings. For the past fifteen years the focus of Gifford’s work has been to develop and implement group and community level programs that improve mental health and well-being. Gifford has expertise in positive psychology, protective factors, and resiliency. She is the author of Actualize! A step-by-step guide to achieving the life you want and The Resiliency Skills Training Workbook: 10-minute exercises to improve your health and happiness. You may visit to learn more about her work.

Completion Requirements for Virtual Seminars

Virtual Seminars (referred to as live interactive webinars by ASWB) are live, synchronous, online courses held in Zoom meetings. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the virtual seminar. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the virtual seminar. For virtual seminars, participant attendance is tracked through Zoom, students are engaged throughout the online class utilizing their camera and/or microphone and participants must complete an evaluation. A link to the online evaluation will be emailed to participants within 24 hours of the conclusion of the course. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the evaluation for the virtual seminar, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of seminar completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on attendance and completion of the evaluation.

Social Work CE Credit: The Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School's Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Smith College School for Social Work, Office of Professional Education SW OPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0169. If outside these states, please contact your licensing board for accreditation information regarding your state. Association of Social Work Boards database of social work licensure requirements.

Psychology CE Credit: Co-sponsored training events for psychology CE credit with Smith College School for Social Work. Amego Prepare​ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Amego Prepare maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Mary Curtin | Manager of Professional Education

Lilly Hall, 23 West Street, Northampton MA 01062 | 413.585.7970