By: PRLog
Special Operations Veteran Helps Teach Therapists How To Counsel Those Who Have Killed Other People
PR Log - Jun 01, 2012 - A continuing education seminar for mental health professionals, social workers and clergy aims to help them do a better job of working with patients who have killed other people. “Taking A Life: Counseling Those who have Killed other People” will be presented in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, June 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Place on Sonterra Boulevard. On Friday, June 8, the seminar will be presented in Round Rock, Texas from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express on North IH-35.

Registration is $169.00 per person, and continuing education units are available to a number of mental health and social work professionals. To register for “Taking A Life: Counseling Those who have Killed other People,” visit

“Taking A Life: Counseling Those who have Killed other People” will equip mental health professionals with evidence-based treatment protocols for providing social work, counseling and other professional mental health services to those who have killed, either intentionally or unintentionally.  An online course has also been created for those who are out of the area or can’t spare the time for an all day workshop.

Social Workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and chemical dependency counselors can earn seven hours of continuing education credits for the training, which is approved in several states.

Some individuals are tortured by the intentional or accidental act of killing, while others feel perfectly normal after having killed another person--and that, in itself, may be an issue for them. The seminar’s co-presenter, David Parke, has served his country as as an Army Ranger and military advisor. “There is almost an expectation in society today for a person who has killed another person to be broken or tortured. If a person doesn’t feel that way then they may feel that there is something wrong with them. Many mental health professionals and therapists do not have the training to treat someone who has taken a life,” Parke says. “Soldiers, law enforcement officers and other public servants often find themselves grappling with issues they simply are unprepared to resolve without intervention. This workshop will provide therapists working with these individuals the tools necessary to resolve with integrity the issues, that fortunately, only a few actually have to address.”

"In working with people who have killed other people, there is a mistake in believing it is always traumatic for the client,” says Parke’s co-presenter, Richard Nongard. “In fact, depending on the context, the most effective intervention is providing support for the actions taken without applying a pathological label to actions that may have been quite justified."

“Some therapists do returning veterans a disservice by assuming they should feel remorse or depression,” says Parke. “Every client is different, as every death is different. Our goal is to help therapists and counselors understand that, so they can deliver more appropriate care to their clients.”

Nongard, a licensed marriage and family therapist, notes, “The psychology of killing, and the emotional, spiritual and social aspects of killing, have been well researched. But very few mental health professionals can put that academic knowledge into action when faced with a client who has killed. As a new therapist in 1990, one of my first clients was a man who had just been released from prison for killing a person in a DUI accident. Graduate school simply did not teach me how to deal with this,” says Nongard. “Eventually every therapist will encounter that client--especially if they’re working with veterans, in substance abuse treatment or the criminal justice setting.”

For more information about “Taking A Life: Counseling Those who have Killed other People,” visit

About Richard Nongard
Richard Nongard, LMFT is a psychotherapist in private practice.  While working with substance abusers in the early 1990’s he recognized this subject of vital importance was often missing from counselor training programs.  He the author of several books, including “Diagnosis Evil: Identifying Those With No Excuse” and “Medical Meditation”.  He holds advanced degrees in both counseling and ministry.

About David Parke
David Parke, CCE-BCC is a former Army Ranger, Navy Diver and Military Advisor.  He has spent most of the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan. Originally from Kansas, he now lives in New York and is the author of “Coach with Courage”.  He is certified by the Center for Credentialing and Education (NBCC) as a Board Certified Coach. Participants enjoy and are challenged by his gentle spirit, knowledge of research and personal insights into the psychology of killing.

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