The Art of Options Counseling
The Art of Options Counseling (OC) course explores a core service of ADRCs - supporting informed decision-making. Options Counseling is a person-centered/person-directed interactive decision support process whereby individuals are supported in their deliberations to make informed long-term support choices in the context of their own preferences, strength, and values. This training is intended for staff who directly receive and respond to inquiries about long-term care options from consumers and families, although program managers and planners will also benefit. The course defines options counseling within the context of the national ADRC initiative, outlines key competencies needed to offer options counseling, and uses fictional family profiles to illustrate concepts. The Art of Options Counseling content is continually being updated based on national standards development and feedback from training participants. Below are the most recent versions of the training.
The Art of Options Counseling Training (PowerPoint)
These slides are from the Art of Options Counseling Training on August 1, 2011 delivered in Cleveland, OH.
The Art of Options Counseling Training (PowerPoint)
These slides are from the Art of Options Counseling Training on July 25, 2011 delivered to the Texas ADRC staff.
This course is designed and intended for staff who directly receive and respond to inquiries about long-term supports and services, and who are involved in offering decision support to individuals and families.
Continuing Education Credits:
This course has been approved by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for 1.5 Continuing Education Unit credits (CEUs). At the end of the course attendees will be required to complete a short exam to asses their understanding of the presented materials and complete an evaluation form, in order to receive CEU's. NASW CEU approval is endorsed by over 38 states. California, Michigan, North Carolina, and West Virginia do not accept National CEU. Please check the National Association of Social Workers website
to find your individual licensing board to verify that they accept NASW approval as well as distance learning experience.
Presentation from TAE Training - The Art of Options Counseling (PDF)
This presentation describes the core competencies of Options Counseling and provides strategies for practicing successful options counseling within an ADRC.
Early Dementia Profile (PDF)
This family profile is a companion to the Art of Options Counseling Training. Participants in the training are asked to play the role of the options counselor to this family.
ADRC Training Post Test
This is the Options Counseling Training Post Test. Participants must complete the Post Test to receive CEU credits. Upon passing the Post Test, a certificate verifying your CEU credit will be sent by the middle of the month.
TAE Training Handout: Options Counseling Topic Overview (PDF)
The ADRC Technical Assistance Exchange developed this training handout on Options Counseling, updated in spring 2010.
Options Counseling Training Materials
This TAE training goes beyond the content presented in The Art of Options Counseling to explore the core competencies in detail. This page features other training materials and tools that can be used by options counselors in the field.
Motivational Interviewing Training Materials
Using Motivational Interviewing to Guide Your Conversations (PowerPoint)
Importance confidence and readiness rulers (Word)
A Motivational Conversation (Word)
Christina Bowen, Devon Christianson, Maurine Strickland and Eric Weakly
- Christina Neill Bowen, MSW, LISCW, is a consultant to the The Lewin Group’s Technical Assistance Exchange. Christina has been tracking the development of ADRCs since she worked on the Lewin team that evaluated the Wisconsin ADRCs from 2000 -2003. As part of the ADRC technical assistance team, Ms. Bowen serves as an expert on the following topic areas: health promotion and disease prevention, Federal Financial Participation (FFP), options counseling, private pay, and issues involving clinical social workers’ roles in ADRCs. She also facilitates learning opportunities for ADRCs through conducting both on-site and web-based trainings. Christina holds a Masters in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Certificate in Aging Studies from the Medical College of Virginia. In addition to consulting with Lewin, she also has served as a geriatric care manager conducting comprehensive in-home assessments of older adults, coordinating services, and implementing care plans for a private non-profit organization and is licensed as an independent, clinical social worker in the District of Columbia.
- Devon T. Christianson has a varied background working in human services. She has many years working with Human Service Departments on grant and system development, Area Agencies on Aging working with program evaluation, academic/ educational programs teaching future social workers, Human Services Access and Volunteer Management, and most recently, has been the Assistant Director at the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County. She holds a BA in Human Development and Gerontology, an MS in Administrative Science, is a licensed social worker and AIRS-A Certified. She has worked as a Senior Center Director arranging activities for rural seniors, program manager for the Area Agency on Aging where she had a regional position over seeing grants and providing technical assistance to County Aging Units, a nursing home social worker providing emotional and social support to institutionalized seniors, Community Options Program (COP)/Hospital Link Coordinator where she directed a grant to improve the relationship between the County Human Services Department and acute care settings, coordinator of Long Term Care Information and Assistance Services at the Aging Resource Center of Brown County for 13 years, Adjunct Professor at UWGB in the Social Work Professional Program, Access and Volunteer Coordinator, Brown County Human Services Department, and Assistant Director, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County.
- Maurine Strickland joined the State of Wisconsin’s Bureau of Aging & Disability Resources as Information & Assistance Program Specialist in the spring of 2001. She has worked in the human services field primarily in aging services for the past 15+ years. Maurine holds a Masters degree in Gerontology from Western Illinois University and a Bachelors degree with a Major in Psychology from Blackburn College. She is also a “Certified Information & Referral Specialist – Aging,” from the national Alliance of Information & Referral Systems and serves in the AIRS national board. Prior to working at the Bureau of Aging & Disability Resources she was employed as the director of the Grant County Center on Aging and has worked in aging programs in Iowa, Illinois and California.
- Eric Weakly is an Aging Services Program Specialist at the Office of Program Innovation and Demonstration within the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA). He will be coordinating the development of national standards for options counseling over the next year. Eric has over 20 years of experience in the field of aging including individual, group, and family counseling; benefits counseling; and social service administration. In the aging network his planning experience includes transportation; care coordination; information & referral; counseling; elder rights; and participant directed programs. He was active in advocacy, particularly for local services and mental health and aging issues. Eric has a BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MSW from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MBA from Colorado State University. Prior to beginning work at the Administration on Aging, Eric worked for Covenant Retirement Communities and at the Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging.