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Our Instructors

Alison Pais M.S.W., R.S.W

Alison is a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has two decades of experience in the field and has had the opportunity to practice social work in three different countries. Alison is a Community Crisis Worker at the Gerstein Crisis Centre and is a certified LivingWorks ASIST trainer. She is experienced in developing and facilitating workshops relating to topics such as suicide prevention, crisis intervention, case management and mental health awareness.

Amy Stockwell

Amy has worked in the mental health field for over 10 years providing crisis intervention and addictions counselling. With her BA in psychology, Amy continues to help individuals with their interpersonal development. Amy is a certified Life Coach and Resiliency Expert and facilitates trainings in the areas of Resiliency & Self-Care, Trauma-Informed Care, Crisis Intervention, Vicarious Trauma and Community Worker Safety Strategies. Whether it be facilitating, working in the field or in her private practice, Amy’s passion for teaching and inspiring others to reach their full potential is at the heart of her drive. 

Alan “Butch” Snider B.A, BPHE, B.ED
Butch Alan Snider

Butch Snider has over thirty five years of experience teaching courses like Crisis Intervention, Stress, Health and Wellness programs, and Personal and Subject Protection skills, Subject Control skills, martial arts and physical fitness. Butch was National Master trainer for verbal and physical crisis intervention training programs at Correctional Services Canada.

John A. Sawdon M.Sc.

John Sawdon has extensive experience in providing training to human service and criminal justice-based agencies throughout Canada. He teaches Team Building, Organizational Development (OD), Basic Skills Training for Residential and Human Service Workers, Crisis Intervention and Prevention and Cross-Cultural Awareness. He is a member of the (SEITAR) International Society for Intercultural Training and Research and the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioural Sciences OD network.

Margo Van Honsberger SSW, B.A., B.ED

Margo Van Honsberger is an adult educator who currently works as the intake coordinator for Brain Injury Community Re-entry (Niagara) Inc., where she works directly with individuals who have sustained a brain injury and their family members. Margo is active in facilitating sessions for staff in a variety of topics including Neuro-Anatomy, Areas of Rehabilitation, Defusing Angry, Resistance and Hostility, and ABI and Substance Use.

Maureen Pangan M.S.W., R.S.W

Maureen Pangan holds a Master of Social Work Diploma from Arizona State University. She is currently a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Maureen has over 10 years of experience working with various age groups and cultural demographics addressing violence, sexual assault, healthy relationships, immigration, newcomers, and relationship concerns. Maureen has worked for such agencies as Women of Color Network, St. Vincent de Paul, Child and Family Support Services, and the Sojourner Centre. She also has her own private practice where she provides hope and inspiration in a safe environment so individuals can become a positive agent of change in their lives.

She has also contributed to the Social Work community by way of being a Field Instructor for Arizona State University, York University, University of Toronto, Humber College, Centennial College, Seneca College and George Brown College. She currently is the Co-Chair for the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Gang Prevention and Intervention Program Community of Practice Working Group.

Maureen works from a strengths-based approach and is experienced in several therapeutic modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, Play Therapy, Art Therapy, and Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT). She facilitates workshops on Anger Management, Intervention and Prevention, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Case Notes Writing, and Presentation Skills.

Dr. Maya Obadia B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., R.P.

Dr. Obadia is a MINT certified Motivational Interviewing trainer with extensive experience teaching Motivational Interviewing, Behaviour Change, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She teaches research methodology and health behaviour change at the University of Toronto.

Nicki Casseres

Nicki Casseres has worked in the mental health community for over 30 years, providing crisis counselling, support and education. Nicki is the Coordinator of Training and Community Education at the Gerstein Crisis Centre in Toronto and coordinator for the Learning Exchange Program for Newcomers (in collaboration with Ryerson University) Nicki is a certified ASIST trainer and facilitates training in the areas of defusing anger, crisis intervention, resiliency and self-care, and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Tom Fulgosi

Tom Fulgosi has worked in the social services field for 25 years. My background is in addictions and harm reduction. I am a certified addiction counsellor. For the past 20 years, I have worked in all aspects of harm reduction, and case management contributed to the development and implementation of a risk reduction program for crack cocaine addicted homeless men, supervised front line staff in one of North America’s largest men’s hostels, and helped establish a High Needs Program specifically tailored to homeless men in crisis. More recently, I provide training to Seaton House front line staff. For 6 years I led a team of five housing/outreach workers utilizing the Housing First model and providing follow up supports to newly housed men in the community.

I currently work in a Managed Alcohol Program in the Annex/Infirmary Program of Seaton House where we strive to reduce the risks associated with the use of both non palatable and palatable alcohol, chaotic substance use and providing a safe environment to meet our clients where they are at. 

I am also the lead trainer in Crisis Intervention and Physical Interventions skills for Seaton House. I train through and with the Canadian Training Institute and have been doing so for the past 15 years.

Specialties: Harm Reduction, Counselling, Leading Teams, Crisis Intervention, Training and Education. 

Thomas Argueta

Thomas Argueta is a Social Service Worker who has been in the Social Services for the last 12 years & I am an alumni of Conestoga College. I have supported youth & adults in various environments, including treatment centres, foster care programs, schools, and youth programs. I have contributed to the youth of many different backgrounds including youth with mental health concerns, Autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and addictions amongst others. I have experience coaching football & one on one coaching through self-development programs. Currently, I am a Program Facilitator for the Inspiring Minds Program with CTI. 

Keith Sweeney

Keith Sweeney