Navigating Difficult Client Interactions in A Client-Centered Way


Tuesday April 9th 2024 • 10:00 am
The Opportunity Center at ALCC (Arthur Lesow Community Center), 120 Eastchester Street, Monroe, MI


$90 general public


Description of the Webinar

Working with clients that are in crisis can be challenging. Using a client-centered approach to service allows us to recognize that clients themselves are not “difficult” but rather are in difficult situations. Join us for this interactive in-person training, where we will practice using various skills and tools to navigate difficult interactions with clients. Some topics covered in this training include client autonomy, ensuring dignity and respect for clients and staff, maintaining proper boundaries for staff, active listening, harm reduction, and safety planning.


  • Learn and practice 3-5 practical steps to deploy when difficult situations arise while working with individuals with trauma.
  • Obtain practical tools to be able to offer clients respect, dignity, and autonomy.
  • Gain the ability to use a trauma-informed lens to reframe “difficult clients” as “difficult situations.”
  • Leave knowing multiple practical skills and considerations for serving clients in crisis.


This training is for anyone who works with folks experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.



Target Population for Audience*

Homeless Service Providers

Name of Presenter(s)*

Amanda Barratt & Jessica Edel

Amanda Barratt, LMSW, CSE, CST (she/her/hers) is a Senior Program Director for MCEDSV. Amanda has extensive experience in violence prevention, sexual health education, and supporting the development of nonprofit management practices across the state. She has worked in higher education institutions, grassroots organizations, as well as program support and implementation for the state of Michigan. Amanda has over 12 years’ experience doing direct service work in sexual violence and intimate partner violence (SV/IPV) service agencies, post-assault survivor crisis response, sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE) accompaniment, advocacy, and clinical services. While at the state of Michigan Amanda oversaw 11 federal supplemental awards totaling over $1.1 billion. She currently provides membership support, training, technical assistance, and grant compliance support. Amanda’s work is rooted in empowerment theory, and she employs a strength-based approach to her work which includes how power, privilege, and oppression impact survivors. Amanda received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan in Interpersonal Practice and Management of Human Services. She has experience working within the mental health field as a trauma therapist and has received accreditation as a nationally certified Sexual Health Educator and Sex Therapist for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), as well as a Parent Management Training-Oregon (PMTO) certified therapist. Jessica Edel, PhD (she/her/hers), is the Empowerment Evaluation Director at MCEDSV and has close to twenty years of experience working in the domestic and sexual violence movements. Her work has included: teaching and conducting research at Western Michigan University; direct service work in IPV service agencies; post-assault survivor crisis response and advocacy; integration of homelessness and domestic violence direct services; chairing a regional homeless Continuum of Care; serving on several boards of directors; and serving as the executive director of two separate DV/SA programs in Michigan. Since joining MCEDSV in 2018, Jessica has focused on primary prevention strategies, community-based evaluation, disability and accessibility, and advocate training and mentorship. She has vast experience in: research methodology; survivor-centered and trauma-informed service provision; integration of IPV and homeless service agencies; and nonprofit management. Jessica enjoys anything related to food, nature, and traveling; being a nerd; spending time with her Littles; and is rarely seen without her tiny puppy, Emma.