How to be a Better Provider (and Person)

These courses are for all humans. They focus on self-awareness, clear and compassionate communication, equity, ethics, and the sticky questions of professional and personal “boundaries.”

You can take these courses in any order, but we’ve listed them below in the order that we think will be most beneficial to most people.

Start here:

Implicit Bias: Interrupting the stories that prevent us from delivering optimal care

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Explore implicit bias and the ways that our stories about illness/health, race/gender, us/them, prevent us from being of the greatest service possible. Access hidden beliefs and befriend the undeniable truth that you are not the boss of your brain.

Want to go deeper?

The Art of Apology 

with Jenn Brandel, LICSW

Why is it that so many people struggle to say, “I’m sorry” without caveats or defensiveness? Research indicates that a major obstacle to interpersonal repair is shame. Individuals who are highly defended listen less effectively, are blocked from authentic experiences of empathy and are less open to and forgiving of differences in values, behaviors, and communications.

While the skillset around apologizing effectively is relatively straight-forward and simple, the practice of apology can be incredibly challenging. This workshop will highlight examples of interpersonal conflict including situations in which systemic oppression (racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia) plays a part in the division. We will explore the ways our intentions sometimes fail us and how, we may inadvertently degrade our sense of self by viewing our behaviors through a reductionist, judgmental lens. Finally, we will discuss the practice of forgiveness and how to hold a compassionate view of ourselves while correcting relational missteps.

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The Power of Our Words 

with Terry Altilio, LCSW & Anne Kelemen, LICSW, ACHP-SW

At the heart of communication in healthcare settings and beyond are decisions related to language and word choice. As palliative care has developed and been integrated across settings and diagnoses, phrases and concepts such as “comfort care," and “suffering” weave across discussions, often without consciousness of the cultural, social, and historical contexts of the patient and family we are serving.

No matter the setting, words and phrases significantly impact patient, family and clinician experiences, decisional outcomes, bereavement and legacy. Well-intentioned, yet misplaced word choice, can negatively impact patient interpretation of information, insert bias and create distance when the goal is to enhance connection. Healthcare clinicians can model and educate as they attend to their own language in speaking and documentation, and invite colleagues to join them in mitigating the unintended consequences of ineffective word choice.

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Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care 

with Kammaleathahh Livingstone

In this Introduction to Trauma Informed Care, you will learn how trauma shows up in the body, the impacts of social barriers on trauma, principles of trauma centered care, and an overview of how we heal from trauma. This is Module One of Tip It Forward's trauma informed care training. Suggestions for additional learning are included.

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What are We Going to Do About the Weight? Weight Stigma in Healthcare 

with Amelia Mitchell

This class from our deeply missed colleague, Amelia Mitchell, looks at social norms and scientific evidence used to justify weight bias in healthcare, examines who is missing out on the best possible care, and what we can do to work towards ending weight stigma in our practices and personal lives.

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Tools for Healthier Relationships

with Jenn Brandel, LICSW

In this three-part course, Jenn Brandel shares tools to build and maintain healthy relationships, gain greater understanding of your own emotional states, and practice real-time communication strategies.

This course will be offered live, online January 9-11, 2024. Then course recordings will be available on demand.


Developing Your Own Interoceptive Awareness: Skills that promote presence and regulation in practice

with Cynthia Price, PhD, MA, LMT

This in-person course will introduce the concept of interoceptive awareness, help you deepen this awareness, teach you how to tune into your own somatic sensations, and explain how to better facilitate body awareness and nervous system regulation.


Antiracism for Health Care Providers

BIPOC patients, caregivers, and providers are profoundly affected by the implicit bias, systemic racism, and white supremacy that is prevalent in health care and in our society. It is not enough for white health care providers to "not be racist." White providers must actively practice antiracism to ensure the best outcomes for their patients and their colleagues.

But it can be complicated. Can a BIPOC provider ethically refuse to treat a racist patient? What about a white provider? Should accommodations be made for a patient who doesn't want to receive care from a BIPOC provider?

Instructors, Anne Kelemen and Kerry Jordan, will explore these questions and more. They will share real-life examples and offer practical strategies to support providers who want to provide exceptional, inclusive care

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Challenging Racism in the Massage Industry

with Sakinah Irizarry and Meg Donnelly

It is a fact that racism has played a role in the conception and delivery of American health care. The health industry has a well-documented race problem that continues to persist and result in widely disparate outcomes.

Through completing the course, you will be able to use critical and independent thought to:

  1. Review some instances of systemic racism within health and wellness to uncover bias
  2. Uncover and address racism in the massage profession
  3. Find ways to support anti-racism and equity within your community
  4. Uncover and address racism and inequity in your practice and the way you practice

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Being Human: Authenticity and Sustainability in Caregiving

with Cal Cates & Kerry Jordan

Join Kerry Jordan and Cal Cates for a discussion of the very human, exhausting behaviors that make it hard to keep our caregiving tanks full and our inner compasses calibrated. True stories and real practice ideas will set you off on a path toward deep connection.

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Forgiveness - Beyond the Sentiment and Into the Grit

with Jenn Brandel, LICSW

Forgiveness is one of the most important and difficult things we can do in our relationships. In this workshop with Jenn Brandel, LICSW, you will learn what forgiveness truly is, as well as practical steps to move towards forgiveness.

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Want to go EVEN DEEPER?

Once a year Cal Cates offers two courses that participants regularly describe as “life-changing.”

Opening to the Mystery

Opening to the Mystery is a six-day online retreat, designed to invite you to deeply consider and even to befriend your own mortality. Cal Cates will combine a variety of experiential, interpersonal, and individual exercises that support deep inquiry and consideration of emotions and ideas about living and dying. This course provides guideposts that will lead you to embrace an honest relationship with life that will allow you to be more fully present not only with people who are dying, but also with all of the people in your life.

This course will be beneficial for any person who wants to have more access to their own wisdom and to cultivate deeper, more authentic relationships professionally and personally. Certainly, if you spend time at the bedside of people who are dying, you’ll find you have more comfort there, but this course is not just for people who feel drawn to or already work in hospice care.

Past students have said that their experience in this course enlivened their practice, shifted stuck relationships, and helped them to see and to love their family members/spouses in a different, more open way.

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A Year to Live

Make a commitment today to join Cal Cates in a year-long exploration of life, authenticity, deep, spiritual decluttering and clarity inspired by Stephen Levine’s introspective book, A Year to Live.

Spend March 2023 to Mach 2024 deeply connecting with what’s most important in your life. Loosen your attachment to things that don’t serve you. Forgive yourself and others and get down to the truth that none of us are guaranteed a single additional moment in this life. Meditate, soften your resistance, create, and wonder.

Join your fellow humans for two meetings each month (one large group on the first Tuesday of the month and one small to be scheduled at participants' discretion), weekly writing prompts, inspired readings and the guidance and community to support you in living life as though each day is truly your last.

You will be held by Cal and your classmates as you enter as fully as you’re able into a 12-month journey of discovery and greater freedom from the things that hold you back. Some of us may not even have a year to live. Now is the time. 

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