Complex Personalities and Family Systems

Dates: April 14 – May 9, 2014
Instructor: Gary Gardia, ME.d, LCSW, CT


Course Description

This course will provide you with fundamental information and skills related to the influence of complex personalities and family systems on care.  We often use words such as “difficult’ and “non-compliant,” yet everyone deserves the best we have to offer regardless of where they have landed in life. Have you ever been in a situation with a patient and/or family member when you have felt overwhelmed, manipulated, angry or even totally lost? Well guess what? We all have felt that way at one time or another. This course will focus on the impact of complex personalities and family dynamics on the provision of end of life care. We will look at features of personality disorders and methods for effective and positive intervention. Family systems and associated challenges will also be included. Since the results of complex cases can effect the entire team and employee morale, we will examine methods to assure strong interdisciplinary team functioning. Come with us on this journey towards finding solutions for those struggling with this different kind of pain and suffering.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • List three challenging personality types with associated features.
  • Demonstrate interventions that are effective in responding to these personalities.
  • Describe one model useful in understanding complex family dynamics and family systems.
  • List 3 critical issues that interfere with effective communication in families.
  • Identify 1 method for facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration around challenging cases.

About Your Instructor

Gary Gardia has worked in the hospice field for over 25 years beginning as a volunteer. Over the years he has had the opportunity to work in many capacities such as director of volunteers, director of social workers, bereavement and education and served as Vice-President in his long time affiliation with Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gary is currently working as a speaker/consultant for hospice programs nationally which he “thoroughly enjoys”. Gary has Master Degrees in Education and Social Work and has participated in the conceptualization, development and presentation of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Manager Development Program.

Recently, Gary was asked to take the lead in creating a 9-month all online certificate program for post-MSW hospice/palliative care social workers. The program is through the California State University’s Institute for Palliative Care. Now up and running, Gary states, “it has been exciting to explore best practices with many faculty and advisors from around the country and interact with course participants in such an intensive manner”.

Gary has been lucky enough to be a frequent presenter and keynote speaker at state and national conferences providing workshops and retreats that he balances between motivational and challenging. His commitment to focusing on skill development, coaching for noticeable and positive change, and returning to the “spirit of hospice” by giving our attention to exceptional patient/family centered care has helped to keep him very busy.