Joan Boydell, MA is the Instructor of Care Net’s Connecting Conversations Instructor Certification course.


As I was finishing up my MA in Counseling Psychology and searching for a job in 1989, I visited a pregnancy center and was drawn by the mission and vision of the organization.  I decided to volunteer immediately.  Within a few weeks, the director told me she was moving out of the area, so I applied for her job.  I was finishing up my senior seminar, so the ink wasn’t even dry on my diploma when I became an Executive Director.  I had been a people person my whole life, serving as an RA and then Assistant Housemother in college.  In my early years of marriage and parenthood I mentored teens and had Bible studies for women.  I also  spent several years as a live-in staff at a rural ministry that cared for troubled and seeking people and later was Principal/Coordinator of a small church school.


I carried all this experience into this new role in the pregnancy center and honestly thought I was pretty prepared for my new position.  At an early board meeting, the retiring director was asked, “How long do you think it will take Joan to learn this job?” I thought she might say, “Six months.”  I was surprised when she answered, “At least two years.”  


Well, twenty years later when I retired, I had to chuckle.  I was still learning how to do this amazingly complex, challenging, and rewarding job.  Although ready to give up long work hours and a lengthy daily drive, I loved the whole Care Net experience.  I had started also serving as a consultant and trainer for Care Net in 1994, so I continued on in that part-time flexible contractor role which changed to Center Services Specialist.


I’m delighted to now add another aspect to my Care Net Specialist role by being the Instructor for the newest Centers of Excellence course, the Connecting Conversations Instructor Certification Course (CCIC).  This course is for pregnancy center leaders (usually Executive Directors or Client Services Directors) who desire to hone and refresh their skills and also learn how to sharpen their team members skill as client advocates. 


This certification course will supply you with the tools you need to successfully lead your team through a deep dive into the skills necessary for having compassionate, empathetic conversations with clients. CCIC is an encouraging, refocusing reminder of what it takes to be a skilled and confident client advocate. Like all of the Centers of Excellence courses, the material is well written and cleverly illustrated.  There are numerous short videos with powerful role play examples of client sessions. My co-laborers at Care Net specifically included role play videos because so many centers had asked to see examples of what an effective client interaction actually looks like. All the bases are covered, and you will observe negative and positive examples, and then practice them together.  I will be along for the ride, to answer questions and encourage you as you learn.


It’s exciting to be a life-long learner.  God is never finished teaching us and He never gives up on us!  This is one of the reasons why I am still taking continuing education credits online and even recently earned a certificate as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.  I want to continue to be useful to the Lord in all the seasons of my life. 


I encourage you to sign up for this brand-new course, which will certify you as an instructor for your own center.  The course will include two zoom meetings, one during the first week and one close to the end.  There are weekly self-study lessons, one-on-one role play examples, and the opportunity for discussions with other learners along the way. It will start on July 13 and end on August 24th. When you’re done, you’ll be all ready to lead your team through the Connecting Conversations course to help them refresh and refocus, too.  


I hope to see you online! Get started by clicking the link to sign up for the course below.