I offer three trainings full day trainings. They are:
- Behind the Mask: Understanding and Treating Depression in Adolescent Males
- Treating Trauma in Teens
- Rainbow Teens: Cultural Competency When Counseling Queer Youth
Descriptions can be found below. These trainings provide 6 general CEUs each and are generally scheduled 9:00am to 4:30pm, with an hour lunch and two 15-minute breaks. For more details or to schedule a presentation, contact me today.
BEHIND THE MASK: UNDERSTANDING AND TREATING DEPRESSION IN ADOLESCENT MALES
Depression is soaring among adolescent males. Unfortunately, these young men frequently go undiagnosed and untreated, often because they don’t exhibit standard diagnostic criteria. Instead – after a lifetime being told boys don’t cry – they appear angry, oppositional, self-destructive, or simply numb. They hide behind these masks, pushing away the world and hoping nobody notices they’re actually sad, lonely, vulnerable boys.
In this workshop, we’ll develop the knowledge and skills to look behind those masks – in order to address the roots of this covert depression, the impact of the Guy Code, and the stuckness that results when biological predispositions and environmental stressors collide. Since this stuckness often includes Big Questions related to death, meaninglessness, and isolation, we’ll also consider practical strategies for exploring existential themes with depressed adolescent males.
Often, these masks are attempts to avoid feelings, connections, and life. With that in mind, we’ll identify practical strategies for building therapeutic alliance by improving trustworthiness, nurturing connectedness, and developing therapeutic presence. Throughout the day, we’ll also consider a variety of field-tested strategies to help adolescent males get unstuck, start moving forward, and leave their masks behind.
TREATING TRAUMA IN TEENS
Two-thirds of all Americans experience some form of trauma by age 16. If left untreated, this can lead to a variety of emotional, behavioral, and developmental concerns – leading to increased mental health challenges, substance-related issues, school failures, and other issues.
We’ll start this workshop by examining the ways trauma impacts teens, identifying the active ingredients for successful trauma therapy, and exploring practical clinical strategies for treating trauma in teens. Inspired by motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and the latest trauma research, these strategies will increase engagement, improve treatment outcomes, and help teens move forward.
With this important foundation in place, we’ll focus on window of tolerance, concept. When we feel mastery over our emotions and behaviors, interact effectively with the world, and relate well to self and others. If outside our window, typically due to trauma-related triggers or other stressors, we become emotionally and behaviorally dysregulated. This can result in hyper-arousal—experienced as restlessness, extreme anxiety, and anger. It can also result in hypo-arousal—experienced as numbness, difficulty focusing, and disassociation.
We’ll also practical strategies to help teens get back into their window, stay there when triggered, and ultimately widen their window. Since many of these strategies include skills related to metacognition and being present, we’ll also spend time exploring key trauma-informed approaches to mindfulness.
RAINBOW TEENS: CULTURAL COMPETENCY WHEN COUNSELING QUEER YOUTH
Studies show that LGBTQ+ teens are significantly more likely than peers to experience depression, anxiety, substance-related problems, and suicidal thoughts. They’re also more likely to engage in self-harming behaviors, experience trauma, become homelessness, and under perform in school settings.
Despite these well-documented concerns, mental health professionals often feel poorly prepared to provide culturally competent, quality care when counseling queer youth. This workshop will provide an interactive, non-judgmental space to explore these topics.
We’ll start the day by increasing our knowledge related to LGBTQ+ teens. We’ll review current vocabulary and relevant statistics, expand our understanding of issues specific to trans and gender non-conforming youth, and consider the impact of minority stress on this population.
Next, we’ll explore the role of cultural competency when working with LGBTQ+ teens, examine our personal perspectives on gender and sexual orientation, and consider the difference between being an LGBTQ-friendly therapist and an affirming one.
With this important foundational information in place, we’ll then shift our focus to increasing our effectiveness when meeting with LGBTQ+ teens. Key clinical skills covered will include fostering resilience as an antidote to minority stress, building therapeutic alliance, the importance of being trauma informed, and ideas for working with families