Half Day Workshops

Many teens hate counseling, presenting as unwilling, oppositional, or completely resistant. If that isn’t enough, most therapists have little to no training or experience working with teens. Instead, we treat teen clients like big kids or little adults – and then wonder why they seem apathetic, ambivalent, or simply stuck.

Half-day workshops include:

  • Cultivating Rapport
  • Facilitating Change
  • Beyond Resistance
  • Addressing Imminent Danger When Counseling Teens
  • Substance Use in Teens
  • Sexual Trauma in Adolescent Males

Descriptions can be found below. For more details or to schedule a presentation, contact me today.

Building therapeutic alliance can seem daunting to many clinicians, especially when working with teens. However, studies show effective alliances are absolutely essential for engagement, retention, and positive outcomes. We’ll start this workshop by exploring the importance of developing effective alliances and identifying common reasons teens can be reluctant to engage. Then, we’ll develop practical skills for overcoming those obstacles by increasing our trustworthiness, nurturing connectedness, and embodying empathy. Along the way, we’ll explore the role of self-disclosure, field-tested strategies for engaging teens with insecure attachment styles, and more.

Change is a process, not an event. Many teens enter counseling with little commitment to this process. Our goal is to help them find their own motivation to consider change and start moving forward. We’ll start this highly interactive workshop by examining core ideas from Motivational Interviewing and the Stages of Change model – two evidence-based approaches to facilitating lasting change. Then we’ll explore stage-specific interventions, strategies for integrating change-talk into sessions, and field-tested ideas for resolving ambivalence. Along the way, we’ll examine developmental considerations, common obstacles to change, and more.

Many teens hate therapy – presenting as resistant, oppositional, or simply apathetic. The truth, however, is much less pessimistic. They’re stuck! We’ll start this workshop by exploring common sources of this stuckness, ways it exacerbates other problems, and ideas for helping teens move forward. Next, we’ll consider what happens when developmental tasks aren’t completed. This includes three important concepts common among stuck teens – developmental debt, maladaptive task completion, and stalled identity formation. Along the way, we’ll explore variety of field-tested strategies for helping these teens get unstuck.

Topics related to imminent danger can be confusing, complicated, and frustrating. This is especially when working with teens. We’re required to follow laws regarding confidentiality, treatment consent, and mandated reporting, while also juggling developmental considerations, parental expectations, and our own clinical comfort zones.

In this three-hour workshop, we’ll explore ways to ethically navigating Washington’s laws regarding consent and confidentiality when counseling teens reporting substance use, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and homicidal ideation. To do this, we’ll review relevant laws, explore what “imminent danger” actually means, identify strategies for creating effective safety plans, and more.

This workshop provides three ethics-specific CEUs which can be used to meet Washington state’s biennial licensing requirements for mental health and substance use disorders professionals.

Nearly half all teens receiving mental health services have a diagnosable substance use disorder. Unfortunately, most mental health counselors have little training or experience when it comes to substance use among teens, so these concerns go overlooked and unaddressed – resulting in clients who are stuck in endless cycles of maladaptive behaviors, experiencing multiple treatment failures and frustrating even the most dedicated professional helpers.

This highly interactive workshop is for mental health counselors of all experience levels with a desire to develop practical, field-tested skills related to working with teens who have substance related concerns. We’ll start by examining the stages of substance use, diagnostic criteria, and common co-morbid mental health disorders. Next, we’ll consider reasons teens use, the role of trauma in co-occurring disorders, and the stuckness that can develop. Then, we’ll examine field-tested approaches for addressing substance use in teens, including strategies for addressing substance use, fostering change, and getting unstuck.

One in six males experience some form of sexual trauma, most before entering adulthood. Frequently, these experiences are dismissed, minimized, or ignored – by both the young man and the world in general. This can lead to a variety of emotional, behavioral, and developmental, including mental health challenges, substance-related issues, school failures, and other concerns.

We’ll start by deepening our knowledge of common trauma impacts, consider ways the Guy Code exacerbates these impact, and identify other developmental considerations. Then, we’ll identify the active ingredients for successful trauma therapy and explore a variety of field-tested approaches for working specifically with adolescent male survivors. Inspired by motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and trauma-informed approaches, these strategies will increase engagement, improve treatment outcomes, and start the process of healing.