These three hour workshops can be offered online or in-person. Packed with practical strategies, stories from the field, and a bit of inspiration, they explore topics such as fostering therapeutic alliance, facilitating change, treating trauma, and more. Offerings include:
- Reframing Resistance: Maybe Teens Aren’t Stubborn, Oppositional, or In Denial
- Facilitating Change: Practical Strategies for Helping Teens Move Forward
- Cultivating Rapport: Field-Tested Strategies for Building Therapeutic Alliances with Teens
- Understanding Substance Use in Teens
- Understanding Behavioral Addictions in Teens
Workshop descriptions are below.
REFRAMING RESISTANCE: MAYBE TEENS AREN’T STUBBORN, OPPOSITIONAL, OR IN DENIAL
Many teen clients seem unwilling, unengaged, or uninterested in therapy. That doesn’t mean they’re resistant, though. It means they don’t want to talk about their feelings with a stranger, learn shrink-wrapped coping skills, or identify measurable treatment goals. What teen would?
We’ll reframe this so-called resistance from developmental, attachment, and trauma-informed perspectives — to help us look beyond their initial reluctance and engage teen clients more effectively. Sometimes, that’s all it takes for the reluctance to disappear. Other times, we discover clients are stuck. In other words, they’re trapped in ineffective patterns of thinking and doing. We’ll explore that Stuckness, identify common exacerbating factors, and consider field-tested ideas for helping teens get unstuck.
FACILITATING CHANGE: HELPING TEENS MOVE FROM AMBIVALENCE TO ACTION
Change is a process, not an event. Many teens enter counseling with little commitment to this process. Instead, they seem resistant, stubborn, or in denial. Our goal isn’t to talk them into action, but to help them resolve their ambivalence about change, find their own motivation to take action, and start moving forward.
We’ll start this 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 every session, and field-tested ideas for facilitating change with teens. Along the way, we’ll examine developmental considerations, common obstacles, and more.
CULTIVATING RAPPORT: FIELD-TESTED STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE WITH TEENS
Building therapeutic alliance can seem daunting to many clinicians, especially when working with hard-to-engage teens. However, studies show effective therapeutic 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 resistant to treatment. 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.
UNDERSTANDING SUBSTANCE USE IN TEENS
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 addressing substance use among teens. As a result, these concerns often go overlooked, unaddressed , or ignored. This workshop aims to address this, by presenting develop practical skills for identifying and working with teens who have substance related concerns.
We’ll start by examining the stages of use, identifying common co-morbid mental health disorders, and exploring the reasons teens use, especially reasons rooted in insecure attachments – which we can define as disorders of mood, behavior, and social interactions resulting from a failure to form healthy attachments to primary care givers in early childhood. Along the way, we’ll explore field-tested strategies for addressing substance use, fostering change, and helping teens make new, more effective choices.
UNDERSTANDING BEHAVIORAL ADDICTIONS IN TEENS
Description coming soon.