Shorter Presentations

I offer these shorter presentations:

  • Understanding Co-occurring Disorders in Teens
  • Beyond the Stuckness: Teens, Trauma & Substance Use Disorders
  • Attached to Drugs: Adolescents, Addictions & Insecure Attachments
  • Engaging Avoidant Teens:  Attachment-Informed Strategies for Building Therapeutic Alliance

Descriptions can be found below. These presentations run about two hours each. They’re excellent choices for staff trainings, keynotes, or other settings. For details or to schedule a presentation, contact me today.


UNDERSTANDING CO-OCCURRING DISORDERS IN TEENS

Professional helpers working with teens generally have little training or experience when it comes to addressing co-occurring disorders – even though nearly half the teens in mental health services have a substance use disorder and about 80% of teens in substance abuse treatment have a mental health challenge. This highly interactive workshop helps address this! We’ll start by examining the stages of use, reasons for use, and diagnostic criteria. We’ll also identify common co-morbid mental health disorders, with a special focus on the role of trauma, explore the impact of attachment-related challenges, and more.

I also offer Getting Unstuck, a highly popular, daylong training on this topic. Find out more here.


BEYOND THE STUCKNESS: TEENS, TRAUMA & SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS

Numerous studies show a strong connection between substance-related problems and traumatic stress. Unfortunately, in many treatment settings this connection goes unnoticed and unaddressed — leading to teens stuck in endless cycles of maladaptive behaviors, experiencing multiple treatment failures and frustrating even the most dedicated professional helpers. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways that traumatic exposure and substance use disorders exacerbate each other, increase  our understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder and developmental trauma, and identify the difference between trauma-informed and trauma-specific care.


ATTACHED TO DRUGS: ADOLESCENTS, ADDICTIONS & INSECURE ATTACHMENTS

In this presentation, we’ll explore the connections between substance-related problems and insecure attachment, specifically among teens. We’ll start by reviewing foundational information related to attachment. Then we’ll explore ways that insecure attachment and substance related problems can collide. Finally, we’ll examine practical strategies for working with avoidantly attached and anxiously attached teens. Along the way, we’ll consider connections between developmental psychology and attachment theory, ideas about process addictions and attachment, and practical strategies for engaging hard-to-treat teens.


ENGAGING AVOIDANT TEENS:  ATTACHMENT-INFORMED STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE

Building effective therapeutic alliances with avoidant teens can seem daunting to even the most seasoned professional helper. However, numerous studies show an effective alliance is essential for engagement, retention, and positive clinical outcomes. This is especially when working with teens. In this presentation, we will deepen our understanding of avoidant attachment style, explore the importance of developing an effective therapeutic alliance with avoidant teens, and develop practical skills related to trustworthiness, connection, and presence – with the goals of increasing engagement and improving treatment outcomes.