Shorter Presentations

These trainings run 90 minutes each and are designed to be presented online or in-person. They’re excellent options for keynotes, conference presentations, staff meetings, or lunch-and-learn events. Offerings include:

  • Reframing Resistance: Maybe Teens Aren’t Resistant, Stubborn, or In Denial
  • Life After Quarantine: Counseling Teens in a Post-Pandemic World
  • Engaging Avoidant Teens: An Attachment Based Approach to Building Therapeutic Alliance
  • One in Six: Understanding and Treating Sexual Trauma in Adolescent Males
  • Understanding Substance Use in Teens
  • The Trauma Informed Helper

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?

In this presentation, 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.

This presentation is also offered in a three hour format,
providing a deeper exploration of this important topic.

More at Transforming Teen Therapy


LIFE AFTER QUARANTINE: COUNSELING TEENS IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the mental health of teens — including increased social anxiety, a dramatic rise in behavioral addictions, and heightened existential dread. In this highly interactive workshop, we’ll explore these pandemic-related mental health trends and developmental impacts.

In addition, we’ll examine a variety of practical strategies for addressing them — including field-tested ideas for exploring existential themes with teens, the role of therapeutic alliance, and other approaches for helping teens move forward. Along the way, we’ll also take time to consider what’s changed for us as professional helper in this post-pandemic world.


ENGAGING AVOIDANT TEENS: AN ATTACHMENT BASED APPROACH TO BUILDING THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE
Avoidantly attached teens are often labeled resistant or oppositional. They’re likely to seem highly independent, defensive, or dismissive. They’re also likely to engage in treatment interfering behaviors, be suspicious of empathy, and consider helpers to be adversaries. Building effective therapeutic alliances with these teens can seem daunting to even the most seasoned counselor, yet is absolutely essential!

We’ll start this workshop by deepening our understanding of avoidant attachment style, especially among teens. Next, we’ll explore practical skills for increasing our trustworthiness, nurturing connectedness, and embodying empathy. Along the way, we’ll consider the role of self-disclosure, identify strategies for maintaining therapeutic presence, and explore other ways to become a much needed secure base for these teen clients.

Dive deeper with Cultivating Rapport, my three-hour workshop
exploring therapeutic alliance with teens.
More at Transforming Teen Therapy


ONE IN SIX: SEXUAL TRAUMA IN ADOLESCENT MALES
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.

This presentation is also offered in a three hour format,
providing a deeper exploration of this important topic.

More at Treating Trauma in Teens


UNDERSTANDING SUBSTANCE USE IN TEENS
Nearly half all teens receiving mental health services meet the diagnosable criteria for at least one substance use disorder. Unfortunately, most mental health counselors have little training or experience when it comes to understanding substance use among teens. As a result, these concerns often go overlooked, unaddressed , or ignored.

This workshop aims to address this, by presenting practical skills for identifying and working with teens who have co-morbid mental health and 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. Along the way, we’ll explore field-tested strategies for addressing substance use, fostering change, and helping teens make new, more effective choices.


THE TRAUMA-INFORMED HELPER
The overwhelming majority of clients at mental health agencies have a trauma history. That means if you’re a substance use professional, case manager, or peer counselor, then you’re working with trauma survivors — whether you know it or not. Trauma-informed care uses carefully developed approaches that reduce the likelihood of re-traumatizing participants while helping assure a collaborative, respectful approach to treatment.

In this workshop, we’ll explore ways we can be more trauma aware in our work as helpers, by shifting our perspective from the problems to the person. To do this, we’ll examine the ways trauma impacts the lives of our clients, consider the difference between trauma-informed and trauma-specific care, and identify strategies for using trauma-informed approaches to enhance treatment outcomes.