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:

  • Why Teens Hate Counseling: Seven Keys to Transforming Teen Therapy
  • 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
  • The Trauma Informed Helper
  • Behavioral Addictions Among Teens

Workshop descriptions are below.


WHY TEENS HATE COUNSELING: SEVEN KEYS TO TRANSFORMING TEEN THERAPY
Many teen clients seem unwilling, unengaged, or uninterested in counseling. 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 start this presentation by exploring common reasons teens hate counseling. Then, we’ll identify seven field-tested clinical strategies to decrease client unwillingness, resolve ambivalence, and help teens move forward. Inspired by motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and trauma-informed practices, these keys will transform the counseling experience for your teen clients and you.

My three-hour presentation, Reframing Resistance,
provides a deeper exploration of this important topic.


LIFE AFTER QUARANTINE: COUNSELING TEENS IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted 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 other developmental impacts.

In addition, we’ll examine a variety of practical strategies for addressing these concerns — 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 helpers in this post-pandemic world.


ENGAGING AVOIDANT TEENS: AN ATTACHMENT BASED APPROACH TO BUILDING THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE
Avoidantly attached teens are often labeled resistant, oppositional, or stubborn. 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 any helper to be an adversary. 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.


ONE IN SIX: ADDRESSING SEXUAL TRAUMA IN ADOLESCENT MALES
One in six males experiences 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 wide variety of emotional, behavioral, and developmental concerns, such as various mental health challenges, substance-related issues, school failures, and other lifelong challenges.

We’ll start this highly interactive presentation by deepening our knowledge of common trauma impacts, identifying ways the Guy Code exacerbates these impacts, and exploring important considerations specific to addressing sexual trauma in adolescent males. Then, we’ll examine the active ingredients and clinical competencies necessary for any successful trauma therapy and explore a variety of field-tested strategies for working with adolescent male survivors of sexual trauma. Inspired by motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and trauma-informed approaches, these strategies are sure to increase engagement, improve treatment outcomes, and start the process of healing.


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.


BEHAVIORAL ADDICTIONS AMONG TEENS
Behavioral addictions have been on the rise since the pandemic, especially among teens. Unfortunately, very few counselors have any training or experience treating them. This presentation will help can change that. We’ll start by deepening our understanding of behavioral addictions, with a focus on problematic pornography use – which is increasingly common among teens and can feel especially challenges to address. Then, we’ll explore the reasons behavioral addictions develop, their co-morbidity with substance use, and field-tested strategies for helping teens recognize problems, resolve ambivalence, and make change.