Experiencing Change: Practical Strategies for Working with Stuck Teens



Presented and developed by David Flack, MA, LMHC, CDP


Many teens in treatment seem stuck in endless cycles of maladaptive behaviors, experiencing multiple treatment failures and frustrating even the most dedicated professional helpers. These teens often present as apathetic, ambivalent, or completely resistant. The truth, however, is much less pessimistic. They’re stuck. Our task is to help them get unstuck. In this workshop, we’ll explore strategies for doing just that.

 First, we’ll deepen our understanding of the change process by examining core ideas from motivational interviewing and the stages-of-change model—including stage specific interventions, strategies for integrating change-talk into sessions and group settings, and ideas for encouraging participants to risk change. Then, we’ll examine the concept of stuckness—including sources of stuckness, ways stuckness exacerbates other problems, and strategies for helping teens get unstuck.

 Along the way, we’ll explore the uses of experiential learning in substance abuse counseling, mental health services, and other behavioral health contexts. We’ll participate in a dozen clinically appropriate experiential activities that foster group cohesion, explore change, illustrate important treatment concepts, and provide opportunities to practice new skills. In addition, we’ll look at ways to use framing, metaphors, and debriefing to help assure transfer of learning.

 Workshop attendees can expect to:

  • Develop an in-depth working knowledge of the stages-of-change model. 
  • Explore practical approaches for using core concepts from motivational interviewing
  • Examine the role of therapeutic alliance and group process when working with reluctant teens.
  • Participate in a dozen clinically appropriate experiential activities. 
  • Develop practical skills for framing and debriefing experiential activities.



Continuing Education (CE) Information


6 CEs


David Flack, MA, LMHC, CDP


David Flack is a LMHC and CDP who has worked with teens and families impacted by substance use, trauma, and mental health challenges, since 2004.  David has additional credentials as a Child Mental Health Specialist, Sexual Minority Mental Health Specialist, and Mental Health Professional.  He is currently the Co-occuring Disorders Manager at Ryther in Seattle, WA where his focus is on program development, providing clinical supervision, and meeting with clients and families.

Mr. Flack has volunteered for Camp Ten Trees and Lambert House.  In 2016 he published and article in Counseling Today titled:  Getting Unstuck: Fostering Change with Teens that Have Co-occurring Disorders.




Upcoming Dates and Registration


Date: Friday, November 3rd, 2017
Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm

Cost: $155.00 USD

Campus: Shoreline Center , Shoreline, WA
Room:     Cromwell room
Map:       Directions to our campus location.
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