What is Bars Online?

The Building Authentic Relationships (BARS) online (video-based) training is a 6-skill, self-paced training on how to build authentic relationships with adolescents. This course spans disciplines and is applicable to those in the mental health, health, probation, and education professions and more! This training overviews how to develop genuine relationships; how to use self-disclosure skillfully, how to deal with resistance and set health boundaries, and presents time-tested techniques that bring adults and adolescents closer. Course cost: $97 (for over 10 hours of content!)

6 Transformational Skills

This introductory module orients you to the entire BARs course and offers foundational training.

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to BARs online
  • Lesson 2: Introduction to building authentic relationships with adolescents
  • Lesson 3: Introduction to relational dynamics with adolescents

The first skill taught in the BARs online course and the most foundational. This skills is both a in the moment practice and philosophy.

  • Lesson 1: The case for deep listening
  • Lesson 2: Aspects of deep listening
  • Lesson 3: Examples across disciplines
  • Lesson 4: Practice assignment (deep listening practice)

Learn what makes self-disclosure so important in working with teens and how to practice it skillfully.

  • Lesson 1: Self-disclosure defined
  • Lesson 2: Skillful self-disclosure
  • Lesson 3: Practice assignment (hot seat practice)

Healthy adolescent-adult boundaries are key to a safe, trusting, and authentic relationship. This module teaches how to maintain healthy boundaries while also fostering a strong relationship.

  • Lesson 1: What are healthy boundaries?
  • Lesson 2: Setting healthy boundaries
  • Lesson 3: Practice assignment (what are your healthy boundaries?)

When you work with youth, it’s inevitable that resistance arises. This is natural and it’s important to respond to resistance skillfully and in a way that fosters the relationship and self-awareness.

  • Lesson 1: The need for a skillful approach to resistance
  • Lesson 2: Resistance defined: A new paradigm
  • Lesson 3: Self-management
  • Lesson 4: Engagement
  • Lesson 5: Practice assignment (visualization)

Motivating adolescents with basic counseling skills (whether you’re a counselor or not) is a a must for teens in many scenarios. This module reviews the basics of helping adolescents get from point A to point B.

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to motivating adolescents
  • Lesson 2: Basic counseling skills
  • Lesson 3: Practice assignment (paired practice with colleague)

Probably the most important module in the course for anyone who works with people, if we don’t take care of ourselves and burnout, we won’t be there to serve the youth.

  • Lesson 1: Self-care defined
  • Lesson 2: Practice assignment (self-care assessment)

The course ends with a final quiz that you must pass to get your certificate and a post-course evaluation.

  • Lesson 1: Quiz
  • Lesson 2: Evaluation
Continuing Education and Learning Objectives

This course meets criteria to provide 9 hours/credits/units of continuing education (CE) to psychologists in the United States, and LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs in the State of California. The Center for Adolescent Studies is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor CE for psychologists. The Center for Adolescent Studies maintains responsibility for all programs and its content. The Center for Adolescent Studies offers continuing education units (CEUs) to LMFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, and LPCCs, and any other professional license governed through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (provider # 4988). Please note: If you are a non-psychologist mental health professional from a state outside of California, check with your licensing committee as many accept CE from APA approved sponsors. The Center for Adolescent Studies is submitting applications for the National Association of Social Work (NASW), the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), and other mental health CE accrediting agencies. Teachers seeking professional development (PD) please get this course approved by your school board. For more information regarding CE/PD of this course and the Center for Adolescent Studies, click here.

Learning Objectives

  • Define deep listening and its relevance to working with adolescents
  • Identify 5 aspects of deep listening
  • Define skillful self-disclosure
  • Demonstrate examples of skillful self-disclosure
  • Review parenting styles and how they relate to boundary setting schemas
  • Present a method for setting healthy boundaries with adolescents
  • Define resistance as a protective mechanism
  • Present a 3-level model (pyramid) for working with resistance
  • Review basic counseling skills that motivate adolescents
  • Demonstrate the need for self-care

About the Instructor

Sam Himelstein, Ph.D., works as a Licensed Psychologist (PSY25229) in the the Chemical Dependency program at Kaiser Permanent with teens and their families, in private practice in Oakland, CA, researches the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions with incarcerated and underserved adolescent populations, is an author of multiple scholarly journal articles and two books, travels the country speaking at conferences and conducting professional trainings, and is the founder and president of the Center for Adolescent Studies. Dr. Himelstein is passionate about training professionals from multiple disciplines in creating authentic, healing relationships with adolescents that contribute to positive outcomes. A formerly incarcerated youth himself, Dr. Himelstein was privileged to change his life from a path of drugs, violence, crime, and self-destruction to that of healing and transformation. His mission is to help young people become aware of the power of self-awareness and transformation, and train professionals with similar interests. Learn more about his philosophy and approach in his books: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working with High-Risk Adolescents (Routledge, 2013), and Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum (Routledge, 2015).


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©2017 Center for Adolescent Studies, Inc. Training Professionals to Help Teens Thrive

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