Sam Himelstein, Ph.D.

works as a Licensed Psychologist (PSY25229) in the Chemical Dependency program at Kaiser Permanente 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).

4 Qualities That Lead to Interpersonal Connection and Safety With Youth

4 Qualities That Lead to Interpersonal Connection and Safety With Youth There are several ways to build rapport with youth, including the INCRA, deep listening, and skillful self-disclosure. It’s also imperative to work on those personal qualities that will contribute to our clients feeling interpersonally safe. These are less of what we “do” (interventions) and …

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10 Essential Guidelines to Teaching Meditation to Trauma-Impacted Youth

10 Essential Guidelines for Teaching Meditation to Trauma-Impacted Youth A while back I posted 9 Guidelines for Teaching Trauma-Informed Mindfulness to Teens. As I mentioned in that post, formal meditation practice isn’t always appropriate, as it can sometimes trigger youth into trauma responses. That said, many young people can benefit from mindfulness meditation. These guidelines …

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A Brief History of Trauma for Youth Providers

The field of trauma studies, as well as the application to trauma treatment with young people, is still very much in its infancy. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often discussed synonymously with trauma. However, PTSD as a diagnosis rarely does justice to the experience of young people, who often exhibit a complex set of behaviors …

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2 Simple Tips to Create a Welcoming, Trauma-Informed Classroom Space

Whether you’re leading a mindfulness class, an academic class, or a therapy group, it’s important to create a healing-centered, growth-oriented space where youth feel respected and comfortable. On the first day of class, I like to discuss openly the types of behavior that will help everyone to feel safe in the group and that will …

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[Vlog] Teaching Mindful Eating To Adolescents

[Click for Mindful Eating Activity PDF] Learn about how to help youth impacted by trauma! Trauma-Informed Care for Professionals Working with Youth is a completely online, semi self-paced, and affordable training that will teach you the basics of a trauma-informed approach. Get updates on exact course dates and exclusive pre-launch discount codes! Thanks! Check your …

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Cultivating the Lion Mind: A Mindfulness Metaphor that Sticks

Whenever I teach mindfulness to teenagers I try as best as possible to incorporate the use of metaphor. I find that with teens (let alone people) metaphors access a different part of a person’s ability to relate to information. I often ask the youth I work with how they’d define mindfulness. For those I haven’t …

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9 Guidelines for Teaching Trauma-Informed Mindfulness To Teens

Jeanette*, a 17 year-old high school student, found herself in my office trying to describe the shock of losing her father: “I just can’t….” and she trailed off. “I mean I don’t know, I just, I don’t, I can’t…” and she stopped again. She couldn’t speak because her brain was down regulating. The outer most …

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8 Principles for teaching mindfulness to teens

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4 tips for practicing trauma-informed care with youth

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