Substance Abuse Treatment Does NOT Happen In A Vacuum

Most of us know that working with teens can be challenging. For those of us conducting drug treatment, we this can be an uphill battle that’s so difficult that we can’t stay attached to outcome, or we’d be constantly disappointed. Oftentimes teens that are chronic drug users have no interest in stopping their use, an …

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3 Basic Counseling Skills for Working With Teens

Working with teens has its own unique set of challenges and often times as providers we’re relegated to positions of listener, mentor, and guide, regardless of whether or not we’re actual therapists or counselors. I have known many teachers who build authentic relationships with their students and in turn their students feel more comfortable talking …

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Why Setting Boundaries Are Critical To Healthy Relationships with Teens

As I approach facilitating the fourth installment of the Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment (MBSAT) Curriculum Certification this weekend, I find myself contemplating what some of the most important aspects of working with teens are. Being authentic, present, compassionate, and intentionally fostering a genuine relationship are of critical importance, as I’ve written about in other posts. …

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Why Mindfulness is a Good Skill for Teens to Learn

Later this week I will have the privilege of connecting with over 300 hundred teachers, therapists, and other professionals working with teens interested in the intersection between mindfulness and youth work. This will happen at the annual Bridging The Hearts and Minds of Youth conference in San Diego, CA, and I’m lucky enough to be …

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Self-care is self-love: The most critical skill in the direct service industry

With Valentines Day recently passing, the media has flooded us with everything about love, relationships, and making our sweethearts feel great. Rarely when Valentines Day rolls around however, do we talk about a form of love that is so critical that its absence can cause an immense amount of personal suffering: love of ourselves. Self-love …

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“Did you ever do drugs?” 3 Responses to the Age Old Self-Disclosure Questions for Adults working with Adolescents

Self-disclosure is one of the most anxiety-provoking topics that arise when I train professionals working with adolescents. Therapists, teachers, probation staff, etc. all have reasons why they don’t engage in self-disclosure with the young people they work with: “I was trained not to talk about myself,” or “I don’t want them to know anything about …

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3 Tips for Using Mindfulness in Substance Abuse Treatment with Adolescents

Recent statistics show that teen drug use has been declining in the US, however there’s still a significant need for substance abuse prevention and intervention with young people, especially those adversely affected by the many issues youth deal with; drugs, achievement, depression, anxiety, trauma, etc. Mindfulness, the practice of being aware of one’s mental, emotional, …

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6 Tips for Building Authentic Relationships with Adolescents

Working with teens can be tough. Anyone who works with adolescents knows that sometimes they test boundaries, become resistant, and can be very challenging. Teens can also be remarkable and amazing to work with. There is an inherent wisdom during the life transition period from childhood to adulthood that can show itself in many ways; …

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8 Principles for teaching mindfulness to teens

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