CE Credits: 6
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Let’s face it, adolescents and their parents don’t always benefit from our interventions. When this happens, we’re tempted to label them “impossible,” “resistant,” “or just plain “untreatable.” But what if the problem isn’t our clients, but us, because we’re just not getting them? Enter undercurrents: unhealthy process patterns that, when uncovered and addressed in therapy, produce amazing, long-lasting results. This course integrates key concepts from solution-focused, structural, narrative, and strategic therapies--buttressed by role-playing, theatrics, and coaching--to tap into the underlying issues that drive conduct disorders, self-mutilation, depression, and AD/HD. Using a four-session coaching handbook, the presenter will demonstrate techniques to help disarm parent, child, and adult defenses, generate therapeutic intensity, and choreograph enactments that bring avoided issues into the open.
Scott Sells, Ph.D., clinical director of the Savannah Family Institute, is an instructor in advanced clinical practice at Savannah State University and serves as a consultant to the Department of Juvenile Justice. He’s the author of Treating the Tough Adolescent and Parenting Your Out-of-Control Teenager.
Session 1: Overview of Undercurrent Therapy • What are undercurrents and how are they intimately connected to toxic seeds • How to use motivational interviewing to engage the resistant parent
Session 2: Using the Stress Chart and Tree Diagram to Engage and Win the Battle for Structure • How to use the stress chart and tree diagram to rapidly engage chronically stuck clients • Using popular movie clips to clearly define the undercurrent • How to set the terms of therapy for success and win the battle for structure • Deciding whether the underlying problem is Drunk with Power or Unhealed Wounds
Session 3: Locating the Key Unhealthy Undercurrent to Break the Dysfunctional Code • Pre-session preparation: locating the unhealthy process undercurrent and building feedback- loop diagrams • Presenting the “before” and “after” feedback loops to parents and adolescents to get buy-in • Designing a custom-fit behavioral contract to fill in the missing healthy undercurrents • Locating the right strategic technique to stop extreme symptoms, such as conduct disorders, self-mutilation, unresolved grief, and eating disorders
Session 4: Using Extensive Role Plays to Change the Family’s Dance • How to make the contract come alive through role plays • The creative use of rewards to increase buy-in of the most difficult adolescent
Session 5: Relapse Prevention and Maintenance • How to identify red flags with the family to prevent relapse • When tune-up sessions are needed
Session 6: Reviewing Undercurrent Therapy Procedures and Implementation • Review of best timing for undercurrent therapy • Discussion of what to do when
1. Identify the “undercurrents” or underlying themes that lead to and perpetuate such serious problems as conduct disorders, AD/HD, eating disorders, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, and/or depression.
2. Understand how to use a four-session undercurrent model using a coaching handbook to quickly discover and treat chronically stuck cases.
3. Discuss how to recognize undercurrents through your clients’ body language and the specific questions you need to employ to bring their root problems out in the open.
4. Apply the specific techniques of feedback loops, stress charts, popular movie clips, and dress rehearsals to promote healing of wounds or a child who is drunk with power.
5. Describe how to use specific techniques of undercurrent therapy to aid in the treatment of conduct disorders, self-mutilation, unresolved grief, eating disorders, depression and ADHD.
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