Two Upcoming Workshops: Working with Challenging Parents and Youth . . . and Loving it

On November 6 (in Missoula) and November 20 (in Billings) Western Montana Addiction Services will be sponsoring a day-long workshop for professionals. The title of both workshops is the same: Working with Challenging Parents and Youth . . . and Loving it. Here’s a description of the workshop, along with workshop objectives:

Working with Challenging Parents and Youth . . . and Loving It.

John Sommers-Flanagan

Counseling difficult youth and challenging parents can be immensely frustrating or splendidly gratifying. Using storytelling, video clips, live demonstrations, group discussion, and skill-building break-out sessions, John Sommers-Flanagan will present essential evidence-based principles and over ten specific techniques for influencing “tough students” and “challenging parents.” Techniques for working with youth and parents will include (a) concession, (b) asset flooding, (c) cognitive storytelling, (d) generating behavioral alternatives, (e) grandma’s rule, and many more. Issues related to ethics, addictions, and culture will be highlighted and discussed throughout the workshop.

Workshop Objectives:

1. Understand the nature of resistance as often displayed by youth and parents

2. Identify and apply techniques for responding quickly and effectively when youth and parents resist counseling

3. Acquire skills for using numerous cognitive, emotionally, and constructive engagement and intervention strategies that facilitate youth interest in, and motivation for, counseling—even in situations when clients are using substances

4. Learn four specific parenting techniques that participants can immediately use to help parents respond more effectively to their children’s problems or challenges.

5. Increase awareness and articulation of important multicultural counseling issues with youth and parents

6. Understand how substance-related problems can directly contribute to client resistance and impede engagement with youth and parents


The link for registering through Western Montana Addiction Services for either workshop is here:…_and_Loving_It.html

If you can make either workshop I will look forward to meeting or seeing you. If you think it’s a topic that would be useful for someone you know, feel free to pass this information on.

And have a great rest of the week.

John SF

4 thoughts on “Two Upcoming Workshops: Working with Challenging Parents and Youth . . . and Loving it”

    1. Hi Shannon. I just noticed this. Sorry for the delay. I’ve been calling it a “holidelay” which is a new term I really like. I will be the featured presenter for the Grief Institute on April 16 and 17 in Missoula, but right now there’s no scheduled repeat of the workshop I did for Montana Addiction Services. We also will be doing a departmental continuing education series this spring and will be announcing it soon. I hope you’re doing well and thriving.



  1. Good Morning,

    My name is Christy Franklin and I am interested in attending your workshop in Missoula tomorrow. I was one of your students at the University of Montana and I am now in the MHC counseling program at Capella and am finishing up my master’s in the next few months – we are currently using your book, Clinical Interviewing Skills, imagine that – pretty cool! I plan to be licensed and open my own private practice upon completion of licensure.

    I wanted to know if there are any openings for this workshop tomorrow and what the hours of the workshop will be. Any information you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    Christy Franklin 406-239-3331

    1. Hi Christy.

      Nice to hear from you . I remember you from the Theories class, I think.

      Last I knew the workshop was sold out at 120 participants.

      The person to contact about possible open seats is Erin Wenner. Her contact info is below.

      Pretty cool that you’re getting your MA and cool that you’re getting to use our text.


      John — and here’s Erin’s contact info.

      Erin Wenner
      Workforce Development Coordinator
      Montana Co-Capacity Building Project
      I Ph: [406] 532-8983 I Fax: [406] 541-3032 I 1325 Wyoming Street, Missoula, Mt 59801 I

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