Tough Kids, Cool Counseling Visits Eastern Michigan

In 1990, when I moved back to Missoula, Montana to join Philip and Marcy Bornstein in their private practice, my goal was to establish a practice focusing on health psychology. I believed deeply in the body-mind connection and wanted to work with clients/patients with hypertension, asthma, and other health-related conditions with significant behavioral and psychosocial components.

Turns out, maybe because I was the youngest psychologist in town, all I got were referrals from Youth Probation Services, Child Protective Services, local schools, and parents who asked if I could “fix” their children’s challenging behaviors.

I’d say that I made lemonade from lemons, but it turns out I LOVED working with the so-called “challenging youth.” There were no lemons! The work led to our Tough Kids, Cool Counseling book (1997 and 2007), along with many articles, book chapters, and demonstration counseling videos. Over the years I’ve had the honor of working extensively with parents, families, youth, and young adults.

In about 10 days, I’ll be in Ypsilanti, Michigan doing a full-day professional workshop on “Tough Kids, Cool Counseling.” If you’re concerned about the title, don’t worry, so am I. In the first few minutes of the day, I’ll explain why using the terminology “Tough Kids” is a bad idea for counselors, psychotherapists, and other humans.

Just in case you’re in the Eastern Michigan area, the details and links for the conference are below. I hope to see you there . . . and hope if you make the trip, you’ll be sure to say hello to me at a break or after the workshop.

What: Tough Kids, Cool Counseling: Cognitive, Emotional, & Constructive Change Strategies

When: Friday, March 10, 2023, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM EST

Where: Eastern Michigan University Student Center, Second Floor – Ballroom B Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Counseling so-called “tough kids” can be immensely frustrating or splendidly gratifying. The truth of this statement is so obvious that the supportive reference, at least according to many teenagers is, “Duh!” In this workshop, participants will sharpen their counseling skills by viewing and discussing video clips from actual counseling sessions, discussing key issues, and participating in live demonstrations. Attending this workshop will add tools to your counseling youth tool-box, and deepen your understanding of specific interventions. Over 20 cognitive, emotional, and constructive counseling techniques will be illustrated and demonstrated. Examples include acknowledging reality, informal assessment, the affect bridge, the three-step emotional change trick, asset flooding, empowered storytelling, and more. Four essential counseling principles, counselor counter-transference, and multicultural issues will be highlighted.

The link:

2 thoughts on “Tough Kids, Cool Counseling Visits Eastern Michigan”

  1. Your presentations are the best. I saw you on Mackinaw Island, in Marquette, MI and in Negaunee, MI and loved each presentation/meeting. I have both books and refer to them even after all these years as a school counselor in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
    I wish I could make downstate, but going “below the bridge” is something I rarely do nowadays. I would rather go west towards your hometown, which we do in the summer for a month.
    I hope the folks appreciate your insight, knowledge, and experience. If they don’t, shame on them. We could use a few of you in every town to help with our troubled kids. There are not enough of us.
    Good luck in lower Michigan. You will have a different audience than what you had in the U.P. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I hope it’s good!

    Chryss Harrington-Veirauch

    1. Hi Chryss,

      Thanks for your amazingly kind and positive words. I really appreciate it. Even after all these years of presenting, I always feel nervous and worry that I won’t provide “enough” of the good stuff that people want in workshops. I also feel confident, so I’m not overwhelmed with worry, but, for sure, your supportive words are very reassuring!

      I will look forward to the different audience and hope you’re doing great.



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