Workshop Topics/Videos

If you work for an agency or are an officer in a state organization and you want an informative, inspiring, and humorous keynote or workshop presenter, you should contact Dr. John Sommers-Flanagan at or 406-721-6367.

John Sommers-Flanagan has offered professional workshops through the American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association. He has provided keynote speeches and workshops for many private organizations, including the Association for Humanistic Counseling, as well as state counseling and school counseling associations in California, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia,  Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  The following workshop and keynote topics can be offered to professional groups or parents. If you or your organization are interested in having John SF provide a workshop or keynote speech, please contact him at:

Working Effectively with Parents

Working with parents is a challenging and sometimes intimidating process. In this workshop, participants will learn essential principles for working effectively with parents and how to conduct brief parent consultations using a positive, collaborative model.  Within the context of the brief consultation model, specific methods for providing parental universalization-validation-empathy statements, modeling effective parental attitudes, exploring children’s problem behaviors, discussing discipline, and providing specific suggestions and advice to parents will be articulated. Efficacy data supporting the model will be briefly presented and multicultural issues such as corporal punishment and parent-child sleeping arrangements will be discussed.

Tough Kids, Cool Counseling

Therapy with adolescents can be immensely frustrating or splendidly gratifying. The truth of this statement is so obvious that the supportive reference, at least according to many adolescents is, “Duh!” In this workshop participants will sharpen their therapy skills by viewing and discussing video clips from actual sessions and participating in live demonstrations. Over 20 specific cognitive, emotional, and constructive therapy techniques will be illustrated and/or demonstrated. Examples include acknowledging reality, informal assessment, the affect bridge, therapist spontaneity, early interpretations, asset flooding, externalizing language, and more. Countertransference and multicultural issues will be highlighted.

Strengths-Based Suicide Assessment and Treatment

Freud once said, “By words one person can make another blissfully happy or drive him to despair.” Ironically, traditional suicide assessment and intervention procedures overemphasize a pathology-based biomedical model that orients adolescents toward despair. In this workshop suicidal crises are reformulated as normal expressions of human suffering and a specific, positive, and practical approach to adolescent suicide assessment and treatment is described. This contemporary suicide assessment model has a constructive focus, addresses diversity issues, and integrates evidence based approaches to suicide treatment and happiness interventions.

Additional workshop and keynote topics include:

Clinical Interviewing

Psychotherapy with Adolescents and Young Adults

John SF Speaking on Video

2 thoughts on “Workshop Topics/Videos”

  1. Looked you online to see how you are doing! Hope all is well with you and your world. Looks like you are doing awesome. Recently retired from Major League Baseball. HD a fun 25 year run and figured it was time to settle into life and travel. So far so good. Living outside of Bend, Oregon on the Fall River. Really enjoying it. Take care my friend and continued good luck. Hoppy

    1. Hey Hoppy!

      Great to hear from you. All is well here in Montana. I’m glad you’re really enjoying retirement. The time is coming for me too, but I’m not quite there.

      I’ve been thinking of you because my sister Peggy gave me some old clippings from our HS baseball days and one of them features you and your home run in district (against Olympia in Kelso). I left it sitting out in my office and so I am regularly reminded of some of our good times.

      I always associate Bend with that traumatic 61-0 game in 1974. I hope your good times there have completely over-ridden that experience.

      Thanks for writing and have fun!


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The place to click if you want to learn about psychotherapy, counseling, or whatever John SF is thinking about.

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