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 been selected to offer keynote speeches and workshops for the Michigan Counseling Association, the Virginia School Counseling Association, the Washington Counselng Association, the Kurn Hattin Home, and others. 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.

Suicide Assessment Interviewing

Freud once said, “By words one person can make another blissfully happy or drive him to despair.” Ironically, traditional adolescent 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 interviewing is described. This contemporary adolescent suicide assessment model has a constructive focus, addresses diversity issues, and integrates differential activation theory and Jobes’s approach to Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality. Specific suicide intervention procedures will be described and reformulated.

Additional workshop and keynote topics include:

Counseling Boys

Clinical Interviewing

Coping Effectively with Divorce and Shared Parenting

Psychotherapy with Adolescents and Young Adults

John SF Speaking on Video

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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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