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Event details

Spring Symposium with John Sommers-Flanagan , Tough Kids, Cool Counseling

  • March 02, 2020
  • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • The Westin Hotel, 6631 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230


Our Spring Symposium is bringing John Sommers-Flanagan to share his expertise with Virginia school counselors. 

Your registration, VSCA members $80, Non-members $100, Students $70,  will include a light breakfast, a delicious lunch, and a scrumptious cookie tray.   

If you need overnight accomodations, we have a special rate of $129 per night at The Westin Hotel.   Let them know if you are with VSCA to get the special rate.

Dr. Sommers-Flanagan is a Professor of Counseling at the University of Montana and author or coauthor of over 100 publications, including eight books, numerous professional video trainings with, Alexander Street Press, and John Wiley & Sons, and many professional journal articles. Some of his books, co-written with his wife Rita, include Tough Kids, Cool Counseling, (2nd ed., American Counseling Association, 2007), How to Listen so Parents will Talk and Talk so Parents will Listen (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories in Context and Practice (2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2012), and Clinical Interviewing (6th ed., Wiley, 2017).

Workshop Description:

Counseling “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 to your tool-box for working with challenging students and deepen your understanding of specific interventions. Over 20 specific 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 countertransference, and multicultural issues will be highlighted.

This workshop will help participants:

  • 1.    Identify and describe four key principles underlying effective work with challenging students
  • 2.    Use evidence-informed assessment and engagement techniques when working with challenging students
  • 3.    Apply culturally sensitive cognitive, emotional, and constructive change strategies
  • 4.    Apply a brief suicide assessment and intervention strategy

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