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Digital Seminar

Reaching "Unreachable" Teens & Tweens: Connecting with Oppositional and Withdrawn Adolescents

Knowing the importance of the therapeutic relationship with an oppositional adolescent is one thing; knowing how to build that relationship with someone who wants nothing to do with you is another entirely.  

This 90-minute seminar weaves together the art of relationship building with the science of connection in a relatable, practical way.  This compelling seminar will fundamentally change your approach with this challenging (and rewarding) population. You’ll learn: 

  • Must-have strategies for building trust, repairing inevitable ruptures, and de-escalating crises  
  • 15+ “side-door” principles for working with withdrawn and challenging young clients 
  • Why behaviour charts, worksheets, and natural consequences aren’t going to (and never did) create lasting change 
  • Trauma and neurobiology’s impact on meaningful connection


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Kate Sample, MA, LPC, CYMHS
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Aug 05, 2021
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Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD.



Kate Sample, MA, LPC, CYMHS's Profile

Kate Sample, MA, LPC, CYMHS Related seminars and products

Kate Sample, MA, LPC, CYMHS, has over twenty years of experience working with at-risk kids and adolescents in residential, school, community, correctional, and private settings. A passionate advocate for ongoing professional development, she transitioned her skills to the continuing education world, where she's developed treatment focused training, conferences, and publications for PESI and PESI publishing. Her article, "Reaching "Unreachable" Teens & Tweens: 12 Tips to Get You in the Side Door", was published in Psychotherapy Networker magazine in January 2021. Kate earned her master's degree in clinical psychology with a specialization in children and adolescents from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and her school counseling certificate from Northern Illinois University.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Kate Sample has an employment relationship with PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Kate Sample has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose. 


Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Utilize therapeutic strategies informed by attachment theory and behaviourism to build trust and relational reciprocity with disengaged clients.
  2. Determine how trauma-informed care is crucial to successful treatment with young people who exhibit oppositional or withdrawn behaviours.
  3. Develop non-directive techniques for teaching skills related to distress tolerance, impulse control, and emotional regulation.


Reaching the “Unreachables”: Understanding the Paradox of Oppositional Behaviour 
  • Why the answer to opposition is connection, not compliance 
  • 15 “side-door” strategies for building trust and reciprocity 
  • The role of trauma and neurobiology in oppositional or withdrawn behaviour 
  • How to teach skills to teens and tweens in a way that doesn’t feel like “therapy” 

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • School Administrators
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or email

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