Learn how to manage challenging sessions with adolescent clients struggling with substance use.

We want to shake sense into them, but advising, directing, or acting as the “expert” often leads to resistance, and therapeutic impasse—particularly with adolescents, who crave support for individuation.

Motivational Interviewing offers a refreshing, collaborative alternative to the directive approaches many of us were taught, and is highly effective with a population that displays a strong need for autonomy.


Learn invaluable strategies to engage teenage clients who do not even want to be in your office, much less receive treatment

MI for Adolescent Substance Use - 2.25 CEUs

Acquire practical Motivational Interviewing tools to help you manage challenging sessions with adolescent clients struggling with substance use.

Sebastian Kaplan, PhD  along with colleague Ali Hall, JD, demonstrate MI techniques in a set of live sessions with three teenage clients using marijuana, heroin, and opiates.

Learn strategies to engage teenage clients who do not even want to be in your office, and then successfully address their ambivalence without resorting to confrontational addiction treatment approaches which so often backfire.

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"MI concepts and skills are masterfully demonstrated through engaging sessions with adolescents encountering common psychosocial struggles: relationships with peers and parents, identity formation, and the yearning for both connection and independence. The combination of live sessions with conceptual and summary discussions provide an effective and inspiring way to learn about MI and its tremendous value when applied to counseling clients in this age group."

Heidi Morton, M.Ed.
School Counselor/Counselor Educator

"Clinicians taking these courses will benefit from observing the therapists' ability to bring together both the attitude of collaboration and the specific skills to reduce resistance and promote adolescent interest in change, additionally providing examples of ways to strategically engage young adolescents"

Kristin Dempsey, LMFT, LPCC
Senior Associate, California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions

"This course illustrates how the Spirit of MI is particularly effective in addressing adolescent substance use and the challenges of this population. It addresses nuances of working with adolescents, including respecting autonomy, cultivating change talk and refraining from the righting reflex."

Jamie Chrisman Low, M.Ed., NCC, CPSS
Faces and Voices of Recovery South Carolina

Want more MI for Adolescents?

Learn how to get results by partnering with adolescent clients in ways that validate and empower them.

MI with Adolescents: Core Concepts

Learn how to apply Motivational Interviewing principles to resistant adolescent clients and how to support and empower them to change their destructive behaviors.

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MI for Adolescent Health Behavior

Learn how to effectively support and empower adolescents dealing with health concerns using Motivational Interviewing skills and techniques.

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Motivational Interviewing in Juvenile Justice Settings

Discover the most effective tools to establish rapport, handle resistance, and turn mere compliance into motivated action in juvenile justice settings.

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Looking for a cost-effective way to train your staff? group discounts available - email [email protected] for a quote

What You Get With This Course

  • A primer on Motivational Interviewing as it applies to the developmental needs of adolescents
  • Clinical demonstrations of MI techniques in live sessions with adolescents in various settings
  • In-depth session commentary to delve deeper into how to use MI in your practice
  • Helpful tools for working with your own urges to advise or “fix” a client.
  • CE credits included in price of the course
  • Take the course at your own pace, whenever you want on our dedicated online course platform

Don't wait to enhance your skills in working with adolescents

Our Featured Expert

Sebastian Kaplan, PhD

Sebastian Kaplan is a clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section, at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. A former special education teacher and current member of MINT, Kaplan currently focuses his clinical work on helping adolescents and their families overcome a variety of challenges to their growth and development.

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