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Workshops for Professionals

Helping Adolescents Effected By Trauma Within the School Setting

It is difficult for counselors and teachers to know what teens are experiencing, but we do know that traumatic experiences effect their ability to learn and behave appropriately in a school setting. This workshop will help school staff learn to better identify manifestations of trauma in adolescents. It will also explore how -and why- teens process trauma differently than children and adults and consider the most effective interventions for this age.

Understanding Mental Health Issues that Impact Your Team

Nearly half of American youth struggle with mental illness before turning eighteen. The amount of time coaches spend with teens uniquely positions them to make a difference in their lives. Dawn will explain adolescent brain development and discuss how this impacts what adolescents need from their coaches, and best practices for interaction. She will help those in attendance learn to recognize symptoms of trauma and address them, and will conclude with a question and answer session that will allow coaches to start making inroads on difficulties they are facing presently. Coaches will come away feeling more confident and able, not only to assist, but to make a difference in the lives of, their teens.


Movies and Metaphors

Typical play therapy models can feel childish to adolescents, but using media and metaphors can be an effective way to engage teenagers in the counseling process, and it has clinical implications for improved outcomes. Attendees will come away with the knowledge to use video and metaphor to address a variety of challenges specific to teenagers, the ability to operate apps for capturingand sharing video, and an arsenal of practical examples from films such as 127 Hours, Inside Out, Jack Reacher, and Crazy Beautiful.

Group Therapy with Adolescents

Group therapy provides a structured and safe place for kids and teens to experience positive social interactions with their peers, and can be more effective than traditional one on one counseling. Teens may be more likely to share their stories with other teens, and in the process of doing so, realize they are not alone. Group therapy also offers an opportunity for more experiential techniques that are more likely to engage teens. Learn how to use group discussions and experiences to work with adolescents. Dawn will discuss what makes an effective group therapy leader,  how the teen brain develops, and how it impacts the dynamics in group therapy, as well as how to best optimize the unique opportunities for healing presented by group therapy. 

Mediating Family Conflict

As children grow, their relationship with their parents becomes more democratic than autocratic, and they want more say in how their conflicts are resolved. Mediation tools are wonderful for families of teens and their counselors. It allows both parties to take responsibility for what has happened and to acknowledge the need to work towards a solution together. Participant in this workshop will learn about the basics of mediation and be given the opportunity to role play them, so that they will leave feeling equipped to resolve family disputes more effectively and with empathy.

Workshops for Parents

Let's Talk About... Communicating with Teens

Adolescents assert their independence just as they are faced with decisions of real importance, which makes your communication with them seem both impossible and absolutely necessary.  In this workshop, parents will learn how to open the lines of communication with their teens, and keep them open. Dawn will teach participants how to avoid communication blockers, and how to actively interacts with their teens.  Parents will come away feeling ready to handle even the most difficult situations!

Let's Talk About... Teen Brain Development

Parenting teens can seem like a whole different ball game as opposed to parenting small children, and that's because it is. Brain development during adolescence causes rapid and important changes not only in how teens behave, but in what motivates them.  Dawn Spragg will walk parents through changes to the prefrontal cortex and describe the process of myelination, and discuss the impact of these on teens' behaviour. She will help parents identify ways in which they can change their own behaviour to better meet the needs of their teens, and cultivate a healthier and happier relationship with them.  

Let's Talk About..... Redirecting Behaviour

It would be nice to think that once our kids are sleeping and eating their vegetables, the battle is over, but adolescence presents brand new challenges for parents. Teens trying out their independence are more likely to make riskier choices with real consequences. How does a parent help and guide their child when putting them in time out stops being an option? Participants in this workshop will learn how to influence their teens through positive discipline. Dawn will discuss basic discipline methods, explore the negative feedback cycle and the five goals of teen behaviour. She will also show participants how to work cooperatively with their teens to identify consequences of their behaviour. Participants will leave better equipped to form a problem-solving partnership with their teens.  

Workshops for Teens


Friend or Frenemy? Navigating adolescent relationships can be tough. How do you know which relationships are for keeps, and which aren't? In this for-teens-only workshop, Dawn Spragg will discuss what makes for a healthy relationship and give participants the tools to not only re-evaluate their own relationships, but to be a better friend and partner themselves.  

Surviving My Parents

Why are my parents always nagging me? Why can't they my just let me be? Why don't they just don't understand? Using active games and metaphors, Dawn Spragg will help teens learn to survive their parents in this workshop. Attendees will explore the cognitive behaviour cycle, and learn how to  understand better what their parents might be thinking and feeling, and how these effect their behaviour.  They will come away better able to communicate their needs, and more understanding of how their parents are trying to communicate with them.  

Workshops for Women

Scarred, Scared and Sacred

In this uplifting and motivating workshop, Dawn speaks to the heart of where women are, exposing the scars we all bear. With funny and moving personal anecdotes, Dawn will help participants let go of their wounds, and move past their fears, to a place of healing and acceptance. 

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