2.25 CE Credits Available
Motivational Interviewing for Adolescent Substance Use
by Sebastian Kaplan, PhD, & Ali Hall, JD
Acquire practical Motivational Interviewing tools to help you manage challenging sessions with adolescent clients struggling with substance use.

Working with adolescents can be challenging enough without adding substance use issues to the mix. When teens’ age-appropriate desire for autonomy gets compromised by substance use and addiction, it can be difficult for clinicians to effectively navigate heightened levels of client ambivalence alongside their own “righting reflex”—their desire to fix their clients.

In this compelling new video, Sebastian Kaplan, PhD, and Ali Hall, JD, demonstrate how to manage these elements using tools from Motivational Interviewing, a client-centered alternative to traditional, often confrontational addiction treatment. Here, you’ll discover how to deepen rapport, diffuse resistance, and draw out adolescent clients’ intrinsic strengths.

Learn strategies to engage teenage clients who do not even want to be in your office, much less receive treatment, through clinical demonstrations with three adolescent clients using marijuana, heroin, and opiates. Develop your skills to support adolescent clients, without conveying the disrespect they might expect from adults in authority roles.

This course is a must If you’re seeking resources for teens, addiction and recovery, or client-centered counseling.

What therapists are saying…

“I recommend this video to MI teachers, trainers, and learners, particularly those engaged with youth around substance use. I appreciate the difficult conversations portrayed in these scenarios as they represent common conversations with youth, particularly youth who are ambivalent about changing their relationship to substances. Of particular use to teachers and learners are the multiple ways that the various MI providers avoid the righting reflex, and focus on engaging and focusing. Each of the conversations in this video provides robust demonstrations of the MI spirit in action.”

—Stéphanie Wahab PhD, Professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University
“Dr. Kaplan provides a solid overview of the spirit of Motivational Interviewing (MI) that serves as a foundation for practical examples and demonstrations of MI in action. This video captures the empathy and collaboration that are core to the spirit of Motivational Interviewing while conveying its flexibility to the personal style of various therapists. The clinical vignettes and discussions that follow provide educators and practitioners with a clear depiction of MI from start to finish.”

—Eric T. Beeson, PhD, Core Faculty, The Family Institute at Northwestern University
 “As a counselor educator, I struggle with finding modern and relevant media addressing adolescent substance use. This video is effective in explaining the application of Motivational Interviewing to teen substance use and speaks to the clinician challenges of working with ambivalence and finding ways to collaborate with young people. The counselors demonstrate how to speak to youth in ways that support autonomy and choice, while also teasing out and promoting change talk. Dr. Kaplan and Ali Hall also provide examples of a wide variety of MI interventions, which will help clinicians new to the approach understand the potential for extensive application of these skills in complex clinical settings.”

—Kristin Dempsey, LMFT LPCC, Senior Associate, California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions
“Practical examples of straightforward MI concepts and applied techniques, voiceover explanations, and descriptive summaries are notably useful for adapting the language of MI to the adolescent population and emphasizing the patience required when working with a challenging population with complex issues of substance use. Addresses nuances of working with adolescents, including respecting autonomy while identifying recovery capital, cultivating change talk while refraining from the righting reflex, and balancing internal and external pressures from the client and referring parties. Because becoming ‘the best self’ can seem overwhelming for adolescents, Motivational Interviewing for Adolescents Substance Use expertly demonstrates how the Spirit of MI initiates the discovery process and promotes a self-directed path to recovery.”

—Jamie Chrisman Low, MEd, Statewide Recovery Community Network Weaver, Faces and Voices of Recovery South Carolina
“This video touches on the challenges of working with adolescents who struggle with addiction. Difficulties with engagement is a reality. This video offers ways to increase comprehension regarding how to approach this population.”

—Sonia Gooden-Alexis, MEd
In Depth
CE Test
Motivational Interviewing’s collaborative style and success with addiction treatment—especially compared to more conventional methods that emphasize confrontation, or at least directiveness—has made it a preferred approach in a range of helping professions. Even when the client is mandated (or, perhaps, especially when they are), we need a solid therapeutic alliance to make real progress. How do you move therapy forward when your client feels resistant to even being in the room? What if the client is a teen, and their presenting problems include substance use? In this new video, MI expert Sebastian Kaplan offers practical tools to help you manage challenging sessions with adolescent clients experiencing substance use—both issues related and seemingly unrelated to it. Here, you’ll gain strategies for applying these skills in your own practice, and discover how MI can help you resist the understandable urge to advise or “fix” your clients.

Kaplan outlines the key principles of MI, known as the “MI Spirit,” and details each component alongside case vignettes. Covering OARS skills, the four MI processes, change and sustain talk, and “the righting reflex,” Kaplan describes the method’s collaborative, client-engaging nature. Then, four annotated sessions follow in which Kaplan and fellow MI trainer Ali Hall work with several teen clients. You’ll see the method in action as the aforementioned skills are applied, with the result of deepening the working alliance, providing MI-compliant feedback, and evoking change talk.

This video is invaluable for clinicians who want a primer on MI, effective strategies for adolescent therapy, or interventions for addiction and recovery. Be sure to take a look.

By watching this video, you will:
· Get an overview of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and its application to adolescent substance use.
· Learn MI skills that support the therapeutic alliance and allow for client resistance.
· Discover helpful tools for working with your own internal responses to a client.

Length of video: 2:19:21

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-532-7

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-532-8

Sebastian Kaplan, PhD, 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, Dr. Kaplan, PhD currently focuses his clinical work on helping adolescents and their families overcome a variety of challenges to their growth and development. He has written and presented on the application of MI for pediatricians, mental health providers, and school personnel, and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.

Ali Hall, JD, is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and an independent consultant and trainer. Ali has designed and facilitated over 900 Motivational Interviewing workshops for health care practitioners, behavioral health clinicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and criminal/juvenile justice professionals, and provides training for trainers in evidence-based practices. Ali offers MI coding and skill development coaching, and provides consultation to systems for effective MI implementation.

CE credits: 2.25

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss Motivational Interviewing's (MI) role in addressing adolescent substance use
  • List MI skills that address client resistance
  • Analyze the impact of your own internal responses in your MI work

Bibliography available upon request

This course is offered for ASWB ACE credit for social workers. See complete list of CE approvals here

© 2017

Course Reviewed January 2024

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