Southwest Adolescent Treatment Alliance
In partnership with
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs
DePelchin Children's Center

Third Annual Conference
Friday, March 6 - Sat. March 7, 2015

 The Council on Alcohol and Drugs
303 Jackson Hill Street
Houston, TX  77007

What Were They Thinking?
Prevention and Treatment of
Adolescent High Risk Behaviors

This year’s conference brings together a number of dynamic speakers with expertise in high-risk adolescent behaviors as well as a special keynote speaker, Dr. Paula Riggs.  Dr. Riggs will be presenting her important and highly publicized research on marijuana and adolescent development. Dr. Riggs was featured on the Dr. Oz show and on HBO’s Addiction Series.

This year’s conference will take place on two days with the option of attending one or both days.  Attendees will be able to pick from a number of informative workshops including ethics, self-harm, substance abuse, aggressive behaviors and suicidal behaviors.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to network with other professionals and program representatives.

Total  of 11 PDHs/CEU’s available for Psychologists, Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists

See Registration Page for Fees.  
Early Registration and group discounts available.


Conference Presentations

Part One: Impact of Cannabis on Adolescent Brain Development
Part Two: Evidence Based Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders
Paula Riggs, M.D.
Dr. Riggs will present current research on the developmental inter-relationships between adolescent-onset mental health and substance problems, including recent research on the impact of cannabis on adolescent brain development. Dr. Riggs will also review and discuss evidence-based interventions for adolescent substance use disorders and commonly co-occurring psychiatric disorders and integrated treatment approaches. (Presented March 6: 12:45pm, 8:30 am; and March 7: 8:30amPRESENTATION LINK

Working with Adolescents with Non-suicidal Self-Injury.   Elizabeth Newlin, M.D.  and Vaughan Gilmore, LMSW, LCDC
This workshop addresses the epidemiology, etiology and treatment of self-destructive adolescents who engage in self injury. Specific evidence based treatment techniques will be reviewed and demonstrated.  This presentation will also explore the importance of translating this information and behavior effectively to parents, educators and other caregivers.  (Presented March 6: 10:15am) PRESENTATION LINK

Suicide and Adolescent Substance Use/Abuse: Strategies for Management and Assessment.     Oscar Bukstein, M.D.
Participants will receive an uptake on the current knowledge of the relationship between substance use and use disorder (SUDs) and suicidal behavior. Participants will learn state-of the –art, evidenced based practices in the screening, assessment, and management of suicidal behavior in adolescents with problem substance use.  (Presented March 6: 2:30pm; and March 7: 8:30am ) PRESENTATION LINK

Disruptive, Irritable Adolescents: the Adolescent Brain and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.    Larry Fisher Ph.D.
In DSM-5, chronic irritability with explosive outbursts has been established as a new diagnosis; Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD). This workshop will review the research foundation for DMDD and the likely etiology. The presenter will review the most promising treatments, which include psychosocial interventions and psychopharmacological intervention. A brief introduction to a neuropsychiatric approach to medication management will be included.   (Presented March 6: 10:15am)

Neurotherapy and Other Specialized Techniques for Adolescents with Perilous Behaviors.    Harvey Rosenstock, M.D.
This workshop will describe the use of Neurotherapy - a non-invasive technique for treating anxiety, tension states, substance abuse, and personal traumata. Psychopharmacologic intervention and other specialized techniques including the Non-Sequiteur and the Acronymal Communique will also be demonstrated. (Presented March 6: 2:30pmPRESENTATION LINK

At Risk Behavior in Adolescents and Young Adults.   Hunter Kennedy, Psy.D., LPCs
This workshop will explore the factors and attributes of risky behavior in adolescents and young adults.  Focus will be on identifying methods to moderate acceptance of risky behaviors along with various interventions and treatment techniques. (Presented March 6: 2:30pm)

Ethics and Adolescent Treatment: What Clinicians Need to Know.  
Crystal Collier, Ph.D. LPC-S
Part 1: Participants will learn the 2014 American Counseling Association Ethics Code changes and identify ethical issues associated with these changes. In particular, ethical issues as they relate to adolescent clients will be addressed.  Issues relevant to technology, distance counseling, and social media are discussed.
Part 2: Participants will learn how to consider the science of addiction and the ethical issues the science poses when treating adolescents who suffer with addiction. Thorough assessment of arrested development, executive functioning skills, co-occurring disorders, trauma, and stress will be discussed as well as challenges resulting from countertransference, and boundary violations that occur when specifically working with adolescents who struggle with addictions. (Presented March 7: 8:30am, 10:45amPRESENTATION LINK

We CAN; Integrating positive psychological principles in adolescent substance abuse treatment:    Jayson Pratt,  PHDc, Med, LCDC, and  Drew Dutton
Informative session focused on reviewing traditional treatment approaches and comparing / contrasting these with innovated techniques / approaches. Attendees will
gain an understanding and base of knowledge related to the field of positive psychology. The I CAN model for treatment is presented and how it utilizes positive psych principles in adolescent substance abuse treatment. (Presented March 7: 10:45pm)

Utilizing Community Recovery Services to Treat Adolescent Substance Use Disorders.     George Youngblood, LCDC, CCS
Presentation will focus on the emerging chronic care model for SUD’s that creates individualized recovery plans utilizing community resources such as Alternative Peer groups, Recovery High Schools, and treatment providers who work within the community based model and mental health professionals that provide support for co-occurring disorders.   This emerging approach, referred to as Recovery Oriented Systems of care (ROSC) focuses on strength based interventions as well as “Community as a Change Agent”.  (Presented March 7: 12:30pm) PRESENTATION LINK

Technology: OMG U Need 2 Kno This!  Brodie Simmons, LPC-I, LCDC
The current trends and high risk behaviors associated with technology among adolescents as well as the pros and cons to technology use among adolescents will be discussed. Participants will learn the role school, laws, teachers and parents play in addressing technology use with teens.  Clinicians will learn strategies for encouraging healthy technology use and intervention techniques for adolescents who struggle with technology as an addiction.  (Presented March 7: 12:30pm) PRESENTATION LINK

Counseling Difficult Teens and Using Parental Reaction in Setting Goals.
Frank Simcik, LPC, LMFT, LCDC
Parental reaction to teen high-risk behaviors will be an important component in setting and accomplishing goals for adolescent clients. This program will present 3 different parental approaches and the fallacy of rewards and punishments. The workshop will address what parents want from their teens and looking for what is the teen’s goals and not what is causing their problems. (Presented March 7: 12:30pm)

School Can Make a Difference in Teen Self-Esteem.  Betsy de Vega, BA
This workshop focuses on the impact that school, learning and weak cognitive skills has on adolescents, especially teens with high-risk behaviors.  Finding and establishing the right school environment can significantly improve the way adolescents see themselves, their school experience and their life.  Alternatives to the traditional school environment will also be presented.   (Presented March 7: 10:45am) PRESENTATION LINK