“As a father of two, I’ve learned firsthand that shaping behavior is much easier when you support a positive choice rather than punish a negative one.  My parent program uses this principle to guide parents on how to communicate more effectively around sensitive issues.”

 

Title: Supporting Teens in Reducing Their Stress (and ours)

Target Event: Parent Programs, Community Events

Ideal Audience Size:  50+

Duration: 60 minutes plus Q&A

Recent research suggests that well-adjusted teenagers have stronger non-cognitive skills, such as self-control, grit and resilience.  This program will focus on how parents can help foster those skills in a supporting environment without arguing.  Specifically, it will present techniques such as mindfulness meditation, effective communication and using natural highs as healthy coping mechanisms against stress, alcohol and other drug use and bullying behavior.   The goal is to help improve the quality of life for both parents and their teens.  The current research on adolescent brain development will be presented and time will be given for questions and answers.  As a clinical psychologist and stand-up comedian, Dr. Bellace uses humor to convey his very powerful message – we need to support young people in both words and actions if we want them to make healthy choices for themselves.

Outcomes:

  1. Participants should better understand how to more effectively communicate with teens around sensitive issues.
  2. Participants should better understand some of the recent research on the teen brain as well as the impact of substance abuse on that development.
  3. Participants will learn more about the science behind healthy coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness meditation, exercise and other natural highs,.
  4. Participants should better understand the connection between non-cognitive skills like self-control and positive outcomes for teens.
  5. Participants should better understand the value of sharing natural highs with their son or daughter.

 

Title: Talking to Youth about Pot, the Developing Brain and Behavior

Target Event: Parent Programs, Community Events

Ideal Audience Size:  50+

Duration:60 minutes plus Q&A

 

Description:

 

More young people these days believe, “weed is like salad.”  This funny, but sadly inaccurate statement is consistent with data showing that young people have a lower perception of risk when it comes to regular marijuana use (Monitoring the Future Survey, 2010).  This perception is only strengthened by the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, the proliferation of marijuana “as medicine” and the promotion of marijuana through pop culture.  Given this situation, what chance does any adult have to convince a teenager that, “weed is definitely not salad?”   This program, presented by clinical neuropsychologist and professional youth speaker, Dr. Matt Bellace, will provide insights into how to have an effective conversation with youth on this important topic. 

Outcomes:

  1. Understanding the latest neuroscience research on marijuana and the developing brain
  2. Presenting the neuroscience research to youth in an effective and age-appropriate fashion
  3. Dealing with “hecklers,” who seem almost compulsive in their effort to minimize the risks of marijuana
  4. Using humor appropriately to engage young people in the conversation    
  5. Empowering the silent majority of youth non-users to speak out and be agents of change