Educational Workshops & Presentations
I love the challenge of presenting to groups ranging from small classrooms to large school assemblies, and have done so for many years. I am prepared to present and facilitate on a variety of topics for audiences including adolescents, teachers, administrators, and mental health professionals.
Substance Abuse Curriculum Development
Over the last several years, I helped develop an evidence-based curriculum using interactive educational tools. The focus was to develop an engaging, research based presentation that would provide effective substance abuse prevention education to preteens and teens. Since completing this curriculum, I have shared the information with hundreds of pre-teen and adolescent youth. I have also trained dozens of mental health professionals on how to utilize the evidence-based program in an engaging and effective way.
Small Group Discussion
When facilitating small groups and classroom presentations, my approach is not to simply talk at participants and tell them what to do or how to think. The goal is to make them think, to challenge them, and to have an honest conversation/discussion. For teenagers in particular, this is often the most effective way to explore complex topics. Using this approach, they are able explore and think through some of the most neglected but important issues they face as young people such as mental illness, and substance abuse.
Full grade assemblies
Mental health training and conferences
Professional development days
Subjects for school presentations, and in office counseling groups:
Social Conformity Theory
Adolescents are tired of hearing about 'peer pressure'. So how can we get them to take it seriously regarding substance abuse? We use a mix of video content and group engagement to introduce the concept of social conformity theory. We explore what it really means to be influenced by a peer group: not just directly propositioned with drugs, but “in the room when it happens” and subconsciously pulled toward participation. We look at relevant research findings to understand how to be more confident in making our own choices.
Working through co-occurring disorders
A co-occurring disorder may be at work if an individual’s anxiety, stress, or family conflicts are mitigated unhealthily by substance use, the internet, or social media. We explore how to identify excessive dependencies, and how to begin the process of facing the emotions we may be covering up through those dependencies.
Coping skills for ADHD
We explore the mental health challenges of ADHD: how to manage those challenges and create organization, how to increase attention and focus in the individual’s life, and how to be successful in school, relationships, and beyond.
Coping skills for depression and anxiety
We develop a safety plan for those suffering from depression and anxiety, exploring different strategies for advocating rather than isolating oneself. Strategies include journaling to monitor behaviors over time, and identifying a support system when suicidal, depressive, or anxious thoughts arise.
The immigrant experience: faith and cultural integration
Since I was 19 years old, I have been delivering presentations and volunteering within the Coptic Christian community, helping teens and their parents adapt religion and culture together. Between the extremes of complete isolation/separation and total assimilation, integration is the healthiest path for those working to reconcile multiple cultures within one family. I am experienced in working with children and parents through a multitude of challenges that arise from these unique cultural family dynamics.
Learn more about my immigrant experience.