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Digital Seminar

Out of Control Teens: A Skills-Based Approach That Breaks Through Family Dysfunction to Create Lasting Change

Mary Nord Cook, MD
6 Hours 02 Minutes
Oct 09, 2018
Product Code:
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Digital Seminar
Never expires.


“She’s out of control!”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with him!”
“She won’t talk to me.”

By the time they reach your office, parents of troubled teens are desperate for help. After months of engulfment in a vortex of conflict, disrespect and defiance, these parents are pleading with you to “fix my kid.”

You’ve tried individual therapy with the teen, even making a little progress along the way. But week after week they return to a dysfunctional family dynamic, making it nearly impossible to create lasting change! You need a new approach – one that will drill down to the root of problem rather than treating surface level symptoms.

Dr. Nord Cook’s innovative, comprehensive program will transform the way you work with teens and families. Backed by solid research, this approach breaks the cycle of conflict and maladaptive behavior. You will feel armed to EMPOWER your clients and families to make positive changes that endure!

Loaded with experiential teaching methods, this evidence-based program contains practical, powerful strategies that bolster interpersonal skills within families and target a myriad of problems families face, from covert conflict to full-blown, explosive hostility.


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 6.0 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Mary Nord Cook, MD Related seminars and products

Mary Nord Cook, MD, is a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist. For the past 18 years, she has been developing and directly providing three psychosocial skills and parent training, multi-family workshops weekly.

Dr. Cook has authored and published two books detailing the evidence-based, standardized, skills-building treatment protocols used for both the school-aged and adolescent patient populations, titled Transforming Behavior: Training Parents & Kids Together and Transforming Teen Behavior: Parent Teen Protocols for Psychosocial Skills Training. Her passions are developing and applying family and strengths-based approaches, pursuant of a goal to minimize medication, while optimizing parenting and psychosocial skills. Her mantra is “More Skills =’s Less Pills!” Dr. Cook has received numerous awards for outstanding and innovative program development, leadership, teaching and mentorship. She frequently performs presentations in the community for school, primary care and youth outreach programs.

In July 2015, she assumed new roles as the chief executive officer and medical director for EMPOWER, a first of its kind, Non-Profit {501(3)(c)} Center of Excellence in Family Behavioral Health. She has been extensively involved in the training of medical students, psychology and social work graduate students, along with psychiatry residents. She recently won a resident nominated award for teaching excellence and has also been recognized by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), as an outstanding mentor. She specializes in working with families presenting with youth who’ve been diagnosed with disruptive behavior and mood disorders. Dr. Cook received her doctoral degree (Medicine) from Wayne State University, her General Psychiatry Residency at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego and her Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship training at the University of California, San Diego. From 1998-2005 she served in the United States Navy, including working as the sole child psychiatrist for six military bases and over 30 Department of Defense schools, across Japan for three years. From 2005-2015, she held the rank of associate professor of psychiatry at the Colorado School of Medicine while concurrently serving as the medical director for the Department of Psychiatry at CHCO.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Mary Nord Cook is CEO and Medical Director for EMPOWER. She is an author for Brookes Publishing and Elsevier Publishing and receives royalties. Dr. Nord Cook receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Mary Nord Cook is a member of the American Academy Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).


  1. Articulate the developmental factors in adolescents that may serve as a barrier for achieving successful treatment outcomes.
  2. Apply family-centered approaches for fostering empathic connections and building trust among clients and their families.
  3. Implement clinical strategies for effectively engaging parents in the treatment process.
  4. Utilize treatment techniques for promoting emotion regulation and communication skills in clients and their families.
  5. Employ interventions that enhance conflict resolution skills and reinforce compliant behavior in adolescents.
  6. Execute specific strategies that increase assertive communication by adolescent clients and their families.


Teens Know Everything! (And Other Challenges to Effective Treatment)
  • Brains under construction: Developmental mismatches
  • Do’s and Don’ts: Principles of parenting teens
  • Transforming teen behavior requires transforming parent behavior
  • Empirical evidence: Research, limitations and risks
Family Skill Building Essentials: 6 Treatment Components That Set the Stage for Therapeutic Success

Emotion Regulation: Cultivate Feelings Awareness Among Teens and Families
  • Body scanning
  • Feelings identification
  • Healthy expression and management of emotions
Empathy Building: Improve Parent-Teen Trust and Understanding
  • Empathy redefined
  • 15 “Empathy Busters” to avoid
  • Strategies that promote validation
    • ”Empathy Formulas”
    • ”Mirroring Stems”
Conflict Resolution: Guide Families with Win-Win Ways that Work
  • Problem-solving together
  • The “5 D’s” of conflict resolution
  • ”Everybody Wins” solutions
Behavior Contracts: Hook Teens into Compliance
  • Steps to foster teen “buy in”
  • Ways to track and reinforce positive behavior
  • Facilitate collaborative negotiation
Communication: Promote Healthy Parent-Teen Conversations
  • 4 Types of communication
  • What to avoid: 7 “Cooperation Busters”
  • Assertiveness Formula
  • 9 “Cooperation Builders”
Cognitive Restructuring: Change Unhelpful Thinking Patterns
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Triad
  • Help teens and families avoid common “Thinking Traps”
  • Critical thinking exercises to correct thinking errors

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Educators
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Other Helping Professionals Who Work with Kids

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