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Donald Meichenbaum, PhD

Creating Safety: Addressing The Growing Mental Health And Academic Challenges Faced By Youth, Parents, And Their Communities

August 21st - August 25th, 2023

This course is also available Live-Online!


This course is no longer available.





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15 Hour In-Person & Live-Online Course

Monday - Friday: 9:00a.m. - 12:30p.m. EDT / 30-Minute Break Daily

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Course Description

Congress has recently appropriated funds to make schools safer and pedagogically more effective. This workshop will discuss how to effectively spend this money to meet the daunting challenges school-age youth, families, and administrators face, including school shootings, violence, bullying, and the emotional and behavioral sequelae of adverse childhood experiences and disasters.

It is essential to recognize that schools are still the safest place for children and youth and must remain so. Peaceful schools do not arise simply from installing bullet-proof windows, arming teachers, or expelling troublemakers. Instead, peaceful schools come when the academic and social-emotional needs of the students within its walls are understood and substantially met in culturally responsive ways.

Any form of violence, including school shootings, reflects a transaction between school, family, and community settings and the specific characteristics of the student. There is a need to adopt an ecological perspective on violent behaviors and develop and implement after-event procedures and tools that can systematically and methodically evaluate factors that contribute to such tragedies and, most importantly, add to the prevention knowledge base.

Creating safe schools is a momentous and often frustrating undertaking. Experience has shown that simply adding a new program or instituting a new policy will have little measurable effect. Even those schools that approach the problem systematically with evidence-based programs and procedures need to do so with humility and respect for the challenge facing them.

Additionally, research on the impact of childhood trauma and adverse experiences shows that everyday relationships with teachers, caregivers, and pro-social friends have restorative effects. A sense of belonging, school connectedness, and an inviting school environment of respect and mastery is crucial to bolstering resilience.

This course will focus on assessment, prevention, and evidence-based treatment implications for children and adolescents with externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Intervention at the school-wide, Selective (“high-risk” students/families), and Indicated (intensive wrap-around and crisis intervention) levels will also be discussed.

Particular emphasis will be placed on demonstrating evidenced-based TF-CBT and other cognitive behavioral approaches, creating safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ youth, addressing varied developmental needs, and other risk factors as well as resilience-engendering preventative approaches.


Mental health & safety prevention in schools

  • The Nature of the challenges and implications for both preventative and treatment interventions

  • How to intervene at the Universal (primary school-wide) level, Selective (secondary targeted) level, and the Indicated (tertiary wrap-around services) level

  • The impact of Covid, school shootings, community violence, climate change the like

  • How to make schools safer - highlighting a principal’s report card


The need for trauma-informed training and interventions

  • How to choose interventions wisely and HYPE (exaggerated claims of efficacy)

  • Evidence-based interventions for children with externalizing and internalizing problems (e.g., emotional dysregulation)

  • Increasing the likelihood of generalization and maintenance of skills training programs

  • How to engage and involve parents in training and school activities

  • The increasing development of community-based schools


The impact of adverse childhood experiences & childhood victims of disasters

  • The effect of bullying on student feelings of safety

  • How to bolster resilience in high-risk children and their parents

  • Discuss the use of various cognitive behavioral interventions, including TF-CBT, cognitive behavioral play therapy, and other related interventions

  • Discuss specific ways communities can bolster resilience


High-risk adolescents and their families

  • Consider developmental changes and treatment implications

  • Discuss evidenced treatment of adolescent depression/ suicidality and anxiety

  • Ways to meet the needs of LGBTQIA+  adolescents

  • How to treat parent-adolescent conflict


How to improve academic performance

  • What “expert” teachers do

  • School readiness interventions

  • Teach at the meta-cognitive level

  • Summing it up

Hear more from 

Donald Meichenbaum, PhD

Here4U Donald Meichenbaum Interview
00:00 / 23:34

What Alumni are Saying...

"This was a wonderful course. I feel honored to have been able to learn from Dr. Meichenbaum." - 2022 Participant

"It was a wonderful and engaging course." - 2022 Participant

"Dr. Meichenbaum was great. I have seen him before, and I was as impressed with his knowledge and presentation as I have been in the past." - 2022 Participant

Learn more about the Cape Cod Institute from former participants



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