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Professional Workshops

Youth Services offeres free and low cost workshops for professionals and interested community members.
Most Workshops are Free*: Free presentation— CE clock hours available for social work/counselors (we no longer do CPDU's unless noted). $5.00 charge for CE hours or certificate of completion. This may be paid at the workshop. We are registered as a provider of Social Work Continuing Education (which should meet all the standards for Counseling, per the State of Illinois).
Location: Warren Township Youth and Family Services, 100 S. Greenleaf St., Gurnee, IL 60031
*Full day and half day workshops may have a fee.


Matthew Selekman, MSW, LCSW
Author, therapist and international trainer

February 14-15
​Warren Township Youth Services


     Adolescents presenting with explosive and violent, highly oppositional, serious self-harming, heavy substance abuse, and delinquent behaviors can be a nightmare to work with even for the most seasoned of therapists. Often, these youth come from families characterized by emotional disconnection, invalidation, and other destructive interactions. The adolescents’ extreme and provocative behaviors attract helping professionals and concerned members from their social networks like a magnet. To further complicate matters, the involved larger systems professionals often are quite pessimistic, frustrated, and divided regarding their problem explanations and what the best treatment approach and level of care setting is for “high-risk” adolescents.
In this “hands-on,” practice-oriented two-day workshop, participants will learn a collaborative strengths-based family therapy approach that carefully blends the best from family therapy science with clinical evidence-based practice wisdom. As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to put to immediate use the following:

  • Build strong working alliances with high-risk adolescents and their families
  • Use key family therapy research findings and clinical evidence-based practice wisdom regarding what works to inform your clinical decision-making
  • Use of self to create therapeutic breakthroughs with challenging adolescents and their families
  • Use therapeutic questions to elicit client expertise, established well-formed treatment goals, uncover secrets, and to co-create compelling future realities
  • Identify, recruit, and use Can-If Mapping with the family’s solution-determined collaborative team to rapidly co-construct high quality solutions
  • Co-design, select, and tailor-fit therapeutic interventions to empower the adolescents and their families to achieve their goals
  • Engage and foster cooperative partnerships with angry, highly pessimistic, laissez-faire, and mental health and substance abuse impaired parents
  • Use mindfulness practices to aid adolescents in emotional distress tolerance and to help prevent acting out episodes
  • Use effective family-social network relapse prevention tools and strategies
  • Resolve family-helping system knot dilemmas to unstick the treatment system and co-create possibilities
  • Use creative consultation team strategies with difficult and stuck cases
  • Use a one-person family therapy approach with adolescents when parental engagement attempts are unsuccessful or the parents are physically inaccessible

     The workshop format will combine didactic presentation with extensive use of videotape examples, skill-building exercises, and live family therapy case consultations (if case examples are available).

Lunch will be on your own-- we have a number of sit-down and fast food restaurants close by.  

Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, LCSW is in private practice in both Skokie and Lake Forest IL, USA. He is an Approved Supervisor and Clinical Fellow for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, a licensed clinical social worker, and addictions counselor. He also is the Director of Partners for Collaborative Solutions (, an international family therapy and brief therapy training and consultation practice in Skokie, IL. Matthew received the Walter S. Rosenberry Award in 2006, 2000, and in 1999 from The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado for having made significant contributions to the fields of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences. He is the author of eight professional practice-oriented books: Working with High-Risk Adolescents: An Individualized Family Therapy Approach, (with Mark Beyebach) Changing Self-Destructive Habits: Pathways to Solutions with Couples and Families, Collaborative Brief Therapy with Children, (with Giorgio Nardone) Gorging, Vomiting, and Self-Injuring: A Brief Therapy Approach, The Adolescent and Young Adult Self-Harming Treatment Manual: A Collaborative Strengths-Based Brief Therapy Approach, Working with Self-Harming Adolescents: A Collaborative Strengths-Based Therapy Approach, Pathways to Change: Brief Therapy with Difficult Adolescents (Second Edition), and (with Thomas Todd) Family Therapy Approaches with Adolescent Substance Abusers. He has presented workshops on his collaborative strengths-based family therapy approach with children, adolescents, and adults extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Turkey, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.  

Date: February 14-15 Check In: 8-8:30 am Presentation Time: 8:30 am - 4 pm   Cost: $145  CEU: 12 clock hours for social work
Location: Warren Township Youth Services

March 1, 2019 

Warren  Township Youth Services

 Participants will learn:
  • How to explain stress to children
  • The basics of the mind-body connection
  • The basics of mindfulness and how to introduce the concept to children
  • Fun, easy techniques to teach self-care in the classroom or therapeutic settings
  • 5 minute desk yoga break
  • Movement breaks with therapeutic purpose
  • How to gain student "buy-in" with mindfulness and movement based techniques
  • How to build a "toolkit" for your therapeutic or educational setting
  • Mindfulness techniques for the helper

Dress comfortable. Heidi will off participate the opportunity to practice many of the movements and excercises. 

Presented by: Heidi Droessler, LSW, CYKT, has 25 years of experience as a Social Worker, and now integrates mind-body techniques in her work with children, families, and adults exposed to trauma and stress.  She completed intensive study with YogaKids International and The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, under James Gordon, MD, so that she can bring self-care strategies to children in school, therapeutic, and community settings.  Participants have the opportunity to “tune in” to their bodies, move freely, and express themselves authentically.  Her playful teaching style and background as a School Social Worker create learning opportunities that are developmentally appropriate and accessible in school settings.

Date: Friday, March 1  Time: 10 am - noon Fee: Free CEU: 2 hour Location: Warren Township Youth Services 

Continuing Education: 2 CE Hours for Social Work