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Decoding the Adolescent Brain: A Guide to Understanding, Supporting and (YES) Enjoying the Adolescent(s) in Your Life

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Event: Decoding the Adolescent Brain: A Guide to Understanding, Supporting and (YES) Enjoying the Adolescent(s) in Your Life

Date: 10/26/19

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Penn Foundation – Loux Center (Univest Community Room)

Cost: Free


About the Course

In whatever way your life intersects with an adolescent, whether a parent, counselor, teacher, coach or mentor, this workshop will provide you with the information and tools to help you build a positive and supportive relationship.  This training will debunk common, unhelpful myths about adolescence and replace them with scientific, brain-wise understandings that you can use to de-code the adolescent mind.  We will explore the purpose of the changes happening in the brain during adolescence.  You will learn the ESSENCE of adolescence and both the benefits and risks that accompany these changes.  Through experiential exercises you will be able to integrate these understandings to help you navigate your relationship with a view to knowing how to support adolescents to successfully emerge into young adulthood.

Course Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to describe how and why the brain and mind change during adolescence.
  2. Participants will be able to list the ESSENCE of adolescence – the benefits, challenges and rewards.
  3. Participants will learn how to support adolescents in whatever role you play – parent, teacher, therapist, coach or mentor, in their journey toward young adulthood.
  4. Participants will apply tools through experiential exercises to enhance understanding and communication to build more secure relationships with adolescents in your life.
  5. Participants will be able to apply the ESSENCE of adolescence to the developing brain across the lifespan.

Target Audience

Target audience includes social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, recovery coaches, peer specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, and substance abuse counselors for this intermediate level of instruction.

CEs – Please note there will be a $15 charge for CEs

  • 3.0 PCB Approved Education Credits
  • 3.0 Continuing Education Credits for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
  • 3.0 Continuing Education Credits for Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)

There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.

All attendees must arrive promptly at the beginning of the training and remain the duration of the training to receive continuing education credits.  Please have your license number available when signing in.

Persons with disabilities and special needs are encouraged to contact the registrar for further information.

About the Presenter

Barbara Kopystecki, MA, has worked with children and families for over 20 years as a family therapist.  She is currently the Clinical Supervisor of the Family Based Program at the Penn Foundation in Sellersville, PA, where she also serves as the Director of Trauma Services.  She holds a certification in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Center in Brookline, MA.  Most recently, Barbara has taught workshops in Attachment and Nonviolent Communication, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), as well as conducted various trainings in topics related to trauma awareness and trauma treatment.


  • Rosenberg, Marshall, Nonviolent Communication:  A Language of Life, 3rd edition:  Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships, 2015
  • Siegel, Daniel J., Brainstorm:  The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, 2013
  • Siegel, Daniel J., The Developing Mind:  How Relationships and the Brain Intersect to Shape Who We Are, 2012
  • Siegel, Daniel J., The Mindsight Approach to Well-Being:  A Comprehensive Course in Interpersonal Neurobiology, 2018

For more information, contact Karen Kern at  215.453.5151 or kkern@pennfoundation.org

If you do not receive the professional benefits described in our program materials or you have some other professional complaint, please let us know in writing within 7 days of the training and we will honor your request for a refund.


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