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Tue, Apr 18


Online Event

Understanding Chronic Depression in System-Involved Youth

Dr. Lisa Cohen Bennett

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Understanding Chronic Depression in System-Involved Youth
Understanding Chronic Depression in System-Involved Youth

Time & Location

Apr 18, 2023, 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Dr. Lisa Cohen Bennett

Training Description

This training is designed to provide those who support system involved youth information about how behavior management strategies can support traumatized system involved youth and families. The aim of the training is to assist adults working with youth who have a severe emotional disturbance to understand and differentiate between the variety of Depressive Diagnoses and Co-morbid possibilities (e.g. Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation, etc.). Participants will use resources, large and small group discussion as well as lecture to consider best practice strategies for supporting system involved youth who are struggling with depression towards improved outcomes.

Learning Objectives

· Participants will be able to identify 3 Depressive Disorder Diagnoses.

· Participants will be able to identify at least 3 differences between symptoms for depressive disorder diagnoses which impact strategies for supporting system involved youth.

· Participants will be able to identify at least 2 best practice strategies which will support system involved youth struggling with depression towards improved outcomes.


9:30–10:00am  Introduction and Review of Severe Emotional Disturbance

   · Welcome & Introduction of instructor, students/class objectives

   · Overview: Severe Emotional Disturbance Template:

      o Trauma along developmental stages

      o Trauma along separation and attachment milestones

      o Trauma interfering with grief and loss

      o External stressors for families of origin

      o How differences affect emotional disturbance

      o The abuse spectrum

      o Biologic/Neurologic/Physiologic changes due to trauma

10:00-10:45am  Define Depressive Disorders as Listed in the DSM V + With Differentials

   1. Disruptive Mood Dysregulation:

   2. Major Depressive Disorder

   3. Persistent Depressive Disorder (Previously Dysthymia)

   4. Substance/Medication Induced Depressive Disorder

   5. Unspecified Depressive Disorder

   6. Bipolar Disorder I, II & Cyclothymia

   7. Developmental Trauma Disorder

10:45-11:30am  Questions for Discussion (in large or small groups)

   1. When a child/teen is irritable almost all of the time, how can we help?

   2. When a child/teen is sad almost all of the time, how can we help?

   3. When a child/teen is exhibiting the above symptoms and behaviors, how do we know if they may be experiencing       

       non-suicidal self-injury or suicidal ideation or possible attempts?

11:30-12:00pm  Lunch Break (CEs not provided for this time)

12:00-12:45pm  Digging deeper into causes (large group discussion)

   1. Social Media: How can use of social media magnify depressive symptoms?

2. Substance Use: Can Substance use be self medication and/or adding to depression?    


3. Heredity/Brain Chemistry: How does heredity affect the possibility of experiencing depressive disorders?

4. Trauma: Can traumatic experiences impact probability of experiencing depressive disorders?


12:45-2pm  Strategies to Support Youth with Depressive Disorders (large group discussion)

   · Psychotropic Medications (eg., Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro, etc.)

      o Efficacy and side effects:

   · Psychotherapy, examples include:

      o Cognitive Behavioral

      o Dialectical Behavioral

      o Relational/Group 

      o Sand Tray

      o Art

      o Music

      o Talk

      o Family

   · Research suggests best practice is a combination of Medication AND Psychotherapy


    · Case examples from students

Meet Our Trainer

DR. BENNETT has been training Foster Parents, Probation Officers, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Teachers and Group Home Staff around the country and in the San Francisco Bay Area for twenty years. She has worked in a variety of settings with Severely Emotionally Disturbed Youth and Families including Residential Treatment, Hospital, Juvenile Hall, Runaway Shelter and County Mental Health for over thirty years. Dr. Bennett also currently has a private practice in Lafayette, CA where she specializes in trauma.

This course meets the qualifications for (4) BBS CE Hours for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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