For Mental Health Professionals

While sharing a parent’s desire to understand and support adolescents, mental health professionals have different needs when it comes to working with teens and pre-teens.

Practical Help for Parents Workshops and Presentations for mental health professionals are designed with the knowledge that private practice and community-based clinicians have a premium on their time and require flexibility in meeting training goals. Having worked in private practice, as a clinic director, university instructor and speaker/trainer, Michael understands how to communicate complex ideas simply, without losing the salience of those ideas. Presentations can be customized for your clinic, community-based program, university or training institute.  In addition to the trainings and workshops listed on the parent workshop page, a wide variety of offerings are available on the clinical application of Control-Mastery Theory, an innovative, empirically-based cognitive, interpersonal theory of therapy and psychopathology.  This approach was developed by Joseph Weiss, M.D., Harold Sampson, Ph.D. and members of the Mt. Zion Psychotherapy Research Group (and later renamed the “San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group”).  Michael served as executive director of that organization for six years and worked closely with its founders, members and board of directors.

The following is a sample of available workshops and presentations.  Many of the presentations noted below are available in 1- and 2-hour formats, suitable for a brief in-service, staff presentation or mini-workshop.  For clinicians or other professionals who require more in-depth training, half-day and full-day workshops are available on many of the same topics.  Please write or call to discuss a more detailed program description.

1. Control-Mastery Practice, Theory and Research

General Theory in Practice

  • An Interpersonal View of Defenses:  Defense as a Means of Maintaining Family Loyalty
  • Conjoint Work with Parents from a Control-Mastery Perspective
  • Control-Mastery Theory in Practice: An Introduction
  • Plan Formulation: The Importance of the Initial Interview in Understanding the Client’s Pathogenic Beliefs
  • Transference and Countertransference: A Control-Mastery Perspective
  • Working with Couples from a Control-Mastery Perspective

Chemical Dependency

  • A Control-Mastery View of Chemical Dependency and Addiction
  • Control-Mastery Theory in Practice: Working with Dual-Diagnosis Adolescents

Working with Youth and Children

  • Control-Mastery Theory in Practice: Working with Adolescents and their Families (in a Residential Treatment Model)
  • Working with Children from a Control-Mastery Perspective: An Introduction

2. Clinical Treatment/Training for Interns

Beginning with Clients

  • Conducting the Initial Phone Intake Interview
  • Plan Formulation: The Importance of the Initial Interview and First Few Sessions in Understanding the Client’s Pathogenic Beliefs

3. Bipolar Disorder

  • Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: Working with Individuals and Their Families

4. Cognitive-Behavioral Theory and Therapy

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Case Formulation
  • Working with Depression from a Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective

5. Defenses and the Development of Pathology

  • Character Types and Pathogenic Beliefs (On the work of UCSF Professor Stephen M. Johnson / the work of The San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group)
  • An Interpersonal View of Defenses:  Defense as a Means of Maintaining Family Loyalty

6. Dissociative Disorders

  • Dissociative Identity Disorder: Theory, Research and New Currents in Assessment
  • Dissociative Disorders: Childhood Variants
  • Dissociative Disorders: Adolescent Variants

 7. Internships, General

  • Building a Successful Private Practice:  What Every Intern Should Know
  • Money and the Ethics of Private Practice
  • Surviving Your Internship Years

 8. Philosophy and Psychotherapy in Practice

  • What Is Deconstruction?: An (Im)practical Guide for Psychotherapists
  • What does Contemporary Philosophy tell us about being a therapist?

9. Specialty Work with Families

  • How to Help Your Clients Parent In and Through A Divorce
  • Parenting from a Cognitive-Interpersonal/Developmental Perspective
  • Working with Interfaith Couples

Michael Simon is one of the most gifted speakers and therapists that I know. He possesses a rare combination of wit, warmth, intelligence, and integrity. His depth and commitment to his clients and his audience makes him a highly sought-after therapist, trainer and speaker. Michael takes his subject matter very seriously, but is able to communicate even the most difficult subjects in a friendly and accessible manner. I can’t recommend him highly enough.

Joshua Coleman, Ph.D., is the Co-Chair of the Council on Contemporary Families, a psychologist, author and national expert in couples, families, parenting, and relationships. He is the author of several important titles on marriage and relationships, such as When Parents Hurt and Imperfect Harmony.