Primary Audience: Educators, Counselors, Social Workers, Coaches, Mentors, Probation Officers, Teachers and Administrators in public schools and charter schools, private schools, correctional facilities, counseling agencies, or those offering public and private family social services.

S.T.I. is offered to Helping Professionals who work with children and adolescents in educational, family social services or correctional settings.

Purpose: To provide adults with the tools for facilitation of co-constructing cooperation with troubled youth struggling in educational settings, working to overcome environmental or personal risk factors and build self-esteem and trust in others.

S.T.I. assists adults in establishing meaningful relationships with children and youth by increasing understanding through the use of specific strategies in communication, counseling and instruction of young people.

S.T.I. provides the required tools to those youth lacking the necessary social skills to be successful in educational settings through interactive software followed by facilitated interactions with peers and adults using proven strategies for fostering self-awareness, reflection and increased capacity for empathy, respect, trust and other building blocks which form the co-construction of cooperation.

Rationale: The S.T.I. model is right for the current climate of disenfranchised youth who are not responding to classic techniques in cognitive therapy, are unwilling to invest in a caring relationship with an adult, and are uncertain of their own abilities to socialize with peers. S.T.I. acknowledges the complex factors at work in the youthful psyche during the twenty-first century. The numbers of families living in poverty, lacking productive and meaningful work, and experiencing violence on a regular basis have risen over time. The demographic changes brought about by recent immigration and the influx of refugees from other chaotic or war-torn parts of the world have complicated the structure of families and the respective roles of children and adults have been altered. Increased chemical use and abuse as well as teenage pregnancy and parenthood also add critical dimensions to the mental health and well-being of young people in our society. Such factors may also engender mistrust of adults and a fierce (and sometimes necessary) independence among young people which leads to isolation, anxiety, depression and anger.

Adult practitioners are easily overwhelmed by the myriad of issues presented by young people today. To stay grounded in well-practiced theory and achieve observable results, they need a “toolkit” of “how-to” approaches to teens and a ready reserve of alternatives when standard practices fall short of success. S.T.I. offers practical, reasoned suggestions to try when things are tough, but it also provides a prescriptive and sequential approach to setting the climate for success. This process is called “co-constructing cooperation” and leads to the identification of practical outcomes that are desirable both to the client and to the therapist or counselor.

Components:

By incorporating a readable textbook, a step-by step manual for facilitating group and individual sessions, and interactive software for student/client use in the digital age, S.T.I. achieves rapid results. The materials and content are customized to reach the underserved students and grab their interest in topics they find compelling. As the program progresses, students find themselves broadening their interests and developing curiosity as well as self-reflection.

Adults find the peer-reviewed, scientifically-based strategies that are required for intervention in educational environments as well as straightforward and very specific techniques and reminders which are invaluable in gaining the trust of a skeptical teenager. There is room for infinite variations to respond to unique individuals and circumstances but the overarching themes are repeated for emphasis. The genuine care and concern for the individual notwithstanding the circumstances of the moment is a constant theme throughout the material.

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