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Relationships Save Lives Odalys Acosta, MSW TRUST Counselor Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High, MDCPS 1 June/ 2014Acosta.

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Presentation on theme: "Relationships Save Lives Odalys Acosta, MSW TRUST Counselor Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High, MDCPS 1 June/ 2014Acosta."— Presentation transcript:

1 Relationships Save Lives Odalys Acosta, MSW TRUST Counselor Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High, MDCPS 1 June/ 2014Acosta

2 Who am I? 2  Master’s in SOCIAL WORK (In the United States most mental health care is provided by MSWs.) 33 years working with Adolescents Dependency (Foster Care) System Delinquency (Juvenile Justice) System Private Psychiatric Residential Program School System Adjunct Professor teaching “Counseling w/Children & Adolescents” June/ 2014Acosta

3 Mother of 5! 3June/ 2014Acosta

4 When you think of who works in a school, you think of … 4  Teachers  Principal (Administrators)  Counselors (Academics mostly, emotional problems possibly)  Secretarial / Support Staff  Cafeteria Personnel  Maintenance  Security Guards  Police Officer?  TRUST SPECIALIST??????????? (aka TRUST Counselor) June/ 2014Acosta

5 What is a TRUST Specialist? 5 To Reach Ultimate Success Together June/ 2014Acosta

6 Minimum Qualification Requirements for TRUST Specialist.. 6  Master’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work, or related field.  Certification in guidance and counseling, school social work, school psychology or another field in which employment opportunities are consistently available.  Successful documented experience in substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment. A minimum of two (2) years experience is strongly preferred. June/ 2014Acosta

7 According to the Miami-Dade County Public School Website 7 The TRUST Program Specialists identify appropriate resources for problem assessment and other services for students and their families. They maintain a close working relationship with numerous community agencies in an effort to provide students and their families with resources to deal with their individual needs. Additionally, they provide faculty and staff in- service training. The TRUST Specialist works cooperatively with other student services personnel in the prevention and intervention of substance abuse and other self-defeating behaviors. June/ 2014Acosta

8 Job Tasks/Responsibilities 8  Implements substance education curriculum as required.  Implements staff in-service programs for school personnel (including feeder pattern schools) and assists teachers in the implementation of substance education curriculum, programs, and activities.  Assists administrators and other student services staff in working with drug-involved youth.  Provides ongoing services for students referred to the program including individual, group, and family counseling.  Provides assessment and information for those students who have exhibited a need for additional counseling and serves as a liaison to referral agencies.  Implements self-help groups and/or peer helper groups.  Conducts the Alternative Intervention Program (AIP) in lieu of suspension and/or for students who exhibit behavioral problems. (The Alternative Intervention Program is provided outside regular school hours and compensatory time for the specialist should be arranged with the appropriate administrator.)  Provides workshops on substance abuse and related topics for school and parents.  Serves as a member of the school crisis core team.  Serves as a resource to PTA’s, Citizen Advisory Committees, teachers, administrators, and other interested community groups.  Reports student progress and program information to appropriate school and district personnel.  Attends required meetings and training. June/ 2014Acosta

9 SO, 9 What does a that look like? June/ 2014Acosta

10 Ms. Acosta, the TRUST Counselor 10June/ 2014Acosta

11 What makes ME (TRUST Counselor) different … 11  I am an adult --but not their parent, teacher, preacher, or friend.  I listen with my eyes.  I speak two language (adult and adolescent).  (No such things as bad words, only words people use badly.)  No conversation is taboo. (You can tell me anything, that I want to hear.)  I have no expectations. Also have no power. (No need to lie.)  I my only goal is BETTER-- cause better is better!  Outcomes (e.g., resolution, learn coping skills, increase “feelings” vocabulary) June/ 2014Acosta

12 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince 12June/ 2014Acosta

13 Relationships SAVE Lives 13June/ 2014Acosta

14 Why do I KNOW the TRUST Program works? 14June/ 2014Acosta

15 Why do teens consider suicide or any other risky behavior? Because… Silence is deadly. But talking is hard. 15June/ 2014Acosta

16 Whose World is it Anyway? Services/Program designed from whose point of view? OURS THEIRS 16June/ 2014Acosta

17 Responsibility = Ownership We are no different, who changed you? 17June/ 2014Acosta

18 Troubled or Typical? A TEENAGER! 18 TROJAN Joshua also made HML proud when he was selected to represent the school in the Dade-Broward All-Star Football Game. Joshua, who is multi-talented, also came in 1st Place from all the High School (including Broward and Miami-Dade County) 2013 Orange Bowl Creative Art Contest. June/ 2014Acosta

19 What We Already Know 19 That we CAN NOT effectively treat children and adolescents (ESPECIALLY REGARDING SUICIDAL IDEATIONS) without thoroughly understanding developmental stagesOR how their brain works! June/ 2014Acosta

20 According to Erickson Stage Five- Adolescence (Age 12-18) 20 IDENTITY vs. ROLE CONFUSION Basic Strength: Devotion / Fidelity Undermine: Lack of Support  Adolescents must have successfully achieved and integrated all of the earlier conflicts to attain a healthy resolution.  This stage is the single most significant conflict a person must face. June/ 2014Acosta

21 THE DEVELOPING BRAIN 21 Or why the answer is always— “I don’t Know? June/ 2014Acosta

22 Adolescence is a period of profound brain maturation.  It was believed that brain development was completed during childhood.  The maturation process is not complete until about age 25! 22June/ 2014Acosta

23 Characteristics of adolescence that lead to various problems: 23 1. Awkwardness (physically / socially) – puppy paws 2. Emotional Instability (impulsivity) -- frienemies 3. Feelings about Life (purpose) – Why was I born? 4. Resistance to Parents (leads to ineffective parenting) – When “no” use to work. 5. Contradictions within Themselves (either /or mentality) – very little grey 6. Anxiety (inflexible, at-the-moment thinking) – self-medicate 7. Experimenting (accidents?) – need for speed 8. Exploring (surprised by outcomes) – but they did it! 9. Fantasy World (magical thinking) – nothing bad is going to happen 10. Belonging to a Group (nerd/ jock/gangster/partyer/emo ) – that matters to them Gunarsa (1989) June/ 2014Acosta

24 But to REALLY make things interesting… 24  Differences Between Treating Adults vs. Teens No Resources Self-Actualization SURVIVAL Answers EMPOWERMENT The person responsible for this role MUST specialize in providing mental health services for children and adolescents and be a STRONG advocate for them. June/ 2014Acosta

25 Normalize by Being CRAZY 25June/ 2014Acosta

26 Not So “Scary” 26 Crazy person that you can talk to NOT the person you talk to because you’re crazy! June/ 2014Acosta

27 Entering Their World/ Their Reality 27  Music, Movies, Graphic Novels (#1in Norway)  Technology (FB, Instagram, twitter, Snapchat, VINES?)  Presentation of Self (Do as I say, not as I do!) June/ 2014Acosta

28 Trust means trust ! 28  As good as the last student who left my office.  Must feel “safe” to tell and share.  Emotional Free Space (All emotions and display of emotions are accepted.)  Educating Teachers  About warning signs and troubling behavior – a “funny feeling” in your gut.  Talking about it is NOT processing. Just because I can read doesn’t mean I’m a reading teacher.  Building on Solid Therapeutic Foundations (Adlerian, Person-Centered, CBT, REBT, Reality, Solution Focus, Brief, etc.) June/ 2014Acosta

29 “I hate it when my parents yell at me for no good reason.” 29  Primary Empathy- (CONVERSTION) “It must be hard when your parents yell at you and you feel you don’t deserve it.”  Advanced Empathy- (PROCESSING) “How frustrating and sad it must be for you,to be to told you did something wrong when that was not your intention.” Carl Rogers June/ 2014Acosta

30 It begins with each of us, and 30 We canNOT give what we do not have! June/ 2014Acosta


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