Challenging Behaviors: Understanding and Managing Difficult Behaviors in Children and Adolescents

November 18, 2016 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Columbia School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Ave., New York 10027

6.5 contact hours are available for NYS, NJ and CT Licensed Social Workers
$250 single; $200 each for 5 or more

Alumni will receive a $50 discount. Please email for promotional code. Your email should contain your name and the year you graduated.



Many social workers find that they are expected to help parents, teachers, counselors, and others to manage very difficult behaviors of children and adolescents, yet a number of social workers lack the proper knowledge, skills, and resources to do so. With proper training, however, social workers can better understand why people behave as they do, more easily empathize with the youngsters and their caregivers, and help the children and adolescents to be successful and efficacious as they learn to control their own behaviors. Whether they are used with individuals, families, or groups, behavior management techniques have been studied and shown to be effective as methods that increase positive behaviors and decrease negative ones.

Workshop Description

This full-day course examines the nature of challenging behaviors in children and adolescents.  The workshop emphasizes understanding why we believe these behaviors are “challenging,” why we behave as we do, and how we could intervene if the behaviors exhibited are causing distress and/or not achieving their ultimate goals.

In-depth consideration of learning disabilities and issues of attention (common conditions in children and adolescents) will help to assess the behaviors as well as the best interventions.

Information will be disseminated through didactic presentations, interactive discussions, small group learning and experiential, hands-on activities.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will learn to:

  • Develop a cognitive connection to the material.
  • Understand why these behaviors may occur.
  • Increase empathy for those exhibiting the behaviors and for their caregivers.
  • Choose appropriate interventions and use them to help those coping with challenging behaviors.
  • Appreciate the importance of self-awareness tied to how we see the world and how we understand others see the world.
  • Name characteristics of learning and attention issues.
  • Identify reasons children and adolescents exhibit challenging behaviors.
  • Identify interventions which shift the challenging behaviors.
  • Use the interventions to improve the behaviors of children and adolescents.


Rick Greenberg, PhD, LCSW-R is an educator, clinician, manager, and leader within the social work community of NYC whose lens of social justice guides both thought and practice. He holds a full-time Lecturer appointment at the Columbia School of Social Work. For many years he has had a part-time private practice and an Adjunct Associate Professor appointment at the New York University Silver School of Social Work. Prior to his appointment at CSSW, he was a senior leader at both the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and Episcopal Social Services overseeing program divisions as well as support departments.

As a consultant, coach, and trainer, Dr. Greenberg works with organizations to advance program and administrative expertise and with individuals and teams in the areas of supervision, management, leadership, and direct practice. His clinical practice focuses on teens and adults with a specialty in parenting and family concerns. His clinical interests include the impact of learning and impulse disorders on individual and family dynamics.