Dr. Stuart Ablon to lecture on problem solving Nov. 14


EASTON — “Why won’t you change?” It’s the battle cry of anyone who has ever tried to help a troubled child or teen, a challenging colleague, a stubborn spouse — and anyone who’s ever tried to curb bad habits and behavior in him or herself.

For All Seasons will host Dr. Stuart Ablon, founder and director of Think:Kids, who will present a lecture titled “Changeable: How Collaborative Problem Solving Can Help Anyone Change at Home, at School, and at Work” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at Temple B’nai Israel in Easton.

Ablon will address why is it so hard to change unwanted behavior. This paradigm-shifting model offers an evidence-based approach that actually works. Rather than judging, blaming, harsher punishment or a call for more willpower, a more effective response to problem behavior is recognizing there is a lack of skill, not a lack of will.

Based on more than 25 years of clinical work with some of the most challenging populations (juvenile offenders, convicted criminals and other institutionalized individuals), as well as training teachers, police officers and other professionals, Ablon presents a new way of thinking about solving our most vexing behavioral problems — and practical advice to put the ideas into practice.

“Forget tough love, zero tolerance, and other outdated ways to try to eliminate bad behavior,” Ablon said. “Instead, look for what’s missing — the ability to tolerate frustration and change, for example — and work together to find a solution that will actually stick.”

In addition to being the founder and director of Think:Kids, Ablon is an associate professor and the Thomas G. Stemberg Endowed Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of the books “Changeable: The Surprising Science Behind Helping Anyone Change,” “Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach,” “Collaborative Problem Solving: An Evidence-Based Approach to Implementation and Practice” and “The School Discipline Fix.”

Ablon received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and completed his training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Beth Anne Langrell, director of For All Seasons, said Ablon trains parents, educators, and clinicians, and helps organizations throughout the world implement the Collaborative Problem Solving approach.

“We are thrilled to have him in our community to help us all learn better problem-solving skills, particularly around the issues of flexibility and frustration tolerance,” Langrell said. “By doing this, we can build healthy relationships with one another and better our community.”

Think:Kids, a program of the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, teaches an innovative approach called Collaborative Problem Solving for helping and understanding children and adolescents with behavioral challenges.

Unlike traditional models of discipline, the Collaborative Problem Solving approach avoids the use of power, control and motivational procedures, and instead focuses on building helping relationships and teaching at-risk kids the skills they need to succeed. Find out more at thinkkids.org or stuart ablon.com.

The lecture is free, but advance registration is required due to limited seating. A book signing will follow the event. To register, visit changeable.eventbrite.com. For more information, call Katie Theeke at For All Seasons at 410-822-1018 or visit forallsea sonsinc.org. Temple B’nai Israel is at 7199 Tristan Drive, Easton.

For All Seasons serves Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. For All Seasons Rape Crisis Center offers certified sexual assault victim advocates; counseling and support groups; free and confidential services in English and Spanish; support in the hospital, police department and court; and referrals to social and legal services. For All Seasons English Hotline is 1-800-310-RAPE (7273) and Spanish Hotline is 410-829-6143.

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