Focus Session – Learning to Deal with Behaviorally Challenging Participants in the Field

Learning to Deal with Behaviorally Challenging Participants in the Field

Speakers: Dr. Will White, LCSW, LADC, Clinical Supervisor, Co-founder of Summit Achievement
Nichol Ernst, LCSW, Clinical Director Summit Achievement

View the presentation (PDF 830 KB)

This workshop will focus on learning to effectively manage behaviorally challenging students while in non-therapeutic outdoor programs. We will explore ways to intervene when students are oppositional, threatening, or otherwise behaviorally challenging. We will also address ways to identify behaviorally challenging students before admission. The workshop is geared towards program staff who work in non-therapeutic outdoor programs and would like to more effectively train their staff to mitigate behavioral risks.

Dr. Will White

Will supervises and trains faculty as well as provides counseling to students in the program. He has spent the last 25 years working in clinical settings, as well as consulting to boarding schools.

Will holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is licensed as a clinical social worker and as a drug and alcohol counselor. Will has completed his doctoral dissertation which focuses on the history of adventure therapy.

Nichol Ernst

Nichol is an LCSW and the Clinical Director of Summit Achievement, a residential program for adolescents that blends traditional academics and psychotherapy with weekly wilderness expeditions.  He received a Masters in Social Work from the University of New England, and also has a Bachelor’s Degree in US History from Brown University.  Nichol has worked extensively with adolescents in the wilderness for over 10 years.  In addition, he has experience as a case manager and outreach worker for homeless teenagers and as a therapist for the Veteran’s Administration. 

Nichol has also been a lifelong sailor and completed a college semester through SEA with Deborah Hayes as his captain.


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