George Haarman – Effective Techniques for School Refusal Behavior: Real Help for Children & Adolescents Who Can’t or Won’t Go to School

George Haarman – Effective Techniques for School Refusal Behavior: Real Help for Children & Adolescents Who Can’t or Won’t Go to School

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George Haarman
5 Hours 50 Minutes
Audio and Video
Dec 14, 2018



Truants or Refusers

The importance of Assessing WHY They Aren’t in School

  • The dynamic difference between school refusers and truants
  • Common characteristics of school refusers
  • Completing a functional analysis of school refusers
    • Categorical-dimensional approach
    • Reinforcement contingencies
  • Co-morbid DSM-5® disorders
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
    • PostTraumatic Stress Disorder
    • Depressive disorders
    • Phobias
    • Conduct disorders
    • Learning disorders
  • Factors to consider when assessing for school refusal
  • Standardized assessment measures to employ
  • Critical questions to ask refusers and their parents

Strategic Interventions that Get Refusers Back in School, and Keep Them There

  • Factors that increase the likelihood of success
  • Individual intervention/therapy
    • Systematic Desensitization
    • Exposure therapy
    • Modeling
    • Cognitive therapy
    • Educational/supportive therapy
  • Family intervention/therapy
    • Parent training
    • Structured family therapy
    • Systemic family therapy
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy-School Refusal
  • Pharmacological intervention
    • Tricyclics
    • SSRI’s
    • Beta Blockers
    • Benzodiazepines
  • Interventions for refusers seeking to:
    • Avoid negative effect
    • Escape from aversive social and evaluative aspects of school
    • Get attention
    • Receive tangible reinforcers
  • Craft an individualized intervention plan
    • “School Makes Me Want to Throw Up”
    • “Everybody There Hates Me”
    • “Can’t I Stay at Home and Have You Teach Me?”
    • “The School of Hard Knocks”

Getting School Personnel and Parents Involved

  • Forced school attendance
  • Using school escorts
  • 35 concrete tips for parents
  • Suggestions for teachers and school counselors


George Haarman, PsyD, LMFT Related seminars and products: 3

George B. Haarman, PsyD, LMFT, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 40 years of experience working in a variety of settings, including private practice, youth detention centers, juvenile group homes, child protective services, and juvenile probation. Dr. Haarman completed basic and advanced supervisor training required by the Kentucky Board of Psychology Examiners and maintains approval by the Board to act as a supervisor. In his private practice, he has provided clinical supervision to clinical and counseling practicum students as well as consultation about clinical supervision to psychologists for over 25 years.

Dr. Haarman is a national speaker on clinical supervision, depression, school refusal, ADHD, emotional disorders in children and adults, and the DSM-5®. He is the author of three books: Clinical Supervision: Legal, Ethical, and Risk Management Issues, School Refusal: Children Who Can’t or Won’t Go to School, and Mastering DSM-5®. Dr. Haarman received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Spalding University in 1989. He has been an instructor at Jefferson Community College, Bellarmine University, and Spalding University.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: George Haarman is in private practice. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: George Haarman is a member of the American Psychological Association; and the Kentucky Psychological Association.


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