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St. Louis Therapy Group Trains Teachers at Trautwein Elementary School in Mehlville

St. Louis Therapy Group Trains Teachers at Trautwein Elementary School in Mehlville

Dr. Lena Pearlman & Associates trained the teachers at Trautwein Elementary School in the Mehlville School District on Friday, April 15, 2016.

The training focused on working with students that display oppositional, defiant and explosive behaviors in school. The presenters shared some techniques, suggestions and tools that can be used with school age children that struggle with making appropriate behavior choices.

Dr. Bryan Pearlman and Debra Johnson, LCSW were the co-presenters. The model that they referenced includes viewing child misbehaviors as a form of a learning disability. In this model, the goal is to help build the skills behind the poor choices. This focuses on problem solving, flexibility and frustration tolerance. Many students that are lacking in these areas, tend to be the children that struggle the most with behaviors. These are the children that are often the ones that face consequences in school, get sent to the principal’s office, and are suspended.

An additional critical piece in this process is to identify the teachers concern, the child’s concern, and then to problem solve collaboratively for a mutually agreeable solution to the challenge. This becomes a win-win for everyone.

Teachers in the training were asked to think about challenging students that they work with currently and/or those who they worked with in the past. They were encouraged to problem solve and reflect with the new lens to determine if the outcome for the child would have been different had they utilized the building skills model instead of just the consequence model.

In addition to these tools, the speakers shared that this is a process for growing and learning for the child and also a learning process for teachers. Traditionally and historically, teachers (and parents) define the problem, come up with the solution, and enforce the rules. Over 50 years of research, support the belief that having a child involved in the problem, brainstorming, and solutions – provides a significantly higher likelihood of this plan being a success.

The presenters stated that the research for this approach was developed by Dr. Ross Greene.


Dr. Lena Pearlman & Associates (www.STLmentalhealth.com) is a mental health therapy practice in St. Louis, Missouri. The practice works with children, teens, adults, couples and families. The team specializes in stress management, anxiety, depression, relationships, and other mental health related issues. Dr. Lena Pearlman & Associates is located at 655 Craig Road, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141. They can be reached by phone at 314-942-1147 or by email at bryan@stlmentalhealth.com.