A Therapist’s Guide to the Teen Brain

Recorded Webinar
Instructor: Elisa E. Nebolsine, LCSW
CEs: 1.5 
Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Social workers and other social service providers.
Course Delivery Method and Format: Recorded webinar, self study. All courses are hosted on SmithOnline. Login information will be emailed immediately after registration to the email address entered during registration.
System Requirements: Attendees will need access to a computer with internet and the capability to play recorded videos.

Date of original webinar: July 13, 2022

The adolescent brain is unique; it is far more powerful and vulnerable than previously understood. Emerging research from the fields of neurology and neuroscience have begun to show a clearer picture of the role of the teen brain in emotions, friendships, risk-taking, learning and more. This webinar provides a basic understanding of the newer research and teaches practical, CBT-based interventions based on this new information.

We will explore the role of emotions in adolescence and learn CBT strategies for managing feelings and staying in control. With a special focus on the emotions of stress and pleasure, we will dig into the factors that drive these feelings, and ways to help kids recognize, manage and even use these emotions to help them move forward.

The teen brain is all about fitting in and finding a group, and we will look at the factors that lead teens to make head-shaking decisions in order to fit in. Not only will we talk about how to help teens navigate social scenes, we will normalize their need for belonging through engaging research studies and experiments.

Finally, we will explore why the teen brain needs meaning and purpose. Throughout history, adolescents have been driving forces behind social change (from Vietnam to gun violence). We will look at why the teen brain seeks meaning and learn skills to help kids find and build a sense of meaning in their own lives.

Join us for an overview of the ins and outs of the amazing teen brain!

Registration Fee and Deadline:

$35 (one time registration fee of $5) | Ongoing

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe three unique qualities of the teen brain (as opposed to the child or adult brain).
  2. Identify at least one research-based CBT technique to use in their clinical practice.
  3. Explain the unique intensity of adolescent emotionality.


  • The Teen Brain is BUSY
  • Emotions are Amplified
  • Peers Matter
  • Preventive Strategies for Teens Using CBT and Neuroscience Research
  • Summary
  • Q&A

Instructor Biography:

Elisa Nebolsine, LCSW is the author of The Kids Guide to Grit (to be published in November of 2020 by New Harbinger Press). She has a private practice in  Falls Church, VA in which she provides CBT to children, adolescents and young adults primarily with anxiety disorders. Elisa is a clinical supervisor, adjunct faculty member and speaker for the Beck Institute in Philadelphia and an adjunct faculty member at Catholic University’s graduate school of social work. She has accreditation through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy as a certified diplomat, and is a member of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT), the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  She frequently consults and presents for schools, mental health organizations and other private practices looking to improve their implementation of CBT with youth and has been named a Washingtonian Top Therapist in four practice areas.

Completion Requirements for Recorded Webinars and Online Courses.

To receive a CE certificate, you must complete the entirety of the recorded webinar or recorded video presentation. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the class. For recorded webinars and online courses, participants must complete an evaluation and a post test, noting the length of time to complete the course. Participants must earn a minimum score of 80 percent on the post test in order to earn CEs. Retesting is allowed up to five (5) times. If a passing score is not achieved, CEs will not be awarded. Links to the evaluation and post test are available in SmithOnline. Participants must also complete an attestation of completion for each fully completed course. A copy of the attestation is available in SmithOnline. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the course evaluation, successfully passing the post test and submitting the attestation, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of course completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on submitting attestion, completion of the evaluation and passing the post test.

Continuing Education Credits and Approvals for This Course

Continuing Education (CE) credits offered vary by course. This course only offers the CE credits listed below.  It is the attendees' responsibility to contact their licensing board to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.


Smith College School for Social Work, #1755, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period:11/19/2021-11/19/2024 . Social workers completing this course receive 1.5 clinical continuing education credits.


Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School’s Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

NY State

Smith College School for Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0169.

Approved for Counselors (LMHC/LPC)

Smith College School for Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7110. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Smith College School for Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.