Sam Himelstein, PhD

Compassion, Connection, and Trauma-Informed Mindfulness for Adolescents

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What You'll Learn

  • Learn how mindfulness helps adolescents access their inner wisdom as they are transitioning from childhood to adulthood

  • Take away 4 intentional practices that you can use to build open, trusting, and authentic relationships with any teenager you work with, and hear the most common pitfalls to avoid when presenting mindfulness to youth who have experienced trauma

  • Learn the TAP practice, a tool you can use in situations with difficult teens so that you can stay present and be of service to them

About Sam Himelstein, PhD

Sam Himelstein, Ph.D., is a Licensed Psychologist (PSY25229) specializing in working with adolescents. He’s worked in the Teen Chemical Dependency Program at Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, CA, the Alameda County Juvenile Detention Center in the maximum security unit as a clinician, and in private practice in Oakland, CA. Dr. Himelstein researches the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions with marginalized, incarcerated, substance abusing, and underserved adolescent populations, is an author of multiple scholarly journal articles and three books, travels the country speaking at conferences and conducting professional trainings, and is the founder and president of the Center for Adolescent Studies. Dr. Himelstein is passionate about training professionals from multiple disciplines in creating authentic, healing relationships with adolescents that contribute to positive outcomes. A formerly incarcerated youth himself, Dr. Himelstein was privileged to change his life from a path of drugs, violence, crime, and self-destruction to that of healing and transformation. His mission is to help teens thrive by becoming aware of the power of self-awareness and transformation, and train professionals with similar interests. Learn more about his philosophy and approach in his trainings on his website, and check out his books, Trauma-Informed Mindfulness With Teens: A Guide for Mental Health Clinicians (Norton, forthcoming 2019), Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum (Routledge, 2015), and A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working with High-Risk Adolescents (Routledge, 2013).

About Chris McKenna

Chris McKenna is the Education Program Officer at Previously, he was the Program Director of Mindful Schools, a leading organization integrating mindfulness into education and youth mental health. He also served as Executive Director of the Mind Body Awareness Project, a nonprofit that pioneered the development of mindfulness-based interventions for high-risk adolescents with complex trauma. He currently lives with his family in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia where he offers intensives and retreats with his wife Megan Cowan at

What do you think?
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  1. Elizabeth Bogart October 21, 2019 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Thank you! Such a powerful and important conversation. I’m taking so much away from this – and deeply invested to learn more!

  2. Irene Kenison October 20, 2019 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Thank you. You come across as genuinely motivated to help adolescents work toward self-knowledge and transformation. Interested in your ntentional practice for authentic relationships.

  3. Valerie Kelly October 20, 2019 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Such a happy moment when I opened this video to see a very friendly and familiar soul! Sam and Chris! Your message resonates with the youth we are all trying to reach and hold! Thank you
    Authentic Intentional Awareness! Such a great amount of knowledge here!

  4. Fran October 20, 2019 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    I have learned a great deal from your contribution to this summit, Sam. I posit that your book “Trauma informed Mindfulness with Teens could well be invaluable to clinicians in varied disciplines who inevitably come into contact with young people.

  5. may zaw naing October 20, 2019 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Thank you. very inspirational. Will join your online courses.

  6. Alicia Benitez October 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Sam I admire your power to change your history from the substances abuse, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences.
    Thank you to remind me that they are on a transitional stage and they must be listened, listened and listened !

  7. Catharine Hannay October 19, 2019 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Sam, for this video and also for your online courses at the Center for Adolescent Studies, which I’ve found very useful.

    TAP is my favorite mindfulness practice; it’s helped me at challenging moments with youth and in many other aspects of my life.

    I’m looking forward to your new book!

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