Matthew Rider

Matthew Rider earned his BA in Criminology and Psychology from The Ohio State University in 1990 and his MSEd in Community Counseling from Youngstown State University in 1995. He is currently a PhD student in Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the Training Coordinator for the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University. He is also the owner/manager of Inertia Counseling, LLC, an agency that provides individual psychotherapy for children, adolescents, adults and families. Over the past twenty years Matt has worked with children and adolescents in the settings of outpatient mental health counseling, school counseling, foster care and adoption, inpatient hospitalization, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and behavioral health rehabilitation (wraparound services). Matt has published two peer reviewed articles on spirituality and the human condition. Matt continues to present nationally on a variety of issues including verbal de-escalation, avoiding and resolving power struggles, family dynamics and communication, mental health issues of children and adolescents in therapeutic foster care and adoption, sexual abuse, GLTB families, human sexuality education, lethality assessment in suicidal youth, among many other topics.

Topic 1 (Keynote): Winning Isn’t Everything

Trying to gracefully win an argument with an oppositional student by being more resolute is like trying to see the awe-inspiring beauty of Mount Rushmore with a magnifying glass. It’s not that the magnifying glass is inherently a worthless device, it’s simply the wrong tool for the job. Teachers and educators working with headstrong students often find themselves caught in power struggles. Our natural tendency is to rely on the power that comes from our status or role to get the student to comply. Unfortunately, this approach is usually the wrong tool for the job because it only serves to intensify the power struggle. Moreover, becoming a drill sergeant with a student who is intent on calling the shots fails to address the deeper reasons for the oppositional behavior. Power struggles of this kind often result in damage to the student/educator relationship and fail to teach the student how to make better decisions. Matt discusses some easy mistakes made when dealing with uncooperative students and explores how to look at oppositional behavior through a different lens.

Topic 2: Fair Fighting - Healthy Conflict Resolution for Families

All families argue, but not all families argue fairly. This workshop looks at 10 ways to know if you are stuck in a power struggle and 10 proven ways to resolve conflicts peaceably. This workshop will involve small group and role-play activities in order to “try on” these effective strategies.