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When Your Young Client is Defiant

Adina Soclof, MS, CCC-SLP; Leo Christie, PhD, LMFT

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Speech-Language Pathology CEUs | Social Work CE | Occupational Therapy CEUs | Marriage & Family Therapy CE | School Psychology CE | Teaching CE

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

When Your Young Client is Defiant is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides practical strategies for managing challenging and defiant behavior in young clients.

Adults are often at a loss when it comes to handling defiance and power struggles. Some lecture the child on disrespectful behavior. Others ignore it, hoping it will go away. All parents find it a frustrating and annoying part of the parenting experience (the same may be said for many clinicians). For clinicians, we have only limited time with our young clients and we need to manage challenging and defiant behavior effectively.

This course will demonstrate specific techniques that clinicians can use to manage their clients’ challenging and defiant behavior. The skills needed will be discussed and illustrated in detail so that clinicians can work with caregivers to develop the necessary tools and have them available when misbehavior occurs.

The techniques that will be discussed are appropriate for all learning environments – home, classroom, playground, gym, and the therapy room. They can be used in group or individual therapy sessions, in private practice, and/or school-based settings. The techniques can be modified for each child’s developmental level, from toddler to teen.

Author’s note: It should be noted at the outset that the dynamics and techniques described in this course may not be adequate or even appropriate for children with more serious behavior conditions such as oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorders. They will require more intense and specialized mental health interventions.

Course #31-13 | 2019 | 55 pages | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Identify various forms of defiant or challenging behavior
2. List reasons why children might engage in defiant behavior
3. Explain how executive function skill deficits can lead to challenging behavior
4. Describe five situations that can serve as triggers for defiant behavior
5. Identify strategies clinicians and parents can use to manage difficult behavior
6. Identify interventions that can be used to help manage executive function deficits
7. List ways clinicians and parents can avoid and defuse power struggles
8. Identify strategies for freeing children from their defiant roles

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Psychology and the Office of School Psychology and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635 - all courses are reported within two business days of completion). Professional Development Resources, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists (#PSY-0145).


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

About the Author(s)

Adina Soclof, MS, CCC-SLPis a Parent Educator, Professional Development Instructor and Speech-Language Pathologist working with children in a school setting. She received her B.A. in history from Queens College and her M.S. in communication sciences from Hunter College. Adina is the founder of ParentingSimply.com. She delivers parenting classes as well as professional development workshops for Speech-Language Pathologists, teachers and other health professionals. Adina is available for speaking engagements. You can reach her at asoclof@parentingsimply.com or check out her website at www.parentingsimply.com.

Financial: Ms. Soclof receives royalty payments from Professional Development Resources on sales of her courses.
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Leo Christie, PhD, LMFT, is a Florida-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. Past President of the Florida Council on Family Relations, Dr. Christie is a past CEO of Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to deliver continuing education credit courses to healthcare professionals throughout the United States. He has more than 20 years' experience in private practice with a specialty in child behavior disorders and as an instructor for over 500 live continuing education seminars for healthcare professionals.

: Receives a salary from Professional Development Resources, Inc.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist. 

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