Crazy by Design: For Professionals

Exploring the adolescent brain helps those working with youth better understand what is helpful and what is counterproductive when working with teenagers and pre-teens.

The processes of sculpting and pruning, reorganizing and prioritizing are complex and the physical growth process the brain undertakes at this time is phenomenal.

The Crazy by Design workshop provides an overview of the latest literature and research on the brain and will facilitate a process for practice application.

Brain development during adolescence is examined as it applies to supporting youth who have come into contact with the law, social services, and/or who have experienced trauma, neglect, and/or changes in primary caregivers.

The effect and impact that elevated stress and arousal levels have on adolescent brain function
is addressed with particular focus on how it impacts styles of relatedness, cognition, formation of memory, and social and emotional wellness. Practical, clinical strategies for engaging and intervening with adolescents are also offered.

Learning goals and objectives
  • Predict how the brain changes as a child moves into puberty
  • Describe changes in the adolescent brain and how those changes may manifest in behaviour
  • Identify and describe the impact of toxic stress and dysregulated arousal levels on brain functioning, memory and learning
  • Comment on how lack of sleep impacts emotional regulation and decision making
  • Compare early adolescence and later adolescence in terms of brain development
  • Design a plan for retention rather than removal of an adolescent who not engaged at all in school.
  • Compare the female and male brain differences as currently shown in MRIs
  • Discuss depression, and its prevalence, in the teen years and how an understanding of the brain can aid in recovery



Level I and II workshops are appropriate for professionals (teachers, counsellors, social workers, psychologists, probation officers, judges, child care/residential care workers) who work at an intermediate or advanced licensure level directly with youth, or for those professionals who have a role in designing courses and programs for adolescents.

This level is approved for ACSW Category “A” credits (see below for more information)

The general course is appropriate for foster, kinship, adoptive parents, and parents in general.


Crazy by Design Level I and Level II workshops are $500 for half day or $1000 for full-day.

carya (formerly Calgary Family Services), provider #1114, is approved as a provider for Social Work Continuing Education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program.

ASWB Approval Period: 07/01/2015 to 07/01/2018.


We welcome co-sponsorship with organizations looking to have their courses approved. For more information, contact Elsa Campos:

Upcoming Program Events

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