Considering Dr. Wellborn as a speaker for your event?


JGWellborn three quarter shotWith his dynamic style and characteristic humor, Dr. Wellborn blends proven psychological principles with practical parenting advice to energize and enlighten the audience of any organization or event. While presentations can be tailored to the focus of your event, Dr. Wellborn usually begins with a review of relevant information about the topic under consideration followed by clear and effective action plans. His presentations usually end with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions and offer comments. Participants will leave a presentation by Dr. Wellborn having been entertained and educated in the course of acquiring concrete, practical strategies and techniques or, for issues presentations, with a deeper understanding of the topic discussed with ideas on how to improve their life circumstances.

updated:  10/23/17



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Parents and General Audiences

Here are a few examples of parenting topics Dr. Wellborn can present to your group or organization. See what parents have to say about Dr. Wellborn’s presentations. 

index-535x199Parenting Basics 101: A 4-hour Seminar for Parents and Kids Together
In this lighthearted seminar, Dr. Wellborn will guide parents and their teenagers through a review of the essential strategies for parenting teens, practice in effective communication, developing a family alcohol and drug use policy and establishing an effective and fair discipline system.  Here’s what parents and their teens have to say about the seminar.  Go here to find more information on this seminar. See what parents have to say about Dr. Wellborn’s Parenting Seminar.  You can download the handout for this seminar here.

1 Parenting Basics 101 Seminar-essentialsParenting Teens in the 21st Century: The Essentials
Parents can easily get lost in all the day-to-day teenage issues that require specific attention. But there are a few big things parents should really focus on. In this presentation Dr. Wellborn will identify core parenting practices that improve your chances of raising healthy, happy kids.


Therapist Adolescence in the age of social media 2015 NPI retreatRaising Kids in the Age of Social Media
In the old days, kids had to meet up in the neighborhood.  Families knew each other. Then the mall became the new neighborhood, but kids had to be able to get there, so parents were still in the loop. Now, cyberspace has become the 21st century neighborhood. Your kid can get into just as much or more mischief online in their bedroom as they could running wild in the streets. What’s A Parent To Do? While you may not know about every new way your kid can socialize online, there are things you can do to rein them in. In this presentation, Dr. James Wellborn presents strategies for dealing with tween and early teen use of the internet, cell phones and social media.  Here is a video of Dr. Wellborn making a brief, more informal presentation about sexting as part of a community forum panel.  (Dr. Wellborn begins at 31.53 on the video.)

Communication Parent and Teen TalkTalking to A Log (Improving Parent-Teen Communication)
Communicating with teens can be like combining the worst aspects of talking to a child and a belligerent adult. How do you get through to teenagers? In this presentation designed for parents and their teens to attend together, Dr. Wellborn gives parents some practice having real conversations with their actual kid. (Parents can even use this presentation as punishment for teens. “If you talked to me more I wouldn’t have to drag you to a stupid workshop on communication.” By the time the workshop comes around parents might not even need to attend.) This presentation can also be provided only to parents.

Snookie and the Situation: Teen Love and Intimate Relationships in a Reality TV World
For teens to form successful, committed relationships in adulthood they need to learn how to have (and lose) intimate, loving and healthy relationships during adolescence. In this presentation, we will be talking about how to teach your teenager things they need to know about relationships and intimacy (emotional and otherwise).

Dating 101 Middle School VersionDating 101: The Development of Teenage Dating Relationships from Pre-teen to Young Adulthood
One of the most unnerving parts of adolescence for parents is the unfolding of teenage dating relationships. It’s not like parents get any training in how to shepherd their kid through the emotional minefield of going together and breaking up. What’s a parent to do? Dr. Wellborn gives parents the information they need to understand the development of (heterosexual) dating relationships and what kids need to learn from the different stages of dating. He then has recommendations on how to set reasonable (and important) limits on teenage dating to keep them in just enough trouble.


ResponsibilityRaising Responsible Teens
Being a successful, productive adult requires a number of skills you have to learn as a kid. Responsibility is one of these. It is the foundation of trust, a central aspect of good character, is necessary to get things done in life and is at the core of stable and meaningful relationships. Responsible kids get the best out of life. What’s a parent to do? In this presentation, Dr. Wellborn talks about how to establish expectations and hold kids accountable for their actions and obligations as a member of the family and the community. (This talk is one in the Raising Teens with Character in the 21st Century series. Other Character traits include: Compassion, Courage, Generosity, Honesty, Honor and Kindness as well as Parenting Strategies for Promoting Character Development in 21st Century Teens)
Here is a video of Dr. Wellborn presenting a version of this topic to parents of a private high school.


21st Century Skills Talk 2015Higher Order Parenting: Preparing Teens for the 21st Century Work Place
Reading, ritin’ and rithmetic just ain’t enough to prepare teens for the 21st century work place. Parents need to make sure their kid learns at a higher level than just making good grades. The focus of this presentation is on helping parents identify the skills and abilities that are required to meet the demands of our rapidly changing, highly technological, global work force. I will be talking about 15 specific skills that experts have increasingly identified as critical for successfully negotiating the 21st century work place. These skills are relevant not only in corporate and professional careers but also in the skilled trades and service sector jobs. And, they are skills parents can help foster and develop in their kids within family interactions and in the home.


Measure of a Man NPI TalkMeasures of a Man: Teenage Males and Modern Rites of Passage
The dismantling of traditional roles and cultural constraints for defining the self continues apace. Both greater freedom to express one’s authentic self and an unprecedented opportunity to pursue gifts and talents that fall outside of traditional cultural stereotypes have flowed from these cultural changes. At the same time, though, individuals easily find themselves overwhelmed by the range of choices that accompany the task of narrowing the search for self. This ongoing social evolution has left adolescent males struggling to find ways to identify what it means to be a man in today’s society. Dr. Wellborn will be sharing his observations of the ways teenage boys are trying to find the measure of manhood in the midst of this cultural role diffusion. He will also be offering some ideas about ways to facilitate movement toward the resolution of this developmental struggle (and maybe some cultural criticism thrown in for good measure).

From Father to Son: Starting Boys Out on the Road to Manhood
This two-part presentation is focused on helping Dads talk to their sons about how to be a man of character and integrity.  The first presentation is to review the challenges faced by teenage boys in figuring out how to negotiate the conflicting and changing messages about what masculinity and manhood is all about.  A template is presented to Dads for creating a personal letter for their son on what they hope for them as an adult and as a man.  The second presentation includes the fathers with their sons.  The presentation is a discussion of the challenges of masculinity and manhood geared for teenage boys.  A time is provided when the fathers can present their sons with the letter they have written.  The presentation ends with a challenge to father and sons to live a life that models these virtues.  Here is a video of Dr. Wellborn presenting part 1 to a group of high school fathers.    To see what participants had to say, go here.  (Please don’t reproduce without referencing me.)  Here is the handout for the presentation to fathers about writing the letter.

“The program went fantastic! It was one of the most practical that I have seen and was very well received. Great job!
Thanks again for blessing our community with this presentation.”
Will Norton, Dean of High School, Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, TN. 

Unemployment Stress and ParentingParenting Through the Storm: Helping Your Kids Cope During Times of Economic Uncertainty
Kids are directly affected by the economic circumstances of their parents. With the devastating changes in economic conditions and its effects on employment, many parents are finding themselves facing the loss of career and work. What do you do about the kids? In this presentation, Dr. Wellborn discusses the effects of parental unemployment and provides suggestions for what parents can do to help their kids cope with the changes that come from parental job loss without losing perspective.


Peer DeathWhen A Friend Dies:  Helping Teens Grieve
The death of a child can affect a community, school or group.  The absence is keenly felt not only by the death but by the hole that is left in the group.  This presentation is to help parents know how to talk to their teenagers about death and the grief process as well as providing information on when to worry that the grieving process may be taking an unhealthy direction.



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Middle and High School Students

Dr. Wellborn has a unique ability to relate to teenagers after decades spent as a therapist to teens. His message is one of hope, opportunity and the importance of character.  See what kids have to say about Dr. Wellborn’s presentations.

The Pressure to Exceed MBAThe Pressure to Exceed
High achieving, ambitious kids feel extreme pressure not only to succeed but to EXCEED already incredibly high performance goals.  More and more of these kids are experiencing chronic stress and anxiety as well as becoming burned out before they even graduate from high school.  Using his characteristic mix of humor and practical information, Dr. Wellborn talks to high school teens about what happens when the pressure to exceed begins to affect their relationships, creates overwhelming stress, distorts self-perceptions, limits their potential and can interfere with the discovery their true talents. In his presentation, he encourages teens to strive to exceed while also recognizing strategies for managing the pressure that comes with lofty ambition.  (This presentation is approximately 35 minutes long.)


Teen Talk-spring break as growth & renewalSchool Break:  A Time for Personal Growth and Renewal (or Don’t Be An Idiot)
Risk taking by teens increases dramatically when they have time off from school at fall, winter and spring breaks as well as across the summer.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to get teens to make good decisions and use good judgment when there is fun to be had.  They are also notorious for rejecting attempts to talk with them about being responsible and contributing in a positive way.  In this presentation for high school students, Dr. Wellborn uses satire, innuendo, teenagers’ expectations about adults who preach and off the hook graphics, images and video to grab their attention.  He delivers a message that emphasizes the importance of thinking, planning and doing some good in the world.  (This presentation is approximately 18 minutes long and is intended to be delivered in the days immediately preceding a school break.)  Please don’t reproduce without referencing me.

Teen Talk-resilienceBeing Resilient
Resilience is vital for psychological growth and achievement.  But what if you aren’t naturally resilient?  In this presentation for high school students, Dr. Wellborn puts the concept of resilience in perspective, reviews what psychologists know about resilience and then challenges the kids to dedicate themselves to being resilient in the pursuit of their dreams.  It  is characteristically funny, filled with a mix of media images (including images of current students obtained for the presentation)  to maintain the attention of the audience and ends by inspiring kids to “get after it!”  (This presentation is approximately 10 minutes long.)  Here is a video of this presentation at an all boy’s school located in Nashville.  Please don’t reproduce without referencing me.


Teen Talk-A&D and Marijuana effectsI Can’t Take the Pressure!
This 75 minute workshop puts middle school students in a situation that requires them to deal with the same kind of pressure to try alcohol or drugs they will experience around friends who are using.   This is followed by a multimedia presentation on the effects of alcohol and marijuana on the human body.  The workshop end with an exercise in making up effective ways to turn down offers to use  in social situations.

“I learned a lot about the specifics and just interesting facts about drugs and alcohol that I never knew.  I felt like it was very good and engaging and I’m not just saying that.”


Teen Talk-Dating Relationships a primer for teenage boys with extraRelationships and Dating:  A Primer for Teenage Boys
What better way to spend the first day back from Summer break than to talk about girls and dating?  Dr. Wellborn will  take some time (about 45 minutes) to put them in touch with their tender masculine side, unravel the mystery of girls, and  stop treating intimate relationships like an athletic competition.  It will be a multi media tour de force!  Here is a video of Dr. Wellborn presenting this to a group of high school boys.


What’s the Difference
What can you do? You’re just a kid.  Dr. Wellborn uses sarcasm, serious discussion and dramatic special effects, video and graphics to challenge middle and high school aged students to set meaningful goals and to commit themselves to making a difference in the world.  (This talk includes a brief, follow up video clip designed to be played several weeks after the presentation on the school closed circuit TV channel during school announcements.)

Teen Leadership
In this presentation, Dr. Wellborn presents the principles of leadership and the translation of these principles in the school/peer context  to help student leaders understand how to lead more effectively.

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Counselors and Therapists

As an expert in adolescent and family therapy, Dr. Wellborn can speak to counselors and therapists about engaging teens in the treatment process as well as on the range of issues addressed in psychotherapy and counseling.

Motivating Unmotivated Kids
Drawing on his expertise in human motivation, Dr. Wellborn presents counselors with basic motivational principles and gives examples of how counselors can incorporate these principles in their counseling sessions with students.  Here is an article Dr. Wellborn wrote for the Canadian School Counsellor Magazine on this topic.


Cutting and Self Injury Workshop for School CounselorsCutting and Self Injury:  A Review for School Counselors
Self-harm is one of the more disturbing behaviors emotionally troubled kids engage in. What could cause a child to willfully inflict sometimes grievous harm to their own body? As the primary mental health resource for students, teachers, administrators and parents in the school setting, school counselors are on the front line in arranging help for students who intentionally injure themselves. This workshop will review the prevalence, theory and therapeutic approaches for children from ages 7 to18 who self-harm. Time will also be devoted to elaborating ways school counselors can support the outpatient therapy process for these students. Finally, an annotated bibliography of resources for school counselors, students and parents will be provided.


Therapist Parenting Toolbox TPA 2014Parenting Issues in Adult Individual Psychotherapy: A Therapist Toolbox
When adults enter therapy to address personal, emotional or relationship problems, the exigencies of daily life continue to intrude upon them.  The normal course of parenting children is a particularly challenging source of these daily frustrations and uncertainties.   While more difficult or dysfunctional parent-child interactions may warrant a referral for family therapy, many typical (but nonetheless disruptive) parenting challenges can be addressed within the individual adult therapy session without redirecting the focus of therapeutic work.  This presentation will provide therapists with information on 1) how to help parents differentiate between typical versus extreme adolescent parenting issues, 2) a collection of self-contained, generalizable parenting concepts and strategies their adult clients can use to resolve common parenting situations and 3) selected bibliographic and online resources on parenting teens.

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Dr. Wellborn draws upon his expertise in the area of academic motivation and his knowledge of how to engaged adolescents in the process of change to present teachers with tools to enhance motivation in the classroom setting.

That Which Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
Educators often ignore the stress that comes with the job.  In this presentation, Dr. Wellborn presents an amusing view of the importance of stress management for teachers.

Motivating Unmotivated Students
Drawing on his expertise in human motivation, Dr. Wellborn presents teachers with the basics of student motivation and gives examples of how educators can incorporate these principles in their existing curriculum and interactions with students.


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