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About John Sommers-Flanagan
I am a faculty member in Counselor Education at the University of Montana, a clinical psychologist, and mental health consultant for Trapper Creek Job Corps. I love working with tough kids and young adults, offering professional workshops and keynotes, and teaching at the University of Montana.
After many years of playing sports I have developed a friendly but competitive streak that involves me engaging in particularly annoying victory dances when I win at family games. Unfortunately, my game-playing skills never match my trash talking and so now my friends and family (especially my wife and daughters) are usually the ones who get to do the victory dances. Sometimes I channel my competitiveness into fantasizing a peculiar form of March Madness where user-friendly counseling and psychotherapy approaches compete head-to-head with "empirically supported" manualized techniques. Of course, in the end, the user-friendly approaches easily win the tournament, thus proving forever that developing and maintaining a positive relationship with clients is much more effective over the long haul than applying educational techniques described in a treatment manual or attempting to medicate away undesirable behaviors and moods. This, of course, accurately implies that I almost always root for the underdog and wish deeply for social justice.