Respectful Alliances

Respectful Alliances

Building positive peer cultures and inspired staff teams

This two-day training provides practical tools for creating positive climates in schools, juvenile justice, residential treatment, and community settings. Young people who are disconnected from adults often gravitate to negative peer cultures and engage in high- risk behavior. Punishment only intensifies conflict with authority and builds a culture of bullying. Negative peer influence can be reversed by enlisting youth in prosocial helping roles and building respectful bonds with adults. Respectful Alliances has its roots in decades of research on Positive Peer Culture (PPC) programs for building strengths in troubled youth. This peer-helping model is listed as a research-based practice by the California Evidence-Based Clearing House.

Course Curriculum

  • Resilience and Positive Youth Development

    • Brain-Based Drives: Attachment, Achievement, Autonomy, Altruism
    • Universal Growth Needs: Belonging, Mastery, Independence, Generosity
    • Powerful Relationships: Family, Peer Group, School, and Community
    • A Paradigm Shift: From Deficit and Disorder to Strength and Wellness
  • The Primacy of Staff Teamwork

    • Staff Cohesion and Participation
    • A Unifying Theme for Reclaiming Youth
    • From Autocratic to Democratic Leadership
    • Constructing Positive Organizational Cultures
  • Creating Climates for Growth

    • Connecting Youth with Adults
    • Creating Positive Peer Cultures
    • Engaging Students in Learning
    • Mobilizing a Caring Community
  • Problems as Learning Opportunities

    • Understanding and Preventing Conflict Cycles
    • Reframing Problems as Unmet Growth Needs
    • Communicating with Kids in Conflict
    • Enlisting Youth in Problem-Solving Groups
  • Strategies for Positive Peer Influence

    • Demanding Responsibility instead of Obedience
    • Tapping Positive Potentials in Negative Leaders
    • Relabelling Behavior to Make Hurting Dissonant
    • Making Caring Fashionable to Reverse Peer Deviance
  • Transforming Troubled Lives

    • From Peer Harassment to Peer Helping
    • Trauma-Wise Principles and Interventions
    • From Antisocial to Prosocial Thinking and Values
    • The Resilient Brain and Enduring Positive Change

Authors and Trainers

Larry Brendtro, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and Professor Emeritus at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan and is a leader in the worldwide reclaiming youth movement. For fourteen years, he was president of the Starr Commonwealth Schools in Michigan and Ohio. He taught in the area of children’s behavior disorders at the University of Illinois, The Ohio State University, and Augustana. Dr. Brendtro served as a member of the U.S. Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention during the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. He has authored over 200 professional publications including 15 books on strength-based strategies with children, youth, and families. His wife Janna is research editor for his various publications and they have trained youth professionals in 20 nations.