Bret Stephenson M.A. is the author of From Boys to Men: Spiritual Rites of Passage in an Indulgent Age. He has been a counselor of at-risk and high-risk adolescents for twenty-four years. Bret has worked in residential treatment, clinical counseling agencies, group homes, private counseling, foster parent training, Independent Living Program, and managed mentoring and tutoring programs.
He has been a presenter and speaker at numerous national and international conferences and workshops, including being the teen coordinator at the International Transpersonal Association's Youth Conferences in America and Ireland, the United Nations World Peace Festival, Institute of Noetic Sciences and the World Children’s Summit.
Bret has worked with teens from more than 100 countries.
Presentations also include the Association of Transpersonal Psychology's annual conferences. He has been a presenter at the National Foster Parent Association annual conference and multiple California State Foster Parent Association conferences as well as the Indiana and Iowa Foster Care annual conferences. As a men's group facilitator, he has also led workshops in the U.S. as well as Switzerland.
Bret was Director of Special Projects for Foster/Kinship Care Education and the Independent Living Program at Lake Tahoe Community College. He pioneered the use of Internet based systems intended to deliver distance education classes for rural providers and group home staff for the State of California Chancellor’s Office FKCE program.
He designed and taught on-line classes in Understanding Adolescence, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
He is currently a case manager for Rite of Passage, Inc. in Nevada where he was the founder of the Str8 Up student-business project and Case Manager of the Year in 2006 and 2009. Bret is an Advisory Board member for My Journey Home in Reno, a project assisting prison inmates and their families through reintegration back into society. In addition, he is on the Global Passageways Intergenerational Advisory Council project based in Washington DC mentoring youth activists and assisting in trying to create initiation and rites of passage models for modern youth.
Bret is owner of the Adolescent Mind, a teen consulting business and the founder and Executive Director of Labyrinth Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to adolescent services and programs. He has trained and designed programs for numerous organizations including the Girl Scouts of America, Adirondack Leadership Expeditions and CASA. Bret and Labyrinth Center are currently creating youth employment and youth entrepreneurial models such as Str8 Up and Sphere of Influence at Mt. Tallac High School in South Lake Tahoe. He was recently chosen a winner in author Ellen Hopkins’ (Crank, Glass, etc.) 2012 New Year’s Resolution contest for people who make a difference in the world, and is a contributing author on rites of passage for the on-line Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion.
Woodworking has been my "mental health"
piece for years. A skill I picked up after bailing on
my corporate career, I learned that woodworking helps give me
closure in a field and career filled with never-ending clients.
Woodworking also teaches patience, having to work with organic
materials that continuously change with the environment, as
well as with sharp tools (I've donated a few fingertips!).
Also, woodworking is a great example of a medium
that has no one right way, no single approach to a problem.
Sequencing is critical, for if you make a wrong cut or a cut
out of turn, you can't add more clay or paint and start again.
Woodworking continues to challenge my problem solving skills
and reminds me to be patient, persistent, and creative.
To see more of my second passion, click the box above...