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The Seven Challenges works closely with organizations, providing the training, tools and support necessary to successfully use the Program with young people. We have developed implementation strategies to help organizations attain Program sustainability and systems for monitoring their fidelity to the model. Because The Seven Challenges has been implemented in a wide variety of counseling settings, including residential, outpatient, juvenile justice, schools, and home-based, we work cooperatively with organizations to adapt the Program to their various service delivery needs.

Below is a brief summary of the training and support services provided by The Seven Challenges:

  • We help the leaders of organizations develop an understanding of The Seven Challenges Program so they are prepared to support the training and counseling process. We offer assistance with strategies for educating the community and referral sources about The Seven Challenges.  This helps to create an environment of understanding in which youth are supported through their counseling and treatment process.

  • We provide an on-site, 3-day Initial Training for the counselors who will be using the Program, as well as the clinical supervisors. The organization is also encouraged to have employees such as youth care workers, assistant group facilitators, or caseworkers who will be working with youth, attend the Initial Training. This training prepares counselors to immediately begin providing The Seven Challenges Program.

  • The organization will have an opportunity to select their Seven Challenges Leaders. Leaders attend an additional three day Leader Training which teaches advanced Program skills and how to supervise counselors delivering the service. Leaders help their organization maintain Program fidelity, participate in quarterly Support Calls with The Seven Challenges, and are also taught how to facilitate the Initial Training for new staff joining the organization. The Leaders are key to creating Program sustainability.

  • Implementation assistance begins soon after the Initial Training with the first Support Call between The Seven Challenges and the Leaders. This quarterly conference call is designed to provide assistance with clinical and implementation questions. The Seven Challenges also provides assistance through the Leader Forum on this website, which is monitored by Dr. Schwebel. The Leader Forum presents an opportunity for Leaders around the country to share ideas with one another and receive feedback from Dr. Schwebel and The Seven Challenges Program Specialists. We also provide an array of helpful training, supervision, and implementation documents for organizations.


  • An on-site Support/Fidelity Visit takes place about nine months after the Initial Training, and annually thereafter. During this Visit, counselors and Leaders receive more help with their clinical and implementation questions. Extra time is spent helping the Leaders with supervision issues and counselor and staff training efforts. A Seven Challenges session is observed with feedback provided to the facilitating counselor and Leaders. The Leaders and Program Specialist work together during this Visit to develop plans for strengthening the Program within the organization.

seven challenges

We decided to open up and talk honestly about ourselves and about alcohol and other drugs.

We looked at what we liked about alcohol and other drugs, and why we were using them.

We looked at our use of alcohol or other drugs to see if it has caused harm or could cause harm.

We looked at our responsibility and the responsibility of others for our problems.

We thought about where we seemed to be headed, where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to accomplish.

We made thoughtful decisions about our lives and about our use of alcohol and other drugs.

We followed through on our decisions about our lives and drug use. If we saw problems, we went back to earlier challenges and mastered them.

© Copyright Robert Schwebel, Ph.D