For this webinar series, participants will automatically be enrolled in all 5 sessions.


  • Mitch Abblett, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Consultant
  • Windi Bowditch, MA, LMHC
  • Yudelki Firpo-Peretti, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist, School Consultation Program, McLean Hospital, Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School
  • Kelsey LeBlanc, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA
  • Vanja Pejic, Ph.D., Attending Psychologist and Researcher, Boston Children’s Hospital Trauma and Community Resilience Center, Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

This webinar series examines selective mutism, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disorders, and clinical boundaries. Each presenter will share their knowledge and best practices to foster the implementation of inclusive mental health practices that improve education for all students, strengthen outcomes, and maintain students in-district.

To receive PDPs and CEUs, participants must attend all 5 sessions and successfully pass a quiz following Session 5. Following the live webinar, registrants will be emailed a link to view the recorded webinar. The recording will be made available for 7 days after each session.

Children and teens with Selective Mutism are often misunderstood in school settings and staff struggle to find effective ways to support them. This session will aim to enhance your understanding of Selective Mutism. Additionally, it will provide strategies that can be used to promote progress and help children and teens with Selective Mutism find the courage to speak in school and their communities.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and the youth diagnosed with it, are often misunderstood, and receive interventions making their behavior (and classrooms) worse.  Join Dr. Mitch Abblett, private practice psychologist and former Clinical Director of the Manville School at Judge Baker Children’s Center for a hands-on webinar for seeing these children more accurately. Additionally, participants will leave this session with accessible tools and strategies to help these students with the crucial lagging skill: owning the vulnerable, “less than,” states leading to problematic behavior.  

Upon resettlement, schools are one of the most influential institutions for immigrant and refugee children and educators and support staff are uniquely positioned to support their acculturation and adjustment into a new community. This session will highlight school wide policies and practices as well as individual strategies for supporting the mental health and wellbeing of immigrant and refugee students in schools. 

This session will discuss the importance of being thoughtful and intentional in developing healthy relationships with youth, especially adolescents, who struggle with mental health issues in a school based setting. We know that a healthy, trusting relationship with a young person is critical to their resilience and growth, especially in the face of trauma or social emotional challenges; but the limits and boundaries of these relationships vary depending on one’s role. We will explore the potential perception and impact the different ways in which we interact with youth can have, and the boundaries that can help establish a sense of safety and predictability. 

Sleep is foundational for success. Among its many functions, it impacts attention, motivation, and resilience – just a few of the critical areas where many of our students struggle. As educators and administrators who dedicate ourselves to facilitating progress for our students, we can significantly improve the outcomes of each and every one of our interventions if we do one simple but powerful thing first, tackle sleep.

About the Speakers
Mitch Abblett, Ph.D.

Mitch Abblett Ph.D., is a private practice clinical psychologist, author, consultant and national/international speaker. Dr. Abblett’s latest book is aimed at parents, educators and helping professionals – Prizeworthy: How to Meaningfully Connect, Build Character, and Unlock the Potential of Every Child (Shambhala Publications). Dr. Abblett’s work has appeared in numerous online and print media such as The New York Times, Newsweek, Tricycle Magazine, and USA Today. His frequent blog posts regarding mindfulness applications in family and relationships can be found in Mindful Magazine’s companion website A clinician in the Boston area for over 20 years, he brings a wealth of clinical, administrative and leadership experience from various settings (hospitals, outpatient clinics, residential facilities and therapeutic schools) to his practice and consulting. For 11 years he served as the Clinical Director of the Manville at Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston – a Harvard Medical School-affiliated therapeutic school program for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral and learning difficulties. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He lives with his wife and two young children in Newton, Massachusetts.

Windi Bowditch

Windi Bowditch, MA, LMHC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has been working with adolescents in a variety of clinical settings during her 30-year career, including residential programs, substance abuse treatment, community mental health clinics and therapeutic schools. She has provided clinical consultation and supervision to youth programs throughout the years and has been an instructor for the nationally recognized Youth Mental Health First Aid public education course since 2016. Windi has been employed by the Northshore Education Consortium in Beverly, MA since 2007 and is the Director of Clinical Training and Consultation providing support to their internal therapeutic programs and staff. She additionally consults with surrounding public school districts around the mental health challenges of students, providing staff trainings and clinical supervision to school based counselors. Windi also maintains a small private practice where she continues to specialize in working with teenagers.

Yudelki Firpo-Perretti, Ph.D.

Yudelki Firpo-Perretti, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist at the McLean School Consultation Service of McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Firpo-Perretti earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Boston University, completed her pre-doctoral internship at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Boston Child Study Center. She specializes in evidence-based treatments including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy of anxiety, mood, and obsessive-compulsive disorder in children, adolescents, and young adults. She also has expertise in providing cognitive behavioral and behavior management interventions in school consultation and parent training formats. Additionally, Dr. Firpo-Perretti was given a Pillars of Excellence Award from Mass General Brigham for her work on integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into clinic-based practices at the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program.

Kelsey LeBlanc

Kelsey LeBlanc is a Board Certified and Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (BCBA & LABA) and a former Special Educator, with over 13 years of professional experience in the field. She has worked with individuals ranging from infancy to age 14 with highly varied backgrounds and diagnoses (including, but not limited to, Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Complex Trauma, and Severe Cognitive Impairment) across both public and private settings. Additionally, she served as the Director of Professional Development & Training for a private ABA provider in the Greater Boston area. In 2018, Kelsey founded Ascend Behavioral Consulting. She discovered a passion for supporting families of young children who are struggling with sleep challenges, and has specialized her practice over the past several years towards improving family sleep through a combination of evidence-based practice and an individualized, family-centered approach. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her husband and two children.

Vanja Pejic

Dr. Vanja Pejic is an attending psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. Deeply informed by her own refugee journey, Dr. Pejic’s clinical work, research, and advocacy has primarily focused on examining and reducing health inequities within immigrant and refugee populations. She has an extensive background and interest in the development, delivery, and evaluation of culturally attuned and trauma-informed behavioral health interventions with immigrant and refugee youth and their families in schools and community settings. Dr. Pejic splits her time between two programs at BCH, Trauma and Community Resilience Center in which she serves as a consultant and researcher and she provides clinical care and consultation at Boston International Newcomers Academy, a high school for newly arrived immigrant and refugee youth. Dr. Pejic is also an adjunct faculty at Boston College and Harvard University. 

Membership Information

Most MPY webinars are available ONLY to current staff from member districts and organizations. Public school memberships include police and fire personnel. Former and retired employees and members of committees, including but not limited to, PTO/PTA, PAC, School Improvement Councils, Health Councils, Drug/Alcohol Councils, and school volunteers, are not considered MPY members.

PDPs and CEUs

MPY is an approved Professional Development Provider through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (Provider No. F20180079). Professional Development Points (PDPs) are offered for most MPY professional development webinars. PDPs are issued in 10 hour increments, per DESE requirements.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for clinical staff through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc. (MaMHCA). The NASW and the MaMHCA approve each event individually. CEUs may be given in hourly increments.

To receive PDPs and CEUs, participants must pass the quiz.

Event Cancellation Policy

If you are unable to attend a MPY webinar you must cancel, through Bonnie Mullen at, one business day before the webinar.

For MPY hybrid conferences, the date in-person registration closes will be posted on MPY’s website. Virtual conference registration will close one business day before the hybrid conference. You cannot cancel or switch your registration from in-person to virtual after in-person registration closes. Please email Bonnie Mullen at with any questions regarding registration.

  • Enrollment in this course closed on 01/29/2024.

If you are seeking to receive CEUs and/or PDPs, please click Register Now. Once you complete the webinar series, you will be able to take quizzes for CEUs and/or PDPs. Upon completion of each quiz, you will receive a certificate.

All sessions are 9:30 am – 11:30 am.

  • Session 1: January 29, 2024, Yudelki Firpo-Peretti, Ph.D., Finding the Courage to Speak – Strategies to Help Children with Selective Mutism
  • Session 2: February 26, 2024, Vanja Pejic, Ph.D., Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Immigrant and Refugee Youth In School Settings
  • Session 3: March 11, 2024, Windi Bowditch, MA, LMHC, Intention vs. Perception: Professional Boundaries and the Importance of Healthy Relationships with Youth
  • Session 4: March 25, 2024, Kelsey LeBlanc, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA, Sleep is a Skill: Addressing Pediatric Insomnia as a Foundation for Global Treatment Success
  • Session 5: April 8, 2024, Mitch Abblett, Ph.D., Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) – A New Framework and Effective Tools for Teaching Ownership to Students