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



Alex Hirshberg, Psy.D., Hirshberg Behavioral Services, LLC


Externalizing behaviors, including aggression, calling out, inappropriate language, and non-compliance, are challenging in the classroom because their impact is felt by all students. In the short-term, it can feel easier to many educators to simply send the student out of the classroom to be supported by a counselor or administrator. Unfortunately, this response often reinforces the externalizing behavior, increasing its likelihood in the future.  This training series focuses on helping the counselor and teacher develop a common understanding for why this behavior is happening and reviews tiered responses for reducing the frequency and intensity of externalizing behaviors over time. 

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.

The first step to address externalizing behavior is creating a shared perspective on why it is occurring. It can be easy for any individual when facing disrespect, non-compliance, or aggression to see the behavior as willful, a disrespectful choice meant to hurt the individual’s feelings. While completely understandable, this interpretation gives rise to anger and resentment and often drives consequence-focused interventions (i.e., suspension, detention) that are ineffective.  Session 1 focuses on the “why” of externalizing behaviors – understanding the skill deficits that can drive these behaviors as well as understanding how adult behavior responses can make the situation worse.

With a common perspective on the skill deficits that can drive externalizing behavior, the teacher/counselor team can then move to identifying interventions in the classroom. These proactive supports can directly address the situations that expose the student’s lagging skills. Session 2 introduces the components of a basic Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) that can help choose these supports. Participants will understand setting events, antecedents, and maintaining consequences and how specific interventions can be chosen based off the FBA findings.

Many students who present with externalizing behavior will require skill remediation to address their lagging skills. These can be done both at Tier 2 (group intervention) and Tier 3 (individual intervention).  This session will focus on counselors and the types of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) interventions that can be utilized to address the skill deficits that drive externalizing behavior.

Changing behavior is difficult. It can be easier to stick with what we know, our habitual way of acting that has worked in the past. Extrinsic motivation (i.e., reinforcement systems) can be helpful to increase student desire to make this difficult behavior change. This session will review various reinforcement strategies and how to concretely implement them in the classroom.

Externalizing behavior disrupts learning and can be hard for an educator to tolerate. With all of the responsibilities educators have in their classroom, it is understandable why maintaining a consistent and predictable response to a student who exhibits externalizing behavior is difficult to achieve. This is where the counselor can act as an effective consultant to support the teacher and maintain intervention fidelity. This session will review consultation approaches and fidelity monitoring strategies that maintain and strengthen the counselor/teacher partnership.  

About the Speakers
Alex Hirshberg, Psy.D., Hirshberg Behavioral Services, LLC

Alex Hirshberg, Psy.D., is the founder and executive director of Hirshberg Behavioral Health Services, LLC in Hadley, Massachusetts. Dr. Hirshberg is a clinical psychologist who provides behavioral consultation, professional development, and psychological assessment services to schools across Massachusetts. He also has a small outpatient therapy practice focused on using Cognitive Behavior Therapy for individuals with anxiety and mood disorders. His interest areas include Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) in schools, trauma informed practices, and developing in-district social-emotional programs.

Participants must attend all 5 sessions, either live or recorded, to receive PDPs and/or CEUs. If you are not eligible for PDPs and/or CEUs, you may apply for a Certificate of Attendance.

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 following Session 5.

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 01/03/2024.

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 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

  • Session 1: January 3, 2024, Skill Deficits that Contribute to Externalizing Behavior
  • Session 2: January 18, 2024, Functionally Informed Interventions for Externalizing Behavior
  • Session 3: February 1, 2024, Skill Building Interventions for Externalizing Behavior
  • Session 4: February 15, 2024, Leveraging Motivational Systems for Externalizing Behavior
  • Session 5: February 29, 2024, Effective Implementation:  Consultation Strategies for the Counselor