Sam Himelstein, PhD

Sam Himelstein


Dr. Sam Himelstein is a Licensed Psychologist and works in the Alameda County Juvenile Hall. He founded and governs the Center for Adolescent Studies, and has written extensively on clinical work using mindfulness with young people, including two books: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working with High-Risk Adolescents (Routledge, 2013), and Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum (Routledge, 2015).

The Quote

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor Frankl

What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?

Sam shares the powerful and inspiring story of what led him to working with youth.

A Crucial Early Mistake

Sam shares one of his early clinical errors that revolved around self-disclosure.

Sam’s Why

This work is a spiritual practice for me, in that it brings me meaning and purpose to my life, and I have a lot of compassion and love for the people I’m working with, which is the essence of the why.

Sam’s advice

  • Don’t get too wrapped up in behavioral outcomes. Rather, focus more so on self-awareness and the strength of the relationship.

Sam’s go-to books

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  1. Alice Cardenas Reply

    A wealth of great information-very positive message for clinicians and people who work with adolescents. I think mindfulness
    awareness is so powerful and as a novice clinician listening to this podcast was time well spent
    Thank you!
    Alice Cardenas, MA, MFTI

    • Hi Alice,
      Great to hear from you. Thanks so much for the comment and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the podcast.

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