​Dr. John Maag, Ph.D.

Training Topics

John Maag

Promoting improved services for troubled youth

since 1982

Training Topics

Dr. Maag is a BICA-certified trainer for the following topics:

  • Managing Resistance
  • Controlling Your Emotions

Dr. Maag also provides customized training including, but not limited to, the following subject areas:

  • Program Development and Evaluation for Students with Emotional-Behavioral Disorders

About John

Dr. John W. Maag is a Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he specializes in the education and treatment of children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders. He is a nationally recognized behavioral consultant on best practices for managing resistance and improving relationships with others. Dr. Maag has published over 90 articles and book chapters as well as authoring four books—one of which, Parenting without Punishment, won a Parent’s Choice award. He was also the recipient of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Distinguished Teaching Award and the Donald R. and Mary Lee Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence. A licensed psychotherapist, Dr. Maag is a frequent public speaker and consulting editor to numerous journals.


Dr. Maag was the recipient of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Distinguished Teaching Award and the Donald R. and Mary Lee Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence. 


Challenging Classroom Behaviors: Overcoming Resistance...

Parenting Without Punishment

Peculiar Tracks for Managing Resistance


Challenging Classroom Behaviors: Overcoming Resistance through Uniquely Audacions Interventions
Dr. Maag's newest book takes all his varied experiences with children with severe behavioral issues and moves beyond traditional and conventional forms of intervention and suggests that the role of resistance be more fully explored through careful observation and assessment of behaviors. This approach requires practitioners to be uniquely daring in identifying solutions that effectively modify negative behvaiors.

Peculiar Tracks for Derailing Resistance
No matter what we do or where we live, we inevitably run into resistant people - both children and adults. Imagine how much easier our lives would be if only others would not be so contrary.
The approaches and techniques are extremely powerful, but they take time, practice and, most importantly, a willingness to be open-minded. After reading this book, you will be able to win others over regardless of how resistant they may first appear. In fact, the more resistant an individual appears, the easier it is to get compliance! As George Bernard Shaw said, "Don't be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against the wind, not with it."

Powerful Struggles
A fresh look at addressing noncompliance in the classroom. If you want to change a student’s unpleasant conduct, modify your own behavior. This is the premise of Powerful Struggles, a fascinating study in the nature of resistance and a valuable new resource for teachers. Author John Maag explains that if you understand the psychological makeup of a noncompliant student and you know how to apply new behaviors to an undesirable situation, you can dramatically transform a rebellious attitude. With this powerful tool, you will learn to identify the frame of reference out of which a defiant student operates, what function a negative behavior serves, and how to replace resistance with compliance. You will also learn techniques for building rapport (important in creating affable student/teacher relationships) and helpful tips for keeping your emotions in line.With behavior modification that starts with the teacher, Powerful Struggles is making a positive impact in classrooms across the country. It can do the same in yours.

Parenting Without Punishment

Parents spend so much time and energy trying to make their children behave, you would think they would have a deliberate, thought-out system for accomplishing this goal. Most parents, however, lament that not only do they not have a pre-determined plan, but that the "method" most of them use — punishment — doesn't seem to do the trick and it is very unpleasant to administer. It seems that the majority of parents simply don't know any other way to manage bad behavior in their children, so they resort to what their parents did with them — traditional punishment In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. John Maag explains that the problem with punishment is that it simply doesn't work. It is always contingent on a child's bad behavior, it is based on principles of negative reinforcement and it is always reactive — in other words, a recipe for disaster. In its place, Dr. Maag suggests that parents try his method — a proactive approach that focuses on emphasizing and encouraging a child's good behavior rather than trying to decrease his bad behavior. In addition, Dr. Maag suggests using such bad behavior as a focal point for determining which behaviors need to be changed. Although this might seem obvious, it’s much more complicated than one would expect. Neither radical nor far-fetched, Maag's system, based on traditional applied behavior analysis techniques, is completely sensible and effective. Step-by-step directions, practical examples, fill-in charts and questionnaires show parents how to effectively manage a wide range of problem behaviors in their children, from minor problems to depression and attention deficit disorder (ADD). Maag's method stresses consistency and positive reinforcement that will shape a child's behavior far more profoundly than will punishment. Filling a long-standing need, Parenting Without Punishment will help parents and teachers promote responsible, independent, creative and secure future adults.