The bad news includes an unprecedented peer cruelty that starts at younger ages than ever before; the ever-earlier pressures to use and/or abuse of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes; an omnipresent online existence that numbs the capacity for genuine feeling; and the instability of love/sexual relationships that, due to obsessive Internet use, are often played out in public. In the first part of this workshop, you’ll get an unusually close-up view of the strange new world of kids and their families. In the afternoon, we’ll explore the ways in which therapists have to change--putting aside professional and clinical formulas, daring to be real people themselves, communicating with kids and their families between sessions, using dramatic interventions--to have any real impact on their jaded, distracted young clients. (This session will continue with Workshop 503.)
Ron Taffel, Ph.D., is the chairman of the board of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in New York. He’s the author of The Second Family, a guide to raising adolescents. His latest book is Childhood Unbound: Saving Our Kids’ Best Selves.