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SOA13 103 with Ron Taffel

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One Response to SOA13 103 with Ron Taffel

  1. mgibson says:

    Ron Taffel speaks from a base of authority and understanding gained from real experience with parents and teens. He discusses the ways in which parents, children, teachers, and therapists can become separated in their own units of operation, each learning facts from separate sources. Teens live in a world of internet experience, of interrelatedness, that in his view constitutes a “second family” formed from the pop culture, from the peer group. Parents often feel isolated and cut off, to the point of being held virtually held hostage by their fears for their children. Therapists can see their child/family patients as diagnoses, rather than as living three-dimensional beings.
    Taffel describes listening to hear what is truly important to each person, encourages parents to write “stories from home” and bring them into session where they can be sources of learning and inspiration. He presents the concept of becoming part of a community of learners, where disparate elements communicate with each other and create new more interrelated worlds of experience and understanding. He encourages parents to learn to speak from authentic ways, to identify and explore their own values and to gain the confidence to speak with their children from the heart, with “authentic authority.” I have seen, many times, how children and teens truly value their parents’ genuine concern–even as they may appear to oppose their parents’ views.
    He urges therapists to reach out in their community, to schools, to parent groups, to church and community centers, to use their skills to create opportunities for the growth of community where each learns to view others with empathy and understanding of them as individuals.
    This approach of Ron Taffel is one that is compassionate and caring, and empowering as each component of this family/community learns to listen to others as they themselves contribute to the community learning and growth.
    In my years of work with children and families, I have experienced the mixed attitude of parents, who bring their children in for help with conflicted feelings, seeking help for their child, but often having a sense of having failed in their parental role by having to seek outside help, and at the same time expecting criticism and even feeling resentment as they come into the office.
    It seems that we all can become so wrapped up and immersed in our role–therapist, teacher, parent, teen–than we can lose sight of the person within the role. Interesting that another seminar I hear just last week on a seemingly unrelated topic actually resounds to the message Dr. Taffel brings us. In that presentation by Ram Dass, he spoke of how we become so focused on our role that we miss the soul beneath the role. He encouraged therapists, and indeed all of us, to see souls, not roles. It appears that Dr. Taffel actually is saying something quite similar in his discussion of the restoration of parental authority and greater communication within the family unit.
    I greatly appreciated the wisdom of this presentation, and will seek further information from Dr. Taffel’s web site that so generously offers further support.

    Merrilee Nolan Gibson, Psy.D.
    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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