The Key to Translating Youth Culture to Mystified Parents
By Ron Taffel - What I've discovered, after talking with hundreds of teens, is that with their friends, they're almost a different species than when they're in the alien company of adults. If parents want to reclaim a connection with their children, they'll have to pay deep and respectful attention to a culture many of them abhor.
When Is It Necessary? An Expert Explains.
Given the stigma still attached to psychiatric drugs, it’s no surprise that today’s kids might have reservations about taking them. But as a specialist in working with kids and teens, therapist and author Ron Taffel knows that for burdened young clients, medication is often necessary to get therapy moving. Therapists, he says, can’t always go it alone.
Highlights from the Networker Journey
Out of all the hundreds and hundreds of articles that have appeared in the Networker over the past four decades, we’ve chosen a small sampling that captures the magazine’s most journalistic side, conveying not so much the eternal verities of our profession, but the sense of reading a first draft of the field’s history. Among other things, you’ll find therapeutic methods that, as exciting as they seemed at the moment, didn’t stand the test of time as well as initial forays into discussing complex issues we’re still struggling with today. We’ve also added in a few examples of writing so immediate and compelling that they have an air of timelessness. Prepare yourself for an interesting journey.
Fostering Parent Circles Can Demystify the Challenges of Raising Kids
By Ron Taffel - American parents today face a perfect storm of cultural and social circumstances that undermine the very foundations of parental authority. In response, mothers and fathers are beginning to see therapists as irrelevant and to challenge the entire social, educational, and economic context of childrearing.
Strategies for Raising and Disciplining Children in the 21st Century
On top of losing faith in a secure future, mothers and fathers deal with everyday dilemmas that make a joke of traditional rules and childrearing practices. Unfortunately, many therapists still seem to believe that reliable solutions to the problems families face can be readily found in standard evidence-based protocols. But mental health workers underestimate the importance of having people discuss ordinary concerns on their own turf---in churches, synagogues, and community centers. There’s nothing like understanding that you’re not alone to raise the spirits and strengthen the spine.
Ron Taffel on Creating Conditions for Connection
How do you create an atmosphere that your teen clients will value rather than resist? According to Ron Taffel, teens are looking for authenticity. When they find the real thing, they’ll engage.
Ron Taffel on How Today's Child Therapist Can Build Rapport
While at first glance, 21st-century adolescents appear impossibly cool---cooler than we could have ever been ourselves---teens today are running hot with cultural forces that have redefined the nature of their consciousness and experience of selfhood. Therapy with adolescents needs to change fundamentally. We may not have the power to alter the techno-pop culture that defines so much of teen experience today, but by focusing treatment squarely on how to engage adolescents in a vital relationship, we can make an enormous difference in their lives.
Inside the World of 21st Century Teens
While at first glance, 21st-century adolescents appear impossibly cool--cooler than we could have ever been ourselves--teens today are running hot. They're not just hormonally hot, but hot with cultural forces that have redefined the nature of their consciousness and experience of selfhood. Millennium kids live in a context that spawns fragmentation, what I call a "divided-self" experience: cool and often cruel on the surface, they hide surprisingly healthy passions beneath.
Are Therapists Seeing a New Kind of Attachment?
As we move slowly beyond the great recession, today’s young people are the first American generation in a long while expected to be less well off than their parents. So we have a paradoxical situation, in which the pressure to produce successful kids has never been more relentless or harder to achieve, especially with mass culture suggesting that if kids do fail, it must be because mom and dad failed in some way. Thus, it’s easy to understand how parental focus can shift from the child to the child-as-product, underlining a kind of premeditated parenting with calculated ends in mind. So we have earnest, committed, caring parents trying their best to follow an almost infinite number of often contradictory prescriptions to produce a perfect commodity with greater market potential. What could possibly be wrong with that? A lot!
Are Therapists Seeing a New Kind of Attachment?
We used to think that disordered attachment was the result of early parental neglect or abuse. But today, has a paradoxical mix of parental overinvolvement and inattention led to a social epidemic of pseudo-attachment?