Sort by:

The Wall of Silence

Reinventing Therapy to Reach the New Teens

Ron Taffel • 5/1/2001

Lauren's mother, Margaret, loathed her 14-year-old daughter's weird new look--hair dyed bright orange, pierced eyebrow, Dracula makeup. But though Lauren looked bizarre and tended to stay out too late, she hadn't ever gotten into any real trouble. She was doing fine in school and seemed pleasant enough at home. Remembering the awful screaming fights with her own parents as a teen during the '60s, Margaret tried hard not to antagonize Lauren and to be understanding.

Magazine Article

New Rules for Working with Adolescents

Getting Through

Ron Taffel • 5/1/2001

Adolescence has changed dramatically over the last two decades, and therapists will have to revise the way they work if they want to break through the wall that separates adults from teens. While the fundamental therapeutic skills--joining and motivating clients, listening actively and intuitively, clarifying issues and relationship patterns--are as relevant to successful therapy as ever, there are new applications for those skills that can make therapy more effective with today's crop of adolescents.

Magazine Article

Discovering Our Children

The Connection Between Anonymity and Rage in Today's Kids

Ron Taffel • 9/1/1999

Over the last 10 years, as these exchanges are becoming increasingly part of everyday family interaction, it has become apparent to me that a tectonic shift about acceptable behavior is taking place in parent-child relationships throughout the country.

Magazine Article

The Second Family

A Teen's Peer Group Is a Rich Resource for Family Therapists

Ron Taffel • 3/1/1996

When family therapist Ron Taffel wrote this article in 1996, an explosive upsurge of youth pop culture called into question the very idea that parents must reestablish firm authority over teens. With the advent of smartphones and instant, constant access to peers, this cornerstone of family systems theory has crumbled even further. The central question Taffel asks is even more urgent now: if pop culture reigns, and teens are firmly embedded in a peer-driven “second family,” what role, if any, can parents play in providing guidance to troubled adolescents?

Magazine Article

Honoring the Everyday

Family Therapy for Our Times

Ron Taffel • 11/1/1995

Too often, our passion for grand theoretical insight and magical techniques has seduced us into imposing predetermined grids onto a family's life and thereby missing the details of idiosyncratic experience that truly make us expert and help our clients feel known. If we don't work in this way, from the bottom up, we are in danger of misunderstanding what the family needs from us.

Magazine Article
Page 4 of 4 (35 Items)
Page 1 of 1 (0 Items)

A New Year's Conundrum

A Stumped Therapist's Attempt to Help Two Parents Set Boundaries Has a Surprising Result

Ron Taffel • 12/31/2019

By Ron Taffel - At 15, Jenny regularly breaks her curfew, flirts with drugs, and is getting close to being suspended from her Manhattan public school. Today, she and her parents are in my office discussing the latest issue: New Year’s Eve is coming up, and Jenny and her posse have plans.

Daily Blog

Using Conversation in Therapy

Following the Spark to Create Connection

Ron Taffel • 4/11/2019

By Ron Taffel - As a field, we've been unconscious of the nature of the conversation that energizes our models and techniques. Without it, treatment can be a textbook exercise lacking the power to make clients feel a truly alive and personal connection with their therapist.

Daily Blog

Here's Why Your Kids Won't Listen to You

The Old Rules of Family Togetherness No Longer Apply

Ron Taffel • 1/29/2019

By Ron Taffel - Like countless therapists, I've seen plenty of kids over the last couple of decades who appear to have been thoroughly hijacked by pop culture. How can we move beyond random success to identify some well-anchored and dependable clinical principles of working when old styles don't cut it with 21st-century families?

Daily Blog

How Millennials are Changing Therapy

Staying Remembered in an Age of Fast-Talking and Fast-Forgetting

Ron Taffel • 12/22/2018

By Ron Taffel - Millennials are asking that therapists offer a therapeutic version of the responsive immediacy and role-fluidity they expect at home and experience online. If the world is in the room, how does it change the therapy relationship? Given the constant noise and stimulation of contemporary life, we might begin by learning how to stay remembered between sessions.

Daily Blog

VIDEO: Why We Need to Talk with Psychiatrists

How Being “On Call” Keeps Kids from Falling through the Cracks

Ron Taffel • 8/1/2018

According to therapist Ron Taffel, author of Breaking Through to Teens, kids who need the extra boost from medication need their therapists to go the extra mile and communicate often with prescribers.

Daily Blog

Therapists Talk Gun Violence

Brainstorming Ways to Make a Difference

Lauren Dockett, Ron Taffel • 4/3/2018

By Ron Taffel and Lauren Dockett - Therapists are often at the center of cultural conversations around large-scale shootings. At the 2018 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, they came together to discuss ways to prevent further gun violence in their communities and schools. Here's what happened.

Daily Blog

Family Therapy as We Know It Needs to Change

To Reach Troubled Adolescents, Look to the "Second Family"

Ron Taffel • 3/30/2018

By Ron Taffel - When it comes to treating troubled adolescents, family therapy has not kept pace with several decades of massive social upheaval. The world of an adolescent is now so powerfully defined by systemic forces other than home—the peer network, pop culture, school and neighborhood ethos—that working with the family alone is rarely powerful enough to effect change.

Daily Blog

Discovering the Real Life of Teens

The Key to Translating Youth Culture to Mystified Parents

Ron Taffel • 12/12/2017

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.

Daily Blog

VIDEO: How to Broach the Subject of Medication with Kids

When Is It Necessary? An Expert Explains.

Ron Taffel • 9/20/2017

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.

Daily Blog

Is Parental Authority a Thing of the Past?

Fostering Parent Circles Can Demystify the Challenges of Raising Kids

Ron Taffel • 9/22/2016

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.

Daily Blog
Page 1 of 2 (20 Items)

The Playful Therapist

7 Clinicians Share Their Best Strategies

Cloe Madanes, Courtney Armstrong, Frank Pittman, Kirsten Lind Seal, Lynn Lyons, Ron Taffel, Steve Andreas • 5/13/2022

In this collection, master therapists share how they’ve used humor in ways that both enliven and enrich the work of therapy.

Magazine Article

Reflections on Rich

Friends Celebrate His Life and Legacy

Esther Perel, Jay Lappin, Mary Jo Barrett, Mary Pipher, Richard Schwartz, Ron Taffel, Terry Real • 3/2/2021

Sharing how Rich Simon impacted our lives—and the field as a whole.

Magazine Article

The "Millennial Effect"

How Young Clients Are Leading Therapists to New Places

Ron Taffel • 11/9/2018

As they’re about to surpass baby boomers as the largest generation, millennials are coming to dominate the population of therapy consumers. But their impact goes beyond sheer numbers. With sometimes startling directness, they’re demanding that their therapists become even more “real” and disclosing, whether therapists are comfortable being that unguarded or not.

Magazine Article

Turns in the Road

Highlights from the Networker Journey

Mary Sykes Wylie, Dusty Miller, Esther Perel, Frank Pittman, Fred Wistow, Gary Greenberg, Katy Butler, Laura Markowitz, Molly Layton, Rich Simon, Ron Taffel • 1/1/2017

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.

Magazine Article

The Rise of the Two-Dimensional Parent

Are Therapists Seeing a New Kind of Attachment?

Ron Taffel • 9/11/2014

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?

Magazine Article

How Conversation Sparks Therapeutic Change

The Search for the Unspoken Self

Ron Taffel • 9/1/2012

When we trust in ourselves to follow the signals of life that the patient emits in seemingly casual conversation, we increase chances of stepping outside the stable confines of our theoretical models to enjoy an unexpected encounter.

Magazine Article

The Decline And Fall Of Parental Authority

and What Therapists Can Do About It

Ron Taffel • 1/1/2012

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.

Magazine Article

Vertically Challenged

Treating the Nonhierarchical Family

Ron Taffel • 9/1/2009

Parenting and childhood today often seem to have more in common with abstract expressionism than with Norman Rockwell. But is this transformation of the nature of family norms and values such a bad thing?

Magazine Article

The Divided Self

Inside the World of 21st Century Teens

Ron Taffel • 11/26/2008

For decades before and after World War II, children all over the United States hung out, had slumber parties, made crank phone calls, and played sports unsupervised. They didn't need the help of adults to set up play dates or hand out certificates of participation. As we know all too well by now, we no longer live in that world. What's less apparent is that, despite the appearance of greater parental involvement and psychological sophistication, most adults are just as clueless about the "second family" of their children's peer group and adolescent pop culture as they ever were.

Magazine Article

Confronting the New Anxiety

How Therapists can Help Today's Fearful Kids

Ron Taffel • 11/10/2003

Teens and preteens today pulsate with anxiety in a pressure-cooker youth culture and an explosive world, ever at the edge. Not that you'd know it when you first meet them. For the most part, they don't act particularly scared. But for all their apparent bravado, kids need the felt presence of adults—the undeniable evidence that we can be emotionally there for them, keeping them safe and providing them with the structure and guidance they crave in a frighteningly chaotic world. Nothing less seems to hold their anxiety, or capture their digital-speed, supersaturated attention.

Magazine Article
Page 1 of 2 (15 Items)
Ron Taffel, PhD, is Chair, Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in NYC, the author of eight books and over 100 articles on therapy and family life.