The Old Rules of Family Togetherness No Longer Apply
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?
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.
Ron Taffel on Following the Spark in Therapy
By Ron Taffel - Of course, all good therapists do just talk with clients to some degree---it's really the lifeblood of therapy. But as a field, we've been unconscious of the nature of the conversation that energizes our models and techniques. It's as if the craft of conversation were a secret weapon many of us have, but aren't allowed to acknowledge, much less consciously work at improving. Yet, without it, treatment can be a textbook exercise lacking the power to make clients feel a truly alive and personal connection with their therapist.
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.
How Being “On Call” Keeps Kids from Falling through the Cracks
According to child 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.
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.
Today’s Video: When Is It Necessary?
Given the stigma still attached to psychiatric drugs, it’s no surprise that today’s kids, inundated with peer pressure to be “cool,” might have reservations about taking them. But therapist Ron Taffel, author of Getting Through to Difficult Kids and Parents, knows that for especially burdened young clients, medication is often necessary to get therapy moving. Therapists, he says, can’t always go it alone.
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!