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Millennials and the Tyranny of Choice

Three Ways to Help Young Clients Work Through the Real Problem of Choosing Unwisely

Martha Straus • 11/17/2018 • No Comments

By Martha Straus - After a difficult case, I decided to consult with a small group of millennials, who helped me grasp what a big deal choosing has become for this generation. Here are three adjustments I've made to help millennial clients struggling with the tyranny of choice take hold of their lives and approach differently the sense of paralysis they feel.

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Inhabiting the Moment with Traumatized Teens

Three Strategies to Rewire Young Brains for Safety and Attachment

Martha Straus • 4/26/2018 • No Comments

By Martha Straus - What we therapists have to offer our young clients, more than anything, is our well-regulated, fully developed adult brain, with its mature capacity for awareness, perspective, appraisal, curiosity, and forgiveness on full display. According to the approach I use, Developmental-Relational Therapy, we’re both the mechanism of change and the intervention. Here are a few strategies that can rewire the teen brain for safety and intimacy.

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My Nightmare Client, My Greatest Gift

Sometimes Our "Worst" Clients Are Our Best Teachers

Martha Straus • 1/6/2018 • 1 Comment

By Martha Straus - My young client, Brian, can reduce even confident mid-life adults to an infantile puddle, one provocative comment at a time. He's a therapist's nightmare. But he’s also the universe's gift to me. He measures my commitment to the work, to him, to my ideas about therapy, to my best self.

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VIDEO: Martha Straus on the Power of Predictability with Kids

The Cornerstone of a Strong Therapeutic Alliance

Martha Straus • 12/27/2017 • No Comments

Familiarity and predictability aren't always the best course of action when we're trying to encourage our clients to change, but there are times when they can provide much-needed comfort. According to Martha Straus, an expert in working with kids and teens, young people are among those who need this familiarity the most, especially when they've experienced attachment trauma. In the following clip, she explains how regular appointments and check-in phone calls serve a healing purpose.

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Lessons from Therapy with Adolescent Girls

Four Tips for Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance

Martha Straus • 8/22/2017 • 1 Comment

By Martha Straus - For me, working with girls is what I do with the greatest interest and passion. I have wells of empathy to draw on, and can stay attuned with them more easily than with males. Our bond is implicit, and by being as fully authentic, connected, and present as I know how, I help them make it explicit. Here are four of the biggest lessons I've learned in my therapeutic work with adolescent girls.

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Are You a "Permaparent"?

Your Adult Child Just Moved Back Home. But Is It Normal?

Martha Straus • 10/14/2016 • No Comments

By Martha Straus - Today, about 25 million young adults between between 18 and 34 are currently residing with their parents. In its basic form, this story holds that most emerging adults still living at home are wretched, entitled, or manipulative. But the new bungee family offers emerging adults---and our fragmented social fabric---a healing alternative, one that's injecting the best social capital available into the human mix.

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Getting Unhooked

Optimizing Connection with Teenage Clients by Understanding Your Own Attachment Style

Martha Straus • 2/9/2016 • No Comments

For a child to develop, adults need to “loan” them their adult regulatory system. But being a self-aware, engaged, and compassionate therapist isn't automatic. To play our part, we must first foster our own capacity to self-regulate before we can demand it of a terrified or furious teen. Attachment is a two-way street: it’s not just about them.

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VIDEO: Using Empathy to Help Kids Self-Regulate

How Being Calm and Collected Gets Us Connected

Martha Straus • 9/11/2015 • 1 Comment

In this brief video clip, child psychologist and Symposium 2016 presenter Martha Straus discusses the benefit of using co-regulation with a young client in trouble. 
Don't miss her Symposium workshop, on Friday, March 18, Addressing Attachment Issues with Traumatized Teens.

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The New Family Attachment of Parenting Adult Children

Martha Strauss on the Merits of Enduring Connection with Our Adult Children

Martha Straus • 9/8/2015 • No Comments

Just a generation ago, the child-rearing contract was clearly designed to last for about 18 years. By the time we'd finished high school, it was more than reasonable for our parents to assume that we'd move out and one way or another start to stand on our own two unsubsidized feet. But today, growing numbers of the emerging adults (and parents) I treat are trying to stay deeply connected, rather than separate from each other. These days, I'm working to support them, rather than to challenge their dependence.

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VIDEO: Getting around Kids' Defense Systems

Using Animal Friends

Charlotte Reznick • 4/20/2015 • 1 Comment

It can be hard to get around your young clients’ defense systems so that the good, therapeutic information gets through. Charlotte has a way to get around that.

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