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Overcoming Standoffs with Tough Teens

...And the Three Questions You Should Ask Them in the Very First Session

Matthew Selekman

By Matthew Selekman - Trying to get in the door with provocative, therapy-savvy adolescents can be a challenging task for even the most seasoned of therapists. I've developed several engagement strategies that I regularly use, singly or in combination, that have consistently helped me to establish a therapeutic alliance with even the toughest teen client.

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VIDEO: Helping Teen Clients Make Good Decisions

...And What to Do When They Talk About Risky Behavior

Britt Rathbone

Networker’s Lauren Dockett talks with teen therapist Britt Rathbone about navigating the tricky issues of confidentiality, risky behavior, and improving teen judgment and self-control.

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April Quandary: My Teenage Client’s Parents Say He’s Depressed, But He Disagrees!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Fourteen-year-old client Tyler’s parents brought him to therapy because they say he rarely engages with classmates or teachers, isn’t interested in extracurriculars, and heads straight to his room after school to play video games. They worry he’s depressed, but he’s mostly responsive in therapy and insists he’s happy. Here's how five therapists say they'd proceed.

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What Works with Teen Clients

Forget Everything You Know About the Therapeutic Alliance

Janet Sasson Edgette

By Janet Edgette - It’s probably fair to say that most teens loathe the very idea of therapy. Yet, with confused and troubled adolescents needing our help more than ever, the gap between our grad school training and what works in real-life practice continues to widen.

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A New Year's Conundrum

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

Ron Taffel

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.

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How Millennials are Changing Therapy

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

Ron Taffel

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.

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VIDEO: Dan Siegel on Engaging Teen Clients

They're More Interested in Brain Science Than You Think

Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel knows that nobody—especially an angst-filled teenager—likes being told what to do. That’s why he takes a more roundabout approach to connecting with younger clients. By taking the emphasis off of "talking about feelings" and placing it on science, he creates a space that can lead to action-oriented solutions and positive growth. See how it's done.

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Inhabiting the Moment with Traumatized Teens

Three Strategies to Rewire Young Brains for Safety and Attachment

Martha Straus

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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Meeting Teen Clients Where They Are

Here's What They Respond To

Janet Sasson Edgette

By Janet Sasson Edgette - Most of us were never trained to talk to adolescents, and they often find most standard, shrink-wrapped attempts to "engage" them infuriating. Here's what they respond to best.

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VIDEO: Jack Kornfield on What Really Heals

How to Create an Invitation for Connection

Jack Kornfield

Trained as a Buddhist monk and clinical psychologist, Jack Kornfield has been a pioneer in bringing meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhist psychology to the West. In the following clip from his Networker keynote address, he shares how to embody a fuller spiritual wisdom in your work with clients to heal difficult emotions, create calm focus, and connect deeply with others.

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