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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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Lessons from Therapy with Adolescent Girls

Four Tips for Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance

Martha Straus

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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Reflections on the Path and Purpose of Trauma Work

Ending the National Health Problem of Family Violence

Mary Jo Barrett

By Mary Jo Barrett - Family violence remains a national health problem that few therapists have been trained to deal with and, sadly, few of us want to address. On a good day, it’s a messy, complicated business, which doesn’t bring much financial reward or professional status. But over 40 years, we've amassed a wealth of knowledge on how to help traumatized families.

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Making Family Therapy Happen

Reconnecting Split Families in the Consulting Room

Elena Lesser Bruun

When someone has been cut off by a family member, he or she often feels immense hurt, incomprehension, rage, rejection, and a sense of injustice. Of course, this can be true for the initiator of a cutoff as well. Even when someone initiates a cutoff for legitimate reasons, the initiator is still likely to experience regret, sadness, and longing for what might have been. Helping families heal cutoffs is painstakingly delicate work, and comes with a high risk for stumbling over buried land mines. But by taking the right steps toward initial reconciliation and properly managing in-session discussions, it's possible to mend broken ties in a way that satisfies everyone.

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Hungry for Connection

10 Ways to Improve Your Therapy with Adolescent Girls

Martha Straus

Working with girls in therapy is what I do with the greatest interest and passion. Like many female therapists who have this specialty, I had my own tough times as a teenager. I have wells of empathy to draw on, and can stay attuned with them more easily than with males, or females of other ages. Our bond is implicit, and by being as fully authentic, connected, and present as I know how, I help them make it explicit. Thus the thoughts that follow are largely informed by my 20-odd years of experience treating adolescent girls and their families. They synthesize what's helped me forge alliances with them quickly and inspire change.

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