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Taking Charge with Difficult Teens

...And the Four Most Common Mistakes Therapists Make

Jerome Price and Judith Margerum • 2/15/2018 • 4 Comments

By Jerome Price and Judith Margerum - How does a therapist treat a struggle between a teenager and his or her parents? Therapies that advocate support without leadership fail, giving teenagers too much control. There are four common errors that therapists make with teenagers. They are surprisingly simple to grasp, and they always make matters worse.


Making Space for Race

Creating and Holding Connection with Black Teenagers

Ken Hardy • 1/23/2018 • No Comments

By Ken Hardy - Therapy with teenagers has to be about creating and holding a connection. As a therapist, I'm like a spider trying to lure my clients into a web that will support them. While I try to use the context of racism to help African American teenagers understand their situations, verbalize, and vent their feelings, I also want them to develop inner resources and tools for handling the adversity they face in more useful and productive ways.


Discovering the Real Life of Teens

The Key to Translating Youth Culture to Mystified Parents

Ron Taffel • 12/12/2017 • No Comments

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.


The Challenges of Working with Suicidal Teens

Best Practices for When Work Becomes Dramatic and Unpredictable

Matthew Selekman • 9/29/2017 • 2 Comments

By Matthew Selekman - Working with self-harming teens often seems like riding a runaway roller coaster, which keeps threatening to go off the rails altogether. To succeed, you have to be highly flexible and able to turn on a dime, as the circumstances demand.


Confronting a Broken Juvenile Justice System

Detention Facilities Have Become Warehouses for Mentally Disturbed Youth

Rob Waters • 9/6/2017 • 1 Comment

By Rob Waters - Record numbers of young people have been sentenced to juvenile detention facilities that have become warehouses for mentally disturbed youth. But outcome studies have found that kids who complete Multisystemic Therapy programs go on to commit fewer crimes than kids in control groups who went to correctional facilities.


What Therapists Need to Know About Working with Teenage Girls

Author Lisa Damour Explains the Seven Transitions into Adulthood

Ryan Howes • 9/2/2017 • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - In the following interview, New York Times columnist and author Lisa Damour gives us a glimpse at the map she’s developed for both therapists and parents trying to help teenage girls make their way through the treacherous, often bewildering landscape of adolescence in today’s world.


The Final Shot

A Therapist's Creativity Unifies a Fractured Group of Inner City Boys

Ken Hardy • 8/4/2017 • No Comments

By Ken Hardy - While working as a family therapist at a boys' school in the Philadelphia suburbs, I learned to use basketball to capture their attention and imagination, and ultimately bring all of us closer together.


Inhabiting the Moment with Traumatized Teens

Three Strategies to Rewire Young Brains for Safety and Attachment

Martha Straus • 5/18/2017 • 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.


Keeping it Real with Your Teen Clients

...And the One Mistake Too Many Clinicians Make

Janet Sasson Edgette • 4/30/2017 • No Comments

By Janet Sasson Edgette - For many teenagers, few things are less appealing than the prospect of talking with adults. Can you blame them? Too often, adults quickly refashion conversations into know-it-all lectures, boring monologues, or annoying reprimands. Here are some approaches to building conversation that allow you to connect with young clients without making them feel self-conscious, pounced upon, or called out.


What Works with Teen Clients

Forget Everything You Know About the Therapeutic Alliance

Janet Sasson Edgette • 12/1/2016 • 1 Comment

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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