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VIDEO: Dan Siegel on Engaging Teen Clients

They're More Interested in Brain Science Than You Think

Dan Siegel • 10/3/2018 • No Comments

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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Meeting Teen Clients Where They Are

Here's What They Respond To

Janet Sasson Edgette • 4/26/2018 • 1 Comment

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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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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Family Therapy as We Know It Needs to Change

To Reach Troubled Adolescents, Look to the "Second Family"

Ron Taffel • 3/30/2018 • No Comments

By Ron Taffel - When it comes to treating troubled adolescents, family therapy has not kept pace with several decades of massive social upheaval. The world of an adolescent is now so powerfully defined by systemic forces other than home—the peer network, pop culture, school and neighborhood ethos—that working with the family alone is rarely powerful enough to effect change.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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A Novel Approach to Treating Troubled Kids

Multi-Systemic Therapy Treats the Overlapping Worlds of Childhood

Wray Herbert • 7/10/2017 • 2 Comments

By Wray Herbert - As its name suggests, Multi-Systemic Therapy is focused on the many overlapping worlds of childhood and adolescence. It emphasizes treating problem kids in their own natural environment, and practitioners routinely use genograms to visually depict the stresses and sources of support in a teenager's life.

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Overcoming Standoffs with Tough Teens

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

Matthew Selekman • 5/4/2017 • 3 Comments

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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