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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.

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Confronting a Broken Juvenile Justice System

Detention Facilities Have Become Warehouses for Mentally Disturbed Youth

Rob Waters • 9/6/2017 • No Comments

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.

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A Daughter's Broken Heart

A Special Story from Our Family Matters Section

Gregory Samuels • 9/4/2017 • 1 Comment

By Gregory Samuels - My daughter has a broken heart. She’s 6,000 miles away, across an ocean, on a semester abroad, and she’s stricken. I was about the same age as Erin is now when I first had my heart broken, and I can’t help but wonder if, along with bad love-karma, I’ve somehow passed along some terrible predisposition. Was there a way to raise her so that she’d be impervious to love turned sour?

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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.

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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.

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Is Teen Suicide Contagious?

Clinicians Weigh in on the Controversy around 13 Reasons Why

Chris Lyford • 7/24/2017 • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - 13 Reasons Why has become one of Netflix’s most watched features, in part for how it confronts the subject of young adult suicide. But the notion that it glorifies self-harm has led suicide-prevention agencies, school boards, and therapists to speak out.

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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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How to Engage an Angry Teen

A Paradoxical Approach to Creating a Therapeutic Alliance

Victor Shklyarevsky • 5/23/2017 • No Comments

By Victor Shklyarevsky - "Making nice" is doomed to failure when working with too many troubled teens who might otherwise be helped. From the very first moments of the initial session, our goal is to match the teens' negative intensity: to take what such rude and dismissive clients so readily dish out and give back the same. This kind of mirroring allows them to experience the therapist as someone who can meet them where they are emotionally.

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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.

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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 • 2 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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