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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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VIDEO: Jack Kornfield on What Really Heals

How to Create an Invitation for Connection

Jack Kornfield • 4/4/2018 • No Comments

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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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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When Your Client Won't Commit to Change

How to Accept Opposition and Still Get Results

David Johnson • 3/29/2018 • 3 Comments

By David Johnson - In my several decades of practice, one skill that’s served me well in this field is my ability to leave work at the office. But every once in a while, I see clients whose situation intrigues, moves, or confounds me in a way that keeps them in my thoughts in between sessions, even if I’m often not sure what it is about them that continues to haunt me. Such was the case with Matthew.

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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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VIDEO: Charlotte Resnick on Helping Kids Find the Answers Inside

Here's a Fun Exercise That Gets Your Young Clients Participating

Charlotte Reznick • 1/31/2018 • 6 Comments

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a magic therapy wand to wave in front of our young clients and give them all the answers they need? What if this magic wand could conjure rainbow lizards and talking dogs to sit on our clients’ shoulders, bypass their defense systems, and whisper good, therapeutic advice in their ears? That’s exactly the kind of approach Charlotte Reznick uses with her young clients.

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A Special Daughter's Special Night

A Personal Essay from our Family Matters Department

Richard Holloway • 1/1/2018 • 1 Comment

By Richard Holloway - My daughter is beautiful: she has long, flowing, blonde hair, blue eyes, elegant features, and stands about 5’ 10” tall. She’s now 18, a senior, and this June will be her graduation. It’s a prospect I greet with mixed emotions. She’s autistic and has difficulty with everyday interactions and expressing herself coherently. So in the winter of her junior year, even though the prom was just around the corner, we never imagined she’d go. (A personal essay from our Family Matters department)

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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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