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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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VIDEO: Janet Edgette on Engaging Kids who Hate Therapy

How to Talk to Kids in a Way They Understand

Janet Sasson Edgette • 11/29/2017 • 4 Comments

In this brief video, Janet Edgette, author of Adolescent Therapy That Really Works, offers concrete tips for approaching young clients who are apprehensive about therapy.

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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 • 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.

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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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