It's not easy to build trust and empathy with young clients, especially those who've experienced attachment trauma. According to Martha Straus, the author of No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents, the key to getting through to these clients lies in creating an atmosphere of familiarity and reliability.
Here, she shares a simple, reliable method you can use to position yourself as a safe attachment figure.
Martha Straus, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England, and the author of No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents and Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Intervention and Hope.
Predictability promotes change for these young clients, Straus says, making them feel safe and appreciated. "For a lot of these kids, people haven't really been reliable for them," Straus says. "For many, I'm the only grown-up they know."
Even small steps like calling, emailing, or texting a young client ahead of time to confirm an appointment can make a big difference in how they feel, she says. “These kids need reliable adults. Especially for those who have chaotic lives, this kind of structure is incredibly important.”
Did you enjoy this video? You might also enjoy Straus's "Getting Unhooked," or "Bungee Families," in which she explains what the growing trend of young adults moving back home means for their development and happiness.
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