Topic - Children/Adolescents

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

Appointments With Yourself

Don't Mistake Your Schedule for your Life

Michael Ventura

We speak about “the present moment” and the ability to be fully present, and we claim a sort of smudgy understanding of what that means. But what is “the present moment?” Americans have heard and used these phrases for about 40 years, as Eastern and New Age concepts influenced psychology and other ologies. But obviously, once you delve into it, now isn't as exact a word as it appears. Plus, it isn't so easy to "live now" in a multimedia, interactive era of cell phones and pagers in which we're expected to be constantly available. To buck the odds takes courage.

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Stronger Medicine

Anti-Depressants Haven't Made Therapy Obsolete

Michael Yapko

Americans have a history of valuing quick-fix solutions to difficult problems. But the simplistic psychopharmacological approach to depressive disorders underestimates the remarkable human capacity for self-transformation. We have the ability to use imagination and intelligence to change our life circumstances, our attitudes and emotions, even, to some extent, our personalities. It is the privilege of our profession to be able to help troubled people along this path, and though medications may make this journey less arduous, in the long run, therapists are indispensable for getting their clients to this destination.

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Journaling Exercises to Do Better Therapy

Brad Sachs on Creative Writing to Bolster Your Therapeutic Technique

Brad Sachs

While therapists are generally trained to focus on preparing case notes that are clinical and objective, confining ourselves to this format severely restricts the creative potential of the process. While many clinicians encourage their patients to keep a journal, draft real or imaginary letters to family members, and compose poetry, few clinicians use creative writing in their own work. But at its core, creative writing brings into awareness a conversation between what's alive and what's dying in ourselves, what's limiting and free, what's observable and shadowy.

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Mindful Meditation for the Therapist

Dan Siegel Embarks On a Vipassana Meditation Retreat

Dan Siegel

I'm flying from Los Angeles to Boston for a week-long meditation retreat, and I'm feeling nervous. For the next seven days, I'll be sitting in silence with 100 other scientists at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. The event is unique: when before have 100 scientists, most of whom specialize in studying the brain, gathered together to sit in silence for a week and learn "mindfulness meditation"? As a therapist, I know that teaching mindful awareness can markedly improve physical and mental well-being. Still, I have no background in meditation, my mind is always busily running on at least 10 cylinders, and I've never been known for my taciturnity.

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Making Family Therapy Happen

Reconnecting Split Families in the Consulting Room

Elena Lesser Bruun

When someone has been cut off by a family member, he or she often feels immense hurt, incomprehension, rage, rejection, and a sense of injustice. Of course, this can be true for the initiator of a cutoff as well. Even when someone initiates a cutoff for legitimate reasons, the initiator is still likely to experience regret, sadness, and longing for what might have been. Helping families heal cutoffs is painstakingly delicate work, and comes with a high risk for stumbling over buried land mines. But by taking the right steps toward initial reconciliation and properly managing in-session discussions, it's possible to mend broken ties in a way that satisfies everyone.

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Therapy in the New World of Kids and Teens

Ron Taffel on How Today's Child Therapist Can Build Rapport

Ron Taffel

While at first glance, 21st-century adolescents appear impossibly cool---cooler than we could have ever been ourselves---teens today are running hot with cultural forces that have redefined the nature of their consciousness and experience of selfhood. Therapy with adolescents needs to change fundamentally. We may not have the power to alter the techno-pop culture that defines so much of teen experience today, but by focusing treatment squarely on how to engage adolescents in a vital relationship, we can make an enormous difference in their lives.

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Creating a Therapeutic Alliance with the Troubled Teen

Matthew Selekman on How to Make Teen Therapy Engaging

Matthew Selekman

Building rapport with provocative teens in therapy can be a challenging task for even the most experienced therapists. A teen client can be a master at putting up the invisible force field while pushing our buttons, or telling us what we want to hear and side-stepping responsibility. Through the years, I’ve developed several engagement strategies that I regularly use, singly or in combination, that have consistently helped me establish a therapeutic alliance with even the toughest teen client.

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Lost in Electronica

Today's Media Culture is Leaving Boys at a Loss for Words

Adam Cox

My year treating high school boys taught me a lesson that still guides my work: if words are the currency of most interpersonal exchange, many boys are on the verge of social bankruptcy. When it comes to communication challenges, gender discrepancies are staggering. Boys make up 75 percent of special-education classes, are far more frequently diagnosed with syndromes ranging from ADHD to autism that involve social-learning problems, and account for nearly 80 percent of children identified as emotionally troubled. Our world is increasingly driven by communication and the need for emotional intelligence---attributes that generally don't come easily for boys---and they're clearly falling behind. In spite of the still-potent icon of the silent male in the American psyche, there are far fewer life options today---whether academic, career, or relational---that can accommodate a boy (or man) of few words.

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