Topic - Children/Adolescents

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

Treating Violent Children with a Therapist's Warmth

Wisconsin's Mendota Treatment Center Offers Violent Youths a Path to Recovery

Katherine Ellison

The word "psychopath" distinguishes hard-bitten predators. Research shows a treatment center---run by shrinks, not wardens---has reduced new violent offenses by 50 percent. What accounts for the Mendota Treatment Center’s success? Its founders argue that “prosocial” bonds help deter crime by giving people a stake in society, and thus a reason to work to control themselves. At the center, no one ever calls a kid a psychopath. At most, the center’s therapists will speak of someone as having “psychopathic traits.” Inmates are rigorously referred to as “youth.” Faith in the possibility of redemption is embedded in the language.

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The Secret Ingredients for Effective Therapy in Inner-City Communities

Thelma Dye on Inspiring Hope at Harlem's Northside Center

Thelma Dye

When you do therapy in poor, underserved, inner-city communities, it’s important to be aware of the message your program communicates. For example, we never underestimate how important it is for people in the community to see our the environment at Northside Center for Child Development---a community-based agency in Harlem that’s provided outpatient mental health and educational services to children and families for 70 years---as a place that’s well cared for, inviting, and reflective of their culture. Regardless of training, the most important thing our therapists bring to the table is the strong belief that clients can get better, despite life circumstances.

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Helping Therapy Clients Cope with the Reality of Death

Clinical Wisdom to Combat Fear, Anxiety, and Grief at the End of Life

Barry Jacobs

For 17 years, managing responses to death has become part of my work, whether originally my intention or not. I’ve aspired to helping families hang tough through medical crisis, but now spend some of my time hanging crepe. I’ve now accepted the variety of ways people react to their dying. All of these ways of facing death are utterly ordinary and human. Throughout it all, I've learned that as difficult and awkward as confronting death can be, this work also gives me a richer sense of my client, the cast of characters in their world, and the drama of their life.

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Fine-Tuning Your Therapy Approach for Male Clients

Understanding Shame as a Threat to Perceptions of Manhood

David Wexler

The field of counseling and psychotherapy hasn't done a particularly good job of creating a user-friendly environment for male clients. The problem begins with a lack of awareness about the profound impact of shame. Most men will do whatever it takes to prove their manhood. Furthermore, there's a mismatch between the relational style of many men and the touchy-feely atmosphere of most counseling and psychotherapy. As therapists, we have two choices: shoehorn men into a process that's traditionally been more user-friendly for females, or reshape what we do and how we present it to better reach male clients.

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Functional Family Therapy: A New Road Map for Behavioral Change

Using FFT to Get Parents and Kids Motivated, Allied, and Committed to Change

Thomas Sexton

Over the years, I’ve found that I’ve needed a solid, research-backed clinical model, which would guide me in sessions and keep me grounded during conflicted family interactions. The one I use, based on 30 years of research on the most effective interventions with delinquent juveniles and their families, is Functional Family Therapy. Like other models, it provides a framework for conceptualizing the case and focusing on relational family patterns. But more importantly, it's a kind of “clinical GPS” system. It not only shows a way through rough, unmarked territory, but allows you to update decision points and recalibrate the therapy to fit changing circumstances and unexpected developments.

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Putting Clients with Asperger's Syndrome on the Path to Success

How Adding Brain Science to Therapy Normalizes Living with Asperger's

Richard Howlin

Adults with Asperger's syndrome often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. Worse still, their ability to fake it---to just pick up the emotional tenor of others---is severely limited by their concrete, inflexible thinking style. One of my initial goals in therapy is to help them realize the role their brain plays in their everyday practical and social understanding. Then, we embark on a step-by-step process of skill training, life planning, and helping clients integrate their unusual and obsessive talents into a productive life.

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Removing Stigma in the Aftermath of Sexual Abuse

Therapy's Ongoing Duty to Help Victims Eliminate Shame and Self-Blame

Susan Clancy

Certainly we have advanced to the point that the right things are being said about sexual abuse---that it's common and harmful, and that it's never the child's fault. Funding in the trauma field has been secured, research conducted, studies and books published, treatment centers established, and public awareness raised through sex-education programs and campaigns in the media. But is any of it translating into actual progress for victims? Do they feel that they're being helped, that they're understood and their needs are being served effectively?

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VIDEO: Using Empathy to Help Kids Self-Regulate

How Being Calm and Collected Gets Us Connected

Martha Straus

In this brief video clip, child psychologist and Symposium 2016 presenter Martha Straus discusses the benefit of using co-regulation with a young client in trouble. 
Don't miss her Symposium workshop, on Friday, March 18, Addressing Attachment Issues with Traumatized Teens.

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Treating Asperger's Syndrome in the Therapy Room

Therapy Tools for Helping Clients with AS Improve Social Skills

Richard Howlin

Adults with Asperger's syndrome (AS) often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. Worse still, their ability to fake it---to just pick up the emotional tenor of others---is severely limited by their concrete, inflexible thinking style. People with AS aren't able to shift their attention easily or adapt to changing circumstances. Unexpected departures from routine can throw them into complete catatonia. Such was the case with one of my clients, Steven. He'd recently flunked out of college, didn't have a single friend, had no plans for the future, and seemed to have no sense of urgency or concern about his life.

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The Healing Combination of Therapy and Disaster Relief

How an Uncommon Blend of Therapy and Volunteerism is Changing the World

Chris Lyford

Fifteen years ago, psychotherapist Jeffrey Kottler never imagined he’d be stuffing nine duffel bags full of antibiotics and suture kits for a return trip to Nepal. But since founding Empower Nepali Girls (ENG) to provide scholarships to at-risk children, he's returned to the country several times each year with a small team to rescue girls from probable futures in sex slavery, putting them on the path to careers in medicine, engineering, and teaching. And Kottler isn't alone in his relief efforts. In fact, many therapists are redefining what it means to create a connection, the resulting product being an uncommon blend of therapy, relief work, and social justice advocacy. Here are a few of their stories.

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