Today's Media Culture is Leaving Boys at a Loss for Words
10 Ways to Improve Your Therapy with Adolescent Girls
Temperament and the Elusive Concept of Normality
An understanding of the inborn dimensions of human temperament reveals that the concept of "normal" is far richer and more expansive than previously imagined.
Ritalin and the Growing Influence of Big Pharma
Researchers and practitioners alike have long been concerned that Ritalin use in childhood could lead to later drug abuse. But when a University of California researcher published a study that seemed to confirm those concerns, she set of a firestorm in the world of ADHD treatment.
Have We Lost Faith in Rehabilitating Juvenile Offenders?
For the past 20 years, the American criminal justice system has dealt with juvenile offenders in a way it never did before: by treating them like adults who must be isolated and punished for their crimes.
Working with Self-Harming Teens is Dramatic and Unpredictable
Working with self-harming teens often seems like riding a runaway roller coaster, which keeps threatening to go off the rails altogether. Just as things get smooth and predictable, a crisis sends you hurtling downhill again.
How Therapists can Help Today's Fearful Kids
Teens and preteens today pulsate with anxiety in a pressure-cooker youth culture and an explosive world, ever at the edge. Not that you'd know it when you first meet them. For the most part, they don't act particularly scared. But for all their apparent bravado, kids need the felt presence of adults—the undeniable evidence that we can be emotionally there for them, keeping them safe and providing them with the structure and guidance they crave in a frighteningly chaotic world. Nothing less seems to hold their anxiety, or capture their digital-speed, supersaturated attention.
When Did Childhood Turn Into a Rat Race?
Once every decade or so, we therapists awaken from our cultural slumber to see a problem that previously had no name in our clinical lexicon. I have a nomination for the problem of this decade: for many kids, childhood is becoming a rat race of hyperscheduling, overbusyness, and loss of family time.
Reinventing Therapy to Reach the New Teens
Lauren's mother, Margaret, loathed her 14-year-old daughter's weird new look--hair dyed bright orange, pierced eyebrow, Dracula makeup. But though Lauren looked bizarre and tended to stay out too late, she hadn't ever gotten into any real trouble. She was doing fine in school and seemed pleasant enough at home. Remembering the awful screaming fights with her own parents as a teen during the '60s, Margaret tried hard not to antagonize Lauren and to be understanding.
Adolescence has changed dramatically over the last two decades, and therapists will have to revise the way they work if they want to break through the wall that separates adults from teens. While the fundamental therapeutic skills--joining and motivating clients, listening actively and intuitively, clarifying issues and relationship patterns--are as relevant to successful therapy as ever, there are new applications for those skills that can make therapy more effective with today's crop of adolescents.
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