Popular Topic - Children/Adolescents

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The Impossible Child

A New Treatment Offers Hope for the Undiagnosable

September/October 2000
In the fall of Evan's second year of preschool, Mr. Warren's view of my son's future took a turn. He began describing him as "disruptive," "aggressive" and, on one occasion, "violent." He hinted that his school might not be the right place for Evan and suggested that we get a "behavioral analysis" at the university psychology clinic. I was furious, and grateful, that he didn't seem to remember that I analyze behavior for a living.

Small Winnings

Learning from a Therapist's Nightmare

November/December 2000
Perhaps it isn't surprising that the challenging case that ambles through the thickets of my mind is Brian Stanley, a furious and terrified 11-year-old boy I've known well for six years and am still wrangling with every couple of weeks. Befitting my more deliberate gait, ours is a story of incremental healing and occasions for small hope.

The Four Most Common Mistakes in Treating Teeens

And What You Can Do About It

July/August 2000
Any therapist treating domestic violence takes one look at a husband who is dominating and abusing his wife and recognizes that he exercises power over her. Yet, when a teenager threatens, dominates by shouting and imposing guilt and controls her parents by threatening to run away, too many therapists fail to realize that abuse is going on.

Getting Real

Candor and Connection with Adolescents

September/October 1999
Carl was a 17-year-old client of mine whom I always hoped would stand me up. Ten or twelve minutes into a scheduled therapy session, when it seemed clear that he had given me the slip, I could actually feel the knot in my stomach begin to uncoil, my shoulders soften, my jaw unclench. Ahhhh, I'd sigh inwardly. Safe for another week.

Discovering Our Children

The Connection Between Anonymity and Rage in Today's Kids

September/October 1999
Over the last 10 years, as these exchanges are becoming increasingly part of everyday family interaction, it has become apparent to me that a tectonic shift about acceptable behavior is taking place in parent-child relationships throughout the country.

The Second Family

A Teen's Peer Group Is a Rich Resource for Family Therapists

May/June 1996
When family therapist Ron Taffel wrote this article in 1996, an explosive upsurge of youth pop culture called into question the very idea that parents must reestablish firm authority over teens. With the advent of smartphones and instant, constant access to peers, this cornerstone of family systems theory has crumbled even further. The central question Taffel asks is even more urgent now: if pop culture reigns, and teens are firmly embedded in a peer-driven “second family,” what role, if any, can parents play in providing guidance to troubled adolescents?
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Good-Bye Paradox, Hello Invariant Prescription

Palazzoli and the Family Game

September/October 1987
After Italian psychiatrist Mara Selvini Palazzoli became celebrated for her work with therapeutic paradox in the 1970s, she stunned the family therapy world with an even more flamboyant intervention—the invariant prescription.
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Case Study

The Healing Power of Play: Helping the Traumatized Child Find Safety Again

September/October 2008
When a small child has been traumatized and frozen in fear, the releasing and disarming power of play can be the key to healing.

Pathologizing for Dollars

The rise of the ADHD diagnosis

January/February 2008

Hallway Therapy

Systems Thinking Goes to the Classroom

January/February 2007
A therapist takes us along on a typical week providing family-oriented mental health services in the hurly-burly of a school setting.
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