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.
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.”