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April Quandary: My Teenage Client’s Parents Say He’s Depressed, But He Disagrees!

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • No Comments

By Chris Lyford - Fourteen-year-old client Tyler’s parents brought him to therapy because they say he rarely engages with classmates or teachers, isn’t interested in extracurriculars, and heads straight to his room after school to play video games. They worry he’s depressed, but he’s mostly responsive in therapy and insists he’s happy. Here's how five therapists say they'd proceed.

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What Works with Teen Clients

Forget Everything You Know About the Therapeutic Alliance

Janet Sasson Edgette • No Comments

By Janet Edgette - It’s probably fair to say that most teens loathe the very idea of therapy. Yet, with confused and troubled adolescents needing our help more than ever, the gap between our grad school training and what works in real-life practice continues to widen.

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A New Year's Conundrum

A Stumped Therapist's Attempt to Help Two Parents Set Boundaries Has a Surprising Result

Ron Taffel • No Comments

By Ron Taffel - At 15, Jenny regularly breaks her curfew, flirts with drugs, and is getting close to being suspended from her Manhattan public school. Today, she and her parents are in my office discussing the latest issue: New Year’s Eve is coming up, and Jenny and her posse have plans.

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How Millennials are Changing Therapy

Staying Remembered in an Age of Fast-Talking and Fast-Forgetting

Ron Taffel • No Comments

By Ron Taffel - Millennials are asking that therapists offer a therapeutic version of the responsive immediacy and role-fluidity they expect at home and experience online. If the world is in the room, how does it change the therapy relationship? Given the constant noise and stimulation of contemporary life, we might begin by learning how to stay remembered between sessions.

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The Young and the Anxious

When Worried Clients Swing Back, What's Your Role?

Lynn Lyons • No Comments

By Lynn Lyons - Lately, I’ve become aware of just how much of my practice is made up of young adults who return to therapy after leaving the nest. This pattern is also indicative of a generation of young people stuck in the transition between childhood and adulthood. Here's what I do with "long-term" clients who swing back.

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VIDEO: Dan Siegel on Engaging Teen Clients

They're More Interested in Brain Science Than You Think

Dan Siegel • No Comments

Dan Siegel knows that nobody—especially an angst-filled teenager—likes being told what to do. That’s why he takes a more roundabout approach to connecting with younger clients. By taking the emphasis off of "talking about feelings" and placing it on science, he creates a space that can lead to action-oriented solutions and positive growth. See how it's done.

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Inhabiting the Moment with Traumatized Teens

Three Strategies to Rewire Young Brains for Safety and Attachment

Martha Straus • No Comments

By Martha Straus - What we therapists have to offer our young clients, more than anything, is our well-regulated, fully developed adult brain, with its mature capacity for awareness, perspective, appraisal, curiosity, and forgiveness on full display. According to the approach I use, Developmental-Relational Therapy, we’re both the mechanism of change and the intervention. Here are a few strategies that can rewire the teen brain for safety and intimacy.

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Meeting Teen Clients Where They Are

Here's What They Respond To

Janet Sasson Edgette • No Comments

By Janet Sasson Edgette - Most of us were never trained to talk to adolescents, and they often find most standard, shrink-wrapped attempts to "engage" them infuriating. Here's what they respond to best.

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Family Therapy as We Know It Needs to Change

To Reach Troubled Adolescents, Look to the "Second Family"

Ron Taffel • No Comments

By Ron Taffel - When it comes to treating troubled adolescents, family therapy has not kept pace with several decades of massive social upheaval. The world of an adolescent is now so powerfully defined by systemic forces other than home—the peer network, pop culture, school and neighborhood ethos—that working with the family alone is rarely powerful enough to effect change.

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When Your Client Won't Commit to Change

How to Accept Opposition and Still Get Results

David Johnson • No Comments

By David Johnson - In my several decades of practice, one skill that’s served me well in this field is my ability to leave work at the office. But every once in a while, I see clients whose situation intrigues, moves, or confounds me in a way that keeps them in my thoughts in between sessions, even if I’m often not sure what it is about them that continues to haunt me. Such was the case with Matthew.

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