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Overcoming Standoffs with Tough Teens

...And the Three Questions You Should Ask Them in the Very First Session

Matthew Selekman

By Matthew Selekman - Trying to get in the door with provocative, therapy-savvy adolescents can be a challenging task for even the most seasoned of therapists. I've developed several engagement strategies that I regularly use, singly or in combination, that have consistently helped me to establish a therapeutic alliance with even the toughest teen client.

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VIDEO: Helping Teen Clients Make Good Decisions

...And What to Do When They Talk About Risky Behavior

Britt Rathbone

Networker’s Lauren Dockett talks with teen therapist Britt Rathbone about navigating the tricky issues of confidentiality, risky behavior, and improving teen judgment and self-control.

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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

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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How Millennials are Changing Therapy

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

Ron Taffel

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

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

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

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

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

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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Taking Charge with Difficult Teens

...And the Four Most Common Mistakes Therapists Make

Jerome Price and Judith Margerum

By Jerome Price and Judith Margerum - How does a therapist treat a struggle between a teenager and his or her parents? Therapies that advocate support without leadership fail, giving teenagers too much control. There are four common errors that therapists make with teenagers. They are surprisingly simple to grasp, and they always make matters worse.

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