Pathways to Change: Brief Therapy with Difficult Adolescents

Pathways to Change: Brief Therapy with Difficult Adolescents

Pathways to Change: Brief Therapy with Difficult Adolescents

Pathways to Change: Brief Therapy with Difficult Adolescents

Synopsis

Now in a fully revised and expanded second edition, this innovative, practical guide presents an effective brief therapy model for working with challenging adolescents and their families. The solution-oriented techniques and strategies so skillfully presented in the original volume are now augmented by ideas and findings from other therapeutic traditions, with a heightened focus on engagement and relationship building. Illustrated with extensive clinical material, the book demonstrates ways to draw on each family's strengths to collaboratively bring about significant behavioral change. Entirely new chapters discuss therapeutic improvisation and the creative use of self and offer powerful ideas for working with involuntary and multistressed clients, including parents who are angry, pessimistic, laissez-faire, or psychiatrically impaired. Another new chapter presents a "mini-manual" for conducting solution-oriented parenting groups.

Excerpt

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” In this spirit, since the first edition of Pathways to Change was published in 1993, I have continued to allow my solution-oriented brief family therapy model to evolve considerably in terms of model expansion, becoming even more collaborative, and carefully targeting and intervening in the multisystems levels of the adolescent’s social ecology to produce long-lasting systemic changes. Being a diehard integrationist, I continue to develop and look for new and old therapeutic ideas that can logically fit together and help build in more therapeutic flexibility and choices with therapeutic experiments and rituals. Another important dimension to this second and expanded edition is my placing a stronger emphasis on the engagement process and relationship building throughout the book, particularly in the new chapters. Our ability to establish meaningful connections with challenging adolescents and their families at the start of treatment can greatly contribute to positive treatment outcomes. This is supported by many psychotherapy outcome research studies that have consistently demonstrated how relationship factors were highly rated by clients as greatly contributing to their treatment success (Hubble, Duncan, & Miller, 1999).

The first edition of Pathways to Change theoretically was quite heavy on the solution-focused brief therapy side (de Shazer, 1988, 1991). Although this important therapeutic approach has shown favorable clinical results with a wide range of adolescent behavioral difficulties, I came to discover over the past decade some of its limitations with much more complex adolescent case situations that had experienced multiple treatment failures. At times, in staying too wedded to the basic solution-focused brief therapy approach (de Shazer, 1988, 1991), I found myself naturally favoring the kinds of solution-determined stories I wanted to coauthor with my . . .

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