Breaking through to Teens: A New Psychotherapy for the New Adolescence

Breaking through to Teens: A New Psychotherapy for the New Adolescence

Breaking through to Teens: A New Psychotherapy for the New Adolescence

Breaking through to Teens: A New Psychotherapy for the New Adolescence

Synopsis

This book presents groundbreaking strategies for psychotherapy with today's teens, for whom high-risk behavior, lack of adult guidance, and intense anxiety and stress increasingly come with the territory. Ron Taffel addresses the key challenge of building a therapeutic relationship that is strong enough to promote real behavioral and emotional change. He demonstrates effective ways to give advice that teens will listen to, get them to tell the truth about their lives, help parents reestablish their authority, and extend the reach of therapy by such nontraditional means as inviting teens to bring friends into sessions.

Excerpt

I am repeatedly stunned when I am told that kids are no different today than they were when we were growing up. The underlying assumption is that we need not do anything differently with our teen clients now than when we were first trained. Yet how can it be that everything in the world has changed so significantly over the past few decades and somehow kids remain the same? This notion has disastrous consequences. Adolescents don’t feel understood by adults, even by many professionals. Adults don’t know how to break through to kids. Parents feel overwhelmed by ordinary teen life. Teens make decisions that put them in harm’s way.

In a crunch, families turn to child professionals, who often don’t know how to sort out the maze of contradictory childrearing advice and therapeutic interventions, or who don’t know how to match treatment with a teen world that has dramatically shifted— along with values about race, gender, family, marriage and divorce, tradition, technology, and how kids define sex, abstinence, and drinking. There is no way for us to help teenagers and their parents unless we reexamine the way we work, so that we do not recreate the parallel disconnection that exists in the homes we are supposed to help.

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