BREAKING THROUGH TO TEENS
Psychotherapy for the New Adolescence
|Available at Amazon.com
and Barnes and Noble
In this book for all professionals who do any type of counseling – in agencies, schools, hospitals, or private practices — I present a new framework for working with teens for whom high-risk behavior and lack of adult guidance increasingly come with the territory. As realistically as possible, I provide strategies for confronting the core challenges of working with adult-dismissive youth and building a relationship that is strong enough to promote real behavioral and emotional change.
In everyday terms I spell out the basic conditions today’s kids need in order to feel “held” in a therapy relationship, and concrete ways for professionals to stay “real” in the room.
I know we all give advice, but do so without much formal training to do so effectively – so I focus on exactly how to give advice jaded teens will actually hear and sometimes take.
And I know working with oh-so-cool and troubled kids, it is critical to ignite passion in healthy and constructive ways — and I go into how this is can be done with almost all kids we see.
While an adolescent’s peer group is central, I spend a great deal of time on how to work with parents — so that they can break through parent-teen log jams, and especially re-establish authority with tough teens in realistic, 21st century ways.
Given the everyday dilemmas we face around confidentiality, I offer new ways of getting through the tight-rope we must walk – how and when to share with parents, how to help them be ‘smarter,’ how to enlist kids to talk to parents more about what is really going on.
I open up the walls of treatment (when appropriate) to bring in friends – since often the teen we see is the identified patient not just of the first family at home, but the second family of the peer group out there.
Finally, since most of us have difficulty dealing with both adolescents and their parents, I give concrete guidelines for conducting “focused family sessions” in which stalled treatment and family dynamics can become “unstuck” with everyone in the room – without losing control.
This book will surprise you in its familiarity with the real challenges of treating tough kids everyday. It is a re-definition of traditional treatment for everyone who works with adolescents and their families, as well as graduate students and trainees in the full range of mental health fields.
“A welcome addition to all the hand-wringing about the alien behavior of “kids today,” Taffel’s relational-behavioral paradigm fills a void left by traditional theories that do not emphasize an authentic and enduring relationship as the primary treatment technique for reaching teens. From the numerous, specific case examples and therapy dialogues, to precise questions to consider and ask, this book fills a hunger that therapists — like the parents and adolescents they treat — have for guidance without equivocation.”
— Martha B. Straus, PH.D., Antioch New England Graduate School
“Dr. Taffel returns to the front lines of working with kids and parents, with scary yet hopeful stories of what he sees today. His account is bold, honest and clear. For clinicians, who feel in over their heads with today’s teens and families (and who doesn’t?), thanks to this book, help is on the way.”
— Mary Pipher, PH.D., author of Reviving Ophelia