By Ron Taffel PhD
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Extra info for Breaking Through to Teens: A New Psychotherapy for the New Adolescence
Matt, for example, was referred to me because he had been kicked out of several schools for not going to classes or doing his work and was on the verge of being suspended from yet another school. Matt’s problems were typical of the changes I had noticed over the past two decades. He was a good-looking, bright young boy. He knew how to speak with sophistication about almost any topic and, on the surface at least, was willing to answer any questions put his way. The problem everyone—guidance counselors, psychologists, church leaders—had with Matt was that during an apparently successful give-and-take he revealed very little about his private thoughts, what his life was about, what could have motivated him to be so disengaged at school.
Do you believe that? Why the fuck does she think I asked her in the first place? Is this supposed to be helpful? ” * * * Mary’s complaint is well founded. Kids may be driven by their own concerns, but they are not stupid. For all their swagger, they know they don’t know everything about life or how to grow up. Most teens still hunger (if just faintly) for a powerful relationship with a grown-up that facilitates both a deepening within and direction without. As child professionals, who frequently find ourselves mediating between distressed parents and teenagers, we are better positioned than Mary thinks to offer kids and their parents what they need in this world.
Is it easier reading textbooks or the computer? 8. Do you like to sit in the front or the back of the classroom? Do you ask questions in class or fade out? 9. Do you make errors on tests, homework, or reading instructions? 10. Do you edit your writing? Or once done-you’re done? 11. Do you say or do things in class without thinking? 12. Are you uncomfortable in sports or good at them? 13. Are kids mostly nice to you or leave you out? The “First Family” at Home Perhaps 30 minutes into the interview I finally get around to the traditional area of mental health professionals: the client’s family relationships.