Building Rapport with Your Teenage Therapy Clients How do you get it? How do you know when you have it?
Most therapists think of therapeutic rapport as something that builds over time between therapist and client, time being the major factor in consolidating the relationship. Many are surprised then, when, after weeks of pleasant-ish conversation, the client suddenly drops out of therapy. It’s because there’s no traction in pleasant. Rapport needs traction to grow, not time, traction being that quality of an interpersonal encounter that genuinely and mutually interests and engages both parties.
Parents and educators often mistake a kid’s inattentiveness for an attention deficit disorder when that kid is simply ignoring the adults’ directives. By not holding children or teenagers accountable for their intentional lack of attention, or regard, or response, we are enabling them to hide behind labels in order to avoid responsibility and accountability.
Therapists sometime struggle to get their teenager therapy clients to open cup in session. Here are three things teen therapists can do to facilitate conversation with their clients.
We use “typical teen behavior” to refer to a broad range of things our teens do, much of it unbecoming. Whenever they appear moody, or stop talking to us, or resist our reminders about from everything from deadlines to hygiene, our go-to explanation is that they’re just being typical teens.
But are they? Or have we just become so accustomed to thinking about adolescents as defiant and non-communicative that we no longer take the time to try and understand what’s really going on when they seem distant from us or unhappy.
1. ”Insight is important for change.” Not really. In fact, I think that a lot of the tasks associated with acquiring insight distract from the more immediate task of therapy, that is, getting kids to feel better or do things differently, or to think about things or...
1. Trying to motivate the teenager to change Sometimes we’re the only one of two people in the room who care about what happens. This, in itself, is enough to make us work twice as hard. That’s a problem. Many therapists believe you need motivated client in order for...
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