Many therapists might start their teen counseling sessions with a discussion of treatment goals, but that’s the last thing I’ll ever be caught doing. Better suited for therapy with adults, who typically are self-referred and have thought enough about therapy to actually have treatment goals, pointed conversations with new teen clients about goals for problems they may not even have acknowledged is a real non-starter. We get much more traction by offering relationships and conversations in therapy that matter enough to our young clients they want to come back for more.
Using sight-seeing, long distance binoculars as a metaphor for perspective taking, this article talks about the fallacy of believing you need to have experienced what another person has experienced in order to be empathic toward their plight.
The brilliance of youth is that they almost always see the truth in the room. -- Janet Sasson Edgette Photo by MIN HIUS on Unsplash
If you’re struggling to get genuine conversations going with your teenager, consider these three questions. “I try to ask open-ended questions like they told me to but even still, my daughter just kind of shrugs and gives me only a word or two before going...
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.
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