4 “Must Read” Books if You Care About Teens

Here are four books I’ve found particularly helpful in understanding the challenges of today’s youth and how adults can effectively support them. 1) What Works with Teens: A Professional’s Guide to Engaging Authentically with Adolescents to Achieve Lasting Change by Britt Rathbone, MSSW LCSW-C and Julie Baron, MSW LCSW-C Rathbone and Baron start with an overview …

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3 Ways to Help Youth with the Emotional Impact of the Pandemic

We’ve all seen the photos of spring breakers gathering at crowded parties, in defiance of social distancing recommendations. Those types of images might make it seem that all youth are blithely unaware of the impacts of COVID, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, the pandemic has had a much bigger impact on youth …

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3 Ways to Make Sure You’re in the Appropriate Teaching Role

Dr. Sam Himelstein recently described ‘4 Different Approaches to Leading Groups of Youth’: Presenter: includes lecturing and direct instruction Facilitator: includes guiding discussions and eliciting contributions from the group Supporter: includes empathizing with and encouraging students Confronter: includes intervening to stop disruptive or dangerous behavior. We each tend to have a preferred role, and it’s …

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2 Tips for Working with Resistance and Traumatic Adaptations

Many youth who’ve been impacted by trauma are resistant to therapy. Their self-protective behaviors and reactions are often misperceived as deliberately rebellious or disruptive. Because of this misunderstanding, the therapist may become angry, frustrated, anxious, or uncomfortable. These types of reactions tend to make the youth feel even less safe and therefore more aggressive or …

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4 Different Approaches to Leading Groups of Youth

Very early in my career, I began co-facilitating Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse groups, with no training in how to lead groups of youth. My partner and I went from one extreme to the other, lecturing the first cohort and then having free-flowing discussions with the next cohort. We gradually realized that the groups were much more …

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4 Tips for Helping Youth During Times of Crisis and Confusion

I don’t think there’s a youth anywhere in the world who isn’t having a hard time these days. The question isn’t whether they’re suffering, but how severely, and what we can do to help. The challenge is that caring adults were already overwhelmed, even before the triple whammy of COVID-19, the protests for social justice, …

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3 Tips for Working with Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Trauma

Youth that fall under the category of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) can experience trauma just like their non-disabled peers, contrary to the belief of some. In fact, children with IDD appear to be at an increased risk for physical abuse, physical restraint and seclusion, sexual abuse, and emotional neglect. When trauma occurs with children …

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8 Principles for teaching mindfulness to teens

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