Getting Hooked—and Unhooked
To work with troubled and traumatized adolescents, it’s crucial for therapists to first foster their own capacity for self-awareness and self-regulation. It’s not easy, though, especially when our young clients’ extreme reactions—ranging from angry arousal to frozen shutting down—can trigger our own sense of helplessness, failure, dissociation, and rejection. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to use this nonfunctional cycle to get unhooked by:
- Identifying specific adolescent attachment styles that interact with or trigger our own
- Exploring the React, Reflect, and Respond model to best help our clients
- Using The Four M’s—mirroring, mentalizing, mindfulness, and modulation—to increase connection and mood regulation
- Focusing on attunement—including strategies of validation, self-disclosure, and the compassionate sharing of adult feelings and opinions—to bring traumatized teens back into relationship with themselves and you
Martha Straus, PhD, a professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England, is the author of No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents and Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Intervention and Hope, and the forthcoming Developmental-Relational Interventions with Traumatized Teens: The Challenge of Attachment.