Activities To Build Rapport With Teenage Clients: Teen Timeline.Jul 13, 2022
I've had sessions with teenagers in which I have laughed so hard, I nearly cried, and have also had sessions in which I questioned some of my more important life decisions. This is the joy and agony of working with teens as a therapist I suppose?!
I have worked with teens since I was a trainee in a local high school and most recently was the Clinical Director of an Adolescent Treatment Center, so I have clocked a few hours with this population and although I can't say for certain if this idea will help you, I know from experience it's usually a hit.
Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Therapy With Teens
One thing I have discovered in my time is that it's often a mistake to assume that you can work with a teenager in the same way that you can an adult. I enter sessions with teens not knowing which it will be, and it often starts like traditional talk therapy, and then switches to my brand of active, creative and expressive therapy. Going in prepared to switch your approach is key.
I outline my general approach to teens in this blog and course:
I'm lucky enough to have some terrific reviews, so I highly encourage you to check this course out.
"I'm so energized after taking this course because Oliver offers tons of extremely useful sample questions and skills, targeted to the unique needs of this age group. After watching the video and reading through the PDF, I am much more confident in my ability to connect with teenagers and how to listen for clues about their inner world."
"The My People Patterns content is authentic, relatable, and thought provoking. Now that I’ve looked at the material in this course, when it comes to working with teens I feel more excited and curious and feel confident that I will be able to navigate any hurdles I face because I can refer back to the content for inspiration and ideas."
Building Rapport With Teens: The Intake Activity
The Teen Timeline Chart is an awesome creative way to engage a teen in a way that helps them express the most important events in their life. Consider it a creative trauma timeline- with post-it notes and more creativity. What I love about this activity is that it is so engaging, some teens will want to take over and SHOW you what they have gone through, others will be more reserved and be more content to watch you create it as they talk. Either way works, you're getting a detailed biography that will inform your conceptualization and treatment plan.
Continuing To Build Rapport With Teens - Identity Formation
What I love about this activity is that you can keep referring to it, it can sometimes be the focus of an entire session, and other times used to remind yourself or your client about something. It's an on-going, evolving piece or work that builds self-esteem in itself. The integration and processing of events and memories is essential in identity formation, so this tool is so much more than an intake form.
Purchasing The Teen Timeline
Purchase the activity here -it's only $5.99 because I still remember the financial strain I was under as a trainee and associate and want to help. If that is too much, don't let that stop you from using the activity -please drop me an email and we can figure out an alternative arrangement.
Reviews Of The Teen Timeline
"Before downloading this product I went into my teen sessions mainly relying on my own intuition and "inner teen" to help me know where to begin and where to go. I felt anxiety and anticipation when working with teens because I'd never had any teen specific training. [Now that I've reviewed this course...]...I feel more excited and curious and feel confident in my intakes." CR- AMFT
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