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Troubled Children and Youth: Turning Problems into Opportunities

by Larry Brendtro, Mary Shahbazian

Clinicians, educators, mentors, and youth professionals are presented with research-based strategies that will help improve their relationships with youth, including those who have been ignored, discarded, and branded as incorrigible.

Full Description:   

In Troubled Children and Youth: Turning Problems into Opportunities, clinicians, teachers, youth professionals, mentors, and parents are presented with research-based strategies that will help them improve their relationships with youth, including those who have been ignored, discarded, and branded as incorrigible. While opening the door to a positive, strength-based approach to helping youth, the book reinforces a vital principle that tribal communities have embraced for centuries. Every child is precious, and even those who are lost and marginalized can and should be reclaimed by society.

Papercover, 6 x 9, 264 pages

PART I: Challenges

  1. Crisis and Courage
    • Courage Builders
    • Circles of Courage
    • Disconnected Children
      • Families on the Edge
      • Conflict in School
      • Trouble with Peers
      • Loss of Community
    • “The NIMBY Kids”: Wanda’s Story

  2. Coping with Conflict
    • Tit for Tat
    • Conflict Cycles
      • Stage 1: Stress Is Triggered
      • Stage 2: Emotions Are Aroused
      • Stage 3: Behavior Is Goal Directed
      • Stage 4: Actions Have Consequences
    • The Agitated Mind
      • The Amygdala: The Brain’s Danger Detector
      • Angry Private Logic
    • “Are You Going to Make Me?”: Theo’s Threat

  3. Pathways to Problems
    • Misattunement
      • Difficult Temperament
      • Intrusive Discipline
    • Maltreatment
      • Categories of Cruelty
      • Betrayal of Trust
    • Malpractice
      • Destructive Peer Climates
      • Depersonalized Relationships
      • Coercive Staff Intervention
    • “Silenced at 14”: Joan’s Story

  4. The Dance of Disturbance
    • Harmony versus Discord
    • The Human Resilience Code
      • Attachment versus Alienation
      • Achievement versus Incompetence
      • Autonomy versus Irresponsibility
      • Altruism versus Selfishness
    • Opportunity versus Threat
    • “My Raging Child”: Deborah’s Story

    Part II: Solutions

  5. Relationship Beachheads
    • Adult-Wary Kids
      • The Distrusting Mind
      • Fight, Flight, Fool
      • Yearning to Trust
    • Rancor to Respect
      • Communicating with Guarded Kids
      • Passing the Trust Test
    • Trust-Building Strategies
    • “Join-Up”: Monty’s Story

  6. Cultivating Strengths
    • Problems or Potentials
    • Respectful Discipline
    • Positive Peer Climates
    • “My Independence Day”: Kevin’s Story

  7. Crisis as Opportunity
    • Out of the Ashes
      • Disengaging from Hostility
      • Learning from Crisis Events
    • Life Space Therapy
    • A Tale of Two Schools
      • Crisis as Opportunity
      • Asking the Right Questions
    • “Now I Get Respect”: Andrew’s Story

  8. The Developmental Audit
    • The Untapped Experts
    • Decoding Problem Behavior
    • Constructing Growth Plans
      • Connections: Social Supports
      • Continuity: Coping Patterns
      • Dignity: Strengths and Needs
      • Opportunity: Goals for Growth
    • “Traveling a New Pathway”: Craig’s Story
      • Developmental Audit and Growth Plan

  9. “The Courage to Trust”
Appendix: A Life Space Crisis Intervention

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