317 – How to Talk with Teenagers

Succeeding with Our Most Reluctant Clients
Janet Sasson Edgette

Most teens are only in therapy because their parents, their teachers, the juvenile court judge, or some other authority has told them they must see a therapist—or else. Consequently, they often find standard therapeutic bromides and shrink-wrapped attempts to “engage” them artificial, even infuriating. This workshop will address the challenges of working with teens who burrow into silence, regularly express their contempt for therapy, provoke your anger or frustration, and accept your help only if they don’t have to admit they need it. You’ll discover how to:

  • Convey respect, compassion, and warmth toward your teen clients without coming off as unnaturally empathic
  • Call your teen clients out on their behavior without aggressively challenging or alienating them
  • Teach parents how to hold their teens accountable for their behavior without losing their connection with them


Janet Sasson Edgette, PsyD, is the author of Adolescent Therapy That Really Works and Stop Negotiating with Your Teen. Her latest book is The Last Boys Picked: Helping Boys Who Don’t Play Sports Survive Bullies and Boyhood.

Scroll to Top