How Has Your Thinking About Managing Behavior Changed?

Responding When Youth Hurt Others I would like to write about the way my thinking has changed over time about what we like to call “behavior management”, I am referring to treatment programs in which, in addition to providing treatment, staff have to respond to...

She Just Won’t Take Responsibility for her Behavior!

The phrase “she has to learn to take responsibility for her behavior” can block a more complex understanding of the role of shame and hopelessness in determining the youth’s actions. Martha, a therapist, asked: “I know we are not supposed to blame the kids for their...

Will Marcus Grow Up to Be a Murderer?

Marcus came into the psychiatric hospital after having been ejected from a previous residential program. He is adopted, and his current adoption is actually his second; he was removed from his first home because he was abused there. He is small for his age and a bit...

LaTasha Won’t Eat

LaTasha came to the group home from a residential treatment facility where she had been for two years. Prior to that placement, she had been hospitalized seven times, was in a shelter for eleven months, had been in nine foster homes, and had suffered early abuse from...

Dahlia and the Milk

In September we will be sharing stories about everyday moments in treatment and how we can make them as healing as possible. We start with Dahlia….. In this example, a childcare staff member reacts to a teenager in the morning: Scenario one: It’s a school day...