That Sneaky Devil, Projective Identification

In relationships, we need to stop and wonder whether the things we feel belong to us or are unconsciously projected into us by other people.

Wanting To Destroy Everything

Young people's appetite for destruction must be recognised if we are to forgive them.

We're Splitting Up!

If adults can't contain their own tendencies to split, then what hope is there for young people?

Please, Please (Don't) See Me!

We must be seen by other people to know that we exist and are worth something. But what about the young people who can't bear to be seen?

How Can You Bear to Listen?

Sometimes we simply have to bear witness to the effects of other people's cruelty and remember our own capacity to be cruel.

(Not) Bypassing Adolescence

We may have a vested interest in getting teenagers through adolescence as quickly and as painlessly as possible. But often we're only delaying things until later in a person's life

Teachers Hating to Say Goodbye

Living with a perpetual sense of inadequacy, teachers get swallowed up by bitterness and despair unless they find opportunities to acknowledge what teaching actually feels like.

The Worst Word in the World

Looking for someone to blame.... Wanting to take revenge.... A world of anxieties reduced to a single word.

The Paedophile In Everyone

Our sexualities may not be as straightforward as we'd like to believe.

I Am (Sometimes) My Story

We become our autobiographies and sometimes they imprison us with their simplicities

Fathers and Daughters

Growing older, daughters need their fathers differently.

Sons and Mothers

Sons grow up and become men but do their relationships with their mothers really change?

Young, Confident, Bisexual

More and more young people are slowly gaining the confidence to resist being defined as one thing or another. More and more say that they "might be bisexual."

Thank You For Not Sharing

Young people have to learn that there are degrees of privacy, that not sharing is normal.

Why Family Holidays Are So Difficult

At school, young people know who they are and how to be. At home, things aren't so clear. Holidays are horrible transitions.

Delight, Cruelty and Young People

How can anyone delight in young people capable of doing terrible things?

The Sexuality Of Schools

The way a school expresses or represses its collective sexual identity will have an effect on the individuals attending that school.

Am I Mad Or Bad?

There are times when a young person wants to know what a therapist actually thinks. Therapists can't duck the question but how they respond is crucial.

What's The Matter With Anxiety?

Trying to treat the symptoms without understanding the meaning of the anxiety is a waste of time. If the anxiety could speak, what would it be saying?

Learning To Live With Failure

In work with young people, do we fail because we're lazy or complacent? Or because we all have limitations? Can we ever accept and live with those limitations?

Pathologising Adolescence

Young people on the whole are not ill but are beset by developmental transitions and dilemmas. We need to stop pathologising adolescence and build the coping capacities of non-specialists.

Why Boredom Is Essential For Young People

For many young people, "I'm bored!" is a complaint and also a question about uncertainty. What if we joined them in their questioning?

The Value Of Hatred

Unless we can bear young people's hatred and understand it as normal (which means acknowledging our own capacity to hate), the danger is that young people are left feeling that there's something wrong with them, something fundamentally untouchable about them.

I Am (Not) My Body

A baby doesn't think of itself as anything other than a body. That subjective sense of 'me' as distinct from 'my body' comes later, comes gradually, and by the time they're teenagers, young people are still wrestling with the distinction.

Why Boys Objectify Girls

When we stop objectifying boys and help them to bear their subjective experience, they'll stop objectifying girls.

Learning How To Be Interesting

Young people get interested in themselves when other people get interested in them. Without other people's interest, the danger is that young people become depressed. Or lash out.

Everything Happens For A Reason (Or Doesn't)

When young people say that everything happens for a reason, they need to be challenged gently and sympathetically. It doesn't matter that we end up not having the answers but it does matter that we keep asking the questions. The alternative for young people is sometimes a catastrophic disillusionment.

Girls Need Fathers

A girl's need for a father never goes away, despite the most painful setbacks.

Teenagers Telling Us What We Can Bear To Hear

Adults live with a teenager inside themselves: an angry or unconfident or confused teenager, depending on their own experience of those earlier years. Their relationship with that internal teenager will always inform their relationship with an actual son or daughter. And teenagers pick up on this, only talking about the things adults can cope with.

Will You Remember Me?

It's tempting to tell young people what they want to hear: that they'll never be forgotten. But it's not true. And it doesn't help them when their relationships do - inevitably - end.

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