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.

Saying Sorry

Without opportunities to make amends for having hated their parents as part of normal development, young people are in danger of believing themselves to be hateful, bad human beings.

When Young People Get Trapped in a Role

Most young people want the security of a familiar role to fall back on, but also want to break free from that role, developing a wider repertoire. When they're recognised in their infinite variety, they tend to do the same for other people.

On Not Being Myself

We give young people permission to enlarge the repertoire of roles they can play when we're able to acknowledge our own complexities and contradictions.

Why We Should Ban The Word 'Love'

When adults pretend to know what they mean by 'love', young people expect simplicities and when they don't find them, panic, feeling that they must be missing out on something obvious. They search endlessly for some kind of proof.

The Danger of Medicalising Adolescence

Once we start believing that, as mere humans, we're incapable of understanding each other, we're on a slippery slops.

Of Course We Hate Our Children

We love our children and we hate them. Not because we're bad people or bad parents but because we're normal.

The Challenge of Similarity

The hardest task for most young people is acknowledging what they have in common with other people.

The Developmental Necessity of Failure

With no previous experience of failure, young people are like likely to be ashamed and disturbed by failure when it eventually happens to them. Earlier experiences of failure not only help young people to appreciate success but help them to develop resilience.

Why Parents Must Find Opportunities To Talk

Sometimes a parent's greatest gift to a child is to make time to think with someone else about that same parent-and-child relationship.

Having A Meltdown!

Meltdowns happen at transitional moments in a young person's life. Whenever someone has to take a big leap forwards, they always prepare by taking a few steps back.

The Problem With Sex Education

With better, earlier and more explicit sex education, young people might need to watch pornography rather less urgently.

Daring To Be Alone

We fail young people if we don't support them in learning to be alone.

Teachers Who Fall in Love with Students

Once the possibility of intimacy between students and teachers has become a taboo subject, the experience becomes shameful with teachers obliged to hide and hate their feelings. But if those feelings can be acknowledged and talked about as inevitabilities rather than as signs of weakness or perversity then teachers are less likely to end up crossing any boundaries.

The Power and Purpose of Rumours

Rumours flourish as the expression of collective anxieties

Learning To Live With Betrayal

The experience of betrayal changes everything. But how much is betrayal inevitable? And how much is it helpful?

Child From Heaven, Teenager From Hell

Like teenagers, parents go through an experience of disillusionment which is just as bitter and angry, just as full of recriminations and hatred. Their disillusionment is with their own children.