Monday, October 31, 2011

Mindful Cafe: Learning to think outside box about teen drug use - The Naperville Sun

Mindful Cafe: Learning to think outside box about teen drug use - The Naperville Sun:

Or the 16-year-old son who screams about how his guardian grandparents don’t understand him, that they don’t trust him, and are constantly accusing him of lying or talking to his old drug-using friends. You encourage him to invite friends over to the house for a change, suggest to him to take his grandparents to an open support group for family members, to which he adamantly responds, “Why would I do that? They’re the ones who need to change.”

We have a term for this struggle in therapy: the “help-rejecting complainer.” In its most mild form, it is observed in a person venting their stress in one form or another, and when offered guidance or pointers, they find a subtle or at times overt way to reject the help. At that point, we have to recognize this as a sign to shift from advice giving to understanding what their resistance is really about.

Sometimes it is simple denial, other times it can be fear based, a lack of resources, or even lack of confidence to take the help because of the perceived risks involved. Many times the help-rejecting complainer has so many self-imposed barriers that they don’t even give themselves permission to solicit remedy for their stressor.

With all the heat on families to protect their homes from every kind of drug monster, people seem struck by the blitz. Parents are overwhelmed. I’m hearing more and more from parents their lack of comfort in even talking to their kids about drugs. They want to help their teens avoid drugs but don’t have a good idea where to start.

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