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Effective Ways of Working with Young People

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Barbara Bulkeley. SPINZ Symposium, Dunedin, 29 November 2006. http://www.spinz.org.nz

Barbara Bulkeley. SPINZ Symposium, Dunedin, 29 November 2006. http://www.spinz.org.nz

Published in: Health & Medicine

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  • 1. Effective Ways of Working with Young People Barbara Bulkeley Family Therapist, Whirinaki CAMHS PhD candidate, Dept of Psychological Medicine Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland
  • 2. What is important: Your relationship with young person Your knowledge about their difficulties & family circumstances Your support for them & family PLUS Simple, evidence-based ways of working with young people who are stressed, depressed and anxious
  • 3. Four effective ways to help adolescents cope1. Activity scheduling2. Goal-setting3. Problem-solving4. Relaxation
  • 4. Activity Scheduling Rationale: Keeping busy & having enjoyable things to do improves mood and reduces anxiety “When you are feeling miserable you have to do something that is fun” Inter-relationship of thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • 5. How to do this: Help young person make list of possible activities Who can help them to have fun? Include some form of exercise (multiple benefits)
  • 6. Goal-setting Rationale: When depressed or under stress, it is hard to think of goals or carry them out because of lack of motivation, energy or because goals may be too hard Support young person to reach their SMART goals S= specific M=measurable A= attainable R=realistic T=time-based
  • 7. How to set goals Help young person set goals that are important to them Chose goals that they are likely to succeed with Move on to new goals after initial success Steps: Young person and you chose goal Young person carries out goal Review goal next time you meet Revise if needed or chose new goal
  • 8. Problem-solving Rationale: Understanding that problems can lead to depression, stress & anxiety When under pressure adolescents find it really hard to cope with problems of life They can see problem as too big to deal with They find it really hard to think of new ways to cope with problem They find it hard to put plans into action
  • 9. How to help with problem-solving Help them to chose specific problem Understand the problem, talk about it Brainstorm possibilities to solve the problem Don’t judge or rule any out BUT do be aware of safety issues Compare different solutions and evaluate each one Be aware of good & bad points of each possibility Help young person to see importance of evaluating solutions, and not just rushing ahead with the first one they thought of
  • 10. What does young person do? Picks best solution to try Talks about what is needed to make plan work Tries plan Next meeting discusses outcome with you … did it work? After some success, can try problem-solving on their own
  • 11. Relaxation This can be most effective of all techniques to help adolescents under stress (John Weisz, 2004) Costs little or nothing Easy to learn Portable Adolescents like the sense of control that they regain Can include: Something as easy as deep breathing Or can use visualisation, guided imagery, or muscle relaxation
  • 12. Summary & contact details These 4 techniques are simple & effective in giving you something to “do” with adolescents under stress As well as active listening, ensuring safety & making decisions about whether to refer to CAMHS You are able to help young person learn to regain some sense of agency over their life Barbara Bulkeley bbulkeley@middlemore.co.nz