Articles by Peggy


Overcoming Tough Problems with Kids:
A Narrative Therapist's Approach (cont)

Problem 1: Bedwetting

NT response:
Naming the Problem. A child might desire to name it "The mistake." This allows the therapist, the parents, and the child to understand the way in which the child is interpreting his bedwetting experience (as a mistake), and honor it that way as it is spoken about.

Less helpful response:
"Do you want to be like a baby? Only babies wet their beds." This response damages self esteem and increases feelings of shame and guilt, making problem solving much more difficult for everyone.

Problem 2: ADHD

NT response:
Uncovering the effects of the problem. Talking with the child and the parents about the effects of the ADHD in many facets of life.

"How does the ADHD interfere with school?"
"How does the ADHD get in the way of your ability to make friends?"
"What keeps the effects of the ADHD going?"
"When does the ADHD have the most power?"

Less helpful response:
Using ADHD as a means to blame the child for his/her behavior OR for making excuses for the behavior. This helps the child internalize himself/herself as "being ADHD," instead of being in relationship with it, in which the relationship can be changed, lessened, or more controlled.

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