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Adults working with
or caring for teenagers at school and in the community have one outcome in
mind: to engage them in the richest depths of experience life can offer -
rewarding relationships and satisfying learning experiences - so that teenagers
can develop a confident and generous view of themselves, other people and
But if teenagers finds
it difficult or impossible to trust that adults genuinely have their interests
at heart, the outcome can be chaos, conflict, misunderstanding and despair
on both sides. When children from insecure backgrounds become adolescents,
the challenges they experience themselves and present for those around them
can get a lot harder to sort out, before the teenager can fully integrate
into society. These adolescents can quickly acquire 'bad kid' or 'anti-social'
labels. They may form attachments by joining gangs, but in doing so, further
alienate themselves from other more constructive options on offer.
The contributors to
this much needed book have worked successfully on the front line with teenagers
whose ability to make healthy relationships, or to find learning exciting
or even possible, has been severely compromised by their past experiences
of trauma, neglect and abuse. Each expert practitioner offers practical strategies,
underpinned by attachment theory and their own extensive experience, to enable
teachers, psychologists, therapists and social workers to reach out to young
people in new ways, establishing genuine connection, real possibilities for
learning, and hope.