Brief, Strengths-Based, Collaborative Therapy: Session 1

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    • 00:30

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Hello and welcome.My name is Shannon Dermer, and I'mthe chair of the division of psychology and counselingat Governors State University.I'm pleased to introduce the counselingseries, "Complete Counseling from First to Last Session."This series will take you, the viewer, through the beginning,middle, and ending stages of counseling with a client.

    • 00:51

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: The five counseling sessions you are about to seefeature Matthew Selekman.Matthew is a licensed clinical social worker and founderand director of Partners for Collaborative Solutions basedin Chicago.He is the author of numerous family therapy articlesand seven professional books.His eighth book, "Working with High Risk Adolescence,

    • 01:12

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: an Individualized Family Therapy Approach,"is due out in December of 2015.Matthew works with his clients in a private practice,from a brief collaborative, postmodern strengths-basedperspective.Matthew believes that all clients havestrengths and resources and self-healing capacitiesin order to change, and that their own experts

    • 01:35

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: on their own life situations.Matthew's expertise as a therapistis into tapping into his client's strengthsto co-construct solutions together.Matthew is working with Raquel and Lydia, whohave come to therapy to discuss some bumps in the roadas the family is transitioning through a typical developmentalstage.

    • 01:56

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: Lydia is moving from the end of adolescenceand moving into young adulthood.Matthew is working with the mother and daughterto see what successes they have already had,and how they will continue to capitalize on their strengthsinto the future.Let's have a look at their session.

    • 02:13

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right, well, I'dlike to get to know the two of you.What type of work do you do, Lydia?

    • 02:20

      RAQUEL: Raquel.

    • 02:20

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Raquel.Excuse me.

    • 02:22

      RAQUEL: I'm an administrative assistant in the divisionof psychology and counseling.

    • 02:25

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, and how longhave you been doing it for?

    • 02:28

      RAQUEL: For nine years.

    • 02:30

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Wow.That's a long time.And what do you like about your job?

    • 02:36

      RAQUEL: All of it really.I like being an assistant to the division chair,dealing with the faculty and students.

    • 02:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Have you learned a lotabout the world of counseling?

    • 02:50

      RAQUEL: No, not really.

    • 02:52

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And outside of your job, do you have an hobbies or interests?

    • 02:57

      RAQUEL: In the winter-- it's cold right now here,so I don't do much during the winter, but in the summerI try to get out and play tennis, spend timewith my girls.

    • 03:06

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Do you have a serve and volley gameor a baseline game?

    • 03:10

      RAQUEL: I just play, just for the fun of it.

    • 03:11


    • 03:12

      RAQUEL: I don't know much about the rules.

    • 03:14

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.The reason why I ask, I used to play competitively.

    • 03:17

      RAQUEL: Oh really?OK.It's one of my passionate sports.

    • 03:21

      LYDIA: Yeah, I have the t-shirt .I saw that, and I'm going to ask you about that.

    • 03:26

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So you're finishing up high school,right?And are you already in a college?

    • 03:34

      LYDIA: No, not yet.

    • 03:35

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Where are you waiting to hear from?What places?

    • 03:37

      LYDIA: I'm already accepted into this communitycollege in Phoenix.

    • 03:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right.You want a warm climate?

    • 03:43

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 03:44

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Get away from these terrible winters?

    • 03:46

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 03:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK is that in Tempe, or?

    • 03:49

      LYDIA: No, Mesa.

    • 03:49

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Mesa.OK.And do you have, at this point, kind of a career interest area?

    • 03:56

      LYDIA: Yes, I'm going to go to be a registered respiratorytherapist.

    • 03:59

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And how come that area?What turns you on about that?

    • 04:03

      LYDIA: Not too much school.I didn't want to put my whole life towards being a doctor,but I did think about being a doctor.But it's just like, the money issue and stuff like that.

    • 04:15

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And it's a long haul too.11 years of schooling?

    • 04:18

      LYDIA: Yeah it is.Yeah.

    • 04:19

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So is this program like a specializedprogram in that area?

    • 04:23

      LYDIA: Yes, it is.There's certain classes that you have to take justfor that particular career.And I did talk to my doctor about it.He asked me-- he was like, not a lot of peopleeven look into that.That's really good.And a lot of people have told me, like my teachers.

    • 04:42

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So it's a specialized area.You're going to be like one these top round draftpick college football players, right?Everyone's going to being coming after you?

    • 04:51

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 04:51

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And so do you thinkthat-- I know it's a ways off, but doyou think that the goal is to just get thator to go on and get an undergraduate degree as well?

    • 05:03

      LYDIA: Well, my hobby is like drawing and painting, and alsodoing sports, so I'll be doing that in my free time.

    • 05:10

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, great.And what do you like to draw and paint?

    • 05:13

      LYDIA: Animals.I can't really draw people at all.

    • 05:16

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And do you have favorite types of animals?

    • 05:19

      LYDIA: Birds and trees.I like to draw nature, like mountains and stuff.

    • 05:24

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, if it's not too much trouble, maybein a future session you could bring in some of your work.I'd love to check it out.

    • 05:31

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 05:31

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And what about, well, tennis, right?

    • 05:34

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 05:34

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, and did you play on your tennis teamat your high school?

    • 05:38

      LYDIA: Yes.Only for my junior and senior year.I was playing softball.I've played softball, like 11 years of my lifebut I quit that and pursued tennis.

    • 05:50

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I'm going to ask youthe same question I asked mom.Do you have like, the big serve and you come up the netand put in away?

    • 05:57

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 05:57


    • 05:58

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 05:58

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Do you have like--we call it a cannonball serve, it's this power serve.And how did you do for your team?

    • 06:06

      LYDIA: The first year I won, what was it, conference?

    • 06:09

      RAQUEL: I think so.

    • 06:09

      LYDIA: Yeah.First in conference.I took gold.And then--

    • 06:12

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: That's impressive.

    • 06:13

      LYDIA: My senior year I took third.

    • 06:15

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Did you go down to state?

    • 06:18

      LYDIA: No.

    • 06:18


    • 06:19

      LYDIA: No.

    • 06:20

      RAQUEL: I think just in conference, local.

    • 06:21

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: In the conference.That's fantastic.And at this school that you're going to,do they actually have a tennis team?

    • 06:28

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 06:29

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And are you planning to play?

    • 06:32

      LYDIA: I'm not sure yet.I'm not sure.

    • 06:34

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.All right.OK, well, one of the things that Ilike to do sometimes when I work with familiesis, I meet with the whole group and thensometimes I break the family up and meet with parents aloneand young people.And then maybe take a little breakat the end and kind of reflect on what we talkedabout earlier in the session.

    • 06:57

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: But one thing that I've observed over the years--and I've been working with people since 1977-- and oneof the things that's been amazing to meis that sometimes between the phone call to an office,a clinic, making arrangements to come here,and this first session, clients have already

    • 07:19

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: taken some important steps to try and resolvetheir difficulties, or better cope with them.And I was wondering, what have the two of younoticed that's gotten, at least a little bit bettersince the arrangements were made for you to come herefor this session?

    • 07:35

      RAQUEL: Well, I talked to her about it,about the issues that I have with her.Because, you know, now that she's 18,she thinks she can do whatever shewants without asking permission or lettingme know where she's going.

    • 07:48

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right.

    • 07:49

      RAQUEL: My pet peeve with her is, you needto text me when you get there.

    • 07:53


    • 07:54

      RAQUEL: Text me when you're moving to the next place,or text me or call me, let me know when you're coming home.She doesn't.

    • 08:01


    • 08:02

      LYDIA: I do sometimes.

    • 08:03

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Have there been any sparkling momentswhere there has been a time between the timethat you talked to Shannon about coming herein this first session, where she actually surprised you?

    • 08:16

      RAQUEL: Yeah.

    • 08:17

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, tell me about that, will you?

    • 08:19

      RAQUEL: I think it was the other day.I forgot where she was, but you did call.Did you call me, or you texted me and said, "I'm on my way."Where were you guys at?I forgot.

    • 08:32

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: On your way back, or?

    • 08:34

      RAQUEL: On her way back home, right.Oh, good.

    • 08:37

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So did you almost faint, or?

    • 08:38

      RAQUEL: No. [LAUGHTER] No.

    • 08:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Were there other surprises?Any other surprises in any of these areasthat you were pleased with, that occurred with her that youwere pleased with?

    • 08:54

      RAQUEL: Not really, no.No.

    • 08:56

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.How about for yourself?Any over this past week or two, anythingthat kind of surprised you about how your mom related to youor maybe did something different that you were pleased about?

    • 09:12

      LYDIA: She doesn't really get on meas much because I think she's like puttingthe ball on my side now to text her, and call me back,and all that.She hasn't been like, getting mad at me more,but I've been OK, like if I know I'm fineand I'll just text her, like-- I texted you yesterday,

    • 09:33

      LYDIA [continued]: saying where are you at?

    • 09:35

      RAQUEL: Where am I?

    • 09:36

      LYDIA: Yeah, you were at-- she was downthe street at my aunt's house.

    • 09:39

      RAQUEL: Oh, yeah.

    • 09:40

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh.You had asked her to let you know where she wasand when she's going to move around?[LAUGHTER]

    • 09:45

      LYDIA: Yeah.I cold relate.

    • 09:47


    • 09:49

      RAQUEL: Right.Yeah, when I don't get back to her textsthen she knows how I feel when she doesn't reply to mine.

    • 09:55

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, well that's a good system,so you can learn together, right.So are you aware of anything that youmight be telling yourself, because she'ssaying that it seems like you've kind of stepped backa little bit in giving her more of the responsibilitynow that she's older.Anything that you're telling yourselfto avoid sort of caving into micromanaging and playing

    • 10:17

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: police officer?Anything that seems to be helping you?

    • 10:22

      RAQUEL: Well, I just say, OK, I know she's fine.She knows that she needs to text me,so yeah, I should just calm down and not always be on her case.Because then I don't know when she's driving either.So I don't want to be bothering her constantlyif she's driving because I read somewherethat parents are the number one that cause

    • 10:43

      RAQUEL [continued]: kids to be texting and driving.

    • 10:46


    • 10:47

      RAQUEL: So I told her that too, and I'mlike, that's why you got to let me know when you're movingfrom place to place, so I won't be bothering youwhen you're driving.

    • 10:57

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Anything else that your mom's beendoing differently lately that's helping you get along better?

    • 11:07

      LYDIA: I don't know, like, sometimes Ijust go into her bedroom and just start talking to herand she's been in good moods lately so that's helped.So it's all about the good moods and the bad moods.If I know she's in a bad mood, like--

    • 11:22

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You stay away?

    • 11:22

      LYDIA: Yeah.I'll leave her alone.[LAUGHTER]

    • 11:25

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, I love this ideaof keeping the lines of communication open with her.Has that worked for you in the pastwith mom, when she's been concernedabout something, to try and let her in on what'sgoing on with your life?

    • 11:37

      LYDIA: Yeah, when she asks.I don't really like talking about it.Yeah, so, if she asks I'll let her in.

    • 11:45

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Is it kind of like a peace offering by talking with her,going into her bedroom?

    • 11:50

      LYDIA: Yeah, well, she kind of knowsif something's wrong with me.She'll ask and I'll brush it off and be like,I'll talk to you later about it, maybe.But when I go into her room, it would justbe like about anything.Like if I'm asking about something in particularor telling her, I'm going to go somewhere with so and so

    • 12:15

      LYDIA [continued]: tomorrow.And she'll be like, oh, OK, what time?And I'll tell her.

    • 12:18

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.It sounds like you're good about giving hermore details about your whereaboutsand plans and things like that.Is it different for her to do that with you?Because in the past was she more withholding?

    • 12:33

      RAQUEL: At times, yeah.But otherwise she would tell me whereshe was planning on going the next dayor next week after school.

    • 12:40

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well that's very responsiblebecause I work with a lot of mothers and daughterswhere it's a mystery.They have no idea what their daughters are doing out there,and the moms are freaking out and--

    • 12:51

      RAQUEL: Oh, I see.

    • 12:51

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Driving around in their cars, and a thousandphone calls or texts or whatever.So it sounds like there's some level of trustthere from the past?

    • 12:60

      RAQUEL: Oh, definitely.

    • 13:01

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.So how have you instilled that in and your daughter,this business about being responsible and keepingme aware your whereabouts and that?How did you drive that home?How long ago?

    • 13:19

      RAQUEL: Well, probably when she started driving.Or when she started going out with her friends, going places.And that's probably when she got her phone too.

    • 13:28


    • 13:30

      RAQUEL: You just got to talk to themand tell them that you have to let me know where you're at,what you're going to do, and who you're going to be with.And be careful.

    • 13:42

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yep.So what I'd like you guys to do is play aroundwith this fun question.

    • 13:50

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 13:51

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Let's say that tonight you both go to bed,and while you're sound asleep, a miracle happens.And any concerns that you have are completely solved .And you're not aware the miracle happened because both of youare sound asleep.But you wake up tomorrow and something tells both of you,wow, things are different.

    • 14:12

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: Things are even better.What would be in each of your ideal, miracle pictures?

    • 14:22

      RAQUEL: In relation to our issue?

    • 14:24

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: In relation to your issues or whateveryou want it to be, but that you will be happyand it felt like a miracle really happened. [LAUGHTER]

    • 14:33

      RAQUEL: OK.Well for the most part, I am happy.Or I think we are happy the way we are.

    • 14:39


    • 14:42

      RAQUEL: But what could make us happier?

    • 14:43

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, before we go there,I would like to hear more about what you're happy about.

    • 14:48

      RAQUEL: OK.That we're healthy.I think we have a good line of communication.But I could tell sometimes, she's holding back.So I try not to push it too much but sometimes I do.And I can tell that makes her mad,so then I try to be patient because I'msometimes impatient.I want to know now.

    • 15:08

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And of course I want her to do things my way.But part of me letting her grow upis letting her do things her way, so she can learn.

    • 15:20


    • 15:22

      RAQUEL: But you said, a miracle.

    • 15:24

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yes.So how will you be able to tell that miracle happened tomorrow?

    • 15:28

      RAQUEL: Well, maybe that I'm thinner.

    • 15:30


    • 15:32

      LYDIA: Me too.

    • 15:34

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Both of you.So are both of you like going to a gym and working out?

    • 15:39

      LYDIA: Well I am.

    • 15:40


    • 15:40

      LYDIA: Yeah.OK.

    • 15:41

      RAQUEL: I try to here where I work.There's a facility to go exercise.

    • 15:45

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Have you ever done like a yoga class or something together or?

    • 15:50

      RAQUEL: No.

    • 15:50

      LYDIA: No.

    • 15:51

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Or how about long walks or biking together?

    • 15:54

      LYDIA: Well I like riding my bike.Yeah.

    • 15:56

      RAQUEL: Well, we played tennis.We played tennis a few times this summer together.But one of the times we did play she hurt her ankle,so we didn't play again.

    • 16:04

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Wow, that must have hurt.Did it sprain?

    • 16:07

      LYDIA: I sprained my Achilles.Yeah, it was really bad.

    • 16:13

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: That would hurt.So playing tennis is something.Do you guys play indoors at all somewhere?

    • 16:20

      RAQUEL: No.We can.There is an indoor place, but no, we don't.We haven't.

    • 16:27

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So what else, besides losing weight and that,and maybe playing tennis togetherwhen it's nicer outside, what elsewill be in your ideal miracle picture?

    • 16:41

      RAQUEL: I don't know.

    • 16:43

      LYDIA: I have one.

    • 16:44

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 16:45

      LYDIA: For my parents to get along more.

    • 16:48

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.So what would that look like?I'm writing down important things you're saying.

    • 16:55

      LYDIA: OK.A more healthy relationship.

    • 16:58

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: How would you be able to tell?

    • 16:60

      LYDIA: No fighting.No negativity.

    • 17:04

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And what effect would thathave on you when your parents are getting along better?How will that--

    • 17:10

      LYDIA: That will make me, much, much happier.

    • 17:12

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Anything else?Any other positive effects it would have on you?

    • 17:21

      LYDIA: It will make me feel secure for the future.right now I'm going away to collegeand I'm not going to be there.So I'm like, what is going to happen?

    • 17:33

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So you're concerned about that?

    • 17:35

      LYDIA: Yeah.About my family.

    • 17:40

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Have you ever got caught in the crossfire?

    • 17:43

      LYDIA: Yes.Now that I'm more grown, it's like,when I hear them fighting, I haveto jump in and say something because this has been going onfor years and if they fight about something so small,and it becomes so loud, and it's like, Ineed to say something, and be like, can you please be quiet?

    • 18:04

      LYDIA [continued]: I'm tired of this.It's been going on for so long.

    • 18:07

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What are your best interventionswith your parents?It sounds like you're learned how to be a marital therapist.So what seems to work the best, that kind of stops themin their tracks?

    • 18:18

      LYDIA: Just telling them, like, hey, I'm here.Like can you be quiet please?You can't be doing this in front of me.

    • 18:26


    • 18:26

      LYDIA: You know, it's just like--

    • 18:28

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And do they stop at that point?

    • 18:30

      LYDIA: Yeah.My dad walks away and does his own things.

    • 18:33

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.All right.So that would be like the biggie for youin this ideal miracle situation?

    • 18:38

      LYDIA: And probably for my sister also.

    • 18:40

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, I didn't know you had a sister.How old is your sister?

    • 18:43

      LYDIA: She's 16.

    • 18:45

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And what's her name?

    • 18:46

      LYDIA: Emily.

    • 18:48

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So, is Emily taking over?Did you hand her the baton, like whenyou're getting ready to leave?

    • 18:53

      LYDIA: I'm trying to.I'm trying to get her to get up and do stuffthat I did when I was 16.I was looking for a job, I wanted to get money.And my mom was like, no, you're too young, and all that stuff.But I got a job at 17 and--

    • 19:13


    • 19:14

      LYDIA: I just got three jobs over that whole year, last yearand it was just amazing.

    • 19:19

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: It's amazing how responsible you are.What type of work we're your doing?

    • 19:23

      LYDIA: Well, at first I was a face painter for this woman.And me and my friend were clowns.It was just like a little side job.And then I worked at Taco Bell down the street from my house.And now I quit Taco Bell to become a bagger at Jewel-Osco.

    • 19:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Wow, multi-talented here.

    • 19:49

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 19:50

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And all I can thinkis that, for someone who's going away,you'll be very well equipped to beself-sufficient and responsible, whichwill help you worry less, maybe a little bit.

    • 20:06

      RAQUEL: I think so.

    • 20:07

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.Anything else that you want in your ideal,miracle picture for yourself?And that could be individually too.

    • 20:17

      LYDIA: To become who I've always wantedto be-- successful, have my dream house,my dream car, my dream life.And I'm just slowly working towards that.

    • 20:30

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Excellent.That's a great goal for yourself.

    • 20:33

      LYDIA: Yes.I don't want to be famous.I don't want to do all that, just comfortable living.

    • 20:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Wow.I'm so impressed.I could tell that there's been some great parenting here.Not only is she responsible and bright and talented,but so self-sufficient and so, kind of, optimisticabout her future.They call it the angst, you know, a lot of young people,

    • 21:02

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: it's kind of like they can't even picturea future reality of success.

    • 21:05

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 21:05

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I work with some gang-involved kids,and also females too, who are dabbling with the gangs.And they can't even visualize a future of success or anythingpositive.

    • 21:16

      RAQUEL: The gang is their life.

    • 21:17

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.So I think it's impressive that you've turned out so well.[LAUGHTER] And it also sounds like you'rea pretty resilient person.That despite, you know, the squabbles at home, and momand dad sometimes get into it, that you'vebeen able to not, kind of take that on and allow it to affect

    • 21:39

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: you to such a degree that you can'tbe productive and successful in your life.So it tells me you're a pretty strong too.So what's your secret?How did you become so resilient?

    • 21:50

      LYDIA: I think it's my school and the people I'msurrounded by.It's not that it was a struggle finding the right people,but it's just like, it's just like everybody around me,I feel like, is either fake, lying.Because that's just the type of school I go to-- gang-related.

    • 22:10

      LYDIA [continued]: Like I smell marijuana in the hallways.It's just horrible.And I don't want to become that, so I just focus on myself.So I, like, block out everybody else.That's how I become more like me, like what I want,and what I want to become.

    • 22:29


    • 22:30

      LYDIA: I don't want to worry about anything elsebeing negative in my life, you know,so that's how I go to school with all those horrible peoplearound me.Then why would I want to go home and goto the fighting and stuff?So no, I'm just going to stop that at home because that'swhat really gets to me.

    • 22:49

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.OK.I'm going to come back to you, mom.How about some more miracles?Other things that you'd like to seehappen in your ideal miracle picture?

    • 23:02

      RAQUEL: I guess piggybacking on whatmy daughter said, my husband and I stop bickering.

    • 23:07

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And it's really just yelling back and forth about whateverdisagreement we may have.And we do it in front of them.

    • 23:17

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What's his first name?

    • 23:18

      RAQUEL: Steve.

    • 23:18

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Steve.And you're not living together right now, or?Or are you?

    • 23:24

      RAQUEL: We are, but not.

    • 23:27


    • 23:28

      RAQUEL: OK.We've been separated for over nine years.He has his own place.I have my place with the girls.But he does come over.We still have a relationship.And I understand it's the new thing coming outthat there is a lot of married coupleswho want to still stay married but they don't live togetherall the time.

    • 23:48

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So you're like,putting that into practice?[LAUGHTER]

    • 23:52

      RAQUEL: No.It's just something that happened.

    • 23:54


    • 23:55

      RAQUEL: And that's because we do get into arguments.

    • 23:57

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So you're saying, is itfor the better to have--

    • 24:01

      RAQUEL: Yeah, I think so.

    • 24:02

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Your separate quarters at times.And does the heart grow fonder though?Because sometimes when partners are away,they're like longing to come together too.

    • 24:10

      RAQUEL: Right.It does grow fonder.Right.But now, for the most part, he has been living with us daily.

    • 24:19

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: He has been?

    • 24:21

      RAQUEL: I think-- I don't think the arguments are all that bad,probably because I'm used to themand I already know that we're bickering about something dumb.But with her and her sister being there in front,listening, it gets really bothersome.Even though I've told them before,it has nothing to do with you guys.It's just me and him.

    • 24:42

      RAQUEL [continued]: And it's just yelling.That's all.

    • 24:43

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So have you beenable-- I guess what I'm wondering is,in this ideal miracle picture, what would be operating therebetween you and Steve that would reduce--do you have any hunch on what would be reducing the clashesand helping the two of you get along better?What would be their present in that miraclepicture that would be making the difference

    • 25:04

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and help the two of you along better?

    • 25:09

      RAQUEL: I'm not sure how to put it, but-- I don't know.Maybe I always think I need to be right or that I am right.

    • 25:18

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Ah.So you'd lighten up on that?

    • 25:20

      RAQUEL: Yeah and it's hard getting throughto him to realize that's not--

    • 25:24

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Now clinging to be right.OK.

    • 25:26

      LYDIA: I have her problem.

    • 25:28


    • 25:29

      LYDIA: My boyfriend--

    • 25:30

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: It runs in the genes here?

    • 25:31

      LYDIA: Yes.He gets on me, "you always need to be right, huh?"And I'm like, "I guess so."If I think I'm right I'm going to speak my mind.That's just common sense.

    • 25:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Now I want to tap your expertiseas a marital therapist consultant here.So I'm in the living room and I'm a fly on the wall, OK,and you guys don't know that I'm up there, all right.I'm not buzzing, I'm on the wall, you know.And what are you watching your parentsdo in this miracle picture that's

    • 26:03

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: helping them get along better?What am I seeing also, from my ceiling perspective?

    • 26:09

      LYDIA: OK.Bonding more.Well, they have been bonding more.They have like movie nights.Don't you?OK.

    • 26:17

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So this is a new thing,living under the same room.

    • 26:19

      RAQUEL: On Netflix on TV.We don't actually go to movies.But we watch a movie at home.

    • 26:23

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So that's what kind of brings you together,the Netflix.OK.

    • 26:27

      LYDIA: And I would like to see them go out on dates more,like, you know get out of the house and go do something.

    • 26:32

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So they'd be going out on dates?

    • 26:34

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 26:35

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Do you know if they have a favorite place theylike to go for dinner?

    • 26:38

      LYDIA: Hers is Olive Garden.I think my dad's is more of a of big burger fries.

    • 26:46

      RAQUEL: Steak and potato guy.

    • 26:47

      LYDIA: Steak and potatoes.

    • 26:48


    • 26:49

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 26:50

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right, so going out on dates.What else will they be doing in this miracle picture that'sgoing to help them get along better?

    • 26:57

      LYDIA: Well, I don't know.Can you think of something else?

    • 27:10

      RAQUEL: More good communication, but in a positive manner.

    • 27:13

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: How so?What will that look like?

    • 27:15

      RAQUEL: Well, I don't know.He just talks about things that get me mad.Like let's say, some dumb guy was at workand he was saying this and that.I'm like, don't let it bother you.Why even think about it.

    • 27:29

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So don't go negative.

    • 27:30

      RAQUEL: Yeah and then he's like, well--then he gets all mad because then Idon't want to listen to what he has to say because I don't,because it's all negative.

    • 27:38

      LYDIA: Yeah, he gets negative.

    • 27:40

      RAQUEL: He holds onto things.

    • 27:42

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Is that the machismo?

    • 27:45

      RAQUEL: I guess so.

    • 27:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: The traditional man?Yeah.

    • 27:49

      RAQUEL: And so what I tell him, you know, just let it go.Oh, you don't even want to listen to what I have to say.No, it's not that, just let it go, because why bring it here.

    • 27:57

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Don't sweat the small stuff.

    • 27:59

      RAQUEL: That's how we get into arguments.Things like that.

    • 28:02

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So keep the communications positive.Going on some dates.

    • 28:06

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 28:07

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Mixing it up.Sometimes the big hamburger, sometimes Olive Garden.The Netflix sounds like it's working, but anything elsethat you think that in this miracle picture thatwill help you guys get along better, you and Steve?Any other thoughts you have?

    • 28:29

      LYDIA: That's pretty much it.No fighting.I mean there's going to be fighting,but not to the point where you're fightingover the small stuff, you know.But I think it's just my dad.He has like a little temper, so that's what gets to him,but he's working on it.

    • 28:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, you've noticed him making some changeson his temper?And like, what is he doing instead?

    • 28:53

      LYDIA: Walking away or just brushing it off.

    • 28:59

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And that's different for him.

    • 29:01

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 29:02

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Great.I'm just curious, are there any pieces of the miracle--I mean, it sounds like bits and pieces of the miracleare already happening now, but any other piecesof the miracle, or miracle-like occurrences latelyin this family?

    • 29:22

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: OK.All right.So let's say that-- and I want to geteach of your rating on the situation right now.On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 was the timethat you and Shannon connected about coming here,and 10 is the day after the miracle happens.So the day, tomorrow, the miracle's happened.

    • 29:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: Where would each of you rate the situation right now on thatscale, from 1 to 10?Day after the miracle.

    • 29:59

      RAQUEL: Could you repeat that again?

    • 30:01

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So on a scale from 1 to 10,1 was when you connected with Shannon to set upthis appointment, and 10, the day after the miracle happened,where would each of you rate your situation right now?Everything that we've talked about.

    • 30:17

      RAQUEL: I would say, maybe a six.

    • 30:19

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: About a six?OK.

    • 30:22

      LYDIA: I was going to say seven.

    • 30:23

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: A lucky seven?

    • 30:24

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 30:25

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I have to tell you a funny thing about seven.Not only is it a lucky number, but a lot of the peopleI work with, they finish on a seven.They never make it to a 10.You know, who needs the 10?You know?Seven is a lucky number.So we got a six and a seven.All right.And just out of curiosity, how come the two of you

    • 30:47

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: didn't rate the situation lower than those numbers?What's keeping things up at those numbers right now?

    • 30:54

      LYDIA: We're at a good starting point right now.We're not at the worst, I can tell you that.

    • 31:01

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You know, when you say a good starting point,like what kinds of things?So some examples.

    • 31:05

      LYDIA: Well, some things are getting better already.I already I told you about how my dad is working on itand brushing it off and they're getting along better,doing things together.So that's a starting point.

    • 31:23

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.All right.And Raquel?

    • 31:26

      RAQUEL: A six because-- I mean, OK.What originally brought me here was because she's 18.She says she's 18 now, she can do what she wants.But she still communicates with me.She doesn't just go off and I'm looking for her.Where is she at?She tells me.

    • 31:46

      RAQUEL [continued]: She communicates.So things are good.And she is getting better at texting me,letting me know when she's coming home and like that.But for the most part, for every three texts that I send her,she'll send me one.I've got accustomed to it.

    • 32:03


    • 32:04

      RAQUEL: So yeah, things are good, that's why I said a six.Now the situation with her dad and I-- I don't think it'sall that bad.But because they're there, they're hearing us arguing.They don't want to hear people shouting.Her dad too.I don't want to make the situation about him,but he does, right away jump to cussing bad words.

    • 32:26

      RAQUEL [continued]: And I'm like, see, why did you have to go there?Now you're making it worse.So then it gets me madder.I don't start cussing right away.He does.So if he would control that, that would be OK.

    • 32:38

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, control the cussing.

    • 32:39

      RAQUEL: Yeah, but I already know how he is,so afterwards, part of me says, why didn't I just let it go.Because then I do see how it affects her and her sister.And so I need to work on that.But still, six, I think is good.

    • 32:55

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.I think it's great.

    • 32:56

      RAQUEL: Yeah.

    • 32:56

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So what are each of yougoing to do over the next week?The next time we get together, for you,Raquel to get some steps higher up to a seven, the lucky seven.And for you to get up to the eight.

    • 33:12

      LYDIA: My favorite number.

    • 33:13

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What are you going to do?

    • 33:15

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Eight is your favorite number?All right.We need to celebrate, right.Set up a cake or something, OK, when you get up to that eight.But let me just start with you.What are you going to do over the next weekto get yourself in this situationone step higher up to an eight?

    • 33:33

      LYDIA: Text her back.

    • 33:34


    • 33:35

      LYDIA: Call her back.If she wants to know then I guess I'll just tell her.I'm here or I'm going to leave.I'm going to be home in 15 minutes, you know.Something like that will make her happy.

    • 33:50

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Great.And that's what brought you in here today.OK.And for yourself, Raquel, what are yougoing to do over the next week to further improvethe situation and take it up to a lucky seven?

    • 34:04

      RAQUEL: I'll be more patient with her fatherand try not to be short tempered,or have patience with him, I should say.

    • 34:15


    • 34:16

      RAQUEL: And for the most part, it'sprobably not all his fault.It's just that I don't like when he starts cussing right away,you know.One or two cussing words that gets me worse.

    • 34:26

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.So let's say that things are going welland then something brings you to center ring with one another,and he starts the cussing.What are you going to go do differently over the next weekto not react or get lead-footed to the swearing?

    • 34:43

      RAQUEL: I'll try to, like they say,count to 10 before you respond.I'll take a deep breath before I respond to him.

    • 34:50

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Excellent.

    • 34:51

      RAQUEL: And just try not to have a short wick with him,short temper.

    • 34:55


    • 34:56

      RAQUEL: Or yell back.

    • 34:60


    • 35:01

      RAQUEL: Or let him get to me.

    • 35:02

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Excellent.OK.And do you foresee any obstacles gettingin the way of pulling off your goal for yourself?Anything that could potentially trip you up?Anything that mom might say or do that would make youfeel like, well then, I'm not goingto keep the lines of communication open?Anything that might crop up?

    • 35:22

      LYDIA: Nothing, no.

    • 35:23

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You're committing to that eightbecause that's your favorite number?

    • 35:27

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 35:27

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right.OK.I think what I'd like to do is just brieflymeet with each of you.So I'm going to ask you to step up for a short amount of time,because we don't have a lot of time.So I would like to meet with mom alone.So you can--It sounds like you're doing fabulous parenting.

    • 35:49

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: I'm going to just reiterate what I said earlier.I mean, what a remarkable daughter you have here.

    • 35:54

      RAQUEL: Thank you.

    • 35:54

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: She is going to go far.

    • 35:56

      RAQUEL: I hope so.Thank you.

    • 35:57

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I love her mindsetof shooting for the stars, not necessarilythe Hollywood stars.

    • 36:02

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 36:03

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Just be successful at whatevershe does, and be a good, well-rounded person.She just has really good values, and that's unique todayto see young women in such a great placeat this stage in their life.So what I wanted to ask you is this.I do work a lot with couples.

    • 36:24

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 36:25

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And there are many options.We could invite Steve to come here for a family meeting.We could divide the session up and wecould have some time with the two of you alone.Or if you don't want to rock the boatand you're concerned about that, I could,during our individual session time,

    • 36:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: I could do some, like, coaching and we could talk about thingsthat you could try to further improvethe relationship with Steve.

    • 36:53

      RAQUEL: Oh, that would be good.

    • 36:54

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: If that would be--if you'd like to start there.

    • 36:56

      RAQUEL: Sure.

    • 36:57

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Rather than, youknow-- because I don't know what hethinks about the whole counseling experience.

    • 37:02

      RAQUEL: Yeah I don't think he'll be too much into it.

    • 37:04

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So, you know, those are the options.And oftentimes I see one partner,because the other partner is reluctant to come in.And through coaching and experimentingwith new ways of being in a relationship to the other,that can make the difference in itself.

    • 37:21

      RAQUEL: Correct.

    • 37:22

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And it sounds like you're alreadytaking those steps.You know, you know him well enough about what doesn't work.

    • 37:30

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 37:30

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And what you need to do more.And it sounds like you're on track with that.Because it sounds like he also likes to be right,and when you're both in that zone with one another,when you both have to be right, it'sgoing to lead to swearing and walking away,or a clash of some sort.

    • 37:51

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 37:51

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So we can begin to address tacticsthe next time we get together.But what I would encourage you to dois keep doing more of what's working.You know, there's a saying, if it works don't fix it.

    • 38:08

      RAQUEL: Correct.

    • 38:08

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And it sounds like you've come upwith some things that help the two of you get along,you know, like Netflix.I think your daughter's on to somethinghere about building in a little more fun, playful time.

    • 38:20

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 38:21

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Other than Netflix.

    • 38:22

      RAQUEL: And because she like going out.

    • 38:23


    • 38:24

      RAQUEL: I like to be home.I mean, Steve, for the most part doesn't mind being home either,otherwise he would say, let's get up and go somewhere too.I would say, OK.We do go places, it's just, he's probably working when we do.Going shopping, groceries.I mean, that's going out to us.

    • 38:38


    • 38:39

      RAQUEL: So we enjoy that moment there.

    • 38:41


    • 38:42

      RAQUEL: Even being at home, we enjoy the moment,but because she's young, she has more energy than we do,she likes to out and about.

    • 38:48

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So is he kind of a homebody too?He likes to hang?

    • 38:51

      RAQUEL: Yeah, for the most part.

    • 38:52

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.So, I mean, other options, you can prepare a nice dinnertogether and watch that Netflix movie or TV seriesthat you guys are following.By the way, what are you watching on Netflix these days?There's House of Cards.

    • 39:06

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I love that.Do you know the new season's coming out.

    • 39:09

      RAQUEL: OK.I'm still behind.

    • 39:10

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: In, like, two weeks.

    • 39:11

      RAQUEL: Of this season.I don't watch it as often.

    • 39:13

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: See what I make the mistake with Netflixis, that you start up with one and then it's like addictive.So one night you three episodes instead of stretching it out.So I've learned, for the new season, maybe one weekor something.

    • 39:28

      RAQUEL: Right.But see I'm more into comedy.

    • 39:30


    • 39:31

      RAQUEL: So there's some other shows.I forgot the names of them, but Ilike watching comedy on there.

    • 39:35

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.So let's get back to your wonderful daughter.Anything that you want me to addresswith her in my individual session time with her?Anything that you might be concerned about still,that you would like me to take up with her?

    • 39:52

      RAQUEL: OK, well, the issue, the way she says she's 18,she can do what she wants.She is a good girl.She is.She tells me where she's going.It's just the communication.I need to know where she's at to be relieved that's she's OK.Not to be worried.But, OK, she's going away to college.

    • 40:13

      RAQUEL [continued]: The part we didn't tell you if that she's going awaywith her boyfriend to college.

    • 40:16

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, you didn't tell me about that part.[LAUGHTER]

    • 40:19

      RAQUEL: But I'm OK with it, because they'reboth focused on college.

    • 40:23

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So he's going to go there too?

    • 40:25

      RAQUEL: Yes.That was his goal since he was young.

    • 40:28

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Now is Steve OK with this guy?

    • 40:31

      RAQUEL: He seems to be OK with it, yeah.

    • 40:32

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right, so is this a respectable gentlemantype guy?

    • 40:37

      RAQUEL: I feel that he is, yes.

    • 40:39


    • 40:41

      RAQUEL: Yeah, I feel that he is respectful to her.She likes him.She likes being with him.They do have a good time going out places, movies, shopping,dinner, and of course they go to the same school.

    • 40:55

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So it sounds like he's a good man.

    • 40:57

      RAQUEL: Yes.All right.So are you still worried though about them going out theretogether.

    • 41:02

      RAQUEL: I am.I am.

    • 41:04

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What are you worried about?

    • 41:05

      RAQUEL: Well, because they're young.She thinks just because she's 18, she can do what she wants,but that's just a number.She doesn't know the real world.And I'm telling her, Lydia, you should go live with my niece,because my niece fortunately just moved out there.She's like, no, we want to rent our own apartment.But Lydia, just please.

    • 41:26

      RAQUEL [continued]: So she won't have it.She won't listen.But, then I think about it, in my heart Ifeel that it's going to be OK.

    • 41:32

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You know, I mean,something tells me the same thing.When she talked about her career pathand she has her heart set on doing this specializedrespiratory training, I don't thinkshe's going to let things get in the way with that.I mean, it sounds like she's got her head screwedon right in terms of the values and what's most important

    • 41:55

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and that is first establish a career.And what is he interested in?What do you think he's going to do?

    • 42:02

      RAQUEL: Something medical as well, maybe nursing, because Iknow his mother, I think, is a nurse, and his grandmother.Yeah.He might be changing his major now, I'm not sure.I'll have to see, but, yeah.And that's I like about him, because heknew since he was young that when he graduatedhigh school here he was going to move to Arizonaand go to college there.

    • 42:22

      RAQUEL [continued]: And so he's sticking to his dream.So that's-- yeah, I'm glad of that for him.

    • 42:29

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So it sounds like he's a goal settergo-getter too.

    • 42:34

      RAQUEL: Yes.Right.

    • 42:35

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So there's a good fit here.But anything else about things that she'sdoing while she's still at home that youwant me to zero in on with her?

    • 42:49

      RAQUEL: Yes, I was just thinking about somethingwhen you were talking earlier.

    • 42:53

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Sorry, I talk to much.

    • 42:54

      RAQUEL: And now I'm now I'm like,oh my god, what was I going to say?Just to, again, even though she's 18,it doesn't mean she can do whatever she wants.I'm still her mother.She should still-- even though she doeslisten to me for the most part, because I really don'thave any problems with her.It's just that she does have a mind of her own of course.

    • 43:17

      RAQUEL [continued]: And it's like, I don't want her to learn the hard way.Because it always does come back to, see,what I told you the first time to do, you should have done it.It's minor things, but I just don'twant it to become a big thing.So of course, she's still under our roof,so even though she's 18, your mother knows best basically.

    • 43:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: It's true.It's scary.My mom lives in Ohio, and she could feel long distance that Ineed to go to the dentist.And the scary thing is I have not been to the dentistfor a long time.Somehow she could tell.Mothers know best, right?

    • 43:55

      RAQUEL: Right.And over the Christmas break I went to Texas.We went to Texas.My nephew was telling me he regrets gettinga tattoo when he was 18.

    • 44:06


    • 44:07

      RAQUEL: And he said, I should have listened to my mom.I said, oh, could you please tell Lydia that?[LAUGHTER] I said, oh, your mom was right.He's like, yep, she was right.

    • 44:18

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.So it sounds like your definitely on trackin terms of respecting the fact that she is older.She can be responsible.She is trying to open up the lines of communicationmore with you.I will reinforce that with her, the importanceof not keeping you in the dark.

    • 44:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And then as far as dealing with Steve,I think you're on to something here.

    • 44:45

      RAQUEL: Yeah, I'll be more patient with him.

    • 44:47

      RAQUEL: Yeah.And don't let the swearing get you lead footed,because then you're going to get into, I'm right, you're wrong,and that kind of exchange.

    • 44:54

      RAQUEL: Right.I mean, I just hate when he-- he doesn't have to go there.But I guess for him I guess it's a way to--

    • 45:03

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Exert his manliness.

    • 45:04

      RAQUEL: Right.Yeah.But one thing I just remembered about Lydiaand moving away with her boyfriendis that hopefully they have a good relationship.I see them bickering too as well, but I don't get involved.

    • 45:20

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, that's where you guys are role models,you know.

    • 45:23

      RAQUEL: Yeah.OK.

    • 45:24

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So perhaps you guyscould finish strong before she leavesso she sees the ideal parent, martial relationship.Which for her, it seems like that's the biggestdeal for the miracle.To see the two of you get along better.And knowing that, and making it easierfor her to leave the nest, not having

    • 45:45

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: to worry long distance, because it sounded like there was someof that in her head, you know.And she should not have to worry about that.

    • 45:53

      RAQUEL: Correct.

    • 45:54

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You guys need to show herthat you can get your acts together, right?

    • 45:57

      RAQUEL: Right.And I did tell her before, I said Lydia,the fights between me and him, it's notbetween your sister and you and us.It's just he an I, so don't let it bother you, but, you know,that's easy for me to say.

    • 46:12

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Right.Right.All right, I got to get her in here before we're out of time.

    • 46:16

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 46:16

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So we're going to switch places and doa dosey doe.OK?

    • 46:20

      RAQUEL: OK, sounds good.

    • 46:21

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.So Lydia, I'm just wondering, is there anythingthat we had not talked about earlier with your momthat I could be helpful to you with?

    • 46:35

      RAQUEL: You know, I have a boyfriendand I've been with him.

    • 46:38

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What's his first name?

    • 46:39

      LYDIA: Luke.

    • 46:40


    • 46:41

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 46:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Is he somebody you met at high school?

    • 46:43

      LYDIA: Yes, freshman year.

    • 46:44

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.This is a long-term relationship.

    • 46:46

      LYDIA: Oh, yeah.

    • 46:47


    • 46:48

      LYDIA: Two years and almost 11 months.

    • 46:50

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You guys are like soul mates.

    • 46:52

      LYDIA: Yeah. [LAUGHTER]

    • 46:53

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So tell me about Luke.What's the attraction?

    • 46:57

      LYDIA: He was just not like any other guy.I saw through him.You know how I talked about all the other people in my schoolare just horrible.They're lifestyle is just bad.Not mine.And when I first saw him it was just like,

    • 47:18

      LYDIA [continued]: I couldn't believe somebody like him would even exist.And when I found out what he liked and his personality,it was just like amazing.

    • 47:32

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So is he a respectful gentlemen?

    • 47:34

      LYDIA: Yes, he is.He is.

    • 47:37

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And what does he want to do, career-wise?

    • 47:39

      LYDIA: He wants to be registered nurse.

    • 47:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Well, I'll tell you, that's a booming industry now.

    • 47:44

      LYDIA: Yes, it is.

    • 47:45

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: There's lots of job possibilitiesin that area.And your mom, she didn't tell me his name,but she had said that you had a boyfriendand he's was going out there with you.

    • 47:54

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 47:54

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And that you guysare going to try and get an apartment.On campus, or is it like a student couple apartment?Or are you going to try and get an independent placeoutside of--

    • 48:06

      LYDIA: Yeah, I think it's a gated community in an apartmentarea with a pool, tennis court, you know.And that's his dream.That was his dream since like eighth grade I think he said.And I never had a dream.I never knew what I wanted to do,never knew where I wanted to go to college until I met him.

    • 48:29

      LYDIA [continued]: So he kind of saved me.

    • 48:31

      LYDIA: Wow.

    • 48:32

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So he cleared my whole future up.

    • 48:36

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Wow.So he was kind of inspirational?

    • 48:39

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 48:39


    • 48:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I really wantedto commend to you how you were able to get your mom here,because you have played the marital-- it soundedlike you've played the marital therapist role for a long time.And you, essentially bringing your mom here,gives me an opportunity to kind of take over and try and help

    • 49:05

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: your parents have a better relationship.And so you did a fine job of bringing your mom.

    • 49:10

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 49:11

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You see it's not the other way around.It's like--

    • 49:13

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 49:14

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: But what's coolabout it is that mom really would like to talk about itand I can do some coaching and help her, kindof interact with him differently so they can get along better.And it sounds like they're alreadystarting to really try and be better parents.

    • 49:32

      LYDIA: Yeah, they are.

    • 49:33

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I'm trying to also impress upon her that,let me take over and free you up to flap their wingsand get out of the nest and move on with your lifeand not have to worry long distance about them.So I will give it my best shot to try and help the two of themget along better.

    • 49:53

      LYDIA: Thank you.

    • 49:54

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I don't know if dad will everagree to come in, but--

    • 49:57

      LYDIA: Yeah, he--

    • 49:58

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I'll keep it simple and just work with mom.

    • 50:01

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 50:01

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And sometimes-- I was telling your mom that sometimes thatworks very well.Kind of indirectly influencing the other partner who refusesto come through one person.But I would like you to do an experiment for meover the next week.It's kind of a fun thing.It's called the secret surprise.And over the next week, I would like

    • 50:22

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: you to come up with two secret surprisesthat you can pull for each of your parents.Two really positive things that they'll noticeand really appreciate.And I don't want you to tell them what they are.I want them to play detective and try and figure outwhat they were.

    • 50:38

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 50:39

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And when we get together next week,you guys can compare notes and we'll see what a good detectivemom is.

    • 50:44

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 50:45

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK?You already are on to something here.Even though you're 18 and I know you want morefreedom and space and not be micromanaged,parents around these times, you know, especiallywhen their kid's about to leave the nest,they're going to miss you, you know?And they're going to want to try and control a little more,

    • 51:07

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: you know.But I think you're doing all the right thingsin terms of keeping the lines of communication open with her.When she texts you or calls you, text her back.And especially when you're moving around.And I like this idea of going into her bedroom.You know, if she's in a good and let herin on how things are going.If you had a nice date with Luke or whatever, you know.

    • 51:29

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: Or things that you're thinking about,your future, and stuff like that.I think the more you keep the lines of communication open,the less nervous she's going to beand she'll respect your need for more space.OK?

    • 51:41

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 51:42

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right.So we got to get mom back in hereand then we're going to wrap it up.

    • 51:46

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 51:47

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: First of all, I'dlike to start off by saying what a pleasureit's been meeting both of you.I've really enjoyed you as peopleand it's always wonderful for me when I meet special peoplelike the two of you.

    • 51:60

      RAQUEL: Thank you.

    • 52:00

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Your situation reminds me of a friend of minewho actually is also a therapist and shehas a sign in her office.And this sign reads, "please solve your problems before youcome in here so I can help you more."

    • 52:15

      RAQUEL: Oh, wow.

    • 52:16

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And you guys are living proof of that.I mean, you are already taking huge steps before we evenhad our first session.So I feel sort of like a bull fighter.You know, that you guys have the horns downand you're charging at me and I need to get out of the waybecause you guys are heading in a really nice direction rightnow.

    • 52:34

      RAQUEL: Thank you.

    • 52:35

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And It tells methat you're both very resourceful and creative,and also resilient.And mom, you've discovered that recognizingthat Lydia is a young woman and that I need to respectthe fact that she's older.And I need to give her the responsibility

    • 52:55

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: ball more to show me that she cantake responsibility and keep the lines of communication openwith me.And giving her more room to make her own choices.I have to say, I've also been blown awayby your being so supportive of, not

    • 53:17

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: only for future aspirations, her career path,but also moving away and with her boyfriend.Some parents might have a hard time with that.Somewhere inside my gut, it tells methat there's some level of trust.That you believe that she'll make good choices out thereand make all the right moves.

    • 53:39

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And as you were saying, mothers know best.And your mother's intuition is probablythinking along those lines.You've also learned what seems to be working with Steve.Watching Netflix together, which kind of brings you togetheraround something fun and positive.Trying to catch yourself and be patient and not get lead

    • 53:60

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: footed if he starts swearing.Count to 10, take some deep breathes.All very important things to do to avoid conflict.

    • 54:08

      RAQUEL: Great.

    • 54:09

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And Lydia, you'vealready noticed that mom and dad are trying to get it together.

    • 54:14

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 54:15

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: By less fighting,trying to be better role models for you and your sister.And I agree with you, I think theyneed to play a little more.And maybe take it outside the home and go out on some dateshere and there and stuff like that.But I have to say that I'm truly impressed with you.

    • 54:37

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And I wondered what your consultation feeis if I work with another young woman like you,similar situation, if I could tap your expertiseand have become as a guest consultant.

    • 54:49

      LYDIA: Oh, really. [LAUGHTER]

    • 54:51

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What's your consultation fee?

    • 54:54

      LYDIA: I don't know.

    • 54:54

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Well, you can think about.

    • 54:56

      LYDIA: I'm expensive.

    • 54:57

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.[LAUGHTER] Not six figures, right?

    • 55:00

      LYDIA: No.

    • 55:01

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And I'm just so impressed with you,how you have such a good head on your shoulders in termsof values and really thinking nothingless for success for yourself, because they saynothing succeeds like success.And you're on that track and I haveno doubt over the next week you're going to take a couple

    • 55:23

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: steps up to you're lucky eight.And I think that you also have the recipefor success with your mom.That is keeping the lines of communication open.If she texts you, text her back or call her.Let her know if you're moving around so she doesn't haveto worry if you come home late.

    • 55:44

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And surprise her, you know.If she's in her bedroom or whatever, you know,jump in there and have a conversation with her.Let her know, you know, what's going on in your lifeand what's meaningful and important, because momslike to hear that.

    • 55:58

      RAQUEL: Yes.

    • 55:60

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So on that noteI have given her an experiment to do.And you have to play like Miss Marple,remember Miss Marple, the detective?Agatha Christie mysteries?

    • 56:13

      RAQUEL: Yes, yes.

    • 56:14

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Miss Marple was the detector.And you pull out your imaginary magnifying glassand maybe we could have Steve do this too.He can be Sherlock Holmes.And over the next week on a daily basisI want the two of you to carefully observefor some special surprises that Lydia isgoing to pull for each of you.And she's not going to tell you what they are.

    • 56:35

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: You guys are going to have to be good detectiveand try and figure out what they were.

    • 56:38

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 56:39

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And when we get together next weekwe can compare notes.So, on that note, I look forward to hearingwhat further progress you've made in one week's time.I want you to keep track of other things that each of youdo that take you up to, let's say, seven.And you up to the special eight.

    • 57:00

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And I look forward to hearing what those things are.And before we stop, I just wondered what this meetingwas like for each of you today.

    • 57:09

      RAQUEL: It was good.It was good to hear what was on her mind and her point of viewof what I was worried about, the issues.So yeah, it was good.

    • 57:21

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right.How about for you?

    • 57:22

      LYDIA: Well, I was nervous in the beginningbut it just turned into a conversation.I forgot the cameras were here and everything and talkingabout my problems really helped me cope with the factthat when I leave this room, thisis going to be my normal life.And just remembering this moment is going to be helping me.

    • 57:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Great.Good.Anything else?Any ideas that we threw around and talkedabout that you're kind of holding onto?

    • 57:55

      RAQUEL: No.It was all good.

    • 57:56

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.All right.OK, so on that note, I will see you the same time,same station next week?

    • 58:04


    • 58:05


    • 58:20

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Matthew, it was nice to see your session.

    • 58:23

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Thank you.

    • 58:24

      SHANNON B. DERMER: And actually, we'lltalk a little bit about it, but it was alsonice to see you demonstrate a systems perspective whereyou can integrate individual and family and time together.So I'll ask you about that a little bit later.But first I want to start off with the very complex, uniquename of your approach.

    • 58:42

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Collaborative, strength-based brief family therapyis essentially an integrative solution-focused model.Originally my family therapy trainingwas in structural strategic family therapy.And it was a work experience whereI worked with Michele Weiner-Davis who

    • 59:03

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: was Steve De Shazer's number one prodigyin solution-focused brief therapy.And we worked at an agency where solution-focusedwas the house model.And it was at a time, I would say 1985, '86,where there were only a few agencies or programsin the world that used solution-focused therapy

    • 59:24

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: as the house model.So we were unique in that regard,and I ran an adolescent substance abuse program.And then we would go up to Milwaukeeand get supervision of supervisionwith Steve, Insoo, and Eve Lipchik, another one.And for the most part, even families that

    • 59:45

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: had to have a lot of treatment, responded very wellto the solution-focused model, because it was so differentthan anything they ever experienced,because emphasise is on what's right with people,not what's most supposed to be wrong with them.And it's all positive.It's capitalizing on their past successes,pre-treatment changes, co-creating compelling futurerealities of hypothetical success.

    • 01:00:09

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And it's uplifting, and it raises the hope levelsand their optimism.So they leave the first session feeling empoweredthat good things are happening and we're alreadymaking those things happen.But, that said, we did have some familiesin my adolescent substance abuse programthat did not respond well to a pure solution-focused model.

    • 01:00:31

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And I had gotten some training with Michael White and DavidEpstein, and I found the narrative therapy wasvery compatible, theoretically, withthe solution-focused model.And for some of these families, they'vehad been oppressed by substance abuse and otherextreme behavior problems for many years, extensive treatmenthistories.And it was like the presenting problems

    • 01:00:52

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: had a life of their own.So they were just so ripe for externalization of a problem.So with those people, I also wanted to know,since they had long treatment histories, you know,what all the attempted solutions had been.And here we would move into kind of an MRI brief strategic kindof model, finding out in great detail everythingthat the parents have tried, the kid has tried,

    • 01:01:14

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and the army of helping professionalsfrom a variety of settings.Some of these kids had been alreadyin residential treatment or multiple psychiatrichospitalizations.So that we don't replicate what's already been done.And so then, in those cases, sometimes the modelwould evolve more into a problem-focus

    • 01:01:35

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: where we're tracking problem maintaining sequences,and using pattern intervention strategies to disruptthose problem maintaining patterns.And kind of challenging, indirectly,through reframing, certain outmoded assumptions thatalso contribute to the maintenance of the adolescent'sdifficulties.Some families have been severely traumatized,

    • 01:01:57

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: have had oodles of treatment.Have long stories to tell.And there I embraced the ideas fromtheir collaborative language systems therapymodel of Harry Goolishian and Harlene Anderson.And I'll never forget when Harry saidin one of the most wonderful trainings I had in,I want to say 1986, where he said

    • 01:02:20

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: knowledge is always on the way.There's always more to learn about the client's story.And that it can be dangerous if we're too sharply focusedon solutions and goals and essentially editingtheir storytelling.And to give clients more room to tell their stories by telling

    • 01:02:40

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and retelling sometimes, that leadsto new meaning and new ways of looking at their situations.So over the years I've kind of integrated all these modelsand depending on the presentation of the clients,or what happens in sessions, I feelquite comfortable hopping around to these different approachesand using, you know, change strategies,

    • 01:03:00

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: asking certain types of questionsto get to curiosity to learn moreabout their story or certain events.

    • 01:03:08

      SHANNON B. DERMER: You hit a lot of the major marriageand family approaches there-- Solution-focus, MRI, narrator,some of the Erikson stuff, the strategic, postmodern.And one of things when I talk to studentsis sometimes they get enamored with a lotof these different things and theytry to put them all together in a way that doesn't really work.

    • 01:03:30

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: But I remember reading-- I think it was back in like 1996,a book of yours that was working with problem adolescence,and how to use a solution-oriented, orsolution-focused approach, but then how to switch it upif it isn't working.

    • 01:03:43


    • 01:03:44

      SHANNON B. DERMER: And so you, because youhave solution-focused, but then youhave MRI which is a problem-focused and all that.

    • 01:03:50

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Narrative.

    • 01:03:51

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah, narrative,which is much more political in a lot of ways and challengesthe reality more than solution-focused does.But you seem to do it in a way whereit doesn't feel like theoretical whiplash, where you'regoing from one to the other.

    • 01:04:04


    • 01:04:05

      SHANNON B. DERMER: How do you-- because in this sessionwe just watched, there were a lot of opportunities,if you wanted to, to go very problem-focused,but you stayed in solution-focus.How do you decide when to stay in that solutiontalk versus switching to maybe problem talk?

    • 01:04:22

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, it brings meto Robert Frost's famous poem, "two roads diverged in the woodand I chose the road less traveled by."And that seemed to be making the difference in termsof the flow of the conversation.I began, and I like to begin, no matterwhat the family presentation is when they firstcome in-- usually therapy for me begins on that phone

    • 01:04:45

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: call, the initial phone call.I like to give parents, the most concerned parent,a pre-counseling experiment to do.Where first I share with them howimpressed I had been over the yearswith how resilient and resourcefuland creative parents and kids are.That well before we see them for the first time,they're already taking important steps

    • 01:05:06

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: to resolve their difficulties.Or better cope with them.And since I didn't have the opportunityto do that, I introduced the same conceptwith my initial question about, have theynoticed things that are already working?And bingo we found some things that wewere able to expand on throughout the courseof the session.

    • 01:05:28

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: Things that they're already doing to improve the situation.So I'd like to begin in a very, kindof more pure solution-focused way,and then carefully read the feedback of the family members.And by the way, within the solution-focused model,there's many options, even with the mostdemoralized, pessimistic clients,

    • 01:05:50

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: there are ways to cooperate with themand still produce strengths and exceptions and goals,and continue to work in that way.But sometimes you go through all of the layers, categoriesof questions, and they're still really pessimistic.And that's telling me that we need

    • 01:06:11

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: to make more room for storytelling,put them in the expert role and ask them to inform meabout what all of the former therapistsmiss with their situation?What did they overlook that's important for meto know so I don't make the same mistakes.And if they were to work with the most perfect therapist,what would he or she do that they would find most helpful?

    • 01:06:31

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And oftentimes that brings good informationthat we can build off of.And depending on which way they takethe interview will determine whether I go more MRI or maybeeven shift into more of a postmodern, conversational,reflective kind of way of being as a therapist.

    • 01:06:52

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: But because I've had training with all the pioneers in allthese different models, I feel very confident going in and outand combining sets of strategies, as long aswhat we combined is logical and purposeful.

    • 01:07:04

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah, logical and purposeful.Versus, the beginner often does itbecause they don't know what to do next.

    • 01:07:10

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Right.We're not going to do like a smorgas tablehere with all kinds of herrings and cheeses and stuff.Usually I'm very mindful of the processof how I'm interacting with family membersand trying to fit what I do with their unique characteristics.

    • 01:07:26

      SHANNON B. DERMER: I found a lot of times, peoplewho come from a brief or solution-focused backgrounddon't talk a lot about assessment,yet they are constantly assessing.You're assessing to see, like, am Igoing in a direction that fits with my clients?Can I see exceptions?We don't talk about it often as a pencil and paper typething, a very structured type thing,

    • 01:07:46

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: but you're constantly assessing.That's what you're talking about, making those aremindful, informed decisions.

    • 01:07:51

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Assessment is intervention.You know, we do not come from this placewhere, well, we have to have a couple sessions to assessthe problem and the causes and search for the elusive why.It's more about co-creating a new reality basedon the information that's presented,but attending more to those sparkling moments.

    • 01:08:11

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: Those times when things are going reallywell and empowering the clients do more of what's working.And helping them get to where they would like to get to.And it's their agenda that shapes the interview, not mine.

    • 01:08:24

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah, and I thought it was a great example.There were so many times where you could've taken the baitand gone very problem-focused.You know, when they talked a few timesabout some of the disagreements they had or momand dad's relationship.You could have gone very problem-focusedbut you kept staying on that more exception, strengths,

    • 01:08:44

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: solution track.

    • 01:08:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And that's why, at the end,I shared the sign that Michele Weiner-Davis has in her office."Please solve your problems more,so I can help you better." "Please solve your problemsbefore you come in here so I can help you better."

    • 01:08:59

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Well, and that was exactly it.And it's question that a lot-- I mean because I dothink we train counselors and therapists and social workersand everybody else, psychologists,to go for the problem.They're ready to jump on the problem,but you started off with that very traditional type thing of,what have you already done to change before you even

    • 01:09:19

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: came here?

    • 01:09:20


    • 01:09:20

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Assuming that people do have strengths,they do want to change.

    • 01:09:23

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Even the most kind of problemsaturated situations where clientshave had lots a treatment or whatever, they're oftentimesable to identify at least a couple of bright spots thathappened between the call and the first session.And sometimes, because they had neverhad this kind of positive, uplifting approach,we can take those little things and blow them up

    • 01:09:46

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: into new realities.And where people leave very hopeful.

    • 01:09:50

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Now I want to ask you because we onlyhave a few more minutes.That they threw you a little bit of a curve ball.And this often happens.I'll talk about people often use kidsas the calling card or kids use their problems as the callingcard to get some help sometimes for their parents.Because the daughter seemed less concernedabout her relationship with her mother and more concerned--

    • 01:10:11

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: About the marital relations.

    • 01:10:12

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah, and whatwill happen after she leaves.

    • 01:10:15


    • 01:10:16

      SHANNON B. DERMER: So how do you handle that whenreally the presenting concern was their relationship?And certainly there's things theycan do to make things better, but a lot of itwas about her concern about her parents relationshipand her dad not in session?

    • 01:10:29

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Right.And that's why I took the burden of responsibilityoff her shoulders and said you dida fabulous job of getting your mom here,and essentially your parents.And that I'm going to take over and through some coaching,indirectly work with mom to influence that relationshipwith her husband.And mom's already doing some great stuff,

    • 01:10:51

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: so of course we want here to increase that,but at the same time, maybe there's some other tweakshere and there that I can do.And at the same time I want to support her launching outof the nest.Because she shouldn't have to worry them.They need to be good role models.And that's why I'm going to really push, I think,this whole idea of finishing strong with your daughter

    • 01:11:14

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: so that you guys can show that you can handle itwithout her help.

    • 01:11:18

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah.

    • 01:11:19

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah.And it also sounded like, in some ways--although I know this isn't technicallymaybe part of solution-focus that, in some waysit might be some good modeling for her daughter too.It seemed like she had a good relationship.A very nice relationship.It was very sweet when she was talking about her boyfriend.

    • 01:11:35

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, I know.

    • 01:11:36

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Helping find her way.

    • 01:11:37

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: She's such a great kid.

    • 01:11:38


    • 01:11:38

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: It's like you want to adopt her.

    • 01:11:41

      SHANNON B. DERMER: It very, very sweet.But I know, she said she she can shadows of some of the issuesmaybe that her mom has with her dad and her dad has--

    • 01:11:48

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: About being right.

    • 01:11:49

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah, about being right.

    • 01:11:50


    • 01:11:51

      SHANNON B. DERMER: And you can seethat she tries to keep that maybe under controlwith her boyfriend.But her boyfriend also commented on it,like, you have to be right.So do you see that as part of the model at all,or your approach of helping her mom is helping herand vice versa?

    • 01:12:08

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.And this is where I take objectionwith the purist-solution focused people that solution-focusis panacea for everything.And stay pure, don't go the problem talk route.I find that not helpful, because that's not reality.You know, it's not always an uphill climb

    • 01:12:28

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and we're heading to the top of the mountain here.You know, I think there's plenty of room to address that issue.Because sometimes what happens isthe parent's marital relationshipand the sibling conflicts it's a metaphor for that relationship.They reenact, especially of a male and female.

    • 01:12:49

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And the same thing happens in the boyfriend,girlfriend relationships.So I think that on a cautionary note,in my individual time with Lydia, we can talk about how,catch yourself when you're trying to be too right.

    • 01:13:01

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah.

    • 01:13:02

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And open yourself up to his perspective,because you don't want to repeat,essentially a bad habit that your parents have.And that's an example of how it's effected,trickled into that important relationship with her.So we can do some prevention work there.

    • 01:13:17

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Good.Well I really look forward to seeing how, over the next foursessions, you continue to help them notice what is going wellin their strengths, and that to havean effective therapeutic relationship you don't haveto point out all the bad things.That you can actually create a lot of changethrough helping them notice what's already working.

    • 01:13:37


    • 01:13:38

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Very good.Well, I look forward to.Thank you very much.

    • 01:13:41

      MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Thank you.

Brief, Strengths-Based, Collaborative Therapy: Session 1

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Over the course of five counseling sessions, Matthew Selekman works with Raquel and Lydia, a mother–daughter duo who have come to therapy to discuss some bumps in the road as the family is transitioning through a typical developmental stage—Lydia moving from the end of adolescence and into young adulthood, which includes attending community college and moving in with her boyfriend. Selekman works with the mother and daughter to see what successes they have already had and how they will continue to capitalize on their strengths into the future. They work on avoiding the “I’m right, you’re wrong” pattern and de-escalating typical blowups in the family. Selekman works with the mother and daughter together in the first session. In subsequent sessions, he begins with both clients together for the first 20 minutes and then works individually with each person for the last part of the session. Matthew Selekman is a licensed clinical social worker and founder and director of Partners for Collaborative Solutions, based in Chicago. He is the author of numerous family therapy articles and seven professional books. His eighth book, Working With High-Risk Adolescents: An Individualized Family Therapy Approach, is due out in December 2015. He works with clients in his private practice from a brief, collaborative, postmodern strengths-based perspective. He believes that all clients have the strengths, resources, and self-healing capacities to change and are the experts with their own life situations. His expertise as a therapist is in tapping his clients’ strengths to coconstruct solutions together. Complete Counseling: From First to Last Session takes the viewer through five sessions with the same client. Viewers will witness how clients change from session to session, how the approach to treatment changes over time, and how various therapeutic interventions are applied in different situations.

Brief, Strengths-Based, Collaborative Therapy: Session 1

Over the course of five counseling sessions, Matthew Selekman works with Raquel and Lydia, a mother–daughter duo who have come to therapy to discuss some bumps in the road as the family is transitioning through a typical developmental stage—Lydia moving from the end of adolescence and into young adulthood, which includes attending community college and moving in with her boyfriend. Selekman works with the mother and daughter to see what successes they have already had and how they will continue to capitalize on their strengths into the future. They work on avoiding the “I’m right, you’re wrong” pattern and de-escalating typical blowups in the family. Selekman works with the mother and daughter together in the first session. In subsequent sessions, he begins with both clients together for the first 20 minutes and then works individually with each person for the last part of the session. Matthew Selekman is a licensed clinical social worker and founder and director of Partners for Collaborative Solutions, based in Chicago. He is the author of numerous family therapy articles and seven professional books. His eighth book, Working With High-Risk Adolescents: An Individualized Family Therapy Approach, is due out in December 2015. He works with clients in his private practice from a brief, collaborative, postmodern strengths-based perspective. He believes that all clients have the strengths, resources, and self-healing capacities to change and are the experts with their own life situations. His expertise as a therapist is in tapping his clients’ strengths to coconstruct solutions together. Complete Counseling: From First to Last Session takes the viewer through five sessions with the same client. Viewers will witness how clients change from session to session, how the approach to treatment changes over time, and how various therapeutic interventions are applied in different situations.

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