Brief, Strengths-Based, Collaborative Therapy: Session 2

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    • 00:00

      [MUSIC PLAYING][COMPLETE COUNSELING-- From First to Last Session][Brief, Strengths-Based, Collaborative Therapywith Matthew D. Selekman MSW, LCSW SESSION 2]

    • 00:24

      [Host SHANNON B. DERMER Ph.D.]

    • 00:29

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, it's great to see you again.And I look forward to hearing what further progress you'vemade since I saw you last.

    • 00:35

      RAQUEL: OK.Good to see you, too.[LAUGHTER]

    • 00:40

      LYDIA: Well, Valentine's Day was Saturday, so--

    • 00:43


    • 00:44

      LYDIA: I got her some flowers from my work.

    • 00:46

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Really?

    • 00:47

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 00:48

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: What kind of flowers?

    • 00:49

      RAQUEL: I don't know.

    • 00:50


    • 00:52

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Were they roses, or--

    • 00:54

      LYDIA: No.No.Those are too expensive.

    • 00:55


    • 00:56

      LYDIA: But--

    • 00:57

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So you got her like a bouquet?

    • 00:59

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 00:59


    • 01:01

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 01:01

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Really nice.

    • 01:02

      LYDIA: It was little white little flowers.And then there was yellow daisies.

    • 01:06

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Wow.How thoughtful of you.

    • 01:09

      RAQUEL: Yeah.

    • 01:09

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Were you blown away by that?

    • 01:10

      RAQUEL: Yeah.I was surprised.They were real nice.

    • 01:12

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Was that a first for Lydia to send youflowers on Valentine's Day?

    • 01:16

      RAQUEL: I think so.Yeah, I don't think last year she got me flowers.But her dad did.

    • 01:20


    • 01:21

      LYDIA: Well, I didn't have a job.

    • 01:22


    • 01:23

      LYDIA: So now that I have money then I could just buy--

    • 01:25

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.So you got her flowers.A nice card?

    • 01:28

      LYDIA: No, not--[LAUGHTER]I forgot cards for everybody.

    • 01:31


    • 01:32

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 01:33

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.So-- by the way, was that one of your secret surprises?Remember last week is said over the next weekI want you to pull two secret surprise that'll shock bothyour parents in a positive way?Was at one of them?

    • 01:46

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 01:46

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Anything for your dad?I don't know what he likes.I don't think he would want anythingon Valentine's Day like girly or anything.There wasn't anything for men.

    • 01:57


    • 01:58

      LYDIA: I don't know.

    • 01:59

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: That's a problem with that holiday,right?

    • 02:00

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.

    • 02:01

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Although I think one time,believe it or not, my wife bought me like red underwear.[Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, LCSW, Partnersfor Collaborative Solutions][LAUGHTER]And I never wore them, but--[LAUGHTER]

    • 02:11

      LYDIA: You didn't?

    • 02:12

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But the thought was nice.But what about anything that you did that kind of surprisedyour dad?You know, something that maybe a responsible stepor helping out around the house or somethingthat maybe Dad noticed or--

    • 02:29

      LYDIA: I was-- well, like for the past couple of dayshe was like, can you do this for me?And I'll do it.Like anything that he wanted, I'll-- I was doing it.

    • 02:38

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So that was a surprise for him, or--

    • 02:41

      LYDIA: I guess.I don't know.If he was like looking out for any suspicious acts.But I was just complying to his demands.

    • 02:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Is that different for you to do that?

    • 02:52

      LYDIA: I usually do it, but sometimes I'll be like--

    • 02:54

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Take you time?

    • 02:56

      LYDIA: Yeah.[LAUGHTER]

    • 02:57

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Great.Excellent.And did he compliment you?Did he say--

    • 03:01

      LYDIA: He was just like, thank you.Like he just kept saying thank you.

    • 03:04

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Nice Very nice.So last time we were together, youwere shooting for the lucky seven.

    • 03:10

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 03:11

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And you were shootingfor your favorite number eight.But last week you didn't tell me,why is the number eight so special to you?

    • 03:18

      LYDIA: It's just been my favorite number.I don't know.Like how it--

    • 03:22

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: It's shaped.

    • 03:23

      LYDIA: Yeah.And if you title it to the side, then it;s an infinity sign.

    • 03:27

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, cool.I never thought of that.

    • 03:30

      LYDIA: And I've had the number when I was playing softball.

    • 03:33

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And hence youperformed really well on the fieldbecause you had that number, right?

    • 03:38

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 03:38

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.

    • 03:39

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Were you a pull hitter?Could you put the ball down the line and--

    • 03:42

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 03:43


    • 03:44

      LYDIA: Yes.

    • 03:44

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So were you also--

    • 03:44

      LYDIA: In the outfield and everything.

    • 03:45

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So you were a star on the softball teamtoo?

    • 03:48

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 03:48

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: A starter?

    • 03:49

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 03:49


    • 03:50

      LYDIA: And MVP player and everything.

    • 03:52

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: MVP?And tell me about how you got the MVP.

    • 03:56

      LYDIA: They be usually look for spectacular plays.Like a double play or like a dive or anything like that.Or if I was a pitcher, like I struck out a lot of girls.Yeah.

    • 04:08

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So tell me about your mostspectacular play that I would have like said, wow.Check that out.

    • 04:18

      LYDIA: One time I caught the ball-- I was second base.And I knew it was going to go over my head,so I turned and I started runningbackwards while looking at it.It's called a drop step.And I caught it over my head like that.

    • 04:33

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, wow.So it was like a basket catch, or--

    • 04:37

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 04:37

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: --a one-hander?

    • 04:38

      LYDIA: It was one hand.

    • 04:39

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Wow.Wow, I wish I could see that on like a video replay.

    • 04:43

      RAQUEL: I know.

    • 04:44

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Were you out in the standswhen she made that spectacular catch?

    • 04:46

      RAQUEL: Always.Yeah.

    • 04:47

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So you were like the cheerleading squad.Can you hear Mom?Does Mom bring pompoms to the games and--

    • 04:53

      LYDIA: No.When I'm up to bat I hear here sometimes.

    • 04:55


    • 04:57

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 04:57

      RAQUEL: I call her a natural.

    • 04:58


    • 04:59

      RAQUEL: She's real good at softball.

    • 05:01

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Do you also play sports yourself otherthan tennis.

    • 05:03

      RAQUEL: I just like-- no.Uh uh.

    • 05:04


    • 05:05

      RAQUEL: When I was a teenager, of course,we did have-- I did play in the summer league of softball.But I wasn't into it like she was.

    • 05:12

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So I'm going to come back to other steps youtook over the past week to get up to an eight.What other big steps did you take?Let's say, things maybe that Mom noticedor that you were proud of yourself.

    • 05:28

      LYDIA: I don't know.

    • 05:29

      RAQUEL: Well, on Friday night she was asking uswhat we wanted for breakfast Saturday for Valentine's Day.

    • 05:36


    • 05:37

      RAQUEL: She was gonna make it.

    • 05:38

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Was this a breakfast in bed kind of thing?

    • 05:40

      RAQUEL: No.It didn't end up working out.

    • 05:42

      LYDIA: No.

    • 05:43

      RAQUEL: Because her sister and I had to go somewhere.We volunteered for something.

    • 05:47

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, so you were justgoing to prepare it for mom and your sister, not also Dad?

    • 05:52

      RAQUEL: Oh, yeah.

    • 05:52

      LYDIA: Him too.

    • 05:53

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So was Dad around at least?

    • 05:55

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 05:55

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So you could do nice breakfastfor him?

    • 05:57

      LYDIA: Yeah, but he fell asleep.

    • 05:58

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, no.After you prepared it?

    • 06:01

      LYDIA: Yeah, when he came downstairs and then like--I guess he didn't like because the meat, the chorizothat I made, the potatoes-- like I put olive oil in it.

    • 06:14

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So it was a little too greasy?

    • 06:16

      LYDIA: Yeah.For him.I'm like, it tasted fine.

    • 06:19

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.And that's all that matters, by the way.It doesn't have to look good or whatever, but aslong as it tastes good.But so after he kind of commented about the oily partof it, did he eat it anyway?

    • 06:31

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 06:32

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And he liked it?

    • 06:33

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 06:33

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Cool.Was he blown away by that, that you would beso kind to prepare breakfast?

    • 06:40

      LYDIA: Well, he knows I'm a cook,so he just like, thank you.

    • 06:43

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.That's really sweet.

    • 06:45

      LYDIA: So he wouldn't have to cook.

    • 06:46

      RAQUEL: Right.But on Friday night when she was asking us what we wanted,he did comment to me.Oh, she's being real nice.She wants to do things for us.

    • 06:54

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, nice.

    • 06:54

      RAQUEL: And I knew.Because I didn't tell him to watch outfor-- to be a detective.I didn't tell him.

    • 07:00


    • 07:02

      RAQUEL: So, yeah.So he told me.

    • 07:03

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So he's a natural detective.

    • 07:05

      RAQUEL: Right.[LAUGHTER]

    • 07:06

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: You didn't even have to tell himand he noticed.

    • 07:07

      RAQUEL: No.

    • 07:07

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK, great.

    • 07:08

      RAQUEL: But he noticed without me telling himthat he was being extra kind to us and--

    • 07:12

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: That's excellent.Good.That's so wonderful.

    • 07:14


    • 07:14

      RAQUEL: Yeah.

    • 07:15

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And you knowwhat's beautiful about this?Your miracle was that you want to see your parents get alongbetter.And it's these kind of positive experiencesthat inject more happiness into their relationship.And people are going to get along better.Creating that atmosphere at home.That's beautiful.Anything else that you can think of that youwould call an eight-like step that you

    • 07:38

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: took over the past week?

    • 07:39

      LYDIA: I bought my sister something for Valentine's Day.I had a nice bag with like a zebra print.And I said-- it had a heart on it.And then I put a pink Teddy bear in there, a chocolate rose,a balloon-- like one of the little balloons on a stick.

    • 08:01

      LYDIA [continued]: And Ferrero Rochers.

    • 08:02

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, wow.How nice.

    • 08:04

      LYDIA: Because I remember when she was like-- she was like,someone buy this for me.The Ferreros.And I'm like, hmm.So I bought them for her.

    • 08:10

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Wow.And did she give you a big hug?A kiss?

    • 08:15

      LYDIA: No.

    • 08:15

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Was she blown away by that?That you'd be so kind.

    • 08:17

      LYDIA: Yeah.She was like like, thank you.Yeah.

    • 08:20

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Now, did you get anything out of this Valentine's Day,other than from Luke I'm assuming?But was there anything that you gotfrom Mom or Dad or your sister that was a pleasant surprise.

    • 08:31

      LYDIA: Well, she bought me a watch on Friday.

    • 08:33

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Ah.Nice watch?

    • 08:35

      LYDIA: Was it Friday?

    • 08:35

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.

    • 08:36

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Are you waring that?

    • 08:36

      LYDIA: No.It was-- I was like-- maybe I shouldn't wear because it'llbe gleaming everywhere.

    • 08:42


    • 08:43

      LYDIA: Yeah.So--

    • 08:44

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But you really like it?

    • 08:45

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 08:46


    • 08:47

      LYDIA: And--

    • 08:48

      RAQUEL: She picked it out.

    • 08:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, nice.Nice.And any-- I want to hear about the stepsthat you took to get up to that lucky seven over the past week,things that you saw yourself do that youwere pleased with that helped you guys get along better.

    • 09:06

      RAQUEL: Well, I was being just regular.I didn't go too far or take an extra step.I know I wasn't complaining to her that much.I don't think I was.

    • 09:17

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Oh, so you cut back on the complaining?

    • 09:21

      RAQUEL: Yeah.

    • 09:21

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Did you notice that?

    • 09:23

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 09:23


    • 09:24

      RAQUEL: I waited to today.I went to her school Friday for parent-teacher conference.I did wait till today to tell her what the teachers told me.Which, it's good.She just needs to make up some work.But, yeah.I think I was pretty good.

    • 09:40

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So you didn't make a big productionout of that.That's cool.Because it tells me on some levelthat you're confident, because she has so many strengths,that she's going to turn this around.You don't even have to let her know.

    • 09:52

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 09:53

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Even if you tell her,before you know you're going to get all those things done,right?

    • 09:57

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 09:57

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.All right.So I guess what I'd like to do at this point is sharewith the two of you that one of the thingsI was really struck by last week.And you have brought this up, Raquel.That somehow this I'm right pattern

    • 10:18

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: infiltrated this family.And it's kind of like it has a life of its ownbecause it has been getting the best of your relationshipwith Steve.And Steve also falls prey to that, too.Sometimes he gets lead footed and he's, I'm right.And to let you know that he's right he might start swearingor something like that.

    • 10:39

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And then that I'm right pattern has gotten the best of youtwo guys at times too where you kind of lock hornswith one another.You're saying, hey, I'm getting older, Mom.Give me more space.Trust me.Even if I don't get back to you with the text quickly, I'm OK.I'm safe.Don't worry.And then at times you're saying, well, whether you're 18 or not,

    • 11:02

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: I still deserve to know where you areand I want to make sure you're safe and I'm right.Because mother's know best, right?And then this I'm right pattern has infiltratedyour relationship with Luke.You've noticed that.

    • 11:15

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 11:16

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Last week you said, God,I have to catch myself.My pattern is making me act like Mom sometimes and Dad.And, hey, I better watch this because Idon't want to lose Luke.Luke's a great guy.It's a perfect connection here, right?So I just wanted to share with youthat it's not uncommon for patterns like this

    • 11:38

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: to come into families.And sometimes they're inter-generationalin terms of sometimes the parents' parents alsohad similar patterns and got into it with one another times.And you guys are doing so great.And it's just-- there's something inside of me that'ssaying we need to cover that base.How can we get this I'm right pattern out of this family

    • 12:01

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: and not allow it to get the best of you guysindividually and all your important relationships.And I was thinking about kind of a fun ritualthat we could do over the next week whichwill help you chase the I'm right pattern outof this family.

    • 12:16

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 12:17

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And it has to do with this chart righthere.And it has to do with just the same waythat I ask the two of you to keep track of thingsthat you do to get up to a seven and an eight,you will also-- with this kind of playful little ritual I'mgoing to have you do each day-- we'll keep track

    • 12:37

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: of the various things that you doto not allow the I'm right pattern to get the best of you.Like I'm sure that there must be times where that I'm rightpattern is kind of lurking about between you.You and Steve, there's some tension a-brewing.And there's something that he sees one wayand you see it another way.And my guess is that sometimes physically you

    • 12:59

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: can feel when you're sort of clinging to your position, kindof defending your position.

    • 13:03

      RAQUEL: Yes.

    • 13:04

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And so we knowthat that time, those situations, the I'mright pattern is trying to take you over.And-- which eventually could lead into a clash.

    • 13:13

      RAQUEL: Correct.

    • 13:14

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Or him swearing or whatever,getting more difficult.So it's keeping track of all that youdo every day, both of you, in your important relationshipsto not allow that I'm right pattern to get the best of youin your relationships.So you said last week two things.Sometimes I'll take deep breaths.Sometimes I'll count to ten.

    • 13:36

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And that helps me not get lead footed and sort of go and getinto it with Steve.

    • 13:40

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.

    • 13:41

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.But what didn't find out from you is when that I'm rightpattern is creeping into your relationship with Luke,how can you tell it's present?What does it make you do?

    • 13:52

      LYDIA: What does it make me do you?

    • 13:54


    • 13:54

      LYDIA: Like when I--

    • 13:55

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Like how you act towards him.

    • 13:58

      LYDIA: Like he gets agitated when I think I'm alwaysright about everything.And if I think I'm right, I'm just going to like stick to it.But when I'm wrong I'm like, oh, I'm sorry.But then he's like, see you did it again.You always think you're right and blah, blah, blah.And I'm like, I'm sorry.

    • 14:14

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Uh huh.

    • 14:15

      LYDIA: So yeah.

    • 14:16

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.And after the fact, do you feel kind of badly about it?

    • 14:19

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 14:20


    • 14:21

      LYDIA: I do because then I feel like he's right sometimesand I don't see that.

    • 14:27

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So can you think of any times in the past--just like your mom was able to think about timeswhere she'll take deep breaths and count to ten to avoid sortof getting into it with Dad-- can youthink any times with Luke where maybe you weren't seeing eyeto eye and that I'm right pattern was tryingto strike you and push you aroundand you were able to catch yourself and be more open

    • 14:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: minded or flexible?

    • 14:50

      LYDIA: Yeah.I try to understand where he's coming from.Like I'll understand what he thoughtwhen he was speaking his mind and when I was speaking mine.So it's like we come from two different worlds,so I understand that.

    • 15:06

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So you have been able to catch yourself.

    • 15:09

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 15:10

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Anything else that you've been able to doto take a stand against that I'm right pattern thatseems to work for you?

    • 15:16

      LYDIA: I'll just remember how he feels when he feelslike he's wrong against me.And I won't bring up anything like in the past or somethinglike that.Like, say I was right or something like that.

    • 15:29


    • 15:30

      LYDIA: Yeah.I'll stop myself.

    • 15:31

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Good.And what would you bring up from the past maybe if you were to--

    • 15:36

      LYDIA: I'll just be like, remember when blah, blah, blahhappened.Because we'll be at the same place and I'm like,remember when this happened and you thought you were right.And he'll just get agitated.

    • 15:46

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And it was kind of a negative past event.

    • 15:48

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 15:48

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.And I'm glad that you've recognized that insightbecause the worst thing for couple relationshipsis to bring in the dirt from the past.Bad times where you got into argumentsor you got in a big disagreement and stuff like thatbecause it makes people feel bad to talk about negative things.

    • 16:06

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 16:07

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So I'm glad that you caught that,that it's not good to bring up.And especially about past relationships.You never bring up past boyfriends with the boyfriend.Believe me.[LAUGHTER]It's dangerous.All right.So what I want to ask you two is we'regoing to have two columns.And in this column we're going to have

    • 16:28

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: the I'm right column, OK?And we're going to call it the I'm right pattern, OK?Because it's sort of like a pattern.All right.Now, what I'd like the two of you to come up withis a name for your family team.

    • 16:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: Because this is going to be team effort.It's going to require teamwork where you guys are goingto pull your heads together to see how we can out-trickand outsmart that I'm right pattern wheneverit's lurking about.

    • 16:59

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 16:59

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So what would youlike to call your team?

    • 17:04

      RAQUEL: The A Team.

    • 17:06

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: The A-- now wait.This is a group decision here, so do you like that oneor would you--

    • 17:12

      LYDIA: The Eight Team?Is that--

    • 17:13

      RAQUEL: A. For A, Aguirre.

    • 17:15

      LYDIA: Oh, Jesus.OK, yeah.Let's do that.

    • 17:17

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Is that OK with you?

    • 17:18

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 17:19

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Or do you have a--

    • 17:19

      LYDIA: No, no, no.That's fine.

    • 17:20

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: --different idea?

    • 17:21

      LYDIA: No, that's fine.

    • 17:22

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So the A Team.

    • 17:23

      LYDIA: I'm not good at that, so--

    • 17:23

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.OK.OK.So this is your column, guys.And what I want you to do over the next weekis, on a daily basis, keep track of the various thingsthe two of you do in your important relationshipsto not allow the I'm right pattern to get the best of you

    • 17:45

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: and your relationships.More examples like taking the deep breaths, counting to ten.But other things that you come up with.Sometimes people talk to themselves and say,you know what?I see what's coming.He's getting all tight and defensive.Or I really don't like where he'scoming from with what he wants of me or what to do.

    • 18:06

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And you start to feel yourself getting tight,you need to catch yourself.Because otherwise the I'm right pattern's going to strikeand it might lead to an argument or tension or-- you know.So on a daily basis, both of you,in your relationship with Luke and your relationshipwith Steve, are going to keep track of the various things youdo to not allow that I'm right pattern to get the best of you,OK?And so what I'm going to have you do over the week

    • 18:27

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: is to write down all the creative ideasyou come up with.OK?But at the same time-- because I'm rightpatterns are kind of sneaky charactersand they don't like to be tricked and kind of likepushed around.So over the next week, my guess isthat things are going to be going really wellover here because you guys are on a roll right now.

    • 18:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: But I'm right pattern is going to do sneak attacks like whenyou're least expecting it.You might be lead footed or whatever.[Matthew D. Seleckman, MSW, LCSW, Partnersfor Collaborative Solutions]But it's going to try and get youto push the buttons of the other person.So you got to try and not allow that to happen.But if it does, I want to also to write down all the tricks

    • 19:09

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: that the I'm right pattern comes up.All the various ways it tries to undermine the progressthat you're making.

    • 19:14

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 19:15

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK?But my guess is, and I'm very confident,that you guys are going to fill this whole column.And it'll be limited activity over here.And it's helpful to kind of pull your heads together and sharewith each other what's working and maybe each one of youwill try out the other's ideas in your relationships.

    • 19:37

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: But it's important that you're a team, OK?

    • 19:39

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 19:40

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.So what I wanted to do today is kind of divide this session upand I wanted us to have some alone time.

    • 19:49

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 19:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And we'll also have our own alone time.So we're going to take a little break nowand we'll call you back in, OK?

    • 19:55

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 19:56

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.So I wanted to find out, last time we were togetherwe talked about how for her the most important thing isshe wants to leave the nest knowing that you and Steve havea more harmonious relationship and less fightingand you're living together-- under the same roof--

    • 20:17

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: and getting along.And we talked about probably he wouldn'tbe open to the idea of coming here with youand that maybe it would be easier for usto kind of collaborate on how bestto continue to improve the relationship without him being

    • 20:37

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: here.And that actually works quite well.I've worked with a lot a couple situations whereI've only had one partner.And so you become sort of like the agent for change.And so you've learned that what works--and just in summary from what I've learned--is taking the deep breaths, counting to ten,watching Netflix shows.

    • 20:58

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: Anything else that you maybe came upwith over the past week?Now that you guys are spending more time together,it seems to help the two of you get along better.

    • 21:07

      RAQUEL: For the most part it was good.We didn't really come up-- there wasn't reallyany conflict coming up.There was a conversation he was having with the girlsthe other day and I can feel that Iwas starting to get irritated because he keepsasking questions repeatedly.Questions.And they answered it the first time.And so what I did, I just walked away.

    • 21:28

      RAQUEL [continued]: Let him talk to the girls.Because sometimes I interfere.I put my two cents in it.So I just walked away.

    • 21:34

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So not being the--

    • 21:34

      RAQUEL: Let the girls handle it.

    • 21:35

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Because my guess is that blowsup for you sometimes.

    • 21:38

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.

    • 21:39

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Like he gets upset.

    • 21:39

      RAQUEL: Yeah.

    • 21:40

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Like, I'm the manand this is my territory.

    • 21:42

      RAQUEL: Or, I'm not asking you, I'm asking them.So--

    • 21:44


    • 21:45

      RAQUEL: I just walked away like, let them handle it.

    • 21:47

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Good for you.Great.

    • 21:49

      RAQUEL: So, yeah.

    • 21:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Was that like the first timeyou've ever done that, or--

    • 21:52

      RAQUEL: That I can recall lately, yes.

    • 21:54

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Good.Good.

    • 21:55

      RAQUEL: So I'm like, it's not a big deal.Why do I even-- why should I even worry about it?

    • 21:59


    • 22:00

      RAQUEL: So I didn't want to pick a fight then.

    • 22:03


    • 22:03

      RAQUEL: It wasn't-- I shouldn't have anyways.

    • 22:05


    • 22:05

      RAQUEL: It was not a big deal.

    • 22:06

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.So what was he inquiring about ?

    • 22:09

      RAQUEL: I don't recall her.

    • 22:11

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Does he approve of Luke?

    • 22:13

      RAQUEL: For the most part, yes.He does.

    • 22:16

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.And now does your other--

    • 22:16

      RAQUEL: He can see that they get along, they like each other.

    • 22:18

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, they do get along?

    • 22:19

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.

    • 22:19

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Great.Does your other daughter have a boyfriend too?

    • 22:22

      RAQUEL: No.

    • 22:23

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Or is there anything that she's doingthat he's concerned about?

    • 22:27

      RAQUEL: That Steven's concerned about?

    • 22:29


    • 22:30

      RAQUEL: No.

    • 22:30

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So was it like about chores?Or what was he talking to them about?

    • 22:34

      RAQUEL: Oh, I can't recall at all.

    • 22:35


    • 22:37

      RAQUEL: I think I already blocked it offbecause I didn't even want to-- I justdidn't want to go into it.

    • 22:42

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Did it end up having a good outcomethough?

    • 22:43

      RAQUEL: It wasn't a big deal.Yeah.Yeah.

    • 22:45

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.All right.

    • 22:47

      RAQUEL: It wasn't a bad thing.He was asking them something-- I don't even know what.But to me he just keeps asking the same questionsbut with different words.And I'm thinking to myself, they alreadyanswered that question to you.That's why I had to walk away.Because I'm like--

    • 23:01

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK, good.Well, that's an example of taking a stand against the I'mright pattern.

    • 23:06

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 23:07

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Because that could have really blown upfor you if you would have dug in and triedto show him that you're right and he's wrong, right?

    • 23:14

      RAQUEL: Correct.

    • 23:15

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Anything else that you came up with over this past week thatseemed to help the two of you get along better?

    • 23:22

      RAQUEL: Well, when he was talking I just said, mm-hm.Just listened.Didn't have any comments because sometimeswhen I give my comments they couldbe-- seem like a negative against what he's saying.So I just went along with it.

    • 23:37

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So kind of compromising.

    • 23:39

      RAQUEL: Yeah.Like I was watching TV.We were watching Netflix.And here he is.And he knows I don't like when he'stalking because it's an interesting part when he alwayswants to talk.

    • 23:48


    • 23:49

      RAQUEL: So there I am.I have to rewind that video.

    • 23:51

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, wow.

    • 23:53

      RAQUEL: Again, I just need to have patience with him,I think.

    • 23:57

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.And did he stop the side comments?

    • 23:59

      RAQUEL: Yeah, I said.Shh.Wait, wait, wait.And then he did.

    • 24:02

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Good.Good.Have you ever tried-- sometimes--and now he's being much more corporate with you.But sometimes when things aren't going well in relationshipsor-- and I've observed this when I have to--I haveto collaborate a lot of my work with people in power positions

    • 24:24

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: who can be very rigid and kind of I'm right, you're wrong.

    • 24:28

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 24:29

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And sometimes what'sbeen really helpful is to adapting a yes and position,where you kind of take the other person's ideasand piggyback your ideas with their ideasand sort of pull it all together.Do you ever try anything like that with him?

    • 24:43

      RAQUEL: I think I do, yes.Yes.Mm-hm.Because he does have a lot of good ideas, too.

    • 24:48

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Can you think of some good idea he'shad that--

    • 24:51

      RAQUEL: Not at this moment.

    • 24:52

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: --where that you guys saw eye to eye.Or a place where you kind of pulled your ideas togetherto do something that had to be done?Can you think of some examples of that?Like good teamwork?

    • 25:04

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.Not right off the bat, no.

    • 25:06

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Is there any piece of this relationshipthat you would like help with that you're stillkind of concerned about or you'd like to work on tweaking?

    • 25:21

      RAQUEL: Between Steve and I or Lydia and I?

    • 25:23

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.Between Steve and you.

    • 25:26

      RAQUEL: I just-- OK, well, when I walked away over the weekendwhen he was having a conversation with the girls,I just started thinking, oh, you know,it feels good to walk away.So I think I'm going to try that more.

    • 25:37


    • 25:38

      RAQUEL: And not-- and I'm like, it's not even a big deal,whatever he's-- whatever he was talking about,it wasn't a big deal.So why do I even want to put my two cents into it?

    • 25:47

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Great.Good.

    • 25:48

      RAQUEL: OK.So I was thinking it over like you said.Before you say something, think it over.Is it really something you want to add?

    • 25:57

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Right.Don't sweat the small stuff.

    • 25:58

      RAQUEL: Correct.So I was thinking about that too.

    • 26:00

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Good.Good.But is there anything with your relationship with Stevethat you would like to further improve that stillneeds a little more work?Any areas of the relationship?

    • 26:22

      RAQUEL: Just to get along.But like I said, this week was a good week.I thought it was.

    • 26:26

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: It sounds like it.

    • 26:28

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.And what do I want to improve?

    • 26:38

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Has he been more-- now that he's come back,has he been more loving and kind of affectionate with you?

    • 26:46

      RAQUEL: Yeah.About the same.About the same.He's always been like that.Yes.

    • 26:51

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Is there anything--new twists that you'd like to add to that?Something more you'd like in the relationship from himwhen it comes to loving and affection?

    • 27:05

      RAQUEL: No.I think because I'm used to it, it's good.It's just when we get into arguments over silly stuff.And really it is.Because you made me think about it last time.What is it that we do-- starts off our arguments?And again, goes back to me wanting to be right.

    • 27:21


    • 27:23

      RAQUEL: And then I thought it over.Is it really necessary that I always have to be right?

    • 27:27

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Right.Good question.

    • 27:30

      RAQUEL: So, yeah.It was a good week.It's been good.

    • 27:34

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: In the past when,let's say in the earlier years of your marriageor your courting period, were there certain thingsthat you used to do that brought a lot of pleasurefor both of you in your relationship?Things that-- activities or--

    • 27:52

      RAQUEL: We would go out to the parks.Like in the summertime go to the parks.Rent a boat, like a rowboat or a paddle ball.And-- but then it was summertime.Right now it's winter.So there's not too many things to do out.We would go to the movies.

    • 28:14

      RAQUEL [continued]: Go to a friends' house.It's really not-- well, at least as far as the friends' house,I don't miss that really.We have our family now.

    • 28:27

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: How about like on a date?Like do you have a favorite dinner spotor a favorite activity you liked to do in the past, you and him?

    • 28:39

      RAQUEL: Well, like in the summer I like to play tennis.

    • 28:41

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.Does he play?

    • 28:43

      RAQUEL: And I would-- he does.He does.He'll play if I ask him to let's go play.But most of the times he's like, no, I'm tired today.

    • 28:50


    • 28:51

      RAQUEL: So we don't get to play as often as Iwould like to go play.But we do a lot of things together,especially with the girls.And when they were younger, we'd always take them to the zooor to the parks.We'd try to do all kinds of activities with them.Carnivals when there was carnivals around.But, no.

    • 29:11

      RAQUEL [continued]: It's been a good.

    • 29:12

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.It sounds like things are heading in a much morepositive direction.

    • 29:16

      RAQUEL: Mm-hm.

    • 29:16

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And know that while we'reworking together during our individual private adult time,if there is something that comes up between youand him and you want some help with that, I'm here for you.

    • 29:26

      RAQUEL: OK.I'll think about that more then.

    • 29:28

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And then with Lydia.It sounds like things are rolling in a positive directionexcept for the little mini concern about getting behindwith some school assignments, which may be senioritis?

    • 29:42

      RAQUEL: I think it is.She can't wait.

    • 29:44

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Which strikes.

    • 29:45

      RAQUEL: She can't wait to get out of there.

    • 29:47


    • 29:47

      RAQUEL: So it is.

    • 29:48

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And she's alreadyset to go to college and everything.So this is very common.But outside of that, anything elsethat you think I need to work on with her that you'dlike me to work on changing?

    • 30:02

      RAQUEL: Well, let's see.She's going away to college to Arizona.

    • 30:07


    • 30:08

      RAQUEL: She's going to be with Luke.

    • 30:09


    • 30:11

      RAQUEL: I'm just a little concerned about thatbecause it's going to be a whole new thing for them.For her.Bills.I'm not sure how much of those billshe thinks I'm going to pay.And they're going to be working and going to school.It's a new thing.

    • 30:32

      RAQUEL [continued]: I just think she's-- she wants to grow up too fast.

    • 30:36

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah, she's very mature for her age.I wanted to ask you how much you and Steve havesat down and talked together as parents how much you'rewilling to help her out financially and stay involvedwith her being so far away.Have you have these conversations?

    • 30:55

      RAQUEL: I've had a little bit of conversations with her.But I have plans to talk to her more.Again, it'll probably be myself because, again, if it's Steve,we might get into it.And don't want her to be upset.

    • 31:11

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Is not approving of her--

    • 31:13

      RAQUEL: No, he's--

    • 31:13

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: He's OK with this.

    • 31:14

      RAQUEL: Yeah.Mm-hm.

    • 31:15

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: He feels OK with her being with Lukeand going out there.

    • 31:17

      RAQUEL: I'm sure 100%.I'm not 100%.But at least I would say I'm at 80%.

    • 31:25

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And knowing the kind of work that you do,I think you could be really a helpful consultant to herin terms of planning out and budgeting and reallyoptimizing for her to be successful out there.Now based on what I've experienced with her,I'm feeling pretty confident that she's

    • 31:45

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: a responsible, self-sufficient person.But I think it-- like you said-- I thinkit would be helpful for you guys to sit down and talkabout the numbers and make some decisions about how far willyou go with helping out financially and really hearingthat there's some very clear plans about how they're

    • 32:07

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: going to do this.I don't know if Luke has had this conversationwith his parents or not.But it would be interesting to know.

    • 32:15

      RAQUEL: Right.

    • 32:16

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Or if both sets of parentswant to have this conversation together.Which may not be a bad idea since thishave the serious relationship.

    • 32:24

      RAQUEL: No, we plan on doing that too.

    • 32:24

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: I think it could be very helpful.Kind of like a damage control kind of thing well before theygo away.

    • 32:30

      RAQUEL: Correct.Right.

    • 32:30

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So maybe that might be helpful as well.All right.Well, I got to get Lydia in here.OK.Well, I would like to give you a high five.What an awesome week you had.

    • 32:40

      LYDIA: Oh, yeah.

    • 32:41

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: She is so proud of you.

    • 32:43

      LYDIA: Thanks.

    • 32:43

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And was so moved by your kindnesswith the breakfast and the flowersand it sounds like your sister is also delighted as well.

    • 32:54

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 32:55

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But you didn't tell mewhat you got for Luke for Valentine's Day.

    • 32:58

      LYDIA: I got him a Cubs jersey with his nameon-- his last name on the back.

    • 33:04

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, how cool.

    • 33:06

      LYDIA: And the number 21.

    • 33:07

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Wow.Where'd you get that?Did you go all the way to Wrigley Field,that shop right there?

    • 33:11

      LYDIA: No.

    • 33:12

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Where'd you get that?

    • 33:13

      LYDIA: Online.

    • 33:13

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, wow.

    • 33:14

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 33:15

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And is he a big Cubs fan?

    • 33:16

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 33:16

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And do the two of yougo to games together?

    • 33:19

      LYDIA: We got to White Sox games because I get free tickets.

    • 33:21

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: How do you work that out?

    • 33:23

      LYDIA: There's this-- what's it called?Kid's Club.So when you sign up, they send you four tickets.So--

    • 33:33

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.What a great deal.

    • 33:35

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 33:35

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: That's really sweet.Not too many people can afford even to go to a gamebecause the tickets are so outrageously expensive,you know?

    • 33:42

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 33:42

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, that's great.So he must have been thrilled then.

    • 33:45

      LYDIA: Yeah, he was.

    • 33:46


    • 33:47

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 33:48

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And does he play base--did he play baseball for the team?

    • 33:50

      LYDIA: Yeah, he plays baseball at Rachise where I go.

    • 33:53

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.And is he pretty good, or--

    • 33:55

      LYDIA: Yeah.He-- what is he?He's outfield.Yeah, he really-- he makes a lot of plays.

    • 34:01

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So was he like-- was he a star.Did he get celebrated as like a top player in the league or--

    • 34:07

      LYDIA: I'm not sure.

    • 34:08


    • 34:09

      LYDIA: I'm not sure.

    • 34:10

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.

    • 34:11

      LYDIA: I don't know.

    • 34:12

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.And then you would go out there and cheer him on, of course.

    • 34:15

      LYDIA: Well, we would both play.So we wouldn't go to each other's games.

    • 34:19

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Oh, so it's parallel play.You didn't get to--

    • 34:21

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 34:21

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.Because you had practice and everything.OK.

    • 34:23

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 34:24

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.So I was just wondering if there's anything else that-- itsounds like things are rolling in a more positive directionwith your parents.And are you seeing that?Are you feeling more confident about leavingand kind of letting them work on that?

    • 34:45

      LYDIA: Yeah.I feel like they'll, sooner or later, figure it out.But I'm worried for my dad.So like where is he going to go?Is he just going to stay where he stays and I thinkhe's going to get depressed and all thatand fall back to his old habits.

    • 35:06

      LYDIA [continued]: And that's what I fear.

    • 35:07

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So you do thinkDad's going to permanently move back in?

    • 35:10

      LYDIA: No.I don't think so.

    • 35:13

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.What were some of his bad habits?

    • 35:16

      LYDIA: Drinking.Smoking a lot.Like--

    • 35:18

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Smoking weed, or--

    • 35:20

      LYDIA: I don't know.Like either tobacco, like cigarettes.And like he would like-- I don't know.Put tobacco-- he would make his own cigarette.

    • 35:31

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So what has to happen for that not to happen?What more-- and this is helpful information for mebecause part of our session time I'mgoing to spend with Mom to try and help them outwith their relationship.But I was wondering what kinds of thingsdoes Mom do that is more likely to kind of prevent him

    • 35:56

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: from wanting to drink or smoke a lot?

    • 35:60

      LYDIA: Well, stay with him.Because she wants to move to Texas when my sistergraduates from high school.She's only a year behind me.So after next year, it's either she moves or stays, I guess.But I'm already gonna be in college, so I don'tknow what's going to happen.

    • 36:19


    • 36:20

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 36:20

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Have you had any conversations with your fatherabout your desires to see them get along better and havea better relationship?

    • 36:31

      LYDIA: Not really.The only one that we had was he was talkingto me out of like-- he was angry at my mom and stuffbecause any time we talk about Texasshe doesn't want to talk about it in front of him.Like any time.Don't talk about it in front of your father and stufflike that.And so--

    • 36:50

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And why is that?Why is he upset about that?

    • 36:52

      LYDIA: Because she wants to move like across the countryaway from him.Not away from him, but like a better life for her.And--

    • 37:04

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So is he notlike so keen on that, to move?He wants to stay here?

    • 37:09

      LYDIA: Because his mom is here and she's really, really old.So she needs the care.So that's the only setback.

    • 37:18

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, it seemslike they're getting along better according to your mom.They've been spending more time togetherand trying to not push each other's buttonsand things like that.But can you-- you have your whole life ahead of you.You have your future career plans, you got Luke.

    • 37:39

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: If it doesn't look like they're going to stay together,how are you going to cope with that?How are you going to let that not kind of ruffleyour feathers and kind of derail you from all your goalsfor yourself?

    • 37:51

      LYDIA: Well, I don't know.I watched this one video maybe like last year.And I was still going out with Lukebecause we're almost going make three years.So--

    • 38:05


    • 38:06

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 38:06

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Three years.That's incredible for a high school romance.

    • 38:09

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 38:09

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.What do you think your secret is?You and Luke?What sort of keeps the glue there?

    • 38:16

      LYDIA: It's like we like the same stuff, but then we don't.And so we both have two different personalities,but yet we like the same things.Like we'll laugh at the same video or picture, you know.And we get along like that.

    • 38:33


    • 38:34

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.Yeah.

    • 38:35

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So it's really a good fit for the twoof you.

    • 38:38

      LYDIA: Yeah.Mm-hm.

    • 38:38

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And you knowwhat's amazing about this is sometimeswhen you have partners that are like different in termsof personalities and everything, they have a hard timesort of coming together.But it sounds like you guys have figured outways to common interests and stuff like that.

    • 38:53

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 38:54

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.Any other secrets?

    • 38:57

      LYDIA: Let's see.I'm a very positive person.So that plays a big role.So like if we're getting in a fight,I'm like, just brush it off.

    • 39:12


    • 39:13

      LYDIA: There's always a tomorrow.Or I say, just live while you have the chance.Tomorrow's never promised.

    • 39:21

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: That's great.That's right.There's a wonderful cartoon-- have ever heard of Ziggy?The cartoon Ziggy?So it's this kind of rounded headedkind of a little cartoon.And he's in this sort of rocking chair and it says,worrying is like rocking in a chair.It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.

    • 39:41

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 39:42

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And I think that's so true.That we need to live in the now and not let little thingsget to us.And be optimistic because it's that optimism that'sgoing to take you far in life.

    • 39:53

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 39:56

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So hopefully they'llbe able to at least stay together and get to a betterplace until your sister, I guess, graduates.And then time will tell.We don't have control over the fact his mother's ill or old.And when you get old, you get ill oftentimes.

    • 40:18

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: You start to deteriorate and everything.

    • 40:20

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 40:20

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But we'll just see what happens.But I am going to make a commitment to youto continue to try and support your momand help them get along and fight less.And hopefully that'll reduce the likelihoodof him wanting to drank and swear and be difficult.

    • 40:37

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 40:38

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So anything elsethat you wanted to talk about today or bring up?Any--

    • 40:46

      LYDIA: I don't know.Not really.

    • 40:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: There was one thingthat Mom had mentioned to me because I was asking herhow the two of you were getting along.[Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, LCSW, Partners for CollaborativeSolutions] And she did say that the school thing in termsof a couple assignments I guess that you're behind in.

    • 41:04

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.

    • 41:04

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But I'm not worried about thatbecause I know you're going to do them and getthem turned in all that.

    • 41:08

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 41:09

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But I know the senioritisbecause I remember when I was a senior.I'd already into college so when is this going to be over?

    • 41:17

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 41:18

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But there was something elsethat she brought up.And that is her-- and it's normalfor parents when their daughter's gonnamove across the country to worry arethey going to be able to cut it financially.And I know you and Luke are going to work.So I think it might be helpful-- and you've probably

    • 41:40

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: even thought about this because you're so responsible--but to maybe meet with Luke, come upwith some kind of budget, look at what your finances mightbe in terms of apartments and rentand bills and all that stuff, which probablyfor the first time this is what you'regoing to be dealing with.

    • 41:58

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 41:59

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And also I said to your mom,all parents want to try and help their kids out whenthey move out financially.But they can't pay for loads of things.They can pay for some things maybe.So I thought it'd be helpful for maybe your and Luketo get together and talk about that and come up with a plan,present it to your parents.Maybe the parents could also kind of talk about it and see.

    • 42:23

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: I don't know.What has his parents said about helping out?

    • 42:26

      LYDIA: Oh, yeah.They're very helpful in many ways.

    • 42:30


    • 42:31

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 42:31

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So you thinkthey'll kick in some money too.

    • 42:34

      LYDIA: Mm-hm.Yeah.

    • 42:35

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.I think the clearer the plan is and the more it'sknown how much things might cost and all that,it'll be helpful for Mom to know that so she'llget less anxious.Because I think if Mom starts to get real anxious,especially as we're getting closerto the time of your moving out, she'sgoing to want to maybe micromanage a little bit, which

    • 42:57

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: you're not gonna like.

    • 42:57

      LYDIA: No.

    • 42:58

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So I think keepingthe lines of communication open.Share the plan with her and maybe Dad and maybeLuke's parents might be willing also to talk with herand so it's very clear who's goingto do what, who's going to help out with what kind of thing.

    • 43:16

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 43:17

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK?All right.Great talking to you.And I would like to see your artwork.You said you draw.

    • 43:23

      LYDIA: My artwork?

    • 43:24

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: You said you draw animals, right?

    • 43:25

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 43:26

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: I would love to see.

    • 43:27

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 43:27

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Next time I see you, would you bring it in?

    • 43:28

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 43:29

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK, cool.OK, I forgot to introduce you to my imaginary crystal ball.Now be careful not to drop it.OK.And first with you, Lydia, I wantyou to gaze into that crystal ball over the next week.And I want you to describe for methe steps you're going to take to get up to a nine.

    • 43:48

      LYDIA: Oh.

    • 43:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: What kinds of thingsdo we see you doing with whom and where and when?

    • 43:57

      LYDIA: I don't know.

    • 43:58

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Further steps of progress.What do we see you doing there?With Mom and Dad and Luke and--

    • 44:10

      LYDIA: Doing that.

    • 44:11


    • 44:13

      LYDIA: Working as a team to keep our relationships afloat.

    • 44:17


    • 44:18

      LYDIA: Yep.And the household.

    • 44:20

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.How about with Mom?What steps are you going to be taking with Mom that youknow she'll appreciate?

    • 44:34

      LYDIA: Texting her back.

    • 44:36

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Texting her back.

    • 44:37

      LYDIA: Calling her.

    • 44:38


    • 44:41

      LYDIA: Doing more chores.

    • 44:42


    • 44:43

      LYDIA: And things.She'd love that.

    • 44:45

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.And you really blew your dad's mind too with that, too.Pass that on to Mom.Careful not to drop it.OK, Mom.I want you to gaze into that crystal balland describe for us the steps that you'regoing to be taking over the next weekto get one step higher up to that eight.

    • 45:00

      RAQUEL: Ah.OK.Be more patient with husband and with Lydia.

    • 45:06


    • 45:08

      RAQUEL: Positive talking.And just take it one day at a time.And think before I speak.

    • 45:19


    • 45:24

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 45:25

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Let me put this back over here.All right.Well, in wrapping up today, I haveto tell the two of that I probably would've given youhigher scores on that scale.I think both of you are shooting up, hovering near a ten.I'm just amazed.First of all, you took advantage of the Valentine's Day holiday

    • 45:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: to really take such loving care of all your familymembers, including Luke.Everybody got a nice gift.And you surprised your mom with some beautiful flowersand blew your dad's mind with preparing breakfast.And he liked the taste of it.That's all that matters.

    • 46:11

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And your sister was happy with her giftsand you got the perfect gift for Luke being a Cubs fan.A nice Cubs shirt and everything.I'm sure he'll cherish that for life.

    • 46:23

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 46:25

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And I love all the movesthat you made, the way you were able to catch yourselfwith your husband rather than getting into it with him,especially when you were tempted to swing downon you vine like a female Tarzan or Jane when dad apparentlywas talking to you and your sister and kind of-- Idon't know if he lecturing or asking you guys-- interrogating

    • 46:47

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: the two of you.

    • 46:48

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 46:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Mom was tempted to jump in thereand stop him.But something told her in the back of her mindthat this might blow up into an argument so she backed off.And it wasn't so bad you discovered.

    • 46:58

      RAQUEL: No.Not at all.

    • 47:00

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: So by being more patient,by being on your toes like a ballet dancer,shifting gears and moving in a different direction,things seem to work for the better.And I really appreciate your insights about,especially teen relationships and how important

    • 47:20

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: it is to have common interests, have a good sense of humor,work together as a team.And I'm pretty confident that we'regoing to chase this I'm right pattern out of this familyand really give it a run for its money over the next week.

    • 47:41

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: Now, like I said before, hiccups.And you guys know what hiccups are, right?You know like when you-- somehow youtake air into your stomach and all of a suddenyou start burping and you can't stop yourself from doing itand you're embarrassed and all my stuff.Well, sometimes after a lot of changes happen for families,they get hiccups.

    • 48:01

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: Like there might be bumps on the road,there might be things that come up that tryand trip you up and make you go back to old ways of being.Like attempting to micromanage her and you're saying, no.I'm an adult now.Back off.And that kind of stuff.So things could crop up that could try and derail youover the next week.

    • 48:22

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: But I believe that if you keep moving forwardand keep track on a daily basis of all the thingsthat you do that work for you, that we're not going to havethose kind of derailments.That you'll be able to push your ways up to an eight and a ninerespectively.So again, with this experiment we're

    • 48:43

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: going to do to help chase I'm right pattern outof this family on a daily basis--and I wrote this down for you.

    • 48:50

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 48:51

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: I want the two of youto keep track of the various thingsthat you tell yourself, useful self-talk, and the stepsthat you take when you sense that this I'm right pattern islurking about and trying to push you around individuallyand your relationships.I want you to come up with as many thingsthat you come up with-- thinking, actions--

    • 49:11

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: that seem to prevent it from getting the best of youand your relationships.And write those things down here.And I want to bring this in next time.

    • 49:19

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 49:19

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And then also keep track of the timeswhen there are sneak attacks where I'm right patterngets you lead footed and maybe youget into with Steve a little bit or youfind yourself kind of disagreeing with Lukeand you're saying to yourself, oh, after the factI can't believe I allowed the I'm right patternto get the best of me, that kind of thing.

    • 49:39

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: So keep track of its victories over youand all of your victories over it.And put your hands in the center, the A Team, let's go.

    • 49:48

      RAQUEL: OK.

    • 49:49

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.OK.So just to wrap up, what was today'smeeting like for you today and--

    • 49:59

      RAQUEL: It was good.

    • 50:00

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: What kind of stood out for youthat you found most useful?

    • 50:04

      LYDIA: Realizing what I did and how my family took it.Showing them how much I care.Yeah.So that's-- I realized, like, oh, I did good.

    • 50:20


    • 50:21

      RAQUEL: The same thing.That she went a step beyond, took it upon herselfto go shopping for us and cooking for us.Although I didn't get to enjoy the cooking that much because Ihad to go somewhere with her sister.[LAUGHTER]But yeah, that was good.She leaped forward.

    • 50:40

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.Anything that we didn't talk about todaythat you think we need to take upthe next time we get together?

    • 50:50

      RAQUEL: No, I think we covered most of it this week.Let's see what happens between now and then.

    • 50:56

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.And how's it going in terms of our working together?Are you feeling OK about this or any adjustmentsyou'd like me to make?

    • 51:06

      RAQUEL: No, for me it's going good.I thought about what we did last week,what you talked about last week and that helped.

    • 51:14

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.OK for you?

    • 51:16

      LYDIA: Yeah.

    • 51:16

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.

    • 51:17

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: OK.So then why don't we stop and I look forwardwhat further progress you guys have made.

    • 51:22

      RAQUEL: OK.Great.

    • 51:23

      LYDIA: All right.

    • 51:24

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And I want to see this all filled upthe next time we get to.

    • 51:26

      RAQUEL: OK.Well, at least on the left side.

    • 51:28

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: On the left side.That's right.Only the left side because the A Team is going to do it.[LAUGHTER]So I'm going to unhook this for you guysand you're going to take this with.All right.There you go.

    • 51:44

      LYDIA: OK.

    • 51:45


    • 51:46

      LYDIA: Thanks.

    • 51:47

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: All right.So we'll see you next week.Same time, same station.

    • 51:51

      RAQUEL: OK.[MUSIC PLAYING][Brief, Strengths Based, Collaborative Therapy ADiscussion With SHANNON B. DERMER Ph.D. SESSION 2]

    • 52:08

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Another great session.I wanted to-- I wrote down a few different questionsthat I want to ask you.But actually first I just want to start a little bit moreopen-ended and ask you what you want to focus on or highlightfrom the session. [Shannon B. Dermer, Ph. D.]

    • 52:23

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, I think that this family hasa wealth of strengths and they have the momentumand they're really pushing towards that ten.And what I really appreciate is the factthat they've been retaining bits and pieces of messageskind of messages. [Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, LCSW,Partners for Collaborative Solutions]

    • 52:43

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: Almost like this is the Ericsonion hypnoticelements of embedded commands of in action sort of thinkingabout things rather than getting lead footedand just pushing ahead.And like Mom gave some examples of that whereshe was tempted to be the rescuer or the buffer

    • 53:05

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: and she caught herself saying, this could blow upfor me with my husband.So she backed off.And it's always nice when clientswork so hard between sessions to integrate ideas and put toolsand strategies into practice.

    • 53:19

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Well, good.I know that-- actually, believe that she is the youngestout of like-- I don't know.Like a bunch of kids.Like 12, 13.Something like that.But I know that in her own life shetends to take very much charge, whichis the I'm right type thing.

    • 53:37

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Uh huh.Yeah.

    • 53:38

      SHANNON B. DERMER: So are you surprised at allthat she's able to take a little bit of a back seat and--

    • 53:43

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: You're talking about the motheror the daughter?

    • 53:44

      SHANNON B. DERMER: The mother.

    • 53:45


    • 53:45

      SHANNON B. DERMER: I'm sorry.

    • 53:46

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.Because I thought that there was only one sisterand I'm thinking, no.

    • 53:50

      SHANNON B. DERMER: No, no.Sorry.The mother.

    • 53:50

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah, yeah.

    • 53:50

      SHANNON B. DERMER: You said that sheable to step back a few times this weekendand not take charge of things.

    • 53:55


    • 53:56

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Were you surprised by that at all?

    • 53:58

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Actually I think Mom's getting it.

    • 54:01

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah?

    • 54:02

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: That I need to allow my daughterto evolve into this kind of responsible, self-sufficientyoung adult and be less of a micromanagerin taking over too much.And my guess is that that's been a threat to the husband.And so then he swears and does things to frustrate her.

    • 54:23

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And I just-- I love the fact that she'sbeing more flexible and more open-minded.Another beautiful example was that her daughter, who'sexperiencing obviously senioritis,is starting to slip a little bit with getting assignments turnedin.And rather than making a mountain out of a molehilland lecturing her and micromanaging herabout making sure that that homework gets done

    • 54:45

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: she kind of stepped back and my guess somethingon some level thinking that the daughter willtake responsibility to that.So it was really some great moves on Mom's part.

    • 54:56

      SHANNON B. DERMER: I did notice you normalizing the senioritis,that that happens a lot of people.Which it does.But I think there's also the recognitionfor Mom a little bit like, my daughter'sgoing to be out on her own.Why not let her practice while I'm stillaround to help catch her than wait until she's in-- was it?Where is she going?Texas?Arizona?

    • 55:16

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Community collegein-- I think in the Phoenix area of Arizonaor something like that.Yeah.

    • 55:21

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Plus, I guess in a wayit's a huge compliment to a parentto let their kid go a little bit because itmeans I've raised them well enough that I can trust them.

    • 55:29

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: How many parentswould allow their kids to move across countrywith the boyfriend and like living in an apartment.And it's just-- and that's where I, when I met alone with her,I wanted to make room-- my thing is, although I'ma pathological optimist and my solution-focused mania comes

    • 55:50

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: out a lot, I think it's dangerous to betoo rigid with that.And I think we need to leave room to cover the back doorand address maybe some concerns that haven't been mentionedand make room for that.And she obviously is concerned.Are they going to be able to make it financially?And is there a plan?And that's why I kind of nudged Lydia

    • 56:11

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: to get with Luke and maybe the parentsto come together and optimize for their success out there.

    • 56:17

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah.Yeah, I did notice that you were talking about budgeting,making some suggestions.Not telling them what to do but maybemaking some suggestions of thingsthat it might be good to explore.

    • 56:29


    • 56:31

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Now I want to ask you--because this whole transition-- Imean the transition from adolescenceto young adulthood, that has mixed feelings for any family.I'm proud of it to see them go off, but I'll also miss them.But then it's also compounded a little bit by Momand the other daughter will probablybe joining them or moving in a year or two.

    • 56:55

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: But Dad probably isn't going to be able to.

    • 56:57

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, what a surprise that was.

    • 56:59

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah.So how do deal with that?When something is supposed to be really happyand fun for some people, but also there'ssome sadness or maybe some loos to it also?

    • 57:09

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah.Well, I think that probably our time together wegot to make room for talking about that.And probably Lydia is aware of the factthat-- well, Lydia was the one whokind of talked about that, that on some level it does concern.But I really wanted to give her ample space to talk about that.

    • 57:32

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And I think it'll be important to revisitthat with the mother and daughter and the stepsthey'll take to cope with that.

    • 57:40

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah.Because that is a huge transition.Even though Mom and Dad aren't technicallyliving in the same household, they spend a lot of timetogether.And so it's different to be a couple miles away versus 1,000miles away.Now I notice you did start in the beginningwith following up on the homework.

    • 58:01

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: Talk to me a little bit about the importanceof homework for you.

    • 58:05

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, whether clients do it or not,it's communication about how well we'recooperating together.So if they didn't do it, then that's telling me maybeit was too much too soon or I needto try something else where there'sa better fit with their goals and what they want.But obviously it did happen.

    • 58:25

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And I was pretty confident actuallythat Lydia, who seems to be really committed to this,would deliver.And sure enough, she did.And it really was uplifting for everybody involved.

    • 58:37

      SHANNON B. DERMER: I know.Mom definitely noticed.It sounded like Dad noticed it too.

    • 58:41

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah, Dad even.Yeah.

    • 58:44

      SHANNON B. DERMER: And so you said that it's information.I like to ask people about what their view of resistance is.Because you said, well, whether she did it or not,it's information.So talk a little bit about how you see or don'tsee the concept of resistance.

    • 58:59

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, my position is this.And it's in line with the famous "Deathof Resistance" paper in Family Process by Steve De Shazer.And that is, over the years I believe that all clients wantto cooperate with us no matter howsevere their presenting problems areor whatever DSM-V brand stamps they've been given,

    • 59:21

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: our job, our responsibility as therapists,is to listen carefully and observe for how bestto cooperate with our clients.I've worked schizophrenics.I've worked with gang bangers.I work with so-called borderline people.Drug addicts.And all of them have some unique cooperative wayof wanting to work with me.

    • 59:45

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: The thing that we need to be careful about as therapistsis to becoming resistant therapists.

    • 59:51

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Right.So looking for them to not cooperateor not paying attention to their cuesabout how they are willing to cooperate.

    • 59:59


    • 01:00:01

      SHANNON B. DERMER: And so definitely I'venoticed that you have been looking for their waysto cooperate and that you have a very positive assumptionthat they will go along with what they state their goals areand some of your interventions.And then it sounds like if they don't, there'sa reason for that.And you need to be open to seeing other ways

    • 01:00:21

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: that they're offering to cooperate with the process.

    • 01:00:24

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: That's why I predicted hiccups.There's bound to be maybe an argument or some slip up.But that kind of goes with the territory of change.I also used the imaginary crystal ballto have them gaze into it to spell outthe further steps they're going to take to move up the scaleand make further progress.

    • 01:00:45

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: I felt it was really important-- and I thought about thisafter the first session-- to cover the back doorwith the I'm right pattern.And I was so struck by that the last session wherethis inter-generational I'm right pattern that's going onwith the parents has trickled into the relationshipbetween Mom and Lydia and Lydia and Luke.

    • 01:01:07

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Right.Yeah.

    • 01:01:08

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: And I felt like this habit control ritual,which is a wonderful, playful intervention that MichaelDurant actually developed to train with Michael White wouldwork really well with them and that they'd have fun with it.And I like them to come up with their own team name.And on a daily basis keep track of the various steps

    • 01:01:30

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: they'll take to stand up to the patternwhen it's lurking about now out to push them around.But at the same time, keep track of the right pattern'svictories over them and see wherethey need to tighten up and--

    • 01:01:41

      SHANNON B. DERMER: So you're bringing in a little narrativeexternalization there.

    • 01:01:44


    • 01:01:45

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Because I noticedyou did talk about one-- like howthe pattern sometimes pushes them around or sneaks upon them.And so talk to me a little bit about whyyou decided specifically to use a little bit of externalizationversus some kind of other experiment.

    • 01:01:60

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, I think solution-focused therapyand narrative therapy are very compatible models.And I oftentimes will use them together.But like I said before, I like to have balanced sessions wherewe amplify and consolidate all the good stuffand increase their awareness levels of what they need

    • 01:02:21

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: to do more of. [Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, LCSW,Partners for Collaborative Solutions]But at the same time, cover the back door because lifeis just not a straight uphill climb to the summit.There's going to be bumps on the road and thingsthat are going to try and trip them up.And this pattern obviously has had a life of its own.And I was concerned that if we don't cover that base that it

    • 01:02:42

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: could trip them up and derail them in different placesand stuff like that.Plus it's a fun kind of family ritualwhere they're working together as a team versus the problem.And it grows them closer togetherand it usually ends up being a very fun, meaningful experiencefor families.

    • 01:03:02

      SHANNON B. DERMER: OK.So often when change occurs it's like two steps forward,one step back.And in solution-focused, they tend to focus inon the two steps forward.And you focus in on that, but you alsolike to help them prepare for the one step back.

    • 01:03:15

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Exactly.And I think it's a mistake with someof these purist solution-focused peoplewho-- oh, that's problem talk.Everything's going great so let's just talkabout everything that's going positiveand not make any room for what's not going wellor what's a-brewing maybe outside of the goal area.

    • 01:03:36

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And I think that that can lead to some-- if we don't make roomfor discussing that, the clients aregoing to think, well, I better not bring up problems here.And then it comes back and bites them in the behinds.And then, yeah.They slip back some notches.So rather than allowing that to happen,

    • 01:03:59

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: let's check in to make sure there aren't any concernsand cover that base.So I think it gives them a much more solid outcome experienceto cover all the bases.

    • 01:04:12

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Well, I think also itnormalizes that with all progress there are setbacksand that isn't something necessarily to be ashamed of.

    • 01:04:18


    • 01:04:19

      SHANNON B. DERMER: You can learn from it.It's natural.

    • 01:04:21

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Right.And that was one of the things I didn't share with them.That slips are like wise sages.That they're like teachers.They offer us valuable wisdom where we need to tighten up.And it's an opportunity for comeback practiceif we have a slip.We can see what do we need to do differentlyor what do we need to do more of thatcould help us stay on track.

    • 01:04:41

      SHANNON B. DERMER: So again, it's information.

    • 01:04:43


    • 01:04:44

      SHANNON B. DERMER: OK.Now one of the thing-- I know you typicallywork with high risk adolescents a lot of times, right?

    • 01:04:49


    • 01:04:50

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Which Lydia is certainlyis not a high risk adolescent.She's got a lot of resources, family thatcares about her and all that.But I do notice you making a lot of effortto create a therapeutic alliance with her.That you really pay attention to that.So what's the importance of doing that, especiallywith a teenager?

    • 01:05:10

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, I thinkin working with families with adolescentswe have to be inter-generational labor relations arbitrators.[LAUGHTER]We got to work both sides of the generational fenceand try and establish solid allianceswith parents and kids.That way, if we support the parent's authoritywe don't lose the kid.

    • 01:05:31

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: Sometimes we established separate goals.Oftentimes kids don't want to go with what the parents want.So you take the kid where they're at.They might be getting a probation officeroff their back or the dean at the high schoolor helping them of a sibling relationshipor romantic relationship or whatever.But I really take the time with both parents and kids

    • 01:05:51

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: to make sure we're on the same pageand that we're partners in this change effort.And make sure that it's balance.That both parties feel like they're gettingsomething special out of this.And so I work really hard.And there's a lot of research to support-- thiswas an interesting finding.That when you succeed at building a strong alliance

    • 01:06:12

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: with the adolescents, you're morelikely to have a positive treatment outcome.And the parents love that.They love the fact that the kid likes you.It's like, wow, this is worth our time.So they hook in more too.So it's really critical, I think,at the very first session to really try and establish or setin motion an alliance with the kid.

    • 01:06:34

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Now, I think all probably counselingand therapy approaches focus somewhaton a therapeutic alliance.But I know structuralists might say, well, aren't you worriedabout undermining the authority of the parentsif you have too strong of an alliance with the adolescent?

    • 01:06:52

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, that hasn't been my experience.And I can tell you that one thingthat's been a real turn off for therapy veteranadolescents with the forklift of file foldersthat the past therapists needlessly antagonized themby spending most of their time empowering the parentsand trying to put them in charge of this acting out kid

    • 01:07:15

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: without attending to the needs, expectations, and goalsof the adolescent.And what happens.The adolescent starts boycotting sessions or dropsout permanently.And then you're just stuck with the parent.So I think it's really important.It's like walking a tightrope.You got it make sure that you're delivering for the parents.And maybe they have a separate goal.

    • 01:07:36

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And working bottom up through the adolescentand meeting their needs.

    • 01:07:40

      SHANNON B. DERMER: I have to say,I really like the analogy of the labor negotiations.I've served on many negotiations and it is a lot like that.

    • 01:07:47


    • 01:07:49

      SHANNON B. DERMER: You have two different partieswith some of the same interests and then competing interests.But they all have to work together, work togetherover time.

    • 01:07:55

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Exactly.

    • 01:07:56

      SHANNON B. DERMER: So it can't justbe beating each other trying to get each other's way.

    • 01:07:59


    • 01:08:00

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Yeah.So I liked that.I also wanted to ask-- it's a pretty typical thingfor solution-focused to use scaling.But why do you like to use scaling?

    • 01:08:14

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Well, we've actually-- wedid a qualitative study with 20 self-destructive adolescentsand their families.And one of the themes that came outwas that the families themselves made referencesin their interviews with the researcherto how helpful scaling was.To know where we stand at any point in the counseling

    • 01:08:37

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: process.So it helps focus.It helps us negotiate a small, focused behavioral goal.So we're very clear on what the clients wantto work on changing and how we'remaking progress in that area.But it also-- I think it helps structure the sessions.

    • 01:09:00

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: It's that-- I guess that clear focus.Because there's a saying, if you don't know where you're going,you're going to end up somewhere else.And oftentimes therapists don't know what the client's goalis because they haven't used scaling questionsor questions like that.Or the goals are too vague.

    • 01:09:21

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: And I think these people were very specific.We want to improve our communications.Keeping the lines of communicationopen with the texting and the phonecalls and things like that.And Lydia wanting Mom to be less of a micromanagerare respect her need for space.And then we have this other kind of parallel goal

    • 01:09:41

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: about-- well, actually two other parallel goals.One is her launching out of the nestand making sure that we optimize for her abilityto make it out there.And the third one being helping Momwith her relationship with Steve and tryingto continue to move it in a more positive direction.

    • 01:10:02

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Good.I always thought that numbers havea little bit of a magical quality in the Western worldtoo.Like somehow it means more if there'sa number attached to it.

    • 01:10:11

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Yeah, well, I alwayslove sharing with clients that seven is a lucky number.And for the daughter, it was this eight.And I thought that was interesting,the whole affinity thing.I'd never thought of that.

    • 01:10:23

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Oh, yeah.

    • 01:10:23

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But that was very interesting.

    • 01:10:25

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Eight there.Yeah.

    • 01:10:27

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: But, yeah.I just think it's just a nice measurement of where we've beenand where we're at today and where we want to go.And it just-- now sometimes when externalize the problem,I'll use percentages.Like what percentage of the time-- and Icould have done that today-- are you guys in charge of I'mright pattern versus the I'm right pattern in charge of you

    • 01:10:50

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: and using those measurements.

    • 01:10:51

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Oh, very good.

    • 01:10:52


    • 01:10:53

      SHANNON B. DERMER: I think I may have asked you this last time,but I don't remember it for the first session.But tell me a little bit more about whyyou like to meet with them together and then separately.

    • 01:11:07

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: What I find is that oftentimes both partiescan go into more private materialabout their relationships, especiallywith parents' marital issues.And wanting to check in on how things aregoing with the Luke situation.Because, believe me.I've worked with a lot of teens in the mosttoxic relationships.It's like, he's your worst nightmare.

    • 01:11:28

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: Don't you see that?[LAUGHTER]And there's something that keeps them hooked in.And it's usually sex and things like that.Or drugs or something like that.But, yeah.So it's a nice comfortable, sacred, private spaceto talk about whatever's on your mindand if there's anything that you want help with,

    • 01:11:48

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: like in Lydia's that she doesn't want Mom to be privy to.The only situations where I'll violateadolescent confidentiality is if--and I work with gang involved kids.If I know they're going to be involvedin a drive-by or harming somebody.

    • 01:12:02

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Right.

    • 01:12:03

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: There's some psychotic process there.I'm really worried about their safety.And I'm worried about-- it seems like there'sa well-developed plan here about tryingto take their life that I would let the parents in on that.But otherwise everything-- even like a pregnancy or whatever--I would much, like you were saying earlier,

    • 01:12:24

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: while you do the subsystem work and alone with adolescentsand wouldn't structuralists look at that as a no-no?I think it's important to have such a strong alliancethat the kid can come forth and tellthe parents in the session, hey, I'm pregnant.Or I haven't told you this, but I've been smoking weed.

    • 01:12:46

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: I'd rather them be the ones to spill the beans about that.

    • 01:12:50

      SHANNON B. DERMER: OK.We only have a couple minutes left,but you're kind of getting at one of the dangerssometimes with separating people is secrets.If a secret comes up.It's different if someone's goingto hurt themselves or hurt someone else.We're all bound by those rules of having to report that.And they know that before they ever say anything.But what happens when a secret comes up.And it sounds like you're saying that you really work-- not

    • 01:13:13

      SHANNON B. DERMER [continued]: necessarily to keep the secret if it's something big,but you work with the adolescent to helpthem tell their own secret in their own way.

    • 01:13:19

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Right.And the one thing I forgot to add to the listis a disclosure about sexual or physical abuse, of course.That has to be reported and I let them know that,that I'm a mandated reporter.But if that did come up-- hypothetically,let's say we discover from Lydia the secret.And just hypothetical that Dad has messed around with her

    • 01:13:43

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: and she's finally coming forth and wanting to talk about that.I would try-- in having her sharethat with Mom, I would have the parent call from the session.And then I'll talk to the child protective worker.I have found that I have better outcomes whenthe clients take responsibility than mebe the heavy and the caller.

    • 01:14:04

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN [continued]: So that's what I would try and do in that situation.But I'd also, if we knew that there was violencein the picture and the ramifications of this comingout, I would make sure that we had a safety plan in place.So everybody knew steps they couldtake to make sure they're safe and a shelterand all that kind of stuff.

    • 01:14:22

      SHANNON B. DERMER: All right.Just to make it clear, we don't-- nothing like that--we don't think anything like that is going on, but you werehypothetically--

    • 01:14:28


    • 01:14:29

      SHANNON B. DERMER: --if something like thathappened with a family, you're alwaysgoing to try and help them to takeas much power over a situation where they may nothave a lot of power.

    • 01:14:36

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Exactly.Yeah.

    • 01:14:37

      SHANNON B. DERMER: Thank you so much.I look forward to the next sessionand to finding out about that I'm right pattern and activity.

    • 01:14:42

      MATTHEW D. SELEKMAN: Thank you.Yeah.

    • 01:14:43

      SHANNON B. DERMER: I look forward to it.Thank you.

    • 01:14:45


Brief, Strengths-Based, Collaborative Therapy: Session 2

View Segments Segment :


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 2

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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