# Brief, Strengths-Based, Collaborative Therapy: Session 5

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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 5]

• 00:24

[Host Shannon B Dermer, PhD]

• 00:29

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: The last time we were together,you guys were hovering at 8s and 8 pluses.And you decide to allow mom to catch up with you so you couldstay together as the A Team.[Matthew D Selekman, MSW, LCSW, Briefs, Strength BasedCollaborative Therapy, Director, Partnersfor Collaborative Solutions] And I'm wondering whatfurther progress we've made over the past week in termsof surpassing the 8, 8 plus?

• 00:48

RAQUEL: I think I'm at a 9.

• 00:50

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right.

• 00:50

RAQUEL: Good, I feel good.

• 00:51

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And how did you get up to a 9?How did you make that happen?

• 00:55

RAQUEL: Just taking it easy.Just keeping what I want to say if there's a situation thatcomes up that might cause me to blow my top,which there wasn't.This week was good.And just keeping mindfulness, being aware of what'sgoing to come out of my mouth.

• 01:16

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Was there ever a closecall, where there was something that cropped up,and you could have like gotten lead foot and upsetbut you didn't allow it to ruffle your feathers?

• 01:25

RAQUEL: Yes.

• 01:25

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What was that situation?

• 01:27

RAQUEL: I think it was with Lydia, again.

• 01:29

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, why?

• 01:30

RAQUEL: I'm demanding.I need to know where she's at, especially when she had my car.

• 01:35

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.

• 01:37

RAQUEL: And I'm like, OK, well, she's OK.

• 01:39

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So you trust her that she'll be responsibleand nothing-- no surprises.

• 01:44

RAQUEL: Right.

• 01:45

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, wow, she gave youthe benefit of the doubt.Did it blow your mind to hear that.

• 01:50

LYDIA: I mean, there should be a doubt, because I'm responsible.The only--

• 01:56

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I love your confidence, by the way.

• 01:57

LYDIA: Oh, thank you.Yeah, I know that I don't text her back when she demands it.I will eventually.

• 02:07

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: See, I was justwondering if you're given her parenting practice,you know, see like if testing the waters if momwould blow her stack with you.

• 02:16

RAQUEL: No, I don't want to do that.

• 02:18

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, OK.So mom's up at a 9.How about yourself?You were at 8 plus the last time.

• 02:25

LYDIA: I think I'm at a 9.

• 02:27

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right, tell me about some stepsthat you took over the past week that you're pleased with.

• 02:36

LYDIA: Well, not much with my mom or anything,but like Luke and I.

• 02:40

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, let's her about that.

• 02:42

LYDIA: We haven't been fighting about anything.We're just like taking it easy, hanging out more,like talking about good things.

• 02:58

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What kinds of good things?

• 02:59

LYDIA: Like funny things that happen in the past,like we're just like catching up on things that we haven't theyreally talked about other than like our problems.We put our problems aside and like just focus on the good.

• 03:17

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, great.So you feel your-- where would you rate your relationship nowon a scale from 1 to 10 with Luke?

• 03:25

LYDIA: I think a 9 too.

• 03:26

• 03:27

LYDIA: Yeah.

• 03:29

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And what will a 9.5 look like do you think?

• 03:34

LYDIA: I don't know.If he asks me to prom.

• 03:37

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.You have doubt about that?

• 03:40

LYDIA: No, I don't have doubts, but--

• 03:44

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So do you have a dress picked outand do you have something in mind?

• 03:48

LYDIA: Yeah, I have something in mind, but it's like $300. • 03:51 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Wow. • 03:52 LYDIA: So-- she doesn't want me to spend that much. • 03:58 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK. • 03:59 RAQUEL: Not for one night. • 04:01 LYDIA: Yeah, but I'm going to have it forever. • 04:05 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: The last time we were together,I introduced this idea of you guys going out as a motherand daughter, kind of celebratinghow well you've done together as the A team during our timetogether.And I was wondering, did you have an opportunityto go out do anything? • 04:22 RAQUEL: No, we didn't.But I know on the way, we were somewhere driving,and I brought the subject up of whatyou told me to talk to her about that she was worried that whenwe move-- or when I move to Texas, Steve whateverhe told her, I told her not to worry, don't worry about it.In my heart, I feel good.In my heart, I feel good that it's going to work out. • 04:45 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Was that helpful to hearthat from your mom? • 04:50 LYDIA: OK, to know that she will be OK, that's fine.But like I'll still be uneasy for a while.It's just getting thrown at me.Because like when he said that, I had no ideathat it was going to happen.But I guess, like, reality hit me. • 05:13 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So what do you need from your parents thatwould help you feel more kind of at peace with that situation?What do you need to hear from them?Or what could they do that would makeyou feel like, OK, this is between those two,they're adults, I need to focus on me and Luke • 05:33 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and my future-- what needs to happenfor you to be able to do that? • 05:41 LYDIA: I don't think anything honestly.I don't think anything would reversewhat I feel right now, because it's just like Idon't know what can fix it.It's just like I'm in a position where Ineed to get my stuff together.I need to go to college, focus on my future. • 06:04 LYDIA [continued]: But yet, in the back of my mind, it'salways going to be there, like, what's going to happen?But I can change it.What can I do? • 06:11 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: True. • 06:12 LYDIA: It's between them.So it's like what can I do. • 06:18 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: It's true.You have absolutely no control over that.So what do you think will-- what do you need to hear from them?Or what do you think you need to doto be able to kind accept that?That this is something I don't have control over,and I really need to focus most of my time and energy • 06:40 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: on my future. • 06:42 LYDIA: Well, I've heard everythingI need to hear from my mom.My dad-- I don't know.That was the last thing I heard from him.He just left me thinking like that.But at same time, he was just like in a bad place.So he was just like just throwing stuff out there.But I don't think talking of them • 07:02 LYDIA [continued]: will be the good situation, because I feellike I put my own opinions out there,and like end up hurting someone's feelings.But that's how I am.And I just feel like I should talkto somebody that has went through this problem before, • 07:24 LYDIA [continued]: so I'll understand more like whatI need to do in the future to prepare myself. • 07:29 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Do you have friendsthat have gone through something like this? • 07:33 LYDIA: Not that I know of.But I know a lot of people around me that have,but I don't think I'm close to them.I think I've heard it, like maybe freshmanor sophomore year, but now we're not friends anymore,because different classes, different groups of people.So yeah, I don't know how to reach • 07:58 LYDIA [continued]: out to somebody, because the friends that I have,they don't really have that problem.Because it's like more aggressive,like they cheated on each other or something-- • 08:06 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Something serious. • 08:08 LYDIA: Yeah, that's the way more serious, like abusive,all that. • 08:13 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: How about Luke?Do you feel comfortable talking to him about this situation? • 08:19 LYDIA: He doesn't understand either.I said something that my dad said.He was like, he actually said that?And I'm like yeah.And he's like, I'll be here for you.And that's all.He'll always be there. • 08:39 LYDIA [continued]: So that's all he could say. • 08:42 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, at least that's a given.And that's been consistent.And he's always been there to support you.So certainly, that's what you can fall backon in weaker moments.And it will be a back and forth situation.But we can't forecast the future,we don't know exactly how it's going to shake down. • 09:05 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: But I do have faith in your mom.She says look, dad and I are-- we'll figure this out.And it's not clear.But what is clear is that your futureis most important right now and your stage of your life. • 09:25 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And you're making all the right moves with that right now,the whole idea of going out there, checking out the place,and seeing what opportunities thereare, and maybe some scholarship money or work studyor whatever.So all right, I want to come backto our chart here and the A team.And it looks like-- have there been opportunities for you • 09:48 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: to do more of what's working?You did mention the mindful part, right?Are there are other things up here that you fallen back on?Like I would say to myself just avoid it, or not a big deal,or just listen and don't add commentary-- I mean,have there been examples of that?Any examples of that over the last week where you-- • 10:11 RAQUEL: Not really.No, this week, like I said, was a good week. • 10:14 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I guess whatI'm wondering is if we have reallyconquered this I'm right pattern, because you guys area dynamic duo.I mean, you guys have been really tough.And you've been working really hard in all your relationshipsand not allow it to push you guys around.And on that note, in your honor I'dlike to give you this award. • 10:35 RAQUEL: OK. • 10:38 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And it says, "This certificate is herebyawarded to Raquel and Lydia, the A team champions,in recognition of their distinguished achievementat conquering an 'I'm Right' Family Pattern." • 10:52 RAQUEL: Thank you. • 10:53 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And this is somethingthat you can put up somewhere in your homeand hold up and say, we made that happen, the A team.And what a compliment as a mother-daughter team. • 11:06 LYDIA: Thank you. • 11:07 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So this is something I'd like to give you. • 11:10 RAQUEL: OK. • 11:13 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And to take pride and joyin, and as a reminder of when it comes to challenges, especiallyfamily challenges, you guys are fantastic. • 11:26 RAQUEL: As long as I remember those things right there,and be patient in my response. • 11:33 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I think you guys haveoutsmarted this pattern so much and donesuch a great job that it's lost all of its power.And it's in this weakened state.And you don't even have to get up to 100%.You've plateaued at 90% and usuallyby that point patterns and problems are dead.So congratulations. • 11:55 RAQUEL: Thank you. • 11:55 LYDIA: Thank you. • 11:57 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So I wanted to ask the two of you,let's say we decide to have a reunion party here next yearat this time.And you're home from school.And I'm anxious to hear from both of you--all the changes that you made and all the good news that's • 12:20 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: been going on in each of your lives.What will you share with me though that'llbe really pleased to hear? • 12:28 LYDIA: That I'm doing good in school.Problems at home are good.Well, problems are not as bad.So they're on OK levels. • 12:44 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And let's go back to the school.How are you doing well in school?What's making you do well there? • 12:55 LYDIA: Not getting bad grades.Turning in my homework on time. • 13:02 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And what job might I hearthat you're doing out there?What type of work? • 13:08 LYDIA: I wouldn't be graduating yet, so I don't know.I'm not sure. • 13:15 RAQUEL: You mean like a side job? • 13:16 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, yeah. • 13:18 LYDIA: I don't know. • 13:19 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.How about you and Luke?What will you tell me that's so wonderfulabout your relationship? • 13:25 LYDIA: That's a more healthy relationship. • 13:27 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: How so? • 13:29 LYDIA: We've grown up more, because, Iguess, college changes you.I'll see that in like this year.That's it. • 13:42 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.And how about you, Raquel?What pleasant surprises will you share with me?Things that you're happy about?Things you're proud of with Lydia? • 13:54 RAQUEL: Well, proud to say that Lydia is doing good in college.Her plans are going according to what she wants them to go.She'll be being accepted into the respiratory care therapistprogram.And he and Luke are doing good.And I'm over here with my other daughter Emily.And we're doing good. • 14:15 RAQUEL [continued]: We miss her, but we're happy that everything'sgoing well for her over there.And she's going up.She's proven that she can be on her own. • 14:30 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And what will you miss the mostnot having Lydia around?What does she bring to your daily life thatis so special that will be hard initiallywhen she's out of the nest? • 14:43 RAQUEL: Well, yeah, it's going to be empty, one empty spot.And I won't see her every day like I do now.Won't talk to her every day like I do now.Well, we might still talk.I hope.She'll be busy over there.Yeah, we'll miss her being around. • 15:02 LYDIA: And Tippy. • 15:03 RAQUEL: Oh, and her dog. • 15:04 LYDIA: He's coming with me. • 15:05 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, you're taking the dog with. • 15:07 LYDIA: He's coming with.He's nine years old.And unfortunately, he doesn't have too much to go.Yeah, he's small.He has to be with me at all times.Even if Luke doesn't approve. • 15:23 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Make sure when you get your apartmentthe they allow pets.Some places are pretty fussy about that. • 15:29 LYDIA: They will. • 15:31 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Is that OK for you to for the dog to go? • 15:34 RAQUEL: Oh, sure.Less work for me.Yes. • 15:37 LYDIA: Yeah, she has Nella. • 15:39 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Let me ask you something, Raquel.Are there types of conversations that whenLydia is hanging by the house and she's aroundand you guys have some down time,things that you guys talk about the you'll miss notbeen able to have those kind of conversations together,physically together? • 15:59 RAQUEL: What types of conversations you're saying? • 16:01 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, what kinds of thingsdo you now talk about that perhaps you'd miss not havingthose more regularly. • 16:07 RAQUEL: Well, like yesterday, wherethey are sitting watching TV together, some show.And we're talking about that.So just around the home.She won't be here to keep me busy.Well, before she started driving,I would have to take her places.She wanted to go here and there.So yeah, it's going to be more time for me, I should say. • 16:31 RAQUEL [continued]: Thank you.And what else?Yeah, just whatever comes up, we wouldtalk about things going on in school right now,her work, of course, her and Luke. • 16:51 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: How about Steve?If Steve were here, and I asked him what will youmiss the most about not having Lydia around,what do you think he would say? • 17:02 RAQUEL: Her, not having her around period.And him talking to her. • 17:06 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What does he usuallylike to talk to her about? • 17:10 RAQUEL: Lydia?I'm not sure.He goes in her room, and he talksto them, or at the dinner table, whichis rare, because she works now.And she usually works during the dinner hours,so she's not usually at the dinnertable that often anymore.But yeah, he calls them little pet names. • 17:31 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What's your pet name? • 17:33 RAQUEL: Like sweeties and babies. • 17:38 LYDIA: Sometimes he calls me Neha. • 17:40 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Neha? • 17:42 LYDIA: Sweetie. • 17:48 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Can you think of a meaningful conversationyou've had with him in the past you enjoyed?Or things that you used to like to talk to him about? • 17:60 LYDIA: Oh, he would always ask melike what do you want to do this week?Or something like that, you know, I can take you anywhere.And I'll say, I'll see or something.And he'll say like, oh, let's go to the zoo. • 18:16 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You don't like going to the zoo? • 18:18 LYDIA: It's like the fifth year in a row.He likes just walking around doing stuff. • 18:23 RAQUEL: He thinks they're still babies. • 18:28 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: That never stops for us parents.We don't want to let you go. • 18:35 RAQUEL: Zoos the thing for him. • 18:37 LYDIA: Or amusement parks. • 18:39 RAQUEL: Oh, yeah, he wants to take them to Great America. • 18:41 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, it's goodif it's Great America or something fun like that. • 18:43 LYDIA: I don't like roller coasters. • 18:45 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, you don't have to do that.I mean, there's all kinds of fun. • 18:47 LYDIA: Yeah. • 18:48 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So this last question's kindof a little more challenging I think,but I'm always interested in hearinghow people's views of themselves have changedfrom the very beginning when we first startedand where you see yourselves now both individually--do you see yourself differently in any way in terms • 19:10 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: of your own growth?And how about your relationships?How you see your relationships differently. • 19:17 RAQUEL: I do.You made me aware that I need to communicate better.Because like let's say we're goingto be going to Arizona in April.And you're like did you guys talk about this?Did you guys talk about that?No, I like to wait.I like to think it over first myselfand see how it's going to work out. • 19:38 RAQUEL [continued]: Then we'll talk about it first.So you made me aware that maybe we should start communicatingearlier, even though I'm big in communication,especially at my job.But at home, again, it's probablyme wanting to be in control of everything.And so now you made me aware that Ishould start sharing that with everyone • 20:00 RAQUEL [continued]: and come up with the plan and notjust leave the burden on me.Even though I don't mind it, because Ilike to be in control. • 20:10 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, an interesting twist of thatis this liking to be in control and Lydia's awayfrom the house with the car.And part of you wants to control that situationand make sure she's safe.And you want to take control, because I wantto show my mom that I'm 18.And I'm an adult, and I can be responsible. • 20:31 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And when you kind of detached from that, she delivers.Pleasant surprise, you're responsible. • 20:43 RAQUEL: So I've grown up. • 20:44 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.How about your relationship with Lydia?How are you seeing that differently now as opposedto before you first came? • 20:54 RAQUEL: A little more open communication.Trying to be honest and just communicate better.I think it's getting better. • 21:08 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Is something that-- a growth stepor something that you've noticed in Lydia that you'rereally proud of her and really pleased with? • 21:17 RAQUEL: Yeah, she seems to show that she'sserious about her future.And she's grown up.She's-- I guess I still see her as a little girl too.She needs me, but she doesn't need methat much more-- maybe financially.But, yeah, I mean, she's been driving good • 21:40 RAQUEL [continued]: since you got her license.She's been on her own as far as going placesby herself with her car.Yes, so she's proven to me that she's a good driver.And now she's going to prove to me that shecan be a college student. • 21:54 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I love your mom's confidence.So how about yourself, from the timeyou first came in here and now how you see yourself,has you view of yourself changed in any way? [Matthew DSelekman, MSW, LCSW, Brief, Strength Based CollaborativeTherapy, Director, Program for Collaborative Solutions]And your relationship with your mom? • 22:08 LYDIA: It's more calming.I feel myself more calm than normal.Talking about, I guess, situationsmakes me more comfortable with the outcome.So I guess like we've been talking more on serious things. • 22:31 LYDIA [continued]: So I'm more calm inside.But there's still more problems that will come later.But if I just keep talking about it,instead of keeping it inside, becausebefore this what would make me talk about it, you know? • 22:54 LYDIA [continued]: I wouldn't just come up to her and be like,so Dad said that you guys are going to get a divorce.So how do I do that?So this pushed the problem forwardto where we can actually become more sociable about the problemand face-to-face about the future. • 23:18 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So you don't see yourself alone with thisanymore? • 23:21 LYDIA: No. • 23:22 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.Anything else, any other new discoverythat you've made about yourself?Something that you're kind of proud of that you've madehappen in these meetings together?Other than being courageous and talkingabout problems, anything else? • 23:42 LYDIA: I don't know.I guess I've realized how grown up I've become and responsible.Like hearing you say that I'm responsible,young woman is just like made me realizelike I'm not a kid anymore. • 24:03 LYDIA [continued]: And I need to step up my game.Even though like I'm up here, I need to be up there.So like be ready for anything, and college is probablywhere I'm going to build that wall up.No fake friends, no bad enemies anymore.So focus on me and my relationships and my family. • 24:27 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: As long as you keep living and 9 land,you'll be just fine.OK, anything else that you might want to add? • 24:37 RAQUEL: Not that I can think of, no. • 24:39 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right, so why don't wedo our flip-flop dance here.So how about if we just meet for a little bit? • 24:45 RAQUEL: OK.here, could I give you these? • 24:48 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, so sweet. • 24:49 RAQUEL: I brought you some mole.Uh, oh, sorry. • 24:53 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I know before we had talked about howwe like to cook and everything.This is great.I love mole sauce.It's my favorite.So I will enjoy this.And knowing that you also like to cook,I brought you some of my house specialty recipes to take with.That was so sweet of you to bring • 25:13 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: the mole and the tortillas. • 25:16 RAQUEL: You're welcome.You're welcome.Thank you for your recipes. • 25:18 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I will enjoy that very much.And whenever I-- wherever I go, like in Mexico or somewherein the states, and I have mole sauce,I'll be thinking about you guys. • 25:28 RAQUEL: And us as well. • 25:31 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Have there beenother conversations with you and Steve over the past weekthat have given us any more informationabout the situation? • 25:41 RAQUEL: The situation with Lydia?Or with us? • 25:43 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, with you guys. • 25:45 RAQUEL: No, no. • 25:48 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: It's kind of in limbo? • 25:50 RAQUEL: It's in limbo right now, yes, yes. • 25:52 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right, I justthink it's important that we help her not feel responsiblethat, you know, if I go away, can they handle this?Because I think on some level shethinks she has to be around for some reason. • 26:07 RAQUEL: Right, no, I'll keep talking to her about that. • 26:09 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I think you need to let her gg-- you know,say, look, I appreciate all your concern and help,but mom and dad are going to take care of this matter,and you need to focus on you.And I'm going to get behind you totallyto help you be successful out there. • 26:25 RAQUEL: Right, yeah, I didn't realizehow worried she was about that. • 26:28 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, but kids by nature are very benevolent.They really care about their parents.They're very sensitive to their parents.They can feel it in their bodies when the conflictlevel goes up, the tension.And sometimes, for some kids, not as responsible and wellrounded as Lydia, but for kids that are more vulnerable,they act up. • 26:49 RAQUEL: OK. • 26:50 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: You know, they get into drugs.They run away from home.They get into trouble at school.But at least she has the strength, the inner strength,to not allow it to get her that much. • 27:02 RAQUEL: Correct, correct. • 27:03 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: But I think that she,as you guys get closer to her flapping her wingsand leaving the nest, she needs to knowthat I need to put all my energy into Arizonaand not still worry about this. • 27:16 RAQUEL: Right, I will talk to her.Yes, yes.I'll have Steve talk to her as well.She's kind of worried about him too.What's he going to do.At least, I hope she feels good that whatI told her-- don't worry, don't worry, in my heart,I feel everything's going to work out. • 27:34 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I think it would be helpfulif Steve were willing to revisit that with her alone and say,you know, I shouldn't have said anything about this.Don't worry about us.We'll figure it out some way.You need to focus on you.I think if he could give her firm message like thethat could be really helpful. • 27:54 RAQUEL: Exactly. • 27:55 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So but I wantedto ask you, when we stop meeting during this time,does this mean you'll be working more and longer days?Or you going to be done?When do you finish up typically during the-- • 28:14 RAQUEL: Oh, workday?5:00. • 28:15 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Oh, at 5:00.OK, so you'll be working straight until 5:00.You won't have this nice little break? • 28:21 RAQUEL: Correct. • 28:24 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And how will shefill up this free time, do you think, not coming here? • 28:32 RAQUEL: Oh, she'll probably, maybe work.Maybe they'll schedule her for work or at home with her sisteror with Luke. • 28:40 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And Luke is going out to Arizona with you? • 28:43 RAQUEL: Yes. • 28:44 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, is his parents going too? • 28:46 RAQUEL: No, his uncle live there.No, I don't think his parents are going to go this time whenhe goes, no. • 28:51 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And they're completely supportive of-- • 28:54 RAQUEL: Oh his plans?Yes. • 28:56 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, that's great.I think it's wonderful.I think parents should be more kind of liberaland less worried about their kids.And I think if you have a solid plan when you go out thereand you see how much everything cost and havesome ideas about how to proceed, I • 29:17 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: think it will all shake down fine. • 29:20 RAQUEL: Yes, they've been doing researchonline as far as apartments and locationto the schools that they're going to.The good thing is he has family over there and so to do we.So I'm sure his family feels good about that,because he has several over there. • 29:38 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Good, and you have family? • 29:40 RAQUEL: Yes, I have a niece with her husband. • 29:43 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: In the same town? • 29:45 RAQUEL: Yes, at least, the next town over.It's not that far at all.And then I have a nephew there too as well. • 29:49 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Wonderful. • 29:50 RAQUEL: So that's good.So I feel confident. • 29:52 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So there's a built-in support system. • 29:53 RAQUEL: Yes. • 29:54 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I'm sure that you'llbe talking a lot on the phone initially, you know. • 29:59 RAQUEL: I hope so. • 29:60 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And then once theyget really busy with school and everything, that'llbe the focus.But you ought to be so proud of her.I mean, she's such a mature young woman at her age. • 30:10 RAQUEL: Yeah, she's talking very confident with her future. • 30:13 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So obviously some good parenting there. • 30:16 RAQUEL: Thank you. • 30:17 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: She just seems so comfortable in her skin.As she said, she feels much more calm and kind of centered. • 30:27 RAQUEL: Correct. • 30:27 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And she seems very confident.She will do well. • 30:31 RAQUEL: Yes, yes. • 30:34 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Anything else that youwanted to say about your experience here? • 30:39 RAQUEL: It's been good.It's been good.You made me realize that I'm not good at communicatingas far as family goes.And I thought back, and I think, well, my mom kind ofwas the same too.She made all the decisions just about with my dad.And didn't ask us for advice or if we could help or pitch in. • 31:01 RAQUEL [continued]: She would do things on her own.So I think I took that.I followed her steps. • 31:07 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So are you telling methat this I'm right pattern kind of washappening in your family a little bit with your mom? • 31:12 RAQUEL: I think so. • 31:14 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And it trickled down. • 31:15 RAQUEL: I think so. • 31:16 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: That's wild.Yeah, it's interesting how these kind of family patternshave a life of their own.I've had other parent who yell at their kids all the time.And when you ask them, I'm curious,when you were growing up, did yellingget the best of you and your parents relationship?And they'd say, yeah.And so it is like they have a life of their own.But you guys have done such a super job • 31:37 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: at outsmarting and great teamworkand being tough with it that I think it's pretty muchpacked its bags and is leaving town.But I do want you to take this chart with youas a reminder of what works, because if it works,don't fix it.Do more of what works. • 31:55 RAQUEL: OK. • 31:57 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And yes, it wouldbe nice to hear how well things work out in Arizona.And maybe we will have a reunion party.We'll see.All right, I'm going to meet with Lydia for a little bit.When I was driven over here today,I had this funny thought that you'dbring Luke with you, that you wanted to introduce me to him. • 32:21 LYDIA: Well, he has baseball right now.It just started right now.But he did drop me off.And I was like, come and see my mom's office.And he was just like, no, I don't want to. • 32:36 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: What position does he play? • 32:39 LYDIA: He plays outfield.They put him in different-- • 32:44 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Does he have a good arm? • 32:45 LYDIA: Yeah. • 32:46 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Fast out there? • 32:48 LYDIA: Yeah. • 32:49 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Is he one of the better players on the team? • 32:52 LYDIA: Mm, hmm, he's a good outfielder.He runs really fast. • 32:55 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And now, is he goingto play baseball at college? • 32:58 LYDIA: I don't think so. • 33:00 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Because I thinkit's Arizona State that usually has a very good baseball team.Every year they're like on of the tops in the country.Because the weather's always great out there also.So anyways, I think you've really done a terrific job.And I really hope that not only do continue • 33:28 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: to do this research with Luke and really have a good planout there so that you succeed and everything,but you kind of detach yourself from the drama at home.Because my guess is that you've dealt with that for years-- • 33:43 LYDIA: For a long time. • 33:45 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And you know, what's amazing to me,and this is what I want to ask is what is your secret?How have you been able to get caught up in that parent dramaand not allow it to get you to such a degreethat you didn't get into like getting stoned all the time,cutting yourself, eating disorders, all • 34:06 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: the kinds of things that young women developwhen they feel out of control or they're stressed outby things going on with the family and their peersand stuff.How were you able to sidestep all thatand not allow that to happen with you? • 34:20 LYDIA: I guess I have friends, more friends, that helped methrough it, like go through good times,like remember all the good times with themand not remember the bad at home.Because I guess I spend more time out then in. • 34:42 LYDIA [continued]: So that helps a lot, getting out.As I said, like my mom and dad should go out, like just go outsomewhere, you know? • 34:52 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Sure.Anything else that has worked for you?That has helped to stay strong?And not let this get the best of you? • 35:04 LYDIA: Not think of it that much.Like it if it happens, then like now,I'll try to stop it before it gets too loud if they'relike yelling.But back then, I guess I didn't know what was going on,until I realized like this has been going on so long. • 35:25 LYDIA [continued]: Can you just stop?I though it was just like petty arguments.But over time, it's just like it was like real issuesthat I didn't see.So it just built up to where now I realizelike this is make or break. • 35:45 LYDIA [continued]: And it's not just for them.It's for their children.And I don't know how Emily even-- I don't even knowhow she if she knows, you know.It's just weird to me.Am I the only that knows?Like what's the problem?Because she's not social with the family. • 36:05 LYDIA [continued]: So it's just like, I don't know how to bring it up.Is it my situation to tell her?It's just, I don't know. • 36:14 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Now, I think youneed to let mom sort of take charge of that.And you need to take charge of you and your future right now.But my question to you is it seemslike your mom's working really hard over these five sessionsthat we've had together to try and by herselfto try and improve your relationship with your dad. • 36:38 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: Do you feel that there's been a change there?That the climate's changed?And they're not arguing as much?I mean, do you think mom's doing a good job at kind of changingthe way they interact? • 36:49 LYDIA: Yes, definitely, because my dad--he doesn't ignite as much now.My mom just lets it slide.So she doesn't get him all worked up like she used to.And she just lets it go. • 37:09 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: So she's doing a pretty good job? • 37:11 LYDIA: Mm, hmm. • 37:11 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, you should give her a high five.Yeah, because sometimes what happensis sometimes kids develop difficulties.And then they go for family counseling with their parents.But the real issue is the parents' marriage.Because as kids, we care about our parents. • 37:33 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And we pick up on when they're not happyor there's conflict or whatever.And in this case, it just seems to be so clearthat you're not the issue here.This is just a longstanding kind of difficulty.But that said, things are improving.And I think as they continue to improve, • 37:54 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: then they could make a good decision togetherabout what they want to do in the future.But that's not for a while.In the meantime, focus your time and energyon what you need to do.You know, I think it's really greatthat you're able to get out there in Apriland see what the possibilities are and stuff like that. • 38:15 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: Anything else that I might recommendif I were to work with another young woman like youin my office?Any advice that you would give me?Things to do with her?Things that happened between you and Ihere that you found helpful that you would recommend Ido with other young women like you? • 38:37 LYDIA: Talk to them about just have an open conversationand just set an open atmosphere, saying like you can tell meall your feelings.You don't have to bundle them up.And I guess, sometimes it's easier for girls • 38:58 LYDIA [continued]: to just open up, you know, because we like to talk.When we're in our feelings it's like it's easy for usto tell you how it is.And I feel like if you set that type atmosphereto where she's comfortable, then she'll open up. • 39:20 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, all right.So it's about creating a good climate. • 39:24 LYDIA: Yeah, talk to her about like,oh, so what do you like to do.You do that.So-- • 39:31 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, I have to tell you.I was very impressed with your art work last week. • 39:35 LYDIA: Oh, thank you. • 39:36 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I really think that you got somethingthere that you should keep developing.[Matthew D Selekman, MSW, LCSW, Brief, Strengths BasedCollaborative Therapy, Director, Partners for CollaborativeSolutions] Maybe take an art class or somethingand perfect your craft, because I think you could probablygo far with that too.And I'll be very interested to hearabout this respiratory therapists job and that work. • 40:01 MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: Do they do like an internship as part of that programwhere you get to work in a hospitaland practice learning-- practice takingwhat you learned in class? • 40:10 LYDIA: Yeah. • 40:11 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Nice.So basically you'll come out of there ready to take a job. • 40:17 LYDIA: Yes, straight from college. • 40:19 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Excellent, wonderful.And do you think you'd stay out West?Or do you think you'd come back to the Chicago area? • 40:25 LYDIA: I'm not sure.I don't know.I really don't know. • 40:29 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: That's the thing about the sun out there.A lot of people, they get hooked on the sun.And then it's like, I don't want anymore cold winter. • 40:37 LYDIA: It's good on my joints from playing all these sports. • 40:41 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, your joints have taken a beating? • 40:43 LYDIA: Oh, yeah. • 40:44 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah.OK, well, we need to get mom in here to wrap up. • 40:48 LYDIA: OK. • 40:49 MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right.One thing that I forgot the ask the two of you,is what is your consultation fee?If I have another family in my officethat are being pushed around by an I'm right pattern,and I need you to come in as guest consultantsto help me with them, what would you charge for that? • 41:05 RAQUEL:$500.

• 41:06

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK.What would you go for?

• 41:09

RAQUEL: Nothing.

• 41:10

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Nothing?Wow, that's very generous of you.

• 41:13

LYDIA: Gas money.

• 41:16

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Because I think that you guys havea lot of wisdom.I mean, I think you have made this happenthrough being mindful, through working together as a team,keeping the lines of communication open.It's totally outsmarted the I'm right pattern.The I'm right pattern just can't stand up to you guys.

• 41:37

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And I think it's packed its bags and left town.What do you think, Lydia?

• 41:45

LYDIA: The same as you.

• 41:49

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: All right, well, look, it'sbeen a great pleasure spending this time together with you.When I go back to, I think it wasthe end of the first session and Isaid that you guys had come in and you had alreadymade some important changes with your communication,and trying work together, and get along.

• 42:10

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And I had said to that I have a friend whohas a sign in her office that says, please solveyour problems before you come so I can help you more.And you guys are living proof of that.I mean, you've worked very hard.Every week you've worked hard to advance towards your goals,and work together as a team, and avoid like landmines,

• 42:33

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: you know, like potential situationsthat would lead to you guys blowing up into an argument.And I think mom, you've done a splendid job with Lydia.She's a remarkable young woman who is going to go far in life.And I have no doubt with your confidence

• 42:55

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and all your talents and your smarts,you're going to do really well.

• 42:58

LYDIA: Thank you.

• 42:59

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I look forward to hearingabout your success in the future.And I also think as another big complimentto you, there's a lot of adolescent girls, young women,even adult women, who hook up with these very unsavory, notnice guys that are mean, cheat on them

• 43:22

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and just aren't very responsible.And the fact that you've been able to pick a winner in Luke,someone that you've consistently been able to count on.And you've been together for a long time.High school romances usually are short lived.You go from two weeks to six months, a year,then it's all over.

• 43:43

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: You guys been together for what three--

• 43:46

LYDIA: Three years.

• 43:47

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Three years.

• 43:47

LYDIA: It's almost three year of 21st of this month.

• 43:50

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I bet you that's a Guinness Book of WorldRecords for kids your age.What do you think?

• 43:56

RAQUEL: I think so too.

• 43:57

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, it's amazing.I mean, you must have been delightedat her selection of Luke.

• 44:03

RAQUEL: He's good.I like him.

• 44:04

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: It could have been a lot worse, right?

• 44:07

RAQUEL: Correct.

• 44:08

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I remember those dayswhen my daughter was in high school.Everything was going fine until we run into the bad boy guy.And we chased the bad boy guy out of town.And now she makes great decisions and finds nice guys.And it's good.

• 44:28

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: But I wanted to find out what the next step isfor each of you.After we're done here, what are yougoing to continue to work on?Fine tuning?Making better, stronger to further improve

• 44:49

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: your relationship with one another?

• 44:53

RAQUEL: Communicating better, or more, I should say.Sharing whatever problems we may have with her, insteadof keeping them from her.So that way she can be part of their decision making.But communication, positive talking and thinking.

• 45:16

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: How about you, Lydia?

• 45:18

LYDIA: Communication is key.So just keep up the pattern of communication.That's it.

• 45:28

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: OK, great.OK, well, thanks again for the mole.And I'm looking forward to cooking upa storm in my kitchen.

• 45:37

RAQUEL: Enjoy.

• 45:39

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, and maybe Iwill throw a little chili in there someday.It gives it a little more heat, right.But thanks so much.Ad best of luck with everything.

• 45:50

RAQUEL: Thank you.

• 45:50

LYDIA: Thank you.

• 45:51

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I'm sure you're going to go far.[Brief, Strengths Based Collaborative Therapy,A Discussion With Shannon B Dermer, PhD, Session 5]

• 46:07

SHANNON DERMER: I know this is differentthat I'm meeting with you. [Shannon B Dermer, PhD, Chair,Division of Psychology and Counseling,Governors State College] One of the reasonsI'm meeting with you is to ask a little bit about your guys'perception of meeting with Matthew Selekmanand what the process of counseling was like.So I want to get how was it to each of you.How was the experience like?

• 46:29

LYDIA: He was very nice.And I didn't get a bad vibe from him.Like I could just go ahead and talk about my problemsand feel comfortable.I rarely have that feeling, because Idon't trust a lot of people.So it's like it was easy for me to just go ahead and talk

• 46:51

LYDIA [continued]: about my problems with him.

• 46:52

SHANNON DERMER: What do you thinkit was about him that made you feela bit more comfortable, since you're not alwayscomfortable with other people?

• 47:01

LYDIA: He is very nice.And he's very sociable and not afraid to like talk.Well, he had to talk to us, but Ifeel like if I just meet him on the street,he would have talked to me, you know.Like, oh, she looks like a nice girl.Let me talk to her.Most people wouldn't do that.So that's the vibe I got from him.

• 47:23

SHANNON DERMER: So he seemed like a nice, sincere guy,who really genuinely enjoyed talking to.What about you, Raquel?

• 47:32

RAQUEL: He made me aware of my faultsand that I have to open up more, be more sharing with Lydia,and understand that she's growing up,and she is a responsible person, and to kind of nottreat her like a baby, I guess.

• 47:52

SHANNON DERMER: Well, and you havea part in helping her grow up to bea responsible, great adolescent, young adult that she is.It's giving her credit where it's due, but alsomaybe yourself a little bit of creditthat you helped raise someone who can do things well.

• 48:11

RAQUEL: Right.

• 48:12

SHANNON DERMER: Pointing out your faults though,what was that like to have someone kind of pointout some areas that maybe you could do better at?

• 48:21

RAQUEL: Mm, not good for me, because I alwayswant to be right.But I realize that, yeah, I need to sharesome of those responsibilities that I takeupon myself with the family.And again, now that Lydia is old enoughcommunicate with her on that.And I like to wait till the end-- I like

• 48:41

RAQUEL [continued]: to think it out myself first.But I realize it's best to share it.And that's a little hard for me.But I'm working on that.

• 48:51

SHANNON DERMER: I'd say that it's hard for anyoneto hear what their faults are, especiallyfor people who struggle with that I'm right pattern.Were you comfortable with him pointing outsome of those things that maybe youcould do a little differently or a little better?

• 49:05

RAQUEL: I was.I was.And just before if anything comes up,I have to try not to respond so fast.Because I think it over first and realize thatI need to not always be right.

• 49:27

SHANNON DERMER: Now are you comfortable with most peoplepointing out things that you could do differently?Or did he do something that made you more comfortable with that?

• 49:34

RAQUEL: Well, because he's a therapist.And yes, I didn't take it personallywhen he told me my faults or mademe realize that I don't always have to be right.So from him, it was good.From others, I don't know.

• 49:54

RAQUEL [continued]: It hasn't come up.But from him it was good.

• 49:58

SHANNON DERMER: Good.And so was this process kind of what each of you,Raquel and Lydia, expected from it?Or did you think it was going to be different?

• 50:08

RAQUEL: I think it was what I expected, yes, yes.

• 50:10

• 50:12

LYDIA: Me, too.

• 50:13

SHANNON DERMER: What were you hopingwas going to happen through this process?

• 50:19

LYDIA: I don't know.I really-- when she told me, do you want to do this?I'm just like what am I signing myself up for?I'm thinking like what is this?And when I came in here, I'm just like, oh, my gosh.What is this, you know.I didn't know what to expect.But when the second time came around,

• 50:41

LYDIA [continued]: I was more comfortable with the whole atmosphereand Matt and everything.It just made me feel comfortable.

• 50:49

SHANNON DERMER: Good, yeah, because, Imean, counseling can be a little bit scary sometimes for people,because either they don't know what to expect.Or they think they'll get picked on.Or that someone will be told, oh, it's all your fault.So what were the parts that you enjoyed the mostabout the process?Let's start with, Lydia.What did you like the best about it?

• 51:10

LYDIA: I liked the-- the best part about itwas the fact that after a while into the session,I would forget the cameras were here, the lights, and all that.It was just like just one on one.And talking about problems that I don't really talkabout with other people.

• 51:31

LYDIA [continued]: And it was just good to get it out.And it was relieving, especially with the person like Matt.So it just made it all very comfortable.

• 51:41

SHANNON DERMER: Good.So sometimes it's not easy just to sit down and talkabout those kind of things.But you think that it was once you forgot that everythingis going on that it was just easy, that Matthew, Matt, madeit easy to just be comfortable talking about thingsthat you don't usually talk about that.So besides the fact that he was like friendly and interestedin you, are other things that you

• 52:02

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: think they did that made it easierfor you to talk about some things you don't usuallytalk about?

• 52:07

LYDIA: He was kind of playful about it.He didn't really attack the bad side of our situations.And he took it like-- not like a joke,but he was very serious with it.But he was like smiling the whole time,making you feel comfortable.And I don't like really serious situation,

• 52:30

LYDIA [continued]: so it just made feel very good about the factthat we can get better, and we will.And the fact that he showed us was like this right here.He showed us ways that we can betterourselves and our situations in and out of the household.

• 52:52

LYDIA [continued]: And it was very comfortable talking to him.

• 52:57

SHANNON DERMER: Nice, that was a nice overview.It was very eloquent.So you're saying you enjoy the factthat he seemed to be optimistic, that he believedthat you guys could and would change certain things that youneeded to change.But he also recognized what you guys are already good at.And he also had kind of a playful style.It sounds like both of you said he

• 53:17

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: didn't feel like you're being judgedor a negative view of you.That he had a positive view of you.And that just made it easier to talk about stuff.What about you, Raquel?

• 53:30

RAQUEL: I agree with everything Lydia said-- the same thing.He made us feel comfortable.He pointed out different options for usto take in resolving the issues.But yet he didn't come right and point fingers.He agreed with me that people, not just myself, alwayswant to be right.

• 53:50

SHANNON DERMER: I don't know what that feels like.

• 53:52

RAQUEL: Worried about their children,but just got to let some things go and share.So his approach was good.It made me-- and I've used this worda lot now-- mindful to my situation and to communicate.

• 54:08

SHANNON DERMER: So it sounds like you'resaying that he kind of pointed outthat this a bit of a struggle for most people,you know when their daughter's about to go off to college,and especially far away, that a lot of peoplestruggle with that.That's not anything different.But you guys are doing a pretty good job of planning things.

• 54:30

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: also And that a lot of people struggle with this, especiallywhen it comes to their children, because theywant to protect them.And so that protection tends to feed the fire of I'mright pattern.For good reasons, but it's still sometimes hardwhen you're trying to grow up and be an adult.

• 54:50

RAQUEL: Right.And I don't want her too.

• 54:52

SHANNON DERMER: I know.It's hard, isn't it?It's hard.Yet you want her to.Yet you don't want her to.This is what you've been practicingfor her last 18 years is to help her be a responsible--

• 55:04

RAQUEL: Independent.

• 55:05

SHANNON DERMER: An independent, successful adult.That's so hard to see her leave home after 18 here.It is.I think you said it earlier in a session, in some ways,even though kid's hate hearing this or adolescentshate hearing this-- she's always goingto be your baby in some ways.Even when you're 50 years old, you'll still be her baby.

• 55:27

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: Well, good, is there anything that if Matthew were here,anything you'd want to tell him about your sessions?

• 55:36

RAQUEL: They went well for me.Yeah, and again, he made me realize where my faults wereand I need to open up.So it was good.

• 55:47

SHANNON DERMER: Good.So you enjoyed the process?

• 55:49

RAQUEL: I did.I did.

• 55:51

SHANNON DERMER: Good.Anything you want to tell Matt?

• 55:54

LYDIA: I didn't think like I wouldmeet a person like him that would set the grounds of theseare your problems.Let's handle them together.And he made it to the point whereit was fun just to settle our problems in

• 56:16

LYDIA [continued]: and out of the house.And it was just like-- he's just a playful person.But, yet he's so sophisticated in his own way.

• 56:24

SHANNON DERMER: Nice, so it soundslike he made it feel like it was a little bit moreof a team effort between you and your mom,but also a team effort with him.Oh, and I know you do sports.Each individual is important on a team.But as a group, it's important to cooperateand have a plan together.And it sounds like you guys kind of had a winning teamall together.

• 56:44

RAQUEL: Yes.The A team.

• 56:46

SHANNON DERMER: The A team, that's right.Which for us older people has a different meaning.The guy with the mohawk.What was his name?Mr. T.

• 56:54

RAQUEL: Right.

• 56:54

SHANNON DERMER: Showing my age, sorry.You know who that is Mr. T?

• 56:57

LYDIA: I watch Family Guy, so--

• 56:59

SHANNON DERMER: So you now.

• 56:60

LYDIA: I think there was an episode of that.

• 57:02

SHANNON DERMER: I pity the fool.Sorry, that was a bad interpretation.But, yeah, you guys are the A team.You guys are the team on top.And I think you guys did a great job together.

• 57:12

RAQUEL: Thank you.

• 57:12

SHANNON DERMER: So I want to thankyou so much for participating in this process.And I'm glad that you both enjoyed it.Matthew--

• 57:18

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Hello.

• 57:20

• 57:38

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: My astrological sign.

• 57:39

SHANNON DERMER: Yes, what is your sign?No, about the fact that your clients gave you a gift.And how do you deal with gifts?Do you think it's appropriate?And what meaning does that have for you?

• 57:53

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I think it's absolutely appropriate.And I think to decline it or have some rigid rulesthat you're not going to accept anything from clients,I think that that does more harm than good.I think if people want to give yousomething as a parting gesture, that they've

• 58:13

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: enjoyed their time with you.I think it's fine. [Matthew D Selekman, MSW, LCSW, Breif,Strengths Based Collaborative Therapy, Director,Partners for Collaborative Solutions]And we had kind of an off the cuffconversation about cooking.So I also gave them some house specialty recipes.So it was an equal exchange.

• 58:28

SHANNON DERMER: Well, and I thinka termination session is differentversus a client giving you constantly gifts.Or if there's some special occasion.I had a supervisor one time.He said, if it's under \$10, it's not a big dealand it's for some special occasion.And if it's food have the interns try it first.

• 58:46

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Exactly, let them get poisoned.

• 58:48

SHANNON DERMER: That's right, and if they don't die,then you can eat it.But I think that's a hard one, because a lot of peoplelearn, like, don't do it.It's unethical.But I have my own stories from beinga young therapist, where I didn'taccept a present one time.And it was something small.And it really hurt the feelings of the client.And it actually was appropriate looking back on it now.

• 59:10

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, and speaking of gifts,I really thought to finish up our work togetherand to kind of honor the hard work of this dynamic duo, the Ateam, I wanted to give them an achievement award certificatefor their great work.And something that they could put up on the wall,

• 59:31

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and look at, and say, hey we made that happen,and what a team we are.

• 59:34

SHANNON DERMER: That's right, yougave their own kind of concluding gift,the certificates.Talk a little bit about why you do that.

• 59:42

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, as I just said,I think that it's a nice way to consolidate their gains,a reminder that they've worked hard to achieve their goaland work together as a team to make that happen.And so whenever there's sort of like a blue moment

• 01:00:04

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: or they need an injection of positivity,they can look at them and say, hey, we made that happen.It's connected to our work together.

• 01:00:14

SHANNON DERMER: Well, I know in narrative therapya lot of times they use certificates or lettersor something like that, because as you were talking about,it helps remind them of the things that they've achieved.But it also helps them to remind them in the future--it's something tangible that theycan use to remember some of the things that they talked about.But also that it's just symbolic of that new narrative

• 01:00:37

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: that they're creating for each other.

• 01:00:40

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And that's my inspiration.I have found that to be I think a real nice contributionfrom the narrative therapy.

• 01:00:47

SHANNON DERMER: Yeah, to help support that new storyline that it's not mom against daughter, one has to be rightand one has to be wrong.But that they're both in this together.

• 01:00:56

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, and mom-- actually,it was interesting-- eluded to the factthat her mom always had to be right.So it went back another generation.

• 01:01:08

SHANNON DERMER: I thought they gave you--you gave them the certificates and some recipes--and the gift they you was symbolica some things that you talked about, but also their heritage.So I thought it was a nice gift.

• 01:01:19

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, no, it's the perfect gift.It's one of my favorite-- mole sauceis one of my favorite Mexican inventions I think you can say.

• 01:01:29

SHANNON DERMER: So what were you thinking or feelingis you heard them talking about what they took awayfrom the counseling process?

• 01:01:37

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, I felt a real strong connectionwith them.And there were lots of references to the relationship.And I thought it was intriguing how we spent so much timefocusing on strengths and the positive.And there are lots of references to talking about problems.

• 01:01:58

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And yet there is something about the climate thatmade it safe to talk about problems without feelinguncomfortable, which I thought was intriguing.And I try, especially when I work with teenagersand their families, to make it very playful and fun and kind

• 01:02:18

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: of upbeat and different than what they assume,which is a serious, professor looking therapistwith a beard and glasses who's going to try and psychoanalyzethem.But I thought it was interesting to hear themtalk so much about problems.

• 01:02:41

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And yet the it was all about solutions and strengthsand what's working.

• 01:02:47

SHANNON DERMER: Yeah, I think Raquel talked a little bit moreabout faults, but that's because I think before the sessionsshe perceived that sometimes as a fault.And so I think as a complement to you that she was saying,well I felt comfortable talking about my faults.You know, I don't think that was languageshe picked up from you.I think that's how she perceived it beforehand.But you framed in such a way that it

• 01:03:10

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: didn't feel like although she perceived it as a fault,it wasn't necessarily a horrible or bad thing.In fact, it was something that she and her daughtercould bond over on how not to let it get each of them.But I think Lydia especially-- probably her comments fit morewith your perspective of what you're trying to do with.She didn't talk about faults or problems as much.

• 01:03:32

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: She just talked about being comfortable and that feelinglike a team member with you, that she liked your playful,welcoming style, which was really important to her.I think she mentioned specificallythat she doesn't usually like to talk to people about stuff.But she felt very comfortable with you.

• 01:03:51

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, I mean, Iwas pretty impressed with the depthof what she got into in these sessions,and being so courageous.And she's just such a special young woman.I mean, I think she has so many good qualities, so responsible.

• 01:04:08

SHANNON DERMER: Yeah, and like I said,I actually knew a little bit about her.And she does tend to be kind of a quiet, reserved--around adults anyway so.It was quite the huge compliment to youthat she just felt like you were someone it was easy to talk to.And she liked your playful style.That she knows you guys are talking about serious stuff,but she didn't feel like it was ever like too heavy.

• 01:04:30

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: That she felt comfortable with you.So what is it that you wanted them specifically to take awayfrom your sessions with them?

• 01:04:40

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, I think they're much more, as mom said,mindful of this I'm right pattern, and how it has kindhave wreaked havoc in places and relationships.And I think they're both getting much betterat sort of catching themselves, and thinkingabout the other person, and then what could happen.

• 01:05:01

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And I think they really integrated that very well.And I think they've also discoveredthat, yes, leaving home is a rough transitionfor all families.And I normalized that a lot.But that if they keep the lines of communicationopen and work together as a team,

• 01:05:23

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and planning, and having a good strategies,that it will optimize for success for herto be able to leave the nest and make it out there.

• 01:05:31

SHANNON DERMER: Yeah, you mentioned normalizing.And Raquel and I talked about that a little bit.That seemed to be a little bit of a relief for herthat you were normalizing-- I meana little bit about that launching, leaving home time,but especially about that I'm right pattern.That seemed to be something that she was concerned about.She's like, oh, yeah, it's normal.A lot of people have that I'm right pattern.

• 01:05:53

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, it's interestingthat when you ask parents that get lead footed,get stuck interacting with their kids in particular wayslike nagging, yelling.And you ask them, did that patternget the best of your relationship with your parents?Oftentimes they say, yeah.And then you can get them fired up, and say,

• 01:06:13

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: are we going to allow that patternto destroy your relationship with your daughter?Or are you going to rewrite history here?So it's just a nice, non-blame, we'rein this together versus the problem.That's what I love about narrative therapy.And I think it's such a nice complement to solution focused.

• 01:06:34

SHANNON DERMER: Yeah, and also that collaborative languagepart of just making people comfortable in discussions.We talked about that after the last session.That just really there's somethingabout people being able to tell their story,and retell it, and have someone in some waysreflect on it-- you know, ask them questions about-- that

• 01:06:54

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: kind of focused conversation really seem to havean impact, especially on Lydia.

• 01:06:60

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: And I think that if I would have failedto do that, if I were too religious with solution focus--you know, too sharply focused on the positive--that I would have blocked her from making it safe for herto open up about these things.And you know, this was my thinkingabout although there were lots of field pre-counseling changes

• 01:07:21

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and this family has a treasure trove of strengths,I wanted to make sure that I covered the back door,because I could imagine down the road that I'm right patternreally shaking things up there for them,the communication shutting down, whichcould have led to other things, like starting

• 01:07:42

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: to get into drugs more or things like that-- to kindof show of all that stuff down.[Matthew D Selekman, MSW, LCSW, Breif, Strengths Based Therapy,Director, Partners for Collaborative Solutions]So I think it's so important to conduct a balanced interview,where we make plenty of room for celebratingtheir strengths and their gifts, but also addressingany concerns or things that might crop up later

• 01:08:05

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: and present problems.

• 01:08:08

SHANNON DERMER: And even though youdidn't do a strict solution-focused,you know, you're integrating with narrativeand collaborative language systemsand just a postmodern approach in general, that positivitydid come through though. [Shannon B Dermer, PhD, Chair,Division of Psychology and Counseling,Governors State University] Lydia especially mentioned itthat she liked your optimism.She liked your encouragement.She felt like that you gave off the vibe that you knew

• 01:08:30

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: they could do these things.And there was no problem that waslike insurmountable for them.So that definitely still came through.So that's a good example of how youcan use some of the best parts of solution focused.And that will still come through even if you're notbeing purist about it.

• 01:08:48

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Right, exactly.

• 01:08:50

SHANNON DERMER: So what do you wantif we have beginning counselors and therapists, or evenexperienced counselors and therapist who don't usuallyuse this type of approach, what youwant them to take away from having watched these sessions?

• 01:09:04

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Well, I think the first thing isthe importance of the relationshipand creating a climate ripe for change,making people feel safe and comfortable and respectedand listen to, you know, validated.At the same time, I think with teenagers,

• 01:09:26

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: we got to feel comfortable taking risks and beingplayful and improvisational, and use humor,and work towards getting some clear focus.You know, there's a saying if youdon't know where you're going, you'regoing to end up somewhere else.

• 01:09:46

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: And I think they were able to articulate what theywanted to work on changing.And that was in improving their communications, more openness,more teamwork, more thinking before you talk and act.And clearly they were able to make all that happen,

• 01:10:10

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: because they knew what they needed to do.And also increasing their awareness about what worksand doing more of it, I think, is important too.

• 01:10:20

SHANNON DERMER: Good, you hit on several things that actuallybear out in the research.Number one, that the best predictor of outcomeof counseling or therapy is the therapeutic alliance, whichyou talked about and the client'sclearly talked about feeling like theyhad that good relationship.And actually there are other sessions

• 01:10:40

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: that we're doing in this series that that client talkedabout the same thing-- relationship, relationship,relationship.The other thing you talked about was reallystructuring the session.But sometimes it's not as much which model you're using,but that you structure the session.Not that you tell your clients what to do,but you kind of guide them through the process clearly.

• 01:11:03

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: And then the third one was settinggoals, which I believe the research sayslike within the first three sessionsyou really want to set some goals.

• 01:11:12

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, I mean weknow that, I think, by the third sessionif clients don't feel like they're making headway,the likelihood of them dropping out is pretty great.So I think especially with adolescentsI think it's key when you're in adolescents and their familiesthat you really got to build a strong alliance with them.Because there's a lot of research

• 01:11:32

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: that supports that once you have that alliancewith the adolescent, you win over the parents,because they want you to connect with their kid.It's not we want you to take the problem.It's more that they want to see that this could work,because a kid has warmed up to you.And I think that's absolutely critical.

• 01:11:52

SHANNON DERMER: Do you think parents ever resent itwhen you're able to connect with their adolescentand they're having issues with that.

• 01:12:01

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I have never experiencedthat parents were like jealous or something like that.I think that a lot of the families that I've worked withhave had multiple treatment experiences,and the therapist did not connect well with the kids.They connected great with the parents.But one of the complaints I've heard from kidswas that it seem like the therapist was putting them

• 01:12:24

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: in charge of them, like micromanaging them more,and not attending to the kids needsand what their goals and expectations wereand stuff like that.So I think you really have to work both sides of the fenceand make sure that both parties are feeling satisfied.And I did that a lot when I met alone with mom.I wanted to make sure that things were moving along

• 01:12:46

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: with her relation with her husband.

• 01:12:49

SHANNON DERMER: And do you think that helped?I mean, because sometimes I think individual counselorsor therapists don't realize as much howwhen you're doing therapeutic alliance,there's more than one person in the room,and how difficult it can be sometimesto work both sides of the fence.Do you think it was helpful for you to have the time together,but then the time separate also?

• 01:13:09

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Yeah, and I would recommend thatto students or professionals that I think making timefor subsystem work, to strengthen your allianceswith both parties is key.And we know from research that when therapists succeedat finding that balance of having multiple alliances

• 01:13:30

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: that clients do well.I mean, the alliance gets strengthened.And they don't drop out.And they work hard to achieve their goal.

• 01:13:41

SHANNON DERMER: Well, good, and itwas nice to see that balance, because sometimes peoplego to one extreme or the other.Like they only see the family and no one individually.And then sometimes they break people apartwhen I'm like, well, they've got to learnhow to get along together.They only see the parents and children separately.But you had a really nice balance and balancing

• 01:14:02

SHANNON DERMER [continued]: out creating those therapeutic alliances.

• 01:14:04

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: The only time that I would meet alonewith the adolescent first before the parents isif the adolescent is in charge of the family mood,that they're wielding all the power.This is the therapist-killing adolescent, the veteranat defeating therapists.So with that adolescent, I would meet with them firstto find out-- you know, you've seen on a therapists before me,

• 01:14:25

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: what kinds of things did they do with you that was a real drag,so I don't make the same mistakes.Put them in the expert session, and they'lltell you what not to do.One of my clients who had 16 therapy experiences,she said to me that it made her madwhen all the therapists sided up with her mom versus her.And so that was valuable information about what

• 01:14:47

MATTHEW SELEKMAN [continued]: not to do and to make room in future sessionsfor individual space time with her so that she felt supported,and her expectations were voiced, and her goals,and what the parents were doing thatwas upsetting that they wanted me to work on changing.

• 01:15:03

SHANNON DERMER: So especially whenclients have had multiple counseling or therapyexperiences, you want to find out what workedand what didn't work so you don't replicate.

• 01:15:10

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Exactly.It's so easy to replicate, and thenfurther demoralize the clients.So I think it's our responsibility ethicallyto take the time to find out that information.

• 01:15:21

SHANNON DERMER: Well, we only have a minute.Is there any nugget of knowledge that youwould like the viewers to walk awaywith about your style or these sessions in particular?

• 01:15:30

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: I think it's important as therapiststo be knowledgeable about a wide range of individual and familytherapies and look for a logical ways to integrate them.And I also think it's important for usto be flexible, and daring, and have fun in there.

• 01:15:47

SHANNON DERMER: Good, that's a great--and I'm glad you said logical ways to integrate them,not just flying by the seat of your pants,but yeah have some spontaneity, lotsof different knowledge of different interventions,and just go in there and have fun with your client.Thank you very much.

• 01:16:03

MATTHEW SELEKMAN: Thank you

• 01:16:03

SHANNON DERMER: I appreciate it.[MUSIC PLAYING]

# Brief, Strengths-Based, Collaborative Therapy: Session 5

View Segments Segment :

## Abstract

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 5

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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