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1. Motivational Interviewing -- For this item we direct you to a website, not a specific publication, but we also recommend the second edition of the book of the same title.  This is about a style of engaging people in treatment. It was originally written for the addiction field, but has much broader application.  This is an enhancement to work with addiction regardless of other methods used.  It is not a rival approach.  We believe that all professionals working in addiction work today should be conversant with the contents of this book and website and fully capable of applying their methods.  

2. Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward by James O. Prochaska,  John Norcross, Carlo DiClemente.  -- Like Motivational Interviewing,  this book describes a very useful tool in the addiction field that is not a rivals to other methods, and is of value regardless of the primary methods used.  Actually the information here is useful to anyone contemplating profound change.  The processes described in this book are variously  known as The Transtheoretical Model and The Stages of Change

3.  The Three Faces of Victim by Lynne Forrest.  This internet article describes the "Karpman Drama Triangle" which  we believe is the most common dysfunction in families and institutions affecting our young people.   Ms. Forrest's description is derived from Transactional Analysis, a school of thought that was popularized in the 1960s.  Transactional Analysis never gained much traction among practicing clinicians, but it was for many, a way to streamline the understanding of some rather complex concepts in psychology.   The Karpman Drama triangle is one legacy of Transactional Analysis that we do hear of contemporary psychologists, psychiatrists, and family therapists utilizing extensively.   We think that understanding and avoiding the dynamic of the Karpman Drama triangle is one of the most important step parents and leaders of child centered institutions can take to ensure healthy emotional growth and avoid the youth problems that plague our society.

We think readers who like this will also appreciate Anatomy of Peace, referenced in our semi-fiction section

4.   Shouting at the Sky  by Gary Ferguson.  This book answers the question "Why are wilderness programs effective?"   Back in the 1990s, Gary Ferguson worked for six months as a staff member at what was then one of the better therapeutic wilderness programs.  When the managers of that program hired him and trained him, they knew it was his intention to write a tell-all book.   Mr. Ferguson and the managers of that program  agreed that the pre-publication manuscript would be edited by the program only to ensure that confidentiality was not breached. 

This book paints a very realistic picture of how a therapeutic wilderness program functions and gives parents considering a wilderness program the best available picture of what to expect.  Parents should be a aware of one important difference between the program depicted in the book and current practice:  fully qualified clinicians are currently in the wilderness and directing the field staff at least part of the time.  in contemporary wilderness programming.   Their presence is not evident in the book as that was not the common practice at the time the book was written.

5.  Works of Michael Gurian -- especially The Wonder of Boys and A Fine Young Man.  Gurian uses his background having lived since childhood in various cultures to find what are the constants and what are the variables among young people maturing.  He emphasizes the gender differences between males and females, acknowledging that being male, he is better at describing what happens with males. 

6.  Real Boys by William Pollack  -- a study of boys, their stereotypes, their attitudes, their values, their stressors, and how we as adults best communicate with them.  There is a stark contrast at least with respect to emphasis and style and perhaps disagreement with Michael Gurian.  Pollack, in his zeal to get rid of hazing and the "boy code," seems to oppose "rites of passage" rituals which we believe play a constructive role in adolescent development.  However, constructive "rites of passage" are very different from abusive hazing.

7. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, by Mary Pipher.  A close look at the pressures that challenge the mental and social health of young girls -- and what to do about them.

8.  The Explosive Child by Ross Greene.  Parent strategy for dealing with children  who have low tolerance for frustration and are inclined to tantrums. 

Please also consider resources for Slow Processing.

More will be added.  Please send suggestions to  

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Feedback is invited. We will publish feedback in good taste, consistent with our standards.  Email

Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.


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Last updated August 17, 2012


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