If you counsel young people, try to look at July/August Psychotherapy Networker (www.psychotherapynetworker.org) The magazine notes that “media-saturated millennium kids live in a disconnected world that spawns intense inner fragmentation. If we are to help them heal these splits, we need to move beyond the constraints of traditional therapy.”
This is a generation engulfed in an electronic environment where boys especially cannot identify or express their emotions because many are engulfed by the “all-encompassing stimulation provided by video and computer games.” Despite connecting on Internet and phone, young people are still “hungry for connection!
The Networker is not Christian but it has the pulse of much contemporary culture. According to the editor, “we need to throw out the old guidebook about working with” young people. A restrained demeanor, listening with empathy, or encouraging young counselees to talk about their problems won’t work with “today’s impatient, overstimulated, easily bored kids.
Instead, counselors must recognize that “no matter how swallowed up by the pop culture kids seem to be, they still desperately yearn for the kind of authentic connection with adults that all too often they aren’t getting from either their overburdened teachers or stressed-out parents.”
While counselors do not have the power to “detoxify the intrusive, often emotionally harmful, culture” in which the younger generation is coming of age, counselors have something vital to offer: the ability to step out of their traditional therapeutic manner and to offer engagement and relationship.