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Working with High-Risk Adolescents: An Individualized Family Therapy Approach | hardcover, out of print
Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, LCSW | Foreword by Harlene Anderson
Guilford Press / out-of-print hc / Apr 2017
9781462529735 (ISBN-10: 1462529739)
out of print
price: $0.00 (may be subject to change)
308 pages
This title is unavailable to order from Caversham.

There is now a softcover of this title .

This innovative book focuses on helping high-risk adolescents and their families rapidly resolve long-standing difficulties. Matthew D. Selekman spells out a range of solution-focused strategies and other techniques, illustrating their implementation with vivid case examples. His approach augments individual and family sessions with collaborative meetings that enlist the strengths of the adolescent's social network and key helping professionals from larger systems. User-friendly features include checklists, sample questions to aid in relationship building and goal setting, and reproducible forms that can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½" x 11" size. Blending family therapy science with therapeutic artistry, the book significantly refines and updates the approach originally presented in Selekman's Pathways to Change.


“It is hard to imagine this book ever being surpassed as a guide to working with adolescents in serious difficulty. Its solid grounding in solution-focused and strengths-based practice is supplemented by a distillation of theoretical and practical wisdom from a host of different therapeutic approaches. As well as dealing specifically with major issues such as violence and self-harm, Selekman offers a pathway through the delicate business of interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration. His suggestions are clear and simple, and he takes time to address every conceivable stumbling point on the way to a successful outcome. Selekman brings to this book not just a lifetime of face-to-face work with adolescents and their families, but also an erudition second to none. This book is a gift to the future of any struggling adolescent lucky enough to meet a professional who has read it.”

—Chris Iveson, therapist and co-founder, BRIEF, London, United Kingdom

“Selekman has done it again. He offers the reader an integrative client-centered therapy approach that is grounded in a long tradition of systemic and solution-focused therapies. We are given a front-row seat to observe a master therapist as he walks us through his own clinical cases to demonstrate his creative process. This book will surely inspire therapists to be more bold and adventurous in co-creating with family members a therapeutic experience that challenges and disrupts stagnant relational patterns and replaces them with new possibilities.”

—Guy Diamond, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania; Director, PhD Program in Couple and Family Therapy and Center for Family Intervention Science, Drexel University

“This book offers a real-world compass for working from a strengths-based, solution-oriented perspective with today's high-risk adolescents. It captures the craft of a seasoned practitioner, and benefits from the author's keen perspective on the interconnected family, societal, and individual attributes that can enhance an adolescent's growth and health. Selekman provides practical guidance and a menu of theoretically informed options and strategies that clinicians can start using right away. Graduate students in clinical practice courses would benefit from the riveting case examples, which will fuel lively discussion, as well as the presentation of clinical decision-making processes rarely depicted in such detail.”

—Mariann Suarez, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, University of South Florida Health, Morsani College of Medicine


1. Navigating through Complex High-Risk Adolescent Mazes
2. Family Engagement: Tailor the Relationships of Choice
3. Building Strong Partnerships with Pessimistic Helping Professionals and Members from Families’ Social Networks
4. Collaborative Treatment Planning and Goal Setting
5. Co-Developing and Selecting Interventions to Suit Clients’ Strengths,Theories of Change, and Goals
6. Family–Social Network Relapse Prevention Tools and Strategies
7. “The Atomic Bomb Kid”: Working with a Violent Adolescent
8. From “Numbing Out Bad Thoughts and Feelings” to “Welcoming Death”: Working with a High-Risk Suicidal Adolescent
9. Therapeutic Mistakes and Treatment Failures: Wisdom Gained and Valuable Lessons Learned
10. Therapeutic Artistry: Finding Your Creative Edge

About the Author:

Matthew D. Selekman, MSW, LCSW, is a family therapist and addictions counselor in private practice and Director of Partners for Collaborative Solutions, an international family therapy training and consulting firm in Evanston, Illinois. He is an Approved Supervisor with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Mr. Selekman served as the invited Henry Maier Practitioner-in-Residence at the School of Social Work of the University of Washington and is a three-time recipient of the Walter S. Rosenberry Award from Children’s Hospital Colorado for his significant contributions to the fields of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. The author of numerous professional articles and seven books, including Working with High-Risk Adolescents: An Individualized Family Therapy Approachand Collaborative Brief Therapy with Children, Mr. Selekman consults worldwide to schools and treatment programs serving adolescents and their families. Since 1985, he has given workshops extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. His website is

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