Featured Writer of the Month
Meeks, MD - Child Psychiatrist and Author
respond to nagging the way your skin responds to sulfuric acid.”
an angry adolescent is acting out, how can you reach him or her?
When kids are out-of-control, how can adults let them know we're
really on their side? How do we forge an alliance with young people
to show them we want to help them succeed?
John Meeks has done it by creating A Fragile Alliance. Many social
work, psychology or education majors will remember studying A Fragile
Alliance, his classic text on working with troubled children. He
is also the author of High Times, Low Times: The Many Faces of Adolescent
Depression and his latest book is The Learning Alliance, co-authored
with Phillippe Dupont, Ed.D. According to The Learning Alliance,
effective learning occurs because a partnership is created and maintained.
This alliance must include the student, his or her parents or guardians,
teachers, paraprofessionals, other specialists, and the psychotherapist.
a child psychiatrist, Meeks has worked with hundreds of teenagers
and children with problems. He is also the president and medical
director of The Foundation Schools, located in the Maryland and
Virginia suburbs surrounding Washington, DC. The Foundation Schools
were chartered in 1975 as an independent, non-profit school for
special education. The school's purpose is to meet the educational,
social and psychological needs of students with emotional disturbances
who have been unsuccessful in other educational settings.
experience also includes first hand knowledge. As a teenager he
suffered from depression and thereby knows from the inside out what
may be effective - and what is not - when working with young people.
"Adolescents respond to nagging the way your skin responds to sulfuric
acid," said Meeks. His approach calls for giving compliments more
frequently than criticism. "Praise perseverance more than results,"
he advised. According to Meeks, many teens mistakenly believe goals
are achieved all at once or not at all and need to learn that incremental
progress is necessary, worthwhile and important. As a result, it
is important to reward students for progress in the right direction.