In my career I’ve worked on two fronts: one has to do with advocating for broader, social change, and the other has to do with working to help craft the selfhood of young people, one at a time. These days I find myself thinking a lot about the latter, and I want to dedicate this blog space to those sort of ideas – at least for a while. Twenty years into doing this work, I am still astounded by the power of relationship and a therapeutic “holding environment.” The relationship, which includes elements of trust, respect, and cooperation, makes all other things possible. Creating the relationship is a form of craft – at least to me. The power of words, and how they fall on young ears, makes all the difference. This is an approach that pivots on deep focus, and lots of attention to detail. Kids say things that need to be carefully unfolded, because inside those words is the essence of their outlook, and the core of who they are as individuals. Watching them develop an awareness of their own language and thought is a daily pleasure. For me, this sort of process is a way of bringing young people into the world. By this, I mean connecting them with a world larger than themselves, full of wonder and opportunity. Teaching them that thoughtful conversation is a way to begin living well. I am truly fortunate to have this great work to do!