James Lehman Parenting Tips

For three decades, James Lehman worked with troubled teens and younger children with behavior problems, families and professionals who live with, educate, treat and assist in managing them. In public schools, residential treatment centers, private schools and numerous outpatient and inpatient settings, James developed an approach to managing children and adolescents that challenges them to learn to solve social problems without hiding behind a facade of disrespectful, obnoxious, or abusive behavior.

James Lehman brought a wealth of personal experience to the arena of child and adolescent therapy, and had good reason to focus on behavioral management, having experienced severe behavioral problems himself as a child and adolescent. Born in 1946, he was abandoned at age 2 by parents unable to take care of him. He was found by Mr. Teddy Lehman, who, with his wife Marguerite, went on to adopt him. James began to exhibit oppositional and defiant behavior at home and in the classroom. There was no such thing as special education then, and as he grew older these behaviors became more severe. Eventually he quit school, left home, lived on the streets in New York City, and drifted into a life of substance abuse and crime, which led to numerous prison sentences. After more than 6 years in various jails and prisons, James was given the opportunity to participate in an accountability focused treatment program.

James Lehman graduated from that treatment program and participated in a period of training to become a staff coordinator – and his career as a counselor, therapist and teacher began. James attended Fordham University for 2 years, moved to New England, and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, graduating Summa Cum Laude. As he continued working with children, families and professionals, James was able to attend Boston University and, in 1989, graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Work.

While working at a comprehensive residential treatment center, James began private practice, providing treatment, consultation and training to families, public schools and state agencies. The focus of that work was to provide parents, teachers and case managers with the tools they needed to successfully challenge difficult children to develop the problem solving and self management skills they needed to be successful without relying on disrespectful, obnoxious or abusive behavior.

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