Home Boys

“Home Boys” is the poignant and humorous story of a beginning career psychologist learning diagnosis and treatment, and discovering ways to connect with troubled teens — manipulative Timothy, jokester Enrique, wanna-be gangster Antonio, and many more.

In the year 2000, Seth C. Kadish began work at Cal Home, a group facility for adolescents in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.  Seth struggled to understand and help the boys, each of them challenging in their own way.  Often doubting himself, but determined to help the youngsters, Seth eventually forged a deep connection with the Probation teens until the day he needed to leave Cal Home. 

Here are a few excerpts from “Home Boys”: I got it then.  Timothy had been bullshitting me.  He had no desire to make peace with Rodney and he had even told me why – because it was fun. And that’s when I really got it.  He had been bullshitting me the entire time we had worked together.  On some level, he’d been conning me, pulling the wool over my eyes.  Carla had tried to warn me about this early on.  She had told me to beware of too much talk with Timothy.  In my pride, I thought I alone had managed to reach this kid, that no one else quite understood him.  Not Carla, not Marshall, not staff members.  Just me.*********“I will not give up on you, Rodney.  You’re important to me.  Right?”“Right, Seth.”I wanted to hug him.  I wanted to cry.  Instead, I blinked back the tears in my eyes. I had a ton of reasons for holding back.  

Therapists were not allowed to have physical contact with residents.  Therapists were not supposed to cry because the boys would lose respect for them.  The boys wouldn’t be able to deal with the therapist’s emotions.  According to Marshall, a therapist “held” a client verbally, through body language and gesture. I had a thousand reasons to hold back and wished later I’d had none.*********Ricardo paused.“And did you?  Do it again?” I asked softly.“I shot this other guy,” he said.  “For no reason.  Maybe he had a family or something.  I just shot him.”“Did you kill again?” Twice more.  

The most recent had been a murder for hire. 

Who is Seth Kadish?

Seth C. Kadish, Psy.D., Director of Group Therapy at PCH in Mar Vista and former Clinical Director of Milestones Ranch Malibu, was a Staff Psychologist at California State Prison, Los Angeles County, counselling maximum-security inmates.  Prior to that, Dr Kadish worked with Probation youth at Penny Lane in North Hills, CA where he was named Clinician of the Year 2001.  He is the creator of Pattern Identification and Reduction Therapy™, a clinical approach based on his work in prison, group home, private practice and treatment center and is the author of Pop Your Patterns:  The No-Nonsense Way to Change Your Life.  In addition, Dr Kadish has been featured in a variety of radio broadcasts, documentaries and television series including Ryan and Tatum:  The O’Neals (Oprah Winfrey Network) and the award-winning documentary, Iceberg Slim

Looking for a new read? Check out Duffy’s other Book Blasts!