Why parents need to be involved

As discussed earlier, this model of time-limited psychotherapy does not de-couple adolescents and young people from their parents when it comes to addressing their psychological and emotional problems. In fact it takes a strong relationship-based approach to the embedded problem in the adolescent and young person, perceiving it at all times as a communication to the parents, however confused and disturbing it may be. This integral therapeutic model therefore involves working both with the young person and their parents separately and jointly to address the difficulty. Because the embedded problem is viewed as intrinsic to the family dynamic and family system, by separating it out and working solely with the young person, this inevitably leads to a problem-centred rather than a person-in-relation centred focus. The problem-centred focus in turn is more likely to favour a bio-medical construction, which sets the young person onto the path of the mental health patient trajectory with a potentially poor outcome. In contrast to this, the rationale is that since the young person and their parents and family are often trapped in the problem together, any therapeutic work should attend to widening the frame. This must involve parents, but it may also involve the school and other professionals and services that have an important link with, and influence on, the young person.

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