Risks and reactions
This interactive approach taken in time-limited psychotherapy places demands on the therapist to be able to tolerate uncertainty and to manage risk. It is here that understanding the developmental task of adolescence enables us to recognise the challenges of transition for the young person and the fluidity of emotional states. We may hypothesise that the embedded behaviour represents an attempt at resolution about earlier and unresolved infantile and early childhood conflicts. By responding to the problem as the opportunity, and keeping the focus on health and growth, we have a greater chance of helping to untangle these conflicts, and enable them to become resolved before they become solidified in adult life. Since parents are the key to this process, we reconfigure the traditional one-to-one transference elements of the therapeutic process. The therapist’s task in this interactive process is that of bringing about change to mobilise the development of the young person and open up and enhance the quality of their interaction and communication with their parents. As such, the therapist acts as facilitator, translator, connector and container.