Consolidating health and growth

The outcome in therapeutic work with embedded problems is that the young person will feel more hopeful about themselves and will begin to look outwards beyond the rigid maintenance of their beliefs and rituals within the family towards the world of friendships and peer relationships. In other words they will become more interested in what everyone else is doing and want to be part of it. Here as well, the therapist has a role to play. Having withdrawn themselves from friendships, these young people may be concerned that they are not welcome in social groups at school, or that their peers dislike them, none of which may be true. Helping them to begin to make these reconnections is a gradual process. It often involves practical discussions and the giving of little tasks to help them reconnect. It is not surprising that young people who have become very dependent in the family, have never learned to use public transport so that they can get about and meet their friends. This in itself can become a shared task for the young person and their parents.

In conclusion, we recognise that assisting the young person and their parents to overcome embedded problems includes practical action and a capacity for reflection that draws attention to the dynamic interactive process that has at its core the promotion of health and growth.

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