ERIC Number: ED345126
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Being the Family's Therapist: An Integrative Approach.
Zimmerman, James K.; La Sorsa, Valerie A.
There is strong justification in the counseling literature for bridging individual and family perspectives. The Adolescent Depression and Suicide Program at Montefiore Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York) is a brief treatment, outpatient clinic designed to provide mental health services for suicidal adolescents and their families. At the clinic there has been a concerted effort to develop and implement treatment approaches for this population that can exert powerful therapeutic leverage quickly. Two central treatment principles frequently employed in treatment in the clinic are: a suicide attempt in adolescence can be understood as a problem-solving behavior; and the speed at which separation and individuation occur, and whether the adolescent and the family are in synchrony regarding the rate of this process, are often aspects of the problem at hand. The approach to treatment at the clinic integrates family systems, developmental, and psychodynamic theoretical perspectives in a technical combination of individual and family modalities, which can be effective in treating suicidal adolescents. Ultimately, such an approach can allow the family as a system to move ahead at a mutually acceptable rate. What can be achieved is a successful renegotiation of relationships which allows the adolescent to move into adulthood while retaining connectedness with the family. This renegotiation also allows the family to experience individuation within the context of strong interpersonal bonds. (LLL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Association of Suicidology (25th, Chicago, IL, April 1-4, 1992).