An Exploration of Adolescent Mental Health, Clinical Care and the [Inevitable] Relationship with Parents

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Lambkin, Jolie
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The aim of this work is to expose clinicians to the nuanced, sometimes complicated but always necessary relationship between adolescents and their parents. The field of counselling adolescents outside of their family context is a relatively new endeavour. While psychology was one of the first fields to identify and study the adolescent phase of development, today's practice of one-to-one counselling with adolescents does not have such history. The lack of robust research of methods and no clear, professional standards is concerning and has come under criticism. Adolescents are considered a unique and vulnerable profession that are in need of recognition and protection when entering into a therapeutic alliance. A review of the literature will demonstrate the need for adolescents to be treated within in the context of their developmental phase and family relationships. The parent-adolescent relationship is examined, three perspectives are shared, and an investigation of expanding therapeutic alliance to include families is explored. Furthermore, there is specific review of the impact of adolescent depression and suicidal thoughts in relational context of parents and clinicians. Implications for minority adolescent groups and absent parents is addressed. This Capstone Project includes a created video that addresses for counselling clinicians or other youth working professionals, the material in this paper. The goal is to provide foundational ideas for discussion and learning in order to bring about innovative movement towards tri-directional alliance between adolescents, their parent(s) and the clinician.
adolescents , counselling in context , expanded therapeutic alliance
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess