Skip to main content

Mood disorders, also known as affective disorders, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine “is a mental health class that health professionals use to broadly describe all types of depression and bipolar disorders.” The Mayo Clinic explains that mood disorders are characterized by a distortion of one’s general emotional state and/ or mood that is inconsistent with the current circumstances and interferes with one’s ability to function. As identified by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the most common mood disorders in children and adolescents include major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, substance-induced mood disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), adjustment disorder, dysthymia, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. At any given time, 1 in 20 adolescents meet the clinical criteria for a mood disorder and up to one in four children will experience a mood disorder by their late adolescence. Systemic family therapy is one of the most widely applied psychotherapeutic approaches in the treatment of children and adolescents. 

Systemic Family Therapy

Systemic family therapy aims to reduce distress and conflict by improving the systems of interactions between family members, rather than placing sole focus on the identified patient. The systemic family therapy approach views a family as a single system, embedded with a series of symbiotic systems. This approach emphasizes viewing problems in developing, comprehensive, positive, and diverse ways and focuses on understanding the individual symptoms within the system of interpersonal relationships. Through identifying stagnant patterns of behavior within the living family system, each member can begin to modify their respective dysfunctional habits, which can in turn, help shift the dynamics of the entire family system.

In a systematic review, 33 of the 38 trials found systemic family therapy to be efficacious for the treatment of internalizing disorders (including mood disorders) in child and adolescent patients, with stable results across follow-up periods of up to 5 years. The results of a study published in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry revealed that family therapy led to significantly improved outcomes for suicidal ideation (a common symptom of several adolescent mood disorders), compared to other psychotherapies. Systemic family therapy has shown particular promise in improving adolescent and adult mental health problems.

Further Information and Support

For most of us, life can be very stressful, leading us to feel emotionally charged, which can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and getting stuck in a cycle of being burdened with negative thoughts. Navigating through the challenges and emotional turmoil of life can be overwhelming, but you do not have to go through it alone. Engage Treatment is a Joint Commission Accredited professional psychological practice. We specialize in treating children, teens, and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety through community-focused treatment plans that incorporate a carefully selected combination of therapeutic interventions. Our compassionate, multidisciplinary practitioners are devoted to providing the highest quality of care that helps ignite positive change and enables clients to reach optimal health and well-being. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We are happy to answer questions and provide you with any additional information. Feel free to call us at 805-497-0605 or email us at [email protected]. You are also welcomed to get in touch by filling out our contact form. We look forward to connecting and having the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to support you.

Leave a Reply

Back to top