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A long history in the field of psychotherapy theory, research, and practice has been dedicated to distinguishing which common factors, or characteristics that are present across psychotherapies, are paramount to fostering positive psychotherapy results with adolescents. Empirical evidence identifies the following three factors as the most essential elements of adolescent therapy:  

  • A strong therapeutic alliance: The therapeutic alliance, or the purposeful collaborative relationship between the mental health clinician and adolescent, is a critical component of effective child psychotherapy and the quality of this relationship is an indicator of treatment outcome. The American Psychological Association (APA) claims that “the most important aspect of effective therapy is that the patient and the therapist work together to help the patient reach their goals in therapy.” Clinical findings conclude that a positive therapeutic relationship facilitates early changes in the motivation of children and parents, and provides them with a healing, relational experience. 
  • Evidence-based therapeutic modalities: Evidence-based psychotherapy encompasses both scientific and local evidence (e.g., diagnostic patient information, situational information including cost and time constraints, and the provider’s judgment, experience, etc.) to achieve the best outcome. Relying on evidence-based principles ensures that child therapists use the best existing evidence as a starting framework, while simultaneously affording them flexibility to individualize treatment.
  • Parental/ family involvement: Family relationships can have a profound effect on mental health, behavior, as well as the physical heath of an adolescent. When family relationships are stable and supportive, they can have positive effects on one’s mental health, as they can provide resources that can help a family member learn to cope with stress, engage in healthier behaviors, and cultivate improved self-esteem. In 2001, the Report of the Surgeon Generals’ Conference on Children’s Mental Health first identified family involvement as a guiding principle to improve children’s mental health services and treatment outcome.

It is common practice for a mental health professional to develop a customized treatment plan that considers all treatment options and incorporates an array of therapeutic elements that are expressly geared to each young person’s nuanced and distinct needs.  

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.

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