Adolescent Therapy: Dropout, Relationship, and Beyond
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The purpose of this capstone is to review current research on ways to improve adolescent mental health through engagement with therapeutic interventions, utilizing a relational lens. Many adolescents drop out of therapy, or never receive support in their mental health struggles. This leaves untreated illnesses that persist and worsen into adulthood. Adolescents can be invited to engage more strongly with traditional therapy, if as therapists, we can address the causes of dropout, and focus on the therapeutic relationship as both a goal and an intervention itself. Beyond traditional therapy, there are options for engaging youths with technology-based interventions, single-session interventions, and through supporting their caregivers. The final chapter discusses the relational aspects of the reviewed studies, and provides guidance for implementing an adolescent-specific relationally-focused style of therapy, as well as future directions for research.