The nature of youth in the eyes of mental-health care workers: Therapists' conceptualization of adolescents coming to therapy at others' initiative
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataVis full innførsel
OriginalversjonInternational Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2020, 14, 31. 10.1186/s13033-020-00363-w
Background: Adolescent clients often come to therapy at the initiative of others and show a higher drop-out rate compared to adult clients. Therapeutic relationships are critical for preventing drop-outs and attaining good outcomes, yet few empirical studies have investigated how therapists conceptualize and meet adolescent clients who come reluctantly to therapy. Methods: We conducted ten focus-group interviews in this study with a total of 51 therapists at different Norwegian specialist outpatient clinics for children and adolescents with mental-health problems to explore how therapists view and understand adolescents who come to therapy at the initiative of someone else. We used a reflexive approach to thematic analysis to analyze the transcripts. Results: We found five main themes, expressing variations in participants’ understanding: The hurt and distrustful adolescent; The adolescent lacking hope for the future; The adolescent engulfed in the burden of mental-health suffering; The adolescent as something more than a psychiatric patient; and The adolescent meeting a system with varying flexibility and space for engagement. Conclusions: Several conceptualizations of the adolescent client coexist within and between clinics, resulting in variability of services for adolescents even within the frames of a strong welfare system.