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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-15

Concerned parents, belligerent adolescent: Providing support to distressed parents

Department of Psychiatry and NDDTC, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Siddharth Sarkar
Department of Psychiatry and NDDTC, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_115_17

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Societal changes have brought about transformation in the family dynamics in India. The youth of today is exposed to a wide variety of influences, and their tendency toward experimentation makes them vulnerable to get into unpleasant situations. Adding to that, issues related to use and abuse of substances sometimes bring them into contact with mental health professionals. Parents come with high expectations that the treatment provider would provide “treatment” that would miraculously mend the ways of the belligerent adolescent. The treatment provider may find himself or herself sandwiched between a poorly motivated, somewhat deviant adolescent and concerned parents who press for a lasting solution. The progression of therapeutic encounters presents certain challenges to the mental health professional. In this case discussion, I would like to present few issues and challenges and put forth some reflections about an adolescent with substance use and behavioral problems brought by family members. Over time, the stance of the therapist changed from attempting to “reform” the adolescent to providing support to the distressed parents. At the same time, the potential ways of dealing with such a situation are explored further.

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