Scholarly Communications Project


CONSTRUCTING A SUCCESSFUL THERAPEUTIC EXPERIENCE WITH ADOLESCENT CLIENTS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF ADOLESCENT EXPERIENCES IN FAMILY THERAPY

by

KEVIN DEE BRODERICK

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

MASTER'S

in

FAMILY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Approved

ERIC MCCOLLUM, Chair
KAREN ROSEN
SANDRA STITH
JEAN COLEMAN

DECEMBER 5, 1996
Blacksburg, Virginia


Abstract

CONSTRUCTING A SUCCESSFUL THERAPEUTIC EXPERIENCE WITH ADOLESCENT CLIENTS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF ADOLESCENT EXPERIENCES IN FAMILY THERAPY by Kevin Dee Broderick Committee Chair: Eric McCollum Marriage and Family Therapy (ABSTRACT) Traditionally, therapists and researchers have not asked adolescents about their family therapy experience. This qualitative study was designed to solicit in-depth feedback from adolescents who have recently participated in family therapy to broaden our understanding of their experiences in counseling. Interviews were conducted with 10 adolescents, between the ages of 14 and 20, to discover what helps teenagers have a successful family therapy experience. From the interviews, five main categories emerged; (1) client/therapist relationship, (2) talking and being heard in both individual and family sessions, (3) gaining insight during therapy, (4) taking personal responsibility for making therapy work, and (5) seeing positive results. Feedback from the adolescents is used to suggest ways family therapists might enhance their effectiveness with adolescent clients and a model for treatment success is presented.

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