Document Type


Publication Date



When parents bring a child or an adolescent to therapy, they often are anxious and want problems to be resolved as soon as possible. Sometimes, the counselor realizes that targeting interventions toward only the child will lead to limited change and might perpetuate the family's view of the child as a "problem." On the other hand, parents might resist suggestions for family therapy, believing as they do that the problem is located in the child. This article presents a method of working with both parents and the child that provides supportive therapy for the child while intervening with the parents to provide developmental information, identify marital issues the child might be mirroring, offer benign interpretations of the child's difficulties to counter often held anxious views of the problem, and model constructive interactions for the family.


Originally published in The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families. 1998. Volume 6. Issue 2. Pages 87-93.