Chapter 5

The First Stage

Therapy with a problem young person is best thought of in stages. The first stage is arranging a return home from an institution correctly so that the person does not immediately return to custody. In cases where institutionalization has not occurred, the first stage is getting the family past the crisis and the young person back to a normal situation.

The second stage deals with the crisis brought about by the inevitable relapses of the young person. To say “inevitable” may be too deterministic, because sometimes the relapse does not occur. In the usual course of events, however, the young person returns to normal and in a few weeks erupts again. The problem is to contain the eruption within the family, without custody. ...

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