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Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 29, Issue 1–2, pp 39–55 | Cite as

Treatment Engagement: Building Therapeutic Alliance in Home-Based Treatment with Adolescents and their Families

  • Sanna J. Thompson
  • Kimberly Bender
  • Janet Lantry
  • Patrick M. Flynn
Original Paper

Abstract

Client engagement is an essential yet challenging ingredient in effective therapy. Engaged clients are more likely to bond with therapists and counselors, endorse treatment goals, participate to a greater degree, remain in treatment longer, and report higher levels of satisfaction. This study explored the process of engaging high-risk youth and their parents in a unique home-based family therapy intervention. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 19 families who completed family therapy sessions that included a core component aimed at increasing treatment engagement. Parents’ and youths’ perceptions of engagement suggest the importance of developing therapeutic alliance with therapists, who facilitated building a shared alliance among family members. Implications for improving client engagement are discussed within the context of alliance building with the therapist and among family members.

Keywords

High-risk youth Family based treatment Therapeutic alliance Treatment engagement 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This manuscript was supported in part by a Career Development Award (K01-DA015671) from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to Dr. Thompson.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanna J. Thompson
    • 1
  • Kimberly Bender
    • 1
  • Janet Lantry
    • 1
  • Patrick M. Flynn
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Behavioral ResearchTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA

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