Treatment Engagement: Building Therapeutic Alliance in Home-Based Treatment with Adolescents and their Families
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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.
KeywordsHigh-risk youth Family based treatment Therapeutic alliance Treatment engagement
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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