Journeying Together Through a Landscape of Uncertainty: Long-Term Systemic Work with Young People

  • Sarah Houston
Part of the Palgrave Texts in Counselling and Psychotherapy book series (PTCP)


This chapter considers some of the complexities of longer term work with young people. The particular social and psychological developmental position of adolescents invites the therapist into different roles than they would adopt when working with other age groups. Meeting young people at the intersection of dependence and independence, and where their natural systemic scaffolding may be particularly stressed and vulnerable, presents specific and complex challenges for the therapist, and the therapeutic relationship. The opportunities presented by this time of change in the young person’s development can equally lead to the generation of narratives of hope, which have the potential to ripple through the therapy process and the wider system. The therapist must be prepared to embrace both challenges and opportunities, journeying with the young person as they navigate a landscape of uncertainty. This chapter considers long-term work with young people and their families from three key angles; their multiple contexts, the therapeutic relationship and the therapeutic journey. These themes are considered and explored with reference to the author’s experience working with young people in the public sector and in private practice.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Houston
    • 1
  1. 1.Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at CrumlinDublinIreland

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