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Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents with Depression and Repeated Self-Injurious Behaviors: Positive Therapeutic Factors for Good Outcome



Parallel abstracts

Goals: Adolescents' repeated self-injurious behaviors rise dramatically and have great impact on campus and community in past few years. Though lots of psycho-educational programs drew people' attention to this problem, there were no systematically effective suicide prevention models established. The purpose of this research is tried to find possible positive therapeutic factors from successfully treated adolescent patients. Method: Research method was in-depth interviews. Subjects were with three depressed and repeated self-injurious adolescents. Inclusion criteria require patients who received full course of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Data analyzed from their tapes and transcripts over 3 hours of interviews. The semi-structured probing questions were: 1. what was the difference after psychotherapy, and 2. what was the positive factor keeping clients from self-injurious behaviors. Results: The differences after interpersonal psychotherapy were as follows: new therapeutic relations instilled new hope rather than hopelessness, clients developed alternative interpersonal ways of coping, clients established substitute peer relations to replace for frustrated relations. Positive therapeutic factors of interpersonal psychotherapy were: therapist's persistent and accompanying relationships, therapist's encouragement to actively establish new relationship, clients find their ways to express suppressed feelings, clients were not forced to do anything they don't want in therapy. Suggestions: We suggested the mental health professionals to keep in mind that: 1. therapist should actively establish supportive relationship as soon as possible, 2. therapist should encourage clients to act on new relationship seeking and resolving interpersonal conflicts, 3. therapist should help the adolescent to confront their parent-child conflicts, 4. therapist should connect clients to school staffs, 5. therapist should not impose what clients don't want on them in order to prevent premature dropout, and 5, therapist should train clients to learn new ways of coping and early recognition of potential suicide risk.


Brent, D. A.,Holder, D.,Kolko, D.,Birmaher, B.,Baugher, M.,Roth, C.(1997).A clinical psychotherapy trial for adolescent depression comparing cognitive, family, and supportive therapy.Archives of General Psychiatry.54(9),877-885.
Brent, D. A.,Kolko, D. J.,Birmaher, B.,Baugher, M.,Bridge, J.(1999).A clinical trial of adolescent depression: Predictors of additional treatment in the acute and follow-up phases of the trial.Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.38,263-270.
Diamond, G. S.,Reis, B. E.,Diamond, G. M.,Siqueland, L.,Isaacs, L.(2002).Attachment-based family therapy for depressed adolescents: A treatment development study.Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.41(10),1190-1196.

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