Therapeutic assessment with adolescents : examining changes in adolescents’ perception of family functioning
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Therapeutic Assessment (TA), a semi-structured form of collaborative assessment that combines psychological assessment with individual and family therapy techniques, has emerged as an innovative and promising short-term family systems intervention for children and their families and potentially with adolescents. The goal for the study was to explore the utility of TA with adolescents (TA-A) as an effective short-term family intervention for adolescents. The study used an interrupted time-series design to follow three adolescents as they took part in a TA-A with their families. Participants were adolescents who presented with behavioral, emotional, and/or interpersonal difficulties. They were referred by either a local community mental health clinic or practitioners in private practice who believed they and their families would benefit from a TA-A. Participants completed daily measures of family functioning before, during, and after the TA-A. Additionally, the participants completed longer standardized repeated measures of family functioning and were interviewed about their experience of TA-A throughout the different phases of the TA-A. Simulation Modeling Analysis (SMA) revealed that none of the participants reported improvements on daily measures of family functioning. However, repeated measures revealed improvements in family functioning for all participants either at the conclusion of the TA-A and/or at Follow-up. Qualitatively, all three participants provided various levels of feedback about the positive impact of TA-A on their family. Themes across the cases, as well as limitations and future direction, are discussed.