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September 1964

The Adolescent's Hospitalization as a Family Crisis: Implications for a Therapeutic Approach

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(3):302-311. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720270074009

The family of the psychiatric patient is becoming an integral part of diagnosis and treatment. From the patient with an emotional illness, the focus is shifting to the family in which the illness occurs. This broader base for understanding and intervention is explained and illustrated in a growing volume of literature.1-4 The purpose of this paper is to examine indications for a family oriented approach to the hospitalization of adolescents. Observations are based on the writer's clinical experience in casework with parents and collaboration with hospital staff around the psychiatric admission of adolescent patients. This experience has suggested two interdependent and compelling reasons for a family-oriented approach: the hospital needs the family, and the family needs the hospital.

That the hospital needs the family is the more readily apparent. In view of the age and the continuing dependence of adolescents, we cannot ignore