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Psychological medicine

Engaging and managing an unwilling or aggressive young person

Andrew M Chanen, Louise K McCutcheon

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Abstract

Specific strategies can be applied in consultations with young people who are difficult to assess and manage.

Article Extract

Most young people (10 to 24-year-olds) do not deliberately try to be difficult to assess and manage. However, collaboration can be difficult to achieve when a young person is unwilling or aggressive. Many difficulties encountered arise from the interaction between young people’s common modes of coping and the differing needs and expectations of clinicians or family members. These modes of coping (e.g. blaming others and blocking out negative feelings) usually have clear short-term adaptive benefits for the young person, but when used repeatedly, excessively or inflexibly tend to perpetuate or exacerbate problems and undermine assistance from others.

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