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Leaving Home, 2nd Edition by Jay Haley

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Chapter 6

Beginning Correctly in the First Interview

A first interview with the family of a mad and eccentric young person is not like other, more routine, therapy interviews. To come together with such a family without a plan is to invite misfortune and difficulties. It is not best for the therapist to be exploratory and merely wait to see what will happen.

If a young adult is in a mental hospital, a drug rehabilitation center, or a jail, there is no need to find out what the problem is, since it is self-evident. The young person is in severe trouble in the community, and the family is malfunctioning. A similar assumption appears at times with a younger problem child: If an anorectic child comes in as a walking skeleton, the issue is not what ...

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