Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) is the only empirically supported family therapy model designed to treat adolescent depression. This book describes clinical strategies for therapists, as well as the theoretical basis of the approach and the evidence base that supports it.
ABFT emerges from interpersonal theories that suggest adolescent depression and suicide can be precipitated, exacerbated, or buffered against by the quality of interpersonal relationships in families. ABFT aims to repair interpersonal ruptures and rebuild an emotionally protective, secure-based, parent–child relationship. The treatment initially focuses on repairing or strengthening attachment and then turns to promoting adolescent autonomy.
In particular, the authors delineate five treatment phases, or "tasks," which each have distinct goals and strategies. Thus, while the model is trauma-focused and process-oriented, it includes a structure and a clear roadmap for facilitating the reparative process. The chapters blend empirical research with clinical guidance, illustrative vignettes, and a case study.
With its unique emphasis on the depressed adolescent's need for attachment and autonomy, this book will show family therapists how to create in-session, corrective attachment experiences where adolescents seek — and parents provide — love and support.