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Briggs, S. Maxwell, M. Keenan, A. (2015). Working with the complexities of adolescent mental health problems: applying time-limited adolescent psychodynamic psychotherapy (TAPP). Psychoanal. Psychother., 29(4):314-329.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 29(4):314-329


Working with the complexities of adolescent mental health problems: applying time-limited adolescent psychodynamic psychotherapy (TAPP)

Stephen Briggs, Monique Maxwell and Amanda Keenan

This article discusses the application in a CAMHS setting of a distinctive intervention for adolescent mental health difficulties, time-limited adolescent psychodynamic psychotherapy (TAPP). TAPP has been developed specifically for working with adolescents and the characteristic developmental and psychosocial complexities they present to mental health services. It is widely recognised that supporting the developmental process in adolescence is central to therapeutic interventions and the therapeutic aim of TAPP is to enable recovery of the capacity to meet developmental challenges. The key factors of TAPP are described, including the formulation and working with a developmental focus, the therapeutic stance, working with transference and counter-transference, working with time limits, and the emphasis is placed on engagement of adolescents in therapy in TAPP. The experiences of introducing and developing TAPP in the CAMHS service are discussed with two brief and one extended case examples and this leads to a discussion of the kinds of outcomes achieved. It is concluded that TAPP is a key and relevant intervention for adolescents in complex and vulnerable situations; further work will be undertaken to continue its application in these settings and to formally assess outcomes.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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