Within a mental health service for children and their families a range of treatment options should be offered. We discuss the organisation of family therapy as one mode of treatment within a generic child and adolescent mental health service. It is based upon a review of all referrals during a 12-month period (April 1997–March 1998).
This review showed a high rate of non-attendance for first appointments, that the family therapy offered an effective forum for assessment and that a brief focused model of intervention could be effective within a generic service.
This review has lead us to modify our deployment of family therapy as a treatment option: this modification has implications in terms of resource utilisation and of the clinical use of family therapy.
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