Question: How effective is family therapy for the treatment of depression in children/adolescents?
Answer: Well that's an interesting question as well. Family therapy in the traditional sense of the term doesn't appear to be particularly effective for treating clinical depression amongst either children or teenagers. However, almost all clinicians -- those using IPT, those using CBT -- try to bring the parents in as an active participants in the treatment process.
I was talking with a colleague back on the east coast -- John Weiss at Harvard -- a little while ago about this, and he -- I was asking how often do you bring parents into your treatment -- your cognitive behavioral therapy with depressed children, and he says as much as possible. And you know I think that's the right stance. The more we could have parents involved, the better the outcome. They're the ones who really have the influence over the child's environment at home and much of their environment at school. And so we really want to have the parents actively involved in the treatment process.