Creating a collaborative doctor–patient relationship is the bedrock upon which effective treatments are delivered.
The interaction between normal developmental changes and psychopathology can present particular challenges to clinicians attempting to assess and treat young people.
Assuming an attitude in which young people are seen to be doing their best, rather than being deliberately difficult or manipulative, can help clinicians avoid a controlling or punitive relationship and can facilitate collaborative problem solving.
Stigma, denial and avoidance, ambivalence, hopelessness and coercion are potential threats to engagement and must be addressed specifically.
Challenging patients, such as the reluctant, resistant, aggressive, self-harming or intoxicated patient require specific management strategies that can be learned.
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