See Table 2 for pre and posttreatment diagnostic profile. Lance took no psychotropic medication. His SR began in 8th grade, following an illness, and he finished the school year with home tutoring. In 9th grade he had difficulty returning
after a weather-related school closure and again after an illness. At intake (mid-January), he had not attended school for six weeks though winter break made up several of those weeks. Lance’s refusal behaviors related to fears of explaining his absence to others at school or elsewhere, performance fears, social evaluation, and catching up on schoolwork/homework. Selleckchem U0126 He reported no short-term impairment but was concerned that continued absences may negatively affect long-term goals, like going to college and getting a job. Lance noted numerous benefits to staying home, including sleeping in, watching
TV, playing video games, being free of worry about school, and spending more time with good friends because he did not have to commute to school or do homework. His parents reported that SR interfered with grades, social relationships, and family functioning. Numerous DBT skills were essential to the family’s progress. Walking the Middle Path skills were a central skill. Broadly, therapy focused on helping parents move towards synthesis of the “Holding on too tight-Forcing independence too soon” dialectical dilemma (Miller et al., 2007). The parents often yielded selleck authority to Lance on school reentry (if, when, and how), yet they avoided ATM/ATR inhibitor talking about school with Lance or in front of him, because they considered it “too upsetting for him” (e.g., they gave Lance permission
to miss therapy and stop WBC because talking about school and going to therapy was too stressful). Here, parents expected adult-like decisions on one hand but acted in very protective ways on the other. Therapy focused on helping parents take more control over decisions reserved for parents (e.g., school attendance, choice of schools) while remaining emotionally supportive. As an example of the “Too loose – Too strict” dialectic, Lance would often refuse to go to bed but then blame his parents for being tired in the morning and fail to get up. Here, the therapist highlighted the need to consistently implement the contingency management plan (using laptop time as a reward and maintaining structure over its use), as opposed to allowing un-restricted use and then arbitrarily removing it when angry. Validation was also critical, as the family had a history of conflict, criticism, and blame that often led to escalating emotional arguments. The therapist used session time to have family members practice using validation with each family member. Practicing validation appeared to deescalate conflictual conversations, decrease judgment by increasing perspective taking, and increase acceptance.