Whole families

Parent group

Teen group

Session 1

Introduction/ice-breakers; discussion of normal teen behavior and reasons for misbehavior.

Venting, building hope and strengthening commitment to treatment.

Venting, building hope, and brainstorming desired changes for own and parents’ behavior.

Session 2

Identification of how buttons get pushed to escalate conflict and facilitation of nurturing interactions between parents and teens.

Development of a plan utilizing button busters to prevent and soften coercive interactions.

Development of a plan utilizing button busters to prevent and soften coercive interactions.

Session 3

Education to develop family agreements; reframe problems within a developmental framework; increase families’ support for each other within the group.

Identification of a problem and operationalize it into a rule.

Identify acceptable rewards and consequences.

Session 4

Teens deliver “positive parent reports” designed to soften coercive interactions and increase nurturance. Educate about guilt and other barriers that interfere with delivery of consequences on a consistent basis.

Incorporate teens’ rewards and consequences into family agreement and exchange of contact information between parents to increase informal support outside of group.

Create a positive parent report and discussion cards on developmentally appropriate topics.

Session 5


Continue to work on family agreements and identify a plan “B” of consequences that can be used if the teen decides to not follow the family agreement.

Learn perspective taking skills to develop empathy and discuss readiness to make changes in their families to utilize button busters and the family agreement.

Session 6

Staff members (and lead parent volunteers) facilitate a discussion with each family to negotiate their family agreement while the volunteers and group members provide advice, brainstorming, and support.

Prepare for family agreement negotiations with role plays using button busters and listening skills. Write a positive teen report to be delivered in next session.

Discussion on forgiveness, identify individuals who have betrayed trust, and prepare for family agreement negotiations.

Session 7

Learn about developmentally appropriate nurturing strategies and soften parent teen interactions with positive teen reports.