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How to Treat Failure to Launch

A CBT and Family Systems Perspective

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The world over, sociologists and mental health practitioners are noticing the increasing incidence of young people stuck at the transition between dependent adolescence and independent adulthood. Called "hikikomori" in Japan (a term now being adopted by many of these individuals, regardless of their country of origin), NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) in Britain, and known mostly by the label "Failure to Launch" in North America, these individuals tend to have low or depressed mood, high levels of anxiety (particularly social anxiety), and significant avoidant tendencies.

Most live at home with parents, are not employed, have few friends or romantic relationships, and have little clarity about the future or their desires for life. Although potentially meeting diagnostic criteria for depression, social anxiety disorder, or avoidant personality, these individuals represent a distinct and surprisingly numerous population.

When I describe the problem at workshops on unrelated topics, a majority of clinicians report having seen clients in this situation. Yet the research literature is scanty and published treatment protocols are nonexistent. What do you do?

This course provides a description of the problem, assessment guidelines, strategies for getting the client on board with therapy, and, most importantly, a set of interventions that can be tailored to the needs of the individual client, using principles from cognitive behaviour therapy and a family systems approach. We consider how and when to involve family, what to do when the parents are the ones seeking treatment, and how we can parent and educate young people to avoid this problem appearing in the first place.

Plus, at course end you can complete a feedback form and short quiz and receive a certificate for 8 hours of CE credits (approved by the Canadian Psychological Association; see their statement here).

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course, trained and qualified mental health clinicians will:

  • Be able to recognize and describe the basic characteristics of the hikikomori population.
  • Identify many of the family dynamics that can contribute to the problem.
  • Link treatment strategies for these individuals with their presenting risk factors.
  • Be aware of strategies and considerations involved in incorporating family members in treatment.


Your Instructor


Dr Randy Paterson
Dr Randy Paterson

Randy Paterson is the Director of Changeways Clinic, a private mental health center, and author of How to be Miserable, The Assertiveness Workbook, Private Practice Made Simple, and Your Depression Map. He is also the lead author of the Changeways Core Program, one of the world's most widely used group therapy treatment protocols for depression. He presents workshops for professional mental health providers across Canada and internationally.


Course Curriculum


  Preventing Delays on the Launchpad
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days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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