Child and adolescent psychiatric emergencies: Family psychodynamic issues

Donna L. Londino, P. Alex Mabe, Allan M. Josephson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The family is always involved in a psychiatric emergency. They are often responsible for the child seeking care, an aspect of healthy parental concern for their child. In many instances, an event within the family is the predisposing factor in the emergency, a fact that reflects the defining impact families have on children, particularly younger children. Finally, family experience helps to shape and promote adaptive coping capacities within the child. To the extent that an emergency presents a crisis in coping, families are always a factor in a child's development or lack of development of these coping capacities. All clinicians must recognize the salience of the family's role and achieve the dual task of accurately and objectively assessing the family and achieving an empathic understanding of their difficulties. This empathy is a powerful tool in facilitating the family's continuation in receiving relevant mental health care once the emergency subsides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-647
Number of pages19
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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