Teenage boys who are mandated into mental health treatment through either probation or juvenile diversion are often reluctant to engage in treatment. These young men typically adhere to both rigid masculine gender norms and the code of the street, both of which discourage men to talk about their feelings or display any sign of vulnerability. However, if these young men fail to connect to supports they are at-risk for school dropout, incarceration and possibly significant injury or death. This article identifies barriers to engaging in treatment for systems-involved adolescent males as well as practical techniques for clinicians to help facilitate buy-in to treatment by reframing the treatment process for this population.
Keywords: Adolescent, males, treatment, incarceration, monosyllabic answers, shrugs, cognitive behavioral, multisystemic therapy, Channeling Competitive Behavior, battle-rapping
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