DISC’s Systemic Family Therapy Approach

Monday 15th May 2017

by Debbie Young

Platform GatesheadPlatform Gateshead and Middlesbrough DISC

When working with young people, a family approach is often used in order to improve communication within the family unit. DISC have developed their own family approach  (DSFT) and provide training to their staff in order to develop skills.

This approach was used recently when trying to encourage a young person to attend the service after being referred by A&E. After being offered two appointments, the young person reluctantly attended the Platform office with their parents. By using this approach the young person was able to demonstrate to their parents that they were willing to make certain lifestyle changes. Once the young person was reassured that we were not judgemental and there to provide education and information to enable them to make more informed choices in the future and keep themselves safe, they relaxed and seemed more than happy to start engaging with us.

During the assessment process, parents stated they felt reassured as they now fully understand what interventions we will be offering to their child. As sessions progress, the parents will be able to support their child and be involved in their progress which will hopefully help to alleviate any worries they may have regarding their child’s substance misuse.

This approach helps to open up the lines of communication within the family in a group setting in a safe environment and allows the young person to have a voice. Hopefully this will result in them being able to work together .


Debbie Young


Platform Gateshead