Working with Siblings in the Treatment of Traumatized Youth


  • Renata Fire



: sibling subsystem; refugee youth; African American youth; immigrant families; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); trauma-focused treatment; siblings in therapy; case study; clinical case study


In their manuscript, “Addressing Child Maltreatment by Infusing Multicultural, Feminist Tenets to Standard Clinical Approaches: The Cases of ‘Bashiir’ and ‘Jaquann,’” Dr. Rachel Singer, Dr. Renee DeBoard-Lucas, and Dr. Milton Fuentes (2024) exemplified how clinicians can be cognizant and respectful of the many familial, socio-cultural, and systemic contexts that contribute to a client's difficulties and that must be considered for successful treatment. As such, they made relevant clinical adjustments to overcome possible barriers to treatment and to foster safe, culturally responsive therapeutic environments. In this Commentary, I propose another clinical adjustment, congruent with a multicultural feminist lens, that has the potential to be beneficial to families that face barriers to parental involvement in treatment: working with the sibling subsystem. While interventions with siblings have received minimal attention in the clinical literature, work with the sibling subsystem has the potential of benefiting individuals and families alike, particularly in the context of trauma-focused therapy with youth. To illustrate how clinicians can work jointly with siblings, I propose pivotal themes and junctures in therapy with Bashiir and Jaquann where sibling involvement may be beneficial.



How to Cite

Fire, R. (2024). Working with Siblings in the Treatment of Traumatized Youth. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 20(2).