One of the primary difficulties in therapeutic work with emotionally disturbed adolescents is their high level of resistance to treatment. The author is referring specifically to adolescents between 13 and 17 years old who have responded to severely dysfunctional family situations by resorting to substance abuse and runaway, criminal, or suicidal behavior. Their maladaptive cries for help often result in short-term psychiatric hospitalization against their will. The adolescents’ anger toward their parents (which is frequently generalized to all authority figures) and sense of helplessness about their situation are compounded by this involuntary placement, and they enter the institutional setting ready to fight all aspects of treatment. Indeed, it has been noted that the adolescent “views the hospital structure as an adversary with which he is locked in combat and which he much defeat” (Rinsley & Inge, 1961). Because of the time constraints inherent in brief hospitalization, it is imperative that staff psychotherapists find ways to understand and effectively respond to the adolescents’ initial resistance so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.