The author describes a technique for use with adolescents (perferably
nonpsychotic, acting-out patients) in the terminal phase of psychiatric
hospitalization. Patient, parents, and therapist have a summit meeting
during which they write a contract which is a prerequisite of the patient's
discharge. The document, which all parties sign, specifies conditions of
the patient's return to family life. A case report, including a contract,
illustrates the use of the technique.