Family Interventions: Basic Principles and Techniques

Jan 1, 2020Guidelines




Summary: In India, families form an important part of the social fabric and support system, and as a result, they are integral in being part of the treatment and therapeutic process involving an individual with mental illness. Working with families involves education, counseling, and coping skills. Specific aspects such as future plans, job prospects, medication supervision, marriage and pregnancy behavioral management and improving communication, and their role in therapy are discussed. The goals (of exploring interactional dyhnamics, mobilising resources and strengths, restructuring interactions and strengthening the group’s problem-solving abilities), indications (problematic interactions between parent-child, sibling and spousal dyads, addressing the effects of illness and handling expressed emotions) and challenges (focus on one individual, taking sides, etc) are discussed. The functions of the therapist, and the steps and stages of a family intervention are discussed. Techniques such as the use of genograms, family life cycles and circular hypotheses and contracts) are described in brief. The various styles of family therapy (structural, strategic, behavioral and psychdynamic) are outlined, and the implementation of family therapy in a range of mental disorder groups are described briefly. Specific issues related to utilising family therapy principles in the Indian cultural context and the constraints of healthcare settings, are outlined.
Authors: Mathew Varghese, Vivek Kirpekar, Santosh Loganathan
Year of Publication: January-2020
Citation: Varghese M, Kirpekar V, Loganathan S. Family Interventions: Basic Principles and Techniques. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2020 Jan;62(Suppl 2):S192.

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