Training professionals to work with families of chronic patients

Harriet P. Lefley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This paper describes a multidisciplinary (psychiatry, psychology, social work) training program which prepares clinicians to work in a collaborative relationship with families of the chronically mentally ill. Content includes an overview of traditional approaches to family roles in major mental illnesses, research findings on family burden, typology of professional-family interactions, and treatment and outcome issues related to older conceptual models of family-patient relationships. The training model includes a didactic component on relevant research and theory, incorporating social policy and cross-cultural issues and emphasizing the actual experiences of patients and families within a framework of coping and adaptation. Training in patient and family education, problem management, supportive counseling, and resource knowledge is accompanied by practicum experiences involving longitudinal work with chronic patients and families. Special features in psychiatric residency training are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-357
Number of pages20
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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