Working With Families in Medical Settings: A Multidisciplinary Guide for Psychiatrists and Other Health Professionals (Hardback) book cover

Working With Families in Medical Settings

A Multidisciplinary Guide for Psychiatrists and Other Health Professionals

Edited by Alison M. Heru

© 2013 – Routledge

254 pages

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Paperback: 9780415656481
pub: 2013-03-19
Hardback: 9780415897006
pub: 2013-03-18
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pub: 2013-08-21
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Working With Families in Medical Settings provides mental-health professionals with the tools they need to figure out what patients and families want and how, within the constraints imposed by 21st-century healthcare setting, to best give them the care they need. Psychiatrists and other clinicians who work in medical settings know that working with a patient with a chronic illness usually entails work with that patient’s family as well as with other medical professionals. Some families need education; others have specific difficulties or dysfunctions that require skilled assessment and intervention. It is up to the clinician to find productive ways to work with common themes in family life: expressed emotion, levels of resilience, life-cycle issues, and adaptation to illness, among others. Enter Working With Families in Medical Settings, which shines a spotlight on the major issues professional caregivers face and shows them how to structure an effective intervention in all kinds of settings. Psychiatrists, particularly those in psychosomatic medicine, and other clinicians who work with the medically ill will find Working With Families in Medical Settings to be an essential resource and guide to productive relationships with patients and their families.


"Families are our patients’ primary caregivers. Health professionals interact with them regularly, though often without training in how to do so. This eminently practical volume fills a gap in helping physicians and other health professionals understand how to successfully partner with families in the treatment of our patients. Family psychiatrist Alison Heru offers us practical approaches to family assessment and intervention that can be implemented in a range of mental health and medical contexts. We learn what family factors promote health, how families adapt to chronic illness, how to intervene in disruptive family situations and how to parent during chronic or life-threatening illness. This volume provides us with practical, useable tools to understand and involve families in the treatment of our patients."

—Susan McDaniel, PhD, director, Institute for the Family, University of Rochester Medical Center

"Creatively conceptualized by Alison Heru and featuring the foremost voices in family systems and medicine, Working with Families in Medical Settings is a cornucopia of required knowledge for anyone working with patients today. This volume provides an expanded lens, demonstrating that the family is at the center of best practice in patient care. Heru and her colleagues enable us to invite families in to the consulting room with confidence and make them our collaborators for optimal patient well-being."

—Evan Imber-Black, PhD, director, Center for Families and Health, Ackerman Institute for the Family and program director, Marriage and Family Therapy, Mercy College

"This is a valuable book. Clinicians everywhere sorely need a guide to help them work with their patients’ families; when they learn to do this well, their care is more effective and rewarding. Dr. Heru and her colleagues bring to their task solid scholarship, organization, and a lucid style. They have produced a great gift of a book to guide us through the complexities of assessing and working with the families of the ill."

– Frank Verloin deGruy III, MD, Woodward-Chisholm Professor and chair, department of family medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine

"In Working with Families in Medical Settings, Dr. Heru and other contributors comprehensively review family factors influencing biological, psychological, and social processes in medical and psychiatric disorders. This book is a much needed antidote to the neglect of the role of the family in health and illness, and should be of interest to physicians, nurses, social workers, and anyone else involved in patient care."

– James L. Levenson, MD, professor of psychiatry, medicine, and surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Table of Contents

Preface List of Contributors Part I: Family Theory and Research Overview of Part I 1. Family Research 2. Family Factors in Promoting Health: The Case of Childhood Asthma Frederick S. Wamboldt, MD and Marianne Z. Wamboldt, MD 3. Family Adaptation to Chronic medical Illness and Disability: An Integrative Model John S. Rolland, MD Part II: The Involvement of the Family in the Health Care System Overview of Part II 4. Family-Centered Care 5. Behavioral Interventions for Disruptive Family Situations in the General Medical Setting Nora Cavelli, RN 6. The Caregiver’s Perspective 7. Parenting With Chronic and Life Threatening Illness: A Parent Guidance Model Ellen H. O’Donnell, PhD, Kamryn T. Eddy, PhD, and Paula K. Rauch, MD Part III: Family Systems Assessment and Interventions Overview of Part III 8. Coping Well With Illness 9. Family Systems Assessment 10. Three Levels of Family Intervention 11. Family Assessment and Treatment: The Case of Mr. & Ms. Dewey 12. Multifamily Group (MFG) Interventions Appendix

About the Editor

Alison M. Heru, MD, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and an associate professor of medicine at National Jewish Medical and Research Center. She is a coauthor of Working With Families of Psychiatric Inpatients: A Guide for Clinicians and Clinical Manual of Couples and Family Therapy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Clinical Psychology