Families, family therapy, and mental health

Category: Speakers

Proposed Symposium Title: Families, family therapy, and mental health

Learning Objectives: Summarize the research on families and mental health Demonstrate the role of family therapy in improving health outcomes

Abstract: Today, healthcare professionals from many disciplines are interested in how the family can ameliorate or worsen the risk of mental illness. For example, research on bipolar illness and other affective disorders suggests that while individual symptoms can be recognized and treated with medication and individual psychotherapy, the symptomatic person may experience fewer relapses if they feel support and love from family members. This presentation will describe the connection between families and mental health and illustrate how family therapy can help repair unhealthy family interactions to promote optimal health.

Key References or Resources: Fredman, S. J., Baucom, D. H., Boeding, S. E., & Miklowitz, D. J. (2015). Relatives' emotional involvement moderates the effects of family therapy for bipolar disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(1), 81-91. Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., Baker, M. Harris, T., & Stephenson, D. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10, 227-237. Patterson, J. E., Edwards T. M., & Vakili, S. (2018). Global mental health: A call for increased awareness and action for family therapists. Family Process, 57, 70-82.