Bringing the Family into Focus: Collaborative Inpatient Psychiatric Care

  • Jennifer Hodgson
  • Charles Shuman
  • Ryan Anderson
  • Amy Blanchard
  • Patrick Meadors
  • Janie Sowers

Existing research on the collaboration between psychiatry and family therapy highlights the need for the development of “efficient collaborative models that include the breadth of biomedical and psychosocial providers with patients and their families.” The usefulness of integrating family therapy techniques into psychiatric training programs and residencies has also been noted, but relatively little has been written about the collaborative practice of integrating family therapy into an inpatient psychiatric unit.

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, practicing psychiatrists trained in family therapy “can make unique contributions to the knowledge base and repertoire of skills of a biopsychosocial clinician that often are not provided by other components of residency training.” However, because psychiatry residents do not spend 2 years concentrating on family therapy training, as do marriage and family therapy students, cooperation between the two disciplines is necessary for the full implementation of family therapy in psychiatric clinical practice.

In this chapter, several brief case vignettes will be presented to illustrate how a psychiatric inpatient treatment team cares for the patient and family in the hospital. They will be used to highlight the methods by which a discharge plan is developed that can be carried out off the unit and in the hands of the patient’s primary care team. Lastly, Peek’s Three World model will be applied to the reported vignettes, further emphasizing how the most effective collaborative programs are those that have carefully considered the clinical, operational, and financial worlds of health care.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Primary Care Provider Family Therapy Treatment Team Discharge Plan 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Hodgson
    • 1
  • Charles Shuman
    • 2
  • Ryan Anderson
    • 3
  • Amy Blanchard
    • 3
  • Patrick Meadors
    • 3
  • Janie Sowers
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ColoradoDenverUSA
  3. 3.Department of Child Development & Family RelationsEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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