Medical Family Therapy
Medical Family Therapy with Couples and Families
Although the earliest origins of family therapy were in medical settings (e.g., Bateson et al. 1956), pioneering family therapists often juxtaposed systems therapy with the pathology-focused biomedical model. Family therapists theorized about and developed ways of working with what occurs between people and focused less on what was happening within a person. Eventually, addressing the intersections between families, healthcare systems, illness, and healing patterns became unavoidable. Thus, in the early 1990s, “medical family therapy” was coined and began to take shape as a way to bring a more relational and systemic approach to addressing patients’ biomedical, psychological, and social domains of health (McDaniel et al. 1992).
Medical family therapists rely on the knowledge that illness, disability, and loss are universal human experiences that affect the everyday lives of couples and families in profound ways. The evidence of these...
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