The context of referring to treatment and the course of family consultation vs. readiness to start family therapy
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Arch Psych Psych 2005;7(4):45-56
The aim of the study was to analyse family and social context of referring patients and their families to the Family Therapy Unit of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the CMUJ, as well as to analyse the course of the family consultation session. The assumption was that the study would make it possible to determine which factors of the familial-social context are connected to the family's motivation towards treatment and what the direction of this connection is. The analysis of material shows that factors affecting the readiness to start therapy include: shorter duration of symptoms, a proper referral by a person referring to therapy (a psychiatrist or another specialist), parents' sense of helplessness in the face of the child's symptoms, and also, to a smaller degree, specificity of the psychopathological picture. Problems which have lasted for more than 2 years, even if the family participates in the family consultation, do not imply readiness to start family therapy. Chronicity of the patient's problems may be maintained by difficulties in understanding relational and psychological aspects of the problem; a medical map of the understanding of difficulties, shared by patients and parents; the fact that treatment is started only in a later phase of the difficulties.
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