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Family Therapy

Stuart Tiegel, MSW
Family Therapy is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide.

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  • Psychotherapy in our culture has largely been thought of as individual psychotherapy (IT).
  • IT is seen as "monadic" by nature, and family therapy (FT) is seen as "dyadic", "triadic", etc.
  • FT is not IT with more than one person in the therapy room but a different way of viewing human problems and psychiatric treatment.
    • The focus in FT involves shifting the treatment unit away from a unit of one to a more complex system of relationships involving couples, families and sometimes multiple families.
      • "There is no such thing as the individual, we are all pieces of a family." (Carl Whitaker, M.D., a pioneering psychiatrist in FT, American Orthopsychiatry Conference, 1979)
    • FT was driven by the need to treat more patients efficiently and in the context in which they lived their lives.
      • Leading to a paradigm shift in some areas of psychiatric treatment[1]

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Last updated: October 22, 2014


Tiegel, Stuart. "Family Therapy." Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, 2014. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787148/all/Family_Therapy.
Tiegel S. Family Therapy. Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. 2014. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787148/all/Family_Therapy. Accessed June 17, 2019.
Tiegel, S. (2014). Family Therapy. In Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787148/all/Family_Therapy
Tiegel S. Family Therapy [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. ; 2014. [cited 2019 June 17]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787148/all/Family_Therapy.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
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