Families as Allies in Treatment of the Mentally Ill: New Directions for Mental Health Professionals

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American Psychiatric Press, 1990 - Medical - 284 pages
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The outgrowth of a conference sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, and organized by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, this volume promotes the modification of clinical education so that families of the mentally ill will be viewed as allied rather than adversaries by new generations of professionals. Based on the historical fact that mental health professionals have traditionally related to families of the mentally ill only through their patients, this book proposes new directions for interactive relationships between families of the mentally ill and mental health professionals.

The book begins with a historical perspective on relationships between mental health professionals and families of the mentally ill. The text points out that the negative relationships now in evidence between relatives of the mentally ill and mental health professionals are actually a legacy of historical American social thought on treatment of the mentally ill. These treatment methods, in their time, had profound effects on the arrangements of care of the mentally ill and their families. Many professional attitudes that are now troublesome to family caregivers are remnants of policies and practices that first took shape during the mid-nineteenth century as a part of the asylum approach to mental illness.

Families as Allies in Treatment of the Mentally Ill: New Directions for Mental Health Professionals provides an overview of issues ,including research directions for new conceptualization of families and the social context of helping families of the mentally ill. This volume addresses ethical and legal considerations in interviewing families of the seriously mentally ill. Each chapter is followed by a commentary, with additional comments ad points of view on the chapter subject.

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About the author (1990)

Harriet P. Lefley, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida.

Dale L. Johnson, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.

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