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Archive » 2015 » 1 » | Archive » Medical field » Fields » Psychiatry »

From the Individual to the Family: Understanding and Applicability of Medical Family Therapy in Somatic Medicine

 
Abstract:

This post is also available in: enEnglish slSlovenščina (Slovenian)

Modern medicine considers somatic illness and health as two parts of a biopsychosocial whole, while the systemic paradigm also includes the family context of the somatic illness and health. Attachment is considered an important evolutionary tool, which in adulthood becomes increasingly important in terms of fear and incompetence that accompany somatic illness. Family attachment is physically processed alongside endocrine and immunological cytokine levels and biologically connects somatic treatment and interpersonal relationships. This article presents evidence-based information on the connection between somatic treatment and family functioning. The influence of somatic illness on family functioning is represented through the examples of cancer, coronary illness and infertility. The differences in dealing with somatic illness arising from different age or family role are shown through the examples of an ill child, ill partner and ill parent. Special attention is given to the latter, which is when the needs of children with chronically ill parents are often overlooked. Some ideas on how to increase family support during the course of treatment of somatic illness are given. These are based on medical family therapy, as some interventions used by the family therapist can be adapted for the use of staff involved in somatic treatments to increase the involvement of the family and thus increase the efficiency of somatic treatment.

Authors:
Trampuž Liana, Rus Makovec Maja

Keywords:
attachment, family, somatic illness, medical family therapy

Cite as:
Med Razgl. 2015; 54 (1): 57–73.

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