Reply To: What challenges have you experienced when involving families?

Home – NEW Forums Module 2 – Care for Early Psychosis Fall 2023 What challenges have you experienced when involving families? Reply To: What challenges have you experienced when involving families?


I can share in a lot of your frustrations in working with families Jennifer, managing expectations of what we can do as an Epi team as well as what a Client’s capacity might be depending on their stage of recovery or Psychosis stands out to me as one of the most challenging things when involving families. You mention education as a way to overcome these challenges which rings true to me, offering both EPI-specific psychoeducation and family groups along with community resources can help manage a family’s expectations of recovery and timeline. Another piece that feels almost equally as important is meeting the family with compassion and empathy, knowing that the prodrome stage of psychosis can be a huge strain on family members, they might be experiencing caregiver burn-out, or have had negative experiences with the client that we may or may not be aware of. Listening to family concerns and validating them is an important first step, followed by education and additional supports. I think this can be applied to the situation you mentioned where the mother shows little insight into her child’s illness and pharmacological treatment. While the parent’s belief system does not align with EPI treatment, which could interfere with her child getting the care she needs, education alone might not work to convince the parent this is what her child needs. Listening to her concerns and validating her emotional response to a depo injection could open the door to having a conversation about what the risk is in her child not receiving this intervention at this time. Without focusing on the origin of the psychosis, there might be an opportunity to come to a mutual understanding that the treatment recommended is necessary. While there is no guarantee that this will shift her belief system, meeting her with understanding and compassion opposed to just facts that contradict her belief system could build a stronger relationship and potentially get everyone on the same page around treatment options.