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 am relatively new to EPI services, so I can’t specifically speak to challenges I’ve come across in my time here, but I have worked in family therapy for some time and it seems that challenges that occur within those families are very similar to what is being echoed here. I like incorporating psychoed, just for foundational knowledge, but recognize when I work, that it can only go so far as family members’ individual perspectives, experiences, traumas, values, beliefs, fears, etc. tend to be driving forces of their response to the client’s experience and treatment. Family therapy in this way can be particularly helpful to go digging for sources of caregiver’s concerns and asking the ‘what ifs’ of what might happen with all the scenarios they consider if they full control of the process of treatment and sometimes grounding them in their hope for the best outcome for their family member. Reiterating what Kade said above, sitting with the validation and really understanding a caregiver’s concerns can help build alignment so that if there is a gray area or opportunity for that caregiver to question what they might “know for certain,” you’re in the best position to shift their perspective in the direction of recommended treatment. The “babysitter” scenario as described above by Jennifer is all too common in my previous work, particularly given the fact that I’ve worked with younger ages. In a similar fashion, I like to work on building rapport and really understanding the concerns before trying to shift their perspective on their role as a caregiver (I think there’s a saying of “don’t tear down a fence until you know why it was it was put up” which I swear is a Rumi quote and not a Chesterton quote!). Again, it may not entirely relate to EPI population, but with the families that I’ve worked with, some unloading of responsibility of their child comes from not believing they are competent to rise to the role. From this, I like to do resourcing of professional and community supports with full recognition that it is a lot to care for a child (who is now a young adult), particularly one that is experiencing a huge challenge in their life, and one that they shouldn’t expect to do entirely alone. Bolstering them to see that they are a very critical piece in the team that is meant to support their child and that they will continue to be in the steady role because they are the caregiver and not the professionals that come in and out of their child’s life throughout their treatment and beyond.