Reply To: Family Involvement


Chelsea, I really agree with some of the points you listed in your post. I do strongly believe that there are both benefits and challenges with family involvement in client care. Like you suggested, A client’s family might be their primary support and caregiver while their child is experiencing psychosis. I think that family involvement and support can be essential for client care and treatment. However, at the same time, it becomes tricky when the client might have delusional and paranoid beliefs about their family, or if the family relationship isn’t cohesive before the client’s psychotic episode. I have seen family’s work well together, support their loved one throughout their care (including support around meds, finances, and emotional needs). On the other hand, I have also seen both patients/clients and family members become too overwhelmed with the significant changes that come with a psychosis diagnosis and request that they don’t want to be involved in care, or they don’t want their family involved in care. For example, I have seen several clients in the hospital that have chosen to have no contact with their family’s because of paranoid or delusional beliefs, or anger because their family may have brought them to the hospital. At the same time, I have seen client’s family’s opt out of client care because they are traumatized and scared of their loved one due to violence and aggression during their psychotic episode. This can cause significant challenges within family dynamics and support for the person experiencing psychosis. Ultimately, I don’t think there’s a clear answer on whether the benefits or challenges of having families involved are more substantial throughout treatment. I think it’s really based on client-centered care whether or not the family is involved. That being said, as practitioners, we can provide education to both the client and their families on psychosis so that there is a better understanding all around. And if families are more educated on their loved one’s diagnosis, they might have a better understanding on how to support them. As well, clinical judgement is so important. For example, having good rapport with a client and being open and transparent to them about what will be disclosed (if anything) to their family, and how they can take accountability for their own care if they wish to not have any family involvement.