**Special note: the following information contains reference to various diagnoses of mental illness. While it is acknowledged that a diagnosis confers certain benefits in terms of guiding treatment options (especially choice of medication), there are also disadvantages in that a diagnosis locates a problem within an individual, stigmatizing them, and diverting attention away from interpersonal solutions and the myriad of ways in which social injustice and other detrimental contextual factors need to be addressed to achieve lasting wellness and health beyond the presenting symptoms.**
Family Therapy and Systemic Practice offers real hope to those in distress...
"In a review of 20 meta-analyses of couple and family therapy trials for a range of mental health problems across the lifespan, Shadish and Baldwin (2003) concluded that the average treated patient fared betterafter therapy and at 6-12 months follow up than 71% of controls who for the most part received standard services" (Carr, A. 2014)
Sydow et al (2010) conducted a review of 38 Randomised Controlled Trials and in 34 of them Systemic or Family Therapy was found to be more efficacious than no treatment and either equal to or more efficacious than other treatments e.g. medication, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), or Group therapy ... leading the researchers to conclude:
"Systemic therapy is an efficacious approach for the treatment of disorders in adults particularly for mood disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and psychological factors in physical illness"
Carr, A. (2014) The evidence base for couple therapy, family therapy and systemic interventions for adult-focused problems, JFT, 36: 158-194 Sydow et al (2010) The efficacy of systemic therapy with adult patients: a meta-content analysis of 38 randomised controlled trials. Family Process, 49: 457-485.
Couples therapy for relationship distress
70% of distressed couples who engage in couples therapy will show an improvement in their relationship...
And the average distressed couple who do therapy together will be better off than 80% of those who do not receive any treatment.
Couples therapy has been shown to be effective for the treatment of depression offering benefits for your relationship beyond the reduction in depressive symptoms alone.
Conclusions about Couples therapy and depression:
1. It is more effective than no treatment 2. It is at least equally effective as individual treatment 3. It is at least equally effective as CBT 4. If there is relationship distress then it helps improve the relationship more than individual CBT or what would be expected from the improvement in depression alone.
Family Therapy for Schizophrenia and Psychosis
Multi-modal programmes of treatment that include Family therapy and medication help to prevent relapse and re-admission to hospital compared to medication alone, while at the same time helping the adjustment of non-symptomatic family members... alleviating distress for all. This benefit is maintained for at least 2 years after therapy.
The average patient adding family therapy to medical treatment enjoys:
less relapse than 63% of those treated with medication alone
less rehospitalisation than 68% of those treated with medication alone