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Family therapy and psychosomatic illness

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Abstract

The author suggests that clinical experience has developed to the point where the question can be asked, “Is a specific psychosomatic illness responsive to a specific type of family therapy?” Examples such as structural family therapy in childhood diabetes, asthma, pain, and anorexia nervosa; cognitive family therapy in adult chronic pain; and marital group behaviour modification in adult obesity, chronic pain, and myocardial infarction, are critically reviewed. The evidence suggests, but does not yet prove, that specific types of marital and family therapy may be effective in a few specific psychosomatic problems, a useful adjunctive therapy in some psychosomatic problems, and that family assessment is helpful in the management of all psychosomatic problems.

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Correspondence to Edward M. Waring.

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Waring, E.M. Family therapy and psychosomatic illness. International Journal of Family Therapy 2, 243–252 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00929449

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Keywords

  • Obesity
  • Asthma
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Chronic Pain
  • Health Psychology