Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 162–171 | Cite as

Competencies of Process: Toward a Relational Framework for Integrated Care

  • Dan Marlowe
  • Jennifer Hodgson
Original Paper


As integrated care (IC) has gained more traction within both the psychosocial and medical fields, the need to train medical family therapy students and established professionals in this care typology has increased in tandem. To address this stated need, there is a large body of literature pertaining to models of care, typologies of intervention, clinical and financial effectiveness, and now a burgeoning discussion related to the academic and practice-based competencies necessary for IC practice. While the ability of the medical family therapist as behavioral health provider (MedFT/BHP) to practice in integrated settings may rely on an understanding of population-based medicine, disease etiology, medication and psychopharmacology, as well as augmentations to patient conceptualization and practice, all of the specifics related to that care are ultimately leveraged on the relationships formed by the MedFT/BHP with their healthcare colleagues. What this means is while we have attempted to distill the gestalt of integrated care into its major practice-based parts (e.g., model development and implementation, competencies, financial viability, efficacy/effectiveness, mechanisms of activation, and marketing), we have not adequately described the competencies necessary to set the stage for these types of close working relationships: relationships that make integration, of any kind, a possibility. The following paper was written to discuss three competencies related to the relational process of integration: (a) conceptual flexibility, (b) understanding and acceptance, and (c) acknowledgment and appreciation, as well as how these competencies provide the backdrop against which integrated care, as a practice, can emerge.


Integrated care Medical family therapy Integration Behavioral health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Osteopathic MedicineCampbell UniversityLillingtonUSA
  2. 2.College of Human EcologyEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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