A Review of Medical Family Therapy: 30 Years of History, Growth, and Research
Medical family therapists are emerging as collaborative care innovators, clinicians, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and educators. This chapter will cover 30 years of scholarly literature on the history, growth, and available research on Medical Family Therapy (MedFT). Ninety-six articles met specific inclusion criteria and were reviewed and categorized into four distinct themes: (a) emergence of MedFT in the literature, (b) contemporary MedFT skills and applications, (c) punctuating the “family therapy” in MedFT, and (d) MedFT effectiveness and efficacy research. The results of this chapter reflect that MedFT is growing so rapidly that there is a need for a universal definition of what MedFT is, effectiveness and efficacy research to advocate for it, as well as core competencies to help determine the behaviors and skills that MedFTs need to be successful when integrating into clinical and research healthcare contexts, qualified training settings, and policy think tanks. Recommendations to advance efforts in MedFT across all foci are offered as a way to move the dialogue forward.
KeywordsChronic Fatigue Syndrome Behavioral Health Family Therapy Family Therapist Healthcare Setting
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