Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Biopsychosocial Model in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Rola O. AamarEmail author
  • Irina Kolobova
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_511


The biopsychosocial (BPS) model was presented as a challenge to the biomedical model in the late 1970s (Engel 1977, 1980). Per Engel, the biomedical model left little room for the social, psychological, and behavioral aspects of illness and reduced all symptoms to physiological or biochemical origin. Engel commented that the human experience of illness is not well captured by laboratory results or diagnostic tests often employed in the biomedical model and hence deserved to be viewed from a more comprehensive framework. Engel posited that an individual’s health experience results from the intersection of biological, psychological, and social factors operating on multiple levels of the system (i.e., molecular, individual, interpersonal, cultural, and national levels). Engel encouraged the application of the BPS model with systems theory in an effort to practice medicine from a perspective that includes attending to the multiple levels of the organization present. This...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.Center of Excellence for Integrated CareCaryUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HarfordUSA