Training Nurses in Couple and Family Therapy
Family therapy and nursing share the belief that illness impacts patients, their families, and family belief systems about illness and caregiving impact the patient’s course of treatment in positive and negative ways (Bell 2016). In addition to integrating systems thinking into the general practice of nursing, the field has developed a distinct systemic approach to patient care: family systems nursing (Kaakinen et al. 2014). Further, family therapy has developed its own systemic approach to medicine called medical family therapy (MedFT). Because the practice of family therapy and nursing are distinct and separate disciplines, the principles of family therapy are taught to nurses through both classroom and experiential means, but family therapy as a practice is limited in scope and context of nursing practice (Whall 1986). Although advanced practice nurses may practice the principles of family therapy, family therapy is taught as a referral resource to nurses to facilitate...
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