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Concept: Family therapy


BACKGROUND: The shift from asylum to community care for mental health patients has burdened the providers of primary health care and, more than all, families. As a result, numerous studies [Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 31:345–348, 1995, J Health Socisl Behav 36:138–150, 1995] have focused on the burden of care experienced by family members living with individuals with severe mental disorders. This kind of provision, also extols a significant cost to the society at large in terms of significant direct and indirect costs. A cost that may be even higher in times of severe socio-economic crisis.Methodology: This study, firstly, aims to examine the burden that the family members experience by caring for individuals with schizophrenia and the identification of the parameters, in a micro and macro level, that affect family burden. Secondly, this study aims to investigate whether the welfare state will be fit to help vulnerable groups as the one studied, especially during economic crisis periods when austerity measures are being implemented into welfare systems. For data collection purposes this study employed the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire [Schizophr Bull 1998, 24(4):609–618]. The sample consisted of caregivers either living in rural or urban areas of the district of Nicosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. These people were attending regular meetings with their allocated Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPN) in Community Mental Health Centres (CMHC). RESULTS: Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was applied with the tension, the supervision, the worry, and the encouragement entering as dependent factors. In each case, participant’s age, gender, marital status, income, number of people living in the same house with the participant, degree of relationship between the caregiver and the person suffering from severe mental disorder, the age of the relative, and the gender of the relative, were entered as independent factors. Four ANCOVAs were performed, one for each dimension of the family burden. The results from this analysis produced only one significant main effect of the gender of the relative on supervision [F(1,118) = 4.40, p = .011, etap2 = .053] with male relatives suffering from schizophrenia requiring higher supervision than female ones as their relative caregivers responses indicate. CONCLUSIONS: Consequently, families under great stress due to the reasons derived from the weaknesses of the welfare system described throughout this paper would give up and reject the mentally ill individuals who would become outcasts socially. Therefore, health systems need to aim to the development of psychosocial provisions for both family caregivers and patients as to decrease the family burden rates and increase the possibility of smooth transition to the society.

Concepts: Family, Medicine, Mental health, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Psychiatry, Mental illness, Family therapy


This study investigated relationships between attachment insecurity, maladaptive cognitive schemas, and various types of psychopathological symptoms in a sample of clinically referred adolescents (N = 82). A mediation model was tested in which maladaptive schemas operated as mediators in the relations between indices of attachment quality and conduct, peer, and emotional problems. Results revealed partial support for the hypothesized mediation effect: the schema domain of disconnection/rejection acted as a mediator in the links between insecure attachment and peer problems and emotional problems. Further analysis of these effects revealed that different types of maladaptive schemas were involved in both types of psychopathology. Altogether, findings suggest that treatment of adolescent psychological problems may need to target the improvement of attachment relationships with peers and parents and the correction of underlying cognitive schemas.

Concepts: Psychology, Adolescence, Psychiatry, Attachment theory, Mediation, Peer group, Family therapy, John Bowlby


The effect of systemic therapy on malignancy risk among patients with psoriasis is not fully understood.

Concepts: Family therapy, Systemic therapy


Disorganized/Disoriented (D) attachment has seen widespread interest from policy makers, practitioners, and clinicians in recent years. However, some of this interest seems to have been based on some false assumptions that (1) attachment measures can be used as definitive assessments of the individual in forensic/child protection settings and that disorganized attachment (2) reliably indicates child maltreatment, (3) is a strong predictor of pathology, and (4) represents a fixed or static “trait” of the child, impervious to development or help. This paper summarizes the evidence showing that these four assumptions are false and misleading. The paper reviews what is known about disorganized infant attachment and clarifies the implications of the classification for clinical and welfare practice with children. In particular, the difference between disorganized attachment and attachment disorder is examined, and a strong case is made for the value of attachment theory for supportive work with families and for the development and evaluation of evidence-based caregiving interventions.

Concepts: Evaluation, Developmental psychology, Policy, Human development, Attachment theory, Family therapy, Attachment measures, John Bowlby


Social support is crucial for psychological and physical well-being. Yet, in experimental and clinical pain research, the presence of others has been found to both attenuate and intensify pain. To investigate the factors underlying these mixed effects, we administered noxious laser stimuli to 39 healthy women while their romantic partner was present or absent, and measured pain ratings and laser-evoked potentials to assess the effects of partner presence on subjective pain experience and underlying neural processes. Further, we examined whether individual differences in adult attachment style, alone or in interaction with the partner’s level of attentional focus (manipulated to be either on or away from the participant) might modulate these effects. We found that the effects of partner presence versus absence on pain-related measures depended on adult attachment style but not partner attentional focus. The higher participants' attachment avoidance, the higher pain ratings and N2 and P2 local peak amplitudes were in the presence compared to the absence of the romantic partner. As laser-evoked potentials are thought to reflect activity relating to the salience of events, our data suggest that partner presence may influence the perceived salience of events threatening the body, particularly in individuals who tend to mistrust others.

Concepts: Nervous system, Psychology, Mind, Developmental psychology, Attachment theory, Family therapy, Absenteeism, Attachment in adults


Prediction of the age at aortic dissection for family members of aortic dissection patients would enhance early detection and clinical management. We sought to determine whether these dissections tend to cluster by age in family members of the dissection patients.

Concepts: Biology, Aortic dissection, Family therapy


The current study explored differences in acceptance of telehealth interventions amongst currently licensed and future clinicians with a focus on web camera-based intervention. The influence of theoretical orientation was also assessed.

Concepts: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Mental health professional, Family therapy, Clinical neuropsychology, Applied psychology


Bipolar disorder (BD) is a highly incapacitating disease typically associated with high rates of familial dysfunction. Despite recent literature suggesting that maternal care is an important environmental factor in the development of behavioral disorders, it is unclear how much maternal care is dysfunctional in BD subjects.

Concepts: Family, Family planning, Bipolar disorder, Mother, Nuclear family, Family therapy, Cinderella effect, Dysfunctional family


OBJECTIVE: The present study examined variables related to the quality of the therapeutic alliance in out-patients with schizophrenia. We expected recovery orientation and insight to be positively, and self-stigma to be negatively associated with a good therapeutic alliance. We expected these associations to be independent from age, clinical symptoms (i.e. positive and negative symptoms, depression), and more general aspects of relationship building like avoidant attachment style and the duration of treatment by the current therapist. METHODS: The study included 156 participants with DSM-IV diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in the maintenance phase of treatment. Therapeutic alliance, recovery orientation, self-stigma, insight, adult attachment style, and depression were assessed by self-report. Symptoms were rated by interviewers. RESULTS: Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that more recovery orientation, less self-stigma, and more insight independently were associated with a better quality of the therapeutic alliance. Clinical symptoms, adult attachment style, age, and the duration of treatment by current therapist were unrelated to the quality of the therapeutic alliance. CONCLUSION: Low recovery orientation and increased self-stigma might undermine the therapeutic alliance in schizophrenia beyond the detrimental effect of poor insight. Therefore in clinical settings, besides enhancing insight, recovery orientation, and self-stigma should be addressed.

Concepts: Psychology, Mental disorder, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Family therapy, Attachment in adults


Seeking psychotherapy can be conceptualized as having three stages: deciding that therapy might help, deciding to seek therapy and contacting a therapist. The present study examined the duration and difficulty of clients' decisions to seek psychotherapy and whether these experiences were predictive of expected difficulty and commitment to the therapy process. One-hundred and fifty-five adults seeking individual psychological services from a university training clinic were assessed before intake; 107 of these participants also completed measures between the third and fourth therapy sessions and at post-therapy. Deciding that therapy might help was reported to be the most difficult step and took the longest, with each subsequent step becoming easier and briefer. At each step, the more difficult the decision, the more time participants took to make it. Higher distress was associated with more difficulty in deciding that therapy might help and deciding to seek therapy. Duration and difficulty of decisions to seek therapy were positively correlated with expectations of difficulty in therapy as measured prior to treatment and following the third session but were not associated with participants' commitment to therapy. The implications of these results for clinicians and mental health services are discussed. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Present, Time, Psychology, Mental health, Clinical psychology, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Family therapy