Multifamily group treatment (MFGT) is an evidence-based modality for helping individuals and their families navigate the maelstrom of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. Integrating psychoeducation and behavior family therapy in a multiple-family group format, multifamily group treatment was first pioneered in the 1960s. Since the 1990s it has evolved with a coherent theoretical model and empirical evidence for its effectiveness.The work of Dr. William McFarlane in particular has greatly contributed to the model’s refinement and acceptance.
There are four stages in the McFarlane MFGT model: joining among individual consumers and families, conducting an educational workshop about the illness, relapse prevention through problem-solving groups, and vocational and social skills rehabilitation. MFGT is generally delivered by two clinicians to groups of 5-8 families over a two year period. A main theoretical foundation of MFGT is that by increasing social network size and support by enabling families to benefit from each other’s experiences in solving problems, better illness course and improved outcome occur.
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SAMHSA (2009). Family psychoeducation evidence-based practices (EBP) kit. Rockville, MD: Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Family-Psychoeducation-Evidence-Based-Practices-EBP-KIT/SMA09-4423
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