2. Case Examples of Supporting Families with Complex Needs
2.1. BFT in a Mother and Baby Unit
2.2. BFT in an Eating Disorders Service
2.3. BFT and the Troubled Families Team
- holistically address the needs of the family as a whole
- build trust with families resisting help
- share information and intelligence to understand family histories
- use resources flexibly and provide needs based access to services
- build family capacity and resilience through intensive support
My experience of completing the Meriden Training in Behavioural Family Therapy was positive and insightful. I felt that the training was accommodated to our needs in terms of relating the approach accordingly to the client group which we would be delivering the work to. The trainers took into consideration the difficult circumstances and dynamics which we would have to face throughout delivery of the work, and helped us to understand how the approach would be appropriate and helpful for some of our families as well as how to demonstrate these points to families and engaging them with family work sessions.I am in the process of delivering the sessions to two of my families, which has been challenging due to the additional difficulties which they present with, which often requires crisis intervention support. The main challenge which I have been faced with for delivering the work overall is maintaining the momentum of family work with the families in terms of reminding them why adhering to the sessions is important and will be effective in the long term in relation to the current pressing issues and demands that they present with. However, due to the approach not being rigid and somewhat adaptable according to the family’s needs, it does enable us to take this into account when delivering the work. Families, although initially expressing reluctance to engage with family work have expressed enthusiasm, interest and reflection throughout the sessions. They have all identified the need for better communication and how this could help improve their functioning as a family and relationships within the family.Receiving supervision from the trainers has been helpful, particularly for reflection purposes as to how our delivery of the work may impact the response from families about family work. The trainers have offered advice and strategies around how to manage the challenges which we face on delivering the approach to the particular families which we work with. Supervision also assists with maintaining our confidence in and adherence to the model as well as identifying and reflecting on what has worked well .
- Establishment of a positive, respectful, collaborative relationship between family and clinician.
- Agreement that service user and key family members will meet together with clinician.
- Information sharing and an agreement about issues relating to confidentiality.
- Time and space for discussion of emotional issues and personal reactions to mental health problem and its management.
- Support for family members in the achievement of personal goals.
- Focus on management of practical day to day issues.
- Enhancement of family problem-solving skills.
- Agreement on relapse prevention strategies.
- Development of effective communications patterns.
- Agreement on the ongoing nature of the relationship between family and mental health services.
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