What is Medical Family Therapy?

Medical Family Therapy

What is Medical Family Therapy?

By Rachel Moore April 18, 2022 04.18.2022 Share:
Alcohol Anger Anxiety Counseling Depression Grief Obesity Pain Substance Use

What is Medical Family Therapy?

“So what exactly is Medical Family Therapy (MedFT)?” – This is a question I often hear when I tell people about my doctoral training. MedFT interweaves teachings from a biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective, with a focus on general systems theory within the medical setting. The field of MedFT aims to “bridge the gap” between mental and physical health by approaching healthcare holistically from a systemic and person/family-centered lens. Just as Aristotle states “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” MedFT places an strong emphasis on the collaborative relationships between patients, their medical providers, and the MedFT. Together, we can work as a team to determine the best course of action for you.

What will a MedFT professional do?

A mental health professional with a MedFT background has specialty training in behavioral management of health problems and can address concerns systemically with individuals, families and couples. The application of Medical Family Therapy is used across a variety of settings, including primary, secondary and tertiary medical settings as well as in traditional therapy/private practice. MedFT’s offer assistance when habits, behaviors, stress, or emotional concerns about physical health are interfering with daily life functioning. A MedFT works directly with your medical providers (with appropriate consents, of course) to evaluate the mind-body-behavior connection and provide behavioral interventions based on your health related concerns, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Bereavement
  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity 
  • Chronic pain
  • Alcohol use
  • Other ​​chronic medical health conditions
  • Exercise or other lifestyle modifications

What can I expect from a MedFT?

When seeking therapeutic treatment related to a physical health concern, you can expect to be asked specific questions about your symptoms, emotional concerns you might be experiencing, your behaviors, and how all of these things may be related. This means the MedFT will collaborate with your medical team regarding any assessments, treatment, and progress related to the identified health concern(s). The relationship built between the MedFT and your medical providers allows a better contextual understanding of the unique health challenges you or a loved one may be facing. 

Rachel Moore

If you’d like to book an appointment with Dr. Rachel Moore, you can schedule an appointment online!

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