Family Program Philosophy for Mental Health Treatment
Involving family, caregivers and support people in healing from mental health conditions
Regardless of their loved one’s level of motivation or involvement in a formal treatment program, families and caregivers of people with mental health disorders can learn the skills needed to take on a supportive role.
Involving family or caregivers in mental health treatment is a critical part of Silvermist’s primary psychiatric program. Our family services include family therapy sessions, family day workshops and weekly family contact.
What is Emotion-Focused Family Therapy?
Silvermist utilizes emotion-focused family therapy (EFFT) as a framework for family involvement in healing. This skills-based family therapy approach uses the neuroscience of attachment and connection as well as validation and communication. EFFT clinicians empower family members and caregivers to help their loved ones and become active agents of positive change and healing.
Through the EFFT process, family, caregivers and other support persons increase their involvement in the following:
Interrupting symptoms and supporting health-focused behaviors
Helping their loved one to increase awareness of overt and underlying emotions that may be fueling problematic thoughts and symptoms
Participating in the repair of relational injuries when applicable
EFFT is a lifespan approach that can be integrated into other treatment modalities at various levels of care and applied to whole families, parents and their children (regardless of age) or parents/caregivers/support people only. Additionally, EFFT may offer hope for those families whose loved one refuses treatment.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and EFFT
For the treatment of mental health disorders such as trauma and mood disorders, depression and anxiety, our primary psychiatric program utilizes acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), an evidence-based, trauma-focused treatment approach focused on increasing psychological flexibility.
ACT helps clients stop avoiding or denying their inner emotions and instead accept these deep feelings as appropriate responses to situations that need not prevent them from moving forward with their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their struggles and commit to making behavioral changes necessary for recovery, regardless of how they feel about what’s going on in their lives.
The combination of ACT and EFFT is especially helpful for clients because of its focus on self-compassion and mindfulness. Clients are often struggling with the competing dynamics of being a parent, partner or spouse, or a professional and their evolving self-concept as it relates to past experience and sociocultural messages.
Therapeutic interventions based in ACT and EFFT help to increase the following:
In combination, ACT and EFFT provide opportunities to form validating relationships that support meaningful connections with oneself, others and the world.